Saturday, February 2, 2013

A shiny new month

Hello there friends & readers.
Well it is a shiny new month ... February  :-)
And where did January go to I might ask???!!!
I was looking back through some older posts - in particular, this one picture ...
frosts in June
& I realised I am always complaining about the weather!!!
So I promise - no more complaining :-)
I shall enjoy the seasons whatever they bring ...
(tho some of THIS would sure be welcome about right now!!!)
Rain, that is - & gosh look at that green, green grass!!!
As the Lavender farm around from me have harvested their flowers this past week
I decided I had better do the same
With having over 40 bushes to prune it is rather a large job
but I am pleased to report I am almost finished :-)

It has been so hot I havent even hung them in bunches to dry
just left them sitting in cane trays in the sun
Now all I have left is the rubbings to do which is time consuming but rather nice on the senses . . .
I have been trying to stay on track with my resolution to use whatever I have on hand & NOT buy new craft supplies
I pulled this out of the pile last week - I think it was an Op Shop purchase from a long time ago in amongst a pile of doilies
An old cross stitch of a cow and it looks like someone had sewed bias binding around it at some stage - perhaps it had been framed?
So I unpicked the bias & carefully washed the aida cloth
then I gave it a new surrounding & made it into a little cushion...
which I think turned out rather nice :-)
It has been a bit of a cushion making week really...
this was another revamp ... it had been in a frame
It is a Country Friends stitchery panel done by me many years ago
I took it out of the frame (as it had never sold in the Cottage)
& stitched it onto some felt borders,
added some buttons, then onto a nice piece of ticking fabric,
& another cushion was born . . .  I have always loved this Wendy Briggs angel design ...
And then thirdly, while shopping in my local Patchwork Shop
just prior to christmas, the owner was throwing some fabric swatch samples in the bin - she saw me & threw them at me instead
"you can do something with these" she said
I soon snapped them up as they were Lynette Andersons designs
I stitched the 9 squares together & then framed them with a fat 1/4 of Lynettes fabric that I already had
it began its life as a patchwork table mat & then along the way...
it morphed into a cushion :-)
Also another completion was this Ruby Doll - remember this version I made last winter??
this is a Rosalie Quinlan design out of the Homespun Magazine
Well I found I had made 2 bodies at the same time
so Ruby II got some clothes this week . . .
Ruby I has already gone to live in a very nice home :-)
Lastly I pulled these 4 china mugs out of the back of my craftroom cupboard the other day
& decided to make them into the pincushions that I usually make in the china teacups - coffee mugs can be just as nice !!
I was rather pleased with the result  - the mugs were in such good condition - I weighted them first with about 1/4 cup fine gravel
Sometimes February can be a quiet month at the Cottage
with school going back & the Lavender farm having harvested
Though I have already taken 2 group bookings this morning :-)
It is good to have a chance to catch your breath a bit
& maybe try some new patterns out -
I am keen to do some more things out of this book . . .
I shall keep you posted friends.
In the meantime, have a lovely weekend all of you
lets hope its a creative one where ever you are ...
& remember this little verse I have on my fridge ...
(so I get to read it lots of times throughout my day!!)
Given to me by my friend Sally :-)
It is most certainly true.
(The Mr has just come along & read my draft post & has commented ...
"why dont you just write "this week I made 3 cushions ... why do you have to make such a saga of it all - people dont want to know all that hoohaa" ..."  hmmm, an interesting thought I guess but I LOVE to read all the hoohaa behind other peoples creations & so ... I hope they do too with mine)???!!!
Cheerio for today folks,
Much love/hugs/friendship,
Julie Xoxo



  1. giggling at the MR.
    Thats what blogs are for, telling us about how you got to where your creative piece is.
    Gosh, you are killing me with the creativeness.
    My using what I got went out the window with my gallbladder, lol
    I have not been able to dig around so I just have hubby pick up new.
    Let me tell ya that Lavender smells amazing!!!!
    :) I can't even believe I am looking at it there and smelling it here. You are too wonderful of a friend.
    My kitties won't leave the box alone.
    Loving that quote, I need to look hard at my days these days.
    I bet those tea cups fly out of the cottage!
    I can't wait to get back to sewing, I have so many ideas up my sleeve. I get more and more inspired everyday, now i just need motivation and strength to get there.
    Take care sweet friend.

    1. Hello there Amy - thankyou, yes the Mr and I have very different ideas about things :-)
      You will get back to using what you have I am sure - once you are fit & well again. It is funny to think I am sitting here rubbing lavender and you are sitting smelling it in your room way, way over there :-)
      Yes dont worry ... I need to look at that quote several times a day lately - just to slow down a bit & breathe!!
      Have a great weekend my friend, Julie X

  2. oh dear "Mr" you still haven't worked out how us crafty/blogging women work yet???
    You keep doing what you are doing on your blog Julie & Mr can keep doing what he does.....simpler really!
    I do love your three cushions, pincushions & Ruby....she is lovely.
    What a great find the cross stitch was, you have given it a new lease of life.
    Do you get really relaxed when you rub all that lavender??

    1. Hello Leeanne, yes its funny that he looks at my blog, even just to give me negative feedback ... I notice he still reads it!!!
      Yes I get all nice and "heady" when I do the lavender & believe me, its a great therapy when you are feeling a bit grumpy pants!!!
      Happy weekend & quilting my friend, Julie X

  3. Men, they just dont get it about blogs do they!!! I had a good laugh at your MR. Oh lavender, dont you just love it. My mother gave me a permander when I was quite young (very young) with lavender in it, and it sits on my bedside table to this day. I love it. Must replace the lavender though. Your creative juices have been working overtime this week. Well done.

