Friday, July 10, 2020

Celebrating the Big Six O ............ (Part 1)

Greetings dear friends & readers & Welcome to July
I have been away from blogland & have somehow lost the past 3 weeks.

Hello July - you Wintery Old Month !!

I celebrated a milestone birthday when I turned 60 on the very last day of June.
A decade ago, The Mr put on a 50th birthday party for me as I had never had a birthday party in my entire life.
I well remember us outside struggling to erect a marquee in the wind & the rain & wondering to myself if perhaps we were both a little bit insane.
I decided not to repeat the performance this birthday. 😉

A handful of my close girlfriends had asked me to celebrate with them so I decided to put on an impromptu finger food lunch & invite them here.
I enjoy being home these wintery days with the fire roaring & the house cosy.
The Mr ordered my favourite cake in the whole world - Carrot Cake 💗
The Mr organised a surprise birthday cake for me from our local Bakery.
When it arrived in its grand box & we unpacked it - it read "Happy 60th Birthday Julia "
I quickly grabbed my long doll needle & my tweezers & refashioned the "a" into a "e"


I kept all the food on a separate trestle table which meant the girls could help themselves & graze as they pleased 
& I wasn't running around waiting on everyone as I am inclined to do 😉

Alot of it was pre-prepared ahead of time - easy slices & balls & fudges

There were platters of savoury food too but I have forgotten to photograph everything

We had a lovely time together chatting & laughing & drinking tea & bubbles & toasting to the second half of 2020 hopefully being better than the first half !! (Pandemics & suchlike !!)

(My friend Sally snapped this pic)
The entire time we were at the dining table Miss Pip sat at this door with her sour face on ... she would not come in but just wanted to ensure we felt guilty about her being out in the cold & starving 😟

Dinner time was a very casual relaxed event with my sons & their families sharing it with us.
We ordered gourmet pizzas & tapas from this local Restaurant & the food was divine & almost everything got eaten - even by the little ones.

Books, Choccy, Wine & relish & tea gifts .... a beautiful Flower Carpet Rose & even a pot of chalk paint !!!
I was thoroughly spoilt this birthday by dear friends & family & received some most special & wonderful gifts - such an assortment of goodies - it has been like Christmas for me 💕

The pansies top left have grown since I took this pic

Gorgeous soy Candles, face scrubbers & a possum duster !!  Room diffusers & a wonderful knitting book

My neighbour dropped me off a dozen fresh eggs from her chooks & my dear friend Carolyn, who travelled up for my birthday - crafted me this stunning mosaic garden ring which reads "Life is a Garden"
(My photo is not doing it justice this grey overcast day)

Eldest son & his family gifted me an old fashioned Lilac Tree which I have always wanted in my garden


Beautiful cards including handmade ones from the grandsons


Although we had my celebrations on the Saturday, my actual birthday fell on the Tuesday.

This package from my dear friend Leeanne - had sat in my wardrobe for a few days & when I opened it on my actual birthday  - I must confess I shed a few tears (happy tears!!)
Leeanne had created the most beautiful 16 patch quilt for me - a full bed size in gorgeous fabrics & then custom quilted it & posted it all the way down to me !!

The quilt has a flange binding, which I love & the cutest label on the back from a vintage doiley


When I put it on my bed to take some pics, Miss Pippi immediately tested it out for me for "comfort & snugability" 😉
She informs me it definately passed the test !!!
I shall treasure this quilt for the rest of my days - Thank You So Much Leeanne.

I consider one of my greatest achievements in my 60 years on this earth is the special dear friends I have acquired 
& hold dear to me  💗

I have been away down to my Mum's so I will write a "Part 2" catch-up post in a couple of days,
Thanks for stopping by today - wishing you all a wonderful weekend dear friends,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Friday, June 19, 2020

Another Raggedy Anne ................................ & a Pinkeep

Greetings dear friends & readers,

My friend Gail works at our local St John's Op Shop & from time to time she mentions things she thinks I might be interested in.
Last winter she told me about a Raggedy Anne doll kitset that had come in & I gave her the money to purchase it 
for me - sight unseen.

