Friday, November 28, 2014

Orders, Inspiration & Flowers

Hello & "Happy Friday" to you dear friends & readers,

I have managed to complete another christmas order in between groups & other "goings on" here at my funny ol' threadbear life

Not sure how that annoying yellowish light got in there . . . sorry folks

Recently I made a hottie order for my good friend Sandy, to have at her caravan - you can read about them here.
Sandy loved hers so much she thought they would make special christmas gifts to post to family in the South Island.

Sandy's sister Bronny loves all things relating to Minnie Mouse, so together we decided on a red/white spotty theme along with some white frilled lace.
I lined it with a gorgeous polka dot fabric that was just perfect.
Sandy chose the pastel checked blanket with the flowers & the verse tape for her Mum

Many years ago Sandy's Dad drove a truck for the Fisher's Bread Company. With this in mind, she was able to find an old picture of a 1962 Bedford Van on the internet, which I managed to replicate
(with a little bit of help from The Mr who assisted in getting the van shape just right!!!!)
I thoroughly enjoyed putting together this order for Sandy & she was really happy with her Hottie Covers.

When it comes to creativity where do you get your inspiration from?
I get mine from all sorts of places & happenings throughout my day or week, & lots from reading other crafty blogs.
Last week I read this post from my clever friend Leeanne's blog
& also this post from Vikki's beautiful blog
They both got me "christmas inspired" ... especially Vikki's who made me pull out my Tilda book ... purchased long ago & never yet any projects made out of it
(hands up all those who can relate to this!!!!)

I found myself obsessing about making the Santa ... a little voice in my head kept saying "its all very well buying these lovely books Julie ... but sooner or later you actually need to make something out of them!!!!"

. . . & so, my version of Santa came to life . . .
(Now a little footnote here ... should you decide to make him yourself, this is what I would do next time round ... cut the sleeves wider (they are very narrow) & do NOT line the coat with thick fusible interfacing as stated in the pattern ... this makes it very thick & was not necessary I felt personally)

So Santa looked a little lonely I thought ... perhaps he needed a little "pixie" as a helper ? ?

So I made one of the adorable Pixie's on page 12 . . . 

. . . & now Santa has some company 
 I am hoping they will stand in the centre of my christmas table in the Cottage & keep everyone in order  :-)
(Tilda Book available from here)

After my bus the other day I took my camera around the garden ... I noticed the roses were looking stunning despite the awful winds we have been having lately ...
Click on the pics to enlarge them if you like  :-)

As the first flush will soon be over, I have been de-heading & gathering baskets of petals to dry for my potpourri

I dry them in our Sleepout as the sun pours in this room ... as you can imagine, it smells divine at the moment

The hanging baskets are still pretty but will soon need replanting again

These were planted in mid-winter so I have had a good long flowering from them 

There has been some naughty behaviour recently from the rascals ... disembodied mice & "prehistoric things" dissected & left on the lounge floor when I am not around

I think my life was simpler before the kittens & I am certain the cleaning up was only half the amount it is now !!!!!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend dear friends
thanks SO much for your visit today - & also the well wishes you left last post on my son's wedding
We are forecast for rain this weekend so perhaps I can find some sewing time indoors?
sending much love, friendship, & flowers to you all . . .

The rose "remember me" gifted to me when my Dad passed away 12 years ago

. . . Julie & the rascals

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Weather was Atrocious ... the day was Beautiful

Greetings dear friends & readers
Last Saturday my youngest son Kayne got married to Nicole
Despite the fact that the weather was appallingly bad  ... we still had a most beautiful day

My dear 85 year old Mum spent all last summer drying this pillowcase full of rose petals from her garden.
When I dry petals I pretty much fling them on a cane tray, wish them luck, cross my fingers & hope for the best.
Mum spreads every one out individually & carefully turns them each day with love & care

Although we planned to scatter lots up the aisle, Nicole asked me to make 20 paper cones & fill them with petals for the guests to throw instead of confetti ... I decorated them with a simple paper doiley & some jute string

Driving over to the city on the day - the rain pelting down, my wipers on full & my hair falling down rapidly . . . 
I decided to adopt a "glass half full" attitude
It was lots of fun helping the 3 boys get ready

