Thursday, March 31, 2016

You're excited about A CUPBOARD ????*!*!*!

Good Thursday afternoon dear friends & readers
Goodness me ... the last fortnight sure went by in the blink of an eye !!!

When the architect drew up the plans for our lounge extension, one of the things I felt most excited about was turning our old back door entrance into a cupboard
Our house is small & lacks cupboard space badly, & ... with 6 entry doors already into our house, I was not sorry to wave goodbye to one more!!!
The photo above shows the former back door entrance from inside & outside

This is the new cupboard beginning to be framed in.
I had to make sure the builders made it to the maximum depth possible as I wanted to use every last inch of space available.

As we are still waiting for our hopeless plasterer I ran out of patience over Easter & decided to fill the holes myself.
The Mr came home & asked me if I knew what I was doing??
"Haven't a clue" I replied "but after all - its only a cupboard"
This is how it looked when I had filled all the holes & given it two coats of paint.
Not too bad for an un-professional I must say
I found some wood in The Mr's shed to make the side brackets for the shelves ... I gave these a paint also.
Then - just today - The Mr cut me up some timber lengths for my shelves.

Oh beautiful new cupboard .... how exciting you are !!!
You see folks, it is to be a craft cupboard to hold some of the supplies that are overtaking my sewing space
This is just a practise run ... to ensure the shelves can actually hold things ... I plan to organise my cupboard properly & really utilise the space available. Great excitement !!!!

After a young man came along & purchased two gollies from me for a baby gift, I noticed my golly stock had indeed diminished.
I thought I had better rectify that, so I cut out two more bodies & made them up .... the first is Baby Annie Golly, a pattern by Angels in Disguise ... she is one of my all-time favourites

I like to give them a little toy in their hands ... this teddy I named Rosebud as I embellished her with silk rosebuds
The next one I made needed to be a boy ... I used Tobias Golly, a pattern by Melody Daly  ... another old favourite 

The golly fabric I used on his pants was just perfect.
You can see in this earlier post here where I made this same pattern up into a wonderful girl golly.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed at The Warehouse, they had reduced their galvanised watering cans from $18 down to $10 in their weekly specials .  .  .  so I purchased 2 of them.

Wanting to make a gift for my Mums birthday, I dragged one out of the sleepout & gave it the Amulet treatment 
(for those of you new to my blog, this means I painted it green !!!)
Yes, I was tempted to rust it like the bucket I did here, but lets be honest, there are some folk you can give a rusty item to & some you simply cannot .... & somehow I don't think Mum would get excited about a bit of rust quite as much as I do !!!!!

Mum loves pansies so I planted some of the "antique variety" in the can this morning & then glued a doiley onto the front.  I just need to modpodge the doiley & lace trim & then it will be waterproofed & ready to gift.

Our old carpet & underfelt sits rolled up in our incompleted lounge room & Blackie likes to sit on the underfelt in the mornings & have a wash ... I snapped some pics of him yesterday enjoying the autumn sunshine

Well dear readers, I am off on my annual jaunt down to Mums to help her celebrate her 87th birthday so I shall be away from the internet for awhile.
Thank you all for stopping by today & visiting me ... I do appreciate you popping in so very much.
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones

Thursday, March 17, 2016

My First Experience with Chalk Paint

Greetings dear friends & readers,
I have read lots of bloggers rave about using chalk paint & have wanted to have a try myself for a very long time now.
I contacted my clever friend Michelle & she gave me some good advise so I felt confident enough to give it a go.
I emailed Ali at Newtons Paints & this exciting little package arrived in my mail box

I have to say Ali was just lovely to deal with & very helpful & informative .... she told me not to hesitate to get in touch if I needed any further information.
I watched her painting video here & found it just so helpful
This little table above had sat in my sleepout for many months now.
I had put off doing anything with it as the varnished finish on it meant I would've had to sand it back before painting.
Not so now . . .
I simply gave it a good wipe down as Ali suggested, then off I went with my first coat of "Aged White"
I gave it 2 coats of this as I felt I was a little hesitant with my first coat & only applied it rather thinly
I let it dry for just over an hour then I applied my "Pale Duck Egg" which I had bought as a test pot
This is how it looked after the coat of Duck Egg had been applied.
I really liked the way the aged white colour was showing through in places
Then I let it dry for 24 hours before lightly sanding the areas I wanted "distressed",  then applying the wax.
 Ali explained the wax makes it wipeable as the chalk paint itself is quite porous.
It also gives a lovely light golden sheen to the finished article
I was so thrilled with my new/old table & am pretty sure there will be quite a few other things around here getting the "duck egg treatment" rather soon
Looking a bit more blue in this photo than it actually is 

Some other snippets from my week included . . .
This cracked china teacup above was rescued from the Op Shop rubbish bin by my friend Joyce
Yesterday afternoon while I had no power for two hours I was able to sit & put together a dainty little teacup pincushion.
I weighted the cup first with a little fine gravel then added some wadding & the circle of gathered fabric. 
The rest is all simply glued in place.

