Friday, November 23, 2012

A mixed up post of this & that

Hello there friends & readers,
Welcome to some new followers & thankyou all for stopping by to read my ramblings :-)

I mentioned last post about some owl orders for my friend Sandy.
Sandys daughter Abby was leaving school & wanted to give a gift to the boarding house she had been in for the past few years
Earlier, Sandy had commissioned me to make a bunting
she had chosen a lovely Owl print fabric as Owls were the theme
of the boarding house

It turned out perfect  -- the words "School House"
with a heart "flag" in the middle of the two words
Unfortunately I didnt get a pic as it was so large.
Because the School House's colours are red, green & blue
      this tartan blanket made up into such lovely Owl doorstops 

& continuing the Owl theme was perfect

This distinguished looking chap was for a friends son
who lives up in Auckland
At the end of last week I had the most wonderful surprise
I had a visit from a blogging friend
who lives on the other side of the island & was over this way for a few days & took the time to come for a cuppa :-)
The very lovely Catherine & her husband Rob from here
it was so nice to meet up after corresponding lots
but the visit went by so fast & - as is usual -
I didnt get any photos + I thought of lots of things afterwards that I had wanted to share with her :-)
    Although we had'nt met in person before, it certainly felt like meeting up with an "old friend"  
that is one of the things I have enjoyed so much about blogging,
the friendships made. . .

A lovely lady contacted me via my blog to purchase one of my christmas stockings that I posted about 4 posts ago (Oct 20th)
I sent it off to her & now we have been corresponding
& she wrote the most wonderful post about it here on her blog
& so I have gathered a couple of new followers :-)
thanks so much Michelle for your thoughtfullness   
& it is this sharing of likeminded interests that I so love about the blogging community  
 big old suitcases filled with flowers to you all out there :-)

Yesterday in Hamilton I filled my last stall commitment for the year
I took part in the Hamilton Creative Fibre A.G.M. Open Day
It was another full on day - some stall snaps (sorry you must be sick of these)
I found myself positioned next to a lovely lady
who sold the most amazing soaps under the label -
cheeky monkey soaps
  It was really fun to be next to her & our combined stalls smelt so delicious with her soaps & my potpourris  
The guest speaker for the day was a lady called Priscilla Lowry
& her subject was "is it art or craft"
Gosh what a interesting speaker & some of her "art work" that she bought along to show was just mind boggling
she often has shows in galleries - this was her quilt
that depicted a journey she took along The Silk Road
The above is based on a full size quilt she made & then remade it in miniature version & mounted it in a recessed frame
the detailing in her work was exquisite!
A very fascinating speaker & she had us all mesmorised!
My friend Donna that I posted about back in October had been asked to speak about a spinning course she had done
Donna had received a scholarship to do this course earlier this year
I snapped some of her display items
spun fleeces from different wool types
PLEASE can I go home to live at Julies house!!??
    A teddy Donna had made from homespun fleece & then knitted
- I could've pinched this chap - I loved him :-)
Because I work mainly in fabric, then being around fibre & fleece takes me right out of my comfort zone
which I think is a good thing for us all to do from time to time 
& makes us think "outside the square" a bit more.

The garden has shown lots of growth this past week
Earlier pic above . . .  then about 10 days later below
lavendars coming into bloom
I planted a big patch this week with helichrysems & cornflowers
to be a picking garden for my potpourri
when I came to check next morning
most of it had been eaten off completely by the rabbits :-(
I was too busy ranting & raving to take any pics ! ! !

I commented to Catherine last week that our nights have still been extremely cold
& so normally, my pansies would've succumbed to mildew by now
It is odd to have them still flowering away - but so enjoyable

After my stall yesterday I had to collect my new D.L.E cards
from the Printers in Hamilton
The green one on the right is the old version
do you like the new "vintagey" version on the left???
If I told you of the hours of agonising over these & the headaches & the tears & the rants & raves . . .
you would either not believe me,   or lock me away  !!!!!
I tried to photograph the other side but my camera is having a "moment" so gave up  . . . 
Thanks again folks for taking the time to stop by & reading my posts  - a couple of Peles pics to finish off today. . . 

Matryoshka cushion image
embroidered heart detailing on cushion
note-books covered in vintage linens
    Have a lovely weekend out there - take good care everyone
Love/hugs/friendship, Julie Xoxo                

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Owl-ing, Angel-ing & Potpourri-ing ! ! !

Hello there friends & readers & new followers  :-)
It has been a busy week again & I am sure looking & feeling threadbear!!!
I had quite a few gaps in the cottage after the last couple of groups had done some christmas shopping
so it was time to focus & make some more stock
I decided to make some of my blanket owls

This pattern is a Cameron James design which makes up the small size owl
I then enlarged the pattern to make the bigger size
When I had stuffed it, & finished,  I thought "whats the use of that"
So I unpicked it, took out half the wadding & then filled it with wheat to be used as a doorstop

I am just about to finish 2 doorstop Owls made from a lovely tartan rug for an order for my friend Sandy
(photos of these next post)  

We got a couple of nice warm days sunshine this past week
& I took my sewing out onto the deck to enjoy the nicer weather
Mr Wolf likes to sit at my feet as I work out here
He likes me to put my foot on him as he sleeps

There is something quite comforting & repetitive about stitching away to the rise & fall of his breathing in the sunshine :-)
I made some angels - an old pattern of mine from many years ago
called Wee Lil Angels
I decided to make 2 christmas'sy ones

which I adorned with cinnamon sticks etc
& then 2 pretty ones    -     just because . . .

