Wednesday, August 24, 2016

This & That ........ (part Two) ........... & a " Visitor "

Wednesday Greetings dear friends & readers,
Once again this past week, I have dabbled in small bursts of creativity.
When our lounge was finished back in June & I filled my revamped wall unit with old china, I sat this old brown cane basket on top of it

The basket was old - I don't remember where it came from now - but it was a good rectangular shape
As I would go rushing about my day I kept glimpsing up at the basket & the thought suddenly occurred to me "I could paint that basket"
So this week, I did just that  .  .  .  .

.  .  .  .   & then I filled it with some silk hydrangea's purchased from Mitre 10 using the last of my birthday money

I LoVeD it !!!  But still I felt it needed something .  .  .
So I sat one evening & stitched up a bunting using some pastel wool blanket offcuts

H O M E . . . .    just right I thought   :-)

I just love my revamped dresser filled with vintage china & oddments

When I sit on the couch of an evening to stitch & watch some T.V  I generally have company of the 4-legged variety

When I am up & down like a yo yo, back & forth to the sewing room for supplies Blackie looks at me as if to say 
"oh for flips sake, would you sit still !!!"
I decided I needed a small pincushion to stay in the lounge at all times with just a few pins & needles in it for my evening stitching.

This little wooden goblet - 50 cents from the OpShop - fit the bill perfectly

Because I was too lazy busy to sand the heavy laquer off it, I decided I had better paint it using chalk paint .... no prep required
I gave it a coat with off-white, two coats of my pale duck egg test pot, then lightly sanded it when dry
I waxed it before making the pincushion as did not want to get wax on my fabric

A scrap of Tilda fabric, some left over embellishments & the job was complete ... just nice & compact to stay in the lounge at all times

Last time my dear friend Leeanne came for a visit, she opened her car boot & removed two old prams !!
My heart skipped several beats !!!
Her instructions were " do what you like with them ... restore them, sell them, gift them or dump them "

This one was the worst of the two ... its base was full of borer ...
so I decided to plant it with pansies  !!

Which is exactly what I did yesterday ....
... after lining the pram with two black rubbish bags & filling with potting mix.
 I look forward to them growing & filling the pram up with their cheerful faces

Thank You So Much Leeanne  :-)

This past week we have had an unexpected "visitor" 

The dearest little cat - abandoned & starving - appeared hiding in the roll of old carpet that is sitting on my deck.
I wish I had taken her photo the day she arrived,  her ribs were so prominent & her eyes so weepy.
After a couple of days of food, she became THE most affectionate little girl ever & I found her a wonderful home with the girl who milks for us at the farm.
Though I was sad to see her go, I was happy that she was going to a family that would cherish her & care for her.
They have named her "Serenity".

We have a metal pit at the corner of our road, just past our depot yard - it is a constant battle with folk dropping cats & kittens off there. Honestly abandonment is one of the  very worst crimes - I would not ever want to catch anyone in the act, I doubt I could be held responsible for my actions.

And as for my two . . . .
Well, while Blackie could not have cared less, lets just say Madam Pippi is relieved that she no longer has any competition for "baby of the house" & is resting up due to her nose being so severely put "out of joint" !!!!

Thanks so very much for your visit today dear friends & readers,
I hope the rest of the week is good & kind to you all,
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

This & That . . . . (part One)

Greetings dear friends & readers,
This past week or more, has seen little bursts of creativity in different areas .  .  .

I was looking at this sweet doiley that I was gifted in this post & decided it seemed such a shame to sit things on it & cover it up.
I decided to frame it instead

I found a pair of these cheap wooden frames in my sewing cupboard ... purchased on special from The Warehouse

I gave one of them a lick of paint & then lightly sanded/distressed the edges
 I searched for a nice piece of scrapbooking paper to mount the doiley onto but nothing was forthcoming.
As it was the weekend & I wanted this project finished yesterday I simply stretched a pretty piece of Tilda fabric over the back board & then attached the doiley onto it with double-sided tape
Once framed I loved it ... apologies for the ray of light in the top of the frame is that rarely seen thing these days ...sunlight !!

