Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Just plodding along . . .

Good Tuesday afternoon to you all friends & readers
Spring can be quite a busy time here at my funny ol' Threadbear Life
Its often a really busy time both in the garden & on the sewing front

I have certainly been "head down, tail up" this past week ... even though the weather hasn't been the greatest ... there is lots of growth happening in the garden lately

The Magnolia is in full bloom
as are the Cherry Blossom trees 
Prunus Awanui
& filled with tui's this year too . . . 

I never ever planted these grape hyacinth bulbs ... they just appeared when I cleared away the wilderness 

It is easy to feel rather overwhelmed by all I have to do at this time of year . . . I try to just keep plodding along
My dear old Dad always used to say about me ..."that girl, she sure is a plodder if nothing else"

I noticed poor old Cedric was looking rather shabby, faded, & in need of some T.L.C. last week

Usually around this time of year he requires a trip to the Op Shop for a new set of clothes & a bit of a revamp
(pity it wasnt that simple for ME !!!!)

He does a mighty fine job of standing out there in all conditions all year round does dear old Cedric ... 
so I figure its the least I can do to give him a yearly freshen up  :-)

There have been a few new creations come out of the sewing room ... some orders, & some unfinished projects that finally got completed

Using up some of Dads old cotton gloves again ... this pattern was torn out of an old craft book ... there was not even a designer to acknowledge

Somehow I feel it should read "faith, patience &  hard work makes a garden grow" !!!!

These 3 little items were made from a fat quarter of fabric that I purchased in Kaikoura when I visited my friend Carolyn way back in April

I made the little zipper pouch first & then decided to make up a little sewing set to compliment it ... 
so the pincushion & needlecase "evolved" from the leftover scraps ...
The little wooden button was a purchase from Kaikoura too

My friend Sandy ordered some more hottie covers from me.  Sandy has a permanent caravan at the beach which she has spent the past year redecorating using gorgeous fabrics & paints. She wanted something that looked attractive on the beds, even when they weren't being used. Sandy had chosen the blankets to use, but left  all the rest up to me . . .

I thoroughly enjoyed putting this order together for Sandy  :-)

This was the one I left til last . . .  Sandy had chosen this particular blanket as she wanted a bit of a "manly" one for her sons or her husband to use.  I knew hearts or flowers would be inappropriate when I suddenly thought "what about a vintage caravan" ... a search on google gave me a basic image to go by . . .

I think perhaps this is my favourite one . . . I lined the inside with a lovely soft polar fleece that I had in my stash.

This little Op Shop basket came into my possession last week ... all it needed was a good scrub & a padded base to make a lovely work basket

I am always fascinated by little Jinxy when she sleeps, she usually likes to either wind herself around little Blackie or in some way drape herself over him, she seems to like the body contact . . .  I laughed to myself yesterday when I saw how he had managed to find a way off stopping her doing this ... he is quite a weight now & this surely couldn't have been comfortable??!!

They love having a little nap on my bed in the late afternoon sun
. . .  & as you can see, he is still obsessed with his favourite "dolls arm" toy . . . 
(& heaven help little Jinx if she should get hold of it!!!!!)

Not so much Little Blackie now . . .  but more like Big Blackie!!!

Well friends, thanks so much for your visit today 
I am off to finish putting labels on my soap order - the house smells lovely after the postie delivered this boxfull today

And Yes .... I do have a little "helper" just to the left there on the screen !!!!
Have a great rest of the week & I hope your days are filled with sunshine, tui's & lovely fragrances too
with much love & friendship,
Julie x0x0x

Monday, September 22, 2014

Around The World Blog Hop

Good morning dear friends & readers 
  . . . & "welcome to a bright shiny new week"

I have been invited by my friend Shane to join in this "Around the World blog hop"
Although Shane & I have never met up in person (yet) I feel we have become good friends, albeit, blogging friends.
I really enjoy Shane's blog & her photo mosaics are a special favorite of mine

Do pop over to Shane's blog & say Hello won't you ... its a really lovely place to visit.
Way back in March of this year, I had an Angel Giveaway & The Mr drew Shane's name out of the teapot.
And then, out of the blue one day, the most delightful box of treasures arrived in the post, a surprise from Shane, 
read about it here

I have been asked to answer 4 questions as part of the blog hop ...

