Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Last Orders ...................& a Cat called Bob

Wintery Tuesday Evening Greetings dear friends & readers,
I have been trying to finish up the last of my Orders before I close my Cottage for the Winter period
This coming weekend we celebrate Queen's Birthday Weekend  & I will be closing just after that & reopening again on ................................well I am just not too sure at this stage!!!

Well not quite yet ......................but soon !!!!

After I finished Pru's order she was so delighted she called in again with a request to complete a couple more items for her .................

This beautiful piece above was Aran stitch embroidery that Pru had done many years ago ... she wanted it made into a cushion with a zippered back & a zippered inner as well.

This large crochet piece had been done by Pru's Nana & she asked for it to be backed & made into more of a supper cloth size.
When I made the two runners for Pru, there was still a small collection of doilies remaining so she asked me to make up a flower design with these & stitch onto a 1 mt x 1 mt square cloth that she could use on her dining table.
I was relieved to see the completion of Pru's order as I had endless trouble with the foot of my machine constantly catching in the crochet pieces 

My friend Marie rang me to ask if she could pop out & buy some more mothball sachets.
Upon checking in the Cottage, I realised I had not one single one left .... it was easy enough to quickly run up some muslin bags as I already had some mixture on hand ............
You can find the recipe at the bottom of this post *here* should you wish to make some yourself.

I was lucky enough to win these 2 old sewing machine drawers from a Trademe auction 
(incidently the auction finished at 12.22 pm at night so I sat up til that hour to ensure my $12 bid won, which it did. The Mr assured me I was "the only fool sitting up at that ridiculous hour bidding on a broken drawer anyway !!!!"

I chose to upcycle the one with the base intact first
Two coats of cream wall paint, a quick scuff of the edges, then I lined the base with a remnant of the wallpaper from my last post
I had a plan for this pretty drawer .......................

I am ashamed to admit my lovely cotton laces spend their life languishing in a tangled heap in a plastic supermarket bag tossed in a corner of my sewing room ... I had seen a wonderful idea on Pinterest of winding the lengths onto old wooden clothes pegs
I was certainly NOT short of wooden pegs so I spent a pleasant rainy afternoon ironing all my lace lengths out, then winding then onto some old wooden pegs
What enormous delight I felt in a simple afternoons task !!!!

Thank you for your lovely comments on the Nail Box upcycle in my last post
I chose to use the box as a shelf in my sewing room - it was the perfect size to house my collection of Extra Curricular Magazines, & my jars filled with vintage bakelite buttons
I had purchased these small swing tags to attach to gifts but I loved the vintage prints so much, I couldn't bear to part with them, so I strung them along the shelf as a bunting .............

.................... & my new/old drawer gets to sit alongside my new/old shelf !!

I think it was over at Betty-the-Wood-Fairy's blog blog I first learnt about the book A Street Cat Named Bob
After I had read the book myself, I ordered copies for my son & stepson for Christmas.  I well remember their faces when they opened the parcels ... total disbelief!!  It was my son Kayne who found to courage to say to me "actually Mum I think you might have given us the wrong gifts - this is a kids book?!"  No its not I told them both - read it & let me know what you think.
The books have been read & enjoyed & shared amongst many family members & friends
I was so delighted last week to be able to see the Movie that has come to my small town.  I just loved it & found that even though my eyes filled with tears frequently, I smiled alot of the way through also.
It is the real cat Bob who plays his own part in the movie !!
I encourage you to see it if you get the opportunity - it IS wonderful & just re-affirms my long held belief that our pets come to us for a reason & often-as-not ...... they choose Us !!

Long time readers of my blog will know that Blackie chooses the most unusual sleeping places including the ironing board & wrapped around the sewing machine to name just a couple
His latest sleeping place is stretched out along the back of the T.V. ... this is rather ridiculous really but what is completely pathetic about all this ... is that the Mr & I sit there with the sound almost on mute - trying to lip read the T.V - so as not to disturb His Lordship!!!
You can certainly see why Blackie chose to live in this house!!!

Have a wonderful week dear readers & thanks so much for your visits today,
Be kind to yourselves & to each other,
with much love & friendship
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Four Baskets, One Nail Box & a Cherub

Greetings dear friends & readers

I have just now taken a batch of delicious banana & choccy chip muffins from the Oven 
The kettle has just boiled .   .   .   would you care to join me in a cuppa & I can pass you a muffin through the screen?

The four cane baskets pictured below caught my eye in the St Vinnies Op Shop last year
They ranged in price from $2 to $4 ... however when I took them up to the counter & told the man I would like all of them please ... he kindly informed me I could have the 4 for $10 !!

What a bargain !!  I had an idea in mind for these baskets.
But first -  a paint job !!!

