Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Lightening dull corners . . . . . harvesting Vegies

Good Tuesday Evening to you dear friends & readers  
A Special Welcome to all the new friends & readers that have stopped by recently

Sometimes when the Christmas decorations are packed away, the house can seem rather bare & things look a little shabby to me
This time of year I like to make an attempt to lighten things up a little bit & perhaps titivate some dark corners
A vase of freshly picked flowers from the garden will always bring a dull corner to life ...

Red Alstromerias & white Penstemons

I was given a $30 Bunnings Voucher for Christmas so off I trotted to buy myself a new rake to work on shifting my piles of mulch .
While in there I couldn't resist the beautifully healthy maidenhair ferns on sale so my Voucher purchased one of those also

Just perfect to sit in my old red ceramic duck planter .  .  .

.  .  .  & cheer up the fireplace hearth area

My Mums elderly friend Margaret is going voluntarily into Resthome care.
She had been sorting the piles of bits & bobs that 90+ years of acquiring & gathering brings !!
Mum bought me up a large plastic bag of goodies from Margaret.
To be honest, much of it was rubbish unusable but I did find these two vintage brooches & gorgeous old triple string of beads that Margaret had thought I could sell in my Cottage.
I made two little brooch pillows from some brushed velveteen to display the brooches on - & the necklace changed colour after a gentle soak in warm suds

At the very bottom of the plastic bag was this crumpled up piece of fabric that someone had intricately appliqued a Holly Hobbie girl onto.
I LoVeD her.
I decided to frame her using some of the oddments of vintage cotton laces that were in the bag.

Then I made her up into a tightly stuffed pillow - perhaps to sit on a bed or a bedroom chair

I just adore Holly Hobbie - she takes me right back to my childhood.

Well dear friends, all that worm juice/tea has been sure working its magic on my vegetable garden lately
We enjoy garden salads most nights & I have had some late season brassicas ready to pick also

The Mr & I both really love broccoli - it is MY favourite vegetable of all of them really

Though I have more young baby beets growing, I was able to cook up a batch of early ones last week for us to enjoy
The photo below shows just some of what I harvested over the weekend

The Mr is away today & will not arrive home until the wee small hours.
He has travelled to the other side of the Island to collect a (new) 2nd-hand mower to cut hay & silage at the farm.
The house is quiet as the 4 legged ones sleep & I am burning my new Eco Soy Candle - a gift from my Stepdaughter for Christmas
The fragrance is French Vanilla & the house smells rather heavenly ....

The beautifully gift boxed candle came with this little verse inside it . . .
"from birth to death
our entire lives have
a soundtrack written in scent.
One note of a half forgotten fragrance
is enough to place us at the
heart of every moment
we've ever

How very true ... I think the french vanilla fragrance is taking me back to Mums baking days & coming home from school to the house fragrant with delicious mouth-watering smells.
My Mum used to do the most wonderful baking.

Goodnight from me dear friends & readers
& Goodnight from the furry ones below
Wishing you the sweetest of dreams .  .  .
Thanks SO much for your visits here this late summers evening
with much love & friendship to you All,
Julie, Pippi & Blackie  x0x0x0

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Happy New Year

Greetings dear friends & readers & welcome to a bright, shiny New Year !!
Lets hope 2017 is kind to us all

I was not sorry to close the door on last year but I Am thankful for a fresh new year & the chance to maybe do some things a little differently ...
I would like to borrow a comment my dear friend Willie left on a blog that I felt summed it all up rather perfectly  . . .
"we spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives ... not looking for flaws but for potential."  Ellen Goodman

I loved this Jar idea above, & shall certainly be giving this a go for 2017 !!
With a new grandchild due in March there is much to look forward to & feel positive about this year.

Mum has gone home now & the decorations have been packed away both inside the house & the Cottage.
We had a lovely Christmas shared with various members of our family at different times.
I loved sharing it with a small blue eyed boy who just adores a large purple creature named Barney & who was simply delighted with the sandpit his Mummy & Daddy built for him
AND with the yellow tip truck his Granny & great Granny bought for him (from the SPCA Op Shop!!)

