Sunday, September 25, 2016

Timeless Black & White ....... (or Cream)

Rainy Sunday Greetings dear friends & readers
I have been trying to do a blog post for sometime now & even though I had the photos .... the words just would not get themselves onto the page !!!

My lovely friend Christine popped out for a cuppa & chatted with me about a new doll she would like me to make her.
Christine is currently introducing touches of black & slightly off white into her beautiful home.
She wanted me to make a specific doll for her ... a raggedy pattern called Sunshine - a Lil'blokes design
But she did not want ANY raggedy red in the dolly - just black & off white or cream

Little Miss Sunshine was such a pleasure to create for Christine ... I always love the timelessness of black & white 

Christine did not want raggedy red hair either so I used black perle cotton to stitch Sunshine's hair ... I wasn't sure how this would look but I think it really suits her with her monochromatic colour scheme

After walking past her for a day or two & feeling that something was missing, I realised she needed a toy to hold

This little black teddy bear was in my craft bits & bobs so I gave him/her a cream bow & heart button embellishment

Aahhh much better now she has a little friend for company

Christine was thrilled with her dolly & texted me to say she was most happy in her new home surrounded by other dolls & bears.
You can read about other doll commisions I have done for Christine *here* &  *here*


The garden is just coming to life after our long wet winter & lots of trees are bursting into flower - the magnolia below is in full bloom at present

We have many cherry blossom trees on our property - 7 of the flowering cherry blossom variety prunus awanui
Five of them are planted running parallel to the grapevine, but these will be getting removed in a couple of weeks due to them continually growing up towards the power lines

This one out towards my Cottage will just be getting a heavy prune ....
.... which will be great because it shades my vege garden a little too much.

You can see by my photos, it is still raining here ... these days are good indoor days ... with the fire roaring there are always painting jobs to do, even if it IS only Santa's boots
And as you can see ....
.... I have constant supervision ....


.... even though the Supervisor does get a little weary at times !!!

After the topsy turvy-ness of our renovations, I somehow ended up with 3 broken lamps,  one of which required a trip to the electrician.
This lamp here sits beside the couch by our fire & it is a great stitching pozzy on wintery nights.

After repairing the switch I decided it needed a new shade, but I didn't want to shade too much light as I find it difficult enough to see at nights as it is.
After removing the old cover, I wrapped the frame of the shade in lengths of cotton fabric & then when I was finished - it all needed a bit of a haircut trim.
I added a sweet raspberry coloured bobble trim to the base but Oh it needed something more ...........
Some crochet flowers would be a nice touch but all I had were these in a gawdy yellow colour
However, what I DID have was a paintbrush & an old-nearly-dried-up pot of resene "pohutakawa red"


I could paint them couldn't I ???   ..... Why ever not ???!!!



I just glued the flowers on at random ... I love the effect


Just simple & wonderful 

Thank you all for your visits this rainy weekend dear friends & readers
I shall leave you with this photo I snapped this morning of the tui that visit us here now the blossoms are flowering
Miss Pippi spends hours figuring out how she can taste test one !!!

I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead
with much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Purple Cupboard

Greetings dear friends & readers from Wintery Waikato
Late last year my friend Joyce & I were having a cuppa together & I was telling her about some of my revamps.
Joyce works as a Volunteer at the local Church Op Shop.
"There's a cupboard at the shop you might be interested in" she mentioned .... "it's only $3"
My ears pricked up !!!  "Yes please I definately would be interested"
"It's kind of a wooden bedside cupboard" she informed me "you could paint it up - I'm coming out this way tomorrow, I'll drop it off to you"

There was only one small teeny tiny detail that Joyce forgot to mention .  .  .  .
.  .  .   the $3 cupboard was painted bright purple !!!
When she unloaded it from her boot & sat it on my deck, I thought The Mr was going to burst a foofoo valve !!!

And so the purple cupboard sat at the back of the sleepout - abandoned & forlorn
There were at least 2 occasions when I attempted to clean out the sleepout & The Mr dragged "that hideous old purple thing" over to the burning heap.
But I would always drag it back again.
It was in such rough condition that it would require a major overhaul in order to ever on-sell it again.
Then last week when I was tidying up the Cottage decking an idea came to me.
I dragged the purple cupboard out of the sleepout & set it up on my deck to paint.

A rummage in the back of my craft cupboard & I came across 1 1/2 testpots of Hot Chilli red paint from Resene  .  .  . this would have to do !!


After giving it two coats I realised I had completely forgotten about the drawer
 I only gave the cupboard a good wipe down - really it needed stripping, sanding & quite a substantial amount of work
But I had neither the time, the energy, nor the inclination
However once finished, the drawer painted & the wooden blocks (feet) painted & secured, it looked totally transformed

The 1 1/2 testpots were just enough to give it two thorough coats


.  .  .  & the purpose of the newly painted cupboard I hear you asking ???

Well, down the end of my lounge in front of the french doors, I grow my babies tears in little pots
I find the warmth, the light & the late afternoon sun just perfect for getting them established
Plus it is out of the way of too much foot traffic (especially the 4-legged variety)

Note to self ......Julie finish scraping the paint from the windows !!!!!!
Once these little pots are established I plant them up into vintage aluminium teapots & china cups to sell in the Cottage
The purple little red cupboard would be ideal for displaying all these plants on the Cottage deck area
I needed something that wasnt too "precious" & that could take the odd splash of water spilt on it
The scrap of oilcloth was left over from a stool covering & was the perfect size for the top of the cupboard
These little aluminium teapots just need their doileys mod podged & they will be sealed & waterproofed

I asked The Mr what he thought of the purple cupboard now but he declined to comment & just shook his head !!!???

