Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Stocking & Card Making

Greetings dear friends & readers,
I hope the lead-up to Christmas is treating you kindly ... not long now, we are almost there 

I finally finished my grandsons christmas stocking 2 days ago
I decided that I wanted to make it big enough to fit my gifts into but not so big that I would require a small mortgage to fill it each year . . . so size was important
I thought long & hard about my fabric choice
I decided that seeing as Alec's parents are both modern minimalists, it would be up to his Granny Julie to introduce him to all things vintage

I found this lovely old fashioned vintagey looking fabric at Spotlight which I quilted
Seeing as he was blessed with a short name, I appliqued his name onto it then sewed some tiny christmas charms to the top

The gorgeous Reindeer braid was a gift from my dear friend Amy 
The strip of fur was in my stash .... I thought he would enjoy the tactile nature of the fur while he is still little
Everything, apart from the fabric, was already in my stash, hence the addition of some remnants of braid across the toe of the stocking

For the back of the stocking I just used up some quilted calico I had

When it was lined & finished I decided I had better try the parcels IN it to make sure they did actually fit

And then we got to try it under the christmas tree, where it is currently sitting waiting for little Alec, who will no doubt be far more interested in the wrapping paper this year I am sure

Yesterday my friend Lorraine popped in to say Happy Christmas - she had been out in her garden working & remembered me mentioning how I loved lilac trees, so she bought me this generous bunch from her tree

There is just the most delicate fragrance of lilac perfuming the house as I sit here typing.

My friend Jane had lent me her stamps a wee while ago.
As my friends & I no longer exchange christmas gifts, I decided some handmade cards might be well received this year
I had no idea what I was doing but I knew that I wanted the card to be like a little gift in itself  .  .  .

I made a little pocket on the inside & tucked a gift tag into the pocket ... below are just some of the ones I made ...

The primitive style ones I made had lovely little brass charms tied to the fronts ...

My daughter-in-law Nicole loves all things black/white & hot pink.  I felt that christmas didn't necessarily have to be traditional reds & greens, so I tried to make them one in her favourite colours

I had no black embellishments but I DID have black poster paint, so the white doilies & butttons got my paint brush waved over them.
Then I thought ... well what about envelopes Julie??
I found some vintage wallpaper & just sewed up square pockets for them with a simple luggage tag attached

I really enjoyed my day of card making ... I could get quite addicted to paper crafts
(I think it would be an understatement to say that the house was a complete bombsite by the time I had finished!!!)
Of course, I had a supervisor to make sure I stayed on task & glued everything in its rightful place 
(tho' the supervisor did get a little weary at times!!!)

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful, joyous festive season & to thank you with all my heart for your visits to my funny little Threadbear life & listening to my rambles
I appreciate each & every one of you that stops by.
Bless you all this festive season
with much love, kindness & friendship to you all,
Julie, Blackie & Pippi Longstocking x0x0x0

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Last Orders . . . . & Lovely Mail

Greetings dear friends & readers,
I have finally finished the last of my orders for the year (phew!!)

Maria came down from Auckland to visit the Cottage with her Mum.
She requested a golly for a baby girl in pinks & burgundy tonings ... when I asked about the size she would like she just sort of held her hands apart & went "about this big"
As I was unsure exactly what she was visualising I decided to make up two different patterns & let Maria choose

The first golly I made was the pattern Baby Annie from Angels in Disguise
She is 12 inches in length, quite a simple golly with moveable arms & legs & woollen hair

The second girl I made was my old favourite, "Isabella" from the Lil Blokes pattern by Lyn Hyland
Isabella is a slighty more complicated pattern with a pieced head, painted face & fur hair

I really love this girl & have made her several times before ..... I think the little shoes & socks she wears just finish her off nicely.
Both girls got a small teddy to hold as we can't have them getting lonely with no toys to play with can we??!!
Isabella & Baby Annie are on their way to Auckland as I type this & Maria is going to chose her golly ... the remaining one will be put in the Cottage as my Gollies are rather depleted at the moment.

Claire came out & asked me if I would be making any more of my "fat legless angels" this christmas?
I could not for the life of me think what she meant & spent many hours racking my brain ... thinking she surely has me confused with someone else's craft?
Finally Claire bought one out to show me .... Oh of course ...

Matryoshka Angels from the book Gift by Rosalie Quinlan ... Claire requested them in vintagey pastels so I used some of my Tilda scraps & made up two for her to choose from.
Now all I have left to stitch (before christmas) is a stocking for my grandson Alec

I have been lucky enough to receive some lovely mail recently
Firstly - all the way from the United States - from my lovely, kind, thoughtful friend Amy from my vintage marketplace

... this gorgeous Prim Pouch arrived totally out of the blue !!
I was just so speechless ... Amy wrote in her letter that she felt it would look wonderful filled with some of my drieds hanging up somewhere
I am looking forward to saving & drying some seed heads & pods to fill it with
I have long been a fan of Amy's work - she makes the most amazing gypsy pouches, bags & other creations
Thank You so much dear Amy ... 

