Monday, March 20, 2017

Three Little Upcycles & A GIVEAWAY !!!

Greetings dear friends & readers
Goodness .... those last two weeks flew by in the blink of an eye !!!
I had a fast trip down to my Mums & then helping my son & (very pregnant) daughter in law to shift house - the days just disappeared in a blur
But there have been 3 little upcycles take place here at Threadbear

The 2 wooden items above were from my dear friend Leeanne & I honestly can't remember where the Watering Can came from .... no doubt some Op Shop bargain bin !!!

The wooden pieces got painted 'Cottage Cream' as I had decided they were destined to become pincushions.
The rusty little watering can got sanded & then painted outside as well as inside .  .  .

.  .  .  .  then I decided to mod podge some small crochet motifs onto the side of it
I gave it an ever-so-slight sand to distress it a teeny bit.

My original intention had been to plant it with some baby's tears - but I kept looking at it thinking how lovely it would look filled with soaps ... so I did just that & packaged it up along with a facewasher & a lavender pouch

All cellophaned up & ready for sale in my Cottage.  (now Sold)

The wooden pot with the scalloped edge got filled with wadding & a top made from some Tilda fabric 
I then mod podged some vintage flower motifs onto the side of it & lightly embellished with some tape measure braid

I made a new padded top for the wooden stool with Tilda fabric, & added some gauze flower braid & ribbons

A selection of pins completed the two upcycles

Giveaway details :-
Yesterday was my blogging birthday ... yes 5 whole years of blogging !!!! 
5 years of listening to my rambles .  .  .  .  I think you all probably deserve a medal !!!!
So I thought to myself .... would you like to win one of my pincushions perhaps??
Here are the details of my Giveaway :-

- You can choose any pincushion you would like to win.
- I will post anywhere in the world!
- Anyone may enter !
 All you need to do is leave me a comment in the comments section below
If you should have any trouble doing this, then you may email me at
- Along with the pincushion of your choice, I will make up a small parcel of soaps, Tilda tags, a Tilda Peg fridge magnet & some choccy treats.
- I will draw the winner at the end of March
- There will only be 1 draw for one of the pincushions.
- Just choose which pincushion below you would like - No. 1 or No. 2
Simple enough I am sure.

These early Autumn days have been so lovely weather wise ... it is enjoyable to sit out on the deck & paint my little upcycle projects.
I always have company of the 4 legged variety who supervise my painting endeavours ...but sometimes get a little weary too 

Miss Pippi is so pleased her banana box is back on the table after being tossed in the shed during one of my white tornado's cleanup sessions  

Recently after visiting with Alec, I called to see my friend Elaine on the way home to deliver some worm tea.
My timing was absolutely perfect because ....................
Elaine was right in the midst of a de-clutter !!!!

Amongst a whole boot load of 'treasures' that I came away with, was this box above
I wasn't sure what to do with it for a few days until I decided it might be a good holder for all my knitting needles . . . .
How absolutely perfect !!   Thanks so much Elaine 😉

I look forward to sharing with you friends, what I have done with some of the other treasures from Elaine.
I hope you have a lovely week ahead - be kind to yourselves & to each other
I hope you will be enticed to enter my little Giveaway
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Choosing an old fashioned kind of life .................

Sunday Greetings dear friends & readers & Welcome to March !!

"Oh Julie you are such a Granny with your old fashioned ways & your repairing & recycling of just about everything!! "
These are the words my Stepdaughter has said to me on many, many occasions over the past years . . .  even long before I became an actual Granny!!
Though they were often not necessarily spoken in a kind way - for some reason her words never bothered me

You see my Stepdaughter lives a fast paced city life, in a world that is black white & monochrome, everything is shiny, new & disposable.
 Whereas I live in a far, far slower paced world, filled with muted tonings, chipped cracked timeworn patinas, make do & mend.
She would no longer wish to be a part of my world, anymore than I would want to be a part of hers.
Her words echoed in my ears repeatedly this past week as I spent time knitting cotton dishcloths & making homemade laundry liquid, happy in my world. 

When Mum came to stay at Christmas she presented me with this large jar filled with grated soap ends.  
"You can do something with this" she informed me "you'll have a recipe tucked away somewhere"
I remembered a recipe I had come across in Rhonda's books & sure enough "homemade laundry liquid" appears in both books
I had all the ingredients on hand & spent a pleasant morning making up a 10 litre bucket full
I didn't think mine was going to thicken for some reason so I sat the bucket in the bath overnight .... 
by morning it was a good consistency & ready to pour into bottles

The Mr had a large collection of heavy glass decanters he had inherited somewhere along the way ....
As they were tucked away in a box, I felt they would be perfect filled with some of my liquid laundry detergent - I thought they looked most attractive & will keep the plastic milk bottles filled ready for use as the mixture requires a decent shake before using in your machine.

