Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Christmas Bits & Bobs

Greetings dear friends & readers 
I hope the week is treating you kindly - the days seem to be going by so very fast!




Last Tuesday when Sid was here we decorated the tree ... Sid grew tired of this task about 1/4 the way through 
so I finished it when he had his afternoon nap

I have been wrapping my gifts as they are either made or bought & putting them under the tree - but once again 
I have to leave a space for the Christmas Fairy who is under the tree yet again this year!

Sid & I made a few decorations together - some for his tree & some for Granny's


Last weekend The Mr was away riding Moto X for two days.  I got alot done. 😊
Not that he necessarily stops me from doing things, but I find not having to make meals & endless cups of tea - I seem to achieve alot more.
I got all my smaller orders completed, including the lavender bags (10) & mothball sachets (20) above

I made a vintage china teacup birdfeeder - an Order for my friend Elaine.
Yes I often do "try them out" in my garden first 😉


I made a batch of soy candles in vintage glassware - some of these are for gifts & some are Orders.
The house smelt delicious - a mixture of Mulled Wine & Calico fragrance oils


My lovely, clever friend Shirley sent me a photo of some beautiful dainty stockings she had made. Shirley had come across a piece of handmade felt that she had made awhile ago & decided to make 6 little stockings with crocheted snowflakes on & silk ribbon bows.

Shirley asked me to fashion her "a coathanger of sorts" to hang them on.

I had a lace covered cream satin coathanger already made so I added a wooden snowflake to it - sprayed first with some cream spray paint.


I made some holly shaped leaves from felt for each end along with gold bells & embellishments to compliment the bells Shirley had stitched to her stockings.

When I delivered the coathanger to Shirley I thought it looked So Stunning I could quite easily have bought it 
right back home with me!!


I decided to do a quick paint/upcycle on this old wooden stool to use in my bedroom.
I have to do these projects when The Mr is not here because he does not like me painting the native wood.
The colour is Old Linen (chalkpaint) & I covered it with some leftover curtain fabric.



Though my eyes are tired at night, I still like to sit & knit either dishcloths or cotton scrubby cloths,
Blackie tucks up right beside me these evenings - he is feeling rather tired himself from all the Christmas prep 
he has still to do 😉 !!

Thanks as always for your lovely visits here today dear friends,
I hope the lead up to Christmas is going well for you all,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Advent Calendars & Train Trips .........................................


December Greetings dear friends & readers

About 5 years ago I bought some sets of novelty pegs in a half price sale.
I had originally intended using the pegs to make Advent Calendars to sell at Christmas time in my Craft Cottage.
This idea never came to fruition.

Last month, when a box fell off a shelf in my sewing room - out tumbled the pegs ..... perhaps I could make Advent Calendars for my Grandsons ??

These wooden "trees" were purchased last year from The Warehouse - once again at half marked price so 
instead of being $20 each, I got the 2 for $20
There were only 15 round hooks in each tree - so I carefully unscrewed these


I hot glued the novelty pegs onto my trees, making sure to cover the holes & also to evenly space out my 24 pegs.

While down at Mum's last month I came across a Photocopy Shop closing down with all her plain wooden letters for 50c each.
I purchased my grandson's names & once home, I painted them with a testpot of chalk paint I found in my cupboard ... Imperial Red - the perfect Christmas red  💗


When dry I hot glued my letters to the star on the top of the tree.


My local Patchwork Shop StitchinStuff was selling these lovely printed panels with little stockings on so I purchased 
a different one for each of my Grandsons

Now believe me dear friends - sewing all those teeny tiny stockings was not terribly much fun at all 😉 !!
As the girl in the Patchwork Shop said to me "the first 3 are great fun & then after that it's just plain fiddly"
And I had 48 to sew !!

Each one was backed with a red/white spot fabric I found in my stash 

The Panel I used for Alec's advent stockings reminded me very much of French General fabrics 💕

During the process of making all 48 stockings, as well as working on my Orders ...... I somehow lost 
Numbers 16 & 23 !!  I could NoT BeLieVe it !! 
It took me 3 days to find them in amongst the mess that my sewing room is in creative space that I work in 😉
So I decided to make a small pouch that the stockings could be kept in when they are un-pegged each day

I used the same red spot fabric & the edges of the stocking panels had these lovely fabric tags on them, so I stitched one on each pouch.

