Friday, April 10, 2015

A Piece of Linen ... Some Apples .... & a Gift

Hello dear friends & readers & Happy Friday to you all 

Earlier this year, while having an hour to fill waiting for a wheel alignment on my car, I wandered into the Habitat for Humanity Thrift Shop
I remembered that down the very back of the store they have a large banana box filled with fabric remnants & old textiles.  
After a good old fossick I unearthed this lovely old piece of embroidered linen

I absolutely loved the detail on it ...
 (I must confess it was most certainly not this colour when I purchased it ... it was rather grubby & unloved)

I loved the combination of colours that someone had used ... it would not be colours I would put together but I adored it.
A gentle soak & a wash & it definately changed colour, & was in remarkably good condition

As it was two pieces of linen joined together - with holes to crochet a small picot edge - I wondered whether it had perhaps started out its life destined to be a cushion cover ??  
As I do not know how to crochet, I decided to make it into a penny rug 
It spent about 3 days on my lounge floor with several pieces of felt thrown across it ... this is how I choose which colours to use ... I have to "walk past it" over several days before I can decide.
After choosing the colours for my pennys, I just worked on it in the evenings over a couple of months ... I find stitching the felt very therapeutic work when my eyes are tired at night

When finished, I backed it with a piece of grey wool I had in my scrap bag  -  once again an Op Shop find

What do you think dear readers??  
I have it sitting on my old travelling trunk with my large wooden trug on top ...
Although I usually blanket stitch the edge where the pennies meet, this time I chose to just copy the row of stem stitch that was already around the inner edge

As I said earlier - not normally colours I would have chosen - but it definately adds a splash of cheer to my dull dining room . . .
. . .  & I think what appeals to me most of all is the combination of vintage (with the old embroidered linen) & slightly primitive (with the felt pennies)

My lovely friend Kerryn has recently been on a quick visit.  She purchased some of my fabric apples, but on her return home, realised she needed more to fill her tin dish, so she requested another 6 in "country colours please."

I really enjoy making these little apples ... I think the pattern originally came out of a Tilda Book ... though I have long ago lost the instructions & am just left with the apple shape.

Though you are supposed to insert a twig into the centre, I always use a small piece of cinnamon stick.  
When I scent this with my cinnamon/clove oil ... the smell is just divine  :-)

My friend Pauline is turning 60 this weekend.
Many of my friends & I have chosen to no longer exchange gifts ... we feel we all have enough "stuff" & would rather spend a pleasant couple of hours together enjoying a nice lunch to celebrate our birthdays.
However I wanted to make something for Pauline as I feel those 10 year birthdays are quite special.
I used one of the patterns from dear Jenny's Stitchery Club ... & stitched up this little friendship design using 2 Cottage Garden threads

The piece of white linen was in a bag of fabrics given to me.  In the bottom of the bag was a pair of white ladies trousers - cut out - but never sewn up.  I have used the linen for lots of projects now.
As Pauline loves buying the handmade soaps I sell in the Cottage, I decided to make my stitchery into a little drawstring bag & pop some soaps inside

Pauline loves her garden so - after coming across this sweet little cup & saucer with 2 birds on it, I chose to make it into one of my teacup birdfeeders as I knew she didn't have a birdfeeder

The saucer base screws into a green garden stake & can be easily moved around the garden.
As well as the soaps she often buys my cottage garden potpourri so having just made a fresh batch, I filled a noodle box with it for her

We are off for morning tea tomorrow morning & I have her gifts all wrapped & ready to go
(phew !!)

My dear friend Catherine sent me this really delightful little verse about "angels with fur"
I just loved it, but I was having an email conversation with friend & fellow cat-lover Willie  ... & we both agreed we were not too sure about the sentence "cats will pay your rent if you let them" !!!
So I put the question to little big Blackie ...

