Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Sewing Day

Wintery Wednesday Greetings dear friends & readers

This time exactly a week ago - for the first time since I closed my Craft Cottage - I had a sewing day!
How wonderful it was!!

To me ... a sewing day is when you find yourself in the sewing room really early in the day 
 You choose to do nothing else in the house except the dishes (sometimes) ... you don't have to be anywhere  
or do anything for anyone else!
All you have to do is create ..........  & feed yourself!!
These days for me are few & far between!

My dear friend Leeanne had given me a small pile of linen items last year to use in my sewing as they were superfluous to her requirements.
Amongst the items was this long wrap around bistro apron ...  made of raw linen with these words embroidered 
on the pocket -

Claire Wilson's Country Kitchen
for all culinary purposes
Original Forest County Pottery
Est 1873

For reasons I have no idea of  .... I decided it had a certain french flair to it.
So I decided to sew it up into a large square cushion with a buttoned back

I had some large wooden french style buttons that were perfect for the back closure
Well the Eiffel Tower is quite definately French !!
I stuffed it with an oversized inner & then - because of the french feel - I tucked a bunch of my dried lavender 
into the pocket

Simple & unfussy but effective

I was late picking my lavender this year .... late February in fact.
I plonked it on my outside basin & then never quite got back to it ... when the wetter weather came along it got moved up to my deck table.
Early last week winds blew it every which where, so I gathered it up, sat by the fire & rubbed the stalks into a brown paper bag while Sid slept.

From the remnants of the apron I decided to make some lavendar hearts .... I machine embroidered the words "Joy", "Peace" & " I 💗 Home" onto pieces of the raw linen before sewing up my lavender filled hearts.

I managed to get 12 hearts from the leftover scraps - I attached a vintage button & some linen thread to hang them.
I am having a stall at my local Christmas Craft Fair this November - as I do most years - so these items will be good stock for my stall.

After lunch I sat by the fire & finished off these felt sewing machines - this is a pattern by Betz White .... the same one we made last week at our craft group get-together
I already had 3 completed but was able to finish off another 5 .... again these will be for my November stall.

Earlier in the week I managed to finish off a birthday gift for a special friend & send it on its merry way to the far North.
Two more covered coat hangers & a soy candle made in a vintage enamel basin that was tucked away in the back of my sewing cupboard
The Black Rose is a new fragrance & smelt rather beautiful!
This coathanger below was made from a vintage pillowslip - I used the embroidered edge to cover the coathanger as it was so pretty, then added some gathered lace & trim

I made up a small square lavender bag & tied this to the top using the leftover pillowcase fabric .... just a little embellishment  💝

Well dear friends, winter is really making its presence felt here in my little corner of the world

Everyday I am thankful for the fire & how it warms the house.
I hope you find some time in your week to do the things that bring you pleasure.
Thanks so much for stopping by today .... keep warm or cool where ever you are
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Monday, June 11, 2018

Chasing My Tail !!!

Monday Greetings dear friends & readers,
A bright shiny new week & a shiny new month!

It has very much felt like I have been "chasing my tail" for most of last month & this one too!
Blog posts have been few & far between & time slips by in the blink of an eye!
I decided to just do a photo upload & try to pop a few words in here & there

With my dear friend Leeanne coming for the long weekend, it was the perfect chance to try out a new recipe
Scroggin Slice turned out to be divine!
*Here is the link to the recipe I used*

Photographing really dark today for some reason
Last year Leeanne very kindly gifted me a length of pretty pale blue fabric with pink roses on ... it reminded me of Cath Kidston fabric.
I had a blind made up for my sewing room & then decided to make a simple runner for the chest of drawers in there.
I wanted to practise some of the quilting skills I had learn't in this post
I also wanted to add a simple lace peeper to the edges while binding it, & having Leeanne here was the perfect opportunity to get some assistance with this

I am so thrilled with my runner & although I still have a very long way to go with my quilting, I was really happy 
with the end result.

On the morning of Leeanne's arrival, Pippi & Blackie rather kindly bought a mouse into the house & released it!!
After spending over an hour trying to catch it, I gave up & set some traps.

I was relieved to catch it the 2nd night but still cross with Madam Pippi .... she reminds me of a small naughty child .... when you see them sleeping you can (almost) forgive them anything!

When my friend Sally purchased the two slipper chairs in this post she also acquired a large squab covered 
in the same fabric.
I made up two rectangular cushions for each of our chairs using the Sanderson fabric.  

While delivering Sally her cushion I admired these two vintage needlepoint pictures leaning against 
the wall in her hallway.
Sally VERY kindly gifted the two pictures to me!!
I am still undecided about where to hang them but am having alot of fun deciding!!

Over the weekend I stood in my kitchen & made another batch of soy candles in vintage containers ... these ones are Lime, Basil & Mandarin ... they smelt beautiful!

I also baked more slices as it was my turn to host the craft ladies here today
I made another batch of Scroggin Slice as well as a Citrus Slice as our citrus trees are laden with fruit at the moment.

There were only 5 of us today so we made simple felt sewing machine decorations .... a pattern by betz white

We all drooled over Maureen's felt needlecase - a Holly Hobbie design she had embroidered & made herself.

To give the ladies "a challenge" for next month I had been collecting tins in various shapes & sizes 

They were all to take one (or more) & do something creative with it before next months meeting.
I look forward to sharing the results with you dear readers.

Well its rainy & icy cold here today, so these two have already retired for the night!
Have a wonderful week dear friends, where ever in the world you may be.
Thanks so much for stopping by today,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Monday, May 28, 2018

Birthdays ................................ & "A Dirty Pour"

Greetings dear friends & readers
The birthday gift making continues here at Threadbear
These two wool blanket coathangers were stitched up & posted south last week, for a dear friends birthday.