    1. Hello Kath ... thanks so much for stopping by :-)
      I'm glad you laughed at the Mr - I did actually leave out a few other things he said!!! Hmmm they are definately from a different planet :-)
      I really love working with the lavender and it makes me in a good mood if I am feeling NOt so ... very therapeutic. Hope you have a great weekend Kath, Julie :-)

    2. It's all the hoohaa that makes your posts interesting! I get a feel for the pace at your home, can smell the lavender, feel the sunshine and want to pop round and learn to make cushions! You have got through a lot of creations this week, I like the doll best - I have never liked dolls as a child (because I was given one age 3 when my first brother arrived without warning as far as I was concerned! - it had cold dead eyes that I hated (the doll!) and for a long time I associated my poor brother with it - but that's another story!)... anyway your doll is soft and warm and pretty - I hope she goes to a loving home! Betty

    3. Hello Betty - thankyou for your always lovely comments ... yes I would love for you to "pop round" & we could go have afternoon tea at Catherines (angel in the garden), & then we could make cushions & you could teach me silk painting :-) What a lovely thought!!!
      I do SO love making dolls & I think this comes from being raised in a household of mostly males + having sons myself!! "Ruby 1" went to a most lovely girl that I knew from 20 years ago ... but thats another story. Wishing you a creative weekend Betty, Julie X

  4. Sometimes the men in our lives just 'don't understand how our blogs work', but we love them anyway!! Love the cushions especially the angel and felt one!! The lavender looks gorgeous, I can smell it from here!! The dolls are beautiful,in fact all your creations are. Hope it is not too hot for you and mr wolf, Michelle.

    1. Hi Michelle, Yes I think the angel/felt cushion is a bit of you. I am enjoying rubbing the lavender but it is a slow job. It is very hot here, my son said the lawn looks like it has turned to "cornflakes"!!!! Hope you are managing some crafting? Julie :-)

  5. Julie do you sleep at night??!!Ditto feeling of your previous friends comments re men.They are from Mars anyway:-)your cushions are delightful and Rosie is gorgeous.Yes I could smell the Lavender as well.Hugs Shirley

    1. Hi Shirley, Thank you. Very hot isnt it!! I hope you are inside by the fan working on a project?? I have just sent Graham & Mr Wolf to milk the cows :-) & I am off to sewing room. Happy weekend Shirley, Julie

  6. Ha ha, well next time we visit we'll have to let Rob have a wee chat with that Mr..since he gets the hooha & he's a bloke. But hey, someone has to milk the cows. Just you wear a glove or anything when stripping the lavender? I found it quite harsh on the old hands last time I was on the job..quite prickly. That was quite an ordeal all that pruning..good for you, it can get past it's best so quickly & then it loses it's colour. The Wendy Briggs angel looks so good as a the pattern. Just thinking...I probably have a few remnants that might be useful to you looking at those angelic dresses. I think I'll start a Threadbear Cottage pile. I was thinking about the weather really is quite a challenge though isn't it sometimes & it just has to be said so we know that we're not the only ones boiling or baking or turning into cornflakes! Have a lovely week. Much love & friendship Catherine x0x0x

    1. Hello Catherine, Yes a chat from Rob would be good I think!! Thankyou for telling me that you got a sore hand stripping lavender as I sure do too. My thumb & forefinger get real sore and I have to stop for awhile and do something else, Consequently it take me ages. I would be most grateful for a Threadbear Cottage pile or any remnants you toss my way as I find I can make the angel dresses from quite small pieces.
      The grass turning to cornflakes saying came from my son - they spent a great amount of money sowing anti-drought grass when they built 3 yrs ago & he told me the expensive anti-drought grass has turned to bl***y cornflakes!!!!
      Happy week my friend, Julie Xox

  7. I found your blog through Michelle's at All Things Rusty. Your blog is beautiful and I love all your cushions and the stories behind them. I would love to visit your shop sometime, I live nearby in Hamilton! Do you have open hours? Hugs Wendy

    1. Hi Wendy, Gosh thanks so much & welcome :-)
      I have picked up a few new followers through Michelle which is great.
      I will email you my contact numbers and some directions. I try to be "open all hours" but it doesnt always work out that way:-)
      Hugs, Julie

  8. Hi Julie
    LOVe the cows peeking forlornly over the fence - wishing they could get at the grass there!

    I went to the Clevedon Farmers market last weekend and bought a couple of bunches of Lavender Intermedia Super - it has a really strong fragrance. I'll have to go back as I've decided to make lavender sachets and need more!

    Just become your newest follower.
    Shane ♥

    1. Hello Shane, welcome & thanks so much for stopping by :-) Yes the cows would love to get over the fence I am sure!!! The paddocks have gone very brown now.
      I have heard about Clevedon Farmers market & how wonderful it is. I am just going out to mow some lawns & then I shall go have a look at your blog :-) Thanks again, hugs, Julie :-)

  9. Glad you are still enjoying the verse Julie :) xxx

    1. Hi Sal, Yes I love them all and read them every day :-) Thanks for giving them to us. Was thinking of you the other day and hoped you were spending lots of time out in your little courtyard area with these lovely summer evenings, & hoped you are managing some crafting?? Cheerio Sal, Julie Xox


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