I was certainly Not disappointed when I collected it from Gail as it was beautifully presented in a box complete with everything needed to make the doll except the stuffing.

Finally during our lockdown months I was able to make Raggedy up.
 I was surprised to find she turned out a much larger doll than I had anticipated & measures 70 cms tall.

The paint for her shoes was also not included in the kitset - these were a teeny bit tricky to mask off but looked really effective when finished

I really love her happy smiling face & the oversized pigtails for her hair.
I also loved her doiley collar which was already teadyed for me.


I gave her great big hair ties to set off her large pigtails.
Even the tea dyed fabric to make her cardigan was included in the kitset.

When finished I felt she needed "a wee friend" so found this adorable little scruffy Boyds bear in my collection.
He fitted just perfectly tucked under dolly's arm.

💕 Now she was complete at last 💗
The doll's name on the pattern is Brianna Annie & * here * is a link to the pattern website 


Also during Lockdown I pulled out my rather large collection of Simply Vintage Magazines & leafed through them all - there were so many wonderful projects in them 

I especially liked this Pinkeep in the Spring 2015 Issue No. 14 & decided to stitch it up as I had all the colours of 
wool felt already in my stash.

I really enjoy the repetitiveness of blanket stitching around wool felt pieces - there's something methodical about it 
I find.

Just last week I found my bag of crushed walnut shells so I was able to stuff & complete my pinkeep - I also added 
a handful of dried lavender to mine, to make it smell wonderful

I decided to machine embroider a label for the back to remind me that this was one of my Covid19 Lockdown projects. 


I completed an Order for my lovely friend Sandy  -  6 lavender sachets in pretty vintage florals to be gifted to 
her parents 💜

Finally dear readers - earlier this week I received the most wonderful package in the mail - all the way from Australia from Sue of Kiwikids blog

Sue had featured the Marie Bostwick series of books on her blog some time ago & I had commented how interesting they looked & I must search them out in my local Library.
Sue very kindly offered to send them to me to read so I was expecting the books 
But what I wasn't expecting was all the wonderful goodies she had squeezed into the box to fill it up!!
Beautiful doilies, a craft book & the most gorgeous bias bindings in Liberty fabrics, as well as the two cat placemats Sue had made for me

Now just look at this face dear readers - Who on earth does that remind you of I wonder ............................

I have tried to get her to pose by the placemat to get a good photo but she is currently not feeling photogenic today !!! 😉
Thank You So Very Much Sue - you are so kind & generous my friend 💗


Wishing you all a wonderful weekend dear readers,
Take care - be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship to You All,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Friday, June 12, 2020

A Rag Doll Order

Greetings dear friends & readers
Goodness me ......  Friday again already !!

A couple of weeks ago my dear friend & long-time customer Christine rang to inquire whether I could make a Rag Doll for her granddaughter Krystal who was soon to turn 7.

Christine texted me through these pictures above  .....  this was a doll she had bought from my Craft Cottage many years ago that Krystal just Loved & played with each time she visited her Nana's home. 
So Chris wanted an identical doll & the aqua bow was to be the colour theme along with a request for long brown hair.

I asked Chris to please send the doll over to me so I could draft off a pattern & she did warn me she may need some repairs as she has been very well loved !!
I removed dollies clothes & gave them a wash  -  her arm surgery would have to wait for now as I needed to draft patterns off for the body & the clothing

I find it quite difficult drafting off patterns & Krystal's Rag Doll turned out just a fraction bigger but I was most relieved when she was all finished & thought she looked so pretty all dressed in aqua .  .  .  .  .  
.  .  .  .  . complete with long brown hair as requested.

When a doll is to be played with by a child I always double stitch & reinforce everything when making it.

I had to visit my local Patchwork Shop to get aqua fabrics & found the ribbons for her hair in just the perfect shade 
of aqua.

The little socks & shoes were in my stash from all the doll making I have done over the years.