This vintage cane basket was in the rafters of Mums shed holding some old rubbish bits & bobs of hers.

She asked me to clear the rafters out for her so I acquired the basket in return - I liked that it was a generous size & thought it would make a good workbasket
I scrubbed the basket & dried it thoroughly by the fire ... then I padded & lined the base with a pretty Sanderson linen fabric

I have popped the workbasket for sale in the Cottage

My dear friend Leeanne gifted me this sweet framed stitchery (amongst other goodies) for my birthday
I loved it so much that I wanted to add a little collection of stitcheries to it
After making some inquiries with Leeanne, I was able to purchase some of the gorgeous wooden frames from The Country Yard ... a veerry wonderful store that is on my wishlist to visit oneday.

I reduced a couple of the little stitcheries from Jenny of elephantz Stitchery Club & have so far completed this dear little bird one
I always love the names of the Cottage Garden Threads ... the one I used for my stitchery was called "Running Postman" !!

These wooden angel wings were my only christmas decoration purchase last December ... I loved them so much that I chose not to pack them away after christmas .  .  .  .

.   .  .  . but this week I decided they needed "distressing/shabby-ing" .  .  .  .
.  .  .  . before hanging on my lounge wall

A large new Retirement Complex has been developed in our town called Highfield Country Estate
This year, right in the middle of the large establishment, they built a magnificent Community Centre called The Lodge.

I was asked to go & teach some craft classes at The Lodge, in the special multi-purpose craft room built within the complex.
Last month I had 8 ladies attend & we made teacup or coffee mug pincushions

The ladies had a wonderful time & at the end of the session, they all had completed a pincushion to take home with them

We have been having some finer days at long last, but our nights here are still especially chilly

Pippi & Blackie like to me to build them a little nest of cuddly rugs & they tuck up together on the couch to stay warm during the nights.
I hope you are all managing to stay warm or cool dear readers - where ever you are
Thanks so much for your visit today - I shall be back again soon with Part Two.
Happy Week to you all
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Suitcase ............ with definate potential

Greetings from Wet, Wintery Waikato dearest friends & readers,
I have been on a trip down to my Mums . . . most certainly not a pleasure trip .  .  . 
. . . more of a "pick mum up & put her back together again" kind of trip .
It is horrible when your elderly parents have falls & accidents
You feel so helpless & are left with all sorts of mixed emotions about them growing older & life in general .  .  .
It doesn't help when you live 4 hours away either .

Early last summer the Mr & I were cleaning out yet another shed at the farm
I happened across an old suitcase buried under some bags of prehistoric pinecones
The documents in the suitcase were old, yellowed & more or less in tatters
But I thought the suitcase showed  definate potential underneath all that dirt & grime & rat droppings
Though I forgot to photograph the actual suitcase it was identical to this one above - which I use for display in my Cottage.
 I am annoyed at myself for not photographing it upon my return from the farm but quite honestly, it went directly from my car boot to the hose & got a good waterblasting & a scrub . . .
. . . before it was shoved in the woodshed & promptly forgotten about for several months !!
Around the time I was experimenting with chalk paint, I decided to give it a couple of coats of the pale blue testpot I had recently purchased

Once again, it sat for several months in its unfinished state  .... just prior to my trip to Mums I decided to line the interior.
I had earmarked this lovely Tilda fabric "blue doilies" as I thought it complimented the paint colour so well

It was very much a case of make it up as you go along - though I did find a really great tutorial *here*

I completed the bottom part & Pippi very generously tested it out for me for size, softness & squashy-ness, as well as checking that the suitcase clasps still tasted nice worked okay !!

Upon my return from Mums I decided it was time to finish lining the suitcase .... otherwise I felt it was in danger of becoming yet another cat bed !!!!   

Lining the lid was a little fiddlier but I did complete it . . .

hmmmm . . . . . still I felt it lacked something  . . . . . ? ? ?

I added a fine cord to the top & pegged some Tilda Sewing cards onto it with miniature heart pegs . . . 

. . . . then I tied a length of lace to the handle & a Tilda luggage tag . . .

As the lid kept falling backwards, I added a length of braid to secure the lid when up
I love my blue suitcase & look forward to filling it with some special treasures that do NOT include any fluffy 4-legged critters !!!!!!

