Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Revamped Santa Bear .... & a Junk Journal

Good Wednesday Greetings dear friends & readers
Sometime late last year my friend Gail was having one of her throw outs declutters
 Bearing in mind my "Steptoe inclinations" ... I happened to drop by to assist her !!
 I rescued this funny looking chap above from Gails rubbish heap & bought him home with me.
 He had begun his life as a teddy bear plastic bag holder & then my friend Gail had turned him into a doorstop, which she then dressed as a Wizard in this blue & purple sparkly cloak.
I think he even had a wand at some stage!
Once undressed I gave him a gentle sponge & brushed his fur - he came up really well & has the loveliest face

Even Miss Pippi was none to sure about him but she was being very nosey brave !

Using the Wizards cloak as a guide, I sewed him a new cloak from some burgundy fleece I had & trimmed it with some cream fur
I made him a Santa hat with a cream pompom on the end.

He was coming to life again !!

Next I made him a beautiful vintagey looking Christmas stocking using some fabrics left over from last christmas & filled the base of it with wadding
I sewed this to his hands as I planned to fill the top of the stocking with toys, bears & gorgeous goodies
However  .  .  .  .  .  .

.  .  .  .  . just the weight of the stocking alone was enough to make him topple forward, let alone when it was filled with goodies !!!
No matter what I did he kept ending up face down !!!
In disgust I took him to bits again.
I went down to the corner of our road (after hours!) & half filled my bucket with some new fine gravel that had just been loaded there
Back home again, I removed the lower part of his body stuffing & filled it with the fine gravel inside a bag, then packed the rest of him with more stuffing

His figure kind of resembled mine some days !!
But he stayed good & upright (& heavy)

This Santa Teddy will be going on my craft stall at the Christmas Fair next month
Here he is completed, with his stocking filled to the brim ... some small teddies & vintage christmas ornies, some berries & greenery & some ornies tied to the stocking as well

A gorgeous Boyds Bear Christmas brooch at his neck ....

When I asked The Mr if he was most impressed with the way I made him more sturdy ... he just gave me a long look & said "don't forget to add a note with him to say that when they no longer want him, they can take all the gravel out & use it to resurface their driveway !!!"
Indeed !!!  😯

We had some lovely sunny spring days last week & I was able to take my sewing outside to the deck table ... I had been making up some more little christmas tree ornaments with cinnamon stick trunks
I made another dozen - these are fun to make using up scraps of fabric & they sold really well last year
I just need to scent this batch with my cinnamon/clove oils.

When I wrote the post about my (new) vintage Edith Holden book  my friend Chris from Australia left me a lovely comment saying she would like to show me what she does with Edith Holden books 
I was most fascinated !!
I waited patiently for Chris's email to come through showing me the photos of her work

Imagine my surprise when instead a parcel arrived all the way from Victoria, Australia - beautifully wrapped in a doiley & polka dot ribbon.
Inside was this beautiful journal handmade by Chris using a vintage Edith Holden book

Chris had covered the Journal in a teddy bear stitchery & the theme was teddies & gardening
Chris had written a lovely letter explaining to me about junk journals, which I had not heard of before.

My photos really do not do justice to this gorgeous journal - there is so much detail that everytime I open it, I find something new !!
Tags, charms & embellishments everywhere ....

I have it sitting by my lounge chair & I enjoy picking it up each evening & just savouring the pages
Thank you So Very Much Chris for your kindness & your generosity... it is something I will treasure always 💓

Finally dear friends, I wanted to mention a book I have just finished reading from my local Library
I love it when other bloggers recommend books they have enjoyed & often make a note to read them. 
I saw the DVD of this & then read the book & I just LoVed it from beginning to end!
 It is an amazing story & I would thoroughly recommend it.  

Thank you So Very Much for your visits here today,
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Revamping Raggedies

Happy Wednesday Greetings dear friends & readers
Last week while reaching way up into the top of the spare room wardrobe for a lightweight blanket for Sid's cot, this pair of Raggedy Anne & Andy dolls fell down on my head .  .  .
 As I hastily tossed everything back up there, I suddenly glanced at the raggedy dolls - "ah yes .... I remember you" I thought ....
I think I could do something with you two 💕 ....

That is their strips of fabric hair shown lying beside each one !!