My next task was taking one stocking & heading off to my local Variety Store to find treats small enough to fit into the stockings.

I decided to wrap each days surprise in red tissue as I had visions of Alec peeking in all the stockings to see 
what was in them.
48 tiny packages later & I was finished !! Phew !!


Last Sunday, the 1st December I packed up a picnic lunch &  took my grandson's & their families to the
 Hamilton Miniature Train Park



The day was warm & windy & we just had the bestest time together


We rode the trains & we picnicked & the little ones rode bikes, blew bubbles & told stories to each other

The Park has many big established trees that are just wonderful to picnic under.
I also gifted my Grandsons their Advent Calendars & watched with pleasure as they each opened Day 1.

Well dear friends I am currently working on my very last Order 😊
Thanks So Much for your visits here today - I hope the coming week is good & kind to you all,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones
x0x0x0x

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Christine's Christmas Order - (Part 2)

Greetings dear friends & readers
(Warning - bit of a photo heavy post!!)

Last Thursday I loaded up my car with all of Christine's Christmas Orders & drove to the other side of the city to deliver them, & to see her Christmas decorating (shall not mention the fact that I got lost twice in the city trying to find her!!) 
Believe me friends - I was Not disappointed!! 😊

Above is the Christmas Tree in the Winter Wonderland Lounge which is where the Angel & Santa 
from my last post were created for

More Winter Wonderland Vignettes

Way back in this post in 2016 Christine commissioned me to make her a black & cream Santa to go in her black/cream decorated lounge.
(Photo of the Santa from my 2016 blog post)
This year - in her new home - the master bedroom has the black & cream theme ..... so Christine asked me to 
make up an Angel that matched the Santa


I was fortunate enough to still be able to buy some of the black floral fabrics for her wings & bloomers
(I have used the Charlotte Angel Pattern again by Rosalie Dekker designs)


I had used the wooden star buttons on Santa's Jacket & I managed to find one left in my stash


Here they both are below - sitting on the bed in the black & cream decorated bedroom

Christine had even decorated her dressing tables in a black & cream Christmas theme - just stunning !


These photos below show her dining area - this was decorated in a copper & gold colour scheme - quite traditional, which I loved.



In this area is the free standing fireplace - Christine had wound bubble wrap around the chimney flue & then added greenery & stunning copper & gold Christmas embellishments - it looked just like a tree 💗


So of course - she needed a copper & gold decorated Santa & Angel for this area.


When Christine placed her Order she had given me some of the copper & gold fabrics which I used in both the 
Santa & Angel but was lucky enough to find others to compliment this colourway.
Also some copper bells for Santa to hold which were found in a Variety Store in Mum's town





I made up a patchwork stocking using a mixture of all the fabrics & stuffed it with greenery, a copper wire heart &
 a vintage Santa ornament



For his other arm I found this coppery coloured bear - leftover stock from my Cottage closure
I removed his bow & made him a bowtie & a pom pom hat . . . . .


He was the perfect size for Santa's other arm & just tucked in nicely

Miss copper/gold Angel turned out beautifully - her hair is the most gorgeous coloured hand dyed mohair

(You can click on the photos to enlarge them if you wish)

I love her sweet little face.
I even found some sparkly copper ribbon at my local Patchwork Store


Once again, the Variety store provided the copper hanging crystal decoration which was just the right size 
to stitch in her hands
The paint for her shoes is Burnt Sienna  -  I found by mixing just a teeny bit of black into this, it gave just the right shade of coppery gold that I was after

Christine was delighted with her entire Order & we had a lovely time finding homes for all her Angels & Santa's
 in her beautifully decorated Home.
Remember in my last post how I said she even decorates her bathroom at Christmas ??
Well dear friends, I took a photo to prove it 😉 !!


