Sunday, January 20, 2019

A friend(s), a Rake & a Satchel (Catch Up Post # 4)

Greetings dear friends & readers
Finally we get to our last Catch Up Post 😊(phew!!)


Mum stayed with us for New Year & then I drove her home again & stayed on for a few days.
While I was down at Mum's I was lucky enough to find time for a brief catch up with my dear friend Claire.
Longtime readers of my blog will know that Claire's beautiful home has featured on several occasions in my blog.

I absolutely ADORED these handmade ornies & although I tried VERY HARD - I could not sneak them into my car!!!
Claire decorates her entire home for Christmas & has the most amazing collection of festive treasures, both lovingly created by hand & gathered over many years.
She was kind enough to keep her decorations out until after I had visited


Claire had filled the advent calendar above with choccies for December
Although I only snapped a very few photos I wanted to share with you what I had taken so you can enjoy the gorgeous eye candy that is Claire's home.

I think she has (??)8 Christmas Trees ... this one above is in her bedroom & is decorated with vintage china teacups, 
& teapots & olde world Santa heads



Her "Claire's lounge" is probably my favourite as it's all decorated in creams & whites & is such a peaceful spot 
to sit in & relax
Bedside Table                                                                                        Coffee table vignette

The tree in the "Claire's lounge" above


A cushion Claire had made from an op shop jumper & blanket

Now I honestly don't know WHY I did not get more pics but if you are on instagram, you can follow Claire *here*
Visiting her home is such a sensory & visual experience that you just want to sit there & drink it all in!!
My visits with her are never long enough & we chat & drink tea non-stop while I am there.
Thanks So Much Claire for letting me share just a teeny bit of your beautiful home with folk.



Speaking of lovely friends ...... this cute surprise package arrived all the way from Australia - from the lovely  
Sue at Kiwikids blog right before Christmas
I wasted no time hanging it on my tree ... thanks so much Sue 💗 - you are  so kind!

When I came home again I felt inspired to tackle a couple of up-cycle projects that had been floating around in the virtual pinterest board that is inside my head !!
This broken rake was found under the house but it was encrusted with old concrete.
The Mr showed me how to tap the prongs carefully with a hammer & chisel to dislodge the concrete

I liked that it had a broken handle as I didn't want it full length for what I had in mind .  .  .  .
.  .  .  .  which was to fashion it into a wineglass holder for my kitchen wall !!


After I got the prongs clean I gave the wooden handle a good oil & then screwed it to my side wall.
I LoVe it !! It actually holds alot more than 3 wine glasses but that is the sum total of how many I own 😉



My 2nd upcycle project was inspired by something I had seen hanging in Claires entry way.
I remembered I had this tatty old satchel in my sleepout so I fished it out & gave it a wipe over.



Two coats of blackboard paint purchased from the $2 shop & Viola .  .  .  I wrote on it with white chalk & hung it 
on my vintage mangle



It's just perfect for my deck area & greets people as they come up to the door 



Well folks, that's me ........ all caught up !!
Thank you all So Much for bearing with me through 4 catch up posts!!
I hope the coming week brings you only good things - be kind to yourselves & to each other 💕
With much love & friendship to you ALL,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Last Minute Christmas (Catch Up Post #3)

Mid week Greetings dear friends & readers

As is usual for me, I worked right up to the very last minute before Christmas finishing Orders & making some Gifts

I spent a pleasant afternoon in my kitchen making soy candles in vintage containers,  gathered over a period of time from Op Shops
My kitchen smelt delicious !!!

These crystal ones below were gifts for two special family members
The fragrance "calico" is one of my favourites 💗



Early in December one year ago, my Mums eldest sister passed away - Aunty Margaret was one of my favourite Aunts & her daughter Jackie & I are very close.
After her death Jackie gave me a large pile of vintage doilies & linens that had belonged to her Mum.
There they sat, for almost a year, in a heap in a corner of my sewing room.

I pulled them out on Aunty Marg's anniversary & decided to make up a table runner for Jackie to have in memory of her Mum - Miss Pippi was kind enough to help me in my selection & placement of the doilies 😉


The table runner came together quite well ......... stitching them all on & overlapping them is a time consuming process, but I was pleased with the end result.

The runner ended up a good size too,  finishing at just under 1 metre 40 in length.


Jackie & I met up for morning tea at Tirau in mid December & I was able to give her the runner as a surprise gift.

She was delighted & messaged me on her arrival home to tell me she had found just the perfect spot to display it.


Mum arrived on 20th December to spend Christmas with us & because my eldest son & family were going south 
we had a small pre-christmas get-together on the 23rd December
It is very much the little ones that bring joy to these occasions with their utter delight in it all.
My grandsons Alec & Sid are growing up so fast & will be turning 4 & 2 this year respectively.


I was thrilled to capture a nice photo of Mum with her great grandsons ... I have, just today, put this picture in 
a lovely frame I have.


Almost at "the midnight hour" I decided to upcycle a small vintage suitcase I had for Sid
Mum & I had bought him a selection of matchbox toys for Christmas (some countries call them dinky toys) 
& I wanted him to have something to cart them all around in.


I painted this with 2 coats of Resene Black & then glued the letters to the top ... I had purchased the letters months ago (50c each at the Variety Store)

The Mr commented he was surprised I could actually part with a vintage suitcase!! 
 I did confess to feeling a little bit faint 😜

Sid opening some of his matchbox toys! (Christmas Day)


The suitcase went down a treat & he soon filled it with his toys & insisted on carting it everywhere!


I love this photo of Sid with his parents taken on Christmas Day.

Well dear friends, I hope the week is treating you kindly
We have been lucky enough to have some rain & cooler temperatures the last two days & I am so thankful.


