Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Busy & Full Days

Greetings dear friends & readers
The days & months go by so quickly & seem to be busy & fuller than ever
I try to keep some sort of a balance & squeeze in some creative time whenever I can


Another friends birthday came around so I wanted to send a home made gift
This is a photo of my kitchen bench & just shows how many activities go on here .... cats get fed, paint brushes washed & candles made ... as well as meals cooked too !!!

As she is a very dear friend I thought a home made candle might be rather nice as I had an idea of 
how I wanted to decorate it.
This is a new fragrance - Black Raspberry & Vanilla - rather gorgeous I must say.


Once the soy had hardened, I decorated the simple black container with some paper doilies & then found these letters in my craft stash 
 As she just happens to be a quilter extrordinaire I thought these were perfect - I tied them on with thin black 
leather thonging

I knew she loves tea drinking, english paper piecing & touches of red 💗 so chose to make up the cute little mug rug from Amy Sinibaldi's book Sweetly Stitched Handmades

In hindsight I wish I had used a thicker wadding in it   ...  but I found some lovely teas to tuck in the 3 pockets
This gift has been posted off & received with delight I am happy to say.

I used the last of the seasons feijoas to make  my favourite Feijoa & Coconut Cake recipe
I like to sprinkle the icing sugar over a paper doiley, but I can see I was rather too heavy handed this time round 😉



I have wanted to make up the Playful Kitten Pattern for quite some time now  .... this is a
free pattern download on the Tilda website

I spent all week on & off working on this kitten & finally put the finishing touches to "her" on Saturday morning.


You can imagine my dismay when The Mr promptly announced "it looks just like one of those small yappy dogs" 

You can see the contrast gusset fabric in the left hand photo
I managed to keep her well out of sight of the two furry ones that reside here - in case they thought there was 
any competition 😉



I spent over an hour lightly starching & ironing some vintage linens that I had carefully soaked & washed.
I spread the aprons out carefully on the spare bed & was none too delighted to see Miss Pippi thought they were there especially for her to take up residence on


Yesterday - Monday was our little craft group meeting for June.
We have a new lady in our small group (Sally) & the meeting was held at Sally's home
The girls decided last month that I would teach them to make a pincushion in a teacup or a small container.
Upon investigation in my Cottage I found 3 teacup pincushions left over from my closure, so I took them along & decided to just instruct & not create

You can see the girls efforts above - some used wooden containers, some used decorated tins & silver ware - quite a variety - Maureen used the appliqued clown face onto a small pottery bowl & planned to decorate around the bowl with red pom pom trim


And at nights, when my eyes are tired, I find knitting up the cotton scrubby pan cloths is about all I can cope with.
This is a free pattern download from Here


Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead dear friends
(though I began this post on Sunday - it is now Tuesday!!)
Thanks so much for your visits here today,
With much Love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Friday, June 7, 2019

Creating " Pearl "

Greetings dear friends & readers


About 4 years ago now my friend Gail closed down her Gift Shop - I had worked part time in this store for 18 years  but left about 7 years ago to focus on my Craft Cottage.
After Gail closed the doors The Mr & I went with our large enclosed trailer & took several loads of left over stock 
back to Gails house.
This torso/mannequin was amongst the stock, in fact there were two of them - it had been for sale for $160 -
 $80 in her half price sale

No one had bought them so I asked Gail what she wanted for this one & she said $20 !  I promptly paid her for it & now Wish I had bought the other as well.
Home it came & - in typical "Julie fashion" - sat in the corner of my bedroom gathering dust bunnies for 4 years !!



I had a rather vague idea of what I wanted to do with it but nothing specific.

One afternoon in late summer I dragged it out onto my deck area & began to paint it with some leftover acrylic wall paint that I found - Cottage Cream
It took several coats to cover the fabric body & the dark wood base but eventually I was happy with it

Inside it sat - in a corner of my lounge - for a further two months!!

Last weekend was a long weekend here in New Zealand being Queen's Birthday Weekend.
I dragged it down to a light sunny spot by my french doors & began to decorate it with cream crochet doilies, of which I have rather a few 😉

I had this deep cream fringing which I glued to the lower part & then just carried on - making it up as I went along - mod podging on doileys & vintage laces.
It was fun but I needed to walk away from it often,  then go back & view it through fresh eyes



Slowly over the course of the weekend I built up the doiley coverage

Until I decided I was happy with it .  .  .  .  then I stood back & decided "she" needed a belt around her waist 
& a corsage at her neck 

I found this fabric flower for the corsage & embellished it with some milliners netting 
For the belt I used a wide cream cotton lace & then fashioned a calico "flower" which I embellished with pearls & a lace frill + more milliners netting.



