Friday, May 24, 2013

some snaps from a threadbear week

Hello dear friends & readers

How has your week been??
Have you accomplished much??
One of the great things about blogging is that I have learnt to take lots of photographs along the way
so that often when you feel like you have achieved very little ...
the photos can tell a different story

When I place a vase of rosemary in the room & light the fire the fragrance goes right through the house

I thought I would share with you some snaps of my week :-)

Autumn for me means loads & loads of leaves to rake up & put back on the gardens to rot down

visitors that come often comment to me
"oh I do envy you your trees" 
& while this is lovely, they are all deciduous
& make for alot of work when autumn arrives

I put the smaller ones on the garden & I burn the larger leafed ones like the paulownia
I tell myself it is good exercise . . . ??!! hmmm...

Like a squirrel, I gather walnuts & dry in the sun on big cane trays
Our tree this year is prolific - once upon a time, I used to mow them all up - (yes I am ashamed to admit to this)

I have harvested the last of my pumpkin crop
though prior to this, I have given quite a few away

Remember last year when we had some large trees removed & mulched . . .

I am still slowly wheelbarrowing the mulch around my gardens - it is a slow process (I am slow, that is)

one huge pile done, 3 more to go !!!

I like to put it on really thickly as it soon sinks down

We have had some lovely late autumn days
where the sun has been really pleasant & I have tried to sit out on the deck enjoying it before winter hits us
& we bunker down

my favourite lunch ... grilled cheese on toast - while sitting in the sun stuffing rabbit & cat bottoms!!!!!
(yes, honestly!!!)

And on the sewing front . . . 
my dear friend Shirley very kindly lent me her pattern for the sweetest little pincushion angel which I just adored
It is a Woodberry Designs pattern by Kerryanne English ... I made the 1st one the same as Shirley's in very neutral linens with cream trims, doiley etc

She seemed to take ages to make 1st time around
but then I had another go & it felt much quicker

I made the 2nd angel in pink rosey fabrics with more whiter trims & doiley
I just love them - they are very tilda-ish in style, & they have a little pocket in the back, which is optional

but great for holding scissors & sewing supplies

Also I have completed another wool blanket bunting
like the one I made for my friend Donna's birthday last month
instead of "Studio" this one says "Home"

I am very partial to the pastel vintage colours & just love sitting blanket stitching around them by the fire in the evenings

This is taken on my ironing board - it is the words "Vintage", done in paisley,  waiting to be finished & stitched together -
this weekends project maybe??

I hope you have all had an enjoyable week whatever you may or may not have accomplished ...  always remember this little verse ...

poster from my friend Sally - gets read all throughout my day :-) ... thanks Sal

Thankyou all SO much for stopping by & I hope your weekend brings you only good things :-)
cheerio from my little part of the world
much love/hugs/friendship,
Julie xOx

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Finishing things

Hello dear friends & readers

this past week has seen me finishing a few things that were begun quite a wee while ago
Prior to my last post I had actually finished 2 things but did not wish to post about them until their new "owners" had seen them first ...
the first finish was an order from my friend Leeanne from here

On her last visit Leeanne had ordered a Miss Alice doll
She was to match a stunning quilt Leeanne had made & quilted
You can read her blog post about it here
(Miss Alice is a Mogs Design Pattern by Melissa Duncan)

to be honest I dont think neither mine nor Leeannes photos do Miss Alice justice
she is in gorgeous deep mustards & reds, & a friend who dropped in & saw her, mentioned she looked like a prim Amish girl - which I thought described her perfectly
I was so pleased that Leeanne loved her
(as I had offered for her to come back & live at my house!!!!!)

The 2nd finish I achieved was something a little unusual. . . 

When I visited with my friend Claire a month ago, she had revamped her laundry with beautiful vintage & shabby chic accessories

once again, my photography does NOT do it justice sorry folks

Now I knew Claire was always rather fond of my peg garland

made for me by my friend Elaine.
So I decided to make Claire a peg garland for her "new" laundry
but rather than the prim style I decided to try to go more shabby chic/ vintage style (yes these ideas just all float around in the wilderness inside my head!!!)