Kaynes groomsman Simon snapped a couple of us before we left for the venue

One of the major factors in Nicole choosing the venue was whether or not she could have her little dog Karma there ... it was very important to her that Karma be a part of her special day

She behaved impeccably considering it was not quite like this at the rehearsal the night before & was most definately - the star of the show

There were a few occasions when we were asked not to take photos as courtesy to the professional photographer (& I totally understand this) ... plus for some reason, my camera was jamming on me frequently but I did get a few snaps throughout the evening

Nicole is a lovely girl & I count myself lucky to have her as a daughter-in-law

The photographer has released this one photo to Nicoles facebook page ... I was not aware they managed to get down to the grapevines for any photos but I think they found a brief break in the weather ... I just adore this image & look at dear little Karma 
(at the last minute Nicole put her bike in the car & took along in case she got the chance to use it in some photos)

It was a most special day enjoyed by everyone.

While raising my 2 sons by myself, one of the things I always tried to instil in them was how important family & friends are to you ... & not necessarily blood family either.  If you have people around you that love & care about you, you should be thankful & not take this for granted.  Many people are not so fortunate.  
I also wanted to teach them that in order to have good friends, you have to first be one yourself.  Kayne is very lucky - he was surrounded by good mates on the day & his best man & groomsman were wonderful.  Despite the fact they all consumed rather alot of alcohol they got up at the end of the evening & sang a song on stage (with the band playing) ... I was the only one left with a camera by then & I managed some good snaps
This was a totally impromptu performance

The song they performed was this one below by The Proclaimers.

(Many thanks to Catherine for teaching me how to post a video to my blog ... hope this works out okay dear readers)

I think this part was one of the really special moments for me as Kayne has a deep love of music.

Well dear friends, with a bus due tomorrow, lawns to mow & christmas orders to be made, I need to get focused ... 
even though I would far rather follow little Jinxy's lead . . .

. . .  & just put my head under the covers for a wee while  :-) (or a long while actually!!!)
Thanks so much for visiting here today & letting me share Kayne & Nicoles wedding with you all

Left over wedding flowers in the jars we decorated last post . . .  enjoyed now on my dining table
with much love & friendship,
Julie x0x0

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A bits & pieces kind of week . . .

Hello there friends & readers,
It has been a bits & pieces kind of week but I have miraculously achieved lots of completions ...

I managed to put together the horseshoe for my daughter-in-law-to-be that I mentioned last post

And I found a plain white box to decorate  -  for her to store it in

I had offered to make a name bunting for them to hang above the bridal table  
 Nicole had requested the buntings please be scalloped

It is times like this you wish you had given your sons short names (like Sam or Ben) . . . & that they were marrying girls called Sue or Ann !!!!!! (wink)

And then yesterday afternoon Nicole & her lovely Mum Julie came, & we sat in the cool of my dining room & decorated jars for the tables - we needed 16 all up ... a mixture of small & large sizes

these are to hold gypsophlia & 1 or 2 rose buds, for the table centrepieces

Nicole wanted the jars to be all different, but along the same theme, of the hessian & calico & very natural colours.
I really enjoyed doing this little project with some pleasant company thrown in  :-)

Around this time of year I usually make up some stuffed christmas stockings ... I have done these for a few years now ... I had stitched the verse onto calico & sewed the candy canes a few weeks back, but the stockings needed to be assembled & then decorated ... 

It was a rather painstaking "enjoyable" process as I had assistance along the way from Jinxy . . .

. . .  whether I wanted it or not !!!!

One of them has been teadyed quite darkly, the other left paler ... different people like a certain shade/look I find

I really love these stuffed stockings - it is a very old pattern from Melissa Duncan of Mogs Designs - every year I really enjoy making them up.

Two of the things I sold completely out of last Sunday in the Garden Ramble was my herbal mothball sachets & my citrus potpourri.  
I decided I had better rectify this as I had all the ingredients in the cupboard for the mothball sachet mixture ...

You can find the recipe to make these in this older post here

My dehydrator has been working overtime as I dry the oranges from my tree to make up a fresh batch of citrus potpourri

Once again, this is a process that I never grow tired of doing . . .
(thank goodness!!!)

