Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Not Much Stitching . . . but . . .

Good Wednesday Afternoon dear friends & readers
There has been not much stitching g0ing on here at my funny ol' Threadbear Life of late  ... (or none actually)
.  .  .  but .  .  .

as well as signs of spring popping up at last  .  .  .  there have been other things going on 

I have always admired these painted Agee Jars that I see on the web & in some stores but their prices are enough to frighten me off
Likewise, the cost of proper actual Glass Paint was rather scarey & offputting
So I thought I might have an attempt using my trusty test pots

Amulet on the left & Pale Rose on the right
I found the paint went onto the glassware really easily & I gave them 2 coats
The only thing you need to remember is they are decorative & should probably not be washed ... although I think a wipe-over would not do them any harm
When dry I lightly sanded the wording on the jars to make it stand out

These little potted baby's tears plants had sat over winter sloowwly growing so it was time to plant them up into other containers

After painting & planting the old kettle in this post here, I decided to try a "baby version" using this old op-shop aluminium teapot 

I drilled a single hole in the bottom for drainage & when planted, I "doiley-fied" it with a tiny crochet doiley

As the lid had a small steam hole in it, I attached it to the pot with some bakers twine . . . I think its rather cute

Also these vintage china cups & one polka dot coffee mug got some baby's tears planted in them
These are all going for sale in the Cottage.

I was given a box full of - well ...  junk really.  
 Inside were a few old books, a couple of them had their covers missing, so I thought I might try my hand at some book bundles . . .
Once again, I have seen these done before but at huge prices & I didn't think they would be too difficult

I have to admit, I really enjoyed the whole process of putting these together.
I found some images on good old Uncle Google which I printed off & then parisiene essence dyed
Remember to always tear the edges of your paper, not cut with scissors as this leaves a blunt edge.

The tatty spines of the books I covered with some old pages & some music pages ... modern day music pages, once again made to look "antique" by spraying with a cold parisiene essence mixture
I also sanded the spines & edges of the books, when the glue was dry.

All bound together with some lace & a couple of charms or a key
These make great bookends or just look very vintage-chic sitting by themselves
My Mr doesn't understand the whole concept of book bundles & wonders why you don't actually get to read them ??!!

These little four-legged creatures above are the reason there has been no stitching done of late
Circumstances at the farm have changed & I have been called upon to help quite a bit recently.
I am hoping this will not be for too much longer.

Now I must confess we have started some bad habits in our house & one of them was allowing little Miss Pippi to sleep in her basket on the table.
It was just easier when she was unwell & since then, I have never not yet re-trained her 
(Oh I will.... I promise !!!!)

When she is not lying horizontal in her basket  (which she is rapidly outgrowing)  then she likes to sit & watch me prepare the meals in the kitchen

 I chat away to her as I do this & she watches every move I make & looks at me as if to say "oh really, is that right??"

However, fat Black - who has always been more of a couch cat, has decided the table is quite a nice place to sit beside Mum & "supervise" her when she crafts . . .

. . . perhaps "help her" with her book bundles
Come summer . . . we I have some serious retraining to do !!!!

I thought I would share this delightful photo of my grandson Alec that I took recently

He is now 4 months old & is such a bundle of joy ... he is also going quite blonde like both of his parents are.
After winter I have been closing my Cottage for one day a week (a Monday) & I try to get out to visit my wee grandson each Monday.
His little face certainly lights up my day.

Thanks so very much for visiting today dear friends & readers,
I hope the rest of the week is kind to you all
with much love & friendship,
Julie, Fat Black & Miss Pippi

Friday, September 11, 2015

Painting, Planting, Stitching, Knitting

End of the Week Greetings dear friends & readers,
There I was last week ... under the house ... ferreting around like a rat down a drain pipe
I remembered that I had stashed some wood there last winter & as our wood supply is looking rather desperate, hence my "ratting around" under the house

Though I was not greatly successful on the wood-finding front, I did come across 4 old tin watering cans.
I completely forgot to photograph the other 3 before I gave them a make-over, but they all looked alot like the one above ... dirty, damp, cobwebby & unloved.

After a good scrub & drying off, I was keen to paint them up using my stash of test pot colours
Amulet first - of course    :-)
I hadn't intended to plant them, but once painted I decided this was a good idea as I hoped to offer them for sale at the Cottage
The Amulet one got some white petunias popped into it . . .

.  .  .  as did the Hot Chilli one, which matches the kettle I painted & planted in my last post

Lastly this watering can is not vintage, but I still felt it could benefit from a coat (or two) of paint

This one got the "escape" colour treatment & planted with lovely dainty Catmint, whose lavender coloured flowers will look gorgeous against the blue of the can.
I plan to keep them sheltered til the plants get established & by then the Garden Groups will be due to visit (I hope!!)

Way back 9 months ago Jenny first offered her The Vintage Kitchen Block of the Month stitch-a-long
(which is still free to download on Jenny's blog elephantz)
Although I was tempted I did not take part, due to having no room whatsoever in my kitchen to hang this lovely piece
However, about 5 months into the stitch-a-long I had a change of heart.
Every month when Jenny would release a new block I would be drooling .... 
I loved it so much, so I decided to take part

 My kitchen is a small galley style, with cupboards covering most of my walls & french doors at one end, so I have very limited wall space
At the end, as the kitchen runs into my dining area, I have a large iron stand housing (some) of my vintage enamel collection
I decided the wallhanging would just fit above this stand.

