Sunday, July 7, 2019

Birthdays, Books ............................... & Sheep !!

Greetings dear friends & readers & Welcome to July!
Gosh - half of the year gone already! 

Last Sunday - the very last day of June, I celebrated another birthday!
59 years around this clock of life 💗!

I had the most special day indeed.
My daughter in law Sarah invited me out there for lunch along with my other son & his family.
Sarah put on a beautiful finger food lunch.

I even had a chocolate birthday cake with 5 candles on it ... & I also got some help to blow those candles out 😉


Best of all - I got to laugh lots & spend time with my precious grandsons.

I received some beautiful gifts from my dear friends & family members & was rather spoilt indeed.


All to soon the day was over  ......  but I had another friend celebrating a special birthday last Friday 
so I wanted to make her a handmade gift.

This padded coathanger kind of came together quite by accident - I was just playing around with my vintage laces & the idea came to mind.
I spray painted a wire hanger cream & then padded it out really well underneath before slipping the lace cover over it

I added a small lavender bag tied to the top & then - at the last minute, I stitched some Mother of Pearl buttons on it. 
My friend Sandy was delighted with her gift.


When my dear friend Leeanne sent my birthday package, she managed to squeeze in these 3 books that she had offered me several months ago whilst decluttering her bookcase.
I was So thrilled - I have read Dewey the Library cat already & am just beginning A Cat called Norton.


So it seemed appropriate then to receive this email card from my dear friend Willie 😉


These hanging lambs are a pattern from the Tilda Book "Homemade & Happy"
My friend D asked if I would make the pair for her - they are plain teadyed calico, each with a small green polka dot heart in their hands.
D has yet to collect her Order & I am unsure whether she will want the feather wings, which I have just pinned in place - or leave the lambs plain, without wings.

Large Size Lamb                                                                       Small Size Lamb
The Lambs in the pattern book have glittery gold Tilda wings.


I have been having Sid extra days while his other Nanny is away in Europe (the lucky, lucky girl!!)
Miss Pippi has been most annoyed about this new arrangement & when Sid went home last Wednesday she lay on the couch & miaowed at anyone that went past, whilst doing her best to look neglected & uncared for ! 😹


The house smells wonderful today dear friends, I am burning a new waffle bar - Cinnamon & Spice fragrance 💕

I hope the week ahead is good to you all dear readers
Thanks SO Very Much for your visits today - be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the (spoilt) furry ones x0x0x0

Saturday, June 29, 2019

A Quick Post Before July Arrives ..........................................................

Greetings dear friends & readers,
I hope you are all enjoying a lovely weekend.
I am trying to squeeze in a final quick post before we wave goodbye to June - gosh, that sure went by 
in the blink of an eye!


Though I am well aware I should be working on Orders, I decided last weekend to do something with this rather odd assortment of trays cluttering up my Sleepout


An unusual group of wooden & cane trays, gathered no doubt from my Op Shop travels
I had seen this stunning work by Debi Coules on Pinterest & it had inspired me to do something with the beautiful transfers I bought in this post back in May


The trays after I had painted them all with chalk paint

The first transfer rub-on ... this tray is painted in Chalk Paint "Glacier"

The 2nd transfer - this tray is painted in the chalk paint I bought from Paint Me Vintage called Yorkshire Stone


The third tray - my favourite one I think as I adore the bee!
These flowers are all cut out from the one transfer & I still had lots left over for future use


The wooden box was a different transfer & the photos below show the sides of the box as well as the inside which 
I lined with a nice offcut of scrapbooking paper



Each tray got scuffed with a fine sandpaper to lightly distress the edges


The finished ensemble .... I will think about lacquering these trays with a clear coat but as I don't plan on using them 
I am in no hurry.



This past week has seen some lovely sunny winter days but Oh My - what cold starts with some really heavy frosts.
I made Sid a hut on the couch last week & he played quite happily for sometime while I sat at the worktable & made up some kitsets for a class I was teaching on Friday - felt Christmas Ornaments

Miss Pippi made sure I cut them out accurately & no mistakes were made !! 😉


I had some exciting mail arrive with another Order of beautiful wooden buttons from Theodora Cleave
I follow Barb on Instagram & when she posts her specials I am often tempted - her work is adorable 💗


Well dear friends - it feels like another ripper of a frost tonight so I am off to fill the wood basket,
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend & thanks as always, for your visits here today,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Busy & Full Days

Greetings dear friends & readers
The days & months go by so quickly & seem to be busy & fuller than ever
I try to keep some sort of a balance & squeeze in some creative time whenever I can


Another friends birthday came around so I wanted to send a home made gift
This is a photo of my kitchen bench & just shows how many activities go on here .... cats get fed, paint brushes washed & candles made ... as well as meals cooked too !!!

As she is a very dear friend I thought a home made candle might be rather nice as I had an idea of 
how I wanted to decorate it.
This is a new fragrance - Black Raspberry & Vanilla - rather gorgeous I must say.


Once the soy had hardened, I decorated the simple black container with some paper doilies & then found these letters in my craft stash 
 As she just happens to be a quilter extrordinaire I thought these were perfect - I tied them on with thin black 
leather thonging

I knew she loves tea drinking, english paper piecing & touches of red 💗 so chose to make up the cute little mug rug from Amy Sinibaldi's book Sweetly Stitched Handmades

In hindsight I wish I had used a thicker wadding in it   ...  but I found some lovely teas to tuck in the 3 pockets
This gift has been posted off & received with delight I am happy to say.

