Friday, January 13, 2023

Some Post-Christmas Finishes ..................................

Greetings lovely friends & readers

Although I had the best of intentions, December seemed to go by so very fast & I did not manage to complete all that I had hoped.        But that's okay - that's what these slow after-Christmas-early-New-Year-days are for. 

This cloth doll has sat, unclothed, on my Sewing Room floor for two years now - under a pile of fabric & other unfinished items.  It was high time I dressed the poor girl !!


 She is a Very Old Pattern by Wendy Briggs of Country Friends, who stopped designing several years ago now.  
She is called Christmas Angel & I adore her. 💗

I had purchased a gorgeous Lynette Anderson fabric a couple of years ago so finally I made her skirt. The wings are from a scrap of Sandcastle fabric that I had just enough of. 

I had left some greenery out when I packed away my Christmas decor so I made her a twig wreath & then a garland for her hair.  I embellished her with some wooden buttons from Theodora Cleave

                      Painted shoes & torn strips for bows. 
 Once finished I decided she needed a frame to hang in - like the one in the pattern.  I had the perfect size frame with chicken mesh on it but it was too olive-y green in colour so I painted it with my pale duck egg chalk paint. 

Yes - of course - I had the usual ginger assistant who is currently sporting several smudges of Pale Duck Egg on her ginger fur 😉😐
(I have left my Angel out for awhile longer to enjoy, before I pack her away til next Christmas)


I wanted to make some new cushion covers for the old cane chairs on my back deck area - this is a nice place to sit out in the afternoons with a cuppa & the old chairs are very comfy.  I removed the old covers & found the inners to be still in very good condition.  I wanted something Vintagey looking so I hunted in my stash & found an old table cloth with big blowsy roses on it - just perfect 🌹

I sewed an envelope closure for the back & tied it together with a big red bow, also found in my ribbon stash.  The cushions are wonderful to sit against - especially now the sun has decided to grace us with its presence at long last.  

On my last trip to Mums I took some stitchery work to do but completely forgot to include my embroidery threads.  Luckily I had tossed quite alot of fabric scraps into my bag so I was able to sit in the evenings & make yo yo flowers ... simply cutting a circle of fabric & drawing it up.  I find this quite therapeutic.  On my return home I decided I needed to actually do something with all these yo yo's!!  


I'd purchased a polystyrene cone from the $2 shop prior to Christmas - I painted it Pale duck egg.  Also the red candleholders were a 50 cent bargain from one of my Op Shop trips. I painted one of these too as I wanted to tone down the brightness of the red.


I simply glued all my yo yo's over the cone, slightly overlapping the edges - you will notice the lower ones are a medium size & the top section I have made a bit smaller in size.  No two fabrics are the same & they are all made using Tilda & Liberty scraps.  I hadn't intended to have a red & blue theme but this is how it has turned out.  

I glued the cone to my candlestick base & then tied a snowflake charm to this, & tied a bell & heart to the top.  I love this & would rather like to make more in other colour-ways.  💙💗

I thought you might enjoy this little Cat Collage I put together & hopefully it will make you smile .... if I don't smile at these two's antics then dear friends, they will surely drive me bonkers!! 😊

My 3 pots of  Rhodohypoxis were late to flower this year due to our wet spring so they were still looking pretty after Christmas. I found a certain Furry Ginger Fairy curled up asleep in the middle pot just last week.




A glance out the window shortly after & this is what I spy .........



Fat Blackie must've wandered by & thought Oh what a nice comfy spot that looks ........... 


I ran & grabbed my camera ...........  she is trying really hard to look innocent but is not fooling me !!!


Shortly after ......... just like a couple of nesting hens.  I wonder if I look underneath, if there'll be any eggs laid there ??!! 😉😐


Thank you as always dear friends, for your visits here today,

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend - remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,

With much love & friendship to you all,

Julie & the naughty furry ones x0x0x

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

HaPPy NeW YeaR !!! 💗 ............... & The Tale Of The Little Red Car 🚩

Greetings lovely friends & readers

Welcome to another bright shiny New Year  💗

Lets hope 2023 is a happy & healthy one for All of Us.


I saw this verse on Instagram & thought how VeRy true & how it certainly does sum things up!  Sometimes the Awful bits go on a bit longer than the Amazing bits but I don't think any of us get to miss those bits out.  Personally I rather like the Ordinary & Mundane bits - the routine parts of life suit me just fine. 

We had a lovely Christmas with Mum in her room at the Resthome. My eldest son joined me, along with my Brother & his wife.  We were amazed the staff had gone to the effort of setting a proper Christmas table for us in Mum's room - just wonderful.  Mum is looking very frail & hardly ate anything but did enjoy the company. 

My eldest son's wife Sarah arrived late Christmas Day from visiting her family further down the Island.  Sarah & Alec were able to visit with Mum on Boxing Day & Alec read Mum a story. 

