Sunday, April 29, 2018

These Autumn Days .........................................

Greetings dearest friends & readers

These autumn days seem to just pass by in a blur of activity
There has been lots of gathering & harvesting going on here at Threadbear 
Last week I picked my pumpkins, the last of my tomatoes as well as a basket full of walnuts - there have been two more baskets collected since this photo

This bag full of feijoas was gathered while visiting my grandson Alec - I hope to stew most of these for the freezer

I picked the last of my hydrangeas this week before they turn brown for winter - I give them a good drink in a bucket of water for about a week, then hang them to dry
I just adore their muted vintagey colours.

To satisfy my (endless) sweet tooth, I baked a tray of Citrus slice as well as The Mr's favourite - Weetbix slice

Yesterday the winds blew & the rains came down!
 Just prior to this I noticed the last of my roses still in bloom so I picked the remaining flowers to enjoy indoors.

Last Wednesday was Anzac Day & I thought of my dear Dad, gone 17 years now.
Dad served in both the Army & the Air Force as a young man, getting his oldest sister to send a telegram confirming his date of birth but Dad falsely gave a year earlier so he actually joined at just 17, instead of the 18 legally required.
 I always light a candle for Dad on Anzac Day.

My daughter in law Sarah & I took Alec over to the City & caught the end of the Parade, then we visited the Cenotaph to see the wreaths laid for the fallen soldiers.

It is always such a poignant sight.

This delightful Children's Park is right next door so we spent some time in there with Alec & had a picnic morning tea.

Though he started off fully clothed, it wasn't long before the outer wear came off & in the water he went!

Then on Thursday I took Sid out to the farm to see the autumn calves ... he has learnt to say "Mooooo"

Though there has been very little creativity going on, I did manage one completion.
I think it's fair to say that when my friend Sally gave me this vintage needlepoint to make into a cushion for her, 
my heart skipped several beats!
Though the edges were very frail, the needlepoint itself was in immaculate condition.
I knew I had THE perfect piece of vintage black wool fabric in my stash to back it with.

It took a HuGe amount of stuffing to get it nice & tight .... I shall be sad to hand it back to Sally 😢

Thanks so much for stopping by today dear readers,
I have the heater on & am off to make a cuppa .... these two are tucked up in their rightful positions for the evening!
 It feels like it's going to get chilly!
Have a wonderful week dear friends,
With much love & friendship to you ALL
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Men's Ties, Sphagnum Moss & Twine !!

Wednesday Greetings dear friends & readers
Our little craft group met up again on Monday at Sharlaine's Home
At our last meeting Gail tipped out a bag of men's silk ties onto the table & we were all to choose one, create something with it, & bring it to our next meeting.
I chose the Christmas Tie below .  .  .

Upon arriving home .... I did wonder what on earth possessed me to choose this one !!

I thought I might try to make a small size Christmas bag from it so I unpicked the tie & tried to frame it somewhat using matching fabrics that I already had in my stash 

I think its fair to say that at this stage above, I still really had no idea what I was doing .... but I wanted to use the point of the tie as the bottom of my bag.
I used some co-ordinating fabrics to patchwork a back for the bag & then quilted this.
 I used the plain dark blue end of the tie as a handle - the bag is fully lined with calico

In the end I was pleased with how it came together ...... I attached a cute Nikki Tervo ceramic button that said 
"I 💝Xmas"
I thought this was an ideal size to use for a Christmas Gift Bag

I attached a tin bell to the very bottom point

The ladies had all made quite different items from their Ties ... Liz had made a turtle as her tie had tiny turtles printed all over the silk, Gail had made a cute Winnie the Pooh bunting & bear from hers, Joyce had fashioned a silk flower brooch & Sharlaine had framed hers in a hoop

Some of the ladies (excluding yours truly) had made some more velvet pumpkins following on from  
our last get together

I thought they were all really beautiful but I just LoVeD Sharlaine's sewing themed pumpkin below !!

For our meeting on Monday we had decided to have a go at Kokedama 

Kokedama is a style of Japanese bonsai, where a plant's root system is simply wrapped in sphagnum moss and bound with string, transforming it into a sculptural art form. Loosely translated, 'koke' means moss and 'dama' means ball.Mar 27, 2014

Sharlaine had tried this before but none of us other ladies had.
I have to say, I really really enjoyed it & shall definately be making more! 
As we all used differing thicknesses of twine the end results were all quite different but effective!

These are our first attempts above & this is my own little cutie below .... I am hoping to make a simple string hanger for it as they look wonderful suspended.

