Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Very Special Santa

Sunday Afternoon Greetings dear friends & readers,

My friend Christine decorates her beautiful two-storey home each year for Christmas
Over the years she has commissioned lots of crafts from me to add to her Christmas decor
The Prim Santa below was one such item I made for Chris a couple of christmas's ago

Prim Olde Santa is a pattern by Kerry Daly of Primitive Country Treasures torn out of an old Homespun Magazine (dated 2009!!!)

This year as she embarks on her festive decorating I received a text message asking me if I could please make Prim Santa for her again .... but this time in blues please
I always find Christine especially easy to create for - for some reason I always know exactly what she is picturing in her mind & - so far - have always got it right 
I knew just what she was visualising with her blue Prim Santa & also happened to have the exact shade of blue fleece that I required already in my stash

I really enjoy making the toys, stocking & candy canes for Santa ... especially little Raggedy Anne.
 I found a small teddy in my box of junk tricks, so gave him a Santa hat & a blue velvet bow to tuck into Prim Santas hands

When Christine came to collect her blue Prim Santa, her face lit up with delight (& her eyes filled with tears a tiny bit) ... he was exactly as she had pictured him to be & she loved all the little embellishments I added

I hope to get to visit Christine Christmas Home in the next week so will remember to take along my camera & capture Prim Olde Santa hanging up in all his glory in my friends beautiful home

One of the things I love about crafting for Christine is that I get visiting rights to all the dolls, bears & Santas I create for her !!!!

I have been busy still with groups & orders 
 I finished an order for my elderly friend Margaret who likes to keep a good stock of lacey guest towels & lavender coathangers in her cupboard to give as gifts throughout the year

Her hairdresser gets one, the cleaning lady gets one & even the postie girl gets one ... Margaret also likes to give them when someone passes away - she tells me they "last alot longer than a bunch of flowers & are half the price"!!!

I had two groups in one day last Thursday - this has never happened before but it was simple enough to quickly nip out & re-write my blackboard

Heavy showers had been forecast ... I was so thankful they stayed away til the end of the day ... it just makes it so much more pleasant for the groups to wander around the garden or sit on the seats

The first group presented me with a rather beautiful handmade Thank You Card upon leaving ... one of the ladies handwork no doubt

Prior to their arrival I managed to quickly cobble together a bit of a christmas mantlepiece in the Cottage .... I usually have my christmas display done at the beginning of November but appear to have lost the weeks somewhere along the way this month ...

A few fairy lights dotted around all adds to the effect

Well dear readers - I am off to finish some Santa hats for Christines teddy bears (yes, some blue ones as well as red) ... I shall leave you with this picture of Madam Pippi who insists on "helping me" when I am on the floor cutting out fabrics .  .  .
.  .  .  but finds it all rather tiring having to "keep the fabrics warm for Mum" & has a wee nap on the job.
Wishing you a wonderful week ahead & hope it brings you laughter & happy times
with much love & friendship to you all,
Julie, Blackie & Pippi Longstocking 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Family Reunions

Rainy Saturday Afternoon Greetings dear friends & readers,

My Mum came & stayed with me for 6 days as we had a small family reunion to attend over at Papamoa

Mum came from a family of 13 of which there are only 7 remaining today
It was lovely for the siblings to get together again - two of the brothers flew over from Australia to attend
Mum is in the blue floral blouse second from left ... Mum is the 3rd to eldest child

I grew up with a zillion cousins ... only some of which came to the reunion
The thought of all of them coming together would probably require a military manoeuvre... good grief, where would we all fit for starters???!!!
It was also a good chance for Mum to finally get to meet Alec, her first great grandchild.

Alec finally gets to meet his Great Nan
They both enjoyed each others company so much ... Alec is proving to be quite a social little boy

Alec & his Granny Julie

Aaron & Sarah have purchased a spa pool & at 6 months old now, he is allowed to go in it.
He loves the water jets & the bubbles
He is such an adorable wee boy & a delight to all of us

While Mum was here there was lots of tea drinking & chatter ... I try to always fit in a bit of stitching or creating while we are doing this.
I needed to make some more wool blanket hearts for my china bowl in the Cottage (which was empty)

These are just made from scraps/offcuts of wool blankets
Its a shame the computer screen is not scratch-n-sniff as the smell from the lavender is divine.

For a couple of days the sun shone brightly so we sat out on the deck table ... I had some revamps to give a coat or two of paint to . . .