I used the last of the seasons feijoas to make  my favourite Feijoa & Coconut Cake recipe
I like to sprinkle the icing sugar over a paper doiley, but I can see I was rather too heavy handed this time round 😉



I have wanted to make up the Playful Kitten Pattern for quite some time now  .... this is a
free pattern download on the Tilda website

I spent all week on & off working on this kitten & finally put the finishing touches to "her" on Saturday morning.


You can imagine my dismay when The Mr promptly announced "it looks just like one of those small yappy dogs" 

You can see the contrast gusset fabric in the left hand photo
I managed to keep her well out of sight of the two furry ones that reside here - in case they thought there was 
any competition 😉



I spent over an hour lightly starching & ironing some vintage linens that I had carefully soaked & washed.
I spread the aprons out carefully on the spare bed & was none too delighted to see Miss Pippi thought they were there especially for her to take up residence on


Yesterday - Monday was our little craft group meeting for June.
We have a new lady in our small group (Sally) & the meeting was held at Sally's home
The girls decided last month that I would teach them to make a pincushion in a teacup or a small container.
Upon investigation in my Cottage I found 3 teacup pincushions left over from my closure, so I took them along & decided to just instruct & not create

You can see the girls efforts above - some used wooden containers, some used decorated tins & silver ware - quite a variety - Maureen used the appliqued clown face onto a small pottery bowl & planned to decorate around the bowl with red pom pom trim


And at nights, when my eyes are tired, I find knitting up the cotton scrubby pan cloths is about all I can cope with.
This is a free pattern download from Here


Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead dear friends
(though I began this post on Sunday - it is now Tuesday!!)
Thanks so much for your visits here today,
With much Love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Friday, June 7, 2019

Creating " Pearl "

Greetings dear friends & readers


About 4 years ago now my friend Gail closed down her Gift Shop - I had worked part time in this store for 18 years  but left about 7 years ago to focus on my Craft Cottage.
After Gail closed the doors The Mr & I went with our large enclosed trailer & took several loads of left over stock 
back to Gails house.
This torso/mannequin was amongst the stock, in fact there were two of them - it had been for sale for $160 -
 $80 in her half price sale

No one had bought them so I asked Gail what she wanted for this one & she said $20 !  I promptly paid her for it & now Wish I had bought the other as well.
Home it came & - in typical "Julie fashion" - sat in the corner of my bedroom gathering dust bunnies for 4 years !!



I had a rather vague idea of what I wanted to do with it but nothing specific.

One afternoon in late summer I dragged it out onto my deck area & began to paint it with some leftover acrylic wall paint that I found - Cottage Cream
It took several coats to cover the fabric body & the dark wood base but eventually I was happy with it

Inside it sat - in a corner of my lounge - for a further two months!!

Last weekend was a long weekend here in New Zealand being Queen's Birthday Weekend.
I dragged it down to a light sunny spot by my french doors & began to decorate it with cream crochet doilies, of which I have rather a few 😉

I had this deep cream fringing which I glued to the lower part & then just carried on - making it up as I went along - mod podging on doileys & vintage laces.
It was fun but I needed to walk away from it often,  then go back & view it through fresh eyes



Slowly over the course of the weekend I built up the doiley coverage

Until I decided I was happy with it .  .  .  .  then I stood back & decided "she" needed a belt around her waist 
& a corsage at her neck 

I found this fabric flower for the corsage & embellished it with some milliners netting 
For the belt I used a wide cream cotton lace & then fashioned a calico "flower" which I embellished with pearls & a lace frill + more milliners netting.



I decided to add a long string of Pearls around her neck ... this is when I decided to name her Pearl 💗

Lastly I lightly sanded/distressed the woodwork & then glued a row of mother-of-pearl buttons around her neck

The back view



The front view ... I gave her two good coats of mod podge when finished which has sealed all the fabric nicely 
& will make her "wipeable" should I need to clean her 😉

I have taken her outside to my deck area to try to get a clearer photo on this dull grey winters day.
I really, really LoVe Pearl 💕 & am so pleased I finally got to bring her to life



I also managed to complete some more upcycles for my local St John's Op Shop over the long weekend
A wooden coat hook with gold hooks - I didn't even unscrew the hooks, just chalk painted over them ... the colour 
is Arctic, a pretty pale duck egg colour


This wooden camphor box got the "Arctic treatment" also 

You can see in the left hand photo how the marker pen colours bled through my paintwork despite 3 coats
The interior of the box was such a mess - someone had stored felt pens/vivid markers inside it at some stage.
I painted the sides & planned to line the base & inside lid with some cotton fabric. 
Unfortunately the vivid markers bled through the paint - even 3 coats didn't hide it, so I glued some pretty scrapbooking papers onto the sides, which complimented my lining fabric.


This plain wooden tray was my first attempt at using the stencil I purchased from Paint Me Vintage in this Post
 I rather love how this tray turned out & gave it a good wax afterwards to make it wipeable


And two more gold mirrors - one completed here & one still in the process - the colour "Old Linen"


I could not believe my luck last week when I won an Auction on Trademe for these gorgeous vintage 
embroidered tea towels.

I just adored them & was even more thrilled when the parcel arrived in the post & they were even more special !

I am unsure as yet what I will do with them but I am absolutely certain they will Not be used to wipe dirty dishes !!!

Thanks so much for staying with me through this rather long post dear friends,
I am battling both a head cold & a tummy bug at present so I am off to join this little furry friend & tuck up for this wintery afternoon


Take care dear readers - be kind to yourselves & to each other
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0