As I was knitting away this week I realised I had not purchased a commercial dishcloth for about 5 years now.
At the start of each year I give mine a good cull & take the thinner, worn ones to use as cleaning cloths . . .  this gives me a good excuse to knit up a new batch

This little bag came home with me this week .... 50c from the Church Op Shop ... I thought it would be perfect for carting my knitting around & plan to embellish it with some of the doileys gifted by Sue in my last post

After knitting some darker coloured cloths, I am keen to try out these lovely new pastel shades next .  .  .

This vintage wool blanket fell out of the sewing cupboard last week & gave me the inspiration to make a blanket for my new grandson - due later this month

As Nicole plans to use a Moses basket I thought a pram sized blanket would be ideal.  I had seen a cute rabbit applique in an old Cath Kidston book "Patch" I had been browsing some months ago.

I had some soft blue wool felt on hand that just fit the bill perfectly.
It was so enjoyable sitting blanket stitching the wool felt rabbit on, then lightly stuffing in behind to give him a bit of puff .  .  .

.  .  .  after I had finished the rabbit & carrot, Pippi very kindly tested it out for me to ensure the blanket had adequate softness & squashability !!!
Thank You Miss Pippi  (I think)

Though my original intention had been to bind it with some wide satin ribbon - after coming across this gorgeous range of fabrics in my local patchwork shop Darling Little Dickens - I decided to back & bind my blanket with that

I lightly quilted the top blue part of the blanket & added a row of satin hearts.

From another fat 1/4 of the same fabric range I made a Wheatbag to keep babies bed warm when he is not in there

I tossed a small handful of lavender in with the wheat to make it smell extra nice.

For all those lovely readers that commented & emailed me last week regarding the kitchen towel dresses - these next 2 photos are to show you them "in situ"
Hanging on the oven door handle
Opened right out on the floor !!!
As you can see, they are double-sided.  So No, preferably Not for little girls to wear as I fear it could be just a teeny bit draughty !!!!

Have a wonderful week ahead dear friends,
Thank you so much for stopping by today - your visits are so appreciated
with much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Kiwikid ........ & batches of things ............

Greetings dear friends & readers
I had the most loveliest experience on Friday when I got to meet a fellow blogger
Sue from the blog Kiwikids ... flew all the way across from Australia & came to meet me on her trip through our beautiful country

Sue is travelling through New Zealand with her lovely friend Eve.
We had a long lunch together, chatted away just like old acquaintances, then a wander around the garden & a browse in my Cottage.

It had seemed like a verrrry long time ago since Sue first emailed me to say they were coming to New Zealand & arrange to visit.

She bought me some beautiful treasures ...... a gorgeous bundle of lace doilies, a heavy crystal sugar bowl & dainty salt pot.
I am thinking the sugar bowl will look rather lovely filled with a handful of my rose petal potpourri.
Thank you SO much Sue & Eve for your visit ....  after corresponding via our blogs for a long time, it was wonderful to finally get to meet in person.

You can read Sue's post about their visit Here

There has been some productivity on the sewing front this past week
A customer came out to buy a wheat bag from me & I had Not One Single One left in the Cottage !
So I hauled out my large bag of wheat & made some up using a few of my Cath Kidston remnants - the customer wanted one as a gift for her brother so the Ford Vintage Car fabric was perfect.

I found some handtowels in my sewing room that had been purchased on sale, so I decided to make some kitchen towel dresses like the ones I made for Margaret in this post

I was keen to see how they would sell in the Cottage & am happy to report that 2 have gone already

This pink spotty set was sitting around waiting to be embellished . . . 
so I appliqued a set of angels onto the teatowel, oven mitt & potholder .  .  .

.  .  . & packaged them in cellophane ready for sale.
I find February/March are always considerably quiet times in my little Cottage as school returns & bills from Christmas arrive, so this is always a good time to restock the Cottage with some basic items.
And speaking of batches of things ................

the latest batch of abandoned kittens went to the Animal Care Shop this week !!!

Although it took me 10 days of feeding them, to quieten & encourage them enough to actually get them into the cage .... The Mr became rather concerned when he heard I had named them both !!!
Yes we are a typical farm house & always have a selection of footwear at our doorways !!!!
Little Sooty looked to me like she belonged on the back of a witches broomstick !!!
                                    I wonder whats in here - curious Sooty                                           Little Sweep with his crossed front paws                                                                                                
She was definately alot more friendly than Sweep, who preferred to stay at a distance.
When the Mr took them into the Animal Care shop, the lady that fosters kittens took them home to quieten them even more before being rehomed.

When they left I felt such a mixture of sadness AND relief .... but someone else was certainly happy to see the back of them & could rest easily again !!!
Utter Princess that she is !!!

I love this last photo . . . .   my beautiful natured, kind & caring youngest son Kayne, who drove 4 hours to visit his Nan, to repair her fence, repair her roof & take her grocery shopping, then drove home again.
His Nan - who still can't quite believe you can actually take a photo with a phone that you can also talk on !!!!!***

Kayne becomes a Dad next month & I am sure he will make the most wonderful Father.

