Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Some rain, sunshine, some "doileying" & a win

Hello there friends & readers,

This past week bought some rain (lots) & then in the middle a few days of real sunshine to remind us that days can still be beautiful & that spring is just around the corner . . .  & then the rain came back again.

In the midst of the sunny days I sat out on the deck with Mr Wolf & we made "apples" . . .

 I should rephrase that a fraction  . . .  one of us made apples, one of us supervised & made sure no mistakes were made.

If you put your nose up real close to the screen & take a big sniff - you should be able to smell the lovely apple/clove fragrance that I have scented the cinnamon stick with ! ! !

There is definately a change going on in the garden as it wakes up after a long wet winter . . . 

Not sure the name of this bush but it has a lovely yellow flower on it
the view from my dining window - soon to be in full bloom

After being inspired by Claires wonderful house (in my last post)  I did a bit of "doileying" myself . . .  

 My Dads old aluminium kettle got "doileyfied"  :-)

During the wetest part of the week I dragged all my doilies out onto the floor & attempted to make a sort of "crazy patch doiley runner" (an idea that I had inside the "fog" that whirs around inside my head) -
- now this is to show you the nice tidy orderly fashion that I like to work in when I am crafting . . . 

Note that I have moved OUT of the sewing room & into another room . . .

this is called "creative play" & this is my dining room floor - its lucky theres not many people live in this house ! ! ! (its also lucky the fattest & fluffiest one was Outside this day)
This is what I ended up with 2 days (& much changing of mind) later . . . 

this also is called "creative play" - also known as "dragging out all your nice china & imagining you live in a lovely old vintage house & all your meals get served like this . . .  "

Anyway - enough playing for one week . . . I had something really exciting happen to me - I entered a giveaway on a blog that I often follow
Louana writes some delightful posts & she was celebrating her 3rd blog anniversary - I entered her giveaway & was lucky enough to be selected from the random number generator - here is what arrived in the post last week . . .

A bundle of the most wonderful vintage fabric fat 1/4's - but she had also very generously included the following little extras . . . 

some of her beautiful postcards & a notebook - it made me smile all day long & I still have my package sitting out where I can admire it - thank you so much Louana for your generosity & I hope you keep up your wonderful blog :-)   (I must just mention here that I Never Ever win Anything - so it was such a treat to be selected)

Remember a couple of posts back where I showed you the penny rug I had made for Elaine to sit on an old wooden tool box ??  Well I happened to get a couple of pics of it in its new home & thought it looked delightful & just perfect for the spot  . . . 

LOVE the colours in the potpourri Elaine has sitting on top ! !
My Mothers Day Tulips in pot bursting into flower - love that red :-)
 Well folks thanks for stopping by today & may the rest of the week bring you only good things - I am off to pull some weeds (they are beckoning me - yes weeds DO beckon I am sure) - Mr Wolf (fat fluffy)  has sneaked himself inside while I have been writing this - he is working on the theory that "if I cant see them, they sure as heck cant see me" ! ! ! ? ? ? 

Take care out there everyone - 
Love Julie & Mr Wolf   (in hiding)  X o  X o   x  x

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Claires House (+ 2 "Sunshines")

Hello everyone,

 Hope your week is going great out there. 
 When I took Mum home last week I had the opportunity to catch up with my friend Claire.  Claire & I met a few years back when she owned the most amazing little Patchwork Shop in Hawera called Cinnamon Lodge.  I used to go in there whenever I was down at Mums & be inspired by all her amazing creations (& a few new patterns & fabric would inevitably come home with me too :-)
Claire closed her shop about 2 years ago & took all the remaining fabric & stock home with her so now I catch up with her at her (incredible) home.
I was most excited to see her this visit as I knew she had re-decorated her lounge & (knowing Claire) I was pretty sure it would be amazing.  And friends - I was NOT disappointed . . . 

