Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Men's Ties, Sphagnum Moss & Twine !!

Wednesday Greetings dear friends & readers
Our little craft group met up again on Monday at Sharlaine's Home
At our last meeting Gail tipped out a bag of men's silk ties onto the table & we were all to choose one, create something with it, & bring it to our next meeting.
I chose the Christmas Tie below .  .  .

Upon arriving home .... I did wonder what on earth possessed me to choose this one !!

I thought I might try to make a small size Christmas bag from it so I unpicked the tie & tried to frame it somewhat using matching fabrics that I already had in my stash 

I think its fair to say that at this stage above, I still really had no idea what I was doing .... but I wanted to use the point of the tie as the bottom of my bag.
I used some co-ordinating fabrics to patchwork a back for the bag & then quilted this.
 I used the plain dark blue end of the tie as a handle - the bag is fully lined with calico

In the end I was pleased with how it came together ...... I attached a cute Nikki Tervo ceramic button that said 
"I 💝Xmas"
I thought this was an ideal size to use for a Christmas Gift Bag

I attached a tin bell to the very bottom point

The ladies had all made quite different items from their Ties ... Liz had made a turtle as her tie had tiny turtles printed all over the silk, Gail had made a cute Winnie the Pooh bunting & bear from hers, Joyce had fashioned a silk flower brooch & Sharlaine had framed hers in a hoop

Some of the ladies (excluding yours truly) had made some more velvet pumpkins following on from  
our last get together

I thought they were all really beautiful but I just LoVeD Sharlaine's sewing themed pumpkin below !!

For our meeting on Monday we had decided to have a go at Kokedama 

Kokedama is a style of Japanese bonsai, where a plant's root system is simply wrapped in sphagnum moss and bound with string, transforming it into a sculptural art form. Loosely translated, 'koke' means moss and 'dama' means ball.Mar 27, 2014

Sharlaine had tried this before but none of us other ladies had.
I have to say, I really really enjoyed it & shall definately be making more! 
As we all used differing thicknesses of twine the end results were all quite different but effective!

These are our first attempts above & this is my own little cutie below .... I am hoping to make a simple string hanger for it as they look wonderful suspended.

I had a good trip down to Mum's to celebrate her 89th birthday & then the following day I took her to the crematorium where my Dad's ashes are scattered in the Garden of Remembrance
Mum & I take either silk or fresh flowers each time & it is wonderful to see the plaque & flowers are left untouched each visit.

Upon my return I had some surprise mail arrive from * here *
I found Alice Caroline fabrics on Instagram & fell in love with their gorgeous Liberty selection 
so I ordered some fat 1/4's

I have had this pattern below for many years quite some time now & hope to make Miss Maggie up with a Liberty print dress & ears.

Though Taranaki was cold & stormy while there, I have certainly returned home to much lower temperatures.

I don't want to light the fire just yet so am making do with the heater but it's pretty much "first in, most warmest" !!

I purchased a couple of Op Shop treasures while away but will save those for another day as this is rather a photo heavy post.
I shall leave you with this little collage I put together last week.
I have Sid every Thursday & Miss Pippi has informed me she dislikes Thursdays! Though she Is allowed inside, she refuses to come in while Sid is here so this is what goes on all day long .... something of a Mexican Standoff!!

A Mexican standoff is a confrontation amongst two or more parties in which no strategy exists that allows any party to achieve victory.Wikipedia
Incidently in the top photos she is sitting in my flowering window basket!!
Thanks so much for stopping by today dear friends,
I hope the rest of the week goes well for you all
I shall try to get around & visit you all at your blogs as our internet has been rather contrary again!
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0x 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A Lovely Easter & A First Birthday!

Greetings dear friends & readers & (Belated) Happy Easter Wishes!

We have honestly had the loveliest Easter here at Threadbear ... my Cottage is now closed, the weather was beautiful, we didn't have to do anything in particular or please anyone!

And then yesterday, we had a small birthday celebration to attend for my youngest grandson Sid - who turned One!!

