Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Kiwikid ........ & batches of things ............

Greetings dear friends & readers
I had the most loveliest experience on Friday when I got to meet a fellow blogger
Sue from the blog Kiwikids ... flew all the way across from Australia & came to meet me on her trip through our beautiful country

Sue is travelling through New Zealand with her lovely friend Eve.
We had a long lunch together, chatted away just like old acquaintances, then a wander around the garden & a browse in my Cottage.

It had seemed like a verrrry long time ago since Sue first emailed me to say they were coming to New Zealand & arrange to visit.

She bought me some beautiful treasures ...... a gorgeous bundle of lace doilies, a heavy crystal sugar bowl & dainty salt pot.
I am thinking the sugar bowl will look rather lovely filled with a handful of my rose petal potpourri.
Thank you SO much Sue & Eve for your visit ....  after corresponding via our blogs for a long time, it was wonderful to finally get to meet in person.

You can read Sue's post about their visit Here

There has been some productivity on the sewing front this past week
A customer came out to buy a wheat bag from me & I had Not One Single One left in the Cottage !
So I hauled out my large bag of wheat & made some up using a few of my Cath Kidston remnants - the customer wanted one as a gift for her brother so the Ford Vintage Car fabric was perfect.




I found some handtowels in my sewing room that had been purchased on sale, so I decided to make some kitchen towel dresses like the ones I made for Margaret in this post

I was keen to see how they would sell in the Cottage & am happy to report that 2 have gone already



This pink spotty set was sitting around waiting to be embellished . . . 
so I appliqued a set of angels onto the teatowel, oven mitt & potholder .  .  .

.  .  . & packaged them in cellophane ready for sale.
I find February/March are always considerably quiet times in my little Cottage as school returns & bills from Christmas arrive, so this is always a good time to restock the Cottage with some basic items.
And speaking of batches of things ................

the latest batch of abandoned kittens went to the Animal Care Shop this week !!!

Although it took me 10 days of feeding them, to quieten & encourage them enough to actually get them into the cage .... The Mr became rather concerned when he heard I had named them both !!!
Yes we are a typical farm house & always have a selection of footwear at our doorways !!!!
Little Sooty looked to me like she belonged on the back of a witches broomstick !!!
                                    I wonder whats in here - curious Sooty                                           Little Sweep with his crossed front paws                                                                                                
She was definately alot more friendly than Sweep, who preferred to stay at a distance.
When the Mr took them into the Animal Care shop, the lady that fosters kittens took them home to quieten them even more before being rehomed.


When they left I felt such a mixture of sadness AND relief .... but someone else was certainly happy to see the back of them & could rest easily again !!!
Utter Princess that she is !!!


I love this last photo . . . .   my beautiful natured, kind & caring youngest son Kayne, who drove 4 hours to visit his Nan, to repair her fence, repair her roof & take her grocery shopping, then drove home again.
His Nan - who still can't quite believe you can actually take a photo with a phone that you can also talk on !!!!!***


Kayne becomes a Dad next month & I am sure he will make the most wonderful Father.

I hope you are having a lovely weekend dear friends & that the week ahead is good & kind to us all .  .  .

Thanks so much for your visits here today
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Friday, February 17, 2017

Spare Bedrooms & Baby Showers

Greetings dear friends & readers & Good Friday Afternoon to you all !!

In early December, while cleaning the spare bedroom ready for Mums arrival, I decided to wash the blind that hung at the small top window
In hindsight, I should've left well alone .... as the blind fabric completely disintegrated in the wash, being so thin & rotten.
This called for a new blind !!!


I had long admired this gorgeous fabric at MyStyle called Bird Trail Grey.
As they had a reduction on their fabrics prior to Christmas I ordered the new blind to be made & it arrived just in time for Mums visit.
I was most delighted with my new blind but somehow Mum didn't seem to share my joy & enthusiasm & informed me "its just a blind Julie"

Recently MyStyle discounted their fabrics again, so I purchased another 1.5 metres of the same bird trail grey.
We have this old bookcase-kind-of-thingy in the spare bedroom ... truth be told, this was rescued (by yours truly) from one of the cowsheds we used to milk in !!!!

Upon rescuing it, I only ever scrubbed & oiled it, & it has lived in many rooms of our houses over the past 20 odd years - I find it perfect for storing craft magazines & my candle making supplies.
It is rather an ugly thing so I thought a curtain might help to pretty it up a bit .  .  .  .

.  .  .  . which I think I did achieve ??
As I had a length of leftover fabric, I decided to make a runner for the other dressing table in this room

Just the perfect length too.
I had finished this runner about a week ago & was doing my "walking past it for a day or two thing that I do"
I felt it needed an embellishment on the ends ... so off I trot to my local Patchwork shop, who luckily had the perfect pink bobble trim.
Upon decluttering the drawers in this dresser, I came across a lovely teatowel, a birthday gift from last year I seem to recall.
This teatowel was from Mystyle & was the exact same bird fabric ... so I fashioned my teatowel into a small plump cushion for the bed ...

And Yes - I added some pink bobble trim to the edges .  .  .
.  .  .  after all, it was far too pretty to dry dishes with !!!

