Sunday, March 25, 2018

Purses & Frames

Greetings dearest friends & readers,
I had to take my car for a warrant this past week - the young Garage Mechanic told me it would be about an hour 
so I had enough time to do a trawl of the local Op Shops.
I found some treasures !

Though I already had the black bag on the left, the other two vintage embroidered purses were such wonderful finds .... $5 each which I was happy to pay, at my local Hospice shop.
I now have the beginnings of a new collection of sorts !!

I have long admired the groupings of frames that you see on pinterest & have pinned some to my pinterest boards ....
 I love the stark simplicity of them.
When I helped my neighbour Leah with her garage sale last year I came away with some oddments of broken frames that she was going to toss out.

These two below were in the Habitat for Humanity Op Shop last week - one was $7, one was $5
 However they were both in the half price bin so I got the two for a mere $6.

When I came home & removed the glass & backing from the silver rose frame, it was actually broken in 3 areas .... the arrows show where the cracks are.  I didn't notice the cracks before as the tightly fitted backing was holding
 it all together
I quickly squeezed some glue into the cracks & hoped when I painted it I could disguise the joins

I spent a couple of pleasant days painting the assortment of frames out on my decking table - they each got 
about 3 coats.
I used chalk paint Vintage White, which can easily be applied to any surface, including the brassy metal frames
When I proudly showed the Mr my display his words were "well when are you going to put pictures in them then??"

I love my little frame display ... I have 7 so far but feel sure I will probably add to it

While I had the cream paint out my friend Gail commissioned me to paint a large shiny gold mirror for her

Here it is hanging back up in Gail's entrance way
A gentle scuff with fine sandpaper at the end & it turned out beautifully

My other completed Order this week was the two vintage barkcloth cushions below - a friend commissioned me to make them for her after seeing my own one
The pattern for these roundie cushions is from the Granny Chic book

The Mr has been away since VeRy early this morning - I got up & made my grandson Alec's favourite 
banana/white chocolate muffins, then went & spent the morning with him.

When I returned home I gave the house a "lick & a promise"  & decided to burn my new waxed melt .... 
"spiced pumpkin"

The whole house smells wonderful !

I had planned to spend the rest of the day sewing but it would seem that someone has other ideas & has taken up residence on my machine cover !
I may need to have a bit of a re think!

I hope the coming week is good & kind to all of you dear friends,
Thanks so much for your visits here today,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Creative Kind of Week

Greetings dear friends & readers,
It has been a crafty, creative kind of week here at Threadbear

On Monday I took the new-to-me frame that I wrote about in this post & made it into a display frame with 
some very old photos found in a box belonging to The Mr.
The 3rd one in from the left is actually a baby photo of the Mr himself!!

On Tuesday (& Wednesday) I finished a dolly I had started about a year ago now.
She is a Rosalie Dekker design ....  "Linen Angel"

I dressed her in Tilda fabrics & fussy cut a piece of vintage linen to make her a little heart - the porcelain rose adorning the heart is off an old broken brooch.

This wee Angel stands at just 25 cms tall & has wooden wings.
I am so pleased I finally finished her.
Each Thursday now I look after my youngest grandson Sid, for the day.
He is such a delight & loves his marmite toast fingers eaten in Granny's kitchen.

On Friday I got up early & drove to the other side of Hamilton city to attend a class at this delightful shop below
I purchased my Janome sewing machine from this shop so I receive their online newsletters.
When I saw a basic Learning to Quilt Class advertised I knew I wanted to attend.  When I rang to enrol I told the lady that I did not even know how to fit my machines walking foot!
I just wanted her to be quite clear that I would be the class dummy!

I really enjoyed the class but found it very intense.
Above are my samples of the different techniques we learnt in class.
My favourites are the two below .... flowers & fans .... I really enjoyed doing these 
as did the lovely lady sitting next to me.

When the Class finished at 3 pm & I walked back to my car, I noticed a Salvation Army Op shop just across from where I parked so I wandered in to have a browse.

This lovely glass pedestal stand was only $2 ... & even had the French Country Collection sticker still on it!
I had an idea for this stand  .   .   .   .

Though I purchased the cute wire cloche from The Hummingbird last year, I had never actually done anything with it!

I was growing a sweet little baby's tears plant in this china sugar bowl & thought the cloche might just fit over the top

And then the glass pedestal stand just gave it that little bit of height that it needed!
Perfect !

