Wednesday, September 18, 2019

A Pincushion Swap

Greetings dear friends & readers & Happy Wednesday to you all !!


A couple of years ago my dear friend Leeanne emailed me & said  "here is a blog I think you might really enjoy"
The blog she was referring to was Janet's blog "Rogue Quilter"
I began following Janet & spent many hours drooling over her beautiful quilting & fine detailed work - in particular 
her mini quilts


On a post a few months back, I happened to comment how beautiful I thought this bowl of pincushions was - 
all made from leftover scraps by Janet
"Would you perhaps like one ?" asked Janet
And so I offered to do a small swap with her - we both quickly agreed not to put any pressure on ourselves & just make this swap very casual  - which suited us both perfectly


I wasn't sure what to send to Janet - but I remembered her mentioning how much she loved my upcycled projects 
I came across these two wooden spools - they had been tossed my way when a friend was throwing out an old spinning wheel that had gotten wet & somewhat swollen in size
(I have probably had these for about 4 years now)
I decided to upcycle one of them & make into a pincushion for Janet


I made the top "pincushion part" by gathering a circle of raw linen, filling it with wadding & affixing it to the spool - then I wound some thin batting around the centre stem
I covered this with some tape measure ribbon that I already had in my stash



Because the base was not sitting stable I glued a large washer to the base & then covered this with black wool felt - this gave the whole thing some weight & good stability
(This was actually The Mr's suggestion - not mine) 😉

I had enough small beaded letters in my stash to spell the word "quilt" - unfortunately not enough to spell 
"Rogue Quilter."
I stitched some tiny hexies to the top & then sewed on a couple of copper effect sewing charms - also in my stash


My pincushion was ready to send across the oceans & the miles to Janet in Utah.



As I forgot to photograph my parcel before I posted it I have borrowed this photo from Janet's blog
I purchased some handmade lavendar soap from this gorgeous Lavender Farm just 5 minutes up the road from where I live.,
Also I purchased some Whittakers chocolate, made here in New Zealand - & sent one of my linen lavendar hearts.
I crossed my fingers & toes that all this would get through Customs without a hitch 😉


You can read Janet's blog post about receiving my parcel * Here *

Yesterday - to my utter delight - Janet's swap package arrived.
Let me tell you friends, before I even got the end open, I could smell this most delicious fragrance !! 💗
Janet had sent me some of her own handmade herbal soap - it is Sooo divine, I cannot describe the 
incredible smell of it (& that beautiful bee shaped soap made my heart skip several beats)!!


Along with the wonderful promised pincushion Janet had included one of her mini quilts ! 😊
This one had been made from scraps retrieved from the rubbish bin while Janet was on Retreat - one lady had tossed all her scraps out & Janet had "rescued them". 
I was just delighted & quite honestly - speechless! The workmanship & tiny piecing is just incredible.  

Also included was a notepad & some delicious sounding choccy treats (which won't last long in my hands I can assure you !!)

Thank You So Very Much Janet - your parcel made my day & I just can't stop staring at all my treasures.
You are so kind & generous & I wish there wasn't a great big Ocean in between us !!! 💕



Yesterday was a Tuesday-with-Sid-day & as it turned cold & rainy, we - (I) - made a hut!


It only seems like just yesterday I was making these for Sid's Daddy - covering my old wooden clothes horse with sheets to make a hut !

While Sid had a nap in the afternoon I sat & bagged up fresh supplies of both my citrus & my cottage garden potpourri's

I supply these to The Farm Shop at Gordonton & they were low in stock so tomorrow I am driving over to replenish their supplies.
This afternoon I have finished making up more of my teacup birdfeeders - these are also going to the Farm Shop to be sold on my behalf

I sell each birdfeeder with a small bag of Wild Bird Seed

Anyone who has been following my blog for awhile now knows my addiction inclination towards old vintage china - I love to scour the Op Shops for it.
So I had a good stash to choose from to make these up today.
Before I drive to Gordonton I am driving across to the opposite side of the City to attend my eldest Grandsons Daycare as they are having a Grandparents Morning.


Thanks So Very Much for your visits today dear friends,
I hope the rest of the week goes well for you & you find some happy moments in the busy-ness of your days,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0








Saturday, September 14, 2019

A little bit of D.I.Y.


Greetings dear friends & readers,

Just after my last post Sid went away with his parents for a holiday to the Sunshine Coast of Australia.
As I didn't have to look after him for the week I decided this might be a good opportunity to paint my Hallway.


