Thursday, November 30, 2023

" A Jingle In A Pringle " 🌲

Greetings lovely friends & readers

Yesterday I needed to wrap a fragile ornament for posting, so I found a cardboard tray in my recycling bin to cut up & use around the ornament.

I went to find my packaging tape & upon my return, this is what I found 🐱 ... a certain ginger furry friend curled up in the cardboard tray!     This is especially for you Willie as you commented last week "no furry friends??"
I might add - she slept for over 2 hours there before I was able to cut up the cardboard box.  You surely cannot tell me that is comfy ??!!

Back in early September when I returned from Mum's funeral & crafting was the very last thing on my mind - my dear friend Claire messaged me to ask if I'd like to do "a christmas challenge"?

                 She'd just had this bright idea for us to do "A Jingle in a Pringle".  What might that be I enquired? 😉                                        You take a Pringles tin & make something christmassy that will fit inside it ! 

Hmmmm .... it certainly got my creative mind whirring ... 

I hadn't bought Pringles in years but Yes the local supermarket still sold them.  I purchased a can & Sid happily munched his way through them for me.  Then I painted my can 2 coats Forrest Green chalk paint.

I had a lovely Christmas transfer that I thought would look just right against the Forrest Green colour ... I also glued some ribbon to the top & lower edges.

Although I went back & forth with a few ideas, I came back to my original thought - making Claire the tiny Country Friends Christmas dolls in Wendy Briggs book.  
Wendy is no longer designing but I have lots of her older patterns & books.  It was tricky sewing & turning those teeny tiny doll legs & then painting the boots black ... its been awhile since I've done anything like this.

The Mr would be in the dining-room working on his laptop in the evenings, & I would be in the Lounge.  He would send me phone photos of Little One who would sneak into my sewing room, take the dolls (or doll body parts) off my desk & then play with them ... this went on for several nights despite how well I hid them  😐

I was absolutely delighted how the dolls turned out.  Their names are Joy & Kris Kringle & I managed to make them entirely from fabrics & trims already in my stash.    

You can see from the photo above that they are only the size of a pencil - just under 6 & 1/2 inches in height ... so rather tiny & fiddly.

A closer view of their handpainted boots & Joy has some stitchery on her skirt.

Once they were finished I was looking at them & wondered if perhaps Claire might like to make them into a swag.  So I made a little stuffed heart from homespun fabric ... I didn't stitch them into a swag as they would not have fitted into the Pringles tin but I wrote Claire a note suggesting this when I sent the package down.

You can see how they might look stitched into a swag.

I also had room (only just!) to add in one of the stockings that I showed in last week's post.  I filled it with some choccies, a candy cane & a small ceramic Christmas tree ornament.
Let me tell you dear friends - it was a tight fit getting all those items in that Pringles tin without squashing them up too much!!

I bought a Christmas box at the Variety Store, packaged it all up in red tissue,  then added one of the wooden tags that I made in *this post* last year.  I also added in some Choccies, some Relax tea & a bag of my homemade Citrus Potpourri.  The package only took 2 days to arrive at Claires & she was so thrilled upon opening it.  
The reason I sent it before December is because Claire is taking part in a Christmas Home Tour this weekend ... opening her home all decorated for Christmas, & I thought she might perhaps like to include the swag in her decorating.
I shall be sure & show you my Jingle in a Pringle from Claire when it arrives.

This morning was a baking morning whereby I made Caramel Anzac Slice for my eldest son,  a Weetbix Slice for The Mr, & another loaf of Banana Bread as I had banana's turning brown. 

Image courtesy of @LadySnowAngel on Pinterest

Tomorrow we wave Goodbye to November & welcome in December & the festive season.  It feels like I blinked & November disappeared by.

Thank you dear friends, as always, for your welcome visits here today,

As we approach a busy time of year, please remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other, 

With much love & friendship to you all,

Julie & the 3 furry ones x0x0x0

Sunday, November 26, 2023

All Stocking-ed Out (!!!)