 Yesterday, Saturday, I was at the supermarket early purchasing goodies to make up some Gift Baskets for The Mr.
He is President of our local Moto Cross Club & each year they hold their annual prizegiving event.
They postponed their December event due to folks having so much on at that busy time of year,
 & re-scheduled it for today.  
The Gift Baskets are for the ladies that help out at each event with sign on, lap scoring, flag marshalling etc ... 
they do an awesome job.
You can see by my little collage above, that I had considerable trouble actually getting the goodies INTO the baskets themselves!
Due to a certain ginger helper who decided by the time I took the last photo, to actually lay down & have a wee sleep in the darned basket!
And Yes, I was tempted to toss some cellophane & ribbon around that particular basket & send it on its way!!

Finally last night, with no 4-legged helpers around,  I got them all finished!

Thanks so much for your visits today dear friends,
I hope you find some creative time in the coming week for yourselves,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Harvesting, Baking, Painting, Sewing, Reading

Greetings dearest friends & readers
Another week has rolled on by ..........
These pleasant autumn temperatures we are getting lately have been just wonderful for some harvesting here at Threadbear Cottage

I was gifted my Granny Smith Apple tree 4 years ago. The first year it bore no fruit, the 2nd year I picked 8 apples from it, the 3rd year I picked only 6!
Last winter every time I tossed citrus food around my fruit trees I would toss a generous handful around the Apple Tree.
This is the result . . . .

As the branches were so laden I picked all of the fruit last week - I did not bother counting them all!
I have been stewing & freezing apples galore - plus I took a large bag full down to our local Sharing Shed

Though my veggie garden looks a sorry sight & I am ready to empty it before my winter planting, it is still producing steadily .... tomatoes, capsicums & even the odd cucumber

I have been enjoying one of my all time favourite lunches, avocado, tomatoes & basil on toast with a generous dousing of black pepper

An old friend called in on her way north for a cuppa & a catch up.
She came bearing 2 pieces of Citrus Slice purchased from a cafe on her journey .... it was Sooo delicious &, as is normal for me, in the days that followed, I became fixated on citrus slice!
A quick google search & I managed to find a recipe that I felt closely resembled the one my friend had bought.
As I had some windfall oranges & lemons I baked a tray of the slice, which was indeed delicious with that real burst of citrus.
I used this recipe *here* if you would like to try it.

My friend Gail fell in love with the chair planter I made for her sister Joyce

She had a small wrought iron stool similar to the chair I had used, so I offered to paint it green for her, along with a small corner table she had .... once again Resene Amulet.

It is really enjoyable painting out on my deck area these early autumn days while the weather is no longer hot but still pleasant.

I have been asked to teach again this winter at a Rural Woman Craft Day ... you can read about the craft I taught last year in this post here
My instructions were to teach a handcraft that preferably could be made with no sewing machines, completed in approx 2 hours & something pleasant or appealing to "ladies of the older generation"

I struggled to come up with ideas this year but some time spent browsing Pinterest helped me quite a bit
 I decided upon these handstitched felt mice which I will be making into kits for the ladies

To stabilise them I filled the base with wheat, the top of their heads/facial area with wadding, but through the middle I filled them with dried lavender.
Needless to say they smell rather lovely! 

Jojo Moyes is most definately one of my favourite authors Ever.
I especially loved her series Me Before You & the follow up, After You
I was beside myself with excitement when I read she had written Book 3 in the series, Still Me, with more of Lou's adventures.
I can thoroughly recommend this book & once I had begun I could not put it down!

Thanks so much for your visits today dear friends,
I shall leave you with this photo of Blackie taken yesterday morning - I was late getting them their breakfast so he huffed off & caught his own!

He is looking annoyed in the photo, probably because Miss Pippi is on the path just to the left of the photo, doing star jumps!!  No doubt thinking the rabbit is all hers!!

Have a wonderful week ahead dear friends,
Be good & kind to yourselves & to each other,
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Sunday, March 4, 2018

One Golly, Two Cushions .................... & five Pumpkins!

Greetings dear friends & readers,
Goodness me ...... another shiny new month already !
- Welcome March -

Fay travelled over from Matamata when she heard I was closing my Cottage down as she wanted a golly for each of her grandchildren.
She bought her grandson the last remaining boy golly in my sale, but asked me if I would please make a girl golly for her grandaughter
Fays instructions were "a medium size girl golly, something bright & cheery"
 I knew exactly the pattern I would use ... Baby Annie Golly, by Angels in Disguise
Plus I already had the cheery red spot fabric that I thought would be perfect
In my sewing room I found this tiny teddy with a a stick up his jacksy - once I had removed the stick, he was perfect for a small toy to hold in Baby Annie's hand  

She is such a sweet pattern this girl & always makes me smile

I managed to finish the english paper pieced cushion that I wrote about in my last post

I made a button closure for the back & gave it a rather large size cushion inner ...... I like my cushions to be really plump & tightly stuffed

I felt deeply saddened when I read last month (on Instagram) of Rosalie Dekker's passing.  I had the immense pleasure of meeting Rosalie 7 years ago when my family paid for me to attend her stitching retreat at the base of Lake Taupo for my 50th birthday.