Dear Alec you bring me so much pleasure & joy

Danielle Hawkins is an author who lives in a small rural township not too far from us.
She also works part-time as a large animal Vet & just happens to be the Vet that The Mr uses at the farm.
He came home late last year after having had the cows pregnancy tested, & informed me he had 
"bought my christmas gift for this year"
I knew Danielle was working on another book so it wasn't difficult to work out what this might possibly be.
Imagine my surprise 3 days later when I walk outside thinking I had a customer, to see Danielle in person walking up the driveway with her new book tucked under her arm !!!

The Pretty Delicious Cafe is her 3rd book ... I have read mine already (yes - I know !!) & thoroughly enjoyed it, just as I knew I would.
I LoVe Danielle's writing & after sitting chatting to her I can honestly report, she is a lovely friendly, very down-to-earth person with a great sense of humour.

In the lead-up to Christmas - when I should have been concentrating on my orders - I decided I wanted to make myself a Tilda Tree just like the ones I made here
I had purchased a larger size rustic pot & traced off the largest tree pattern ...  I wanted it NOT to be Christmassy, but something I could leave up all year round.

After walking past it for a few days (as I tend to do ...) I decided it needed some small cream bells hanging from the branches !!
A quick google search took me to an etsy shop that had the exact cream bells I wanted for the princely sum of $3.50 for a packet of 6 !!
Just Perfect !!!
However ... when I went to purchase the bag of bells, etsy promptly informed me it would cost me $28.87c to post the teeny tiny package ALL the way to New Zealand !!
I don't think so somehow !!!
Time for Plan B ... whatever that might be ???!!!

I found a rusty tin heart & spray painted that cream instead . . . .
.  .  .  .  which will suffice until such time as I can be bothered painting fiddly bells myself !!

Well dear friends - it is hot out today but there is a gentle breeze blowing through our deck area - Miss Pippi is asleep in her banana box & Blackie is in the cool of the wood shed

Happy New Year & all that kerfuffle !!!!

I am off to try this delightful tea that my stepson gifted me for Christmas . . . black rose tea which looks rather like potpourri but smells delicious

Thanks so much for stopping by today
with much love & friendship to you ALL
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0x

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Wonderful Adventures of a little Lamb named Baa

Wednesday Greetings dear friends & readers
(or is it Tuesday still I have to ask myself ??!!)

Quite sometime ago, through the wonderful blogging community, I came across a lovely blog about a little woolly lamb named Baa & his amazing adventures.
Through this blog The Mother & I corresponded off & on for a couple of years ....  until last week she mentioned they would like to do a roadtrip & come to visit me here at Threadbear Cottage

How Very exciting !!!

They arrived last Saturday .... The Mother (Karen), Miss H (Hannah) & of course - Baa

I put on morning tea for all of us . . . goodness me, we chatted & chatted & chatted . . . & suddenly, 3 hours had gone by in the blink of an eye !!
Baa was very patient while we chatted endlessly . . . & then Hannah took some photos of him around my garden & cottage

Baa on my newly painted wrought iron table/chairs

You can read Hannah's wonderful posts about their visit here & here

They very kindly & generously came bearing gifts .  .  .

.  .  . wonderful Op shop treasures .  .  .

.  .  .  & handmade gifts as well  .  .  .
The cutest EVER christmas tree decorations !!
Thank you SO much Karen, Hannah & Baa for a most enjoyable day, for travelling all the way to visit,  & a lovely friendship made.

The Mr has been milking lately so I get up early when he goes & try to work through the never ending list of jobs still to be done.
Yesterday morning I made another batch of soy candles in my kitchen as the sun came up ...
I must admit I am making many mistakes lately - 3 of this batch cracked & sunk in the middle. 
I ended up re-melting them down & starting again.  These are going as gifts for family members.

Thankfully my baking has been a little more successful . . .

As the sewing machine is not getting such a work-out lately, the two 4-legged members of the household have taken up residence on my work table.  I am not too certain that Miss Pippi's position was comfy but she did stay there all night long !!