I was lucky enough to spend some time on the weekend looking after my favourite blue eyed boy - my grandson Alec
He is walking now & loves riding around on his little scooter that his Granny Julie bought him (from the Op Shop!!!)

My friend Sally is one of the cleverest, craftiest, creative folk I know . . . she has recently opened an on-line vintage shop & it is a lovely place to pop by for a looksy
* Here * is the link
I love browsing the "shelves" of Sal's store & look forward to the day she opens her own bricks-&-mortar store.

I hope the week ahead is good & kind to you all dear friends & readers,
I am off to brew a pot of tea & delve into this great book which arrived in the post today . . .
. . . a treat for myself purchased using some birthday money from my Mum.
Thanks so much for stopping by to visit today,
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones


Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Large Tilda Doll

Greetings dear friends & readers,
During the chaos of the last several months while we struggled through our renovation, I would frequently pull out my Tilda Books & read them .  .  .
. . . try to breathe deeply & remain calm . . .
I dream't of making a soft pastel Tilda doll for my new lounge room - a really large Tilda doll - perhaps an Angel ??

In my Tilda's Studio book, I settled on the Pink Angel below but I still wasn't sure of what size to make her

One day while browsing a new Variety Store in our town, I came across some child's angel wings for the princely sum of $7  .  .  .   & so they came home with me

Off  I trotted to my local photocopying shop with my angel wings & my Tilda book in hand
The man in there is used to me by now - with my odd ideas & my grand schemes - he enlarged the pattern for me by 200%
When I made the body, it fit the wing size perfectly . . . I was on my way !!!

I came unstuck a little when it came to making the clothing
You see when I was at school learning maths, I was usually the one to be found down the back of the class with my fingers in my ears & my eyes shut tight
Lets just say "I am mathematically challenged"
Trying to work out (& enlarge) all those tiers in the skirt gave me a headache ... it didn't help that I had some unwanted assistance along the way !!!

I couldn't afford to just cut randomly into my precious Tilda fabrics, & then get it wrong . . .
 But we I got there in the end

Click on the picture to enlarge it if you wish
I so love my Tilda Angel . . . she is exactly like I pictured her in my mind's eye .  .  .  soft, serene & peaceful

I must confess I was not a huge fan of the Tilda dolls hairstyle, but decided to stay with this very Norwegian look to keep her a true Tilda creation.

The skirt - when finished, would easily fit a small child

I had difficult understanding the instructions in the book for making the fabric roses - so I found this youtube video 
most helpful 
However, let me just ask you one tiny question ... have you ever tried making fabric roses, following a video whilst you have a small furry being on your lap trying to help you ???!!!
It brings new meaning to the word patience !!
I embellished her neck with a vintage brooch gifted to me by my youngest son a few years back.

My Tilda Angel hangs on a wall in my lounge room beside some pretty things

Early last year when my friend Gail closed her Gift Shop I purchased this cushion from her at half the marked price
It had been locally made & I loved it
But I didn't love the purple crochet "basket" holding the flowers.
I stashed it in a bag & threw it in the top of my wardrobe & promptly forgot about it ...
... until last week when it fell down & hit me on the head & reminded me it was time to do something with it.
I unpicked the purple crochet "basket" & replaced it with a cream crochet doiley .... & while I was there, I replaced some of the brighter, gaudier flowers with softer colours

I love it all the more now & found the perfect spot for it on my couch.

I have had another birthday go by dear readers - 56 years around the clock of life
Goodness me !!!
I received some really lovely gifts from family & friends . . .
Oh how I adore my patchwork mini quilt (made by my dear friend Leeanne) bottom left
. . . & enjoyed my day spending time with my precious grandson.
But I think the thing that excited me the most ... something I have coveted for quite sometime now ... gifted from my eldest son & his family 
Yes - a worm farm !!!! Great excitement indeed !!!!
(& hard to photograph on this rainy dull day)

Thanks SO much for stopping by to visit me today dear readers
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend & find some time to do something special for yourselves
with much love & friendship to you ALL
Julie & the furry ones