Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Op Shop Treasures . . . dead ducks . . . & Blackie

Hello & Happy Tuesday dear friends & readers,

Another wedding invite  . . .  another horseshoe to make  .  .  .

This time for my sweet young friend Rebecca getting married in early March

I have accumulated a small stash of these white boxes now from Warehouse Stationery as they are perfect to present the horseshoes in & I really enjoy decorating them as well.

While running early for a haircut last week, I popped into the Animal Care Op Shop to fill in time . . . the young girl behind the counter was texting & chewing gum & looking like she wished she was "anywhere else but there" . . .
I popped these on the counter (they have had a wash, they werent quite that colour!!)

How much for these I asked her??
a shrug of the shoulders   . . .  "Umm ... 50c"  she said (my heart skipped a beat)
I popped this on the counter & again asked how much ??

another shoulder shrug . . .   "50c"  still texting . . .
"are you sure??"  I asked her 
"Who would want that junk" she replied "the doll doesn't even have any arms!!!"
So I paid my $1.00 &, heart beating fast, I exited the store.
After a gentle soak & wash, I am so in awe of my vintage linen set - someone has crazy patchworked the serviette & small egg cosy using their left over remnants from a time long gone by ...
the fabric is fragile & thin in places, worn with age ...

I just love it so much & it brings me cheer sitting on the rustic egg holder on my kitchen bench

And as for "armless wooden dolly"   .  .  .
 she got a gentle wash to remove the fly spots & a bit of a makeover too . . .

I fashioned her a dress from some of my Lynette Anderson fabrics - I visualised her in quite neutral tonings ... then a pair of pantaloons to attach the wooden legs to her body
Some small calico arms were made & tucked inside the sleeves, then a doiley collar & a set of rusty wire wings seemed perfect I thought

The little wooden heart came off something long, long ago,
 & the wooden bird button was just the right size to adorn it

Much happier than sitting in a box of broken oddments at the Op Shop don't you think??

My neighbour Leah's very dear elderly Aunt passed away late last year in Holland.  Leah's Aunt had been a wonderful artist in her day & had done many beautiful paintings as well as some onto fabric.  Leah arrived home with a small bag full of some fabric "remnants" she had once practised on, & asked me if I could "do anything with them" for her to keep.

It was a little nerve-wracking as I had to carefully soak & wash the fabrics first ... I tried out a small piece for a test run to ensure the colours stayed & didn't bleed.  It really had just been her "practising onto fabric remnants" as it was large pieces with various paintings on at different intervals, & I had to try to fashion something from them.

These 2 paintings were my favourite & I loved the colours ... they were large enough to cut around, overlock & hem, & make into two medium sized cloths for an occasional table ... one was a white background, one was ecru.

I managed to make 2 small, plump cushions from another corner & then a small lavender bag from the last remnant.  I find requests like these can be scary sometimes, but Leah was SO happy with what I achieved for her & now has some mementoes to enjoy of her Aunt's work.

This week saw another "mini avalanche" in my sewing room which unearthed a box I had long forgotten about.  
Many years ago I used to make these calico "upside-down ducks" ... it is a pattern called "Dead Duck" by Di's Dazzling Dolls (Diana Chalk 2002).  
I used to have an old ladder hanging in my kitchen with pots & pans on it & one of these hanging in the middle, & I received lots of comments about my duck.  Inside the box which fell on my head, were 2 calico ducks already cut out.  So I sewed them up & stuffed them.  My orange felt was almost non-existent & I had just enough for the feet, so I decided to paint the beaks instead

Alas - no orange paint !!! 
Being the weekend & wanting to finish them, I recalled a faint distant memory . . .  "red & yellow makes orange" 
(I think from my primary school days no less)
So I mixed my red/yellow paints together & voila ...  I made orange !!!    :-)

Really hard to photograph these darn ducks . . .

They are really long ... from head to toe they measure a metre in length 

They are such a fun, cheerful thing & always bring lots of positive comments ... they look great hanging from the wooden ladder amongst the dried flowers in my Cottage

And some exciting news ... this week for the very first time I was able to pick little Blackie up 
(now come on Julie ... you call that exciting???!!!)

