Friday, May 18, 2018

Pretty Things

Greetings dear friends & readers
Gosh, where did that week slip away to I might well ask??!!

Making pretty things is something I really enjoy.
In fact, if I could, I would make pretty things Every Single Day!

My friend & longtime customer Christine, called for a visit & showed me a photo on her phone.
The photo was of the cushion below which Christine had found on the internet while browsing for a cushion for her grandaughter who was turning 4.

She asked if I would be able to make a cushion very similar but her instructions were for me to add pink satin ballet slippers along with the tutu.
Christine requested that the cushion be pink/white, pretty, possibly 3 dimensional & have the wee girls name on it (Hayley)
Also Hayley LoVeS hearts so could I somehow include these please.

I began my applique - still not quite sure what I was doing but just trying to "wing it"
Luckily I found some pink fabric in my stash covered in hearts which I used to applique Hayley's name.
I use a long length of white tulle & gathered this to make the tutu appear 3 dimensional, then added some tulle flowers I already had on hand

My local sewing shop had no diamantes in stock but I did find some sparkly sequins that gave the same effect

I could find no pretty pink ballet themed buttons for the back closure so I found some wooden heart discs in my craft drawer & spray painted these white, before drilling tiny holes to make them into buttons.

I thought they worked out just fine.

Christine was absolutely delighted with her cushion & I have yet to find out what the birthday girl thought of her gift.

The challenge for last month at our Craft Group get together was to make a mannequin using an Op Shop candlestick as the base.
Our instructions/pattern were were from this website *here*
In the bargain box at my local Church Op Shop, I found this old brass candlestick for the princely sum of 20 cents!
I painted it with 2 coats of chalk paint - vintage white, & lightly sanded the edges.

Though I was really looking forward to doing this challenge I have to admit I did not enjoy it at all.
I could not get my mannequin shape right & she ended up looking more like a grid iron player on steriods, 
even though I had 3 attempts at stuffing & unstuffing her!!
Many times she nearly sailed through the air !!

To disguise a shape that I was not happy with, I overdid it with my embellishments.
I drew her waist in tightly with ribbon then hid this under some tulle & added lace & pearls & anything 
else I could find

The View of the Back

Only four of the ladies took part & here are our different versions above
The mannequins are originally made to be pincushions but I think they would be equally as nice used as brooch holders or jewellery stands.

- Not sure how that next photo sneaked in there sorry friends -

While Sid slept yesterday I quietly cleaned out a sewing room drawer.
 I came across this old tissue box holder, unused for many years & due to the glue hardening the lace & ribbon came away easily
I used my hairdryer on each corner to soften the glue until I was able to lie the box shape out flat.
I had a small piece of this gorgeous Tilda fabric "rabbits & roses" which I used to make a new cover 
for my tired old tissue box

A few trims & lace & it now looks so pretty & useful again.

Thank You all So Much for your visits today dear friends.
Its Friday here & I am very much looking forward to the weekend as we have a 3 year old birthday to celebrate & 3 is Very Important Indeed!!

 With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Sunday, May 6, 2018

My New (Old) Chair ........................ & Friendships ............................

Sunday Greetings dearest friends & readers,

My friend Sally must surely be one of the luckiest Thrift Shoppers I know!
She just seems to have the knack of being in the right spot at the right time - & scores the bargains!
Sal managed to purchase two vintage slipper chairs with Sanderson Linen covers at our local Hospice Shop a couple of weeks ago, in pristine condition!
When she sent me a photo of her new acquisitions I cheekily told her that should she ever wish to
 "move one of them on sometime" then I would be happy to assist!
As luck would have it, Sally decided one WAS superfluous to requirements & I was able to purchase it from her.
I adore my new-to-me chair & although it was destined for my bedroom, it has yet to make it past the lounge!
I just have One small rather large problem with my new slipper chair . . . . .

It would seem that someone else adores it also ...... so much so in fact, that when he is Not sleeping on it, there is now a definate dent in the seat!