Greetings lovely friends & readers

It has been a stocking-making kind of week (or fortnight) & I am currently all stocking-ed out !

 Our beautiful Cherry Blossom tree (Shimidsu-sakura) in full bloom a couple of weeks ago, before the strong winds came.

At the beginning of October my local Patchwork Store Stitchin-stuff put a notice in their online newsletter requesting small christmas stockings to be made to donate to the local Foodbank. I collected the free pattern & instructions & cut out several from my Christmas fabrics.
  I managed to sew up 10 before Covid struck me & my sewing abilities disappeared out the window 😐 

They are fully lined & padded with wadding, & each one measures just under 8 inches.  This one above was one of my favourites fabrics. 
 The store were hoping to reach a target of 300 stockings & when I dropped mine in they were up to 279.  

(Click on the picture to enlarge & read clearly)
So I was delighted to read in my local newspaper this week that they actually reached 350 in the end.  The store fills them with chocolate treats & they go in the Foodbank boxes for families that have younger children.  Next year I will aim to sew up more as I am sure I have 10 already cut out.

These sweet little stockings above are a free pattern from the Twig and Tale website.
I buy offcuts of linen when I see it in the thrift stores & I hand embroidered these before sewing.  I plan to fill them with some ceramic christmas ornaments for a couple of special people.

Last year, after Christmas, I made myself the swag of primitive stockings above.  My dear friend Sandy had shown me a photo on her phone & I made them from memory ... in the softest green & grey striped linen fabrics above.  

My friend Sandy has moved away down to the South Island & I miss her immensely. I decided to make her a set in reds & taupes as I knew she loved these colours.  I posted them away & Sandy was delighted when they arrived as she had just begun her Christmas decorating.

While hunting for some threads I came across this stitchery that I had stitched last Christmas & never ever made up.  It is a very old design from Mogs Designs whom I am sure no longer designs. It is called "tis' the season stocking"

Although I'd done the stitchery I still needed to tea-dye my calico & then make up the stocking, stuff it & fill the top with berries & greenery as well as make the 3 candy canes. I also sewed 7 rusty bells down the length of the stocking. 
 I used to make lots of these & sell in my Craft Cottage & they were always VeRy popular.   🎄

I love this little area of hand-mades hanging on my wall.  The Calico Reindeer I made in * this post * back in 2020.

And Yes - it was time again to sit & wrap 48 little parcels, & fill my Grandsons advent stockings.  This was a good activity to do while resting from Covid & took me 3 days to complete (!!!) I will be delivering these this coming Thursday. 

Just prior to going on the Cruise I cleaned out our fireplace, scrubbed the brick surround & then bought all my houseplants back from the "hospital corner" down the end of my lounge.  I noticed my ladder fern (2nd from left) had roots coming out the bottom so it needed a re-pot.

I found this pot under my house, bought home from Mum's when I cleared out No 44 way back in February.  I thought it was a good size for the fern but needed a paint.  I painted it in Old Linen, the same colour as the other pots, then gave it 2 coats of spray varnish to protect/seal it.  I found an offcut of transfer that I also applied to it.

I am sure that my ladder fern breathed a sigh of relief when I repotted it & it's looking much healthier already.  And Yes dear readers - you can see definate signs of Christmas decorating going on here at Threadbear HQ.

Thank you - as always dear friends, for your visits here today,

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead - remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,

With much love & friendship to you all,

Julie & the furry three x0x0x 

( a new Header to take us into the festive season)

Friday, November 17, 2023

Cruise-ing, Covid ........ & Orders

Greetings lovely friends & readers

October of last year, while I was lying in a hospital bed recovering from a not-especially-nice surgery, my friend Gail sent me a text ... Would I like to go on a 5-day cruise next year in November?? 

Why ever not ?! I thought.  Of course it was ages away & anything could happen in between times (& in fact, quite alot did happen in between times)

There were a group of 8 ladies going, mostly our craft group ladies plus 2 extra.  Because we shared rooms it kept the cost to a minimum. 