I had originally purchased the dolls through the Gift Shop where I previously worked.
 I enjoyed them for many years but when they began to fade, they were put away out of sight in the "one day pile"
The worst part of the fading was their raggedy hair which had faded to pink in some places - I managed to remove this easily enough & then gave their faces a spray with parisian essence to give them some colour back again 
Each dolly was given a gentle sponge bath & when dry received new chunky wool hair ....
Even this alone brightened them up SO much !!!

I decided to tackle Raggedy Andy first ....
I made him a primitive looking Santa sack & stitched this to his hands .  .  .  .

.  .  .  .  then proceeded to fill the sack with all sorts of goodies .... a teddy, a gingerbread man, cinnamon sticks, greenery & pip berries & some primitive looking candy canes which I striped with my burgundy fabric paint
While I had the burgundy paint out, their wooden bases got touched up a little ....

I also made him a Santa hat - keeping to the muted country colour scheme - & stitched a rusty bell to the end
 I love embellishing & adding rusty stars & bells to things ... I often have to stop myself getting rather carried away & overdoing it !!

Next came Raggedy Anne . . . .
I loaded her arms up with goodies .... a rag doll, a golly, a wooden heart, candy cane, berries etc & tied a big homespun bow in her hair

I have decided to call my pair "Santa's little helpers" ... I think they will look wonderful on my stall along with my Snowmen & other christmassy crafts


This Christmas Garland was another finish this week .... this pattern is called "Celebrate Christmas Swag" by Tracey North from "I Luv Country"   .  .  .   stitched in Cottage Garden thread "mistletoe"
   I chose to blanket stitch mine onto dark red felt & attached a small rusty bell to the corner of each square

I used torn strips of dark green homespun to tie each square  together
(not photographing very well today unfortunately)

Last Christmas - among the gifts I gave my son Kayne & his wife for their soon-to-be-born Son - was this photo of Kayne taken at Cherry Island & wearing a smocked romper suit I had handmade for him, 32 years ago when I briefly attempted learnt to smock.
Along with the photo I gifted them the romper suit as it was still in pristine condition !

They sent me this photo just yesterday of my grandson Sid wearing the actual romper suit 💗
Sid is currently experiencing his first holiday with his parents in Rarotonga & this was taken on the beach - he has the same serious expression his Daddy used to have !!

And then this photo came through this morning ... there is no bath tub in the unit but not a problem ... he just gets bathed in the kitchen sink along with the dishes, & doesn't mind one single bit!!!
Just delightful !!!

Thanks so much for your visit to my blog today dear friends

 I hope your Wednesday is a happy one indeed !
with much love & friendship to you all 💝
Julie & the furry ones (absent today !!)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Finishing things .....................

Greetings dear friends & readers
I am very happy to report that the past week has seen several completions here at Threadbear Cottage

These baskets below were part of my friend Elaine's declutter when I popped in to see her back in March & came away with a bootload of treasures
When I unloaded my car I plonked them on my deck & there they stayed all winter long while a colony of spiders took up residence in them.
One sunny day last week I gave them a good scrub in hot soapy water then sat them on my deck seats to dry

Unfortunately a couple of days later when I went to paint them  - I found a colony of a different sort had taken up residence in them!!!
Dear Blackie .... with his ample proportions squeezed into the baskets !!

  I planned to line the bottoms so I painted everywhere except the bases .  .  .

As I was using a gorgeous Sanderson linen to line the oval basket I found a lovely wide vintage lace to compliment it.
I knew it would "flop" when I inserted it in the basket inner, so I sat it on an old towel & sprayed it with cheap hairspray (which I keep on hand for just this reason) .... over the course of an hour, everytime I walked past the towel, I gave it another blast til it felt like it had enough body in it ....