Little Quite big Blackie has always been an aloof kitten (cat) - he is happy for you to pat him sometimes ... on his terms, but don't ever try picking him up, or you would feel the sharpness of his claws.  This week I just bent down, picked him up gently & popped him on his chair

No hissing, spitting or scratching ... mind you, he did go limp like a ragdoll ...
since that first time, I have picked him up on numerous occasions & he seems fine ... I haven't quite gotten to the stage of cuddling him in my arms yet ... but I do live in hope   :-)

Thanks so much for stopping by today dear friends  -  I always appreciate your visits
Wishing you a restfull week ahead & try to remember to  .  .   .

with much love & friendship,
Julie x0x0


  1. You sure have been very busy Julie. Great op shop finds. It is so impressive what you come up with. I love the angel doll. What great memories you made for your friend and I think your upside down ducks are very cute. Happy creating.

  2. Score at the op shop! It'd be fun to take the pretty doll in all her glory back in to show - maybe she might quit texting for a second or two to look!

    Those ducks crack me up!

  3. I do like the uninterested young gum chewing texting girl, you scored bargins!!! That place isn't cheap is it, so well done Julie. I love your upside down duck, and yes the colour wheel we learnt when young is oh so handy. Dear Blackie, how brave, hopefully he won't hide next time I visit.

  4. Score from the 'happy' worker at the Opshop! Love your vision.............you amaze me my friend! The angel looks loved and I can see why you loved the vintage crazy patch linens, they look perfect in your kitchen.Now I get what the upside ducks are, i really didn't know what you were on about? Hey Blackie is becoming the softie. You did well with the treasured painted fabrics, I know from commissioned quilts made from a loved ones clothing or old needlework can be scary to create into an heirloom and keepsake.

  5. Your new unloved treasures look wonderful after their Julie lovin'! What gorgeous cushions and cloths..love coming by for a visit xx

  6. oooooO! Lot's of lovely things to look at again! :).
    I do like the armless dolly.....Or is she harmless!
    Finished off in a lovely fabric...Colour and all.
    Plain and simple...Always the best!

    HeHe! Look at that Blackie....He lovely! Give him
    time...He'll come round, his friendship is on his terms,
    as they all are....As l always say..."Dogs have owners,
    Cats have staff". Bless them....ALL of them!
    Love pussy~cats...To bit's....! =(^..^)=

  7. So glad that dolly found you ...and what a lovely idea to create heirlooms xx

  8. Giggles re the "sweet op shop" girl. Gosh you would love to say things to them wouldn't you.An amazing finish to your wooden doll, she looks lovely. The ducks made me giggle all trussed up and waiting for the pot dare I say it :{ Hugs Shirley

  9. How wonderful to get things cheap and give them a lovely new home. They look perfect in yours, Julie. I just love the doll. Hope the ducks survive the pot! Lovely post as always - so bright and cheery.x

  10. My button has been pressed.....Can't believe the girl in the op shop! I won't pass my money to or
    take my change from people working behind counters that are looking the other way while serving me.
    You wonder where the manners are when people do that. However, that was a good stroke of luck for
    you. My little tail would've been wagging too, and the excitement of your finds overwhelming! lol. Your
    treasures look super, love the wooden doll.
    Cheers, Anita.

  11. Those dead ducks are incredible - so funny and quirky! haha xxx

  12. Thank you for visiting my blog, Julie, because that just means I have happened upon your lovely blog! I love all your pretties in this post. You have fashioned the wooden doll into something of beauty. Love, love, love the patchwork egg cosy AND all your vintage kitchenalia! Love those painted pansies as well. I have a theory about black cats. I have had two and they were both very aloof. Sometimes they were friendly and loved a pat, whilst other times they treated me with great nonchalance! I am going to have the best fun in following your lovely blog!

  13. Hi Julie, you are always so clever with your up-cycling. I love how you used the wooden doll and turned her into something special, I love your pretty vintage finds too. Blackie looks so sweet stretching on his chair, our little cat doesn't like being picked up either. Hope you are having a lovely week, hugs Wendy xx

  14. Golly Julie, I can't remember the last time I heard someone say that they were "running early" for an appointment! Still, just as well you were. Your lovely little finds remind me of something Rosemary McLeod might have collected. Only you could transform armless dolly parts in to someone fabulous! No wonder your duck was hard to photograph...over a metre is quite a length. Not too sure about them, myself (scrawny!) but fun for sure! It's an amazing process watching a cat warm up isn't it. Little "Whistle" runs across the busy road every day to see us & has gone from skittery, scaredy cat to "I think I might nearly like to live here" in a couple of months. Much love Catherine catching up : ) xx


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