(1) How does my writing/creative process work?

No weeks, or even two days, are ever the same here at My Threadbear Life.  Running my rustic little craft cottage from the garden here at our rural property, can bring a diverse mix of days & encounters. I have tried to get into the habit of taking my camera with me where-ever I go, which has been the great thing about blogging, as I now photograph my work (whereas before my blog I always forgot).
From helping on the farm somedays, to gardening, painting my Op Shop "treasures", hosting groups or just spending time in my sewing room ... I really enjoy the diversity of the days & draw my creativity from the entirely different aspects of all of these things

(2) Why do I create what I do?

This is an easy question . . .  I really, really love it.  Its that simple.
I honestly enjoy what I do. And when I no longer feel like that about it . . . I will know its time to stop.
Anyone who pursues craft related pastimes will know, if you choose to sell your work, you never, ever get your time back, so you must really have a passion for it, in order to continue to do this kind of work.
 I also really enjoy being at home so running a home-based business suits me perfectly.

(3) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I dont really think I work in any particular genre.
My craft related activities tend to jump around all over the place as I go from working on a primitive project, to some stitchery, to perhaps something a little more shabby chic, then off to dehydrate fruit or paint my thrifted vintage finds.
I tend to find this "hopscotch" style of work suits me now. I used to really focus alot more on one particular project or work in one medium, whereas now I jump about all over the place.  I think this may feel somewhat "unstructured" to some people, but I also find I can end up with a variety of completed projects & be okay about enjoying the process along the way.

(4) What am I working on now?

Currently I am trying to complete some christmas projects as I would love to do a bigger christmas area in the Cottage come early November.
(however, I think it only fair to admit ... I think this every single year & have yet to achieve it!!!)
I have been making some more matchbox mice like the ones I posted about here

And also stitching the gorgeous Natalie Bird design "Making Spirits Bright" that I was given for my birthday by my friend Bev

stitched using Cottage Garden Thread Waratah

And now its my turn to introduce the 3 bloggers who have agreed to take part in continuing the "Around the World blog hop"
I would especially like to thank them all for taking part as it can be daunting when first asked, but I have really enjoyed joining in here today.

For my first participant we jump across the Tasman Sea to Australia & welcome the very talented Bev from the blog Welcome to Kainga Happenings ... Bev writes on a variety of topics from her amazing patchwork & embroidery to her cooking & gardening pursuits. 
I love the little verse on her header "come, let us have some tea & talk about happy things" . . .

My second blogger today is my lovely swap friend Anne from the blog NANA GoGo - all the way across the oceans & miles to Scotland we go. Do pop in & say Hello to Anne, her blog is a very enjoyable place to visit.
I especially love this little verse on Anne's sidebar

And lastly (all the way back to New Zealand again), I would like to welcome Wendy - a lovely friend who lives in my region - from the gorgeous blog Charlotte's Web
Wendy & I originally met through our blogs & I thoroughly enjoy it when we get the opportunity to catch up from time to time. 
Wendy too, is a talented girl who does beautiful stitchery, knitting, crochet & all manner of crafty things ...

Do go visit these 3 lovely girls, tell them I sent you please
They will be posting next Monday 29th September
Thanks so much for your visit today & reading my lengthy post
Thanks also to Shane for inviting me to take part.
Wishing you all a great week ahead filled with all that you wish for ...
with love & friendship,
Julie x0x0 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lots to share . . .

Hello there dear friends & readers
I have lots to share this post so you may like to grab a cuppa & come join me
(warning : rather photo heavy post sorry)

Firstly I wanted to share some more about the "From My Home to Yours Swap" that I mentioned last post
Almost too delicous to unwrap !!!!

Gosh it was certainly my lucky day when Betty matched me with my swap partner Anne from from the blog NANA GoGo
Anne's gift arrived yesterday & what a treasure trove of goodies she posted me ... all the way from Scotland!!

The Mr told me I was like a "little kid" opening the packages ... oohing & aahing at all the gorgeous treasures inside
Anne had crocheted me the most beautiful wrist warmers in a gorgeous soft pastel grey wool - I know they will get lots of use next winter

Also included amongst all the goodies was a lovely tartan cushion cover with a stags head on it, (which made the Mr's eyes light up) - Anne had crocheted the edging around it which was stunningly complimentary.  
There was an assortment of crafty bits, trims, vintage buttons, tartan fabrics & patchwork pieces, a beautiful vintage doiley from Anne's collection, a soap that smelt divine (lemongrass), a gorgeous zipped pouch made from vintage fabrics & doiley trims, along with magazines & a recipe book "soup & scone"   WoW!!   How lucky was I ??!!