It was very much a case of using up what I had on hand ...  the two cream ones got spray painted with my can of cream paint, the candy pink was a new can I had not tried out yet ... & the good old green Amulet got painted on by hand.  (I have found from experience you always get a far better coverage by spray painting cane work)

Next job was to line the 4 baskets ... this was done using fabrics from my stash that complimented the paint colours

Then I made 4 little pincushions & matching needle cases for each basket

I stitched a small scissor charm to each needlecase, I added some pins to the pincushions 
& popped some needles in the needlecases .  .  . 

.  .  .  then added a label to each basket as Yes Indeed, people actually DO say 
"these are cute, but what do you do with them?" !!!

Four Sewing Workbasket Sets - all complete & ready for sale

The Mr has been under the main house at the farm fixing a broken water pipe for the tenants 
He found two items under there that he thought I might like . . . the Mr knows me well enough now to know I get rather excited about any random junk treasures he brings home 
This old wooden nail box, which someone, once-upon-a-time had painted the palest lemon colour
I scrubbed it well, let it dry & then gave it 2 coats of my chalk paint "pale duck egg"

I dried it thoroughly by the fire between each coat.  I had an idea for the inside of this nail box so I contacted my dear friend Catherine as I remembered she sold beautiful Cath Kidston wallpapers on her SunshineVintage site

The beauty of this is that you are able to buy 1 metre lengths which is just perfect for those small upcycling projects
I was so very excited when my 4 different choices arrived in the post!!

I had no wallpaper paste on hand & was too lazy busy to go & purchase some, so I just used modpodge, which worked out fine.
I used it to adhere the wallpaper but did not coat the outside of it as I loved the vintage feel of the wallpaper itself.
For some reason, this tatty old nail box with its fresh paint & vintage wallpaper brings me so much pleasure whenever I look at it ... I shall show you next post what I end up using it for.

This poor neglected cherub was the other item The Mr pulled from under the farmhouse
Poor little cherub with its broken wing !!!
I scrubbed her (or him) & removed the family of spiders that had taken up residence in her crevices
I sprayed her with bleach to kill the mould, then when dry I painted her with a small testpot of chalk paint I found in my drawer - the stone grey colouring being ideal .  .  .

I was thrilled with how she turned out - broken wing & all - I shall enjoy her inside for now & perhaps pop her in the garden when summer comes.

Thanks so much for stopping by today dear friends,
I hope you all have a wonderful week - be kind to yourselves & to each other
I am off out to The Mr's shed to hunt for nail boxes !!!! 😉
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Sewing for a Tractor-Mad Little Boy

Good Thursday Greetings dear friends & readers

Before my Grandson Alec ever learnt to say Mummy, Daddy or even "No", the sound he would frequently make was "atta"
When I would babysit him he would climb onto the wooden lid covering the Spa Pool, stand on tip toe, & point his tiny finger over the very top of the hedge to the surrounding hills saying "atta" over & over
My Son pointed out to me that the tiny dot on the top of the very farthest hill, was in fact, the farmers tractor.

This developed into the word "daktor"  ....... always said with such drama & relish ...... "daktoooooorrrr"
Therefore, on a recent shopping trip to my local Patchwork Shop to purchase craft glue, her gorgeous array of tractor fabrics stopped me in my tracks somewhat .... & I immediately thought of little Alec

Though I had not a clue what I wanted to make with them .... some purchases came home with me.  As Alec turns Two this month I thought these fabrics might inspire me to make him some birthday gifts.

The first thing I decided to make for him was a name bunting .  .  .
both my grandsons are blessed with short names, so this didn't take up too much time NOR fabric

I had bought him a farmyard book awhile ago when Paper Plus had a book sale.  This was tucked away in my cupboard so I made up a little Book Bag to pop the book in to ...

I made the bag reversible & used another of the tractor fabrics to line it with 

I also have a couple of tractor matchbox toys hidden in my cupboard which I will tuck into the book bag

At the end of last winter my friend Joyce had given me a large bag of brand new fleece fabrics in very boyish colours.
I remembered about the fabrics & thought I might make Alec a tracksuit that I could embellish with the tractor fabrics.

There was just enough of this lovely soft royal blue polar fleece to make a sweatshirt & I added a pocket & lined the hood with the tractor fabrics.

This bottle green made up into a complete tracksuit which will be cosy & warm for him this winter.
(Often when I am out babysitting Alec, you will find me with the roll of greaseproof paper tracing off his clothing to make patterns)

With the last square of fabric I was able to make a chair pad for this wooden childs chair. I had originally intended to give this to Alec last Christmas but decided he was still too small for it then.
We have a small birthday party planned for this Saturday & I have offered to help my daughter in law make 
an Elmo Cake !!!

My friend Pauline lost her Mother in law recently & inherited a large stash of her doilies & vintage linens.
After showing Pauline the order I did for Pru in my last post she asked if I could make her a runner using up as many of the doilies as possible.

Pauline presented me with the collection of doilies above

I was able to use up all but two small crocheted ones in the vintage runner I made above .... this beauty measured 60 cms x 1.70 when complete.  Pauline has a large (newly purchased) native timber dining table & this runner will look stunning across it.