Here he is on the new trike gifted to him by his other grandparents

Early last week I decided to make Sid a couple of bibs to pop in with his gifts .... I used some Peter Rabbit & Winnie the Pooh fabrics that I already had in my stash .... backed with a cream towel put aside especially for bib making

The bibs went together so well I then decided to make him some little boots .... I used Lisa's pattern from Here ....
 the Tie Back Boots

Once again these were made entirely from scraps of fabrics I had on hand

The boots are fully lined & I had a lovely soft polar fleece that was just perfect for the job

Wrapped & ready & waiting for the Birthday Boy!

I offered to make a birthday cake for our morning tea ... I have popped my recipe at the bottom of this post ... it is such a simple chocolate cake recipe that I make up in my meat dish, lovely & moist & keeps well too.
I decorated it with some choccie eggs & M & M's ... though I have photographed it from the wrong angle, the candles spell "SID" - another of those times you are thankful your grandchildren have short names!

Here I am wearing my new bib, waiting for some of that cake & wondering why it is taking so long !!

These autumn days have been beautiful ... I spent some time out on my deck painting a couple of small projects ... this wooden trug needed an upcycle

Some pale duck egg chalk paint & a scrap of vintage wallpaper just big enough to line the base, plus a coat of wax

Whilst I loved this tissue holder once upon a time, it had gotten old & chipped & tatty looking .... I decided 
a freshen up was in order

While I had the pale duck egg paint out I gave it two coats & a light sand of the edges.
I then mod podged paper doilies to each side & glued some vintage braid around the opening 

My lovely friend Shirley loaned me her copy of this Tilda Book
I made up the Paper Angels & strung them across my dining room dresser as a bunting

I plan to make some more as feel they would be perfect attached to brown paper gift wrapped parcels!

I spent a bit of time pulling one of my raised veggie gardens to bits & picked yet more tomatoes & some chilli peppers 
I am keen to get my winter planting in but those tomatoes just keep on producing!

And then this morning I picked the last of my dahlias before they all hibernate for winter .... these have given me so much joy this season & kept on flowering away merrily

I hope you all had an enjoyable Easter dear friends - it feels as though March passed us by in the blink of an eye!
I am off to my Mums for a few days - she will be turning 89!
Be good & kind to yourselves & to each other,
Thanks so much for your visits here today,
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x 

*Sherie's Chocolate Cake Recipe*
1 3/4  cup flour                         1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp baking pwdr                  3 desstspoons cocoa  
   1/4 tsp salt                                    1 1/2 cup sugar   
1 cup milk,          1/2 cup soft butter,        3 eggs 
Sift all dry ingredients together in basin.
Add butter & milk & beat vigorously for 2 - 3 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time beating well.
Pour into meat dish or large tin & bake in moderate Oven (350) for half an hour.
When cool ice with chocolate icing or chocolate frosting.
(will keep well for a long time - if it gets a chance!)

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Purses & Frames

Greetings dearest friends & readers,
I had to take my car for a warrant this past week - the young Garage Mechanic told me it would be about an hour 
so I had enough time to do a trawl of the local Op Shops.
I found some treasures !

Though I already had the black bag on the left, the other two vintage embroidered purses were such wonderful finds .... $5 each which I was happy to pay, at my local Hospice shop.
I now have the beginnings of a new collection of sorts !!

I have long admired the groupings of frames that you see on pinterest & have pinned some to my pinterest boards ....
 I love the stark simplicity of them.
When I helped my neighbour Leah with her garage sale last year I came away with some oddments of broken frames that she was going to toss out.

These two below were in the Habitat for Humanity Op Shop last week - one was $7, one was $5
 However they were both in the half price bin so I got the two for a mere $6.

When I came home & removed the glass & backing from the silver rose frame, it was actually broken in 3 areas .... the arrows show where the cracks are.  I didn't notice the cracks before as the tightly fitted backing was holding
 it all together
I quickly squeezed some glue into the cracks & hoped when I painted it I could disguise the joins

I spent a couple of pleasant days painting the assortment of frames out on my decking table - they each got 
about 3 coats.
I used chalk paint Vintage White, which can easily be applied to any surface, including the brassy metal frames
When I proudly showed the Mr my display his words were "well when are you going to put pictures in them then??"