Next it was time to repair Chris's original Rag Doll - her arm got re-attached & her legs reinforced
Her clothing was washed & pressed & a new skirt was made after I had a slight accident with her old one involving a splash of bleach !! 😐
I had a wee chat with dolly & she was most happy for me to make her a new skirt in Tilda fabric. 
Her hair was re-attached & she also got a brand new set of hair ties made.
All in all - a big improvement & she was smiling happily again 💗


After reading this post * here *where I made myself a new ironing board cover my friend (also called Julie) asked me 
to please make one for her ironing board.
When she dropped off her existing one for me to copy I realised it had the wadding stitched into it - unlike mine in which I just stretch a nice new length of wadding over the ironing board first - easy peasy.
As you can see I had Miss Pain in the Pippi's help to measure, cut & sew the wadding into the cover 😉
(And Yes - it took me half an hour when finished, to pick the ginger hairs out of the wadding !!!)


I knitted two more organic cotton washcloths as I am making up another wee package for Juno - my new (step) granddaughter.


A friend told me our local Woolshop is closing down so I popped in last week to stock up on some Dishcloth Cotton. 
 I really loved the top two pastel colors which I hadn't seen before. 
I also treated myself to a brand new pair of knitting needles - a rare purchase.


And then - just this morning - my neighbor dropped off the parcel above  .....  a Thank You gift for pet feeding duties 
I had done recently.
I especially loved the bundle of fat quarters with sewing themed prints on them, & the wee hanging fairy is a kitset with everything included. 😊


Here's wishing you all a wonderful Weekend dear friends,
Take care - be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Friday, June 5, 2020

Winter has arrived ....................................

Greetings dear friends & readers & Welcome to June !!

With the calendar rolling over to June we have certainly welcomed Winter to my little corner of the globe.
Our days are now often wet & cold & we keep the fire going constantly to warm the house.

Last weekend we celebrated Queen's Birthday Weekend here in New Zealand.
I decided to put my Orders aside for the weekend & spend some time finishing up a wall hanging.
And as you can see - Yes I did indeed have my usual "assistance" with this task

I received this as a gift several years ago from my friend Bev - it was not a kitset but the pattern did include the wooden buttons.
I pulled fabrics from my treasured Tilda basket to make my wall hanging.

My apologies - it is photographing really faded looking on this dull rainy day
I must confess I could not get the cotton reel blocks to turn out & ended up slightly enlarging the whole wall hanging & doing what I fondly call "A Julie Version" for the bottom blocks 😕

I enlarged the tabs at the top & instead of felt circles, as the pattern calls for - I used mother-of-pearl buttons

This was also my first attempt at needleturn applique - not much fun but I did persevere 😉
My wall hanging is now on the sewing room door - & Yes, I think that a day spent sewing most certainly Is 
a day filled with pleasure !


On Sunday of the long weekend I took a drive out to spend some time with my grandson Alec
He very proudly got dressed up in his brand new school uniform to show me - he starts full time school this Monday.


On my way home from Alec's I called to see my friend Elaine to discuss an Order I am about to do for her.
My timing was absolutely impeccable as Elaine was right in the midst of a huge declutter .  .  .  .
.  .  .  .  & guess who got to load their car up with all the junk treasures Elaine was tossing out !!
Oh My !! 💕 Be still my beating heart !!


I have always loved flower frogs & longed to have a wee collection.
These 3 above were in the bottom of a basket & when I turned them upside down, I see Elaine had painted & decoupaged them - so special 💜

The paint colour is Dulux Ngataringa Bay - 2 coats
I took the terracotta wall vase (above left) & put it through my dishwasher to remove any oily marks - then I painted it with a testpot of paint & hung it in my hall way.
I think it would look lovely filled with some delicate dried gypsophlia.
(I look forward to showing you more of what I repurpose from this gorgeous haul in the following weeks dear readers)

On the way home from Alec/Elaine's I stopped in at my local bookshop & bought myself a treat.
I have most of Wendyl Nissen's Books & really enjoy them - this one is her very latest & once again, is a great read.


Blackie has been wandering & come home injured (again!!) so he is receiving slightly more pampering than 
Miss Pippi of late
She is Not Amused by this turn of events & has decided to take up residence in my fabric baskets just to annoy me.
At least this time - she got the colour right !!!! 💗

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend dear friends 😊 
Be kind to yourselves & to each other - & stay safe !
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0