Thursday, April 30, 2020

Functional ..................... but still beautiful .........................

Greetings dear friends & readers

Although I like things to be functional, I think there is no reason whatsoever - why they can't also be beautiful.
(Or aesthetically pleasing as some might say)

First thing last week - I cleaned my Laundry.
A really, really good deep clean that included the walls, the ceiling & the floors.
The net curtain at the one window in my laundry had long ago seen better days. 
 I remembered about a piece of fabric I had purchased from this gorgeous French Shop last year when I visited with my lovely friends Sally & Jane

A gorgeous vintage piece of linen imported from France - the odd tiny mend in it too 💕 
I had washed it but done nothing with it - it had sat in my sewing room shelves.
I decided to make up a new curtain for my window so I added a casing to the top & then threaded it onto an old length of rod  .  .  .  .

Although it was not really the colours I had in mind for my Laundry - it fit perfectly at the window.

Next I decided to make a new peg bag as the bottom had fallen out of my old one quite some time ago.
I knew I had a nice piece of red/white ticking fabric that would be large enough but I felt that I needed to try & bring in the oranges & blues in the curtain piece.

I also decided I needed to try to use up some of the hexie flowers - an Op Shop purchase from This Post
Luckily enough I had, not one but two helpers for this exercise

Miss Pip helped me choose colours & then Blackie very kindly pressed them all flat for me
I added in some Tilda fabrics as I knew I had some oranges - as well as some vintage embroidery pieces that were torn or tatty on one end

A bit of a faff .... but it turned out very pretty & functional & beautiful .  .  .  .
.  .  .  . and I managed to combine the oranges & the reds & the blues all together 💗
I removed the plain centres of the hexie flowers & fussy cut some Tilda fabrics to replace them
I LoVe my new peg bag ...... & it is functional but still beautiful in my eyes.

During Lockdown Sid's parents have informed me he no longer has a daytime sleep - so I decided to take down the cot I had in my spare room.
This left me a space to bring in the drop leaf desk I had in my Cottage.
I never particularly liked this desk but it held all our paperwork & everytime I needed a receipt I had to run out to the Cottage to look for it.

It would be much better inside the house.

After painting I lightly distressed all the edges with sandpaper
I begun to paint it with chalk paint but very soon ran out - so I finished the entire desk using my acrylic wall paint - Dulux Cottage Cream
I liked it but I didn't Love it  ......  something was missing.

I had ordered a pretty transfer from Paint Me Vintage a few weeks ago & this week, when our Country moved to Level 3 Lockdown we were able to receive parcels again.
I thought the transfer might be perfect to bring the desk to life some what.

I was able to cut into it & use 2 sections - I just love the way it has turned out & given the desk such a pretty 
french vibe
Functional ...... but still beautiful 💗

Another special delivery to arrive last week was our brand new grandaughter (my step grandaughter) 
 We welcomed to the world little Juno Elizabeth weighing in at 8lbs 10 ozs 
By that I mean we welcomed her via cyber space as she is allowed no visitors just yet - but I can't wait to give her
 a cuddle 💗

I was delighted when The Mr arrived home from the Farm supplies shop with a bag of potting mix for me the other day!
It just goes to show how the simplest things can give you pleasure.
I have been potting up lots of small cuttings & growing them by the French Doors at the end of my lounge which is like a little hot house area for plants.

The Mr has several stray cats at the farm that come & go at various times, sometimes increase in numbers, sometimes decrease
Their names are Friendly Cat 1, 2 & 3 (!!!) 
He feeds any that are there as they keep the rats & mice down & also help prevent the birds constantly building nests in the tractors & diggers - such a fire hazard
Although they are quite wild, some have become tamer over time. 
 He sent me this photo yesterday of 3 of them in the back of his Ute when he came back from shifting the cows.
I have promised Not to show Miss Pip the photo (!!) 😉

Thanks So Very Much for your visits here today dear friends,
I hope you are being kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Monday, April 20, 2020

A Simple Rag Rug Tutorial

Greetings dear friends & readers

This lock down is teaching us all to use up what we have on hand  . . . after all,  we have little other choice

Last week after I washed my kitchen floor I noticed how tatty the rag rug was that sits directly below my sink.
In fact it was getting to the stage where - every time you walked over it - another piece of red fabric came off !!

