Thursday, January 23, 2014

Angels ... & a Book about a Cat

Hello dear friends & readers

I noticed my angel wall in the Cottage was looking a little depleted lately - although they are not a huge seller, sometimes you can sell 1 or 2 & suddenly ... its looking rather empty
So I set about remedying the situation ... first up was my old favourite "friendship angel" from Rosalie Quinlan

You may perhaps recognise the dress fabric Catherine  ???

I especially loved her delicate little pearl bracelet on her wrist  :-)
I also made 2 other bodies so will endeavour to show you them as they "get their clothes on" ! ! !

Next up I decided to make some more angel magnets, but I thought I would use up some of my doiley offcuts for their dresses this time round

little ladies all lined up waiting for their wings & their hair  :-)
I like to try them on my fridge to make sure their magnets adhere well ...

Some of them have tin wings & the top 3 have wings made from stiffened lace scraps
(I once made a dozen of these for a lady going overseas & she sent me a postcard from Chile to tell me my angels were "flying all over the world" - she used them as hostess gifts)

Although it is mid summer here, we have had all 4 seasons this past week ... on the nice sunshiney days you get to do chores like this ...

One poor ol' ted is hanging by his foot as he has no ears to peg on to !!!!!

On those off days when you are feeling just a tad grumpy & out of sorts with the world in general (or perhaps with The Mr!!!) I have discovered a bit of a tonic . . . 

I have discovered - quite by accident - that if you sit outside for a couple of hours in the fresh air & the sunshine rubbing lavender stalks, &... (as an added bonus) ... listening to Fleetwood Mac at quite a high volume . . .  

not only do you end up with much uplifted spirits & enhanced mood (or "high as a kite" as The Mr informed me!!!) ... 
but my friends . . . 

you also end up with a lovely big bowl full of lavendar to use  :-)

My friend Lois had been on my mind alot lately & I remembered that it was coming up to the one-year anniversary of her sons death  - he died just a month short of his 30th birthday - so I decided to make a lavendar heart & pop in the post to surprise her

For some reason this years lavender crop seems very high in oil content - I noticed this in my rubbings - & the smell throughout the house is intense ... so I filled Lois's heart with it
Plus I filled the parcel post bag with bunches of rosemary (for remembrance) ... no wonder the man at the Postal Counter was looking at me oddly this morning when I handed it over !!!

I also completed an order for my dear old friend Margaret - she likes to keep a good stock of these padded coathangers on hand for gifts to give to her elderly friends in the retirement village

once again I used this years lavendar rubbings
Cleaning out a top cupboard I came across a bag of lightweight cotton gloves - Mum had given me these when Dad passed away (12 years ago now) ... & I had done nothing with them in all that time
Continuing on with my "prim theme" from last post I dunked them in a heavy parisian essence mixture & made up some primitive hand-to-heart little wallhangers

not sure what my Dad would think ... no doubt shaking his head & rolling his eyes !!!

I had been watching this late soldier-poppy seedling poke its head through in the old tin bucket where I grow my red begonias & when I saw it flowering just yesterday morning, I tried to capture it ...

Finally friends I wanted to share a special book with you ... I really enjoy it when fellow bloggers recommend books they have read ... & it has often lead me to either borrow them from my library, or purchase them myself.
When I gave my son Kayne this book 2 christmas's ago & he opened the parcel ... he actually, honestly thought I had mistakenly given him the wrong gift & that this was a book meant for a child

But he has read it, loved it, & last week returned it to me as I had mentioned I would like to re-read it ... it is truely the most delightful story & one I would thoroughly recommend

Kayne had just returned it to me & I had been thinking to myself that I must mention it on my blog when I came across this post from Betty ... in which she recommends the book also.
Phew I have sure prattled on this post & jumped all over the show ... apologies if I have lost you along the way  :-)
Wishing you sunshine & rainbows in your week dear friends & readers - thanks so much for your visit,
much love/hugs/friendship,
Julie x0x0x

Friday, January 10, 2014

A little bit of prim . . . just because . . .

Happy New Year to you all dear friends & readers

2013 was a real mixed year for us here at my threadbear life . . . we experienced some great highs . . . 

my eldest son got married in my garden in late November

and some real lows as well  . . . 

we had to say Goodbye to our dear friend Nero at Easter ... & I lost the big fat fluffy "floor rug" that I always had in my kitchen ... we still miss him a great deal
But that is the way it goes for us all . . . ups & downs & roundabouts  ...  as life ticks on through the seasons   . . . 

For some reason, even though it is mid summer here in our hemisphere, I have felt like doing winter projects ... wool blanket & felting projects ... (yes we have already established that I am a little odd & back-to-front!!))
 The Simply Vintage Magazine that I mentioned a couple of posts back had a few projects that had caught my eye ........

I very much liked this prim pear pincushion in mustard wool felt (a design by Debbie Lofgren for Little Stitches) 
I found an old pine wooden base that I had tucked away & stained it darker, then made the pincushion, crow & strawberry - the crow is just calico, painted black & then lightly sanded

Inspired by the finished article, I turned my attention to another project catching my eye ...  "Jack the Cat"
 (a design by Deborah Busby for Wooden Spool Designs) 

Although the pattern made Jack up at 26 cms tall, I decided to enlarge it & make him into a doorstop ... my Jack came out at 39 cms tall

I used part of an old grey army blanket I had & weighted him with half a broken brick (so he is rather a heavy chap) 
plus I decided to give him a more smiley mouth as I felt he looked a little grim in the pattern

And speaking of cats . . .  I have discovered a feral mother cat & her 2 kittens living under my cottage & have been feeding them ... the mother is very wild & hisses/spits at me but the kittens are still not quite sure about human beings ... one came skidding into the cottage yesterday morning when I was dusting ... "hellooo" I quietly said ... he looked at me & suddenly something in his brain went click as if he was saying "my mother told me not to talk to you" & away he skidded, off out the door
Oh I could watch them playing all day long ... I mentioned to the Mr the other day ... it wouldn't matter how grumpy you were feeling, to watch kittens playing must surely improve your mood ... until of course I discovered this just this morning ...

I couldn't figure out what on earth had hit my shrub until the Mr informed me he had seen the kittens playing & jumping in it when he left at 5 this morning to go to the farm !!!

"So umm, you didnt think to chase them away?" I asked him ??!!
"Oh it did cross my mind,  but they were having so much fun" he informed me !!!!!!!
I am hoping the little ratbags dont come back tonight & decide to "re-arrange" the opposite one 

The vege garden & our plum trees are offering lots of pickings at present

The plums are very tasty this year - for some reason, we seem to get a really good crop every alternate year 

I stood at the bench this morning making up some more of my herbal moth sachet mixture

You can find the recipe in this post here should you decide to make some up yourself

Just prior to christmas I sold the last Isabella Golly I had in the Cottage - I usually like to keep at least one in stock & also keep on hand a few of the painted face panels (which I paint myself)
I found one last face panel in my "Isabella box" but none of her cardies, which my Mum knits for me from 5-ply wool

I think Miss Pink Isabella is just delightful   :-)

I went ahead & made up the last face panel into a Golly,  left her without a cardy but gave her a nice lace doiley collar instead.  I havent done a pink Isabella for many years but had these dainty little ballet shoes which made me decide on this colour combination.

I hope you have found some creative time in your week dear friends - the weather here today is glorious but we have had lightning/thunderstorms &extremely strong winds as well this past week 

thanks as always for your welcome visits - wishing you all a wonderful 2014
much love & friendship
Julie x0x0x
(I am just off outside to try to resurrect my kitten damaged shrub!!!)