I took home an old Orange pot on my previous visit to Mum's.  Though I forgot to take a "before pic" I painted it black & then stenciled a Bee onto the side of it.  My sister in law just LoVes black & white pots on her deck area, so I planted a lovely white Impatien into it before gifting it to her.  She was delighted.  🖤


A couple of months back I purchased this wooden blue car from the St Johns Op-shop for $1.50.  When I went up to pay for it the lady said to me "Oh I guess you're buying this for your grandson".    No I was not .. it was for Me!    I had a plan for this little blue car. 

You can faintly see in the right hand pic, I've traced a black square in the back panel - I got my son Kayne to cut this square out for me as I wanted to make another "window".  

I painted the entire car with red chalk paint in the colour Raspberry Beret.  I had not used this colour before but it was the perfect Christmas Red that I was after.  Then I applied some Iron Orchid design transfers that I'd had for a couple of years.  I wanted to make it look Christmassy. 🎄


I poked some greenery & berries in the rear window & then a small size bottlebrush tree in the "new window" in the back.  Originally I painted the wheels black but didn't like them so I painted over them in red.  


Having worked in a Gift Shop for almost 20 years, I do have a tendency to turn every thing into a display.    I could not help myself with the little red car.  I found some miniature rusty tools & then decided to make a sign . . . .

I glued a piece of dowel into an old wooden cotton reel & painted it red, then glued on a wooden disk which I'd painted black ... a couple of cut-up transfers added & then I could write on my sign with chalk.


This little red car prompted an entire new Christmas display.  I used the table that I revamped in * this post * & then added vintage books, bottle brush trees, greenery & berries.  The beautiful Christmas book was a gift from my dear friend Sandy & blended perfectly on my table. 

The tiny red car had lights that came on after I added batteries

Everything was already in my stash apart from the small red car with a tree on top, which I purchased from my local Variety Store. 

A strand of Christmas lights & it looked just like a winter village/ Christmas tree farm.

You see, once upon a time there was a girl named Julie 😉 who drove a little red car for many, many years.   And many a December she actually drove Home with a real Christmas tree sticking out the rear window!! (& two sons in the back!!)    Even after she met The Mr & he eventually purchased an artificial Christmas tree - she still drove that little red car for many years to come. 😊

After fluffing for ages I was finally happy with my Christmas Coffee Table display.  I dragged out my op-shopped silver trays (polished them) & filled with freshly made citrus potpourri.

During the year I collected old amber coloured glassware whenever I saw it in the Op-shops, & I made some of these up into soy candles & displayed on another vintage tray.  I have yet to burn these - I like to let my candles harden for at least a month as they burn much better.

And YES dear friends ... I had the usual scenario  ... hadn't left enough space for a certain 4-legged fairy to plonk herself down on the table !!! How Dare I Indeed ???

This is Her Not Impressed Christmas Face !!!

                                              Thank you as always dear friends, for your visits here today,

Remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,

With much love & friendship to you all,

Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Thursday, December 22, 2022

A Re-Purposed/Thrifted Kind of Christmas .....................................

💗  Greetings lovely friends & readers   🎄


 On my last trip down to Mum's when I bought home the Chest of Drawers ... I also bought some other oddments that no doubt would have ended up in the bin.  I decided to use a few of them for some Christmas decorating projects. 


I bought Mums last 2 houseplants home with me & the silver tray (above left) was sitting under one of the plants.  It was "toss-able" as The Mr would say.  I sanded the rusty parts lightly & then gave it 2 coats of chalk paint in the colour Pumice.  


I mod-podged on a scrap of music paper, stamped the word JOY & then fashioned a wreath from a branch off a Christmas tree.  My friend Gail gave me the tree branch as the Op Shop were going to bin it.  I added some berries & a ribbon & lightly sanded the tray edges ... I really LoVe how this turned out 💗

I've hung it on the wall above a small display using one of the Op-shopped plates from this post * Here *.  And YeS I really did make Santa hats for my miniature teddies !!!! 😉 (Click to enlarge for a closer view)


Mum had a large stack of books in the spare room wardrobe - these had belonged to my Dad & he has now been gone for 22 years so I decided it was high time they got donated!!  I bought 6 home with me - glued 3 together, painted with Forest Green chalk paint & then glued on a small decal that I've had FOR ever.

I painted over the entire thing again,  then tied it up with a scrap of ribbon, tucked in some greenery & berries & added a wee tag to the bow.  A book bundle for the princely sum of $0 !!


I forgot to take a "before pic" but this tatty tray was in Mums wardrobe too.  I painted it with Linen chalk paint, then decided this was entirely the wrong colour for the transfer I wanted to apply.  So I painted it with black & then added red to the edges, lightly sanding for a more vintage look. 

I've had this transfer for 2 Christmas's now  ...  I first used it on the mirror in * this post * & absolutely love it.  It is no longer in stock so I wanted to use it for something special. I applied some of it to the frame & am so pleased with how it looks.
(The transfer is by Iron Orchid designs)

This rusty saw was $5 at the SPCA Op-shop in Mum's town. I painted it black, oiled the handle & then added another section of the transfer to it.  