Thanks so much for stopping by today dear friends
I am off to my Mums on Sunday for a few days - she is turning 86 - so I will have no internet until my return.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend filled with things that bring you pleasure & joy
with much love & friendship,
Julie & Blackie x0x0


  1. Hello Julie

    Happy Birthday to your Mum. Love the cat verse, cats certainly do have a good life, always say I am coming back as our cat,except for the eating of mice and rabbits! Pauline's birds are going to be spoilt with that beautiful cup as a birdfeeder.

    Happy days.

  2. There is nothing lovelier than refashioning some embroidered pretty, lovingly embroidered by someone in a bygone era. It is gorgeous AND it's new transformation by your clever stitching fingers is divine. Ain't op shops the best! Pauline is a lucky gal; some gorgeous gifts you have made, Julie! Have the most wonderful celebration with your mum. As for your Blackie....he is one very shrewd puddy cat!!

  3. happy birthday to pauline! i think she will adore your gifts, i certainly do!
    what a gorgeous embroidered linen piece, am not sure what a penny rug is but it certainly shows off the colours
    blackie is too cute, pay rent? sure, in our dreams! nice verse though
    have a wonderful visit with your mum
    thanx for sharing

    1. Thank You Selina ... if you google "penny rugs" then you will get loads of info about them. They are a very old craft that originated from the past where women drew around pennies to get the outline shape for the tongues of the mats they made. Yes Blackie is lovely isnt he ... he is turning into a real smoochie of a cat. Thanks for stopping by & leaving your lovely comment x0x

  4. LOVE your revamped op shop find! What a lovely treasure you have made. Happy Birthday to your friend. What a gorgeous gift parcel you have made....the bird feeder is gorgeous! Love coming for a visit xx

  5. Wow I love what you have done with your op shops find Julie. I look forward to seeing your lovely apples next time I visit Kerryn. Your friend sure is going get a stunning birthday gift. Bet she will always treasure it.

  6. I just love reading your blogs, it reminds me of having a pen pal many years ago. I adore cats, we have a beautiful little girl "Daisy" who we adopted from the SPCA last year. Did you see the "Secret Life Of Cats" last weekend on TV One, if you didnt go online and have a look you will love it.

  7. The transformation of that old cloth is fabulous Julie, I looooooove it!!! Do say happy birthday to your dear mum for me and enjoy your time away. I expect a full report on what you find on your return. Safe travels.

  8. Lovely gifts for your friend's special birthday - the pot pourri looks beautiful/colourful and the noodle box is a clever idea. Will miss your posts while you are away, happy birthday to your mum!

  9. p.s. the ancient embroidery has been put to good use, it's nice to see something very old and pre-loved getting a new lease of life.

  10. Wow, I L-O-V-E the penny rug, your "vision" for all the treasures you find is amazing and inspiring. The apples are very happy here in their new home, and smell absolutely divine xx

  11. Goodness! Look at me...I'm ALL behind...Must be these
    tight trousers...(As they say). :).
    But l do like the embroidered linen, and what you did with.
    Very swish...! AS a young Sicilian boy my Mum taught me
    to embroider and crochet...Boys are raised much the same
    as girls over there, and still are, mostly out in the small villages.
    I still have some of my work, from the age of 8~9. A 3ft square
    embroidered 'Caratino Siciliano' sits at the back of the two seater
    settee in my front room...!
    But it ALL looks lovely as ever Julie!

    Pussy~cats..paying rent...How can you charge anything that looks
    like Blackie any rent....or any cat for that matter....He's lovely! :).
    I think we should pay them rent...For their loveliness! Bless!x

    Oh! well...Time for a second lemon tea of the day....! Nearly seven
    over here....Sun's out, and has been for the last couple days.
    Managed to get out in the garden and tackle the weeds...And won! :>).