I like a small mat beside my sink but as you can appreciate, it gets grubby - so is frequently in the wash.
I decided to make myself a new one using an old method that I used to teach many years ago

Work out what size you would like your rag rug to be & then gather together your supplies dear readers . . . 

- A selection of fabrics - any scraps will do - in fact you can use old clothing, t-shirts, upholstery or curtaining fabrics for these rag mats
- A piece of calico or hessian  - I used calico as I knew this rug would be in the wash a great deal
- Pencil & ruler, sewing machine & thread, scissors etc
- A piece of wadding the size of your mat
- One Ginger Cat - this is entirely optional although in my case .... it was not optional at all !! 😐
(here on in the ginger cat shall be referred to as "my assistant")

I worked out I wanted my mat to be 25 inches long x 18 inches wide (64 cms x 46 cms)
Cut your piece of calico to the size you wish your rag rug to be.
Draw lines along the width of it approx 1.5 inches (4 cms) apart
Your assistant can help with this (!!)

Draw right to the end of your calico piece

The most tedious part is cutting your pieces of chosen fabric.
I cut mine approximately 5.5 inches x 1.5 inches (14 cms x 4 cms)
If you are slick with a rotary cutter you will be fast at this - I am rather slow.
Toss all your cut pieces into a container & mix them up as you go.
Cut more than you think you will need !
Do not be exact with each piece as some variation doesn't matter

Begin sewing them on your lines starting at one end
I kept my basket of pieces right next to my machine & picked out one each at a time
Try Not to sew two pieces the same side by side if you can

This pic shows how I just move them all to one side to begin my next row - it's not difficult

Three quarters of the way through  -  taking a breather 

The finished rag rug top - you can now snip off any longer lengths if you notice any (I did have some)

Cut a piece of calico the same measurement as your top
Your assistant can help with this task

Then cut a piece of wadding the same size as this - get your assistant to lay on the wadding to stop it moving 
around as you cut 😉

Pin back your fabric strips roughly with pins - this will save the pieces getting caught in your seam as you sew - pin all the way around your mat

Then make a sandwich with the two calico pieces facing, & the wadding on the bottom, & pin really well right around

Sew around 3 sides - the 2 long sides & then 1 shorter end & then turn your rug through.
I use a long needle to pull my corners out neatly - then I iron right around the whole mat & iron the open end together before sewing it closed.
Take your rug outside & give it a really really good hard shake
Stand back as lots of threads will fly off it.

Lay your rug in your chosen place & then get your assistant to test it for "comfort & snugability"  💕

Stand back & pat your back & tell yourself how absolutely clever you really are !!!

Give your assistant the rest of the day off as she will be fairly exhausted after helping you so much today.  😉

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial dear friends,
Thanks so much for stopping by here today
Do let me know if any of you make yourself a rag rug - I can lend you the assistant for no cost whatsoever! 
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Some Easter Sewing

Greetings dear friends & readers
How are you all doing in your bubbles?
I hope you are all managing to stay safe & well & are having more positive days than negative ones?

Easter was a bit different & strange here this year - as I'm sure it was for many folk.
The weather on the first few days was beautiful so I spent some time outdoors - there are always chores to be done.
On Good Friday I decided to give my worm farm a thorough clean out & dug a whole tray of castings into my veggie garden - the rich black soil is wonderful.

I filled up 9 bottles of worm tea which I shall use on my veggies & potted plants - & also share among some friends.

I used some of the feijoas gifted to me in my last post to make a Feijoa & Coconut Cake - one of my absolute favourite recipes.

On Easter Saturday I woke up & decided to make some drawstring bunny bags for my grandsons.
This is a free pattern download from * Here *

I just used up fabrics from my stash - they are simple & fun to make up.
I had some choccy treats to pop in these bags but - as I won't be seeing them until lockdown is lifted - I can add in some non edible treats also.

On Easter Sunday Miss Pippi very kindly left a wee gift for me on my slippers at the back door.
She apologised that it was not dipped in chocolate  . . . she didn't quite understand the words I used towards her (!!!) & why I tossed it way away in the paddock. 😖

On Monday it dawned dark & stormy so I turned the fairy lights on & lit a new wax melt in my burner

Sandalwood & Musk Wax melt - just beautiful fragrances
I love days like this  💗...... perfect sewing days.
I put the last few stitches in this woolen wall hanging I was making - this is a pattern I saw on Pinterest but just 
made up my own version of the rabbits head, blanket stitched onto some scraps of wool fabric.

