Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Textiles ... Painting ... & Remembering . . .

Hello dear friends & readers,

Just out a little way past Threadbear Cottage is the Orakua Battle Site Cenotaph
. . .  and today (April 1st) commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Waikato Land Wars so there is to be a huge day long event held out at the site
You can read more about it just here

As our road was due to be closed from 5 am until 6 pm I decided to take myself off to the city for the morning
I especially wanted to visit this rather interesting place here ... The Waikato Museum

. . .  & in particular, I wanted to see the Rosemary McLeod Textile Exhibition
My son Kayne, who was working in the inner city, met me there ...

I snapped only 2 photos before noticing the sign which said "no photo's please" ...   ! ! !
(whoops . . .  sorry)

Kayne remarked to me "I'll bet you would love to take all these home with you Mum??"  
 "Oh yes, how wonderful ...  I Would!!!"   :-)
"But then, what would you do with them all??" he asked
"Just sit them around me - admiring them I guess - perhaps wear a pinny or two ... !!!!"

The exhibition is on in Hamilton until June 15   - if you should be nearby & get the chance to go, I would thoroughly recommend it if you love vintage textiles, (as I do).
It is based on Rosemary's book "With Bold Needle & Thread" & showcases vintage textiles from 1920 until 1960.

(I think this may be a touring exhibition so if it comes to a centre near you, it is well worth a visit.)

As I sit typing this, our road is Oh So Quiet ... 
I expected it to feel a little eerie, but it is just lovely & I can hear the cicada's in full chorus outside ... makes me wish for more days like this

I have been painting this past week - projects both large & small

The larger projects are not so enjoyable ... I am 3/4 of the way through painting our bedroom 
(& at that stage of wondering why on earth I ever began!!)

Somewhere in amongst it all ... is a bed we sleep in each night !!!!!

The smaller projects are much more enjoyable (& fun) ... these 3 little items found their way home with me from the Salvation Army Bargain Bin

A wooden bowl, letter rack & a cane basket in sad repair

After a clean, a wax & 2 coats of (bedroom wall) paint ... I felt they looked much improved

I padded the base of the little basket & lined it with a lovely floral fabric & some vintage gathered lace

The little letter-rack came up rather well I thought ...

I used some of my "rub-ons" & some wooden filigree embellishments

These old smaller-size baking tins & coffee mug trees were lying in the back of the cupboard - another Op Shop find from awhile ago

I cut the coffee mug trees down a little, then drilled holes to attach my cake tins to the centre poles - 
a light sand, a wax & a coat of Persian Red (Resene Testpot) paint to each stand

With the "ring-tin" I decided to line the inside (outer) base circle... 
so I cut a pattern using some baking paper & then transferred this to a piece of cardboard to which I glued some wadding ... then covered with a piece of wool felt & glued inside the ring

I then added a wee circle of checked wool felt which I filled with wadding, gathered, fashioned into a pincushion & glued inside

A few vintage sewing accessories, a tag & rusty bell  ... viola ...

The 2nd baking tin I simply drew a large circle of wool felt (pattern = dinner plate) then blanket stitched a felt flower onto it & padded it up into a larger size pincushion

A large size pin keep  :-)

Circle glued inside base of baking tin ...

(incidently, my wool felt I am using - which is normally rather expensive - are old mens blazers from the Op Shop)

(apologies for the photo overload this post)

. . . And Remembering . . . 

I just wanted to mention that on Sunday it was one year since we lost Nero - our beautiful german shepherd dog - I still think of you every  single day Mr Fat Fluffy & remember with such fond thoughts & memories the immense joy you bought into our lives

you can read my post about him here

I look forward to us meeting up again one day over the rainbow bridge 

Have a lovely rest of the week dear friends & readers,
I am off to Mums for a week - yes it's that time of year again - she will be celebrating turning 85  :-)
Thank You So Much for your visits
with love & friendship to you all,
Julie x0x0x0x


  1. Another beautiful post Julie. It had crossed my mind it must be close to a year that your special furry friend departed.......hugsxxx.
    Oh I would like to see that exhibition, good that you got a couple of photo's in! :-)
    You are so good with painting & up cycling things. Your coffee tree/cake tin pincushions look awesome! i have enough bits to make another two, one for myself would be nice.
    Gaynor will be happy you did a post, as yesterday she said oh you & Julie haven't done a blog post for a few days! She likes to look at our blogs.
    Happy birthday to your Mum, I hope you save some goodies at the Opshops for others when you are in her neck of the woods!