    And, a very Happy Burfday to your dear Mum on Sunday Julie....! Have
    a great day! Ciao! Ciao! =(^..^)=

  12. Your penny rug has turned out fabulous, you did a great job working the stem stitch and finding a colour to match. Tell me when I visit am I transported to another house? Because there is not one part of your lovely home that is dull, not even the loo!
    Lovely gift for your friend, I am sure she will love it and the effort you have gone to as well as the lovely gift wrapping. Blackie will be pleased me and my 'spaceship' have exited HIS domain! I have only just unpacked my yummy goodies purchased from your cottage. Thank you my friend!

  13. Happy Birthday with your Mother. I am almost jealous, that you stil have her.
    I love to read your blog, since last week, via Jenny; she is an adorable and loving
    Kind regards from Holland.

    1. Hello Rya, Thank You - I will pass on your wishes to my Mum when I see her.
      Thank you for visiting me via Jenny - I agree, hers is a blog I do love to read. She is so kind & generous in all that she shares with us all here in blogland. Have a wonderful weekend Rya, Julie x0x

  14. I love what you did with the embroidered linen, and your fabric apples are gorgeous!

    Happy birthday to your dear mother, have a perfect weekend. ♥

    1. Thank You Yvonne - I shall give Mum your birthday wishes. All she has asked for for her birthday is a new garden hose!!!! So that will be easy to provide. I am so happy with my embroidered penny rug - sometimes, every now & again, things turn out exactly how I visualised them & I surprise myself !!!!!!! Julie x0x

  15. Love what you have done with the embroidery Julie., like a crossover from two worlds! Your friend is lucky to receive such beautiful gifts. Love the drawstring bag!. have a wonderful time with your Mother. Mine will be 86 in December. Love the poem about cats I agree with Willie Cats pay rent! we should be paying them for all the unconditional love they give us, well I do wonder there is an element of cupboard love at times?!!! The look on your Blackie's face says it all, very indignant.I always get the thought when I see a photo of Blackie, "What is Ambrose doing there!" Even their mannerisms are similiar. Have a happy visit.

  16. Have a faulous weekend Julie and happy birthday to your Mum! I love how you have transformed - and updated and country primitived the embroidery - ity looks great. The gift you have made Pauline is beautiful and so very thoughtful :-)

  17. What a fab idea for re-purposing the doily, I was at Grandmothers garden yesterday (I dribbled a lot with desire at all the fabrics) and saw a few ideas using felted wool. I have heaps of scraps so was inspired by those, and then you post your lovely rug and now I'm dripping in inspiration :D Happy birthday to your mum xxx I'll teach you to crochet if you want, it's easy :D

    1. Hiya Sue, I am really happy with my re-purposed doiley. I know EXACTLY what you mean about dribbling & drooling at all the goodies out at Grandmothers Garden !!! I have to take tissues when I visit there for that same reason !!! Teaching me to crochet ???? Well my friend Shirley tried one year & you should have seen my efforts ..... & poor Shirley had to go home & either take panadol or a very strong drink!!!! But I still live in hope that I can learn one day :-)

  18. Everything, absolutely everything is gorgeous! What vision you had to see a penny rug as the final display for your vintage find...beautiful. Love your pouch, truly truly. Happy birthday to your mum!! xxx

  19. Olá, Julie,

    Que trabalhos encantadores.

    Você tem mãos e fada.

    Seu gatinho é lindo!!


    Lígia e =ˆ.ˆ=

  20. I love what you've done with your vintage find.
    Jacqui x

  21. What a great find you have there. It's amazing how the colours some people put together is
    quite different to what you would choose.....but it looks so nice!! lol. You certainly did a fantastic
    job on finishing it off. I love visiting your blog, it is always full of inspiration. Birthday wishes to your
    Cheers, Anita.

  22. I love how you saved the embroider linen and gave it new life. Wonderful!

  23. Hi Dear Julie, just read your comment re my efforts trying to teach you crochet. What a trick. I still giggle. Perhaps we should try again:-) Love your gift you made for your friend, it's beautiful as is everything else you put on your blog. Hugs Shirley


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