Saturday, October 27, 2012

Making Pincushions, Removing Trees & a Thank You :-)

Hello there friends & readers,

Last week was another busy one in my funny ol' threadbear life.
I travelled to Kawhia one morning to teach a small patchwork group to make pincushions.
Kawhia is situated an hour 1/4 from me out on the coast.
The day was organised by Lois whom I met a couple of years ago when she came to my cottage.
 I well remember meeting Lois because I was in the middle of painting my dining room when she arrived
& I was sooo pleased for an excuse to down tools!!
Lois is one very creative lady & we found we had alot in common.
I had been trying to get out to her group - (which meets every Wednesday) - all winter, but things kept preventing me.
Finally I headed off to an area I had not travelled to for about 20 years or more.
I stopped along the way to photograph the sea from a Lookout


Eventually I arrived at Lois's -
it felt like I had travelled to "the back of beyond"
but when I saw the views from her lounge window it made me catch my breath

This is what they look at as they sit & sew each week
Lois also has an amazing garden so we had a wander

Her perenial border - full of cottagey flowers

Iris's are one of her favourites
& she had some stunning colours of them

But it was inside I was speechless (unusual for me!!)

The Roman Blind she had made & appliqued with gollies, in her spare bedroom! ! !(when do I move in??!!)

wooden golly cutouts dressed in fabric on the wall

And in her bathroom . . . 

          On one wall Lois had hand cut out diamond shapes from old copies of glossy N.Z. Gardener magazines
Glued them on & then laquered them many times

she had bordered the wall with green squares of ferns etc
the effect was stunning alongside the rag rug she had made to complement the wall . . .

Made from old t-shirts bought from Op Shops ! !
(& chopped into strips to be woven)
Wow - that is one very talented lady  :-)

The group was down to 3 that day due to some of the ladies being required to help on their farms with docking, shearing etc
they missed a fun day
first we made teacup pincushions -
the ladies had all bought along their own teacup, fabric etc

 Sue had lots of fun getting glue everywhere! !

 the finished articles
 Sue had done a beautiful piece of cross-stitch to match her lovely cup & kidney-shaped saucer
Hers looked stunning . . .
the extra room will be handy for scissors, thread etc
Next we moved onto "flower pincushions"

before shaping the "petals" with ribbon
the finished articles complete with pins :-)

This was our afternoon tea-
I told the ladies I think I will come out every Wednesday
if this is what you sit down to . . . 
Sue, Pauline & Lois - 3 VERY talented ladies
As Pauline is due to move across to the other side of the country the ladies had pooled their fabrics awhile ago
& all made their own version of the same quilt pattern
here are the results - all quite different
Sue, Pauline & Lois - very clever ladies
      All quite stunning friendship quilts!!
  I had such an enjoyable day out
I didn't leave til 5 o'clock to travel home
such lovely, clever, friendly, talented ladies
a pleasure to spend time with them all
& of course I didnt come home empty handed
being country folk, I came away with baking, cuttings & punnets
of tomato plants  :-)

Early the next morning we had the Power Board coming
we needed to have some trees removed that had gotten too big

some were under power lines so it was a job for the big boys
"somebody" thought it was wonderful to supervise this work

Yes this is WAY more exciting than being stuck at home with boring ol Mum all day
& made quite a "nuisance" of himself (as usual)      
First they trimmed all the branches off
then tied a rope to pull on it
before cutting a wedge out to "fell" it
it made a huge crash as it hit the ground

"someone" had been growled & told to stay well back
as you can see . . We do as we jolly well please!!
 I now have some lovely piles of mulch for the garden
I have 4 piles this size
    Guess what I will be doing over the next few weeks??!! 

