Saturday, April 22, 2017

Autumns Bounty

Greetings dear friends & readers & Happy Weekend to you all

For quite sometime now I have felt more than keen to pull my vegie garden to bits, give it a good dig over & a fertilise & prepare it for my winter planting
The garden however, has had plans of its own ..... & has kept producing at a steady pace (due I think, to all our rain of late)

Early last week I managed to harvest the above .  .  . pumpkins, courgettes, green peppers & tomatoes

Every second day I gather the walnuts & have so far filled 3 baskets full as well as given bagfulls away

Then just this morning, I picked more green peppers & tomatoes ... the little tomato plant purchased for $1.50 from The Hummingbird & tossed in the ground with complete neglect ... not even a stake to hold it up .... has produced wonders !!
I have free flowed several bags full of tomatoes in the freezer for winter soups & casseroles

I babysat my grandson Alec on Thursday & we gathered 2 large bucket loads of feijoas ..... so of course, a cake had to be made !!
Feijoa & Coconut Cake .... served with a dollop of whipped cream - Alec's favourite (& mine!!)

We had a two hour outing to the Hamilton Gardens to feed the ducks ... this little boy is such a delight & has such a joy for life
Here he is laughing over putting his hat on the wrong way!!

I was also lucky enough to be asked to babysit this little cherub above ... dear little Sid, my newest grandson, just 3 weeks old today.

These doiley flower pincushions are about the only sewing I have managed this past week .... these are to go to another outlet that are keen to stock some of my craft work 

Because they will be handled I thought it wise to pop them in some cellophane bags to protect them

While browsing in Hospice last week I came across these two china jugs - Swinnertons, Staffordshire England 
 I loved the rose pattern on the side ... $18 for the pair so they Had to come home with me.
My friend Joyce was dividing up her rabbits foot fern so I thought I would try a small clump in the largest Jug.

Though our temperatures are cold now that autumn is in full swing, I noticed how beautiful my old wringer washing machine planted with Impatiens (Busy Lizzies) still looked.
This has had total neglect this summer - yet it has thrived under the old Silk Tree in the corner of my garden.
We will soon have frosts which will finish it for the year.

Thanks so much for your visits today dear readers
I have no furry ones photos to share today (Sorry Willie!!) but I did come across this picture on the web & had to share it as, not only did I love the verse, but it reminded me of a certain 4-legged fairy that currently resides at my house & thinks she is invincible !!!
(in fact I am SURE she has somehow managed to sneak into that photo !!!)
Have a wonderful weekend - be kind to yourselves & to each other
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Princess & The Pea . . . . . * Tilda Style *

Greetings dear friends & readers & Happy Easter to you all !!!

A couple of months ago I received an email from my lovely friend Sally.
The email went something like this "Julie, I have bought an old wooden cot from the Op Shop & I wanted to do a Princess & the Pea theme with it ...... would you make me the Princess please?"
As you can imagine, I was most fascinated !!!

So Sally arrived out to visit me with the gorgeous Tilda book above, she had on loan from our local Library.
And the scrummy array of Tilda fat 1/4's pictured below . . .
As luck would have it - Sally even had her own crown !!!

It was about now that I had to confess "you know Sal, even tho' I have heard of it .... I don't actually know the story of  The Princess & the Pea" !!!
Having raised sons, the opportunity to read them this particular fairy tale just never arose.
So Sally gave me a brief rundown of a shortened version of the fairy tale about them hiding a pea in the mattresses to see if she was in fact "a real Princess"

Originally the order was just to sew the Princess in the book - this however, grew to me offering to make the mattresses as well.
My friend Sally is one VeRy clever lady ... & more than capable of doing this order herself.  But she has just this year undertaken an intensive floristry course, so I decided to whip a coat of paint on the cot while I was busily painting something else ...

As mentioned in my last post, I lost all my "before" & "during" photos from this order when our computer died.

As I had cut the front side out of the cot before undercoating it, I was able to just sit it back in place to give you an idea of the original red/grey colour & how tatty the little wooden cot was

Once I had undercoated it a couple of times to cover the red, I affixed a piece of flat wood slat to the side with a couple of screws.

