Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Make Do & Mend

A rainy afternoon Hello to you dear friends & readers

When I was a young girl growing up my Mum always "made do & mended"
Oh how I hated it ...
I wanted to be wasteful like the other kids in our street ... being wasteful meant affluence to me as a young girl

A poster on my wall from the Frankie magazine,  given to me by my friend Sally
How little I knew back then   ....  fast forward several years & what do I do today ??
I make do and mend   ...  (still!!!)
It is a lifestyle choice for me - I get far more excited at an Op Shop bargain than the most expensive labelled dress

This week I am linking up with my friend Sophie at Hettie Brown
Sophie practises her "Treading Gently, being thrifty, Living Simply" way of life & her blog is such a lovely place to visit with a cuppa  :-)

I have helped a friend shift house this past week & came home with a few black rubbish bags from which have been removed many "treasures" - easy come, easy go to some folk I guess

This black dolly with a wooden body was destined for the tip
I have given her a wash, some clothes & named her Ebony

While helping with the move I got myself the nickname "Mrs Steptoe" ... I just smiled ... I have been called worse !!!!

I have had 2 orders for my vintage linen table runners so decided to make 3 to have one for the cottage again
I very much enjoy re-using the old linens & doileys & always think about the women who made them & what they would've been thinking as they spent all those hours stitching away on them 

The Mr has learnt by now, when he comes home in the evening, invariably he will have to tiptoe his way to the lounge - he is used to me by now & doesn't complain ...  (much!!!)

I love the patching & piecing of making these runners - adding bits of lace here & there - they are not perfect as they have that slightly time-worn vintage appeal with their little faults & blemishes

This particular doiley (below),I almost could not bear to part with ... I just adored the flowery sails on the ship

Seeing the 3 together made me think, what a beautiful bed quilt they would make ... so I lay them out on my bed to get the general effect ...

Hmmm ... maybe that will be a project for another day  . . . ???!!!

I also completed an order for an Isabella Golly - imagine coming out in the morning all bleary eyed to be greeted by this sight on your breakfast table . . . 

Good morning . . .  whats for breakfast ?
How could you not feel cheerful looking at those little faces holding their teds :-)

So 2 more orders left on the list, & as one is not needed til christmas  I am hoping to get back to making some new stock for the cottage

These wooden pegs had been sitting in this container for many months - since I had made one for my friend Claire way back here  - they were waiting to be made into peg garlands for the Cottage

I decided to leave one lot stained & not paint them, to make more of a prim/country-style garland

Do you have a favourite??
I just love old wooden pegs - I love the differing shapes of them all . . .  speaking of which . . .  this just might have appeared in the post last week . . .  it just might have been a trademe purchase !!!

Quite a few peg garlands there I think !!!!

I cant actually print what the Mr's comment was !!!!

Hope you have found some time to "tread gently, be thrifty or live simply" this past week folks
thanks so much for your time & for stopping by
much love/hugs/friendship
Julie x0x0x 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Colleens garden

Hello dear friends & readers,

Today is so mild here you would not think it was officially still a winter month

I have just had my first group for the year . . . 

I had charged my camera ready to get lots of photos as the ladies were all dressed up in costumes for the day but unfortunately . . . 

Oh yes Julie .... whats that we see .... another pile of mulch to distribute??!!

these were the only 2 snaps I managed!!!!!  (too busy chatting as per usual)

There have been quite a few late nights getting the Cottage ready - there was a fresh batch of potpourri to bag up - I loved this lilly pod that I found to break up into my latest citrus batch

Are you having a good big sniff????

Oh yes & are those your good dressmaking scissors we see sitting there - only to be used for cutting fabric??!!

I think I could bag potpourri now with my eyes closed!!!!

Another order has been ticked off my list ... my "teddy bear addict" friend Christine bought these 2 rather plain looking teddies out to me a couple of weeks ago...

Christine wanted to display them in her ensuite which is decorated in a yellow & blue colour scheme   ....  she wanted one a boy & one a girl (no gender issues here)

They turned out quite well I thought  :-)

While lying awake around about 2.23 am the other morning (!!!) solving a few of the worlds problems .... I was thinking about the beautiful jar covers that so many crafters make, often gorgeous crocheted ones like my friend Amy makes here ... & how much I loved them ... & this idea popped into my head ...

why not make one using wool blanket offcuts & blanket stitch the edges ??

add some crochet flowers (purchased ones because we wont discuss my efforts to learn to crochet today??!!!)

add a tag & some lace & a pearl button or 2 ...
perhaps add a doiley ...

Just Lovely :-)   don't you think??