Finally friends, just wanted to say a big ThankYou to all of you
it means a great deal to me that you take the time to read my blog
that you comment on my ramblings
from my little corner of the globe
your comments trully do brighten my day :-)
& especially to Sophie of Fading Grace
she so very kindly gave me a "mention" in her last post
the friends I have met in "blogland" are very dear to me
Thankyou Sophie - you are a very kind soul
& I enjoy your blog immensely

Wishing you all a lovely week
& little tin prams filled with red geraniums! !
Hugs/ love/ friendship,
Julie & her disobedient dog X X x x
Hiding from that grumpy ol Mum - who does she think she is??!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My friend Donna

Hello dear friends & readers,

Today the rain is steadily pouring down & I cannot believe it is now the 20th October & we are STILL having our fire lit!!
It has been a busy past week with a trip to Thames & some family from Australia coming to stay.
Last Monday morning (very early) I set off with my car loaded up to travel to Thames to take part in the Thames Creative Fibre Group Open Day.
I had been invited to have a merchant stall through my good friend Donna who is on the Committee & was their President for a few years.
Donna & I met many years ago when we were both sharemilking & I used to travel past her place to visit Grahams elderly Aunt.
I always noticed this house with a little wooden sign that said "cottage flowers"     
Donna had planted half a paddock with statice & other dried flowers & sold them from her carshed.
It was she who first introduced me to gourds & I have been "hooked" ever since.
We both became close friends & it is a friendship that has endured many years & seen our children grow from small beings into young adults.

I took a few quick pics of my stall while I remembered..

It was a full day which included a guest speaker - a lady named Pat Old who spoke about fibre & fleeces & then - as a surprise - a side door opened & they bought in 2 very woolley sheep which they then proceeded to shear in front of the hall full of ladies . . . 
The first one being shorn

In the 2nd pic you can see they have thrown the 1st fleece on the table & the guest speaker then described the fleece & talked about how good it would be for spinning etc
It was very interesting - especially to me who has no knowledge of fleeces or fibres :-)
The ladies of the Creative Fibre Group gave a small fashion parade with garments they had made themselves, spun, felted etc
I took this pic as this lady (their President) said this was a white top & she had scrunched it up & tied it at different intervals 
& then dunked it all into black dye
I thought it looked amazing
A very nice lady too
 We then went back to Donnas for the night
Donna lives a few kilometres out of Thames & has the most amazing house & garden along with a gallery/craft shop at her home called River House Gallery
This is where it gets its name from. . . 
Donnas dog Moe, swimming with a stick - there was LOTS of stick throwing this day
Looking up from the river to the house - Moe waiting for another stick throw
 This was beside my bed at Donnas
some jasmine, a water jug & chocs (in a felted bowl)
what a treat ! !

I always like to take a walk around her grounds when I visit
Her gardens are full of natives & I love the ferns especially
Steps up to the gallery - the grannys bonnets came from my garden :-)
On her deck she had the loveliest pot of poppies blooming away
         Also on her deck - a recent purchase . . .
But inside her shop is another treat altogether
she is an amazingly talented artist
All painstakingly handmade by Donna
I ADORED this display
My favourite wall
And then outside the shop is just as enticing. . .

Just have to add this little character
Donna needlefelts these little pincushions - stunning! !

I had the most loveliest visit as always
we chat into the wee small hours over our glass of vino
& put the problems of the world to rest ! ! !
 Visiting with Donna is always a real "tonic"
she inspires me to try new things & I always come home full of enthusiasm again
I even made a purchase from her - have loved these for a long time now so treated myself
Beautiful detailing with vintage wool blankets
   I have photographed it on my bed but it actually resides on my couch now
Donna - I am so lucky to have your friendship - 
thankyou - you are a real treasure :-)
Inspired by the cushion I dragged out this book again
this book has some AMAZING ideas in it
  I remembered seeing these cushions made from old potholders

And absolutely LOVING them
but as I didnt have any potholders on hand
I decided to do a similar effect with some doilies & ribbons
& a few vintage buttons from my stash
 In between my overseas visitors I have been working on some christmas crafts
I am hoping to do a christmas display in the cottage before the end of the month (but dont have alot of stock to put in it ! !)
I have been working on these stockings off & on
And finally completed them this week
My favourite - I love the feathers in this one :-)
 They will look lovely hanging from the fireplace in the cottage
Well friends I am off to milk at the farm as our worker is away -
not a job I fancy in this pouring rain :-(
 wishing you all a great weekend
Happy Weekend from my friend Moe - PLEASE throw another stick
 sorry it has been a bit of a "picture overload" this post
but wanted to share it with you all
take care out there - sending warm hugs out to you all
Julie :-)  Xoxo