Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christine's Christmas Orders (x 2)

Weekend Greetings dearest friends & readers,

I have finished the last of my Christmas Orders (phew!!) & just have some grandson sewing left to complete.
This Pincushion Angel flew all the way to Northland to a customer  -  "Christine 1".

 She had seen one I had made for her cousin & requested exactly the same please.
The pattern is called Pincushion Angel by Kerryanne English of Shabby Art boutique 
 Christine requested linen & a "very neutral palette"

When my lovely local friend "Christine 2" saw the photos of the Christmas bears I made in this post she asked if there was any chance I could make her a boy Santa bear?

As luck would have it, I had one body left .... Christine wanted it as near as possible to the previous one so thankfully, I had enough of the dark red fleece left over

My favourite part of making these little guys .... making & filling the Santa sacks !!! 😊💛

I enjoy fossicking through my crafty bits & bobs to find an assortment of stocking fillers

I have made so many Christmas decorations for Chris now that I always feel confident she will love what I come up with.

Her 2nd request was for some miniature Santa hats in particular colourways (white/black trim .... cream/fawn trim) to adorn a collection of miniature teddies AND .  .  .  .
an assortment of candy canes & Santa sacks to tuck into the hands of a bear collection that she uses in her christmas decorating

Chris has tried using other "themes" in her christmas decor but always seems to come back to the country style.

It is interesting that I took the above photo because when Chris came to collect her order there was One white Hat Missing !!!  To this date, it has NoT been found & I sewed up another one yesterday ..... but I think it fair to add that a certain ginger 4-legged being was looking decidedly guilty !!!!!
And I imagine when Christmas is Over ... I just might find it tucked away somewhere !!!

I spent a pleasant evening painting calico candy canes at my dining table - I like to mask the stripes first as I seem to make a right mess of them if I don't !!

I think these turned out so sweet, I am hoping to make more of them next Christmas to sell as tree decorations.

Maureen asked me if I could make her a pair of oven mitts in Kiwiana fabrics, preferably blues & greens please.
I knew I had some pukeko fabric left & luckily had just enough to make her a set - I used heat resistent wadding on the insides.
Maureen was delighted when she collected them ...... but I think it would be fair to say - with the hours they took me to make - I never wish to make another set again !!!

There has been a bit of Christmas decorating going on here at Threadbear

The Mr & I put the tree up last weekend & I decorated it
This year - instead of putting the fairy up on top of the tree .... we decided to leave her underneath !!!!

Each Christmas I buy myself one new special decoration - just something small & inexpensive to add to my collection.
This sweet little tin Angel came home with me from The Hummingbird last week when I went there for coffee with 
a dear friend who was staying. 
She sits on my egg box in the kitchen, watches over me & makes me smile !!

Lastly dear friends, I just wanted to share these 2 photos of my delightful grandsons ......
I LoVe 💝 this one of Alec decorating the Christmas tree & think it would look perfect on a card . . . .

 Last week I looked after beautiful Sid while his parents attended a funeral .... he loves to sit in my kitchen enjoying a gingernut biscuit .... I call him the gingernut kid !!

Thanks So very much for staying with me through this lengthy post.
I hope the lead up to Christmas is going well for you all.
Remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Friday, December 1, 2017

A Catch-Up Post

Friday Greetings dear friends & readers,
The Mr asks me every morning what are my plans for the day .... this morning was no different.
"I hope to finish up a couple of orders & then I am going to do a blog post before the month ends" I said
"Well I hate to burst your bubble" he replied "but today IS the 1st of December"
No!!  Surely Not!! Where on earth did November disappear to ?? 
The past almost-three-weeks have gone in the blink of an eye !!
Mum came up for her sister's funeral along with my brother & his wife - Mum stayed on a few extra days to catch up with grandsons & great grandsons .  .  .  .
Mum with her great-grandson Alec
Mum with her great grandson Sid

.  .  .  .  & then I took her home again & stayed on for a few days.

 Although we were only 10 days out from the official first week of summer - there was snow on Mt Taranaki & I was glad I tossed in a pair of sweatpants to take with me.

My sister-in-law bought a chair squab up with her & asked me to cover it in anything blue please
Miss Pippi very kindly assisted me by falling asleep on it to give it a good press & save me the bother of having to iron the fabric !!