Front View                                                                          Back View
Then I proceeded to paint the entire cot white & make the mattresses.  Some of them I boxed the corners & stuffed more thickly, others I just left thin, as in the pattern book

Next I decided to make the pillow & the little quilt - I absolutely LoVeD the fabrics I chose for these ...

It was a last minute decision to add a little frill to the edges of the cot quilt (I am so pleased I did this)

My next task was to drape the cot with some netting offcuts I had found in my stash .  .  .

.  .  .  . I was able to cut them to length & bunch together at the top - this sat quite snugly once I slid the crown over the wooden slat piece 

I worked on this project over the course of a few weeks, leaving it at times to work on other orders or baby sewing.
Everytime I would bring it out to continue with, my own real life Princess would take it upon herself to be a pain in
offer her input !!!!

Whenever I would stack the mattresses in the cot to work out their placement, she would have much delight in rearranging them for me (Sorry Sal)
During the course of this order, on a daytrip to Rotorua, I was delighted to come across a small felted ball for 50c in a craft shop .  .  .

.  .  . which was perfect for the Pea.
Unfortunately the Pea in question went missing for about 3 days when a certain 4 legged ginger helper decided it made the most wonderful play toy !!!

And finally ...... I got to make the Princess !!!
Sally had chosen which Tilda fabrics she wished me to use for the nightie & stockings ...
My one specification was that I wanted to give her "proper hair"
I did not so much like the painted-on-hair in the pattern book.
I photocopied a piece of the fabric onto medium weight cardstock & made her little crown with this

The pea got tucked under the edge of the mattresses .  .  . 
The miniature vintage china cup (found in my cupboards) was perfect for the chamber pot

Viola .  .  .  the Princess & the Pea - Tilda Style  
Sally was delighted .... she has promised me I am allowed to play with this set each time I visit her .... so long as I have adult supervision & have washed my hands first !!!!!! 😉

Wishing you all a safe & happy Easter dearest friends & readers
With Cyclone Cook bearing down on us here it is looking like we could be in for a rather wet Easter break
I have the furry ones tucked up safely inside, a new wax melt in my oil burner, & a good supply of choccy eggs stashed away .... 
I think I will be safe & sound !!!
Thanks so much for your visits here today
with much love & friendship to you ALL
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Giveaway Winner, An Apology, & A Welcome !!!

Sunday Greetings dear friends & readers & Welcome to April - a shiny new autumn month

I have (finally) drawn the winner of my little pincushion giveaway!!

Yes Julie well it's about time - it IS only the 9th April after all !!!!!
The name that The Mr drew out of my big old enamel teapot was 
Raewyn of stitchingfarmgirl blog
& Raewyn chose pincushion No. 2 !!

Congratulations Raewyn - I will be contacting you for your postal address
Many, many heartfelt thanks to all of you for taking part & the lovely comments you all left me 
I honestly wish I had a pincushion to send to each & every one of you

I wanted to apologise for not replying to some readers comments & also for not getting around to visiting you all at your blogs lately.
We have been having endless computer problems despite purchasing a new computer earlier this year.
Thank you to those that have emailed me to ask if I am actually still alive ... it is so kind & lovely of you.
When I first began my blog 5 years ago, my intention was to post weekly .... I sometimes manage this but mostly my blog posts are erratic as life & all it throws at us sometimes gets in the way.
Thank you for hanging in there & staying with me despite my erratic postings.

I have been working on an order & photographing my progress to share with you all ....... & my computer has lost all the photos I had taken.
So next post when I share the completed order with you - there will be no "befores" ... only "afters"

Lastly - but by no means least . . .  I wanted to share some wonderful news with you all dear readers
At 3.55 am on April Fools Day, after a long & arduous labour my new grandson made his dramatic entrance to the world & we got to Welcome little Sid
Just one hour old on his Daddy's knee - my son calls him his little Pixie

There is no greater joy for this Granny Julie than to hold her dear grandson in her arms

And here he is above at 4 days old - the day of his Mummy's 30th birthday in fact 

When I helped pack up my son & daughter in laws house recently, I noticed they were leaving behind a large established herb garden so I thought a little herb planter might be well appreciated for Nicole's birthday
I also purchased a copy of Rhonda's book as I have previously gifted her Rhondas latest one The Simple Home 
& thought she might like to complete her set.
Nicole was delighted with her gift.

