Monday, April 15, 2019

Mums 90th Birthday

Greetings dear friends & readers & 
Welcome to April !!
I had a good trip down to Mums to help celebrate her 90th Birthday 
Though Mums birthday is April 8th, we held her birthday party/luncheon on the 6th so family members could attend.

    We also had lovely hot savouries & spinach & feta rolls - these are heating in the Oven when I took this pic                                                                             

When I asked Mum if there were any special food requests for her birthday luncheon she asked for brandy snaps filled with cream ... & cupcakes !!
I decorated the cupcakes with some edible stars & sprinkles as I thought the Grandchildren would enjoy this 😊

Mum also requested a fruit cake which I made a few days before I left home.
As well as completely forgetting all my fudge, slices & balls - left behind in my fridge 😞 I also forgot the special 
"Happy Birthday" plaque I had purchased to adorn the cake.
Thankfully I remembered the "9 0" candles which Mum enjoyed blowing out.

As the day of Mum's party was also my daughter in law, Nicole's birthday, we put some candles in a cupcake for Nicole to blow out, with a little help from Sid.

Mum with her grandsons  . . . . . .      & here with Yours Truly! 

Now I make no secret of the fact that I adore the Op Shops in Mum's small town
Though time was limited I did manage a quick visit to two Op Shops while Mum was getting her hair done on the Friday before her party

Right beside Mum's hair salon is the SPCA Op Shop, then directly across the road is the local Hospice Shop.
These treasures were thrifted from both shops 

I could not resist buying this beautiful cathedral window cushion from a $1 bin at the Hospice Shop, as well as the Fairy Tale book, (also $1)
I have removed the inner from the cushion & soaked it in Napisan ... I am looking forward to revamping it slightly

I was delighted to arrive home to some surprise mail packages
This plate above had been gifted to me by my late Aunt about 4 years ago.  She always called me "a crafty tarty"  so I was thrilled to come across Miss Vintage NZ who paints plates for sale & also does commission work.

I had sent it to Ange a couple of months ago & it arrived back while I was away .... it is now hanging in pride of place in my sewing room & makes me think of Marg every time I look at it 💗

These beautiful hydrangeas were picked about a month ago & plonked in a bucket of water to have a good drink
Upon my return from Mums they felt dry & papery so I arranged them in my vintage cane trolley.

 Sid's parents sent me this delightful photo below of Sid modelling the wool vest I made him in my last post

What a little treasure he is.

Well dear readers, I have just this morning put the last stitch in these two Tilda rabbits & am off up to my local Post Shop to send them on their merry way.
I enlarged the pattern slightly more again from the last ones I made & this pair measure 37 cms in length.

Thanks so much for visiting here today dear friends,
I hope the coming week is good & kind to you all,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Fun & Games

Greetings dear friends & readers
It has been a week filled to the brim with lots of fun & different activities

One of the ladies in our craft group owns a lake house in the small rural community of Mangakino.
Maureen suggested we all go away for a girls weekend, spend time together, be inspired & create.
So last Friday afternoon we packed up Gails 8 seater wagon & headed to the shores of Lake Maraetai.

The Lake House                                                 View to the water thru the trees                                                                   

Though there was not one single stitch done by any of us, this is what our girls weekend consisted of ..........

If you click on the pics to enlarge, you can just see glimpses of the water thru the trees

Drinks & nibbles on the large deck each night beside the roaring outdoor fire
(one night we sat out here til midnight!)

Lunch in a lakeside cafe in Taupo followed by swimming in the hot pools

Walks each morning around the beautiful lake & pumice gathering
Lots & Lots of chatting & laughter, playing board games, games of cards, more laughter 
& eating of delicious shared food

The moody images of the Lake which I just adored

It was wonderful to go somewhere completely different & spend time with like minded friends.

Since returning home I have spent lots of time in the sewing room as my youngest grandson Sid turns two on April 1st ... I wanted to make Sid another Vest, the same as the one I made him last Winter

This pattern is called The Pathfinder Vest & is a design by Twig & Tale

The only thing I needed to purchase was the lining fabric ... in keeping with the rabbit theme I decided to applique a small rabbit on the outside of the vest (& give him a fluffy tail of course!!)

Everything else I used was already in my stash including the soft grey wool Army blanket

I bought Sid some other items of clothing to match & then I appliqued another small rabbit on one pair of track pants, using a scrap of wool felt.
I also added to his collection of Dinky toys & bought him a book about trucks.