Prior to her "make-over" this room was alot of wood panelling with  a deep burgundy colour on the walls & dark green couches & touches of country colours like mustards thrown in - honestly, it was still gorgeous & warm & very inviting.
Now however, she has lightened the whole room & it is just sooo beautiful - my mouth fell open & I was speechless (very unusual for me I might add!!)
Her initial plan had been to base the room around a black/white/cream quilt she was making but she changed her plans along the way and this beautiful girly, vintagey pinky "shabby chic" sort of room emerged.

This cabinet is the only darker piece of furniture in the room - she had been sanding this down & broke a glass panel so took them both out & filled it with treasures

The sofa where I got to sit & drink tea & eat delicious lemon cake

This cabinet was so beautiful & shabby chic & once again filled with treasures & handcrafts made by Claire

What I wouldnt give for this yo yo quilt ! !
This ladder is used to display just SOME of her amazing quilt collection

this shelf unit was originally in her shop filled with fabric & bits & bobs
This is around the corner as you go in the doorway - by now my hands were shaking ! ! ! It wasnt until Claire pointed out to me to look at my photos that I realised she had done this cabinet in colours - a pastel theme going on here - more treasures...

In the corner to the left hand side
A close up view
I actually thought I may have died & gone to heaven :-)

Looking upwards to the lights . . . 

Another little corner display (more quilts underneath)

And out in her dining room area . . . 
Her actual dining table - our conversation went something like this . . .   "So Claire do you actually eat meals at your table??"

Across to the opposite wall - if you look closely at the next pic you may see that around the chicken mesh cloche she has wound ivy & there are tiny fairy lights also switched on . . . 

At this point I think I bumped something on my camera as lots of my photos from here on were quite blurred.  Or it may be that I was simply dreaming of living here myself . . .:-)
These next 2 are quite blurry but I wanted to show them anyway - ... as you walk into her actual house from her sunporch you are greeted by the most beautiful (huge) angel & Claire painted her door colour to complement the angel - I dreamt about this angel the other night - I dreamt that she lived at my house . . . 
Isnt she just beautiful ???
The visit to Claires inspired me & made me feel so creative but also - upon my return home - (when my head stopped spinning) - I had the overwhelming urge to throw half my possessions out & start again !!! 
 Claires handwork is amazing & she is soo creative & wonderful with colours - I told her she should have a job doing shop windows - her display skills are incredible.  Everywhere you looked there were these little vignettes going on 
- I must add that I did check with her first that she was okay with me doing a blog post about her (& she was fine & happy for me to share it with you). 
So there you go friends, a little sample of life at Claires house  -  & to Claire (should you happen to read this) - your home is a credit to you, you are an inspiration, a visit with you is such a treat & I count myself lucky indeed to have you for a friend (allbeit a long distance one)


I wanted to share the 2 "Sunshine" raggedy dolls I finished last week & also show you a couple of Op Shop bargains I purchased while down at Mums . . . 

Although I did them both in very similar colourways (true Raggedy Anne colourings) they both turned out different - do you have a favourite ??  I can't decide myself . . . 

Miss Polka dot or Miss Stripey ??

I was pleased to be able to use this lovely wooden button finally - I purchased it many years ago & love the little Annie face on it . . .

Doing my usual round of the Op Shops in Mums town last week I came across this lovely doiley - it was $5.50 which is much more than I usually pay but I had it in mind to make a jug cover & set to with  my glass beads one night .
 . . 

 I was so pleased with the end result 

My other thrift store bargain was this lovely patchwork cushion which needed a good soak & a wash & a few little stitches here & there (& a new inner made for it as the old one was foam chip & had started to break down & turn to dust)

I think this pattern is called Cathedral Window patchwork (??)

It is the most gorgeous vintage lemon colour & looks great on my bed with my other cushions - I was so pleased with my bargains.

I am off to load up the car as I have a craft stall tomorrow in our local town - as always I am feeling very nervous - this always happens before these events & I dont know why - so wish me luck friends & take care & have a wonderful weekend wont you. (hope you enjoyed your "virtual tour" of Claires house)

Thanks for stopping by :-)
See you back real soon,
Love/ hugs/ friendship,
Julie  Xoxoxoxox

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Some finishes & some new beginnings . . .

