Sunday, September 29, 2013

Four Seasons

Good afternoon dear friends & readers

This past week feels like we have seen all the four seasons rolled into one

We have had a real mix of rainy days, cold windy days, chilly clear spring days & then last Friday ... I gardened outside in a t-shirt (Yes I Did in fact, have trousers on too!!)  ... the sky was so blue & clear

On the days when the weather was lovely, I felt like doing outdoorsy things ... walking past my old table & chairs I decided it needed a freshen up ... I remembered having some old testpots in the back of the cupboard somewhere ...

by adding a touch of water to the mix ... I had just enough

& was so pleased with the improvement  :-)
(when purchased, they were white, then they went dark green for a few years, now " Hot Chilli")

However on those cold days, it was indoor activities for sure ...

I only had 2 blue owls left in the Cottage so out came the blanket stash again ...  another "Parliament of Owls" came to life ...

No you are not seeing things, yes there are 2 the same ... 1 is a gift for a friend far away
I was especially taken with this little fellow ... I had not used this blanket before ... quite a bit of retro going on ...

Especially loved the "poppy wings"   :-)

Incidently, the doilies I have used to embellish their tummies, if you look closely at my Op Shop purchases from my last post (below) you will see the bottom left corner doiley ... I simply cut out the individual crochet "flowers" & used some of them up ...

This stitchery had been completed several months back & sat in "the pile"

Finally I made it up into a cushion ... it is a Country Gate Crossing design & was bought out of a clearance bin many moons ago ... I decided to use some of my Lynette Anderson wooden buttons to embellish it ...

I loved this pattern for two reasons ... firstly, it was a preprinted panel (dont you just LOVE those) & secondly, I love anything flower or garden related   :-)

Also sitting in "the pile" was this stitchery ... also completed many months ago & never quite made up into anything
This was another bargain bin purchase - a pattern from "You are Special/Sami's Stitchery's" - I made this one into a wallhanging & added a wire hanger I had in my stash

I decided not to tea-dye the centre panel as it was a lovely lineny osnaberg fabric & it seemed a shame to detract from this

Note to self . . .  clean moss off brick paths ! ! !

The garden is "unfolding" as spring kicks in ... twice this past week customers have commented on my grannys bonnets (acquilegia) ... "oh you have these weeds too do you ??!!"  . . .  well (to climb up on my soap box for a minute here) ... to me, they are Not Weeds ... I adore them   :-)

And I save the seeds of the different coloured ones, & sprinkle them round in other places of my garden ... just because something chooses to pop up in the cracks of your concrete ... doesn't make it a "weed" in my book !!!!!

slooowwly coming to life . . . 

Its okay everyone  ... I'll climb down now . . .

Finally folks, after my "slip" last post down the steps, I had to go one better...
I actually fell right through the deck of my cottage this week ... now honestly ... I know I could do to lose a few kilo's but for goodness sake . . . I am Hardly an elephant !!!

Yes the boards were rather rotten but all I could think of (once I had hauled myself out of the garden & dusted myself off) was "thank goodness it was me - & not the little old lady customer I had the day before!!!!"
So the moral of the story is . . .  if you need to lose a few kilo's & are having trouble finding the motivation ... try falling thru your deck & that'll kick start your weight loss campaign well & good!!!

Our builder Daniel is coming this week to replace several decking boards I am pleased to advise

I am off to walk myself round the local Domain Park - thanks so much for your visit - do hope the coming week is filled with good things for us all . . . 

Cheerio for now folks,
much love/hugs/friendship,
Julie x0x0x
(p.s  do let me know if you would like any grannys bonnet seeds ... I have plenty to spare !!!!!)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Doilies, a trip, & the tale of a stool

Hello dear friends & readers
(warning ... this may be a lengthy post ... you may want to grab a cuppa or a tipple or two)

This past week I have taken a flying trip to my Mums (who lives about 4 hours away from me)
There are 2 main highlights of visiting with Mum (aside from Mum, of course)  . . . the 1st is Op shopping (there are 5 Op Shops in Mums little town), & the 2nd is visiting my friend Claire ... I managed to do both this quick trip  :-)
(a footnote for my overseas readers ... here in New Zealand we call thrift shops Op Shops, which is derived from the word "opportunity")

Beautiful Mount Egmont ... I grew up thinking everyone had a mountain out their bedroom window
(yes I know they now call it Mount Taranaki but NOT me . . . . )

These are the doilies I managed to acquire on my Op Shop foraging
(I have yet to soak & wash them)

plus the gorgeous vintage sheet they are resting on was an Op Shop find for $1

Now before I go on, you really must pop on over to here & read eco ethel's post on joining her B.A.D. club  ...  I think this is a great idea & I am sure there are many out there who would want to "join" ... eco ethel is a girl after my own heart ... she just loves a doiley,  or two,  or three . . . 

These little vintage cut crystal salt & pepper shakers were another Op Shop find . .  .  since returning home I have filled them with vintage buttons & decorated them for the Cottage (VERY tiny vintage buttons for the taller pair I might add !!!!!)

While I was at Mums I managed to decorate this horseshoe for my son & his partner Sarah who are getting wed in my garden in late November

Woops . . .  hope Sarah isnt reading this blog post ???!!!
I cover real aluminium horseshoes (like they use on race horses) ... (a dear old soul in his 90's gives them to me as he spends his days hanging out at the racing stables)

I wasnt able to find any silver letters anywhere - I usually buy these from cake decorating shops - I had neither the time nor the energy to traipse all over Hamilton City searching,  so I bought gold ones & found my can of spray paint 

worked perfectly fine as far as I could see . . . 