They have a "boxed" base filled with wheat so they sit really well

On Saturday I took part in a big craft fair at our local Rose Gardens
Te Awamutu is called the Rose Town of New Zealand
because we have spectacular rose gardens
I had booked this annual stall many months ago
the weather was sunny but wind kept whipping through & some gollies took a nose-dive a few times ! !
I remembered to take a few snaps of my stall

You can see my Owls sitting on my stall :-)
It was a HUGE day - up at 5 to get set up & then you are not allowed to pack up til after 3 
then get home & set it all up in the Cottage again
as I had a busload the next morning at 10 am
No wonder I am feeling slightly threadbear !!!

Next morning a lady from the bus group happened to ask me what would be my best seller in the cottage
"my homemade potpourri" I answered her
"Oh" she said "well thats simple, you just dry a few petals & biff them in a cellophane bag - no work required there"
this made me think after she had gone (& I had finished choking!!)
about how much time & energy I actually spend on my potpourri making process??!!
Now that the roses are in bloom I spend ages picking & drying the blooms, turning them each day as they dry

freshly de-headed roses ready for drying

sorting out the good ones, making the potpourri & then "curing" it & adding other dried flowers to the mix for colour,
  bagging it all up & making it look attractive   
Lucky I dont keep count of the hours involved
(cos I would probably be crying in the corner)

All for just $4.00 a bag ! ! ! 
I wish she would come back again -
(so I could tell her what I really think!!!***)
 I did laugh to myself as I followed the last group of ladies back to the bus - listening to their conversations. . . 
"did you see that huge fluffy dog inside" they said
(they often come inside to use the toilet)
"Oh he didnt even raise his head at me" said one
"I took his photo" said another "& he lifted his head, looked at me, then flopped it back down again" 

Help yourself to whatever you want ladies,  just dont disturb me!!!
You can just imagine !!!!
the great guard dog    :-(

Finally friends, a couple more of Peles photos from last week to share with you all . . . 
Image through the mirror of cottage

tea-dyed doiley cushions

Queenie & Claudia - felt gollies - made by me (a Lil Blokes pattern)
Wishing you all a wonderful rest of the week out there.
thanks so much for stopping by :-)
Julie Xoxo  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A week of this & that

Hello dear friends & readers,
Do hope you are all having a great weekend??
It has been a busy week of a mixed bunch of things.
At the beginning of the week I did some painting.
When we put our new kitchen in, we took out a doorway to give us room for a pantry.
We have lots of doorways into our house so one less wouldnt matter.
Nothing more had been done since & it was looking tatty along that side + some areas needed repairing & tidying up 
I set to last weekend as I knew I had a couple of groups due & wanted it a little more presentable
I ended up having to do 3 coats but it now looks far nicer
Hard to tell there was ever a door there now
 I then rescued some old plates from the back of a cupboard
(& gave them a new lease of life)
Plus moved a suitcase I had planted earlier on top of an old table which I treated to a fresh new piece of oilcloth underneath
Lobelia petunias & impatiens - growing slowly
      Really pleased with the end result
much fresher & cared for looking :-) 
I have also been working on reducing my rubbish heap
with lots of fires later at night
(we dont have rubbish collection out here)
nosey parkers
the other night I had a small audience! !

The busgroup that came on Thursday had planned to have their lunch in town in the Rose Gardens
But it was such a lovely day they asked to eat it here
A lovely bunch of ladies from Tauranga
I do love to share the garden - especially when the sun shines

I have also finished an order for my friend Donna (from 2 posts ago) who ordered some aprons for her gallery 
Her only request was that they be frilly, girly & lacey
     I cant decide if above or below is my favourite. . . 
  They arrived & Donna was very happy with them (phew~!!)
I do always agonise a bit over orders

Then on Friday my friend Claire -
(that I posted about back in August) 
called in on her way to Auckland to attend Calico Christmas
She bought 3 other lovely, lovely ladies with her
Sarah, Sandra & Lynley
we had a cuppa & a catch-up & a laugh
& they had a look in the cottage
As they were leaving Claire put a surprise package in my arms
then they drove off . . .
Ooohh my goodness . .  .  this looks interesting . .  .
 Inside was the MOST beautiful dolly
Plus some rusty bells, wax melts & a felt ornie
It took me all of 5 mins to find a home for her where I could see her & enjoy her
Thankyou Claire - I love her so much :-)
(I have named her Prim)

I had to go to Cambridge this week for a part for the tractor
for the Mr
I happened to park right outside this lovely shop (! !)
& made an impulse purchase (I very rarely do this)
But it was the words that I loved so much
& thought "I have just the place for this"
            it is actually painted on slats of wood
I have hung it by the entrance that I use all day long
so I can read it & remind myself
(today the Mr walked me outside & pointed to line 6 - "don't whine" ) point taken!!!
Even Mr Wolf was impressed with my purchase!!
Yes Mum you definately need to read Line 6 !!!

Finally friends, I am trying to revamp my DLE marketing cards
(it is proving to be a real headache)
I asked my friend Pele to take some proper photos for me to use for images on my cards
I was amazed at the detail that showed up in my work
compared to my funny ol' photography
Pele is a professional photographer & works under this label  
I love her little "verse" 
- Remember the moments that changed you -
Anyway I thought over the next few posts I would share with you
some of her photos of my craft work 
Soy candles in vintage cups
vintage gloves filled with lavendar
matryoshka angels in china bowl
dear little Isabella
I will share them with you over the coming posts
& you will all think I am taking very professional pics
at long last :-)

Wishing you all a happy & safe one out there folks