Monday, November 13, 2017

Teddy Bears & Craft Fairs .............................

Monday Greetings dear friends & readers

Exactly a week ago I tidied up my sewing room & covered up my machine ... I decided I wasn't going to make any more stock for my Christmas Craft stall
Right after making that decision I noticed an old box way up high on the top shelf 
An inspection inside the box revealed two vintage bears - given to me by my friend Gail a Very Long time ago as she no longer wanted them .... they had been part of a collection of handmade vintage bears she used to stock in her Gift Shop many years ago

I studied this one for awhile & decided I might be able to do something christmassy with "him" perhaps??
To begin I made him some pants, then a coat & matching Santa hat using some deep red coloured fleece I already had in stock

The wadding style fabric I used to trim his coat & pants was white but a quick dunk in parisian essence soon turned it the nice vintagey cream shade I was hoping for

Next I made him a bag using a panel of lovely Santa fabric I had in my stash - I sewed the bag to his hands
It was at this point that I realised he was probably going to be a "hanging Santa bear" to get the full effect of his Santa sack which I planned to fill with goodies

I gathered some goodies to put in the bag

If you were ever to pop in to visit me unexpectedly,  this is what you might find on my dining table ... I decided the wooden golly needed some hair & the merry christmas sign needed to be attached to a black stick !
Painting the golly hair with PVA glue so it sits upright !!!

I like my Santa Sacks to be stuffed really full

I was thrilled with how "he" turned out .... but thought he looked lonely, so I decided to make the other vintage bear (pictured below) into a "Mrs Santa's helper" !!

I sewed her a dress using the same deep red fleece & tea dyed more wadding for her trims

I have NO idea what Miss Pippi was doing here but I think its safe to say, she was Not checking my sewing !!!

I found part of a broken felt christmas swag which just seemed to sit perfectly in her hands .  .  .  .
Isn't it a GOOD thing I keep all these old junk broken bits & bobs for use "one day" !!??
.  .  .  . & then a sweet Boyds Bear brooch at her neck - I gave her a bow in the same fabric as "his" pants

Don't they make a great couple ???
(& they were my very first sale at the craft fair on Saturday)

The Christmas Craft Fair was a great success in that the rain stayed away & the crowds came out to shop.
Unfortunately the wind was so strong I witnessed a couple of gazebos get blown over!
It made it impossible to do any nice displays & instead I just plonked my work down & hoped for the best!!
A great deal of the day was spent retrieving things that blew to the ground!!
I have borrowed the photo below from the i-site website ... you can click *here* for more photos from the day

My stall is the blue gazebo right by the arrow

My neighbour was the same as last years fair - my friend Julie from Bo and Co

Yesterday was spent sorting & tidying & repacking the Cottage
To be honest, today I feel more shattered than I did yesterday!!
I have family arriving to stay for a funeral in the Bay of Plenty later in the week & a house that currently resembles a bomb site!!!

And these two below .  .  .  . are no help whatsoever !!

Resting up after a busy weekend of .  .  .  .  .   resting up !!! 😻

Thanks So Very Much for your visits today dear friends,
I hope the coming week is filled with good things & great moments,
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Country Friends Angel & A Bowl of Gingers ..........................................................

Greetings dearest friends & folk
Welcome to another bright shiny new month
Exactly one week to go now until my local Christmas Craft Fair

 If you are in the area on the day, do pop by & say Hello ... I am site No 76
Lets hope for some fine weather for the day Please ..................... !!!!

This Country Friends Angel doll started her life quite sometime ago
I think it would be fair to say we are talking years here, rather than months !!
 Like many things here at Threadbear, she sat as a half completed dolly, wearing a pale blue floral skirt in the 
"one day pile"
(The pattern is called "Christmas Angel" & is an old design by Wendy Briggs of Country Friends)
When I came across her again I decided she should indeed be a Christmas Angel & so removed her blue skirt & made her one in christmas fabric instead ... bright red poinsettia fabric !

The original pale blue skirt

Though I have forgotten to take any photos as I progressed, I completed her but still felt something was missing ??
Perhaps she needed to be framed ??
I found an old "welcome" picture frame in my sleepout, removed the centre & then, with The Mr's help, stapled chicken mesh to the back of the frame ... she might look okay in this I thought

Yes she fitted perfectly but still .... something was missing ....
 I sewed a rusty star wreath to her hands then wound some berries around the wreath & hung a wooden folk art christmas decoration from it

I glued an old key to the frame & then I decided to add the christmas berry swag .... I think this just gave her that extra festive christmas zing somehow ....