The what-not shelf was a commision from a friend - she wanted it painted pale green so I decided to do all 3 items in the Amulet shade that I love so much

I finished the what-not & gave it back to my friend, then realised I had forgotten to take a photo of it.
You can just see it above in the picture & YES that IS Pippi trying to drink out of my water glass !!!!
I might add, there were several ginger hairs to pick out of the finished items I had painted !!!

The small wooden bowl was rescued by my friend Joyce from the Church Op Shop rubbish bin & gifted to me . . .

It is such a cutie .... I made the pincushion top from my Tilda fabrics & then trimmed it with some cotton lace & a gorgeous tape measure braid I found in my stash

Likewise the old tea kettle got the Amulet treatment .  .  .

.  .  .  before being "doiley-fied" & a babies tears plant popped in the top
This was a rather unusual tea kettle in that it has a swivel lid still intact ... which I unscrewed & attached to the side with some jute twine

(This little number was sold this very morning to a lovely customer)

Well dear friends, now Mum is home again & the cat basket has been returned to the table against my better judgement  .  .  .
.  .  .  as you can see above ... Round 537 goes to Pippi & Blackie !!!***

I have orders needing completion & my head is spinning somewhat
Sometimes this can be overwhelming & it feels as though I have piles of mess everywhere . . .
. . . well I'm not too sure about dancing, but I shall keep plodding on
Thanks so much for your visits this rainy spring day
It is always lovely to "see you pop in"
Have a wonderful weekend dear friends & readers
with much love,
Julie, Blackie & Pippi Longstocking x0x0x

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Craft Fairs & String Jars ...................

Tuesday Greetings dear friends & readers

Planted Suitcase in bloom  ...... Cat Sign a gift from Sue
Last Saturday I took part in the craft fair held annually in my local town, opposite our beautiful rose gardens

This is the third time I have had a stall here, but I have not taken part for two years due to both my sons weddings being held for the past two Novembers.
For a change, the sun actually shone & the weather was glorious

The very first year I took part, the rain came down in icy showers & I well remember standing at my stall wondering what on earth I was doing there & if perhaps, I might need my head examined !!!!

I have tried to snap some photos of my stall to show you but some of them are glarey . . . 

It is a totally outdoor market with live music playing which created a really nice atmosphere

Please do ignore the filthy car in the next photo with the cat footprints all over the bonnet ... I have no idea who that belonged to !!!???

To add to the great day, I had lovely stallholders as neighbours each side ... on one side a lady selling gorgeous soy candles & on the other side, my friend Pauline selling her Infused With Nature range of products

As you can imagine, the fragrances coming from either side, were just heavenly

Considering the week prior I spent many hours wondering why on earth I booked my stall & what possessed me ...
 I had the most wonderful day after all

Now if you are going to expect hope that folk buy from you, you need to support the other stall holders too ... so I came away with a few little purchases myself, as I usually do

I also purchased some home-made fudge & shortbread but unfortunately I ate them Pippi ran off with them before I could take a pic

This little fellow below got the last stitch put in him rather late the Friday night before

Rustic Santa - an old design by Woodcutters Daugther, now trading as Theodora Cleave
I wanted to have him on my stall along with a few other christmassy bits

I was so delighted he was one of the first items I sold & he went to a very lovely customer

The other item I sold two of was my string jars.  I sat down the next day & made two more in country colours .  .  .

.  .  .  but it was a conversation I overheard between two customers that got me thinking

A lady who bought one, offered to buy her friend one also & told her friend to choose a colour.
Her friend replied that her kitchen wasn't "country colours" but very shabby chic & these would look out of place.
I thought about this afterwards .... why couldn't I do some shabby chic string jars maybe ??

I spray painted the screw bands cream instead of the black I usually use ... then ran a swipe or two of cream paint over the plain hessian I glued to the dome seal.
I then glued a crochet flower to the centre of the lid making sure the hole was big enough for the string to come through smoothly

I used some of my treasured Tilda fabrics for the bows & added a Tilda tag with a tiny charm attached.

Shabby Chic enough do you think dear readers??

Well I am off to continue cleaning my house ... my Mum arrives tomorrow for a few days & despite her macular degeneration, she will certainly notice my dust & cobwebs
Where, oh where is a cleaning fairy when you need one???

Hmmmm .... not so sure she is quite the fairy I am after.

from Pinterest
Have a wonderful rest of the week dear readers
Thanks so much for your visit today - a Very Special Welcome to my new followers also
with much love & friendship,
Julie, Blackie & Pippi-the-fairy