Sunday, January 28, 2024

January-ing .............................................

Greetings lovely friends & readers

This sweet miniature petunia is flowering so happily in Mum's pedestal pot - it makes me smile  😊

This past fortnight has been mainly about occupying the Grandsons - I am thankful that school returns here next Tuesday.    One hot sunny day I took Alec out to Raglan & we had a delicious lunch of fresh fish sitting outside on the cafe's deck with wonderful sea views.



Then we drove down to the beach where he spent a happy couple of hours digging for crabs - luckily the tide was going out & there were plenty to be found.

Yes we returned them back into the sea afterwards.


We went to the Berry farm to pick berries only to be told no more public picking til mid February ... so we ate berry icecreams instead.


Sid came lots of days & there was lots of crafting.  Yes they made weapons but they used their imaginations (& LOTS of cellotape!!!)


We went to the movies twice & saw the film Wonka & a wonderful movie called Migration.  We are so lucky here in our small town to have the most special movie Theatre still running & filled with all manner of antique movie-related memorabilia.


In between entertaining the Grandsons I managed to stitch a teatowel for my friend Gail's birthday next week.  This is a free download from my dear friend Jennifer - you can find it * Here *.  I also knitted a matching green dishcloth & added a coffee scented soap.  


All of the framed stitcheries in this area have been hand-stitched by me

I had taken this Stitchery to be framed in late November but the Framer has been most unwell & had closed shop for several weeks while recovering.   I was thrilled to get a text saying my framing was finally ready to be collected.  Once again this is a design from my friend Jennifer - go here to her pattern shop - she has the most wonderful designs.  I am so happy with the simple wooden frame that I chose.  

When I unwrapped it Madam Pip gave it her seal of approval .... though she is more than likely saying You've missed a stitch just there!!


I made & posted a wool blanket Rabbit down to my friend Jane who chose this lovely pink & caramel toned vintage wool blanket from my stash.  



This weekend we are getting some much needed rain & it is wonderful.  I have been indoors making candles.


These heavy glass containers were from Mum's China Cabinet & I decided to make candles into them as I would not necessarily use them otherwise.  

I am finding myself really drawn to rather masculine fragrances lately & these ones are made using Oakmoss fragrance (above) & the one below is a new-to-me fragrance called Spiced Black Oud.  


I am delighted with how these turned out. I like to leave my candles at least a month to really harden before burning them - possibly even 8 weeks if I can wait that long.  



The next 3 pictures are especially for Lynn & Precious who are knee deep in snow & have requested I "send pictures of flowers please".  I have had to tie my Christmas lillies up as they have all flopped.  I no longer pick them to bring indoors as they are toxic to cats unfortunately.


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

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

With much love & friendship to you all,

Julie & the furry three x0x0x

Sunday, January 14, 2024

These Busy Early January Days

Greetings lovely friends & readers   💗

It has been another busy week here at Threadbear HQ.

Yesterdays pickings ... more Sweetpeas & a big jug of white Hydrangeas that are starting to wilt in our intense heat.

Last Monday my friend Gail asked me if I'd like to go with her to Hamilton East.  There is a new market there -  Made Hamilton that opened late last year & we both wanted to visit it, in particular the tea shop that we'd heard about.  We found an entire wall of different teas which you could measure into brown paper bags & pay by weight.  We each chose two different teas.

These were the 2 teas I purchased ... Grans Berry Garden & Spicey Christmas Tea.   I'd tasted a friend's Christmas tea & knew it was one I would drink all year.  I also enjoy these teas cold in the hot weather.  I am drinking a Grans Berry Garden tea as I sit typing this post.

The next day Alec came to stay as it's school holidays here in New Zealand & the schools get 6 weeks off (!!)  Sid came for the day as he only lives 5 minutes up the road.  
I had set my dining table up with all my craft supplies & told them we were going to "craft".  I seriously thought they would probably last half an hour if I was lucky ... but they actually crafted til 11.30 which was amazing.

Alec made a "race car of sorts" & then proceeded to make a ramp & a track for it to go on.  When Sid saw this he wanted to make his own car so I helped him.

Here he is most proud of his creation although it looks more like a creepy spider to me 😉  Next we went to 
a new park that I had heard about on the edge of town.  Unfortunately it was way too hot so we only lasted about half an hour here.


The boys asked if they could have pizza for lunch so I gave them a treat - we took them home & had a pizza picnic while we watched the Pokemon movie.  I told them it had been "a P day" ... first Play, then Park, then Pizza picnic & then Pokemon!

Luckily Sid has a swimming pool so they were able to have a swim in the afternoon to cool off a bit.
After Alec went home on Thursday I vacuumed out my entire house & then proceeded to mop my floors, which were filthy. 



The floors dry fast this hot weather & I was just sitting by the fan, catching my breath, when I turned around & Madam Pip had flopped herself down on the clean kitchen floor (!!!) ... just look at her muddy paws 😒  ~  I was not especially amused!

Arrow is pointing to the chip in right hand pic

When Gail & I were in Hamilton East we popped into 2 different Op-Shops.  I bought this jardiniere in the SPCA shop - it was $20 so not cheap, but it reminded me of one Mum used to have. This one had a large dark chip in one edge but I was able to touch this up with chalk paint & when it's at the back it will not be seen.