And the second lovely mail I received recently .... my mail lady drove in & handed me a box out of her van

"Inside this box is a tree" I informed her
"Oh yes, I'm sure" she replied, whilst giving me *that look* as if to say "finally Julie, you've lost your marbles"
My  dear friend Catherine & I had been corresponding about lilac trees & she offered to send me one she had dug up whilst out on her garden-fairy rounds
I have forgotten to photograph it today but it is residing quite happily in the rose garden
Thank you so much my dear Catherine

The 3rd package that arrived was an order of stickers & notepads from Vistaprint 
Little Miss Pippi - who decided all this christmas mail was rather boring - was more interested in the box than anything else
I put this little collage together of her attempting to squeeze herself in the box for a wee nap

My Mum is not coming up this christmas & has announced she does not wish to exchange gifts this year either
I decided I would still like to send her a "little something" but what to give your 87 year old Mum who has pretty much everything she wants ???
At the beginning of the month I made up Jenny's Christmas Tea Recipe so I decorated some jars to fill with my tea mixture
I thought this was such a wonderful idea when I first saw it on Jenny's elephantz blog

I decided to send Mum a jar of Christmas Tea & the latest House & Garden magazine so she could relax, enjoy a cuppa & a leisurely read

I also found time to do a little christmas decorating this past week
The wooden angel wings (below right) are the only new purchase I have treated myself to this christmas

The tree is up now & I have dotted a few christmassy bits & bobs around to add some festive cheer

Little Miss Pippi found herself a "new friend" early this morning - I had my camera handy as she trotted along after her new friend for a good half hour or so ...
.  .  .  most fascinated indeed with her prickly new friend .  .  .

And as for Blackie . . . I had left some stackable office chairs out from my last group & when I finally went to put them away, found Blackie sprawled out using them as a couch - looking as though he had consumed a little too much christmas cheer

Note the leg facing downwards today Willie??  Needless to say the chairs are still sitting on the deck !!!
I hope the lead-up to christmas is treating you kindly dear friends?
It can be a busy, stressful time of year for many folk

Thank you so much for visiting today
Remember to be kind to yourself .... & always keep some chocolate on hand !!!!
with much love & friendship to you all,
Julie, Pippi, Blackie (& Pippi's new friend Harry the Hedgehog)

Friday, December 11, 2015

Christines Christmas House

Greetings dear friends & readers
(Warning .... rather a photo heavy post)
Phheeewww..... did you hear that ???!!! 
That is me ... breathing a sigh of relief now that my groups have finished for the year, with my last one just yesterday.

Christines dining room table - LoVeD this display especially
Last week I managed to finally get to visit my friend Christine & took my camera along to snap some pics of her home all beautifully decorated throughout for christmas

The tree in her dining room ... to be perfectly honest, my photos definately don't do justice to her beautiful settings 
(click on the pics to enlarge them if you like)
Christines downstairs bathroom was even decorated for christmas ... Blue Prim Santa from my last post post hung on the wall & she had made a bathroom themed wreath for the corner of the room with Santa sitting in a bath
The teddybears wore blue Santa hats in keeping with the theme.

The Master bedroom had its own small tree & bear themed wreath
The middle Santa is a Baker Santa so he was sitting on the kitchen servery
As you climb the stairs Christine has wound greenery around the bannister rail

A fairy tree is on the landing at the top ... this was done mainly for her grandaughters ... just magical.

more bannister decoration upstairs

The upstairs bathroom is a burgundy colour scheme so - of course - it has been decorated for christmas too

Vignettes & displays of Santas in both traditional colours & also white & gold

.  .  .  Upstairs above & Downstairs below .  .  .

I think one of my most favourite displays of all was a dresser in the dining area ... just quite simple but tasteful & stunning ... I loved the olde worldliness of it all

Inspired by my visit I came home to put up my own Christmas tree, but after carrying it inside, that is as far as I have gotten to.  Hopefully it will evolve this weekend.

I popped into the Church Op Shop last week to drop off a bag of clothes & to say Hello to my friend Joyce who was working there that morning
These vintage sheets were crying out to be purchased ... at just $3 each I thought they were a bargain & are drying on the line today in the sunshine & the breeze

Joyce was throwing out some old stock & asked me if I would like this little dish below 
It had long ago lost its lid & although the inside was marked & pitted, I quite liked the floral china pattern on the outer ... I felt I could turn it into a cute wee pincushion .  .  .

.  .  . which I was able to do with a circle of Tilda Fabric which once inserted, I just carefully worked into the oval shape of the bowl. The addition of some lace & a pretty pearl braid just completed it nicely I thought 

This morning I got up before 5 am as I was unable to sleep & was lying there thinking of all the things I needed to do.  Well why not just get up & DO Them Julie ??!!

These little felt mice were finished by breakfast time ... yes I had cut them out the day before.
I plan to start a tradition of giving Alec a christmas decoration each year of his own .... some will be handmade & some I will buy.  Then as he gets older, my hope is that we can either craft it together each year, or go shopping & choose it together

Little Pippi slept in her basket as I sat at the table handstitching & watching the sun come up .  .  .
.  .  . stressful life that she leads!!  I am hoping she doesn't think I will need any "assistance" to decorate the tree this weekend !!!

Well dear readers, thanks so much for your visit today ... I surely do not know where the last week went to but it just got lost somewhere along the way.
I hope you enjoyed your little virtual tour of Christines Christmas Home.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend doing things that bring you pleasure
A final pic from Christines Home
with much love & friendship,
Julie, Blackie & Pippi Longstocking