If you have managed to stay with me til the end, thank you So Much! 
I hope the week ahead is good & kind to you all,
Thank You, as always, for your visits here today,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Monday, November 18, 2019

Christine's Christmas Order - (Part 1)

Greetings dear friends & readers
It is a wet, rainy Monday here today in the Waikato 

 I am pleased I took the time yesterday to pick some flowers for inside the house as my roses are looking rather worse for wear from all the rain we have had (Sorry Willie !!)
Though I am not complaining as any rain at this time of year is So appreciated & saves alot of manual 
garden watering

My lovely friend Christine decorates her entire house every Christmas - she does something festive in every room, even the bathrooms !
This Christmas they have a new home over in the city - so Christine is changing her decorating a little to go with 
their new home.
She has placed a large Order with me which I have almost finished so I have decided to break it in to 2 parts
to share with you 
Her first request this year was for a "Winter Wonderland themed" Angel & Santa.  Her instructions were that "she wanted them to be in silver & white - to still look a bit country-ish & not look too modern"
I have been sewing for Chris for a number of years now & I think I know her taste fairly well.  Added to this is the fact that she just pretty much leaves me to do what I think ... so it's often quite a leap of faith on both our parts.

Once again I went back to the Rosalie Quinlan Pattern "Charlotte Angel" as I find this a good size at 73 cms tall 
plus her length matches well with the Santa Pattern I use.

The gorgeous silver snowflake & star fabrics were all found at Spotlight.  I took these doll bodies on my last trip 
to Mums & spent time sitting stuffing their looong skinny limbs.
While down at Mums I found the delightful glittery snowflake/tassel ornament in a Variety store 

The hair I use on these Angels is hand-dyed mohair yarn
I didn't gather her sleeves in, as the pattern stated, but left them billowy.
When the wings are sewn I always paint them with a watered down PVA glue mixture as this keeps them stiff

Her shoes were painted in silvery grey chalk paint that I found in my paint stash - trimmed with lazy daisies
I felt the large pom pom trim on her dress just helped give her that country look I was trying to achieve.

Next up came Santa - this is a pattern I have made several times for Christine - it is called "Prim Olde Santa"
is designed by Kerry Daly of Primitive Country Treasures  (this was published in a very old Homespun Magazine)

I repeated the silver & white theme using some soft fleece for his jacket trimmed with a silver lam'e fabric

I used the same fabric for Santa's hat as I used for the Angel's wings.
I also repeated the bobble trim on the hem of Santa's jacket

In Kerry's original pattern he holds a ragdoll but I decided against this as I wanted to keep to the white/silver colourway 
 This white teddy was sitting with some leftover stock in my Cottage so I removed his red bows/trims & dressed him 
in a silver/grey bowtie & fur trimmed hat.
He was the perfect size to tuck under Santa's arm

I made a patchwork stocking as per the pattern instructions & was lucky enough to find these silver & white sparkly berries & cones at Spotlight. 
The tin teddy had once-upon-a-time adorned a Greeting Card (Yes I really DO keep all sorts of junk!!) - Teddy had a fluoro pink bow which I dabbed with my white paint
I felt Teddy just finished off the stocking nicely.

I purchased the chunky wool yarn for Santa's beard from Spotlight

I must confess I had not been excited at all about bringing these Winter Wonderland folk to life but I just absolutely LoVe them 💕

I have sent photos to Christine & she adores them also & can't wait to hang them in her winter wonderland 
themed room 💗


I should mention that while I have been beavering away in my sewing room these past weeks, I often spot Miss Pippi tucked up in my fabric baskets - if she just moved 2 baskets to the right, she would be in the orange basket!

Last Saturday (9th) was my town's annual local Craft Fair.
Though I have had a stall for the past several years, I was so relieved I had not booked myself one this year - especially when all the issues unfolded with Mum
(Photo sourced from the local eventfinda page)
I did decide however, to go as a customer & get to have a proper look at all the different stalls - this year there were 100!
The weather was kind & the rain stayed away - there was a great atmosphere.
As I could feel a chesty cold coming on, I just had a relatively quick wander & chatted to a few stallholders, but I did manage some purchases while there.

I bought some lovely plants from two stalls & then some handmade soap from my friend Pauline who runs a wonderful homegrown business - Infused With Nature

This local lady was a new stallholder & I loved her ceramic work. I bought some herb labels which I will put in my garden when the rain stops ... along with this cute hanging cat which I plan to put on my sewing room wall ... it reminded me of a certain 4 legged girl that resides here 😉

Well dear friends - I will be back before the end of the week with Part 2 of Christines Christmas Order
Thanks So Much for your visits today 
I hope the coming week is good & kind to you all,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0x