I was really happy with the end result & the lace sat perfectly upright in the basket

These are going for sale in my Cottage as workbaskets ... though the bottom one would also make a lovely waste paper basket

I managed to stitch up another dozen wool blanket hearts filled with my homegrown lavender .  .  .  some of these have gone to a lovely Farm Shop that I supply with my handwork, along with a dozen bags of my citrus potpourri

This sweet Christmas Angel was another completion - the pattern is called "Love Blooms in Christmas Hearts" by The Chook Shed, & is out of a very old issue of Australian Patchwork & Stitching Magazine. (Vol 2 No 3)
As I wanted my angel to be a decent size, I trotted along to my local photocopy centre where they increased the pattern by 200 % for me 
As she is unstuffed, she is a wall hanging Angel only .... I think they are called "flat dolls"
The banner in the original pattern reads "Love Blooms in Christmas Hearts" but I changed my wording to 
"Christmas Wishes"

I begun the stitchery for these stockings below while Mum was still with me.
I used Cottage Garden thread "Mistletoe" which I was able to purchase online from my friend Kerryn's gorgeous shop The Country Yard

Again a very old pattern by Melissa Duncan of Mogs Designs

Last month a beautiful surprise package arrived from my South Island friend Therle ..... gorgeous x-stitch, a lace pouch & beaded tassel .... all her own creativity.  The  pouch was stuffed with lavender scented wadding, still smells divine & looks perfect hanging on my Oak Dresser handle.
Thank you SO much Therle for your thoughtfulness - your work is exquisite!

A longtime customer Ruth, dropped by last week with a box of old fabrics & lace for me .... Ruth sometimes donates bits & bobs to me & anything I won't use I pass on to either the kindy up the road, or Alec's daycare centre.

I was busy minding Sid at the time so just parked the box in the corner 
 I swear within the hour a certain little ginger being had taken up residence amongst the lace & fabrics ... thank you most kindly Ruth from Pippi for the "new bed arrangement"  !!

And thank YOU dearest friends & readers for stopping by today,
I hope the week is treating you all kindly,
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Monday, October 2, 2017

Stitching Snowmen & Planting Bikes !!

Greetings dearest friends & readers
A shiny new week AND a bright shiny new month  .  .  .  .

Welcome to October !!!!
The weather here today is bitterly cold with icy showers & a howling gale outside.
The fire is roaring & the cats are tucked up in their basket in the warm ... it is an ideal Sewing Day !!

This morning I put the finishing touches to a small collection of Snowmen I had been working on over the past couple of weeks
The weather has been rather perfect for making Snowmen !!!! 

All the Snowmen were made from the same vintage wool blanket from my stash.
The two Snowy's above were copied from one a friend had gifted me several Christmas's ago ... I do not know who the pattern is by so please let me know should you recognise it so I can give credit to the designer
Their woolen hats are from the sleeves of a 50c Op Shop Jumper!

All the Snowmen are weighted in the base with a bag of fine gravel which I stole pinched borrowed acquired from the metal pit just down the road from me !!
This fellow above & below is called Snowbells & is a pattern by Margaret Hart from an old copy of Homespun Magazine (Vol 6 No 4)
These little fellows were the reason for Sue & I to visit The Christmas Heirloom Shop in my last post as I was wanting the artificial christmas greenery & berries to embellish my Snowmen.
This particular one had snow already painted on it & was just perfect for Snowbells.

My last fellow is called "Chilly Willy" & is a design by Mary Wright ... again out of an old Country Craft Magazine 
(Vol 13 No 3)

When Mum was staying with me I spent quite a bit of time going through my old craft magazines looking for Christmas inspiration.

I have altered this pattern somewhat from the original ... I haven't painted a snowman on his body, I have appliqued the jacket rather than embroidering it, I have given him a rusty tin bucket holding christmas berries & greenery, along with a wooden snowflake button on his scarf
Most of all I LoVe the bird that has made a nest in his hat !!
(& Yes, that IS a real birdsnest that I found fallen out of a tree last month)

Here they are all lined up along my candle cupboard - all looking very festive indeed.
These are all going for sale at my Christmas Craft Stall in mid November.

In between the showers & the winds, I have managed to plant up some bike baskets with snapdragons, petunias & impatiens ... our grounds are covered at present with fallen cherry blossom petals that remind me of confetti.

This time of year my little collection of baby's tears plants are coming along well down the end of my lounge ... I find the dappled light through the french doors is a great growing area for them

 Some vintage teapots received a doiley embellishment mod-podged onto them & a pot of babies tears 
ready for sale at the Cottage ......

...... & this sweet little china jug - gifted to me by my friend Joyce from the Church Op Shop.
They were tossing it out due to a hairline crack inside but I thought it looked perfect with a dainty 
baby's tears growing in it.

Well dear friends - I am off to work on more Christmas Crafts - & fill the wood basket!
I hope the coming week is good & kind to you All

Thank you all So much for your visits today
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0