A group of ladies in my neighbourhood meet once a month for morning tea at each others homes ... this group is called "good neighbours" & has been going for over 30 years ... I try to get along whenever I can.
 Since I hadn't been to one since February I went this last week as I knew it was at Colleens place & I particularly love her garden & its setting ...

Colleen & her husband would be in their late 70's I am guessing (sometimes you cant actually ASK these things)  
They made the 3 ponds on their property themselves & have spent the past decade or more planting them out with natives & making bridges, walkways etc...

Colleen plants her daffodil bulbs by the 100's - they were not quite in full bloom yet

Colleen commissioned my youngest son Kane to build her a small version of "Threadbear Cottage" to place beside one of the ponds

I met this beautiful creature whose name is Elizabeth ...

she is very friendly indeed ...

Elizabeth had a mate - named Edward - but he died recently after becoming entangled in blackberry - it was very sad

These two last photos are especially for you Catherine ... because when I saw them I thought to myself ...
"Catherine would just love this"

I hope you enjoyed your little tour round Colleens garden folks ... I hope your weekend is going well & that the coming week brings you only good things.

Thanks so much for visiting my little corner today :-)
much love/hugs/friendship,

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A funny ol' mixed bag of tricks

Hello dear friends & readers,
How has your week gone?? I do hope it has been a good one ...

Mine has been a funny ol' mixed bag of tricks ... but I have had a few finishes, & a very lovely surprise

I managed to complete an order to tick off my list
These two little raggedies are going to 2 little girls who are flying to Australia for a holiday

Their Mum had chosen my Isabella Golly pattern,(from Lil Blokes)  but wanted them made as Raggedy Annes 

Plus wanted all the clothing to be removable ... I also made sure all legs & arms were double-stitched plus hair stitched on etc ... I couldnt resist popping a little teddy in their hands :-)

The 2nd picture that is making me rather joyfull is this ...

"Oh Yes - how very fascinating Julie - a patch of brown grass "  you are saying ... 
but it is great because it shows I have finished another pile of mulch ... & this was a huge one too!!!!
(I had 6 piles to do, now I only have 2 left!!)

A couple of months ago my dear friend Catherine sent me a little parcel of fabric bits & pieces from her stash & I have slowly been using them up in my projects
This beautiful doiley was amongst them & I decided to make myself a cushion using it
Isnt the crinolene lady doiley just beautiful - thank you SO much Catherine

One of my aims hopes this year was to make a collection of wool blanket cushions for along my couch 

I think I might just have room for one more !!!???

I had to take a trip to the city this week for some business & I popped into this rather interesting shop

I know I have been complaining telling you lately how I am fast going through my vintage button stash ... well I knew they had a good selection in here

and I wasn't disappointed (I might add they had rather a good selection of interesting other things that were very tempting to bring home with me also .... but I was very brave)

I dragged this poor old neglected trike out from under some bushes this week & gave it a good scrub up

I usually plant it with pansies for the winter but am rather late doing these things this year for some reason

Last year it flowered right through into February for me ... so I am hopefull again this year  :-)

Plus I think I am only going to get one more year before the bottom drops right out of my rusty old bucket - so fingers crossed it holds on in there !!!

As I sit typing this my house smells so lovely - I had a large box of gorgeous handmade soaps arrive this morning to sell in the Cottage

I have been busy making little home-made labels to tie onto them with some jute - I liked the handmade charm they add to the soaps 
I think they look rather lovely on vintage plates in the Cottage - what do you think ??

I couldn't chose a favourite - they all smell so wonderful - almost edible!!

Finally, in the middle of this week I had the most wonderful surprise ... several months back I had accidently broken my favourite big red bowl that sat on my kitchen bench (actually the Mr broke it but we wont go into details !!!!)  I always give my broken china to my friend Jan as she does really beautiful mosaic work, which I sell in the Cottage.  Well Jan turned up with this ...

This beautiful planter pot which she had made from my old red bowl + one of my polka dot coffee mugs I had broken quite sometime ago

It was a belated birthday gift as Jan has been overseas ... isnt it stunning ??? I was surprised & overjoyed.  Jan has planted it with white pansies so when they bloom, I will share it with you.
(Incidently Jans daughter is my friend Sally - whose home I often share pics of - so you can see where Sallys talent comes from )

Well folks I hope you have a great weekend - I am off to tidy up my extremely messy rather interesting sewing room - I have lost another leg (dollys that is!!!) in there somewhere & I need to find it

If anyone is peering closely at the screen & you spot a dollys leg, please let me know ... thanks so much for stopping by - take good care everyone :-)
much love/hugs/friendship,
Julie x0x0