Visiting with Claire . . .  always such a buzz & an inspiration - I am never disappointed, in fact her home has popped up a few times on my blog posts . . .this is what greets you as you knock on the door ...
One of Claires creations - "dont open the door" I yelled to her "I am drooling"

  she had recently made a new quilt & it was hanging on the wall ...

my photo does NOT do it justice - it was stunning
Claire had been redecorating her t.v. room in quite a masculine theme as this was her husbands lounge mainly 
 I just fell in love with her handmade plant holders

I am seriously hunting for the Mr's old wooden rulers now !!!!!!!!!!
Op Shop belts  -  I LOVED this one - simple but effective

Claires Country Room
I know that  Michelle has posted about Claires country room here before ... & in fact,  lots of Claires creations as they belong to the same craft group - a very talented bunch of ladies

You have to look in every little corner, nook & cranny
The window seat - where I sat dribbling !!!

Claires new vintage table filled with birthday gifts & treasures

Lastly, this was in her entrance hall - my photo has chopped the top of it off (unfortunately) but it was a torso she had made from chicken mesh wire & stuffed the "skirt" with old dressmaking pattern tissue, then fashioned a light bulb inside so the whole shape lit up at nights ... it was just beautiful (& amazing) & I could imagine how stunning it would look glowing at night ...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Now for the tale of the footstool ... on my last visit to Mums back in April I rescued acquired this old footstool from the Hospice Shop for the princely sum of $4

I unpicked the cover (which took hours & contained about a million staples), removed the 4 "feet" then when I was doing some of my paint revamps, they got a sand & a quick wax/coat of paint

After all my patching & piecing with my doilies & linens back here, I decided that I would like to make a patched doiley cover for the top ... to be honest I didnt know what to cover it with but this look just kind of appealed to me

the long rectangle piece on the left is actually a vintage pillowcase

I am so thrilled with my $4 stool "revamp" . . .  naturally the Mr has been forbidden to stick his grubby cowshed socks on top of it !!!!

And then just this morning - slipping on our very wet steps, hurting my derrier & my back, feeling rather sorry for myself, hobbling out to the mailbox, licking my wounds . . .  a package ?????   to me ?????

beautiful soft hand-crocheted heart mats in the palest shade of blues
a surprise from a dear friend across the miles . . .  a blogging friend - sore back & posterior forgotten :-)    
So beautiful, such a lovely thought - thank you so much dear Amy

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend - thanks so much for being patient with me through this rather lengthy post - hope you enjoyed all the eye candy
much love/hugs/friendship to you all,.
Julie x0x0x

Friday, September 13, 2013

Some Completions

Hello dear friends & readers,

Have you managed to complete anything this past week??
For me, it has been a week of quite a few completions 
(no I am not referring to the packet of biccies out of the back of the pantry OR the peanut slab hidden in my sewing room!!!)
Beautiful mosaic pot with pansies made by my friend Jan

We have had a real mixed bag of weather this last week ... we have had those real tipping-it-down days which are great for sewing & not feeling like you should be outside gardening

And then today is the most glorious weather & doing outside jobs is a pleasure once again

Our grapevine stretches over half the length of our property & the Mr has been gradually pruning it over the past week (he rather enjoys this job he informs me)
I have spent 3 days on my knees weeding & deadheading the miniature agapanthas that we planted underneath it
(I rather do NOT enjoy this job I might add!!!)

It is always a battle to beat the birds to the grapes when we get a decent crop ... to be honest, the years that we do get a decent crop are few & far between

However we persevere - we have given it a good prune back this year & taken some of the runners out to keep it more compact

"How absolutely enthralling Julie ... 2 patches of bare ground ... have you lost your marbles (again)??"
No, but I have finished the 6 huge piles of mulch I had to put round!!!
The Mr asked me if I wanted to celebrate ... to be honest I just really wanted to have a lie down !!!

The torrential rain forced me to my sewing room & a few completions were managed there as well ...
these 2 bird doilies had been put aside when I made the doiley runners a couple of posts back ... I decided to make them up into cushions using some of my wool blanket stash ...

After a soak & a wash, the doilies were in immaculate condition...

Someones beautifully detailed handwork from many years ago ...

I added some of my bakelite buttons to the top of this one
This little angel set has been finished & appliqued,  & is ready for the Cottage ...

A double-ender potholder & a single oven mitt

This lovely little panel with a  Mabel Lucie Attwell design was in the bottom of the rubbish bags I squirrelled home after helping my friend shift last month ... I made it up into a nice plump cushion ...

Side One - girls

Side two - boys

I love her designs ... they are so timeless  :-)

There have been some non-sewing items completed this week also ...

A swag of rusty bells with torn fabric trims ...

I have always loved the combination of reds & mustards 

Plus 2 single swags with a rusty heart & a birdhouse on the bottom

A patriotic combination of red/white & blues
Thank you all so much for your very kind comments & good wishes for my son (last post) on his engagement ... bloggers comments really do lift your spirits & "make your day" ... your comments were all so very kind & thoughtful
As I headed off to weed down the grapevine this week (with sore knees & back) I got an email from them saying they were off to the French Riviera ... something is quite wrong in this equation I thought !!!!!~**

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend out there folks
thanks so much for stopping by my corner
much love/hugs/friendship,
Julie x0x0x