Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year 2016

Greetings dear friends & readers & A Happy New Year to you all

The festive season has passed us by in the blink of an eye .... phew I can hear some of you saying
Rather than make any resolutions (which I generally keep to for approximately 3 weeks on a good year) ... I prefer this year to live by the words I read on Rhonda's blog .....

"Lets be against sweeping changes & in favour of doing things in small steps.
Lets not discourage ourselves by trying for too much or subject ourselves to the tyranny of somebody else's big ideas."
(Wendell Berry)
It certainly struck a chord with me & sounded very appealing.

I received some lovely goodies for christmas this year
- a stack of books both new & 2nd-hand
- beautiful soy Ecoya candles
- the latest Adele C.D. (apologies for the blob of light in her face!!!)
- gorgeous handmade christmas decorations from a clever friend.

The past 10 days have seen a good tidy up of my sewing room & some gentle stitching appear
After my mammoth tidy up on Boxing Day I decided to make myself a new ironing board cover ... I had come across some vintage Op Shop fabric that I had long ago squirrelled away so decided to use some of this up as I adored the floral pattern

I had lots of help from Blackie who "warmed" the fabric up for me first

I also added another layer of wadding to give my poor old flattened board a bit of a boost
Its funny how something so simple - I just layed the old cover on the ground & drew around the outside of it - can bring so much pleasure 

The entire task took about 30 minutes from start to completion

Heart & Dove decorations made from scraps of an old grey army blanket
These decorations were stitched by hand, just a little late gift for a friends first christmas in her new home
The pattern is a free download available from here

My daughter in law Sarah has her birthday on the very last day of the year
I had given Sarah my old Janome Sewing Machine a little while ago & she has been attempting to spend some time using it so I made her up a little sewing kit for her birthday
The needlecase pattern is from Gail Pan's book Patchwork loves Embroidery which Sarah had gifted to me for my last birthday

Apart from the purchase of the sewing notions, all the fabrics, trims etc came from my scrap stash

Whilst tidying & sorting my sewing room I came across a large sack. I am sure I purchased this several years ago from Davids Emporium in Hamilton.  I seem to recall it was the princely sum of $2.00.
I looked at this sack & "cushions" came into my head
(Yes .... I know ... please don't comment on this sentence!!!)
I decided to make some squashy cushions for my rustic outdoor chair . . . as it was raining at the time, I (unfortunately) had some assistance .  .  .  .

.  .  .  .  of the four legged variety .  .  .  .
.  .  .  . who thought the sack made a wonderful hidey place

One sack cut through the middle = 2 cushions
From The Warehouse you can purchase The Basics range of pillows ... a pair for $6 ... so I used one each inside the cushions as I wanted a soft squashy effect .  .  .
.  .  .  & also to simply tie the corners with some jute twine.
Really happy with my new cushions & the world is not going to end if they get left out in the odd rain shower !!!

Before I close I would just like to show you a photo of my window basket ... each year I plant red/white Impatiens in this basket as I find the red looks striking against the paint colour of my house.
This year when I went into Bunnings to buy some Impatiens the lady told me I was too early so I quickly chose a punnet of red petunias instead . . . thinking they would be equally as nice

The petunias are thriving in the basket . . . I am just not too sure when they will be turning red !!!!!
(But I do live in hope !!!!)
Thanks so much for stopping by today dear friends & readers
May the coming year be a wonderful one for us all filled with all things that bring us pleasure & good health
with much love & friendship,
Julie, Blackie & Miss Pippi


  1. I am sitting here giggling at the thought of you waiting for the flowers to change to red!!! The basket does look beautiful though!! Very pretty. Love those outdoor cushions, they look fantastic on your chair. Could imagine sitting there with a cuppa and a good book!! Good you had some 4 legged assistance too! Love the little decorations, they are so cute. The sewing set you made is lovely too, perfect for a new sewer. xx

  2. Yippee...I can be early instead of late!! Love the red petunias. Golly, I find that happens quite a lot actually! What a fab idea using the sack. Wonderful lichen on the seat. That is awfully cheap for the cushion cheap as op-shopped ones. I have actually found the most wonderful plants at the warehouse this season: some utterly divine double impatiens & some gorgeous perennial petunias.
    I adore your new ironing board cover....what a wonderful fabric to unearth. Thank you for the calming verse. Small steps will do me just fine. Much love & friendship to you, Catherine x0x0x

  3. You always have the most creative ideas! Sacks into cushions, very cool my friend! Glad you had 'help' with the cushions and that gorgeous ironing board cover. Those 'red' petunia's are very pretty. We just bought one of those types of hanging baskets, but we planted herbs in it. Here's to another enjoyable year of reading your blog....always inspiring. xxoxx

  4. Happy New Year Julie. So glad to see you are creating away. I am always in need od a new ironing board cover. I always seem to put the sticky side of interfacing down to iron :/ so i am loving that project!
    The pillows are genius!!! Perfect outdoor design!
    It looks so pretty there. How ibwish i could just pop down the lane and sit on the porch watching those cats of yours!!