This old aluminum cooking pot was in Mum's shed.  I painted it with chalk paint - Country Clay - & then added yet more of the transfer to it.  It is just perfect to sit my wee artificial tree in with a block of wood inside to prop it up a bit higher.  🎄


My entire thrifted/upcycled/repurposed display arranged together on an old trunk.  The only purchased item was the Woodland Scene Teatowel which I have used as a table runner.  


I had really wanted a Reindeer to complete the scene but at $90 + in the stores it was way out of my budget.  Then I remembered this leather one I had gifted to The Mr many years ago. I found it in his shed, the leather had gone mildewy but I was able to clean it & give it a good oil.  This will be staying inside once Christmas is all packed away.

  I encourage you dear friends ... to think outside the square.  You do not have to spend big money on Christmas decorating.  I have a couple more items that I would love to share but I feel this post is waayyy long enough so I will share those after Christmas. 




I am a creature of habit - I bake the same items each year,  those that I know & are simple.  Mars Bar Slice, Chocolate Fudge Cake & Gingernut bites.  These have been all packaged up & gifted to local friends, whom I share baking with.  The black/white striped boxes were again in Mum's wardrobe so I tizzied them up with paper doilies & a tag to present the baking in. 


I keep my eye out in Op Shops for little Christmas tins also - these are often 50 cents each & perfect for presenting baking in. 



This is my last post before I head to Mum's tomorrow dear friends,

I am hoping to be back next week with a final post before the New Year.

I would like to wish you All a most wonderful, safe & happy festive season & to thank you all with all my heart for your visits to my little corner of cyberspace & the lovely comments you take the time to leave me ... it truly warms my heart more than you will ever know.

Remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,

With much love & friendship to you All,

Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Christmas Prep ........................................

Greetings lovely friends & readers

          Well the 1st December came & went in the blink of an eye.

  I got my Grandson's advent calendars filled for another year & delivered to them in time.   It is getting trickier as they get older, to find things small enough to fit in those tiny stockings.


 

I have had to be a bit inventive & found I could tie the larger size packages to the peg with some string &                                                                then clip the stocking over the top. 

  I keep a written sheet for myself, so I know each day what they will be opening.  It would seem - from checking in with his parents - that Alec has done a bit of a re-shuffle with some of his 😉


A couple of weeks ago, Spotlight had huge reductions on all their Hessian so I treated myself to another length for my decking table.  

Every time I walk outside that $6 length of fabric just brings me so much pleasure.  I tizzied up the table a bit for Christmas & the red petunias just set everything off nicely.  💗



While I was placing my online Order I thought I would re-cover my outdoor cushions as well - they were looking quite a bit "worse for wear".   I decided to purchase the doiley print this time round & had great difficulty getting to actually Sew it  ... due to a certain Ginger Miss who thought it made a lovely soft sleeping spot when I was down on the floor cutting it all out !!

Finally I got them both done & am so pleased with the end result.  Yes of Course she had to test it out for comfort &                                              snugability !! Look at her there with her ample proportions lovely furry tummy!!


I received another order for my potpourri from Brandy's Botanicals - it seems to be very popular this Christmas.  I have been experimenting with drying some Calendula flowers in my Dehydrator - they don't take long so you have to keep an eye on them or they shrivel too much.  They add such a nice pop of colour to my citrus potpourri.


I've been re-doing my coffee table display for Christmas & filled a lovely silver plated dish with some of my fresh potpourri.  I will show my festive coffee table in my next post. 



Our craft group had our end of year Outing.  We went to Cambridge to view the Christmas display in the town hall which was wonderful.  I wanted to gift the ladies a little treat each - last year I did the Soaps wrapped in Dishcloths.   I had some peat pots that I'd recently painted roughly with white chalk paint so I stood at my kitchen bench & decoupaged paper serviettes onto them using mod-podge.  It was a fun, simple craft & looked effective.

I had planned to fill the pots with baked treats but simply ran out of time & energy.  The Warehouse had large boxes of Ferrero Rocher choccies on sale so I purchased one to fill my pots, then wrapped them in cellophane with a Christmassy tag.  The ladies were delighted.  Let me tell you dear friends .... quite a few of those choccy treats landed in my mouth while I was putting these together !!!! 😏  I've no idea how !!!

Sid has 3 new family members of the 2-legged variety.  My son Kayne has built this wonderful hen-house & they have 3 baby hens.  Sid has named his one (pictured above) Frankfurter (!!!), Sid's Mum has named hers Gertrude, & my son has named his Wingy 😉 .. I shall try not to fill my future posts with too many chicken photos.  

I had started my Christmas preparations early this year (mid November) but it still feels like it's going to be a mad rush to the end.  We are having our family Christmas this weekend as I will be travelling down to spend Christmas Day with Mum at the Resthome.  I will be back before then with another post.  I hope the lead-up is going okay for you all.  Remember to pause, to breathe & to try & enjoy the festivities.  (Yes - hark at me talking 😏)

Thank you, as always, for your visits here today,

With much love & friendship to you all,

Love Julie & the furry ones x0x0x