Thanks so much for your visit today dear readers
Be kind to yourselves & to each other ... & may the coming week bring you good things,
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Monday, March 27, 2017

Sewing (& Waiting) for Baby

Rainy Monday Greetings dear friends & readers

Last weekend I came across my scribbled list of all the things I wanted to make for my soon-to-be-born grandson, 
& flew into a bit of a panic
Verrry little time ...... still lots to make !!!!

When my friend Sally gifted me the gorgeous Peter Rabbit fabric above, I immediately knew I wanted to make a Baby Bag & then fill it with some handmade goodies

A quick google search for diaper bag patterns & I came across this one here that I really liked .... a decent size & not too fussy.

The bag came together quite easily - I tried to use what I had on hand & not have to purchase anything.
The green polka dot was a perfect complimentary lining fabric & I had lots of help from a certain quality control officer to ensure my measurements were all accurate !!!

The bag is fully lined & you can add as many inner pockets as you like

I purchased a few baby care products from my supermarket to tuck into the pockets.
The one change I made was, instead of using fusible interfacing for the bag I used some thin wadding I had - I find the fusible interfacing too rigid & prefer the wadding which is more pliable.
Of course - a label to complete the bag.

Recently while on an outing to Rotorua I popped into Spotlight & purchased some flannelette on sale
While chatting to the lady as she cut my fabrics for me, I asked her for some white towelling please to make bibs.
She leaned ever-so-slightly across the counter & whispered to me "go over there to those bins, buy a white bathtowel for $5 - its much cheaper & thicker than the towelling & you will get 6 big bibs out of one towel"

I was so very grateful & after a wash, it certainly did come up thick & fluffy
Another quick google search for free bib patterns & I used this simple one here
Bibs still waiting to be ironed

Whilst filling the bag with gifts - including the blanket & wheatie I made Here, I decided I wanted to make a little plastic zipped pouch for putting any wet clothes/nappy's etc into

I used the pouch gifted to me by my friend Claire in this post, as a guide
The pouch is fully lined with the plastic - the tiny Peter Rabbit print just seemed the perfect match for the bag & the cute animal bias binding came from my local woolshop

front of pouch                                                                                                          back of pouch

Frequently on my trawls through the Op Shops I come across half rolls of wallpaper for 50c - this pale blue was one such find.
I used it to sew up a giant gift bag to sit the Diaper Bag in with all the smaller parcels wrapped inside it

Ready & Waiting & now we just need baby boy to come into the world !!!

In my last post I mentioned how I had visited my friend Elaine right in the midst of a de-clutter
This tray below was one of several items that came home with me ....

I gave it a paint with my cottage cream wall paint, then I lightly sprayed the cane part of it as I find this gives better coverage than brushing ever does
My plan had been to find some pretty floral paper serviettes & then mod podge the flowers scattered over the tray
However, I had neither the time, inclination, nor funds to go traipsing around trying to find just the right paper serviettes .  .  .
 .  .  .  so the tray sat abandoned for a week

Yesterday whilst rustling through a drawer, I came across a lovely piece of scrapbooking paper - pretty vintage squares which I cut out & decided to display as a bunting across the tray
I mod-podged them on along with a small flat vintage lace to "string them together"
I was thrilled with the result & now just have to decide whether the tray is going for sale in the Cottage .  .  .  or going on display in Julie's house!!!!

Thank you so much for your entries into my pincushion giveaway & your lovely comments you left me.
I am not drawing this til the end of the month so you still have time if you would like to enter.
You can leave me a comment on my last post, or on this one here letting me know.
Finally dear readers, although we are full swing into autumn here now, my lovely planted suitcase is still flowering merrily away on my deck - it has done so well this year

Lobellia & Impatiens (busy Lizzies)

Wishing you suitcases overflowing with flowers this week
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0