I remembered last week that we had stitched a redwork stitchery on handkerchief linen at one of her classes, so I hunted mine out.
Though it was complete I had never done anything with it. Rosalie had mounted hers on a canvas but I decided to make mine into a cushion (Yes another one!!)
I stitched a flange style cushion & once again, stuffed it with an oversized inner.
I remembered then that I had also completed a doll on my return from retreat ....a kit that came with our patterns to make a doll called Poppy

Poppys dress was also made using handkerchief linen ...... I removed her clothes & gently handwashed them to give her a freshen up
She now completes the little vignette on my two seater couch & NO Pippi .... this is Not a perfect resting spot for you!

One of the things I hoped to get to do this year was to attend the small crafty group that my friend Gail runs monthly ...... the numbers have dwindled to just 5 now & last year, I only managed to attend once.
Last Monday Gail decided "we" would make velvet pumpkins ...... it was a very pleasant morning indeed & at the end of it, I snapped a quick pic of all our pumpkin efforts

(Mine is the top left hand side one)
Though my photo doesn't do it justice, the velvet is actually a deep rich burgundy colour.

I love the feel of autumn in the air & took my morning tea out to the deck last Wednesday .... I had picked up my latest copy of Simply Vintage magazine as well as baked a Tan Finger Slice
Small treats but Oh So Very good for the soul !

After a summer of running around chasing each other, much hissing, spitting & bits of fur in the air ...... these two have decided they are friends again & have begun tucking up together in the evenings - another sure sign there is autumn in the air!
I love seeing them tucked up together - one part of each always has to be touching the other 
Though I often hear them running through the house about 4 in the morning (!!!), they generally will sleep like this for hours.

Thanks so much for your visits today dearest friends,
I hope the coming week is good & kind to you all
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Sometimes .............................. when the words won't come ..............................

Weekend Greetings dear friends & readers !

Over the past week & a bit I have sat down at my computer at least once every single day to write a blog post 
but the words just would not come out !
Perhaps I haven't done very much to write about I thought??!!
So I decided to load my photos on & then just make it up as I go along !

I had an order to make a bunting for my friend Vicky, whose daughter Sarah was turning 21
Vicky had No idea what she really wanted, but said Sarah very much loved nature & deer

I had an inkling that I had some deer print fabric in my stash & luckily, I was able to find it !

Vicky wanted the guests to be able to write on the back of the bunting flags as a momento of Sarah's 21st party 
 I found a black ultra fine Sharpie pen wrote perfectly on the linen fabric

I travelled to Tirau to meet up with kiwikid Sue .... my friend from Australia who had travelled over with her hubby to sort out her Mum's home.
Sue Very Kindly gifted me a beautiful selection of doilies & linens from her Mum .  .  .

.  .  . along with some gorgeous pieces of crystal which I love to use & not just tuck away in a cupboard
Thank You So Very Much Sue for your kindness & for thinking of me.

The very next day I picked a selection of dahlias from my garden & displayed in one of Sue's Mums Vases

I managed to complete a Tilda Teacup Angel which I had cut out & begun to sew almost a year ago 
quite some time ago now !!

She is so sweet & dainty & sits perfectly in a lovely handpainted cup, an Op Shop find from years ago

While cleaning & sorting out my bookcase I came across this oldish book from Cath Kidston "Patch" - which included the kit to make this dresden plate tote bag

I rang my lovely quilting friend Leeanne & she verbally talked me through the process of English Paper Piecing .  .  .  .  so I think it only fair to say she is to blame for my latest addiction !!

Instead of making it up into a tote bag I am going to make my panel into a cushion

My friend Carolyn & I took my grandson Sid to the swings at Kihikihi & popped into The Hummingbird for takeaway coffees
Some purchases just might have happened to come home with me

The gorgeous vintage frame & a tin of Hummingbird flowers 
And lastly, but by no means least, Miss Pippi reaffirmed her place as resident Princess of the House by taking up sleeping on my beautiful Angel Story Quilt & gorgeous Crabapple Hill cushion, gifted to me by Leeanne

Despite me setting up numerous other tempting sleeping spots around the lounge .... she remains unmoved!
Little Madam!

Thanks for your always welcome visits today dear friends,
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend,
With much love & friendship to you All,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x