The first rose blooms of the season - Dublin Bay - picked last week

Eventually November rolled around & the day arrived for us to board our ship.  It was a P & O Cruise for those that are familiar with them.  This one was a "Tribute to the King Cruise" so lots of Elvis music & rock-n-roll. I must add here, that the tribute acts were just wonderful & of a really high quality.

Here is everyone getting ready for the Sail Away Party.  I loved being up high on this deck & looking down on the pools, also there was a flying fox going overhead!  After pouring rain all the way up to Auckland the weather came out beautiful.

The was the Atrium where some of the entertainment took place ... I especially loved the Glass Lifts (right).   This was on Level 5 & we were lucky enough to have our rooms on the same level.

Here are all 8 of us together ...  left going around table .. Jan, Sharlaine, myself, Joyce, Maureen, Liz 1, Liz 2 & Gail front right.

This was the route the ship took, leaving Auckland sailing down the Coast to Picton, a full day in Picton, & then returning again.  5 days - quite long enough for me - who couldn't wait to get home to her furry friends again 😉
Where I have put the yellow + is where I live in rural Waikato.

Here is the oldest of the group Maureen, with myself, the youngest.  On the right I had just had my hair done & we were getting ready to go to a Neil Diamond Tribute show (which turned out to be so amazing!!)

On docking in Picton we had already prepaid for a tour up the Queen Charlotte Sounds (see map above).  We were going on the boat below left with a Company called CougarLine Tours

We sailed all the way up the Queen Charlotte Sounds stopping at all the little bays along the way, dropping off boxes of groceries, trampers, sometimes picking up tourists - it was fascinating & the Captain gave a running commentary along the way.  We saw lots of dolphins, some even followed the boat for awhile.  

The stunning crystal clear waters of the Queen Charlotte Sounds.

The furthest point was Furneaux Lodge 2 hours out ... & then we headed back to Picton again.

Once back in Picton we treated ourselves to a delicious Pub Lunch of the freshest Gurnard, straight out of the sea.  There was a market opposite the wharf which we wandered through for awhile & then it was time to catch the shuttle back to the ship.  Another full day at sea & then early on the Tuesday morning we berthed again in Auckland.

Waiting our turn to disembark - you had to vacate your rooms by 8 am so we were up & about early.  It was a wonderful experience & I would certainly cruise again but I would do several things differently next time around. 
My dear friend Sandy summed it up perfectly when she messaged & said "Congratulate yourself Julie on having the Cruise experience - especially since you are such a Home body at heart"  And I unashamedly Am a Homebody. 💗

Unfortunately dear friends, I appear to have come home with a rather unwanted souvenir & I am the only one in the group that has so far succumbed to the virus.  Today is day 8 & although I'm not coughing quite so much, I still feel constantly dreadful.  But I know Covid is a process & I just have to be patient, rest & let it run its course.  It has taken me 3 days to write this post as my concentration skills are rather lacking 😐

A couple of months ago my dear friend Shirley asked me to make her two items she had some photos of.  The first was a HOME wallhanging, quite primitive in style but Shirley didn't want primitive for her home so we adapted it & I painted a wooden coathanger to tie Shirley's hanger on to (the one in her photo was tied to a twiggy tree branch) Shirley's home is muted pinks & greys so these colours were perfect.

The second item Shirley had photographed was a rather dilapidated looking Angel.  As soon as I saw it I knew I had that pattern - thankfully it was an old design from Mums Moment, whom I don't think are designing anymore. The pattern is called Pocket Angel as she has a sweet elasticated pocket on her dress, where the yo-yo flowers are.  I made her up in Tilda fabrics, provided by Shirley & think she turned out delightful.  I used some hand-dyed mohair yarn for her hair.  Her base is weighted with pellets so she sits nice & sturdily.

Her wings are embroidered with the words Love is the stitching that holds hearts together 💕 Shirley was thrilled with both her Orders.

Thank you dear friends for staying with me through this lengthy post,
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend - remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Love Julie & the furry three x0x0x0