I had a good trip down to Mum's to celebrate her 89th birthday & then the following day I took her to the crematorium where my Dad's ashes are scattered in the Garden of Remembrance
Mum & I take either silk or fresh flowers each time & it is wonderful to see the plaque & flowers are left untouched each visit.

Upon my return I had some surprise mail arrive from * here *
I found Alice Caroline fabrics on Instagram & fell in love with their gorgeous Liberty selection 
so I ordered some fat 1/4's

I have had this pattern below for many years quite some time now & hope to make Miss Maggie up with a Liberty print dress & ears.

Though Taranaki was cold & stormy while there, I have certainly returned home to much lower temperatures.

I don't want to light the fire just yet so am making do with the heater but it's pretty much "first in, most warmest" !!

I purchased a couple of Op Shop treasures while away but will save those for another day as this is rather a photo heavy post.
I shall leave you with this little collage I put together last week.
I have Sid every Thursday & Miss Pippi has informed me she dislikes Thursdays! Though she Is allowed inside, she refuses to come in while Sid is here so this is what goes on all day long .... something of a Mexican Standoff!!

A Mexican standoff is a confrontation amongst two or more parties in which no strategy exists that allows any party to achieve victory.Wikipedia
Incidently in the top photos she is sitting in my flowering window basket!!
Thanks so much for stopping by today dear friends,
I hope the rest of the week goes well for you all
I shall try to get around & visit you all at your blogs as our internet has been rather contrary again!
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0x 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A Lovely Easter & A First Birthday!

Greetings dear friends & readers & (Belated) Happy Easter Wishes!

We have honestly had the loveliest Easter here at Threadbear ... my Cottage is now closed, the weather was beautiful, we didn't have to do anything in particular or please anyone!

And then yesterday, we had a small birthday celebration to attend for my youngest grandson Sid - who turned One!!

Here he is on the new trike gifted to him by his other grandparents

Early last week I decided to make Sid a couple of bibs to pop in with his gifts .... I used some Peter Rabbit & Winnie the Pooh fabrics that I already had in my stash .... backed with a cream towel put aside especially for bib making

The bibs went together so well I then decided to make him some little boots .... I used Lisa's pattern from Here ....
 the Tie Back Boots

Once again these were made entirely from scraps of fabrics I had on hand

The boots are fully lined & I had a lovely soft polar fleece that was just perfect for the job

Wrapped & ready & waiting for the Birthday Boy!

I offered to make a birthday cake for our morning tea ... I have popped my recipe at the bottom of this post ... it is such a simple chocolate cake recipe that I make up in my meat dish, lovely & moist & keeps well too.
I decorated it with some choccie eggs & M & M's ... though I have photographed it from the wrong angle, the candles spell "SID" - another of those times you are thankful your grandchildren have short names!

Here I am wearing my new bib, waiting for some of that cake & wondering why it is taking so long !!

These autumn days have been beautiful ... I spent some time out on my deck painting a couple of small projects ... this wooden trug needed an upcycle

Some pale duck egg chalk paint & a scrap of vintage wallpaper just big enough to line the base, plus a coat of wax

Whilst I loved this tissue holder once upon a time, it had gotten old & chipped & tatty looking .... I decided 
a freshen up was in order

While I had the pale duck egg paint out I gave it two coats & a light sand of the edges.
I then mod podged paper doilies to each side & glued some vintage braid around the opening 

My lovely friend Shirley loaned me her copy of this Tilda Book
I made up the Paper Angels & strung them across my dining room dresser as a bunting

I plan to make some more as feel they would be perfect attached to brown paper gift wrapped parcels!

I spent a bit of time pulling one of my raised veggie gardens to bits & picked yet more tomatoes & some chilli peppers 
I am keen to get my winter planting in but those tomatoes just keep on producing!

And then this morning I picked the last of my dahlias before they all hibernate for winter .... these have given me so much joy this season & kept on flowering away merrily

I hope you all had an enjoyable Easter dear friends - it feels as though March passed us by in the blink of an eye!
I am off to my Mums for a few days - she will be turning 89!
Be good & kind to yourselves & to each other,
Thanks so much for your visits here today,
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x 

*Sherie's Chocolate Cake Recipe*
1 3/4  cup flour                         1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp baking pwdr                  3 desstspoons cocoa  
   1/4 tsp salt                                    1 1/2 cup sugar   
1 cup milk,          1/2 cup soft butter,        3 eggs 
Sift all dry ingredients together in basin.
Add butter & milk & beat vigorously for 2 - 3 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time beating well.
Pour into meat dish or large tin & bake in moderate Oven (350) for half an hour.
When cool ice with chocolate icing or chocolate frosting.
(will keep well for a long time - if it gets a chance!)