I am thinking of including the blue skirt with her ... that way the red skirt, the wreath & the berry swag could be removed & she could stay out all year round in her frame wearing the blue skirt.
What do you think dear friends - would you do this ???

(The berry swag is wired to the frame .... so easily removed if necessary)

Another item in the "one day pile" was this plastic bag full of gingerbread men/women christmas decorations.
These had been purchased many years ago when I worked at the Gift Shop & would've been bought in the New Year sale when all the christmas stock was down to half price

I just loved their happy, smiley faces & had always planned to make up a small "gingerbread collection"
A friend had given me a cream porcelain bowl with a chip in the rim & I had put it aside for this very idea ....
Using Cottage Garden thread "waratah"  I stitched a small primitive pillow which I filled with crushed walnut shells 
I made some primitive candy canes & a calico gingerbread man shape which I painted with a strong coffee mixture ... he smelt delicious ... I coated him in a pva/water mix to stiffen him

All my bits & bobs fitted perfectly in my (chipped) bowl & I added some greenery, berries & a bundle of cinnamon sticks
I didn't have any gingerbread smelling oil so instead I sprinkled everything liberally with cinnamon oil

Lean in real close to your screens & take a big sniff !!
To say it smells divine would be an understatement !! 😊

A long time customer phoned to ask me if I would be at the craft fair this year & if so, would I have any golly teatowels for sale??
I realised I had not one single teatowel left in the Cottage so this week I managed to applique 6 golly teatowels & 6 angel ones

These items usually sell well for Christmas gifts

A small Christmas display created in the Cottage mid week

I was lucky enough yesterday to spend some time with my delightful grandson Alec ...

... who was so proud of the very colourful "worm" he created at daycare!!
Alec is now 2 1/2 & is talking very well - even his Granny can understand him now !!

Thanks So Very Much for your visits today dearest friends,
May your weekend be a happy & creative one
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Revamped Santa Bear .... & a Junk Journal

Good Wednesday Greetings dear friends & readers
Sometime late last year my friend Gail was having one of her throw outs declutters
 Bearing in mind my "Steptoe inclinations" ... I happened to drop by to assist her !!
 I rescued this funny looking chap above from Gails rubbish heap & bought him home with me.
 He had begun his life as a teddy bear plastic bag holder & then my friend Gail had turned him into a doorstop, which she then dressed as a Wizard in this blue & purple sparkly cloak.
I think he even had a wand at some stage!
Once undressed I gave him a gentle sponge & brushed his fur - he came up really well & has the loveliest face

Even Miss Pippi was none to sure about him but she was being very nosey brave !

Using the Wizards cloak as a guide, I sewed him a new cloak from some burgundy fleece I had & trimmed it with some cream fur
I made him a Santa hat with a cream pompom on the end.

He was coming to life again !!

Next I made him a beautiful vintagey looking Christmas stocking using some fabrics left over from last christmas & filled the base of it with wadding
I sewed this to his hands as I planned to fill the top of the stocking with toys, bears & gorgeous goodies
However  .  .  .  .  .  .

.  .  .  .  . just the weight of the stocking alone was enough to make him topple forward, let alone when it was filled with goodies !!!
No matter what I did he kept ending up face down !!!
In disgust I took him to bits again.
I went down to the corner of our road (after hours!) & half filled my bucket with some new fine gravel that had just been loaded there
Back home again, I removed the lower part of his body stuffing & filled it with the fine gravel inside a bag, then packed the rest of him with more stuffing

His figure kind of resembled mine some days !!
But he stayed good & upright (& heavy)

This Santa Teddy will be going on my craft stall at the Christmas Fair next month
Here he is completed, with his stocking filled to the brim ... some small teddies & vintage christmas ornies, some berries & greenery & some ornies tied to the stocking as well

A gorgeous Boyds Bear Christmas brooch at his neck ....

When I asked The Mr if he was most impressed with the way I made him more sturdy ... he just gave me a long look & said "don't forget to add a note with him to say that when they no longer want him, they can take all the gravel out & use it to resurface their driveway !!!"
Indeed !!!  😯

We had some lovely sunny spring days last week & I was able to take my sewing outside to the deck table ... I had been making up some more little christmas tree ornaments with cinnamon stick trunks
I made another dozen - these are fun to make using up scraps of fabric & they sold really well last year
I just need to scent this batch with my cinnamon/clove oils.