May the rest of your week be happy too!
I have one more Catch Up Post to do & then I shall leave you all in peace (for while!!)
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Craft Group Christmas Break Up (Catch Up Post #2)

Greetings dear friends & readers & Happy Weekend to you all.

In the second week of December our little craft group got together for our end-of-year break up.
We all met up out at Liz's beautiful home, about 20 minutes out in the country -  we all bought along a plate for 
a shared lunch
(Sometimes I substitute the grapes for strawberries, sometimes just dried apricots will do)
 This is my standard "go to dish" when I am asked to bring a plate.
You can find the recipe for my Gingernut Bites here & for my chocolate fudge slice here
It's simple to put together as you can make the uncooked recipes a day or two beforehand & keep in fridge.


Our challenge for last month was to make a dream catcher.
Though I was not especially inspired by this challenge, I must admit I really enjoyed making my dream catcher 
(above & below) & just used up craft items already in my stash.
I remembered to click some pics of the ladies work

Liz's Dream catcher

Joyce's Dreamcatcher ...... Joyce even crocheted her own doiley for the centre!

Gails Dreamcatcher

I really loved Sharlaine's one above ... she had handcrafted the feathers herself using cord!

After morning tea the ladies made felt mice ... I taught this as I had some kitsets left over from 
when I taught the class in this Post

Then we stopped for lunch ... if nothing else, we sure do know how to get the food right!!  Our lunch was delicious!!

We had all been asked to bring a Christmas themed craft or decoration along, wrapped up ... then we each chose one out of the basket lucky dip style 😉
I was delighted upon opening mine to receive this repurposed wooden platter upcycled by Sharlaine.
Though my photo is not showing it, the whole picture has been lacquered with a fine glitter & just sparkles away ... 
so beautiful!


I wrapped up one of my primitive pocket ornies which I had liberally scented with Clove Oil.
Joyce received my mystery parcel & was thrilled ... she rang me days later to tell me her whole house smelt 
just gorgeous!!


I think this dainty sparkly ornament was made by Gail ... squares of fabric folded & pinned into a polystyrene ball ... 
so very effective!

After lunch Gail was keen to try a craft she had seen on You tube ... 

Gail had watched the video clip above & decided to try this method on some soft toys purchased from the Op Shop ... she had bought out a bucket of the cement mix required & we all had to have a go at dunking a soft toy
Though the whole process seemed a bit "drastic" it was a messy but fun creative time with lots of laughs.  

A couple of the end results ... these take several days to dry & can then be used outdoors as garden ornaments.

The day after our craft break up my neighbour Jenny came for the morning.
She was keen to learn how to make potpourri & I had been promising her a lesson since last winter!
  Jenny had been gathering & drying lots of bits from her garden & her walks, & had a lovely selection to work with.
I had picked oranges from her fruit trees & dehydrated them for her.
Together we made the 3 bowls full above ... Jenny was so delighted at her first attempt & planned to keep some & gift some for Christmas.


The next day she returned my enamel bowls to me with the goodies pictured above inside them as a Thank You 💗




Finally dear friends, before I close this photo-heavy post, these two vintage Holly Hobbie needlework pictures were a gift from my dear friend Sally ... I was speechless when I opened them!
They are now hanging in pride-of-place above my sewing machine so I can enjoy & admire them all the time that 
I spend there.

Thank You All So Very Much for staying with me thru' this lengthy post.
I shall be back in a few more days with Catch Up # 3 😉
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend - be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Happy New Year !!! Catch Up Post #1 (Pre Christmas Orders)

Greetings dear friends & readers 
Happy bright shiny New Year to you all!!



It is taking me awhile to get back to blogging again & I did consider perhaps closing the door on my blog.
However I do enjoy blogging & connecting with other like-minded bloggers a great deal .  .  .  . so have decided to continue for now.

As I feel I am so far behind I have scheduled a series of four Catch Up Posts over the coming week or so.
Today I would love to share with you the Orders I finished in the lead-up to Christmas when I was absent from here, but sewing my little cotton-pickin' tail off  😉

Desiree ordered a cream Angel from me, the same as the one I made in this post

The pattern is Charlotte Angel by Rosalie Quinlan Designs.


I had a beautiful vintage looking Christmas decoration from the Christmas Heirloom Shop which I stitched to her hands
Her apron is made from a vintage lace table runner.

She is a large size Angel measuring 85 cms long.

Desiree also requested some Christmas Buntings from me . . . 6 lengths at 4 metres each . . . unfortunately I had some unwanted help of the 4-legged variety while selecting & tracing out my flags

Miss Pippi made sure I selected nicely contrasting fabrics & didn't choose any that might have clashed 😉

This is what my dining room looked like (above) when I had them all laid out, ready to attach the bias binding

I loved all the different fabrics I used but these two in the top right hand photo are my favourites .  .  . olde world Santa's


After I sold the two Tilda Reindeer that I made in this post I received Orders for 4 more -  so ended up making 6 altogether this Christmas
They look very plain until you attach their antlers & they really come to life.


I was lucky our old Plum tree has lots of mossy gnarly branches ...... the Mr helped me choose just the right shapes 
for my reindeer

Next Christmas I hope to make a pair of reindeer for myself ...... to decorate my own walls.



I made 10 lavender/lace covered coathangers for my elderly friend Margaret who lives in a resthome . . . then I made another 2 for my dear friend Shirley, to gift to her daughter in law.


Early in December, a friend I have not seen in 10 years called for lunch on her way travelling North.
She claimed she had no idea of my tastes but gifted me this gorgeous tin vase, which I soon filled with seafoam roses from my garden.
I just LoVe it 💗



Well dear friends, thanks so much for stopping by today,
I shall be back in a day or two with Catch Up Post # 2,
Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x