Driving through the beautiful Waikato countryside I easily located Threadbear Cottage on Arapuni Road.  Owner Julie Lealand has a love of golliwogs, teddies and all things vintage. To attract passers-by Julie commissioned a giant eight foot tall golliwog made from corrugated iron which stands proudly in her lovingly tended front garden.

I stopped in Kihikihi at Viand’s Bakery and bought some delicious friands….a blueberry one and because I can never resist the flavour, a salted caramel one too. Julie had picked some beautiful flowers from her garden and set the table with a lace cloth and her lovely vintage china for our morning tea.  She told me she thinks it’s important to use our pretty things everyday, not keep them in a cupboard for special occasions. I couldn’t agree more.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Julie and she was such a wonderful story-teller. She told me all about how her son had built her cottage to take her mind off a serious accident that she had suffered.  It was initially designed as a sewing room but, upon her friend’s suggestion, it evolved into the lovely source of inspirational handcrafted gifts that it is today.

To find out all about Julie and Threadbear Cottage read our full conversation here.