The soy candle is Green Tea & Ginger fragrance

April & May are busy birthday months for me ...... I have 10 friends & family members celebrating birthdays.
For my friend Donna, who loves upcycling & repurposing, I made this wool blanket coat hanger & soy candle in a vintage enamel dish.
These have already arrived at their destination & were received with great delight!

Though I think I could easily be in the running for "world's slowest knitter" I did manage to finish off another two cotton/bamboo dishcloths this weekend.
These are destined for the present box & another one is now cast on my needles. 

On Friday afternoon I spent time in my kitchen making chocolate truffles.
My friend Sandy had invited me to a "Pink Ribbon Morning Tea" at her home the following morning.
Sandy had decided it would be a nice idea for a group of friends to get together to celebrate the Journey back to wellness of our dear friend Pam, who has battled cancer not once but twice now.
I thought it was such a wonderful idea.

On the Saturday morning I loaded up my car with flowers from The Hummingbird - I had asked Sally to make up a couple of posies for both Sandy & Pam with some touches of pink.
The scented stocks that Sally popped in the posies smelt just gorgeous!

Everything that my friend Sandy turns her hand to is done with such love & attention to detail & I knew her table setting would not disappoint.  There was very much a pink theme & we dined on club sandwiches, savouries & pink cupcakes - all homemade by Sandy. We drank elderflower wine & coffee & chatted away until suddenly we realised ........... it was 2 pm !!

Some flowers in Sandys dining room
As I drove the half hour home, I reflected on how lucky I was to be able to do something like this & spend time with girlfriends.

On my last visit to Mum's I purchased this wooden plaque in a Paint Shop ... I loved the saying but of course once I got it home, I had to embellish it!!!
I tizzied it up with a Tilda fabric bunting & a small crochet flower.

The nights are colder now & its time to make blanket nests on the couch!!
These two above popped in to my mind when I purchased it!

To use up some of the feijoas I gathered last weekend, I made a Feijoa & Coconut Cake this morning.
I love making this recipe when the feijoas are in season.

Well dear friends, I hope the coming week is good & kind to all of us & that May is a good month for you
Thanks so very much for your visits here today,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Sunday, April 29, 2018

These Autumn Days .........................................

Greetings dearest friends & readers

These autumn days seem to just pass by in a blur of activity
There has been lots of gathering & harvesting going on here at Threadbear 
Last week I picked my pumpkins, the last of my tomatoes as well as a basket full of walnuts - there have been two more baskets collected since this photo

This bag full of feijoas was gathered while visiting my grandson Alec - I hope to stew most of these for the freezer

I picked the last of my hydrangeas this week before they turn brown for winter - I give them a good drink in a bucket of water for about a week, then hang them to dry
I just adore their muted vintagey colours.

To satisfy my (endless) sweet tooth, I baked a tray of Citrus slice as well as The Mr's favourite - Weetbix slice

Yesterday the winds blew & the rains came down!
 Just prior to this I noticed the last of my roses still in bloom so I picked the remaining flowers to enjoy indoors.

Last Wednesday was Anzac Day & I thought of my dear Dad, gone 17 years now.
Dad served in both the Army & the Air Force as a young man, getting his oldest sister to send a telegram confirming his date of birth but Dad falsely gave a year earlier so he actually joined at just 17, instead of the 18 legally required.
 I always light a candle for Dad on Anzac Day.

My daughter in law Sarah & I took Alec over to the City & caught the end of the Parade, then we visited the Cenotaph to see the wreaths laid for the fallen soldiers.

It is always such a poignant sight.

This delightful Children's Park is right next door so we spent some time in there with Alec & had a picnic morning tea.

Though he started off fully clothed, it wasn't long before the outer wear came off & in the water he went!

Then on Thursday I took Sid out to the farm to see the autumn calves ... he has learnt to say "Mooooo"

Though there has been very little creativity going on, I did manage one completion.
I think it's fair to say that when my friend Sally gave me this vintage needlepoint to make into a cushion for her, 
my heart skipped several beats!
Though the edges were very frail, the needlepoint itself was in immaculate condition.
I knew I had THE perfect piece of vintage black wool fabric in my stash to back it with.