I am pleased to report that Blackie has moved on from sleeping on my sewing room cutting board
Unfortunately I am NOT so pleased to report he has taken up residence on the ironing board !!!

Here he is two days ago, keeping my new in-progress tablerunner warm for me !!!

One of the things I love about blogging is that I look back on old posts & see I do the same sort of things throughout the different seasons .......
At the moment it is rose petal gathering & drying time again

I have large cane trays strewn with rose petals drying in my sleepout



I really enjoy making up batches of my cottage garden potpourri - some to send to friends & some to sell.
I purchased a new oil "rose geranium" & the scent is just gorgeous .... I filled a glass dish with some to fragrant my spare room & the smell wafts all through the house




My daughter in law's Mum & I are putting on a surprise Baby Shower for her this weekend
Nicole & Kaynes baby (son) is due late March.
Nicole's Mum (also called Julie) is organising the games for the baby shower so I offered to do up some prizes.
I packaged up soaps, candles, notebooks & facewashers from the Cottage & made up some matching labels



I also stitched up some handmade baby gifts to give to Nicole.
These little rattles are a pattern from Amy Sinibaldi's book Sweetly Stitched Handmades  
 ( one for Nicole, one for the Cottage )


Nicole mentioned she didn't have any winter cot sheets so I bought some soft flannelette & stitched some up .  .  .
.  .  . along with some flannel baby shoes made from the remnants of my buzzy bee fabric

My elderly friend Margaret lives in a retirement Village, & likes to buy items from me that she can keep in her cupboard in case she needs a gift in a hurry
These 10 lavender coathangers were an order for Margaret that I completed yesterday.
It was Margaret that ordered the 12 kitchen handtowels from me last Christmas in this post here

Last Tuesday was Valentines Day so I decided to make Apple Crumble - the Mr's favourite.
Unfortunately the stewed apples I took out of the freezer, turned out to be feijoa's when thawed  !!!
So I made feijoa & coconut cake instead & sprinkled icing sugar over a heart paper doiley 
The Mr informed me (as I knew he would !!!) that he would far rather have apple crumble than feijoa cake anyday !!!

As I rounded the corner at the end of my garden last weekend the lillies coming into bloom caught my eye
We have been lucky enough to have had some good rain this summer & they have lapped up the extra moisture


They smell gorgeous but I just cannot bare to cut them & bring them inside
It is raining again here today dear friends - I had a Resthome ring to cancel their visit & I was most relieved




So it has been a day for sitting at the table & stitching some projects while Miss Pippi tries her best to look cute & innocent.
(but we are not fooled by her & her antics!!!)
Wishing you a wonderful weekend dearest readers,
with much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Lost in a blur .....................

Greetings dear friends & readers & welcome to February !!!
I have been lost in a blur these past weeks .... a blur of tummy bugs, root canal dental treatments, break in's & burglaries, more (yes more) abandoned cats ... none of which I want to blog about !!*!!
So I have decided to focus on the positives !!!

Coupled with the problems above, our computer died a death of "natural causes" .... this just left us our Very vintage laptop, which the Mr & I decided was rather like a lazy teenager .............. most days it decided NOT to work at all & then every now & again, it would surprise us completely & work wonderfully!!!!


My lovely friend Jane bought out a gorgeous vintage cane basket that she had been gifted along with a cute retro vintage sheet.
Jane asked me if I could please line the basket using the sheet - her plan was to use it for a work basket


The basket had certainly NOT been this colour when Jane received it but she had scrubbed it well & dried it in the sunshine



I really enjoyed doing this order & used a tutorial very much along the lines of the one I used for my Tilda suitcase in this post
Even Miss Pippi gave it her seal of approval.
As I had miscalculated the lining for the sides I ended up with a small square of the fabric leftover .  .  .



.  .  .  so I made up a quick "flower pincushion" using the remnant & tied it to the handle with a ribbon.
Jane was delighted with her basket & "especially loved the pincushion"

In early January I had to pop into The Warehouse to buy more cellotape for use in my Cottage
I walked right past the "priced to clear"  bin & this little swan caught my eye ... $10 reduced to $4.98
Needless to say, it came home with me as I thought it would suit one of the small babies tears plants I grow in pots in my lounge


After a month sitting on the end of my bath, it is looking established & thriving.

I have been watering the garden & planter pots for my friend Joyce who has been over to Australia for a holiday.
She bought me home a "thank you" gift that she had thrifted in a 2nd hand shop
A gorgeous china pomander .... now funnily enough, without even trying, I have begun a "collection of pomanders" ... I now have five & three of them have been gifted by Joyce.
I came across a glass dish for 50c in the Sallies Op Shop which I thought would be perfect to display my collection on



As the five of them just fit perfectly, I think my collection is complete now !!!

We have had my Uncle staying this week - he has left today & Madam Pippi is happy .... she & her basket are back in "their rightful place" & order is restored again
Lady Muck sitting on her throne !!!!!!!!!
Meanwhile Blackie, who does not especially like visitors either, decided to spend his time sleeping on my sewing table cutting mat, whilst my Uncle was here ......