My eldest grandson Alec turned 3 on May 18th.
I had purchased his gifts awhile ago but wanted to make him some wool blanket slippers to keep his feet warm this winter ... his foot measures 6 inches long - I was able to make these up using fabrics from my scrap bag

These are made using a great pattern that I purchased from twig and tale

We had a wonderful birthday celebration with some daycare friends, Alec's cousin Sid, a new bike 
a "Finding Dory" cake

One of Alec's requests for his birthday was a batman cape .... this photo arrived in my inbox a couple of nights ago  
I LoVeD the pose & can just imagine the appropriate noises that went along with it!

I have been using up all the remnants of cotton/bamboo in my knitting bag, making up very plain & simple dishcloths
These are enjoyable (& uncomplicated) to knit in the evenings when my eyes are tired

I finished another one while watching the Royal Wedding last weekend .... unfortunately I had a little helper on the couch with me .... The Mr snapped these pics of her "assisting me"
That is me wearing my pink fleecy dressing gown

My friend Gail rang to tell me our next Craft Group Meeting challenge would be to create "a dirty paw"!!
I knew this was a form of artwork so I decided to google it.
While I was busily searching for dirty paw it never even occurred to me that I should be looking for dirty pour !!

I should be honest & say I was none to enthused about this challenge but how wrong I was!!
It was honestly So Much Fun!

We all had to choose 4 - 5 colours that we wanted to use, then these were poured into plastic cups along with 
glue & Floetrol
The cup was then VeRy carefully tipped onto our canvas's
It was so fascinating seeing all the different colour combinations & the effect at the end

The canvas's take approximately a week to dry!

You can see above all the very different canvas's .... I should say the dirty pours!
And this one below is by Yours Truly - just waiting for a coat of clear lacquer on it

While Sid played happily in my pot drawer last Thursday, I made up another batch of Liquid Laundry Detergent 
from the recipe in Rhonda's Book

I always sit my bucket in the bathtub overnight to let the mixture really thicken, before dispensing it into my (Op Shop) collection of glass decanters the next day.

Speaking of Op Shop treasures .... this sweet little glass/silver dish came home with me from the Church Op Shop last week for the princely sum of 50 cents!

It was certainly NOT this colour when I purchased it but a good rub with silver cleaner & it came up shiny.
I had been looking for something to display some small soaps in my bathroom for a very long time & this was perfect.

Though the cat basket has not been on the table since last winter (& I assured The Mr it would NoT be put back there again!!) a certain little fairy has won yet another round!
When The Mr saw this he just shook his head & said nothing!

Have a wonderful week dear friends - be kind to yourselves & to each other,
Thanks so much for your visits here today,
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Friday, May 18, 2018

Pretty Things

Greetings dear friends & readers
Gosh, where did that week slip away to I might well ask??!!

Making pretty things is something I really enjoy.
In fact, if I could, I would make pretty things Every Single Day!

My friend & longtime customer Christine, called for a visit & showed me a photo on her phone.
The photo was of the cushion below which Christine had found on the internet while browsing for a cushion for her grandaughter who was turning 4.

She asked if I would be able to make a cushion very similar but her instructions were for me to add pink satin ballet slippers along with the tutu.
Christine requested that the cushion be pink/white, pretty, possibly 3 dimensional & have the wee girls name on it (Hayley)
Also Hayley LoVeS hearts so could I somehow include these please.

I began my applique - still not quite sure what I was doing but just trying to "wing it"
Luckily I found some pink fabric in my stash covered in hearts which I used to applique Hayley's name.
I use a long length of white tulle & gathered this to make the tutu appear 3 dimensional, then added some tulle flowers I already had on hand

My local sewing shop had no diamantes in stock but I did find some sparkly sequins that gave the same effect

I could find no pretty pink ballet themed buttons for the back closure so I found some wooden heart discs in my craft drawer & spray painted these white, before drilling tiny holes to make them into buttons.

I thought they worked out just fine.

Christine was absolutely delighted with her cushion & I have yet to find out what the birthday girl thought of her gift.

The challenge for last month at our Craft Group get together was to make a mannequin using an Op Shop candlestick as the base.
Our instructions/pattern were were from this website *here*
In the bargain box at my local Church Op Shop, I found this old brass candlestick for the princely sum of 20 cents!
I painted it with 2 coats of chalk paint - vintage white, & lightly sanded the edges.

Though I was really looking forward to doing this challenge I have to admit I did not enjoy it at all.
I could not get my mannequin shape right & she ended up looking more like a grid iron player on steriods, 
even though I had 3 attempts at stuffing & unstuffing her!!
Many times she nearly sailed through the air !!

To disguise a shape that I was not happy with, I overdid it with my embellishments.
I drew her waist in tightly with ribbon then hid this under some tulle & added lace & pearls & anything 
else I could find

The View of the Back

Only four of the ladies took part & here are our different versions above
The mannequins are originally made to be pincushions but I think they would be equally as nice used as brooch holders or jewellery stands.

- Not sure how that next photo sneaked in there sorry friends -

While Sid slept yesterday I quietly cleaned out a sewing room drawer.
 I came across this old tissue box holder, unused for many years & due to the glue hardening the lace & ribbon came away easily
I used my hairdryer on each corner to soften the glue until I was able to lie the box shape out flat.
I had a small piece of this gorgeous Tilda fabric "rabbits & roses" which I used to make a new cover 
for my tired old tissue box

A few trims & lace & it now looks so pretty & useful again.

Thank You all So Much for your visits today dear friends.
Its Friday here & I am very much looking forward to the weekend as we have a 3 year old birthday to celebrate & 3 is Very Important Indeed!!

 With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x