I hope you are having a lovely weekend dear friends & that the week ahead is good & kind to us all .  .  .

Thanks so much for your visits here today
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Friday, February 17, 2017

Spare Bedrooms & Baby Showers

Greetings dear friends & readers & Good Friday Afternoon to you all !!

In early December, while cleaning the spare bedroom ready for Mums arrival, I decided to wash the blind that hung at the small top window
In hindsight, I should've left well alone .... as the blind fabric completely disintegrated in the wash, being so thin & rotten.
This called for a new blind !!!

I had long admired this gorgeous fabric at MyStyle called Bird Trail Grey.
As they had a reduction on their fabrics prior to Christmas I ordered the new blind to be made & it arrived just in time for Mums visit.
I was most delighted with my new blind but somehow Mum didn't seem to share my joy & enthusiasm & informed me "its just a blind Julie"

Recently MyStyle discounted their fabrics again, so I purchased another 1.5 metres of the same bird trail grey.
We have this old bookcase-kind-of-thingy in the spare bedroom ... truth be told, this was rescued (by yours truly) from one of the cowsheds we used to milk in !!!!

Upon rescuing it, I only ever scrubbed & oiled it, & it has lived in many rooms of our houses over the past 20 odd years - I find it perfect for storing craft magazines & my candle making supplies.
It is rather an ugly thing so I thought a curtain might help to pretty it up a bit .  .  .  .

.  .  .  . which I think I did achieve ??
As I had a length of leftover fabric, I decided to make a runner for the other dressing table in this room

Just the perfect length too.
I had finished this runner about a week ago & was doing my "walking past it for a day or two thing that I do"
I felt it needed an embellishment on the ends ... so off I trot to my local Patchwork shop, who luckily had the perfect pink bobble trim.
Upon decluttering the drawers in this dresser, I came across a lovely teatowel, a birthday gift from last year I seem to recall.
This teatowel was from Mystyle & was the exact same bird fabric ... so I fashioned my teatowel into a small plump cushion for the bed ...

And Yes - I added some pink bobble trim to the edges .  .  .
.  .  .  after all, it was far too pretty to dry dishes with !!!

I am pleased to report that Blackie has moved on from sleeping on my sewing room cutting board
Unfortunately I am NOT so pleased to report he has taken up residence on the ironing board !!!

Here he is two days ago, keeping my new in-progress tablerunner warm for me !!!

One of the things I love about blogging is that I look back on old posts & see I do the same sort of things throughout the different seasons .......
At the moment it is rose petal gathering & drying time again

I have large cane trays strewn with rose petals drying in my sleepout

I really enjoy making up batches of my cottage garden potpourri - some to send to friends & some to sell.
I purchased a new oil "rose geranium" & the scent is just gorgeous .... I filled a glass dish with some to fragrant my spare room & the smell wafts all through the house

My daughter in law's Mum & I are putting on a surprise Baby Shower for her this weekend
Nicole & Kaynes baby (son) is due late March.
Nicole's Mum (also called Julie) is organising the games for the baby shower so I offered to do up some prizes.
I packaged up soaps, candles, notebooks & facewashers from the Cottage & made up some matching labels

I also stitched up some handmade baby gifts to give to Nicole.
These little rattles are a pattern from Amy Sinibaldi's book Sweetly Stitched Handmades  
 ( one for Nicole, one for the Cottage )

Nicole mentioned she didn't have any winter cot sheets so I bought some soft flannelette & stitched some up .  .  .
.  .  . along with some flannel baby shoes made from the remnants of my buzzy bee fabric

My elderly friend Margaret lives in a retirement Village, & likes to buy items from me that she can keep in her cupboard in case she needs a gift in a hurry
These 10 lavender coathangers were an order for Margaret that I completed yesterday.
It was Margaret that ordered the 12 kitchen handtowels from me last Christmas in this post here

Last Tuesday was Valentines Day so I decided to make Apple Crumble - the Mr's favourite.
Unfortunately the stewed apples I took out of the freezer, turned out to be feijoa's when thawed  !!!
So I made feijoa & coconut cake instead & sprinkled icing sugar over a heart paper doiley 
The Mr informed me (as I knew he would !!!) that he would far rather have apple crumble than feijoa cake anyday !!!

As I rounded the corner at the end of my garden last weekend the lillies coming into bloom caught my eye
We have been lucky enough to have had some good rain this summer & they have lapped up the extra moisture

They smell gorgeous but I just cannot bare to cut them & bring them inside
It is raining again here today dear friends - I had a Resthome ring to cancel their visit & I was most relieved

So it has been a day for sitting at the table & stitching some projects while Miss Pippi tries her best to look cute & innocent.
(but we are not fooled by her & her antics!!!)
Wishing you a wonderful weekend dearest readers,
with much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0