This will be my last post before Christmas, probably for the Year.
I would like to wish you all a wonderful happy & safe Festive Season & may the coming year be good & kind to all of us.

My Christmas Gift to myself ....... this very old vintage typewriter that still works !!!
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you with all my heart for the time you take to come & visit with me here on my blog & also the ones that leave me comments . . . it honestly means so very much to me & makes me realise that I am not just talking to myself as The Mr always assures me I am !!!
See you all again next year !!
With much love & friendship to you ALL
Julie, Blackie & Miss Pippi

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Last Orders please

December Greetings dear friends & readers,
What I had hoped would be a gentle finishing up of all my orders just as December rolled around, is proving to be more of a mad, crazy dash to the finish line - holding my breath the whole way !!!

After I made the Tilda Angels in this post my friend Sally emailed me to ask she could purchase the grey one please.
She had indeed sold, but I had just enough of that particular Tilda fabric to make one more.
When Sally collected her & sent me a photo to show her hanging in her new home, I must admit I went a rather vivid shade of  "green with envy" !!!

This was the shelf (below) that Sally had upcycled in this post here  
 The shelf had originally been a throw out from her sister Jane

(photo borrowed from Sally's blog)
Sally had cleverly found an old vintage frame & hung her angel in the frame from one of the hooks she had added to the upcycled shelf
I did email Sally & warn her that should the frame & Angel go missing anytime, they may very well be at my house !!!!
She is one verrry creative lady that Sal . . . 

Margaret came out to the Cottage one day clutching an unusual handtowel that had been gifted her awhile ago & that she had found most useful over her oven door handle.
Although I forgot to take a photo of Margarets original one, I was able to construct a pattern & sew some up for her

She decided she would like a dozen made for Christmas gifts for all her family
(Seriously Margaret ????   Twelve ???)
Margarets instructions regarding colours were "nothing too bright or gaudy, a few beige/cream colours & definately one purple!!"
(Margaret has a purple-loving daughter whom I have sewed for before)

This year I struggled to find nice handtowels to work with, so where I had to resort to the plainer ones, I added a band of the matching fabric to try to tizzy it up a little ........

Margaret was delighted when she came to collect her order & I was rather relieved they were all done !!!

My lovely friend Kerryn from here sent me a surprise package in the post
In amongst the treasures that Kerryn so generously sent, this Rosalie Dekker angel pattern & wooden wings made my heart skip a beat (or two) . . .
. . . . so much so in fact, that I promptly swept all my orders aside & began to make the dolly !!
Although she is called Linen Angel, I decided to name my girl Holly ... as I had put this gorgeous fat 1/4 of christmas fabric aside & realised it would be just perfect for her
Her linen bloomers were from an old op shop pair of ladies linen trousers
She sat with no embellishments for a few days while I walked past her, trying to decide how to finish her off
A friend called out with a christmas cupcake adorned with the teeniest artificial holly sprig .  .  .

.  .  .  needless to say the cupcake was rapidly gobbled up & the sprig was just perfect for Holly's hair !!

Thank You So much Kerryn for your kindness & thoughtfullness.

Some simple christmas decorating has been taking place at Threadbear & the tree is finally up . . .

I love bringing out my handmade treasures each December & remembering friends that gifted them to me . . .

In between our constant rain showers, I was able to toss some paint on my wrought iron table & chairs . . . after 18 years of standing outside they were looking rather worse for wear, but two test pots of Resene Hot Chilli & they were soon spruced up again  .  .  .

My friend Maria from Cupcakes and Bunting is running a Christmas Quiz over on her facebook page
If you belong to the facebook community please go over & have a look . . . you only have to like or share to be in to enter the wonderful giftbasket that Maria is putting together 

 Well dear friends, while my pain in the sewing assistant is happily asleep in Blackies basket I shall attempt to complete my last order for the year

Thank you so much for your visits today & I hope the coming week is good & kind to all of you
Take care of yourselves & of each other
With much love & friendship
Julie  & the furry ones x0x0x