  5. Happy 2016 Julie. Love your gifts. Santa bought me Adele too. So nice to be able to share your love of sewing with your DIL. Beautiful gift for a new stitcher. Love all your projects and little furry helpers xx

  6. Arrrrrrgh! Oh! No! Adele! :(.
    HeHe! Sorry..Can't stand the 'meadow lady'....
    "Nuff Said". :).

    Do you know..back in 1973 when first married,
    and l met my then mother~in~law. Up in the
    midlands, we were buying things, setting up
    home etc...She had a 'wooden' ironing board
    in her shed which she thought was 20yrs old
    then. So, we took it on, new cover, lick of
    paint..(pink)...good as new. Still have said
    ironing board to this day, kept under the stairs,
    it has been recovered several times over the years,
    and repaired a few times. My daughter refused to use
    it as she caught her finger in it once..she hates the
    thing. So...I've left it to her in my will..! :).

    The sack cushions are great Julie....What a good idea!
    Hope you took the potatoes out first...HeHe! They'd be
    so lumpy otherwise...And such professional help to! :).
    Nice to see Blackie a bit active..Usually he's laying
    about with his legs in the air..or not..!!! :). Bless!x

    Happy...Happy new Year to you Julie, family, and loved ones!
    And to everyone who reads your lovely Blog....
    "Good friends are like stars, you don't always see them, but
    you always know there, there".

  7. Just what I needed, a big dose of summer. Adele is the best (Willie?) My Mr has promised to make me a rustic table so I have showed him your photos as a guide! Keep rolling in the deep. xx

  8. I like your sack cushions they are very sturdy for outdoors. It's lovely to see a bit of Summer and some pretty flowers - it's very grey here and our garden is inches deep in water as it has not stopped raining for two days! I have started taking decorations down and it all feels very bleak. Roll on Spring. Betty x

  9. Lol...I love your red petunia's as well!!
    Gorgeous gift for your daughter in law, a nice
    mix of colours. How clever are you to finish a
    project in 30 minutes. You go girl!! lol
    Cheers, Anita.

  10. Love, love, love the chair cushions made from sacks. That is incredibly clever to me the non sewer. Your garden looks so lovely. Only January and all I think about is spring.

  11. The petunias still look pretty but yes red would look quite striking...Love the cushions especially the way you did the corners! Wishing you a Happy New Year and looking forward to all the fun posts you'll share this year:OD

  12. It's all so lovely Julie. How wonderful to here your DIL wishing to do some sewing. She will have the best teacher in you. I do love reading "Willie's" comments. What a cool guy. Would be great to sit and chat with a lemon tea with him and have a BBQ but don't know about the roadkill though;) Happy New Year to you and family. Hugs Shirley

  13. Happy New Year to you again,Dear Julie. I think you'll like 'The Lady in the Van'. The film is out over here and it looks really good. Maggie Smith plays 'The Lady'. I love that little army blanket heart and dove. You're so brilliant at what you do, Julie. Wish I lived nearer then I could come and help you in your little workshop. I'm very good at cleaning up stray thread and would work for hearts and doves!! Have a great week, Julie. xxx

  14. While I was reading the blog, I thought those petunias aren't red and then I thought my screen must be on the way out, until I finished reading the whole lot, then I laughed and laughed. Thank you for making my day, it was turning out to be a really bad one, until I read your blog. Have a great New Year, and the pink petunias are just lovely. Guida

    1. Oh thank you so much for leaving your lovely comment ... I must admit I did laugh too as those kind of things happen to me!!!! No your screen is NOT on the way out ... my petunias are definately NOT red .. but yes, I do still live in hope :-) Happy New Year to you too, & thanks again.

  15. Hello Julie,

    Happy New Year to you and the cats! What a great variety of gifts made and received. Good old The Wharehouse coming to the rescue with their great prices.Love the ironing board cover. The pink petunias's look so much better than red, I do spy those seeds on the hollyhock next to it.

    Happy days.

  16. Oh Julie you are such a busy bee, do you ever stop? The cushions! The ironing board cover! Just everything is yumo. So glad you have your helpers. My ironing board is a mess so maybe I should give it a bit of pimping? I don't iron much, well never but it will look gorgeous hanging on the laundry wall.

  17. Wow Julie you have started the New Year in great form. I just love your new iron board cover, that material is gorgeous. Love the sewing kit for DIL. The sack cushions inspired and the hanging bird and heart elegantly cute! But most of all my delight went to your two furry friends. That Blackie is so like my Ambrose, it always gives me a start when I see a photo of him, lol.

  18. Wow! I love the ironing board cover, the kitties (of course!) and the cushions!

  19. Happy New Year to you my dear friend! Oooh....serious jealousy over here with that to-die-for op shop fabric and that gorgeous peeling paint chair and table where the lovely 'bag' cushions sit!! You know I hate you....don't you. ;)) Just kidding. I like the idea of one walking with little steps, following the beat to one's own drum and not being drowned out by those who live life in leaps and bounds. Here's to a 'slow and steady wins the race' kinda year, lovely Julie. Xx

  20. Ha... ha... Hannah and I love those red petunias - they are the best! The ironing board is gorgeous - made me think I must recover ours - it's looking pretty tatty compared to your beauty.


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