Hello everyone,

How are you all out there???  So sorry I have been missing in action lately.  I just didnt get near the computer while my Mum was staying & then I had to take her home again which is a 4 hour journey so I stayed 2 nights & then drove back again :-)

a clump of daffodils flowering by the pond which I dont even remember planting. . .

I must confess I didn't get anywhere near the amount of crafting done I had hoped while Mum was here but I did have a bit of a "marathon" before she arrived & managed to complete some long-ago-started projects. 

Now for those that know me it is no surprise to learn that one of my absolute all-time favourite things in the whole world is dolls - I loved them as a child & I never outgrew this love,  & now I simply LOVE to make them - I would make dolls every single day if I could :-)

I had long ago made some doiley dolly bodies & decided it was way past time they had some clothes made for them (poor wee things feeling the cold this winter) . . . 

Cutting out down on the floor as usual :-)
 I love to sort through my doiley stash & decide which combinations to put together - sometimes a placemat will appeal or sometimes an old crochet doiley will make a great collar . . . 
I try to use every part of the doiley where possible & like to use the lace edgings on them as part of the clothing . . . 

This dress was once a vintage pillowslip  - isnt it beautiful??
A girl cant go anywhere without her face on . . .
 Have a look & see if you like my combinations . . . 

An old traycloth
A vintage runner
An old pillowslip
A round lace edged doiley
Miss Butterfly up close

Do you have a favourite ? ? ?  They look simply gorgeous dotted amongst vintage china - most at home :-)

My friend Elaine had asked me awhile ago to make her a small sized penny rug to sit on top of an old nail box that she had some vintage tools sitting inside (the box was turned on its side! !) - she wanted something without any detail in the centre as she planned to sit things on the rug & any centre piece would not be seen  . . .

 I didnt have any idea at this point what I was going to do but I found myself randomly tracing out hearts & stars using a country colour pallette . . . 
this is what I came up with - simple but effective colours & design . . . 

And plenty of room in the centre to sit things

 Plus it looked most at home on my old wooden bench table in the lounge - oh & just fits perfectly :-)   (whoops, sorry Elaine)

I had been moving a ragdoll pattern around in my sewing room for several months planning to make some up - she is called "Sunshine" & is a Lil Blokes pattern from Lyn Hyland - I make alot of Lyns gollie patterns & really love her designs.

Yep - back on the floor again . . .

After making up the doll bodies & playing around with fabrics for dresses, I decided the dolls were much too pale . . .  so they got dunked in my teabag/parissian essence mixture (poor wee souls)  . . . 

Headfirst in we go - now hold your breath ! ! !

No dolls were harmed in the making of this blog post ! ! !

Thats better - much darker - we cant have a pale raggedy now can we ??!!  :-) 
I have almost finished my 2 Sunshines (just doing their hair) - & will have pictures of them for you on my next post.

I just had to snap these pics of the cows directly behind my cottage in the early morning light yesterday  . . .   it is calving time again & this lot are waiting to have their babies . . . 

Dont take photos of me - it is NO fun this pregnancy lark ! !
Waiting to give birth & fed up ~! ! !

With all the daffodils flowering & I saw lots of magnolias in bloom down in Taranaki, it looks like we are in for an early spring this year 

I love spring & look forward to it - I think it is probably my most favourite season - full of hope I always think,  after the wintertime :-)

I will be back again real soon friends with some more things I wanted to blog about but before I go I wanted to share with you this delightful picture I took of the window display in a lovely little florist Shop down in Hawera called Wishing Well Flowers - it made me smile & made my heart feel good - hope it does for you too . . . 

Not great pics with the reflection but you get the general idea I hope :-)
 I hope you all have a great weekend - I am off to do more sewing - take care out there folks & happy creating where-ever you are . . . 

Much love,
Julie Xoxo  (gosh I have just noticed how BAD my photography actually is of the shop windows - SO SORRY - quite hard with the relection of vehicles in the background)