  2. A year already? Hmm I am sure you still miss him, sending big hugs your way!!!
    Hope we get to catch up with you while you are down, let me know if you have any free time and we can meet for a cuppa!
    I love all your projects big and small, can't wait to see your room all finished, sometime a fresh coat of paint works wonders...

  3. I am glad you didn't get caught with your camera out! Lol! Sounds like a great show. I love all your upcycling! Enjoy this time with your Mum xx

  4. Your sewing stands are delightful... and doesn't a bit of white paint work wonders. Have a happy week with your Mum. xx

  5. Oh I would've loved that exhibition too and I'm a terror myself for taking photo's when I shouldn't be.
    Oops! lol Lovely pics and great job with the painting and re-doing of the baskets. Sorry I can't look
    at your previous post about Nero....I'll cry. Don't give up on the painting you've just about finished.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers, Anita.

  6. Hello Julie, I came across your blog via Jenny of Elefantz and so happy I did, lovely photos and love what you do. My husband and I and two friends have less than a week ago returned from a wonderful trip to your beautiful country, such beautiful scenic landscapes,trees and diversity.
    We have other friends who have holidayed there so knew it was going to be great, plus we got a peak on a cruise a few years ago and just had to return to do a road trip. Three weeks was nowhere near long enough for us to see all we would have loved to but feel lucky to be able to do what we did. We are from NSW and friends from Cairns Australia, they had people to catch up with in the North Is and we one in the South. We felt so blessed with the weather too, very lucky always one step ahead and we only had a couple days of cold though our Cairns friends felt it more but still felt very lucky. Unfortunately we did not get to your part of the Island due to our friends being able to catch up with longtime friends. I enjoyed your photos, I did notice the Op shops there looked so interesting but did not have the opportunity to visit, squeezed in a couple. I was on the lookout for pre loved embroidered doilies, did return with a couple and have craft projects in mind. Your tea cup teddies look gorgeous and what wonderful gifts, can't imagine anything more gorgeous decorating a special tea cup, I was wondering if you can let me know where I can get the pattern, would much appreciate, I think you mentioned that the arms and legs are all in one with the body is that correct. I had a go at teddy making many years ago and still have some mohair in my craft stash. Hope you can help. Do you have your little cottage open to public for sales of your craft items, it does look lovely and interesting.
    All the best and happy crafting, Judithann

    1. Hello Judithann ... my apologies I missed your email somehow. If you would like to email me your contact email address at I would be able to help you with the teacup teddy pattern Thanks for your lovely comment - Julie :-)

    2. Hello Julie, thank you for your response, I have sent you an email that will explain. Appreciate very much your offer to help and will keep in mind.. Wishing you all the best and happy crafting and gardening, Judithann :-)

  7. Hello dear friend, I hope you are having a lovely week over the other side & that your mum is delighted with her pressie. Are there op shops to stop at along the way at all?
    Interesting exhibition. Nice that Kayne went in with you. I wonder where it's all stored when not on tour? I have traded with Rosemary a couple of times on Trade me...bits of vintage fabric that must have appealed.
    Your innovation with the upcycling never ceases to amaze me. What a transformation with the trays. I bought a cane/wood tray similar a few weeks ago & planned on a pastel paint with CK oil cloth on the bottom. The difference between us being yours is done & mine is still sitting there! Very clever use of the old cake tins & stands & I adore the old men's blazers bit..perfect.
    I am very glad that you made the little memorial garden..keeping the old boy safe & near.
    Much love dear-heart. Catherine x0x0x

  8. Julie, I seem to have missed this post! Your pinkeeps are so original and amazing!!! And your upcycling of the wooden/cane items - wow, what a diffrence. Good to hear about that exhibition, I'll have to keep an eye out. Hope your week has gone well and your mum has a wonderful birthday.

  9. I hope you had or are having a wonderful time with your mother. I love to see all your upcycling, the painted containers are gorgeous and the pincushion is lovely. The year has gone quickly, I'm sure you must still miss your doggy companion. Big hugs Wendy xx

  10. Hi Julie, so nice to find another blogger living in my part of the world. I keep meaning to go to the Rosemary McLeod exhibition at the museum and now I am convinced I should do it soon. Your blog is lovely and you are rather talented, love all your up cycling.

  11. Beautiful textile designs and the house is looking beautiful. Beautiful things to see in this exhibitions.


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