We had a lovely party/morning tea/luncheon at Sid's home just today to celebrate his turning the big Two !! 💙
My how those two years have simply flown by !

Eldest grandson Alec, is to be a Pageboy at his Aunt's wedding in two weeks time so his Mum Sarah requested a horse shoe for Alec to give to the Bride

I cover aluminium horseshoes that are given to me by a dear 92 year old gentleman who still "works" at 
the local racing stables

It was fun to create another horseshoe after not having done one for over 3 years now.

My lovely friend Shirley recently gave me her beeswax pellets  - Shirley had intended making wax wraps when she purchased the pellets, but had a change of heart & was not feeling inspired

For my first attempt I made some up for Shirley ... I used too many pellets initially, but soon learned to cut back the amount to make them more pliable

And then yesterday afternoon I made another batch up, some round ones included.  These are to be gifts for my daughter in laws.
One thing I learnt rather promptly .... when making these up it pays to shut all the doors & windows as those bees will come for miles & they will surely bring all their relations along too!! 😧

I also completed another two of the Tilda rabbits that I featured in my last post as part of an Order.
They have both gone to their new homes & I forgot to photograph them.
It occurred to me while I was busy creating this week ... I really enjoy experiencing a wide variety of craft ... it brings me so much pleasure to work in several different mediums
Finally dear friends, Her Royal Highness  Miss Pippi still has not gone back to her basket but instead has taken up residence (again) in Sid's cot.  This face greeted me last Tuesday when I went to put Sid down for a nap!!!
What do you think she might be saying ?? 😉

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead dear friends,
I am off on my annual jaunt down to Mum's ... this time we are celebrating her 90th Birthday !!
Thanks to you all So Much for your visits here today,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0x

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Rabbiting .................................................

Greetings dear friends & readers

It's strange how I can remember exactly  where I was & what I was doing when news of some very tragic events occurred in my life.
I distinctly remember pushing my trolley around the Supermarket when I heard the devastating news of Princess Diana's death like it was just yesterday.
Likewise I recall vacuuming my lounge early one morning when The Mr switched on the TV & I absentmindedly thought what a ghastly movie was on .... when in fact it was the Twin Towers terrorist attacks being broadcast live!

 So it is that it will be forever imprinted in my brain how I was happily ensconced in my sewing room (sewing fabric rabbits) when The Mr rang to tell me the devastating news of the terrorist attacks in Christchurch last Friday.
I turned on the news reports & sat for the rest of the day in tears scarcely able to believe what I was seeing unfold in this beautiful Country of ours.

(Image from Instagram)

Two days later when The Mr asked me what I had planned for the day, I told him it seemed "inappropriate & frivolous" to spend time sewing rabbits when there was so much devastation going on in Christchurch.
He wisely pointed out me that when we no longer continue with our normal lives as such, including the small things that bring us pleasure, then surely we are allowing the people who perpetrate these hateful crimes to win out?
He was right.      I went back to my sewing room.

The Tilda Rabbits that I had been enjoying working on are a free pattern from Here
They are made entirely using up what I had in my stash & the wee pink girl below left is dressed in a
 Liberty print remnant

Here is a wee pic of Blackie lying down dreaming of catching rabbits helping me choose fabrics for my rabbits !!

I made two of the original size & then enlarged the pattern a bit & made two bigger size rabbits.
Original Size measuring 27 cms from toe to tip of ear

Larger Size measuring 35 cms from toe to tip of ear

I am not quite sure of my sudden fascination for rabbits but I did love them & thought they looked simple enough

On Monday morning I thought I had completed them until I remembered these beautiful Tilda buttons, gifted to me by
 my lovely friend Shirley ... so each bunny got a matching Tilda button tied on 💗

Although the pattern says to paint the eyes on, I just used black DMC & a french knot.

On Sunday morning I pulled out my container of vintage sheets & enlisted Miss Pippi's help in choosing a sheet 
to make a mattress for the basket gifted to her in my last post

It did not take long to run up a soft round mattress for her basket - I made it nice & padded so she was not sitting 
on the hard base & since then  .  .  .  .  .