Poor Miss Pippi has had a traumatic morning .  .  .
It would appear that the Electrician that came out to repair our alarm & security lights left his Van door open & a certain furry ginger being climbed in & took it upon herself to curl up & go to sleep.
Unfortunately he did not notice this until he was nearly back to town again - he was most unimpressed that he had to drive all the way back out here to return her & mentioned that he "should charge me 2 lots of travel fees" !!!
I apologised sincerely, thanked him profusely, agreed with everything he said & offered him a cuppa or something stronger ??!!
Imagine if he had just opened his door & let her go ..... doesn't bear thinking about.
Here she is currently asleep on a freshly folded pile of clean laundry - resting & recuperating from her trauma.
The Mr commented that she will "not do that again in a hurry" !!??
Me ... I am not so sure ... this IS Pippi we are talking about !!!

Thanks so much for your visits today dear friends,
I would love to just share with you the gorgeous photo that popped into my inbox when I went to check emails this morning
My youngest grandson Sid - 6 weeks old now !!!
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie, Blackie & Miss Pippi x0x0x0x

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Pru's Order

Greetings dear friends & readers & Welcome to May (already!!!)

After I had completed the Princess & the Pea Order & delivered to my friend Sally, I sat at the table the following morning sipping a hot cuppa & a thought occurred to me ......................
for the VERY first time in about 18 long months .......... I had absolutely NO orders to do !!!!!!!!!!!

As the Cottage was well stocked (& quiet) I could actually make something for myself ........... a doll perhaps ???
Imagine the possibilities .......................

No sooner had I finished the last sip of my coffee than Pru drove in my driveway
Pru calls into the Cottage from time to time & buys the handmade organic soaps that I sell .... it was during her last visit that we shared a conversation & Pru mentioned that she had this large pile of doileys that her late Mother & Nana had crocheted & what could she do with them??
I explained to Pru that I had made vintage table runners before using up old doileys & linens

This was the beautiful pile of vintage doileys Pru presented me with ... they had been crocheted many years ago by her late Mother & Nana.  The two heavy damask tablecloths were almost 100 years old & still in wonderful condition.
Pru's instructions were for a tablecloth 1m x 1 m square using the white doileys & then 2 runners using the cream crochet doileys
No problem ..................................
Although it is photographing cream, this tablecloth is in fact, pure white - very heavy too - but beautiful .... & would look gorgeous folded up on the end of a single bed I thought !!

The smaller of the 2 runners measured 115 cms long x 40 cms wide . . . .
. . . . & then the 2nd runner measured a whopping 2.20 cms in length & sure used up a large amount of the doiley pile !!!!

This was to sit on a long antique wooden cabinet that Pru has .... I am sure it will look stunning

Showing some of the doileys up close

When I am working out the placement on anything like this, I like to have it on the table & walk past it over a day or two as I frequently change my mind & re-arrange the placement until I am happy with it.
When it became apparent that Blackie intended to "assist me with the placement" - I decided to put up a trestle table to keep them off what I was working on .  .  .  .
.  .  .  . as you can see above I was none too successful in that endeavour !!!!!!!!!
(Sorry Pru)

The 2nd bag of goodies that Pru wanted completed was the hardanger embroidery above, the Thomas the Tank Engine cross stitch & the piece of silk ribbon embroidery - all her own handwork

As per her instructions I made the hardanger piece up into a cushion with a zippered back closing -  to sit on Pru's bed

The Cross Stitch was to be cut down, backed & made into a small plump cushion for her grandson ... who adores Thomas the Tank Engine

I was able to back the silk ribbon embroidery piece with some pale pink linen I had in my stash & stitch it into a pretty lavender pouch

Last, but by no means least, was this beautiful calico quilt that Pru had begun some 20 years ago.  It was to fit a king size bed, to have the silk ribbon rosettes in the centre, the ruched calico around a scalloped edge on the base & be backed & quilted.
Pru had long ago given up on this piece & it had sat in the back of her closet all these years.

She instructed me to cut the centre panel out & hem it & edge it with the cream french lace that she had purchased to use on the quilt.
As it had a dainty eyelet edge separating the centre panel, I cut it a couple of inches below this & then hemmed it as I really liked the effect.  Pru is very much looking forward to using this on her table now.
Thank you So Much Pru for trusting me with your beautiful vintage linens.

When we did our lounge extension last year, this folk art Watering Can somehow ended up in the garden & then got tossed under the house when we were endeavouring to clean up.
I fished it out this week, gave it a scrub & a dry in the sunshine, then I removed the centre lip as I planned to sit some hydrangeas in it that I had been drying

I especially love the colours & tones of my hydrangeas in autumn & am hoping they don't fade too quickly

We had our first fire last night & the house feels cosy again.
These two got the prime seat & soon radiated towards the warmth.
I hope the week is treating you kindly dear readers .  .  .  I am off to bed for an early night
Thank you so much for your visits here
with much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0