I had to wait 20 minutes for some photocopying to be completed whilst in town last week.
I wandered a few doors along to the Red Cross Op Shop & managed to come away with this darling vintage cane basket & 2 doilies in excellent condition for the sum total of $10.
Though I forgot to take a "before" photo, this little cross stitch was so gorgeous, but had been framed in a heavy matt black frame which did absolutely nothing for it.
It was sitting on the shelf at the Op Shop just wanting to come home with me.
I removed it from the frame, used my chalk paint colours & transformed it.
Though my intention was to pop it for sale in the Cottage, I did think it looked lovely sitting on my new/old table in matching colours

My friend Lois asked me to make her two cushions to gift to her son
Her instructions were "2 large cushions, about 40 x 40, plain blanket backing, reds & blacks, flowers not hearts, anything is fine"
These were issued out the car window as Lois drove out the gate one day in a hurry.
"Oh & both the same" she added !!
I was really thrilled that I managed to get the entire order out of my fabric stash with the exception of 25 cms of black ricrac which was purchased.
Lois was delighted & collected them late yesterday - in a hurry  - as always.

I have been painting on my outside table & usually have company of the 4 legged variety.
I had to quickly nip out to post off a package & returned home to find Blackie had slid off his cushion in his sleep
He is a dear wee soul our Blackie & no longer the hissy, swipey, scratchy feral cat he once was.

With the little touches of autumn in the air I noticed the two furry ones are tucking up together alot more
Leg only partly ""in the air" today Willie  !!!!!
Thank you so much for your visit today dear friends ... it was so lovely of you to pop by
I hope the rest of the week treats you kindly
sending much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Losing Things & Rusting Things

Thursday Greetings dear friends & readers
In the past week I have lost four things . . . .
Actually five things, if you count losing my sanity .  .  .

.  .  .  but The Mr informs me I actually lost this quite sometime ago  (around about the time my sons were teenagers!!)  so I guess you can't really count this.

The four things I have lost include :-
- my purple cardigan
- the rates bill
- one pink slipper
- one dolls arm

Now funnily enough ... you don't actually realise you have lost anything until such time as you go to get the thing & can't find it
As for the rates bill, well No, I did not know I had even lost it until this little letter arrived in the post saying "excuse US but your rates are overdue & we are going to penalise you for being 9 days late"
I was tempted to write my own little letter back saying "well excuse ME but if you actually SAW what we were living in at the moment, you would understand & would not actually charge us ANY RATES AT ALL!!!"
But instead, I sent a cheque off pronto & crossed my fingers that they might overlook the penalty.
(I won't hold my breath though!!!)

Now luckily enough, even though the other things remain missing - I found the dolls arm !!
Which is rather good because I needed it for an order
Christine had phoned me after I made this doll for her in blues, & requested one "in maroons with quite a bit of dusky pink please"
I began this order before christmas but put it aside to fulfill other orders
In between times - & our renovations - I lost the completed dolls arm
The pattern I used is called Millicent by Lynn Hyland of Lil' Blokes  
She is rather a long girl measuring 85cms in length.
Once again, her lower dress is all appliqued dolls ...I was able to make the dolls using fabrics from my scrap stash in a mixture of pinks/maroons

Christine especially loved the dolls hair ... this is hand-dyed mohair which I buy from Annabelles Collections, ... her fibre creations are just the most gorgeous colours
I knew Christine liked the raggedy garland I gave the blue doll so I managed to find one last wooden heart in my junk craft drawer. Unfortunately it was mustard in colour, so I gave it a couple of quick coats using a testpot I had in the cupboard - Resene Persian Red.
Christine was really happy with her order & keen to get Miss Pink Girl home to make friends with Miss Blue Girl.

My friend Elaine moved to her new home over a year ago quite some time ago now .... I had wanted to make her a housewarming gift but something else always cropped up in the way of this.
As I forgot to take a "before" photo .. this is the picture off their website
Just before we started our renovations I had purchased this bucket above from Mitre 10 Mega
It sat outside & I walked past it many times in my day.  I did not like the shiny-ness of it & wanted to somehow "dull it".
The Mr had some acid in his shed which I wiped over it with a rag.  This did serve to dull it somewhat but it also went rather smeary which I wasn't happy with.
I did a quick google search "how to dull galvanised aluminium" & Vinegar popped up on several sites.
So I sat the bucket in an old enamel dish & poured vinegar over it.  
Everytime I walked past it I would turn it a few degrees.
It began to go lovely & rusty. Oh how exciting !!!
"You have ruined that bucket" one of the builders commented to me,
"Oh I know, isn't it wonderful!!??"
The bucket sat outside for a week - we now have moisture in the air with a slight touch of autumn temps
When I was satisfied with the rustiness of it, I ran cold water over it to stop the process as otherwise, My Mr informed me, it might keep rusting away to just a heap of metal!!

Then - much to the builder's amusement & disbelief ... I glued hessian, teadyed lace & a doiley to the outside & then modpodged over it all.
I loved how - when the modpodge dried - the doiley took on a slightly rusty tinge
A couple of embellishments tied on, a potted red geranium & it was ready to gift to Elaine
"You surely can't give someone a rusty old bucket!!!" the Mr informed me
Elaine simply loved it .  .  .  just as I knew she would  :-)

Now listen veerry closely . . . can you hear that ???
It is the sound of silence !!!  Yes indeedy the builders have finished !!
And Thank Goodness too.
Two furry friends who are rather happy there is no longer any banging & clanging all day long !!!!
I told them that even though I had become rather fond of them, I was happy to see them not come here anymore !!!
On their last day I made them my favourite muffins to celebrate.
So now I We wait for the plasterer to do his thing. And then we I paint the room. 
Well friends, thanks for staying with me through a lengthy catch-up post.
I am off to pick up my paintbrush as have been painting the outside of the house, but cannot begin work in this area until afternoon when the sun has gone from it.
Hope you all have a wonderful week - take care, be kind to yourselves & to one another,
sending you much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones