Sunday, October 25, 2015

Some Long Overdue Completions

Greetings dear friends & readers & Happy Sunday to you all

New Garden Sign hung up just last week   
After spending every spare moment in the garden before my group last weekend, it was lovely this week to catch my breath & spend some pleasant time in my sewing room

I had completely sold out of some items, though to be honest, I did not have great stocks of them to begin with.
The herbal mothball sachets (above) were one such item ... so I made another batch this week, then sewed & filled some muslin bags.
You can find the recipe for these at the bottom of this post here.

6 new golly teatowels waiting to be wrapped individually in cellophane
Likewise I noticed there were no golly teatowels left.
I try to keep a nice range of good quality teatowels in stock ready to applique when I need some fresh new ones.

When I made the Tilda Teacup Pincushions back here, I wasn't too sure how they would sell.
I was pleasantly surprised to notice there were only 2 left so, as I still had a good selection of china coffee cups on hand, I was able to put together some more.
I really love the way the gorgeous Tilda fabrics complement the dainty bone china.

My friend Gail bought some rubbish out which she had asked the Mr to toss in the burning hole we have at the farm.
This shelf was on the top of the bag of rubbish ready for burning.  I asked her if I might perhaps have it.
My original intention was to cover it with chicken mesh & plant with succulents but I realised the thin ply on the back would not last 5 minutes once watering began, so I pulled the back & the 2 shelves off the frame itself.

Again, my original intention was to paint the entire frame cream,  but by now, I quite liked the blue distressed look of the wood so decided to stay with it.
As removing the 2 shelves left marks on the frame inner I ran around it with some dark blue paint.
(Incidently I did not have any matching blue paint on hand, but was able to mix some bright blue poster paint that I had with black to get a shade that was "near enough")

I screwed in one of the hooks left over from this frame I did back here, then hung a $2 shop mason jar from the hook.
I teadyed some white lace to age it, then tied a bow & added a tag & a key to the jar.

The addition of some pip berries just seemed to complement the blue, but this vase could just as easily be filled with water & used for fresh flowers.
This item is going in my cottage for sale .  .  .  I am So happy I saved the frame from the burning hole.

These 2 cane doll cradles have sat in my sewing room since before time began !!!
(I cannot even remember where they originally came from)
Every single time I would tidy my sewing room, I would move them to the front of my desk with the intention to do something with them.
Then they would gradually get moved to the back & under a pile of stuff again.
And so it went on  .  .  .  .  until yesterday !!!

I pulled the old lace off them & gave them both a gentle wash.
Once dry, I glued fresh new lace & silk rosebuds to each cradle.
I made a mattress, pillow & a small lace quilt to fit each one.
Every thing I made was using up scraps of fabric & lace I already had in my stash.

The tiny dolls above were half naked in my junk drawer bits-n-pieces basket.
They too got a gentle wash & some dainty clothes made for them.

It was interesting that something I had been procrastinating about for many years a very long time, only took half a days work to turn into something so sweet & gorgeous.

Again these are going as stock for my Cottage .... I am thinking they would make a delightful gift for a wee girl.

I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead dearest friends & readers .  .  .
.  .  .  filled with lovely things,

Lastly, as you can see from the photo below, my attempts at re-training Pippy to not sleep on the table are not quite going according to plan . . .
. . . in fact my plans are going so off track, I now have two of them in the one basket to retrain !!!!

Thanks so much for popping by today friends,
with much love & friendship to you all,
Julie, Blackie & Pippy x0x0x0

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Craft Groups & a Revamp

Happy Saturday to you dear friends & readers
And Welcome to some new followers

My friend Gail had attempted to start up a small craft group when she closed her Shop earlier this year.
Unfortunately it was not really getting off the ground & she asked me to come along & offer some suggestions.

I suggested they try what Michelle's Kindred Heart Sisters Group do occasionally & that is, all bring along some craft supplies to share & then each one put their own special little stamp on it

This is the mottley odd looking selection we all came home with . . . it was clear this was going to be "an interesting one" !!!

First off, I decided to cut hearts out of the paper pieces & string them from an old mossy tree branch

I stitched the hearts in rows on my machine then tied them to the branch.
I stiffened (with pva) some of the crochet flowers & added these to one end then glued the butterfly to the other end

I printed off the words "flowers"  "butterflies" & "I love Spring" & strung these on coloured papers also
Then for the rest of the supplies, I decided to make a lavendar lady doll ... this idea was mainly to use up the soft sculpture face that was in amongst the bits & bobs.
She is made over an old knitting wool cone which I filled with dried lavender, then used the pipecleaners for arms, a peg for the neck & then I dressed her.  I stitched the beads & the buttons to cards to make her into a Pedlar Doll, then gave her a basket filled with her wares ... also adding the remaining buttons, pegs & frippery

An old piece of crochet lace became her shawl, & the remaining crochet flowers got tucked into her tin of wares beside her.

I thought you might like to see what the other girls came up with . . .
Gail made 3 items, the printed card she framed, then made a mermaid doll using the sculptured face & some silk flowers.   I loved the tray she painted & attached a bunting & the pegs & butterfly ... very shabby chic.

Sharlaine made a gorgeous wallhanging using all of her pieces up.  She dyed the pipecleaners to bend as twigs, made the cardstock into swing tags, used all the crochet/silk flowers & beads as flowers to fill her basket.  It was stunning.  The pegs were used up in the top of the actual hanger part but my photo has missed this out.

Liz painted her paper pieces black & made a canvas picture, then added embellishments to it using flowers, beads, buttons.
She also made a small "toilet roll person" using up the other left-over bits & bobs.

Joyce decorated a shabby chic frame with her bits & added extra butterflies.  She also decorated a hair band & a heart shaped box with crochet flowers, papercraft & other bits of bling.

Fay thought completely "outside the square" & chose to make a terrarium up using all her bits based on the theme of "a day at the beach".  She made characters using the pipecleaners & sculptured heads & added her own unique embellishments.
I thought it was fascinating how each one thought quite differently & came up with such a diverse range of end products.
It was actually a really enjoyable challenge.

This little wooden bowl-on-a-stand was in the $1 bin at the Op Shop.  At first my intention was to paint it & then make a big plump wool felt pincushion in the bowl part of it.
However, it was seeing it on my bench alongside the Fancy Feast Catfood tin that changed my mind about this somewhat.
I decided to add the tin to the centre of it & make a small size pincushion, leaving the outer rim for sewing supplies.
This was how it looked when I had painted both the stand & the tin, screwed the tin to the centre & was ready to line the outer rim with felt.

The tin is painted pale pink & also the lower base of the stand. The rest is painted cream & sanded to distress it.
The circle of baking paper was my "pattern"

This is the completed revamp.  I lined the outer circle with pink wool felt, then trimmed this with a pretty braid.  I made a pincushion in the (catfood) tin, then tied some sewing related embellishments to the stand.  

Really quite "tickled pink" with the finished result   :-)

I have had a large Garden Circle group to my Cottage today - the rain stayed away but the winds whirled around
The ladies had a lovely time in the shelter of my deck area having their morning tea.
The numbers grew from 15 (yesterday morn) to 29 today !!!!  
Bit Frazzled there by any chance Julie ????!!!

I will be off soon to find my jim-jams .... feeling rather tired.

I shall leave you with little Madam-butter-wouldn't-melt-in-your-mouth in the garden yesterday .  .  .
Just click on the photo to enlarge
.  .  .  . when I had just discovered she had dug up my miniature tulip bulbs.
Thanks So Very Much for your visit today dear friends,
Wishing you all a restful weekend doing just whatever makes you happy,
with much love & friendship,
Julie, Fat Black & Madam Pippi 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Giveaway Winner & Other bits . . .

Good Tuesday Afternoon dear friends & readers,
Last night I put all the names of the entries in the Spring Angel Giveaway into my old enamel teapot & the Mr drew out a name

The Spring Angel Giveaway Winner is . . .
Jenny of Elephantz

Congratulations Jenny -  The Spring Angel will be winging her way to you at the end of this week.
Thank You to all who took the time to enter this Giveaway
I was delighted with the response & the number of entries - Thank You all for taking part.
And a special thanks to dear Shane for putting it on her sidebar for me. 

Some nicer weather has arrived at long last & there have been many outdoor activities to catch up on

I waterblasted & have been re-staining all my wooden outdoor furniture ... I have had some unwanted "help" along the way & Miss pain in the Pippi is currently sporting the lovely spring shade of "Redwood" on all 4 feet !!!!
I was slightly speechless last weekend when some customers arrived while I was mid-stain & commented "oh those look nice, how much are you going to be selling those for ??!!"

With some birthday money last winter I ordered myself the book below written by Amy Sinibaldi from the lovely & inspiring blog nanacompany

Photo borrowed from Amy's blog
Though there has been minimal sewing recently, I managed to complete my first projects from the book last week.
  The Baby Bear Rattles .  .  .  One for Alec to test run & one for the Cottage

These were able to be made entirely from my scrap stash.  The rattle is encased in the head part & has a nice loud sound to it.
I am looking forward to trying some more projects from Amy's Book

The garden is finally bursting into life & there is much to be done as I tend to hibernate from it all over winter & then am often overwhelmed by how much I have to do come spring.
I took my camera for a wander this morning . . .
Fat Blackie photo bombing my picture.
I only planted this clematis last spring just before the Garden Ramble.

This Rhodo was gifted to me by my Aunt who is sadly no longer with us, so I call it Margs Rhodo.

I am so pleased this little succulent is finally growing down by the pond area.  I acquired this urn when I helped a friend shift house. It had a large chip on its rim but I liked the shape of it & visualised it lying down with something growing/spilling out of it.  Before it became established, 9 out of 10 times ... the Garden Circle ladies would stand it up & then tell me "oh I stood your pot up over there, it had fallen over" !!!  Umm Thanks .... I think !!!???

The bluebells & the mauve blue-bells (??) are flowering away happily by the Cottage Garden.

The cherry blossom trees (prunus awanui) that have not been bashed by the wind are in full bloom & providing a wonderful home for the Tuis & other birdlife that live here.

On a sad note, we lost a beautiful girl last week .... my eldest son & his wife had to make the difficult decision to have their beautiful girl Mina put to sleep

Mina was my first ever fur-granchild & she was adorable - she lived a wonderful life with Aaron & Sarah & 3 other female dogs of different breeds ... plus 1 cat & numerous hens.

She would have turned 9 this month, which is a great age for dogs of this breed

Rest in Peace beautiful girl
You melted the hearts of everyone who ever met you.

Thanks so much for your visit today dear friends,
While the sun is still shining I am off to weed some more round the pond area.
I hope the rest of the week is kind to you all,
with much love & friendship,
Julie x0x0x