The Mr has been organising a big finale for his Moto X Club as the winter series comes to an end (he is the President of our local Club) ... he wanted to thank the ladies who gave their time to the Club so he requested me to make up 6 large gift baskets to present to them

I had to do this job at the last minute, just prior to the meeting, as otherwise I find if the chocolate is in the house too long, it tends to fall into my mouth melt quite alot!!!!

I have been watching this self sown poppy seedling come up in the path to my Cottage ... just this morning it opened & I just loved the variegated colour ... these pop up regularly in my garden & some I pull out, but decided to leave this one amongst the lavender edging my path

There is such pretty colour in the garden at the moment ... it's nice to capture it on camera to enjoy a little longer & appreciate

And then just this week I harvested & cooked up my very first batch of beetroot for the season ... delicious  :-)

Well friends I am off to make us a salad for dinner, & to feed the rascals 
thanks so much for stopping by today - may your week ahead be filled with many good things
I shall leave you with Blackie pondering life in general !!!!

Cheerio for now,
much love & friendship,
Julie & the rascals x0x0x

Monday, November 3, 2014

Ramble - ing

Good afternoon dear friends & readers,
Yesterday we had the Garden Ramble that I spoke about last post
After a week of bitterly cold, wintery weather, the sun actually shone for us
I did not manage to accomplish everything that I had hoped to ... but not to worry . . .
. . . I found a way round it all . . . 

My sign covered all my bases I thought . . . & made people smile    :-)
Another blackboard I wrote a sign on made them smile also, & click lots of pics of it . . .

The menfolk all commented that next time I have to have a spare blackboard beside this so they can all write a reply!!!

My daughter-in-law Sarah came to help me yesterday & snapped some photos of folk enjoying the garden

Around the pond area - the lavender is not yet flowering
The Cottage was nestled in a frothy pink sea of granny bonnets

The last of my cherry blossom trees still just in bloom

Although the morning was definately busier, we had a constant steady stream of people all day long

I guess the greatest compliment was when 2 posh very well-dressed ladies asked me for the name of my gardener!!
I laughed & explained that I do all the garden myself ... "but you are the "shop girl" aren't you??!!" they exclaimed
"Yes, but I am also the gardener too" I am sure they did not believe me ... I guess its hard for some folk to comprehend that some of us actually have to do everything ourselves!!

When the last of them had gone & I went down to close the gate I took a couple of snaps looking back towards my garden from the depot yard
Our property is rectangular shaped, running parallel to the road & at the far end is a depot yard which we rent out to an Agricultural Contracting firm ... this means I can use the yard for parking for buses or any functions like yesterday

There is a large established border of native trees planted between our lawn & the depot yard & I had planted some baskets of white Impatiens to try to add some lightness to this area. Unfortunately as it has been so cold, they were not blooming well & giving me the effect I had hoped for . . .

Just a week ago a friend popped in to do some early christmas shopping & bought the 2 "pinkeeps" I had out in the Cottage

I found these 2 odd looking stands & also another 2 mini baking tins, so decided to put together a couple more, in between running round like the mad woman that I have been lately !!

I really love these pinkeeps, they are one of my absolute favourite things :-)

After making the cup/saucer birdfeeders last post, I found a few extra china cups that were "surplus to requirements" . . .  so I potted some of them up with delicate baby's tears as thought these may appeal to the gardening customers
I was lucky enough to sell 2 already  :-)

Also - a week ago - I was invited to my future daughter-in-laws Hen Party ... I must confess I have never attended one of these in my entire life til now ... the theme was "1920's dress up"
Yep, thats me, wearing the fox ... but don't panic ... its fake!!! 
And I got my very own sash in case I forgot who I was  ... "Mother of the Groom"

Nicole, my daughter-in-law to be (in 2 weeks time!!) - her bridesmaids dressed her up, she had no idea about any of this!!
(incidently Nicole is dark haired, they put a wig on her)

Nicole & her lovely Mum, also named Julie  :-)
(also wearing a sash in case she forgot who she was too!!!)

Well dear friends, thanks for staying with me through this lengthy "rambly" post
I am off now to put together a horseshoe for Nicole - Oh it is lovely not to have to be outside gardening today
We are getting gentle rain which is watering everything nicely for me
Cheerio for now & thanks - as always - for your welcome visit today

Resting up after a stressfull few days "helping Mum"
with much love & friendship,
Julie (shop girl/gardener)
Jinxy & Little Big Blackie