I had a vision to see it filled with green plants so Alec & I went to the Warehouse & I bought 3 baby houseplants to pot into it  ~  a maidenhair fern, a piggyback plant & a baby ivy.  I have popped this down the end of my lounge in 
my hospital corner until the plants settle in.


The Mr has been working long days at the farm getting silage made while the weather is fine .. he sent me these photos above.  Betty I know you like to see farm life pics ... he has made 9 paddocks into silage & has 234 bales so far.

Tomorrow is our first craft get-together for the year where we brainstorm & suggest ideas of things we would like to make during the year.  I made these felt gingerbread ornies while the Grandsons were here ... this is a free pattern from Here at Molly and Mama ... I could sit & handstitch them while still supervising the boys.  



Finally dear friends, it was with much sadness that I read of the passing of Mathew Perry late last year.  Although the Friends episodes were first aired in September 1994 it was sometime later that I discovered them.  I know alot of people didn't find the programme funny but I truly loved it ... lets just say it came along at a time in my life when there was not alot to laugh about & they did indeed make me laugh.   I grew to love each character & never had a favourite.  Here in New Zealand it is constantly being replayed & I know many of the story lines by heart now yet I still enjoy re-watching them. I had ordered this book at my Library & finally got to read it - gosh what an amazing story & written with so much honesty. It left me feeling really sad but I would still thoroughly recommend the book.  

Thank you dear friends, as always, for your ever-welcome visits here today,
Wishing you a wonderful week ahead - be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Love Julie & the furry three x0x0x





















Sunday, January 7, 2024

Two New Angels ........................................

Greetings lovely friends & readers

Two newly created Angels flew out of my Sewing Room over the festive season ... both Wendy Briggs of "Country Friends Designs" Angels (tho' Wendy is no longer designing patterns unfortunately)

It all started when my dear friend Sandy & I were exchanging little snippets of our Christmas decorating with each other via private messaging.

  Sandy sent me the photo above, of two of her Angels, both purchased from me when I was running my craft cottage & making & selling dolls.  I drooled over the image & when I saw Angel of Joy I thought to myself "Oh I do want one!"   💗
So I hunted out my pattern book & began to make my own Joy Angel.  She is from Wendy's book Season of Joy ....

As I have forgotten to take a photo I have borrowed this image from ebay

I was lucky enough to have everything I used already in my stash but I had to buy a fat quarter of the red felt as mine was too "purple-ish" & this was a nice Christmas Red.


Yes her hair actually Is whole cloves!!! Hence she smells rather divine.   Painted shoes - I mixed together some red & black paints to get the right brown/reddish shade.


The trickiest part (for me) was cutting out the hearts neatly in the bottom of her felt tunic.  

I have photographed her out on my deck table as our light is glary today & it's hard to get a decent photo inside the house. 


After I finished Angel of Joy, a couple of weeks prior to Christmas, I decided I would carry on & make another Wendy Briggs Angel ... this one is from the Homespun Magazine above which is dated July 2005 !! 
I have only had this pattern 18 & 1/2 years ... waiting to be made!!  She is called "Berry Christmas Angel".   I even bought the white Linen back then, second hand from the thrift store - it has almost yellowed with age !!  😲


I put the final stitch in her yesterday & I love her.  I have hung her from my old leadlight window frame & think she looks very happy there.  In the pattern Wendy has sprayed her entire Angel with a water/parisienne essence mixture to "tea-dye" her ... but I couldn't bear to do this to my pristine white girl. 

Instead of a felt star on her bodice, as the pattern suggests, I have sewn on this copper heart button - it was high time I used this as I purchased it a VeRy long time ago!  Her plum pudding is calico sewn, stuffed, painted white all over then the brown base painted on & embroidered with black french knots.  My "pudding" went missing for an entire day & I found it hidden under the spare room bed ... I am sure Little One had something to do with this tho' he denies it!


I used the same felt as I used for Joy Angel to trim her skirt, same colour painted shoes also.  


You can see in the pattern above left, that Wendy's version has her eyes looking downwards.  I did this initially but felt she looked too stern, too severe ... so I painted over the whites & then made her look heavenward.    Wendy's dolls are often inclined to have quite serious looking faces & I don't usually mind this, but I like her much more looking upwards.

I am in love with my two new Angels & can't quite bear to pack them away just yet so I have told them they can remain out for the rest of the month so long as they behave  😉



Beautiful sweet peas, picked this morning.  I am having to move any scented flowers outside when The Mr is home as he has Long Covid & anything fragrant makes him cough terribly.  

I thought I would share the Christmas Card Sid made me ... dear boy, he is growing up so very fast & will be 7 soon!


Alec & his lovely Mum Sarah are on a 3 day tramp on Mount Taranaki & sent this photo to my phone this morning.                       Look at that stunning mountain in the background - they are having wonderful weather. 


Earlier this week I made Banana Bread as our banana's ripen fast this hot weather.  I made two loaves & gifted one to my daughter in law.  They tasted delicious - this is such a nice, simple but moist recipe & keeps very well. 



Little One was most unwell an entire day last week.  I cried, fretted, prayed, & generally aged about 10 years in one day worrying over him.  The next day he'd bounced back right as rain & ran up a tree! He has taken up residence under my Tilda Dolls Cot as he thinks no-one can see him under here.  Little does he know that Ginger furry girl can sniff out anyone !!!  

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead dear friends - remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,
Thank you as always, for your ever-welcome visits here today,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry three x0x0x0