.  .  .  .  .  she has not gone anywhere near her new basket, the fickle creature that she is !!!!! 😉

BEFORE                                                                                       AFTER
This tall wooden pedestal Plant holder was another revamp for the St John's Op Shop, along with the 3 items 
in my last post

This one was painted in a pale Grey Chalk Paint called Quarter Absolute - I love this colour & it came up wonderfully after a rub with soft wax.

When I returned these items to the store I could not resist buying this unusual silver sugar salver 
It was certainly Not this colour when I purchased it but some elbow grease & some Silvo cleaner & it came up beautifully to add to my non collection of silverware 😉  - I have filled it with some rose petal potpourri

To finish this post on a lighter note dear friends, I have been trying to walk each day now for 4 weeks to benefit both my physical And my mental health.
I must be honest & say that I do Not really enjoy exercise but I endeavour to make myself do it in some form or other.
And so I could laugh & fully relate when this came through in my inbox from my dear friend Willie 

Just the laugh I needed thanks so much Willie!

For those creative folk out there, here is the link to some information & a free pattern to make up heart blocks
 for those affected by the Christchurch devastation.
I plan to make some up next week.
Thanks So Much to you All for your visits today,
Be kind to yourselves & to each other dear friends,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Junk Cupboard

Greetings dear friends & readers,

We have a large floor to ceiling cupboard right beside our dining room table where we toss all our junk 
everyday bits & bobs 
We call this cupboard The Junk Cupboard.

Last week The Junk Cupboard got a major clean out ...... personally I blame Blackie for this.
About 5.30 am on Monday morning Blackie bought a mouse inside & did the catch-n-release thing that he is so fond of doing - the little sod!
The mouse went under the door of The Junk Cupboard & there it stayed!

Here is a pic of The Junk Cupboard but the very top shelf - which is not visible in my photo, is full of falling down bags of wadding, broken appliances & 3 shoe boxes of rubbish stuff!
In my rage, I dragged every single thing out of the cupboard & put it in the middle of my dining room floor 
And YES! - the mouse came out too! 😾

Next I furiously scrubbed the cupboard out from top to toe.
My plan had been to paint the inside but I realised - after a good scrub - that the enamel paint my dear old Dad applied some 20 years ago, was still in good repair.

I used the remnants of oilcloth leftover from covering my sewing table in this Post - to line the bottom of the cupboard

I went to The Warehouse to shop for some storage containers.
There are such a wide range available now - & not expensive either.
Containers like the one below that have separate bottom compartments & then a tray that fits in the top with its own compartments - plus a lid!

This sort of container was ideal for all my curtain fitting bits & bobs, screws & other oddments - they could all be kept separate so that when I am looking for something, the entire container doesn't have to be tipped out as has been the case previously.

The white baskets were $4 for a set of 3!  I bought 3 sets 😊 
Then I typed up labels, laminated, & tied onto the baskets.

A friend called in mid way through my clear out.
"Oh - are you Marie Kondo-ing" she inquired.
"No! more like Julie Kondo-ing" I replied .  .  .  I didn't have time to hold each item & ask if it "sparked Joy" in me 😉
 3 large rubbish bags went to the burning hole at the farm, so alot did get tossed out.
I am thrilled with my cupboard now & told The Mr we might have to re-think the name!

Tucked away in the very top shelf was this tall wooden Prim doll below
I looked long & hard at her before I pulled off her hat, hair & her pinny, which had all been glued on.
I gave her a gentle wash  -  I thought she should have another chance at life!

Click on the photo to get a better picture of her
I found a cute remnant of Tilda fabric & made her a new pinny.
Then I gave her some fresh new hair & glued her hat back on

I painted her "shoes" & added some ribbon roses - also a bunch for her hands

She is no longer "prim looking" but I love her little upcycle & she looks delightful standing beside the stand

Speaking of revamps, I have been doing some more painting projects for my local St Johns Op Shop

This mirror above got painted in a pale grey chalkpaint
This pic shows the detailing on the corners which I lightly scuffed with my sandpaper

The cute little wooden stool/table above got painted in Cottage Cream

And this wooden planter box also got the Cottage Cream treatment - I couldn't resist trying my fern in it!

Thanks so much for staying with me through this lengthy post dear friends,
I shall leave you with this photo - taken just now - of Miss Pippi
My friend Sally's 2 fur babies refused to sleep in this basket so Sal sent me home with it last week
Perfect for the Princess that she is 💗
With much love & friendship to you All,

Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0