Sunday, January 27, 2013

Summertime Sunflowers & bike baskets

Hello there friends & readers,

Phew it is sooo hot . . . 
we are all wilting here at my funny ol' threadbear patch

The Mr & I have been milking as our worker is on holiday
I am finding it a chore in this heat & the paddocks are turning brown very quickly
this is peat soil & the land turns brown very quickly

Sometimes I finish off by myself while the Mr does other farm chores - but often, I have a "helper". . . 
in the form of a right pain in the rear very willing & able farm dog
who is struggling with this heat himself
& last night found a murky old trough to hop right into

I did say "have a drink" NOT "have a dip" !!!!
- so he required a bit of a hosing off (which he loves)

I like to have a little drink while I am being hosed off
The Mr grows Japanese Millet at the farm to make into silage
& also to break feed to the cows
this year he added sunflowers to the mixture as the oil in them is very good for the cows
they are a real picture at present with their happy faces turning to the sun each day

this is taken with me standing on the ground - shows how tall they are now - towering above the millet

they always make me smile even if I am driving down the road & I see some in a paddock - such happy flowers :-)
I picked a dozen & bought home to brighten the cottage deck

My Mum has been up for a few days to stay as we had a little family get-together over at Papamoa
I picked these lillies from the garden to cheer the dining room up before Mums arrival . . .
(an interesting point . . . I always obsessively clean the house before my Mums arrival - I was contemplating this & thought of my own boys & wondered would they do this if I was going to stay with them??? & I came to the conclusion they would most likely think "Oh Mums coming, SHE can do it for us...") !!!!

I love their fragrance though I know lots of people don't.
We had a lovely few days with Mum :-)

My friend Lois runs our local Trade Aid Store & is always letting me know when something comes in that she thinks might interest me - or be suitable for the Cottage
Before christmas she told me about the new bike baskets
that had arrived in, so I purchased one for myself
I felt it was only varnished very thinly & as I planned to have it outside I knew it would deteriorate very quickly
so I waited til the Mr was not around, then I fossicked in his shed
(he HATES me doing this I might add)
& found an old pot of polyurethane
I was very thorough & gave it several coats over a couple of days
- it soon dried in this heat -
then I cut up a black rubbish bag & lined the inside

before planting it with some busy lizzies potted colour

which will look great once they spread out over the edges
I was really chuffed with my basket on my tatty ol bike
a bit of colour under the walnut tree . . . 
Note the quickly browning off grass around it

Anyone fancy a ride . . .  ???
Mum had given me a brand new white towel to use
but we tend not to use white linen here as our water contains
ironstone & turns our whites yellowish - unless I soak everything
I had remembered something in my very "special treasure" book

on page 37

I also remembered seeing some pretty bindings in my local wool shop recently (& couldn't resist a few)!!!
So I set to & cut the towel up & made some washcloths
 - using the bindings to trim them

I got 8 made in total from 1 towel - they are a generous size
I plan to display them in an old enamel basin in the cottage 
along with some home-made soaps :-)

Also, prior to Mums visit &, once again, cleaning out her room
I tipped out my bag of offcuts from my wool blankets that I tend to keep (for whatever reason)

plus I came across an old container of crocheted flowers -
I think maybe an Op Shop purchase a few years ago??
I always keep a basket by my chair in the lounge & during my day I tend to throw bits & pieces into it - for handwork to do in the evenings if I am watching t.v.

After an evenings stitching & a good soppy movie (One Day)
this is what I turned the offcuts into . .  .

Stuffed with homegrown lavender - they smell wonderful :-)

A lady walked up the path last week & admired the garden
I explained to her it was certainly way past its best now
& looking tatty due to the drought 
She commented "Oh you must surely have a watering system??"
"Yes" I replied . .  . "I do..."
"its me, - on the end of a hose each evening !!!!!"
She rolled her eyes !!!!
Well friends, its milking time again so best I get moving
as I have a "helper" waiting for me

getting impatient . .  .
wishing you sunshine or rainbows - wherever in the world you are
"happy weekend" :-)
thanks - as always - for stopping by
Julie (& the ever-important "farm dog")


  1. Sunflowers are my favourite and yours look gorgeous!! Milking- it is so hot in the shed at the moment, I come straight home and into the pool!! The little hearts look great and I bet they smell nice. Happy milking, Michelle.

    1. Hi Michelle - yes I agree, it is hot in the shed. No wonder the fat fluffy hopped into the trough. I too love sunflowers - they are such happy flowers I always think. Hope you had a great birthday - you certainly got some wonderful treasures. Happy weekend, Julie :-)

    2. Hi Julie - your bike basket is so pretty - hope it lasts for a long long time. Sunflowers are quite a sight in such large quantity. I hadn't realised you were attached to a working farm - you must have a very long day. Your new makes are very pretty - I always feel inspired to create when I visit you. Betty x

    3. Hi Betty - yes I am pleased with the bike basket - usually the busy lizzies last ages here when in the shade a little bit. The farm that Graham runs is about 20 mins away from us & our worker lives in the farm cottage & we live here which works out well as I dont get roped into jobs too often :-) Thanks for always stopping by Betty & your lovely comments - happy weekend, Julie X

  2. Aren't sunflowers wonderful. Your bike basket turned out great.
    Love the cute wool hearts
    I thought I might make your muffins tomorrow, only I might use apple instead of banana.

    1. Hi Leeanne, had been thinking of you lately & wondered if you had made the muffins yet - the apple sounds great :-)
      Yes I do love sunflowers, its a shame they only flower for a short time each year. The wool hearts look even lovelier in real life than in the photo - a good way to use up scraps. Have a great weekend Leeanne, school is back soon I guess - Julie X

  3. Hello Julie,

    Oh your poor dog, he must have been hot, he does look at home in the trough though. Pretty sunflowers and love the hearts of lavender.

    Happy days.

    1. Hello Bev - thanks for stopping by. Yes the big fat fluffy really struggles with the heat in the summer but he does love going to the farm & "being important". Happy week to you Bev, Julie X

  4. Well Julie dear you could always join Mr Wolf in the trough I guess! Amazing to see your part of world quite so dry isn't it. Thanks so much for the lovely pictures of sunflowers...I adore the paddock with the millet & sunflowers together. They really are the happiest flowers of all aren't they. I adore the scent of your lilies..just have to watch the stamins though eh..dreadful old stainers those ones. You're a could always take a leaf out of the boys book couldn't you & leave some jobs for your mum to do next time..ha ha like that's ever going to happen! As I recall there was a wee issue with you turning pretty tea cups into pin cushions or some such thing last visit & now here you are chopping towels!! And don't they look the binding. You wouldn't think that there would be so much variation on the heart shape but there is...yours are them, big sniff! Don't they have the oddest things come in to Trade Aid..what a find the bike basket...very authentic look to them too. Please do share some more from THE book another time. I guess you could set old Fluffy up somewhere with the hose to give you a hand with the watering since he lies in one spot such a lot..a big old fluffy watering system..that'd have her rolling her eyes the other way! Much love & not many hugs this week...too hot Catherine x0x0x

    1. Hello Catherine, Yes I enjoy looking at the sunflowers & notice in the mornings when we milk they are all facing one way & then by afternoons milking they have all turned fully the other way :-) I remember the teacup pincushions - the wash cloths look lovely in their enamel bowl - not sure if they will sell or not but we can live in hope :-) I agree Trade Aid have some great bits & pieces in their stock & our little one is much busier now so thats a good sign. I will definately share some more from my Granny Chic book as plan to try the roundie cushion in there so will post about that - happy week Catherine, Love Julie X


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