There have been several Orders crossed off on my list but still more are appearing .... 
My sister in law has 2 young friends having babies & asked me for a pink & a blue wool blanket softie to gift to them
 I embroider their faces so there is nothing chewable on them & they are fully machine washable

 These felt mice in stockings were for an order to be sent to the U.K. before the overseas post closed at the end of November.
I took them to Mums & managed to finish them - they are 100% handstitched, & I am now working on another 6 for the Cottage.

 My friend Pru was cleaning out a cupboard & found this piece of raw silk that she had done some silk ribbon embroidery on many years ago ... she asked if I could make it into something to gift to her daughters in law

 I was able to stitch up a decent size lavender bag for each girl & fill it with my homegrown lavender.

Last December Carol inquired whether I could make her a Santa the same as her niece had bought from me.
 The pattern is called Prim Olde Santa & is a design by Kerry Daly of Primitive Country Treasures
 Unfortunately, as it was mid December, I simply ran out of time but I remembered about her request & rang recently to inquire if she would still like one?
He is a beautiful Santa & one of my all-time favourites - I just love every single thing about him & even though he is alot of work, next year I hope to actually make one for myself !!

 I was pleased to be able to give it to Carol early so she could enjoy him for the whole of the festive season.

When my neighbour Leah gifted me all the junk treasures left over from her Garage Sale a plastic bag of candles was in amongst it all.
I wanted to do something with the candles as they were still in new condition.

 I found some old music pages in my sleepout & wrapped this around them, then added some cotton lace to each set.

 I tucked a vintage image into each candle bundle, then tied them up securely with some cream tulle, lace & pearl trim

I had a customer yesterday say to me "these are just gorgeous .... what do you do with them ??!!  
So I told her .................... you sit them there & they look pretty & you enjoy them! 😉 
Or you can burn them ...... or you could gift them !!

Lastly dear friends, I have recently joined Instagram.
A couple of  local makers & myself are having a little giveaway which will be drawn this Sunday evening
The prize consists of a Christmas top, a NZ print & my felt mice - all handmade by local artists.

This is entirely free to enter so just pop along to the link *here* if you would like a chance to go in the draw.

Thanks So Much for staying with me through this lengthy catch up post.
I wish you all a great weekend ahead & hope it is filled with special moments,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Monday, November 13, 2017

Teddy Bears & Craft Fairs .............................

Monday Greetings dear friends & readers

Exactly a week ago I tidied up my sewing room & covered up my machine ... I decided I wasn't going to make any more stock for my Christmas Craft stall
Right after making that decision I noticed an old box way up high on the top shelf 
An inspection inside the box revealed two vintage bears - given to me by my friend Gail a Very Long time ago as she no longer wanted them .... they had been part of a collection of handmade vintage bears she used to stock in her Gift Shop many years ago

I studied this one for awhile & decided I might be able to do something christmassy with "him" perhaps??
To begin I made him some pants, then a coat & matching Santa hat using some deep red coloured fleece I already had in stock

The wadding style fabric I used to trim his coat & pants was white but a quick dunk in parisian essence soon turned it the nice vintagey cream shade I was hoping for

Next I made him a bag using a panel of lovely Santa fabric I had in my stash - I sewed the bag to his hands
It was at this point that I realised he was probably going to be a "hanging Santa bear" to get the full effect of his Santa sack which I planned to fill with goodies

I gathered some goodies to put in the bag

If you were ever to pop in to visit me unexpectedly,  this is what you might find on my dining table ... I decided the wooden golly needed some hair & the merry christmas sign needed to be attached to a black stick !
Painting the golly hair with PVA glue so it sits upright !!!

I like my Santa Sacks to be stuffed really full

I was thrilled with how "he" turned out .... but thought he looked lonely, so I decided to make the other vintage bear (pictured below) into a "Mrs Santa's helper" !!

I sewed her a dress using the same deep red fleece & tea dyed more wadding for her trims

I have NO idea what Miss Pippi was doing here but I think its safe to say, she was Not checking my sewing !!!