It took a HuGe amount of stuffing to get it nice & tight .... I shall be sad to hand it back to Sally 😢

Thanks so much for stopping by today dear readers,
I have the heater on & am off to make a cuppa .... these two are tucked up in their rightful positions for the evening!
 It feels like it's going to get chilly!
Have a wonderful week dear friends,
With much love & friendship to you ALL
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Men's Ties, Sphagnum Moss & Twine !!

Wednesday Greetings dear friends & readers
Our little craft group met up again on Monday at Sharlaine's Home
At our last meeting Gail tipped out a bag of men's silk ties onto the table & we were all to choose one, create something with it, & bring it to our next meeting.
I chose the Christmas Tie below .  .  .

Upon arriving home .... I did wonder what on earth possessed me to choose this one !!

I thought I might try to make a small size Christmas bag from it so I unpicked the tie & tried to frame it somewhat using matching fabrics that I already had in my stash 

I think its fair to say that at this stage above, I still really had no idea what I was doing .... but I wanted to use the point of the tie as the bottom of my bag.
I used some co-ordinating fabrics to patchwork a back for the bag & then quilted this.
 I used the plain dark blue end of the tie as a handle - the bag is fully lined with calico

In the end I was pleased with how it came together ...... I attached a cute Nikki Tervo ceramic button that said 
"I 💝Xmas"
I thought this was an ideal size to use for a Christmas Gift Bag

I attached a tin bell to the very bottom point

The ladies had all made quite different items from their Ties ... Liz had made a turtle as her tie had tiny turtles printed all over the silk, Gail had made a cute Winnie the Pooh bunting & bear from hers, Joyce had fashioned a silk flower brooch & Sharlaine had framed hers in a hoop

Some of the ladies (excluding yours truly) had made some more velvet pumpkins following on from  
our last get together

I thought they were all really beautiful but I just LoVeD Sharlaine's sewing themed pumpkin below !!

For our meeting on Monday we had decided to have a go at Kokedama 

Kokedama is a style of Japanese bonsai, where a plant's root system is simply wrapped in sphagnum moss and bound with string, transforming it into a sculptural art form. Loosely translated, 'koke' means moss and 'dama' means ball.Mar 27, 2014

Sharlaine had tried this before but none of us other ladies had.
I have to say, I really really enjoyed it & shall definately be making more! 
As we all used differing thicknesses of twine the end results were all quite different but effective!

These are our first attempts above & this is my own little cutie below .... I am hoping to make a simple string hanger for it as they look wonderful suspended.

I had a good trip down to Mum's to celebrate her 89th birthday & then the following day I took her to the crematorium where my Dad's ashes are scattered in the Garden of Remembrance
Mum & I take either silk or fresh flowers each time & it is wonderful to see the plaque & flowers are left untouched each visit.

Upon my return I had some surprise mail arrive from * here *
I found Alice Caroline fabrics on Instagram & fell in love with their gorgeous Liberty selection 
so I ordered some fat 1/4's

I have had this pattern below for many years quite some time now & hope to make Miss Maggie up with a Liberty print dress & ears.

Though Taranaki was cold & stormy while there, I have certainly returned home to much lower temperatures.

I don't want to light the fire just yet so am making do with the heater but it's pretty much "first in, most warmest" !!

I purchased a couple of Op Shop treasures while away but will save those for another day as this is rather a photo heavy post.
I shall leave you with this little collage I put together last week.
I have Sid every Thursday & Miss Pippi has informed me she dislikes Thursdays! Though she Is allowed inside, she refuses to come in while Sid is here so this is what goes on all day long .... something of a Mexican Standoff!!

A Mexican standoff is a confrontation amongst two or more parties in which no strategy exists that allows any party to achieve victory.Wikipedia
Incidently in the top photos she is sitting in my flowering window basket!!
Thanks so much for stopping by today dear friends,
I hope the rest of the week goes well for you all
I shall try to get around & visit you all at your blogs as our internet has been rather contrary again!
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0x