When I wrote the post about my (new) vintage Edith Holden book  my friend Chris from Australia left me a lovely comment saying she would like to show me what she does with Edith Holden books 
I was most fascinated !!
I waited patiently for Chris's email to come through showing me the photos of her work

Imagine my surprise when instead a parcel arrived all the way from Victoria, Australia - beautifully wrapped in a doiley & polka dot ribbon.
Inside was this beautiful journal handmade by Chris using a vintage Edith Holden book

Chris had covered the Journal in a teddy bear stitchery & the theme was teddies & gardening
Chris had written a lovely letter explaining to me about junk journals, which I had not heard of before.

My photos really do not do justice to this gorgeous journal - there is so much detail that everytime I open it, I find something new !!
Tags, charms & embellishments everywhere ....

I have it sitting by my lounge chair & I enjoy picking it up each evening & just savouring the pages
Thank you So Very Much Chris for your kindness & your generosity... it is something I will treasure always 💓

Finally dear friends, I wanted to mention a book I have just finished reading from my local Library
I love it when other bloggers recommend books they have enjoyed & often make a note to read them. 
I saw the DVD of this & then read the book & I just LoVed it from beginning to end!
 It is an amazing story & I would thoroughly recommend it.  

Thank you So Very Much for your visits here today,
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Revamping Raggedies

Happy Wednesday Greetings dear friends & readers
Last week while reaching way up into the top of the spare room wardrobe for a lightweight blanket for Sid's cot, this pair of Raggedy Anne & Andy dolls fell down on my head .  .  .
 As I hastily tossed everything back up there, I suddenly glanced at the raggedy dolls - "ah yes .... I remember you" I thought ....
I think I could do something with you two 💕 ....

That is their strips of fabric hair shown lying beside each one !!

I had originally purchased the dolls through the Gift Shop where I previously worked.
 I enjoyed them for many years but when they began to fade, they were put away out of sight in the "one day pile"
The worst part of the fading was their raggedy hair which had faded to pink in some places - I managed to remove this easily enough & then gave their faces a spray with parisian essence to give them some colour back again 
Each dolly was given a gentle sponge bath & when dry received new chunky wool hair ....
Even this alone brightened them up SO much !!!

I decided to tackle Raggedy Andy first ....
I made him a primitive looking Santa sack & stitched this to his hands .  .  .  .

.  .  .  .  then proceeded to fill the sack with all sorts of goodies .... a teddy, a gingerbread man, cinnamon sticks, greenery & pip berries & some primitive looking candy canes which I striped with my burgundy fabric paint
While I had the burgundy paint out, their wooden bases got touched up a little ....

I also made him a Santa hat - keeping to the muted country colour scheme - & stitched a rusty bell to the end
 I love embellishing & adding rusty stars & bells to things ... I often have to stop myself getting rather carried away & overdoing it !!

Next came Raggedy Anne . . . .
I loaded her arms up with goodies .... a rag doll, a golly, a wooden heart, candy cane, berries etc & tied a big homespun bow in her hair

I have decided to call my pair "Santa's little helpers" ... I think they will look wonderful on my stall along with my Snowmen & other christmassy crafts


This Christmas Garland was another finish this week .... this pattern is called "Celebrate Christmas Swag" by Tracey North from "I Luv Country"   .  .  .   stitched in Cottage Garden thread "mistletoe"
   I chose to blanket stitch mine onto dark red felt & attached a small rusty bell to the corner of each square

I used torn strips of dark green homespun to tie each square  together
(not photographing very well today unfortunately)

Last Christmas - among the gifts I gave my son Kayne & his wife for their soon-to-be-born Son - was this photo of Kayne taken at Cherry Island & wearing a smocked romper suit I had handmade for him, 32 years ago when I briefly attempted learnt to smock.
Along with the photo I gifted them the romper suit as it was still in pristine condition !

They sent me this photo just yesterday of my grandson Sid wearing the actual romper suit 💗
Sid is currently experiencing his first holiday with his parents in Rarotonga & this was taken on the beach - he has the same serious expression his Daddy used to have !!

And then this photo came through this morning ... there is no bath tub in the unit but not a problem ... he just gets bathed in the kitchen sink along with the dishes, & doesn't mind one single bit!!!
Just delightful !!!

Thanks so much for your visit to my blog today dear friends

 I hope your Wednesday is a happy one indeed !
with much love & friendship to you all 💝
Julie & the furry ones (absent today !!)