One grey day late last month my grandson Alec came out to the farm for a visit with his Daddy
We took him for a ride in the farm buggy which he thought was most exciting even though it poured with rain & the rain came in sideways !!!
Alec speaks 3 words most clearly .  .  . "No"(usually accompanied with a shake of the head), "more" & "Tractor" (pronounced dactor)



Thank you so much for stopping by today dear friends & readers - I hope February is being kind to you all
I shall get round to visiting you all at your blogs now I am internet-able again
I thought I would leave you with this photo of my old cane pram which is currently planted with Impatiens & thriving ...


Happy flower-filled February to you all
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Kitten Chaos & Calamity

Greetings dear friends & readers
It has been rather a stressful kinda week here at My Threadbear Life .............
(warning photo heavy post - go grab a cuppa or a stronger tipple perhaps !!!)

Some despicable person dumped a very young mother cat & her 5 baby kittens at our depot yard while it was closed for the festive period.
The first indication I had of this was when the skinny, starving Mum began turning up on our lawn at nights, wild eyed & hungry. 
I fed her, thinking to myself "I am not quite sure that she actually is feral"
When the staff at the depot yard came back to work on Monday, they found 5 small balls of fluff tucked under a broken roller door at the rear of the building
Without thinking, they handled & cuddled the kittens .... that night the Mum moved them all ................. to under my house of course !!!!
The kittens found a small gap at the base of my house & came tumbling out .  .  .
Goodness me ............ how did that happen ???!!!
5 hungry wee souls .   .  .

Now I confess I have a bit of a wee problem .  .  .  whenever I come across anything abandoned like this .  .  .  .  I just want to keep them all, feed them,love them & give them a home.  My head goes foggy & my reasoning flies out the window .  .  . The Mr tells me that my eyes actually glaze over !!!
During the course of the week I was lucky enough to find homes for all the kittens
(believe me - this was down to sheer luck & Not down to good management !!!)

This just left Mum  .  .  .  .

.  .  .  . who begun to let me pat her as her hunger & malnourishment decreased a little .  .  .
However - the day the last of her kittens went away, she became distraught, & cried & howled under the house for 2 days. Meanwhile I was inside the house crying & howling myself !!!!
Eventually The Mr took her into town to our Animal Care Centre & gave them a generous donation to have her speyed & find her a good home with someone (who won't abandon her)

Right in the midst of all that stress .... there was one ray of sunshine. 
My friend Sue came over for a visit from the city.
Sue was the exact person you need in a situation like this ... not only is she friendly & cheerful, but also very confident as she has fostered kittens for the S.P.C.A herself.
And Sue came bearing gifts . . .
.  .  . wonderful Op Shop treasures that she knew I would Love !!

Not only that, Sue took one of the kittens home with her .   .   .  my favourite one actually, the polydactyl one with 
the extra toes
And very proud of his extra toe too !!!!!  Click on the photo if you want to enlarge it.
You can read Sue's post about her visit Here & see the ummm - "rather stressful & difficult" life little ToeBee is leading - I have pinched borrowed a couple of Sue's photos below
Thank you SO much Sue for all your help & encouragement with the kitten fiasco !!


ToeBee with Sue's older cat Big

So the 3 kittens below all went to their separate homes on the same day 

This just left the ginger & the black male kittens remaining.
I was worried about one going & the other being left behind so it was nothing short of a miracle when the girl came to collect the ginger boy, she agreed to take his brother too!!

This is why I had hoped they would be kept together .  .  .
Bless their precious wee souls.
Enough kitten overload for one day ???!!!

Hence there has been not alot achieved at Threadbear this past week.  As my sewing machine has gone in for a long overdue service, it was hand sewing projects only.
I noticed the glass dish containing the wool blanket lavender hearts in my Cottage was empty .  .  .

.  .  . as well as there being no mothball sachets remaining.
I was able to rectify both these this week as I had some muslin bags already sewn up, just needing to be filled.
You can find the recipe for the mothball sachets Here if you should want to make some up yourself)

Way back early last year when we did our lounge extension, we were left with one end of a set of french doors spare.
I masked up 3 of the panes & painted them black "diesel" - but then never did anything further with them.
Our extension ended up having one long expanse of wall with no windows in it .... this was partly our choice & partly due to the fact the we (me) could find nothing we could agree on.
I decided to use this false window to break up the bare expanse of wall.
My son screwed it to the weatherboards for me & we dragged my old concrete washing machine tubs along underneath the "window".
I then filled the tubs with red & white geraniums !!!
Yes I know !!!   Yes I did say white !!!
They just grew pink for some unknown reason !!!
In hindsight I am pleased we didnt put a window in this wall - it keeps the room nice & cool & also gives me more wall space to hang things on.
Thank you for staying with me through this lengthy ramble dear friends
I shall leave you with these pics of Miss Pippi "paying me back" for entertaining the idea of possibly adding more cats to our home !!!!!
How dare I ???!!!
She has taken up sleeping in my lovely Tilda lined suitcase as retribution !!
Take that you terrible Mother you !!!!!!!!!

Go give those furry friends a gentle pat & tell them you love them
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie, Blackie & Miss Pippi x0x0x0x0