I would like to say that I quickly caught up with the months I was behind on, but truth be told, I struggled right to the last month & almost gave up,
Although Jenny has done hers using a white & bright red colour theme, I decided to try to use what I had on hand.
 I chose to do my stitcheries using DMC 221, a darkish turkey red stitched onto a dull cream background.
However, when I was finished & ready to put it all together, I pulled out my stash of red fabrics (yes there are rather a lot) but not one single one that would go.
Off to town I trot with a plan to buy some red & a nice deep mustard to go with it .  .  .
.  .  . this is what I came home with .  .  .

The red fabric is by Lynette Anderson & the other 2 are designed by Kristel Salgarollo from her Betty Blue collection.  I hoped the greyish blue would tone nicely with my enamel collection

As I didn't have a novelty print for the top & bottom panels as Jenny has used, I chose to add a heart appliqued in the red.
Also I changed the wording in the centre block to "My Vintage Kitchen".
I am really thrilled with my wallhanging .... it is not very often I make something for my own home & it has bought me lots of enjoyment.
Thank You dear Jenny for sharing this wonderful block of the month with us all.

My Mum has always been the most beautiful knitter all of my life.
She is now 86 & has macular degeneration of her eyesight ... her knitting days are numbered.
Up until about a year ago this large enamel baby's bath sat in my Cottage filled with Mums knitted boy & girl gollies.
They sold out like hotcakes -  to all ages of customers.
Mum now struggles to knit the black wool & especially the hair which is looped over your finger as you knit.
I offered to put the hair on myself using fur ... so this is how the gollies arrive now in the post .  .  .
.  .  . minus hair, faces, & skirts for the girls.

But they still turn out just fine once I add these little touches . . .

This little girl above was an order ... for a 90 year old lady!!!
I am trying to encourage Mum to keep knitting to keep both her hands & her mind occupied.

Thank You to all of you who have entered & taken part in my Spring Angel Giveaway 
The Giveaway runs until the end of September so there is still plenty of time if you would like to enter
Just go to this post here to enter in the comments section.
I will leave you with these pics I snapped of Miss Pippi this morning ... 
... her favourite pastime of late - hunting the Doves !!!
May you all have a wonderful weekend filled with activities & people you enjoy,
with much love & friendship,
Julie, Blackie & Pippi Longstocking

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Enter My Angel Giveaway to Welcome Spring

Spring Greetings dear friends & readers
Welcome to my absolute favourite season of the year !!!
Would you like to win my beautiful Spring Angel??

I decided a good way to welcome my favourite season of the year is to have a Giveaway on my blog
And so . . . I made this lovely Angel from Rosalie Quinlan's pattern An Angel for all Seasons

I used fabrics from my treasured Tilda stash & put her together in floral pinks & greens ... spring colours I imagined.
She is a nice medium size doll measuring 50cms in length.

The pocket on her pinafore has Spring embroidered on it & button flowers growing out of the pocket
These flowers however, require No watering !!!   :-)

She has dainty pink pantaloons under her dress & in her hand she has a handmade wreath all ready to hang up to welcome in spring with a small cluster of silk flowers on it.
Because spring can still be rather chilly (in fact, today in my part of the world you would swear it was still winter!!!) 
so she has a woollen beanie on her head adorned with a handmade crochet flower.

Although I have photographed her hanging up, she is equally as lovely sitting .  .  .
  either tucked in amongst your old china

.  .  .  perched on a stack of old suitcases  .  .  .

.  .  .  or sitting on an old chair perhaps .  .  .

Her wings have been stiffened with Stiffy fabric stiffener as we can't have angels with droopy wings ... 
& the fabric tabs on her pinny are adorned with tiny vintage buttons

My Spring Angel Giveaway is Open to anyone
Yes, I will post to anywhere in the world.
You don't have to be a follower to enter but if you are a follower you get two entries into the draw
I will put all the names in my old enamel teapot & The Mr will draw out a name
The Giveaway is Open til the end of September
In order to account for all my friends who tell me they try to leave me comments but can never remember their passwords, I have decided to allow anonymous comments .... 
However, if you are commenting anonymously you will need to leave me your christian name at the end of your comment
eg:  "thanks for the chance to enter your angel giveaway (from Julie in New Zealand).
Also when you comment you might like to tell me which is your favourite season of them all   :-)

In between sewing my Spring Angel I have managed a couple of other completions this past week  .  .  .
Remember last post where I showed you the old aluminium kettles rescued from my wood shed ??

This was the one I had originally painted with blackboard paint - it got 2 coats of Resene testpot "Hot Chilli" ... 
to match my outdoor table & chairs, already painted the same colour

Even Miss Pippi gave it her sniff of approval

Although there are slim pickings at the Garden Centre as we enter this change of season, I still thought this white primula gave it the pop of colour I had visualised.

This little wooden shelf was another gift from Sue ... only this was from her visit before her visit last week ... I posted about this way back here late last year

I had been looking for a nice pale vintagey pink for awhile & think I might have found the right shade ... again this is a Resene testpot -  "Pale Rose".

Not too bright but a lovely pink just the same.
What do you think my dear friend Willie seeing as you are definately the expert on pinks??
I lined the drawers with a pretty floral scrapbooking paper & modpodged it onto the outer drawers also - then I lined one of the shelves with some white broderie lace 

Yesterday it rained here all day long !!
What to do with two cats stuck indoors wanting to "assist me with my sewing" ???
I remembered what I used to do when my boys were young ... build them a hut !!!
Miss Pippi exiting the Hut 
Yes I can hear you all . . . quite pathetic aren't I ???!!!
Pippi played for hours in the hut but Blackie preferred to observe the entertainment from his favourite spot on the couch ... horizontal

Thank You all so much for stopping by today
I do hope you are inspired to enter my Angel Giveaway ... even if you don't fancy her for yourself, she would make a wonderful gift for someone.
The very bestest of luck to all of you who do enter,
with much love & friendship,
Julie, Pippi & Fat Black