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

Monday, September 25, 2017

Some Cottage & Garden Snaps ........ blogging friendships ........ & books ........

Greetings dear friends & readers,
Gosh, I did not mean to be so long between posts ....
 Along with some (more!!) computer issues, I have been spending quite a bit of time with this little cherub below ....
Sid is now 5 1/2 months old  .... loves his food but if you take too long getting it ready, he starts to eat his bib !!!

As promised last post, I am sharing some pictures of my Cottage now I have given it a change around & a freshen up.
 It is difficult to take good photos inside as there is very little natural light & lots of lamp light, hence the photos often appear yellowy
 As you walk into my little Cottage, directly opposite is my "angel wall"

 The mantle piece above my fire surround (above)
Some of the "baby area" (above)
Fresh stocks of fragrant new soaps on my oak dresser (above)

A little sewing supplies area (above) ... needlecases, pincushions, workbaskets

- soy candles made in vintage china cups (above left) -

That is just a small random selection of the different areas in my little Cottage .... soon it will be time to be thinking about a christmas display I think !!

Though my poor old garden has been more of a neglected jungle this past winter, there are definate signs of life popping through the soil again ...

My veggie garden on the other hand, has been amazing with all the growth .... planting by my moon calendar along with copious amounts of worm tea have given me a bumper spring crop of so many different vegetables

Last Easter in the pouring rain, I remember planting 5 pots of bulbs - hyacinths & a variety of tulips 
 Nothing happened for a very long time & I began to despair but I have a riot of colour now that the tulip bulbs are in full bloom on my deck
Some of these were old bulbs I lifted & gave fresh potting mix, & others were new bulbs I had been gifted

Blogging friendships .........

 Earlier this year I wrote about meeting up with Sue from the blog Kiwikids
We had a wonderful time together so when Sue wrote that she was coming over to put some help in place for her elderly Mum & would I like to meet up again, I jumped at the chance.
We decided to meet up in Tirau, a good half way point & a pleasant spot to have some lunch together.
I remembered there was a Christmas Heirloom Shop in Tirau so after a lovely lunch we wandered up the hill to browse in the store
The Shop Owner took this photo of Sue & I amongst the trees !!
Sue & I in the Christmas Heirloom Shop ..... I could've bought one of every thing !!!!!
About 3 days after our get together an unexpected package arrived in the post.
Imagine my surprise when I opened it to unfold this gorgeous play quilt that Sue had made for my grandson Sid !!

It just so happened I was babysitting Sid at the time so he got to "test drive" the beautiful new quilt covered in gorgeous Boyds bears .... you can see by the photos how delighted Sid was !!!

Thank You Sue for your kindness & this most wonderful gift.

Another blogging friendship that I so enjoy is with my friend Willie
He leaves wonderful comments on my posts & often sends through emails about the things he loves the most 
..... cats, pink, family & lemon tea !!
It was on Willie's recommendation that I purchased the following book ... I Could Pee on This!!  A humorous compilation of poems relating to cats & Yes indeed, I am sure Miss Pippi is featured in quite a few of them!!

Willie has just celebrated a special birthday so I sent him this e-card featuring 2 of his favourite things, cats & pink !!

I first saw a vintage copy of this next book at my friend Sally's house & fell in love with it ... I was lucky enough to be able to purchase a 2nd hand copy from Trademe for $7.00.
I am sure many of you will be familiar with it dear friends - it is such a beautiful book

Thanks So Much for stopping by today dear friends,
I shall attempt to blog more frequently now we have (hopefully!!) had our computer issues sorted
Your visits are always so very welcome here  .  .  .  . 

old mossy work boots planted with pansies tucked in a corner of my garden
I hope the week ahead brings you many pleasurable moments,
with much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0