I found part of a broken felt christmas swag which just seemed to sit perfectly in her hands .  .  .  .
Isn't it a GOOD thing I keep all these old junk broken bits & bobs for use "one day" !!??
.  .  .  . & then a sweet Boyds Bear brooch at her neck - I gave her a bow in the same fabric as "his" pants

Don't they make a great couple ???
(& they were my very first sale at the craft fair on Saturday)

The Christmas Craft Fair was a great success in that the rain stayed away & the crowds came out to shop.
Unfortunately the wind was so strong I witnessed a couple of gazebos get blown over!
It made it impossible to do any nice displays & instead I just plonked my work down & hoped for the best!!
A great deal of the day was spent retrieving things that blew to the ground!!
I have borrowed the photo below from the i-site website ... you can click *here* for more photos from the day

My stall is the blue gazebo right by the arrow

My neighbour was the same as last years fair - my friend Julie from Bo and Co

Yesterday was spent sorting & tidying & repacking the Cottage
To be honest, today I feel more shattered than I did yesterday!!
I have family arriving to stay for a funeral in the Bay of Plenty later in the week & a house that currently resembles a bomb site!!!

And these two below .  .  .  . are no help whatsoever !!

Resting up after a busy weekend of .  .  .  .  .   resting up !!! 😻

Thanks So Very Much for your visits today dear friends,
I hope the coming week is filled with good things & great moments,
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Country Friends Angel & A Bowl of Gingers ..........................................................

Greetings dearest friends & folk
Welcome to another bright shiny new month
Exactly one week to go now until my local Christmas Craft Fair

 If you are in the area on the day, do pop by & say Hello ... I am site No 76
Lets hope for some fine weather for the day Please ..................... !!!!

This Country Friends Angel doll started her life quite sometime ago
I think it would be fair to say we are talking years here, rather than months !!
 Like many things here at Threadbear, she sat as a half completed dolly, wearing a pale blue floral skirt in the 
"one day pile"
(The pattern is called "Christmas Angel" & is an old design by Wendy Briggs of Country Friends)
When I came across her again I decided she should indeed be a Christmas Angel & so removed her blue skirt & made her one in christmas fabric instead ... bright red poinsettia fabric !

The original pale blue skirt

Though I have forgotten to take any photos as I progressed, I completed her but still felt something was missing ??
Perhaps she needed to be framed ??
I found an old "welcome" picture frame in my sleepout, removed the centre & then, with The Mr's help, stapled chicken mesh to the back of the frame ... she might look okay in this I thought

Yes she fitted perfectly but still .... something was missing ....
 I sewed a rusty star wreath to her hands then wound some berries around the wreath & hung a wooden folk art christmas decoration from it

I glued an old key to the frame & then I decided to add the christmas berry swag .... I think this just gave her that extra festive christmas zing somehow ....

I am thinking of including the blue skirt with her ... that way the red skirt, the wreath & the berry swag could be removed & she could stay out all year round in her frame wearing the blue skirt.
What do you think dear friends - would you do this ???

(The berry swag is wired to the frame .... so easily removed if necessary)

Another item in the "one day pile" was this plastic bag full of gingerbread men/women christmas decorations.
These had been purchased many years ago when I worked at the Gift Shop & would've been bought in the New Year sale when all the christmas stock was down to half price

I just loved their happy, smiley faces & had always planned to make up a small "gingerbread collection"
A friend had given me a cream porcelain bowl with a chip in the rim & I had put it aside for this very idea ....
Using Cottage Garden thread "waratah"  I stitched a small primitive pillow which I filled with crushed walnut shells 
I made some primitive candy canes & a calico gingerbread man shape which I painted with a strong coffee mixture ... he smelt delicious ... I coated him in a pva/water mix to stiffen him

All my bits & bobs fitted perfectly in my (chipped) bowl & I added some greenery, berries & a bundle of cinnamon sticks
I didn't have any gingerbread smelling oil so instead I sprinkled everything liberally with cinnamon oil

Lean in real close to your screens & take a big sniff !!
To say it smells divine would be an understatement !! 😊

A long time customer phoned to ask me if I would be at the craft fair this year & if so, would I have any golly teatowels for sale??
I realised I had not one single teatowel left in the Cottage so this week I managed to applique 6 golly teatowels & 6 angel ones

These items usually sell well for Christmas gifts

A small Christmas display created in the Cottage mid week

I was lucky enough yesterday to spend some time with my delightful grandson Alec ...

... who was so proud of the very colourful "worm" he created at daycare!!
Alec is now 2 1/2 & is talking very well - even his Granny can understand him now !!

Thanks So Very Much for your visits today dearest friends,
May your weekend be a happy & creative one
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x