Sunday, June 28, 2015

Baby Corners, Boots . . . & Orange

Greetings dear friends & readers & Happy Sunday to you all

During my revamp I decided I would like to make a "baby corner" somewhere in the Cottage
I have always had a few baby bits & bobs dotted throughout, but I wanted to have more of a specific "baby area"

I decided I needed to define this area with a bunting so out came my wool blanket scraps yet again

I made up a scalloped bunting using blanket scraps & lovely Cath Kidston fabric leftovers

I am really pleased with how it looks in the corner of my little Cottage & hope to make some more baby bits for this area ... I am thinking even the bunting itself would make a lovely gift for that baby that perhaps has everything ??

Several months ago I received notification of a new pattern release from Lisa's BigLittle Etsy Store  The pattern was for her Baby Flower Boots ... I quickly purchased my copy as planned to make some for my imminent grandchild.

I embroidered Alec's name on each boot 

These finally got made this past week, along with two other pairs for friends grandsons.

I lined them with some soft flannelette from Spotlight & for the inner soles I used brushed polar fleece fabric.  I had long ago been given a box of leather scraps ... I am so very glad now that I didn't toss the box away, as I had originally intended to, the leather was perfect for the soles.

I have to say ... this pattern of Lisa's is quite surely the simplest, easiest instructions I think I have ever followed ...  her photos & steps are So clear & concise, it was a pleasure to sew these up.

I purchased the Baby Size Pattern but Lisa also does Childrens & Youths sizes.  My friend Donna's gorgeous little grandson Archie above is about to turn one ... I made him the largest Baby Size & they fitted perfectly & his Mum was most impressed that they stayed on !!!!   I made little Alec the smallest in the baby sizes.

Sarah, Alec's Mum, has asked me to make him bigger sizes as he grows & to embroider "left" & "right" on each little boot so he can look down & see which is which - a great way to learn I thought.

When sorting out the Cottage, you are always left with oddments & bits you are never quite sure what to do with ...
this was the case with these four orange items below ...

An Owl, 2 lavender hearts & a pair of wool coasters ... all made from a really lovely orange wool blanket ... 
but never ever sold.

I have a tall, thin, 4-shelf bookcase that houses the homemade jams & chutneys I have for sale ... so I decided to make a couple more "orange things" using up the last of the blanket, & have a bit of a splash of colour in the bottom two shelves

This was the woollen rabbit that I was sewing up last post when Pippi was being a pain assisting me

I had cut out a hottie cover from the blanket & also some hearts to applique onto it . . . but somehow I kept procrastinating.
I felt it needed something more "retro-ey" somehow . . . ? ?
So I gave in & appliqued a vintage caravan onto it ... I am so happy I didn't do the hearts as I just adore this little caravan & bunting flags & feel it suits the hottie cover to a tee 

This too got lined with the same lovely soft polar fleece as the boots above

Lets hope some "orange loving customers" come along to my little shop sometime  :-)

Rascally Miss Pippi has discovered she can climb this past week .... she looked down upon me from great heights above - here she is below on the grapevine frame ...

She has lived with us for 10 weeks now, has grown long & lean, but has yet to fill outwards . . .
Fat Black on the other hand, should probably not climb trees any longer . . .

. . . as this is what happened when he climbed up the Cabbage Tree 4 days ago - the entire middle trunk fell over under his weight !!! (I am wondering if they have a weight watchers group for cats??!!)

I hope the coming week brings you only good things dear friends
I hope mid-winter or mid-summer is treating you kindly,
thanks so much for popping by today to visit me
with much love & friendship,
Julie, Blackie & Pippi

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thinking Outside the Square

A rainy Good Afternoon to you dear friends & readers,
(typing this post with kitten on lap so please excuse any typo's!!!)

I am making sloooww progess with my Cottage Revamp, but at least I am making progess
There have been several boxes of old stock packed up to give back to suppliers & a large bag went into the Op Shop just yesterday.
These little wooden bowls were an Op Shop revamp quite some time ago

They started out their life as dark stained wood, which I waxed, painted & lightly sanded.  I displayed them as "vintage wooden bowls" 
They sat  .  .  .  & they sat .  .  . & did not sell.
I reduced them to half price  .   .   .  they still did not sell.

It was time to "think outside the square" .... my idea to display them as "little bowls of prim" pretty much came about by purchasing these cute wooden spools of twine & a packet of rusty looking bobbins . . .
. . . from The Warehouse of all places !!!

I covered the bottom of each bowl with a layer of dried rose hips then embellished away to my hearts content.
 I wanted to be able to scent the bowls with my cinnamon & clove oils so the rosehips & the cinnamon stick bundles were perfect for absorbing the fragrance.

Now I just need to design some grungy primitive style labels to attach to them ... mostly for those customers that ask me "what are these for??"  . . . Or "what do you do with these ??"
(My Mr always suggests to me when I get asked this last question, that I smile politely & say "you take them outside, plant them in the garden, & hope that more will grow"  .... as I am not sure that they would laugh, I have never yet tried this !!!!)

