Thursday, May 26, 2016

Cupcakes & Bunting

Good Thursday Afternoon to you dear friends & readers,

When I took part in my local craft fair way back in November of last year,  Maria wandered by my stall & took one of my leaflets home with her .  .  .

It was early December when I received a lovely email from her, telling me about a new website she was starting featuring artisans & craftspeople .... & would I be interested in her doing an article about me & my little Cottage?
Her website was to be called by the delightful name of Cupcakes & Bunting.

We agreed to meet up just prior to christmas, & I experienced one of the most pleasant mornings I had in a very long time ... just sitting & chatting with Maria & eating the delicious yummy treats she had bought along with her.

I think it is fair to say that since Maria's visit I have been well & truly hooked on salted caramel lava cakes !!!
Life - as it often happens - got in the way of Maria launching her website early in the New Year as she had originally planned.
She finally managed to launch it early this month & I am her second "conversation" which has featured on her website today.
If you would like to read a little about what I do here & how it all began, do pop along to Maria's website & have a read 
You can view Marias website here, & her facebook page here

I love the simple, fresh look Maria has given her website, she has done an amazing job of putting it all together, & I look forward to reading future "conversations with crafters" as she plans to feature a new artist each Thursday fortnight.
Do pop along & pay Maria a visit & perhaps leave her a comment .  .  . I found her new website really easy to navigate my way around also.

This has been pretty much what my "new lounge" has looked like this past week
You can do these sorts of things when you have no carpet or floor coverings down !!!!
I have been painting various articles in differing states of disrepair .  .  .  the mirror in the foreground was shiny gold . . . the small wrought iron rack in the middle was rusty, as was the upside down half-round table in the background.

Although I forgot to take a "before photo" the table was well rusted & required a good sanding to remove this before giving it 3 coats of paint .... though it is appearing white in my pics, it is in fact, "cottage cream".

We lit our first fire 3 nights ago & I have been sitting by the fire in the evenings stitching small yo yo flowers in various shades of pink, to make a table runner for my new/old table.  
I think it's fair to say that it can't grow quickly enough for me !!

The Mr has been continuing with the clearing out of the farm sheds & I have been there assisting him in my capacity as Steptoe.
A large box of old books was unearthed & I wondered what I could do with some of the ones in better repair.
Last week I decided to make a Book Bundle  .  .  .  in Pink !!

Do you like it & would you be interested in making one for yourself ??

Because I was thinking of doing a simple tutorial in my next post ??
Do please let me know what you think . . . it seems such a shame for all these old books to not be given another chance at life.

Thank you all SO much for your birthday wishes for little Alec in my last post.
I am on the mailing list for Alec's Daycare & often receive emails with photos of his "adventures" whilst there.
I loved this one that came through this week .  .  .  it was his first experience with painting & I especially loved the way he had "taste tested" it first !!!
I must confess that when I receive these emails, I smile all the way through them with my face about 3 inches from the screen !!!

We really are a pathetic lot in this household you know !!
The Mr has had lots of evening paperwork to do lately with regards to the farm & also his Moto X Club.
While the house is in such an upheaval he sits at the dining table to do his paperwork .  .  . he was worried that the overhead light might be disturbing Miss Pippi so I noticed he had built her a "little tent" so it was not quite so bright !!

Well dear friends, I am off to make the delicious looking feijoa muffins featured on Maria's website in her recipe section
Thank you all so much for stopping by today & I do hope you will all pay Maria a visit.
Please tell her I said "Hello".
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones  x0x0x0

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Feeling "discombobulated" ??? !!!

Hello dear friends & readers,
Goodness . . . I did not mean to be away for so long.

A week or so ago I read the word "discombobulated" on sweet Pom Poms blog
I liked the sound of the word . . . so I looked it up in the google dictionary
"to confuse . . . if something has you in a state where you don't know your up from your down . . ."
Yes I thought .... that sounds rather like me !!

We have been lost in a world of prepping & sanding & painting these last few weeks
It all begins to look the same after awhile
I did capture these few pics last week while preparing the new (2nd hand) window for painting
It pays to do these jobs while small 4-legged beings are locked away somewhere !!
I am pleased to report our walls & ceiling are now painted . . . we hired a large airless spray unit & completed the job in a weekend.
There are still lots of fiddly bits for me to complete.

This large round cane basket was one of my friend Joyce's throw-outs way back in January.
I scrubbed it & then promptly left it in a corner of my deck to get covered in dust & cobwebs all over again.
Last weekend while we had the spray unit on hire, I quickly grabbed it & gave it a dust off.
"Could you just whip that spray gun across this for me" I asked my Stepson who had come to lend a hand.
Gosh - what would've no doubt been 3 days worth of painting & drying & painting - took approx 3 minutes !!
I fancied making myself a large work basket to sit by my lounge chair & toss all my handwork into . . . I thought this large round size would be just perfect . . . so I dug into my treasured vintage fabric stash & found a lovely piece of Sanderson fabric to line the base.
Firstly I covered a circle of heavy duty cardboard with 2 thick pieces of wadding.

After covering with my fabric, I glued a length of gathered cotton lace around the edge, then glued my circle into the base

Just exactly what I had visualised.

This tall wooden wall unit was one of the very few things my first husband & I ever actually agreed upon.

