Sunday, March 31, 2013

Eulogy for a fluffy

Hello dear friends & readers,

Yesterday we had to say goodbye to a very, very special friend,
our dear Mr Big Fat Fluffy (aka Mr Wolf/Nero)

He would've turned 15 in June so he was a good age,
but we are all So Very, very sad today
Nero came to live with us at just over a year old
He had had a Very Important Job. . .
he had been a Police Dog
And the reason he came to live with us was because at 1 & a bit they could tell he was going to grow up to be Huge
And they have to be able to throw them over fences in the line of work - quite frankly I could imagine a few slipped discs trying to throw the big fat fluffy over a fence !!!!!!!

Throw Me ???  Over the fence???   Good luck !!!

His name was Milo, which my boys changed to Nero
but over the years he became Mr Wolf as so many people would say "he looks just like a Wolf"
somewhere along the way he became Mr Fluffy or simply "the fluffy" 
He didnt care, he answered to any name . . . 

I always knew he was a great part of my day to day life
but I could never have comprehended what a Huge gap he would leave
He was always there beside me, whatever I was doing

"so what do you think Mum - should we try gardening today?? Or just rest up??"

even during crafty pursuits . . . 

"I think its best if we dry the flowers first Mum"

"supervising" & watching over whatever I did
And I too, looked after him, & like to think we gave him a very good life while he was with us

Do not speak to me Mum - I am NOT listening to you today
I loved that he was partial to a bit of granny blanket goodness

But I am under No doubt Whatsover . . .
That He loved his father the best !!!!!

The Mr would throw his sweatshirt over him at nights
& there he would remain  - (hiding)
You see, with his father, he became something extra special -
"the Very Important Farm Dog" ! !

I have long ago lost count of the number of times I had to apologise for him to my customers at the Cottage -

that in itself would fill an entire book !!!

Apologise ???  for me ???  surely not ???

He would go through stages of sleeping with his tongue poked out & I became a bit obsessed with photographing it
I felt he was poking his tongue at the world in general

He could also be a bit of a "contrary Mary" at times -

doing What he pleased, When he pleased !!
for example ... this was
 "dont sit against the wet plaster wall please"

this was . . . 
 " stay on your rug & dont go on the carpet please"

this was . . .

  "stay well away from the trees the men are felling please"

Hmmm . . .  ! ! ! !

I well remember when we put our new kitchen in, I ranted & raved & vowed & declared to all & sundry -
"when we get our new kitchen in, THAT Dog is NOT coming inside anymore!!!" (incidently, No-One was listening as is usual)

"hello ...  not coming in??? she must be talking about another dog"

Oh Mr Fluffy ... I am SO glad you won & I am SO very glad I always gave in & you got your way
tiptoeing your way in on my newly washed floor when you thought I wasnt looking

You were Such an awesome, special friend, I will carry your memory close to my heart in a special  place forever
But I will miss you So Very Much
Thanks for all the wonderful memories you gave us
Our lives were so rich with you as part of it
May You  "Rest In Peace"
 my faithful fluffy friend

Wishing you all Love & Kindness this Easter

Go pat those special furry friends & give them a hug from me
(Thankyou for listening to my Lament)
Julie Xox

Sunday, March 24, 2013

6 days of Stitching!!!

Good afternoon dear friends & readers,
When I turned my diary over last weekend for a shiny new week, 
 I realised I didnt have any appointments or groups booked in for the entire week
so thought it might be a good chance to try some stitching or crafting every single day :-)

And you think this excites us WHY . . . ?????!!!!