It seemed appropriate after yesterdays "gift from Pippi" that I had cut out this little Linen mouse & decided 
to sew her up.

This is a free download from Kerryanne's beautiful blog - she only measures 15 cms tall so she can be made 
from your scraps.  Her skirt is actually a length of pretty ribbon that I gathered up.

I don't usually like mice in any shape or form but when I saw her on Kerryanne's blog I just fell in love with the sweetness of her. 💕

Kerryanne was also offering this free bunny printable for Easter

And the dishcloth knitting has continued friends - I am loving this variegated yarn & the way it knits up.
My friend Marie belongs to the Catholic Women's League & she has asked for dishcloths to put in packs they are making up for new Mum's - so some of these will be going to Marie.

I will be forever grateful to my lovely friend Shirley, who last year introduced me to the wonderful world of craft vlogs 
& podcasts.
Everyday around 3 pm I make a cuppa, sit on the couch & watch the latest episodes from some of my favourite vloggers.  Many of the UK ones are vlogging daily during lockdown.
Here are a link to some of my favourites that you might enjoy watching sometime . . .

Ollie and Bella  Sherie is vlogging daily 

Tales from Cuckoo Land  I just adore Gayna - she is vlogging daily

The Last Homely House East Of The Sea   Kate is vlogging almost daily

Sew Sweet Violet   Jooles is podcasting a bit more regularly now.

Well dear friends - that's me for today 
Thanks, as always, for your visits here - remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,
Take care, stay safe, stay well 😊
With much love & friendship to you all!
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Life in my Bubble ........................................

Greetings dear friends & readers,

How are you all doing ... I hope this finds you staying safe & well in your bubbles?
Life continues to be busy here at Threadbear HQ.
I have been slowly ticking some things off my never-ending-to-do-list .... as well as remembering to indulge in some creative pastimes so it's not all about work.

Though there are "slim pickings" in my garden of late, I try to find a small vase of color to brighten my bench every few days.

I was thrilled to see the beginnings of my camellias coming into bloom this week.

Last week I made Scroggin Slice
After The Mr complained he doesn't particularly like Scroggin Slice, I made him his favorite - Weetbix Slice

I did laugh when my friend Leeanne sent me through this funny . . .
She didn't know I had been baking but it seemed rather appropriate 😉

My neighbor & I have been swapping fruit & veggies between ourselves by leaving things in each others letterboxes
Yesterday I traded her 3 bottles of worm tea for this lovely large bucketful of Feijoas 😊

Earlier in the week I could no longer get the door closed on my craft cupboard at the end of my passage

It had been very much a matter of "toss it in & shut the door real quick"
As You can see - we have plenty of toilet paper supplies !!!
I took everything out, cleaned the cupboard & then put it all back in its appropriate storage containers.

While I was in a cleaning mood, I decided to wash all my vintage enamel ware

Alot of it fits in the dishwasher but equally - alot of the pieces are too big & have to be washed by hand

This was one of those jobs that half the way thru - you wonder why on earth you ever started !!

But it certainly does look clean & shiny now.

I went looking for the before photo of this footstool below & found it was way back in October last year when
 I first painted it
Then I parked it - just like it looks above right - in a corner of my lounge & rather forgot about it

I pulled it out on Tuesday & decided to finish making a new top for it.
I used the old top for my pattern & made up a sort of patchwork using some pretty vintage doilies from my stash.

Chalk Paint - "Old Linen" by Voodoo Molly Vintage
It only took a couple of hours work & I am so delighted with the finished article, which is going in my bedroom.

My two furry friends Pippi & Blackie did nothing yesterday except fight, hiss, growl & spit at each other.
There were chunks of fur all over the place ... mainly ginger !!
She is just as bad tho' as she gives him a swipe every time he walks past

I was somewhat surprised therefore to see them tucked up together on the chair last night looking like 
butter wouldn't melt !!

Wishing you all a wonderful Easter Weekend dear friends,
Stay safe & well & happy in your bubbles,
Remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship to you All,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0