Earlier in the year I made a couple of purchases . . .

This gorgeous Seed Box was bought on my last trip down to Mums
(No, not the cat, well yes, the cat was purchased but I am referring to the box here)

These envelope templates above were my other purchase.  They were bought online from here
I knew I had an old book of bulbs in the back of my cupboard .... a $1 find from the Op Shop many years ago.

Pippi & I spent a rainy afternoon last week sitting at the table making envelopes from the pages of the Bulb Book ... apart from Pippis help it was quite therapeutic, all the repetitive cutting & folding ... we made 8 small size envelopes & 6 large size ones.
(Incidently old calendar pages are great for making envelopes also)
My plan is to package up some of my seeds from the garden, display in my new Seed box & sell in the Cottage

Often in the spring, when the garden is pretty & the groups come, I frequently get asked if I sell any seeds.
  I plan to make a label & attach with plain brown string to the envelopes . . . cross my fingers & hope for the best !!!!

While attempting to sew an orange wool blanket rabbit yesterday I grabbed my phone & clicked to show you just how very difficult creating can be since a small ginger 4-legged being came to live here . . .

She is fixated when the needle goes up & down & a paw will often shoot through from the other side ... other times she decides I might need the stitch length altering on my computer panel perhaps !!!!***!!!!

Though I try really hard to maintain some sort of order here in the house, some days it just all turns to chaos.
 It has been a bit like that lately as Pippi has discovered a basket left on the dining table (previously housing my bags of rose potpourri) makes an ideal sleeping spot

She is there in the mornings as the sun comes into the room . . .

. . . she is there tucked up in the afternoons as the fire warms the room . . .

. . . well golly gosh, look who is there in the evenings with his ample proportions squeeeeeezed into the basket ??!!

While the shortest day looms closer here our nights draw in very early now ... I have been so enjoying the beautiful Yankee Candle gifted to me by my youngest son for Mothers Day last month
The fragrance "MacIntosh Spice" is just beautiful ... I burn it while we have our dinner, away from little dancing paws & inquisitive faces.

I hope you are finding some creative time in your world dear readers,
I hope life is treating you kindly whether it is winter Or summer you are experiencing now,
Thank you So much for stopping by today ... I am off to fill the wood basket (yes, again!!)
with much love & friendship to you all,
Julie, Blackie & Pippi Longstocking 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Owl & the Pussycat

Wintery Greetings dear friends & readers,
I am in the midst of a major Cottage revamp
The photos below show the current shambles "displays" in my Cottage

. . . rather creative & arty don't you think ???

So consequently ... I am closed for the remainder of the month of June
Winter is always a good time for me to tackle this task ... everything gets a good clean & a "spit-n-polish" & every single piece of furniture gets shifted (at least once)

Last week I managed to stitch up some Owl doorstops 
 I had none left in stock so out came my blanket stash once more.

Sometimes customers prefer the darker colours to the pastel ones ... they do spend their life on the floor after all

After an "unfortunate incident" with the wheat I used to weight them with, I now pop a bag of fine gravel in their "bottoms" - this makes them nice & heavy & solid.

After making the pussycat rattle for my new grandson back here I decided to make some for the Cottage

I stitched a small wadding bag & popped in their tummies with a couple of small bells inside ... thinking perhaps customers won't actually realise they are rattles, I attached a small label to them
note to self ... add a label to these ones Julie!!!

I simply had to add this footnote to my post .... my dear blogging friend Willie sent me this video after reading my post last night ... I smiled all the way through it ... I hope you enjoy it too
(Have just realised it is missing the story .... Fum the cat & Gebra the Owl met when they were both one month old & formed a unique friendship.  They spend lots of their days playing together)
Thanks so much dear Willie - it brightened an otherwise rainy day  :-)

I have been drying lots of homegrown oddments lately ...

This bowl of rosehips took ages to dry - they start off fat, red & juicy but eventually shrivel & dry - much like the chillis below picked from my vege garden ...

It was exciting to pick the first crop of mandarins off my young tree just this week

The bundles below are Japanese Millet which The Mr grows as a feed crop for the cows at the farm. 
 I wait until it sets seed (late summer) & then pick the seed heads & dry in bunches on my deck

These were all cut up yesterday - ready for potpourri making when spring comes

Thank You ALL so much for your very kind comments last post on the birth of my new grandson 

 Dear little Alec currently has jaundice, so he gets to spend his days lying in the sunshine 

Willie please note  ....  leg in the air just for you  :-)

Little Pippi & fat Black do not currently have jaundice .... yet they still get to spend their days lying in the sunshine 
(with a truck taking down a power pole out front, we have had no internet or phone for two days - hence the computer chair soon got taken over)

Thank you all for stopping by to visit me here today 
Next post I hope to be able to show you some photos of some "much more tasteful" displays in my Cottage  :-)
I hope the rest of the week treats you kindly folks,
with much love & friendship,
Julie, Blackie & Pippi x0x0x