On the first day of stitching:-
My young friend Rebecca had given me a bundle of old blankets & vintage linens so I decided to make her an Owl doorstop from one of the blankets as it had been her Dads green blanket
Rebeccas Owl :-)
Rebecca always has great "whisky stories" to tell me
No... not the alcohol kind, but her cat named Whisky
there seems to be no end to the tricks this cat gets up to
so I thought I would add a little tag on the back to give her a laugh
she got great delight from her doorstop (& the tag)
(& she informs me that Whisky LOVES it too!!!)
On the 2nd day of stitching:-
Enthused by my success yesterday I had cut out 3 more bodies
which I made up into doorstop Owls
another little parliament of wise old Owls
I took a photo of one of them beside one of the owls I had made in my last post, to show the size difference
I simply blew the pattern up on the photocopier & added wheat to the base to weight it :-)
On the third day of stitching:-
On this day I made some golly teatowels as I only had 2 left in the Cottage & like to try to always have a good selection . . .
A bright, cheery little range of happy girls in their pinnys
On the fourth day of stitching:-
I made little baby shoes !!!!
This was because I knew I had a baby shower to attend on Saturday for my friend Carolyns daughter - who now lives in Australia.
 Carolyn had suggested I make Rose something Kiwiana to take back with her & I found my lovely flannel buzzy bee fabric -
- just perfect I thought . . .
so while I was at it, I made some doiley ones too
as I have found these to be popular for baby girls sometimes
this had been a tatty old runner that was all torn at one end - the other end was perfect
On the fifth day of stitching:-
Keeping in mind the baby shower I had to attend . .  .
I made some cuddly blankets
(which I must confess are simply overlocking around the fleece squares - so hardly difficult work)
but enjoyable just the same :-)
On the sixth day of stitching:-
I did two things on this day . . .  ! ! !
Firstly, I put together Roses baby gift ...
the baby shoes & the cuddly rug, plus I made a matching wheatbag
& then ran her up a wool blanket bunny rabbit to complete the parcel :-)
Secondly I finished something that was sitting there unfinished -
remember a couple of posts back I wrote about my cane banana basket purchase off Trademe ? ? ?
Well I finally embellished it to sit by my chair in the lounge . . .
all ready & waiting - holding my handwork, while watching t.v.
Phew I think I did quite well for the week - though I must confess,
looking at the state of the garden I had better concentrate on 6 days of gardening I feel ! ! ! (& quite possibly, 6 days of housework wouldnt go amiss)
Thanks as always for stopping by folks
so lovely to have your company in blogland ! !
Wishing you a wonderful week ahead & hope you find some creative time in your week :-)
love/hugs/friendship, Julie & the fluffy

Saturday, March 16, 2013

shifting shops

Hello dear friends & readers

My friend Gail asked me to help her move (gift) shops
across the road, & into larger premises
I previously worked for Gail on a part-time basis for 18 years, then I gave up when I turned 50 & decided I wanted to dedicate more time to my cottage
Last year Gails husband passed away suddenly & I went back to help out for a few months while she got back on her feet
Moving shops is . .  . well let me put it this way  . . . 
give me a house shift ANYDAY!!!!

the above room was previously a storeroom at the back of the new shop
we had the doors removed & found a piece of carpet to match the piece already laid
my task was to transform it into a childrens/babys shop
within the giftware/clothing shop

this was how it turned out . . . 

a little "fairyland"

the main part of the shop at the front looked like this

in the pic above you can see the part where we removed the doors through to the childrens area
Now the front part looks more like this . . . 

tastefully done in lovely colourways :-)
my friend is delighted with her new shop
I - meanwhile - am rather exhausted !!!
She has upgraded to a flash new fancy electronic til,
so she kindly gave me the old one for my cottage

which I love - except it is an "arkwrights till"
(hands up all those who remember the old programme Open All Hours where old Arkwrights til would open & hit him in the front all the time ???!!! - yep showing my age now)
I have had lots of positive comments about my new/old til this past week :-)

My friend Elaine had a birthday last week & we usually exchange handmade gifts
I knew she was a primitive lover & I seemed to recall her mentioning (sometime ago) she wanted to make herself a Raggedy Anne that would fit in a teacup!!!
I found my old Country Friends pattern
"Annie and Andy Raggs"

Seeing as I was making Annie, it seemed appropriate to make Andy to go with her & keep her company
I have photographed them beside the felt pen to show you the "smallness" of them
give me a large doll to stitch anyday folks!!!!

my small handsnips beside them
Elaine was delighted & has found a teacup for them to reside in :-)

it is still so dry here (& now the entire North Island has been declared a drought zone)
the cows have finished the millet at the farm so I have been gathering the seed heads from the drains where it self seeds
the bunches dont take long to dry in this heat

yesterday I noticed a bunch moving & I thought that was odd as there was no breeze at all
on closer inspection I noticed a little mouse running up & down inside a bunch having a lovely nibble
I soon moved him on ! ! !

After the lovely visit last weekend from the wonderful stitching group ladies they laughed that I would need to replenish my stocks
they certainly left some gaps - bless their hearts :-)
so I have been topping up a few wool blanket items this past week

the bowl of lavender hearts needed replenishing
as did the blanket owls . . . 

note to self  . . . . tidy mess on dressing table !!!!!
I did not know that a group of Owls is called a Parliament - did you know this??? (I googled it)
so I now have my own chamber of parliament :-)
can just imagine them all sitting round in the cottage discussing things!!!!!

Happy weekend folks - there is rain forecast for tomorrow 
I have almost forgotten what it is like, so fingers crossed
thanks, as always, for stopping by
much love/hugs/friendship,
Julie Xox