I have been the lucky recipient of some gorgeous gifted treasures this past month
Kerry popped in unexpectedly with a "care package" she had put together for me with such thoughtfulness

The delicate lime scented candle is still going strong but I must confess there are a large portion of choccies missing !!!!

I was lucky enough to have a visit from my lovely friends Claire & her Mum Nancy, from Hawera.
These girls were on their way North & we enjoyed a fun lunch together.

Claire presented me with some thrifted treasures along with this gorgeous pouch she had made me
I loved it so much that I added a wire hanger & it now hangs on my lounge wall (minus the choccy of course!!!)

And Nancy, who was knitting in the car, presented me with a wonderful selection of her handknitted dishcloths - which I LoVe & use every single day

Then last week, while waiting on a warrant for my car, I wandered down to visit my friend Sally
It was such a surprise to be given a late birthday gift - some of Sal's beautiful handwork, a gorgeous stitchery in a hoop - which is also now hanging on my lounge wall
Thank you SO much girls - I am so thankful for all of you, your friendship's & your kindness


We are experiencing an icy polar blast here in wintery Waikato dears friends
It is definately weather for inside activities
Last week when I looked after little Alec, we decided to make a start on some spring cleaning .... as you can see Alec was sooo helpful !!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit today dear readers
I hope you all enjoy a wonderful weekend filled with things that bring you pleasure
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A bit of "a stool thing " ...................

Greetings dearest friends & readers,
Along with the "bit of a thing" that I have for nice soaps, scented candles & vintage wooden chairs .  .  . 
 I also happen to have a "bit of a thing" for stools .... especially slightly vintage ones !!

On her last visit to the area my dear friend Carolyn cleaned out her sons shed.
Amongst the assortment of treasures that she found in his shed was this old wooden stool with a missing *rung*
Carolyn arrived one day & gifted me the stool .  .  . I soon found a piece of dowel exactly the right size to replace the missing rung.
Then - as is usual with me - it sat for several months in my sleepout
I decided I needed a stool for the lounge that I could put my cuppa on at nights when I am sitting stitching 
(the coffee table is a fraction too far to reach & I am usually too lazy tired)

After a good scrub down, I painted the stool with my testpot "pastel rose" .... a lovely soft pink shade
I had originally intended to stencil a doiley on the top but in the end I simply mod-podged a pretty paper doiley with 3 coats to make it wipeable




It is just perfect for my cuppa ... or even for someone to sit on should we require extra seating anytime





I "rescued" these chrome leg stools from the Implement Shed at the farm - there are two of them
I removed the seat top off one stool & took in to my local upholstery man Shane, along with half a metre of oilcloth.
Shane padded the top up a little for me & made a nice new covering for it

A bit of elbow grease & the chrome legs cleaned up well enough so I added 4 new "feet" purchased from Bunnings .  .   then I popped it for sale in my Cottage.
The stool was purchased just yesterday by a lovely customer who squealed with delight when she saw it !!

I look forward to completing the other stool now.

I have been cleaning out my sleepout & have uncovered lots of long forgotten about junk treasures
This candle holder used to be in my lounge, but had been languishing at the back of the sleepout under the window & had gotten a little damp ... hence rust was appearing on the metal "shade"

Luckily most of the surface rust came off when I scrubbed it, so I painted it with 3 coats of chalk paint - vintage white.
To be honest, it was a fair "sod of a thing" to paint, especially the shade part of the candle holder, but I am so glad I persevered . . . 

A light sanding, a pretty pink fragrant candle,  a lace bow, & a key completed the transformation


Likewise, this reproduction hat box was hidden at the back of the sleepout - I had forgotten there was a smaller version hiding inside

I painted them both over several days, then lightly sanded them  - they seemed rather bland looking so after walking past them for a couple of days, I decided to embellish them with some cutouts
Pippi helped me choose which images to use .  .  .
Though she looks like she is asleep, she is in fact, studying the Images !!!!!!   Honestly !!!!!
I mod-podged the images on to the hat boxes & then gave them two extra coats to seal them both 
(as well as repairing the broken handle on the larger one)


Smaller size one above  .  .  .  .
Larger size one below  .  .  .  .

Just perfect for beside my wall unit & they can still be used for storage if necessary




Though my Dad has been gone now for 14 years, thoughts of him often pop into my head when I am doing my little painted revamps.
You see Dad was a painter for most of his life.
My grandson Alec is proving to be quite the painter himself & I often think how much pleasure Alec would've bought Dad had he lived long enough to enjoy him.
These little photos came through from Alec's Daycare & the stories that accompany them tell of how he "tries really hard to put the paint ON TO the paper & not taste it too much!!!"
Incidently the reason he is wearing two hats is because he has a tendency to also put the paint brush in his ear !!!!
Bless you little Alec.

Today our weather has been glorious & you can definately feel a touch of spring in the air



I hope the week is going well for you all dear readers
Thanks so much for visiting here today & the lovely comments you take the time to leave me
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0x