You can read Annes post about our swap here
Thank You SO VERY MUCH Anne for your kind & generous gifts. I have thoroughly enjoyed this swap, I did not feel pressured (as can often happen with swaps), & loved that we both just decided to "do our own thing".

Immediately after my last post, I had to do a brief trip down to my Mums. I usually try to catch up with my friend Claire while down at Mums, but instead I had been invited to the meeting of Claire & the "KHS" girls.  For those of you that follow Michelle's blog, you will know about these crafty ladies & their monthly get togethers.
The meeting was at Michelles new home & was just off the very same road I was travelling on ...

As soon as I parked my car at Michelle's, this was the view that greeted me ... Oh how I still miss you Mount Taranaki Egmont!!

Michelle's new home was just gorgeous & decorated very much in her favourite primitive style.  Despite her protests otherwise, she is one crafty, creative girl & her home & garden are a credit to her busy life - I honestly dont know how she accomplishes all that she does.
I clicked some photos but it was impossible to share all that I took ...

this will just give you a little taste of her style . . . 
I adored the rusty saw she had hanging between dining room & lounge

Gorgeous handmade Raggedies everywhere I looked
even outside was given the "prim treatment"

The girls have a challenge each month & despite their protests that "nooo, we haven't done anything this month" ... these were some of their creations ... the theme this month was "wool"

Michelle S (there are 2 Michelles) had knitted a gorgeous dishcloth, a hottie cover & a banner brooch, all in the softest blue wools

Nicky was gathering together a stunning assortment of vintage trims & embellishments to make a bag - no not "wool" as such, but I could easily have sneaked this lot into my own bag!!
And Claire had "whipped up" this gorgeous wheat bag in wool fabrics, & also added some lavender so it smelt divine.
Michelle hadn't done the challenge this month but she did provide us with the most yummy morning tea & lunch
Such lovely, friendly, creative girls ... Michelle 1 & 2, Nicky, Claire & Nancy - thanks SO very much for a lovely visit.
Oh how I WISH I lived closer!!!

One of the things I always do when at Mums is take her to the Memorial Gardens at the crematorium to "take flowers to my Dad" as his ashes are scattered there

The Memorial Gardens are set in a huge circle & I have always loved this giant gnarly old tree that sits right in the middle of the circle

Prior to my trip to Mums I had completed some revamps (feels like I am kind of working backwards in this post) ... this cane chair was a purchase from St Vinny's quite sometime ago & on my neverending "to do list"

A good scrub, then a spray paint gave it a fresh new lease of life, but I wanted to bring some colour to it somehow. 
 I decided to make a squab & a roundie cushion using some of my vintage sheets as I felt it had a real vintagey style to it

I was really pleased with how it turned out & hope someone falls in love with it in the Cottage - I think it would make a very lovely bedroom chair.

This wooden base lamp was in amongst a box of "junk" my friend was taking to the Op Shop.  I - of course - promptly fished it out !!

I carefully cleaned the shade which was rather dusty, waxed & painted the base, & then embellished it with some crochet doilies & my usual pompom trim (dunked in parisian essence)

While down at Mums I completed this simple "Make a Wish" stitchery, which is a free download from here
I stitched it using a gorgeous Cottage Garden thread "Blue Wren"

I originally planned to make it up into a cushion but instead rather liked the idea of popping it in this Op Shop wooden embroidery hoop

I quite liked the "unfussiness" of it just as a simple hanger.

Thank you all so much for your good wishes for Little Jinxy in my last post ... as you can see she is still continuing to lead a rather stressful life here at Threadbear ...

Happy to show off her wound site .... Yes Jinxy WE KNOW you have had stitches!!!
... along with little Blackie who remains quite traumatised by life in general ...

Thank you all SO much for staying with me through this rather lengthy post
I hope you have a great week ahead filled with only good things . . .

. . . & that it is NOT a week with any days like Little Jinxy has had ! ! !
with much love & friendship to you all
Julie x0x0x