My first EVER homegrown freesias picked from my garden - their fragrance is divine !!~

My hallway is only small but it leads to our Utility rooms & - although tiny - it has 3 doorways & 2 cupboards 
leading off it.
And not much room to move either !!
It used to have an exterior glass door at the end but we removed this when we did our lounge reno & made it 
into a craft cupboard - you can read about it in this post Here
So now we have no natural light coming into the hallway at all.

Firstly I needed to nail quarter round moldings to the corner of the wall that the builders never finished off  - this then 
had to be filled & primer/undercoated.

Then I began painting the walls & YES - I had constant unwanted supervision throughout the entire process !!! 😉
It was a very small space to move around in & it is only fair to say - I got paint everywhere !!~!
My dear old Dad was a painter & he would've been turning in his grave if he saw how I worked !!

Once I got two coats on the walls & the door frames painted, I decided to paint the door at the end (my craft cupboard) in pink.
I had a Resene testpot in the colour Pale Rose
Once I had done a coat of this, I didn't like it at all - it reminded me of pink primer paint ... so I tried out some blue colors I had in testpots.
By this stage it was resembling a bit of an ugly patchwork quilt 😉

Finally - after a day of walking past it - back to cream the door went !
In hindsight I am so pleased I kept it the same color throughout as it's such a small space & it helps to lighten it a little

Plus I had decided to apply the leftover transfer from this little upcycle project that I did Here
This whole process was to be very much using up what I had on hand & not buying anything !


The sweet little china cross was a birthday gift from my lovely friend Jane.
These gorgeous vintage frames were purchased last year from my friend Sallys online vintage store - I loved them but had never found the right spot for them to hang
You can see in this picture & the one below, that my hallway had once upon a time, been wallpapered in a heavy duty textured wallpaper.  I simply painted right over this & loved the effect of it all.

A simple bevelled glass mirror - an op shop purchase - was my final decoration to the wall.
As our cat's litter box goes into the hallway at nights I chose not to place any other furniture in the narrow passageway.


But I do plan to make a long rag mat (from scrap fabrics) for the floor - once I catch my breath.


Next up I wanted to do some sort of shades for the 2 lights in the hallway - I found these old wire frames in my sleepout so I chose a pretty Tilda fabric from my stash, that echoed the plummy colors in the door transfer.

I tore strips, ironed them & then wound them round the wire frame - my only purchase was 2 of those skeletal light bulbs that have the filaments showing  (not photographing especially well here today)


It has certainly freshened & lightened it up but gosh I am SO pleased it is all done & I hope I don't have to do it again for many, many years! Give me a piece of furniture to paint anyday in preference to a room !! 😉


During the course of last week & in the midst of my painting spree - I remembered my lovely friend Sally had a birthday coming up.


I found this old wooden box in my sleepout so I painted each of the 4 sides with some black chalk paint & my stencil

Then I lined the whole box with a black rubbish bag & planted it with a punnet of snapdragons (antirrhinums) - these have such a long flowering period & if you pinch the centres out, I find they bush out nicely.


A little chalk board sign & the planter box was complete.


The next day I made up a batch of lemon dusters as I knew Sal would enjoy using these.
 I also made a Citrus Slice - some to enjoy & some to gift to Sal, as we seem to still have an abundance of lemons & oranges on our trees.

Thanks so much for staying with me through this lengthy post dear friends.
Before I sign off, I just wanted to share this delighful photo of dear little Sid on holiday in Noosa.
Isn't this just the picture of a little boy in absolute heaven ?! 💙
Wishing you a wonderful weekend dear friends,
Be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Sunday, September 1, 2019

A bit of an Upheaval

Greetings dear friends & readers & Welcome to Spring !!



To say our house has been in a bit of an upheaval these past 10 days would be an understatement!
Our dining room carpet was to be replaced by the firm we purchased it from 3 years ago, due to it de-laminating off the backing
While this was being done we decided to replace the old carpet in our 3 bedrooms,  so all our carpets matched
Every piece of furniture from the dining room & 3 bedrooms (including my sewing room) had to be moved 
to our lounge & some pieces went out onto our large covered deck

Every wardrobe had to be emptied out.
The Mr & I have mostly vintage wooden furniture (mainly Oak) & it is heavy!  Therefore all the drawers 
had to be carted out one at a time in order to lift the pieces.

It felt like we were living in one of those Hoarders homes you see on T.V  -  (no disrespect to those 
who choose to live like this)
Our new carpet is now down & I am slowly putting things back in their rightful place - a rather large boot load 
went to the Op Shop I might add !
Invariably when you move drawers around here, they rather rapidly get taken over by the four legged residents 
that live here 😉

As I have felt so tired there has been limited creativity going on but I am enjoying knitting these cotton dishcloths 
of an evening.
I like them to be just the right size to squeeze out so find 30 stitches across is just a nice handful 😉

Some new knitting cotton arrived on Friday - a Trademe purchase - I want to knit up some more scrubby cloths also

It seems - without even trying - I have become to go-to-girl in my neighborhood for anyone wanting animals fed,
 stock shifted or plants watered while they are away.

This trailer load of garden mulch arrived last week - a gift from a neighbor for pets fed & plants watered 
Does anyone else get really excited about such gifts I wonder ??!!

As if on cue this morning - the very first day of spring - my tulips opened their first flowers 
How wonderful 💗


My neighbor Lois has commissioned me to plant a dozen hanging baskets for her.

She is entering her garden in our local Altrusa Club Garden Ramble this November & wants hanging pots of colour dotted around her Cottage & through her trees.
As soon as I hit publish, I am heading outside to begin planting them in our lovely spring sunshine.


Quite often when I open my inbox in the mornings, The Mr has sent me through a little funny verse that he thinks 
I might enjoy - usually they are cat related ones 😸
However this one yesterday morning made me laugh & I thought I would share it with you all
Have a wonderful week ahead dear friends,
Hopefully - normal service will be resumed here very soon !!
Thanks so much for your visits today - take care of yourselves & each other,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0
(p.s I have no idea why some of this has printed out green & some black but I am too tired to rewrite it all)

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

An Upcycled (or ruined !!) Lampshade



Good Wednesday Morning to you all dear friends & readers 💚


Early last month - when I should have been working on Orders but was distracting myself - I decided I was 
tired of my coffee table display & thought it was perhaps about time I put my Easter things away (!!!) 😕


I found this lampshade on top of a wardrobe in my sleepout - it had been a $5 purchase from Hospice sometime 
last year
As you can see it was in excellent condition but the fixture inside where it could be fitted to a lamp stand, was missing.
I decided to pull all the covering off it including the wrapping around the sides of the frame 
 I had a "sort-of-an-idea-floating-in-my-head" that I wanted to rust it

I soaked it in a mixture of vinegar & salt - as I only had a shallow plastic bath I had to rotate it over several days 
but finally I could see the rusting process beginning
 I left the top & bottom of the frame with the wrapping on as I planned to re-wrap this with new fabric

Once I felt it had rusted enough I rinsed it well with cold water (you need to do this in order to halt the rusting process) then left it by the fire with Miss Pippi to supervise while it dried.

This is how it looked once I had wrapped the top & bottom of the frame in a dull brown fabric - I wanted a rustic primitive look - you see I planned to use the frame as a sort of "rustic cloche" on my coffee table

Here it is all set up on a vintage crochet doiley with my fairy lights wrapped around it 


I used a small stack of vintage prayer books & some other rustic looking objects as a display under my "cloche"

The hessian table runner just seemed to compliment the display perfectly


Down one end I displayed the soy candles I had made in some gorgeous crystal jugs gifted to me by 
my dear friend Sue 
I am really thrilled with my new/old display - however when I showed The Mr my finished cloche, his only 
comment was "I think you have ruined a perfectly good lampshade !!" 😉


Speaking of rustic things - I have been working outside on the very occasional days we have had fine weather - these are few & far between!
This rusty old tin hatbox was out in the woodshed so I lined it with a black polythene bag & then planted it with 
some succulents that were ready to be transplanted out
I am hoping they will multiply & spill over the edges


Whilst weeding an area of garden I noticed some pots tucked under a shrub & upon pulling them out, I see 
they were my hyacinth bulbs from last spring - just beginning to flower.
The scent from the white one is beautiful 💚


Last weekend before the wild weather came again I picked a large vase of daffodils & two jars of white Daphne
 to enjoy inside instead of watching it all get bashed around in the garden.


My friend Denise posted this little Verse on Instagram - I just loved it & asked her if I could share it on my blog 
 I hope you can read it okay - it is titled  "Seenager"


Thanks again for your visits & your lovely comments today dear friends,
It is nasty weather here again today & Miss Pippi is tucked up on the couch by the fire sound asleep
You can forgive her anything when you see her like this!
(including the mouse she bought in at 5.30 am this morning!!!)
Have a wonderful day dear friends,
Much love & friendship to you all 💗
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x