I decided to add a long string of Pearls around her neck ... this is when I decided to name her Pearl 💗

Lastly I lightly sanded/distressed the woodwork & then glued a row of mother-of-pearl buttons around her neck

The back view



The front view ... I gave her two good coats of mod podge when finished which has sealed all the fabric nicely 
& will make her "wipeable" should I need to clean her 😉

I have taken her outside to my deck area to try to get a clearer photo on this dull grey winters day.
I really, really LoVe Pearl 💕 & am so pleased I finally got to bring her to life



I also managed to complete some more upcycles for my local St John's Op Shop over the long weekend
A wooden coat hook with gold hooks - I didn't even unscrew the hooks, just chalk painted over them ... the colour 
is Arctic, a pretty pale duck egg colour


This wooden camphor box got the "Arctic treatment" also 

You can see in the left hand photo how the marker pen colours bled through my paintwork despite 3 coats
The interior of the box was such a mess - someone had stored felt pens/vivid markers inside it at some stage.
I painted the sides & planned to line the base & inside lid with some cotton fabric. 
Unfortunately the vivid markers bled through the paint - even 3 coats didn't hide it, so I glued some pretty scrapbooking papers onto the sides, which complimented my lining fabric.


This plain wooden tray was my first attempt at using the stencil I purchased from Paint Me Vintage in this Post
 I rather love how this tray turned out & gave it a good wax afterwards to make it wipeable


And two more gold mirrors - one completed here & one still in the process - the colour "Old Linen"


I could not believe my luck last week when I won an Auction on Trademe for these gorgeous vintage 
embroidered tea towels.

I just adored them & was even more thrilled when the parcel arrived in the post & they were even more special !

I am unsure as yet what I will do with them but I am absolutely certain they will Not be used to wipe dirty dishes !!!

Thanks so much for staying with me through this rather long post dear friends,
I am battling both a head cold & a tummy bug at present so I am off to join this little furry friend & tuck up for this wintery afternoon


Take care dear readers - be kind to yourselves & to each other
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Sunday, June 2, 2019

A Visit to a Special Magical Place .........................................

Greetings dear friends & readers,
Gosh June already - where did May slip away to I wonder ??
(Warning : Photo Heavy Post Friends !!)

Late last month I had the opportunity (& privilege) to visit a very special magical place called Port Charles.


I got up very early one morning & loaded up my car with freshly gathered walnuts, lemon dusters & a batch of homemade gingernut bites, then drove 2 hours north east to my dear friend Donna's home at Thames


We then loaded up Donna's car & travelled a further 2 hours north to Port Charles.  

While Donna stopped in Thames at the Organic Store I browsed in this cute little vintage shop next door ... Yes some purchases came away with me 😉
The colours in the vintage sheet are actually much more vibrant but are not photographing well on this dull winters day
I loved the colours in the vintage sheet on the left & the sweet little jug & bowl just finished off a small shelf display of cream ware perfectly


I could not help photographing the soft toy dogs outside this mans store ... people were just stopping in their tracks & smiling at his display ... how wonderful that he set them up outside each day to bring joy to folks

Click on the photos to enlarge them for a closer look

Donna & her family have owned this seaside property at Port Charles for a few years now
Two years ago they completely demolished the small batch that was on the hillside property & built a wonderful new eco friendly home in its place


This is the view from the deck looking out towards the bay
Donna & I sat out on this deck lots & knitted & chatted & drank many cups of tea


The view from inside the lounge area - you would never tire of looking out here



The banana palms grow everywhere & they cleverly built the deck around these two established ones

Looking down from the deck - self seeded banana palms

One of the highlights (to me) about this special area is that there was no phone or internet reception which just added to the serenity & peacefulness of it all
Yes that is Yours truly - surf casting off the wharf
No, I didn't catch anything besides a large clump of weed, but we enjoyed a mornings fishing together 


Views from the wharf - looking out to sea & back towards the inlet


We walked places - lots - even way out across rock pools when the tide went out


This seaweed (that was everywhere) is called Neptune's beads


Each night I enjoyed a hot bath in the tub (& a glass of wine) on the deck outside under the trees listening to the 
night sounds & the moreporks


I love how Donna has kept her furnishings really simple & easy on the eye ... the shelf unit on the left was constructed from old beehive frames - we lit the small fire each day & it heated our water
All too soon it was time to pack up & head home ... what a wonderful magical place this is & I hope to return again one day ... Donna & I chatted non-stop all the way back to Thames & then I had to head home again  -
 back to cats & reality 😉


Since my return home I have been busily working away on Orders
My friend & long time customer "D" gave me an large Order which I decided to break up into 2 parts in case 
I found it too overwhelming.
Part One was collected last week ... 10 lavender bags & 10 mothball sachets


A tilda rabbit - the enlarged size - dressed in overalls in a gender neutral colour scheme.  "D" loves mustard so I found this gorgeous mustard spot fabric in my stash.



Two childs size covered coathangers with lavender bunches



10 vintage covered coathangers with lavender sachets


Normally I use vintage pillowcases for these but as I ran out, I used some vintage supper cloths for the last few coathangers
"D" was delighted with the first part of her Order ... in typical Julie fashion I have left the trickier items til last 😟

Thank you all so much for your lovely kind comments on my last Post regarding the banana box fiasco
As you can see from the photo above, I have still not managed to acquire another banana box !!

Thank You all So Very Much for your visits today & staying with me through this photo heavy post,
Wishing you a wonderful week ahead - be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0