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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

1 Santa, 10 Hats, 1 (naughty) Cat

Greetings dear friends & readers
It is that time of year again when the run up to Christmas involves everyone wanting their orders completed . . .
I have been sewing so much I am sure there was smoke coming off my machine yesterday !!!

After I made the black/cream doll & the black/cream teddy bears for my lovely friend Christine, she asked me if I could possibly make a large Rustic Santa in the same colourway.
Thankfully I had made 2 bodies when I made my last Rustic Santa so all I had left to do was make Santa's clothing

Anything that I felt was too whitish got dunked in tea-dye to colour it a rich cream tone.
Next came my favourite part -  the embellishing . . .
Christine had asked for this Santa to Not have the ragdoll that the pattern provides ... instead she would like something else tucked under his arm please  ??

Now bearing in mind that Christine is a mad keen teddybear collector, when I came across these 3 in my stash, they seemed to foot the bill perfectly 

As I was unable to find any christmassy fabric in the black/cream colourway I patchworked a stocking using what fabrics I had on hand.
Then I filled the stocking with the 2 smallest bears, some cinnamon sticks & greenery

For the fluffy teddy I made a black/cream bowtie & a Santa hat in the same tonings

I also stitched a large rusty bell to Santa's hand

I thought this colourway was really quite striking ... when he was hanging up in my Cottage behind the counter for 3 days, I could've easily taken 2 more orders for him !!

In the midst of making Santa, I got a phone call from Christine, who had begun her christmas decorating.
Could you please also make me 5 black Santa hats & 5 white ones for my bears ??
As I had the fabrics on hand, these were no problem to run up. 
When I hand delivered them along with Santa, I got to "test run" a couple of them while Chris made us a coffee  .  .  .

I just love visiting Christines beautiful home & especially at Christmas when she decorates the entire two stories . . .

See what I mean about "mad keen bear collector"

I LoVe this vignette above

The photos I have shown are just a teeny tiny portion of only two rooms ... it is a wondrous sight to behold
You can read more about Christines Christmas House in this post from last year

Miss Pippi does not like it one bit when the sewing machine gets more attention than she does.
Early this week I heard an unusual banging noise & upon investigation, she was under one of my cabinets with 
"a wee (dead) friend"

Truth be told, I think it is Blackie that catches the birds, then leaves them & she brings them inside to play with a little longer & try to pretend it was her hunting skills that caught them originally

As you can imagine there were feathers galore to clean up !!
But as with all naughty children rascals, when you see them sleeping you can quite easily forgive them any naughtiness that may have happened

Bless their little souls.

Thank you for your visit today dear friends, it was so lovely to have you pop by,
I hope the lead up to Christmas is going okay for you all,
Remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Friday, November 18, 2016

Craft Fairs and Teddy Bears

Friday Greetings dear friends & readers,

The Craft Fair last Saturday was somewhat of a wet & windy affair

I have pinched borrowed this photo from the I-site website & it shows the rather damp conditions.
That is my stall under the blue gazebo where the arrow is pointing.
I only got to snap a couple of pics of my stall & now that I look at them, I see lots of my crafts had blown over

Because I generally only do this one stall per year, I am rather ill-equipped for outdoor markets
I just use The Mr's Moto X gazebo which doesn't have any sides ... I think in hindsight, I would've been better with sides - they would've given me alot more protection from the elements

Though we only had one real wetting shower come through, the wind was constant all day long & lots of things blew over or hit the ground
I must confess .  .  .   it felt like a rather loonng day.
On a positive note, thanks to Sue who came over from Hamilton to say Hi, to Amanda who came all the way from Patetonga to collect an order from me, & also to all the people that stopped by to purchase or to say Hello !!
It is always a great opportunity to catch up with customers both old & new.
Amanda purchased a rustic Angel doll from me & sent me a gorgeous photo of her happily hanging in her beautiful new Home.

My neighbour at the Fair was an old friend Julie ... who is currently running a business with her daughter Bridget called "Bo and Co" ... sewing beautiful girls clothing

You can read a wonderful interview about the girls new venture here at Cupcakes and Bunting
Many thanks must go to Julie for coming to help me so many times when my creations hit the ground !!!
One of my happy memories of the Fair is of an older gentleman leisurely browsing at all my crafts who took the time to tell me "you have a real vintage country look to all your work"
His compliment made my day.

The night before the Fair I managed to hastily put the last stitch in these little fabric trees ... 
a pattern from my Tilda book "Homemade & Happy"
Though I had purchased the rustic pots a year ago, I had never done anything with them
I used up some of my Lynette Anderson fabrics for the trees & the trunks are made using actual tree branches

I did sell the red one & hope to make some more of these - perhaps using some Tilda fabrics

When I completed the black/cream doll for my friend Christine back in this post she asked me if I could please make her two teddy bears in the same black/cream colourways.
The pattern Christine wanted was an old Teddyworks design called Simple Simon.
It had been many years since I had made this pattern up & I must admit I had kinda lost my confidence a little bit along the way .... as you do
Two pair of pants, two bodies/heads & arms & legs ready to be assembled
This pattern is most unusual in that you make a calico body weighted with pellets, then joint the fur head to this.
You then make the arms & legs from fur & these get inserted/stitched into the clothing at the finish.
This makes him a very flexible bear indeed.
I had some string mohair in a pale cream colouring so I decided to use this as felt it would go perfectly with the black/cream colour scheme
Simon And Simone

Although the pattern is basically a boy bear ... I like to make a girly version too ... so for her I added a hair bow & some pretty embellishments to her jacket
The boy version I added a small bow tie

Considering what horrors they were to create ... I felt they turned out rather perfectly ... as did Christine when she collected them yesterday

At the very end of the pattern this is what the designer has written ...
"He looks great sitting amongst a collection of bears ... he is extremely poseable & can sit in positions that most other bears can only dream of ... "

How absolutely right they are !!!

Thank you So Much for your visit today dear friends & readers
Tomorrow its the Weekend !!!

As I am fighting a headcold at the moment I plan hope to do Not too much
With a lemon drizzle cake in the oven & the latest copy of Simply Vintage Magazine ... would you care to join me ???
with much love & friendship
Julie & the furry ones