I love my little frame display ... I have 7 so far but feel sure I will probably add to it

While I had the cream paint out my friend Gail commissioned me to paint a large shiny gold mirror for her

Here it is hanging back up in Gail's entrance way
A gentle scuff with fine sandpaper at the end & it turned out beautifully

My other completed Order this week was the two vintage barkcloth cushions below - a friend commissioned me to make them for her after seeing my own one
The pattern for these roundie cushions is from the Granny Chic book

The Mr has been away since VeRy early this morning - I got up & made my grandson Alec's favourite 
banana/white chocolate muffins, then went & spent the morning with him.

When I returned home I gave the house a "lick & a promise"  & decided to burn my new waxed melt .... 
"spiced pumpkin"

The whole house smells wonderful !

I had planned to spend the rest of the day sewing but it would seem that someone has other ideas & has taken up residence on my machine cover !
I may need to have a bit of a re think!

I hope the coming week is good & kind to all of you dear friends,
Thanks so much for your visits here today,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Creative Kind of Week

Greetings dear friends & readers,
It has been a crafty, creative kind of week here at Threadbear

On Monday I took the new-to-me frame that I wrote about in this post & made it into a display frame with 
some very old photos found in a box belonging to The Mr.
The 3rd one in from the left is actually a baby photo of the Mr himself!!

On Tuesday (& Wednesday) I finished a dolly I had started about a year ago now.
She is a Rosalie Dekker design ....  "Linen Angel"

I dressed her in Tilda fabrics & fussy cut a piece of vintage linen to make her a little heart - the porcelain rose adorning the heart is off an old broken brooch.

This wee Angel stands at just 25 cms tall & has wooden wings.
I am so pleased I finally finished her.
Each Thursday now I look after my youngest grandson Sid, for the day.
He is such a delight & loves his marmite toast fingers eaten in Granny's kitchen.

On Friday I got up early & drove to the other side of Hamilton city to attend a class at this delightful shop below
I purchased my Janome sewing machine from this shop so I receive their online newsletters.
When I saw a basic Learning to Quilt Class advertised I knew I wanted to attend.  When I rang to enrol I told the lady that I did not even know how to fit my machines walking foot!
I just wanted her to be quite clear that I would be the class dummy!

I really enjoyed the class but found it very intense.
Above are my samples of the different techniques we learnt in class.
My favourites are the two below .... flowers & fans .... I really enjoyed doing these 
as did the lovely lady sitting next to me.

When the Class finished at 3 pm & I walked back to my car, I noticed a Salvation Army Op shop just across from where I parked so I wandered in to have a browse.

This lovely glass pedestal stand was only $2 ... & even had the French Country Collection sticker still on it!
I had an idea for this stand  .   .   .   .

Though I purchased the cute wire cloche from The Hummingbird last year, I had never actually done anything with it!

I was growing a sweet little baby's tears plant in this china sugar bowl & thought the cloche might just fit over the top

And then the glass pedestal stand just gave it that little bit of height that it needed!
Perfect !

 Yesterday, Saturday, I was at the supermarket early purchasing goodies to make up some Gift Baskets for The Mr.
He is President of our local Moto Cross Club & each year they hold their annual prizegiving event.
They postponed their December event due to folks having so much on at that busy time of year,
 & re-scheduled it for today.  
The Gift Baskets are for the ladies that help out at each event with sign on, lap scoring, flag marshalling etc ... 
they do an awesome job.
You can see by my little collage above, that I had considerable trouble actually getting the goodies INTO the baskets themselves!
Due to a certain ginger helper who decided by the time I took the last photo, to actually lay down & have a wee sleep in the darned basket!
And Yes, I was tempted to toss some cellophane & ribbon around that particular basket & send it on its way!!

Finally last night, with no 4-legged helpers around,  I got them all finished!

Thanks so much for your visits today dear friends,
I hope you find some creative time in the coming week for yourselves,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0