I was so happy with the finished result (as was Claire)
but I must confess to you . . . 
there I sat on the deck happily painting/sanding my wooden pegs
& a customer happened along. . . 
when she asked me what on earth I was doing??
I should've lied .... made something up ...

as when I explained I was making my friend a "peg garland"
she commented that I must be seriously bored/ perhaps needed to "get a life" !!!!!
(I didnt reply - I was too stunned - she just didnt GET it 
but Claire & I had a good chuckle about it later)

When the lovely ladies visited in February from here
& spoilt me presented me with this amazing parcel of goodies for hosting them

I was especially taken with this piece of fabric (back left hand corner) - that I had in mind to dress a dolly in & use the ric rac to trim her frock
I was quite delighted with how she turned out when I eventually got finished clothing her

Once again I have used the Rosalie Quinlan pattern "Friendship Angel" from the Homespun magazine

My friend Christine is a mad keen teddy bear fanatic & her house is full to the brim of the most gorgeous bears
(& its a 2 storey house I might add!!!)
She had long ago asked me to make a doll to hang in her entrance that was related to her bear collecting passion
so I dug out my Rosalie Quinlan "Ruby" doll pattern & found I had 2 doll bodies made already
the first one I kept entirely to the pattern

but for Christines order I altered it a little so I could tuck a bear in her arms 

plus I gave her a little felt hat I had made just so I could stitch the little bear button onto it (felt hat from Miss Alice pattern)

I hope she likes her "Ruby" bear-collector doll :-)

We have had some damp foggy Waikato days lately & the fire has been working overtime
it is good for drying dolls shoes when you are in a hurry to add the 2nd coat

No dolls were harmed in the taking of this photograph!!!!!

but you have to keep an eye out that they dont get singed!!!

I had the most special visit today from a very lovely blogging friend that I had met through our craft blogs
Wendy came over to visit with me from here :-)

We had a cuppa & a crafty chat & it certainly cheered my week immensely :-)
Wendy presented me with this beautifully wrapped package
(yes Wendy ... I wrapped it up again to photograph!!!)

Almost too beautiful to open!!

Inside was something I had commented on before on her blog, & had decided to purchase myself a copy in the future

the Simply Rouge book from House on the Hill design
gosh ... how special .... Wendy has made some of the gorgeous red handcraft designs in here
she does the most beautiful work & I am especially fond of her redwork & cross stitch
Thank You So Much Wendy for your very thoughtful gift - I am off to make a little heart out of the book (dinner can wait awhile!!!)
I have been especially lucky through my blog to meet the most loveliest like-minded craftspeople

& I feel very thankfull  :-)
Wishing you a wonderful week folks - happy creating where ever you are
Thanks for stopping by
much love/hugs/friendship,
Julie xoxo

Monday, May 6, 2013

Searching . . .

Hello dear friends & readers

My Clan Gathering group went well & I was so pleased we managed a brief patch of fine weather for the day

The cows were in the house paddock which added a nice touch for all the men folk who were dairy farmers

The group had their afternoon tea here - which they had provided & dropped off beforehand 

The next day when they came to collect their plates they presented me with a beautiful cyclamen which I am enjoying inside for now

As this was my last group before winter sets in I felt relieved when it was over
However I must confess my "crafting mojo" has gone missing of late
And though I have been searching for it . . . 
I have only had brief patches of creativeness

The continual wet weather has provided some good crafting days
as I am NOT a gardener who goes outside no matter what!!!

One wet grey day I set about making my friend Donna a birthday gift
I had decided on bunting made from wool blankets
for her studio space she had recently moved into 

I was going to applique "Donna's studio" but decided it would be too long & make the bunting too big to hang anywhere
so I settled on just "Studio" 

I very much loved the soft pastel - sort of bubblegum shades - of the vintage wool blankets & chose a pastel vintagey looking fabric for the applique

I chose a cream bias binding, but upon deciding it was too stark, I dunked it in a hot parisian essence solution til it was the right shade

Also, when I was down at Mums I began this simple stitchery
which I coloured in with pastel colouring pencils
& decided to make up into a cushion for Donna as well

The bottom line reads "we're girlfriends and we're gorgeous"

I had planned to make it into a wallhanging but after making the bunting, I decided one thing for the wall was ample
& so settled upon a fat little cushion for a chair in her studio 
that she could look at while she was creating  :-)

Donna was delighted with her handmade gifts & said it had inspired her to tidy up her studio space !!

In the midst of a soul searching week I received the most lovely surprise package in the mail from my friend in the South Island
I had written to Carolyn of how much I was (still) missing the fat fluffy & how huge the gap was that he had left in my day.
She walks her 2 dogs every day on the beach & gathers "treasures" that have washed up

upon finding these heart shaped rocks she made me this most beautiful "mosaic" with tiny shells that spelled his name
I have placed them on his plot & they certainly warmed my heart - 
& bought the sun back out again :-)

I am off to continue searching for my crafting mojo
wishing you sunshine & rainbows where ever in the world you are folks

I hope you find some creativeness in your week
thanks for stopping by my world :-)
much love/hugs/friendship,
Julie xoxoxox