We both really liked it when we bought it all those years ago . . . though it has been shifted around with me many, many times over the years, I still love it but it was looking tired, tatty & worn (rather like its Owner to be honest)
My friend Jane suggested I think about painting it . . . although it is showing in my photos as a nice golden colour, it was actually a very dark brown stained pine
After mulling it over for a couple of months, I took the plunge last week & slapped a coat of chalk paint on it . . . 
This photo above was taken while I was at the stage of "wondering what on earth I had done but pretending I was just fine & dandy about it all!!!"
I ended up giving it two coats of antique white & then decided to apply the pale duck egg chalk paint over this . . . I felt the antique white was too stark looking & am so pleased with the duck egg colouring . . . you can just see the white peeping through in some places
I have lighted sanded the edges & have waxed the top half but still have the lower half to complete . . . I can visualise it filled with some old china pieces . . . 

I can hardly wait to fill it up & find the right spot for it in my new lounge room.

Guess who turned One this week ??!!]

My dear little grandson Alec had his first birthday this week & celebrated with two parties . . . one on his actual birthday . . .
. . . in which Granny made him a feijoa cake to enjoy . . .
& then another party today with some little friends in which his Mummy made him a chocolate cake  . . .
& even though he got a wonderful fancy new bike from his Mummy & Daddy for his birthday . . . he loved the cheap blue Pak-n-Save ball the very bestest of all !!!
Happy Birthday my dear wee Alec . . .
 I have so enjoyed watching you grow & develop your little personality over this past year.

Thank you dear friends & readers for your welcome visits today 
I shall leave you with this pic I snapped of Blackie last night sound asleep in his basket -  yes, legs in the air dear Willie !!  I am always fascinated when I see the perfect line under his chin.
I hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing weekend & be kind to each other & to yourselves,
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Bit of a "Chair Thing"

Greetings dear friends & readers & Happy Wednesday to you all,
(where on earth did April slip away to I might ask ??!!)

I think it would be fair to say I have a "bit of a chair thing" going on 
However I am unsure whether it is the chairs themselves I love .... or the rescuing of them ??

Regular readers of my blog may remember these chairs I have rescued in the past
Blog post about this chair *here*

Read blog post about this chair *here*

Read blog post about this chair *here*

 The elderly lady Owner of the dairy farm that The Mr & I milk on has gone into resthome care,  so we are slowly clearing out some of the many sheds & barns on the farm full of junk treasures.
Due to The Mr being ever-so-slightly incapacitated at present (broken leg) I have been assisting him with this task.
However my main reason is to be there in my capacity as "Steptoe"  & ensure nothing of any value (to me) gets thrown in the hole !!!! (it should be noted The Mr & I share very different views on the definition of things of value)

This chair above was one such item that I "rescued".

I scrubbed it & painted it just after my trip to Mums
This is how it looked before I lightly sanded/distressed the edges.
(Yes dear readers - that IS our lounge in the background - still incomplete!!)
This chair above was yet another "rescue" ... although I forgot to take a "before photo", this chair had been hidden under some sacks in the barn, so once it was scrubbed up, it was in remarkably good condition.
This one I chalk painted - first cream, then pale duck egg.
As both chairs had no seat padding I decided to take them to my local upholsterer - a lovely man named Shane. 
 I purchased 70 cms of heavy duty cotton fabric from MyStyle to cover each one.

This is the brown chair upon collecting it from Shane ... 
He voiced his concerns about the strength of it, should anyone sit on it roughly, or rock on it perhaps ?
I laughed loudly & told him Not to worry, the chair was for a dolly & no-one would be sitting on it !!!
He looked at me mystified . . . surely I was joking??
No, I surely was not !!!

I especially loved the carved detailing in the back of the chair.

This is the duck egg painted chair below, once it was upholstered . . .
This one MAY be sat upon - though preferably NOT by muddy farmers pants or 4-legged critters with dirty paws !!!!
I LOVE the cane backing & the cabriole legs on the front of the chair.
I chose this fabric because it reminded me of a Regency Stripe.

I did lots of cleaning & sorting out for Mum while I was down there - once again in my capacity as Steptoe.
The 2 items above were pulled out of her rubbish bag ... yes, much to Mums horror & disgust ... & the serviette tray was in the $1 bin by the doorway at Hospice.

I gave them all a wax & a lick of paint
the black letter rack turned out especially pretty
The wooden serviette holder looked nice with a fresh new packet of paper serviettes in it

After painting I lined the little cane basket with some pretty fabric & lace trim
I thought it would make a cute tabletop work basket but I realised not everyone would think of this .  .  .  
so I made up a small chubby pincushion & needlecase in matching fabrics to add to it .  .  .

.  .  .  I often find that sometimes you have to give them (customers) the ideas .  .  .

Our Waikato mornings are thick with fog now as autumn wraps her cloak around us here in my part of the world
I took these photos on my return home from the farm this very morning

 Poor Old Isabella stands out in the fog waiting patiently for it to clear

Very often these fogs do not lift until nearly lunchtime. 
Surely on days like this, you just want to pull the covers up over your head & stay in bed a little longer .  .  .
.  .  .  like a certain little fairy I know !!

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit me this foggy day dear friends & readers,
I hope you found your way clearly enough ?
May the rest of the week be good & kind to you all.
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones