Sunday, January 31, 2021

Home From Mum's

 Greetings lovely friends & readers

I have returned from my trip down to my Mum's & these two have not let me out of their sight since my return.

Yes - you see correctly dear friends .... they are on the good bedspread Again 😕 (!!)

I must mention - the morning I got up early to travel, Blackie bought me in a little "leaving gift"  -  & left it on the dining room carpet where I very nearly stood in it !! (Tho' my photography is not showing it's full size - it is indeed a rat !!)

Mum has a wooden fence that runs the entire width of her property - my brother had water blasted this fence but not got around to staining it.  I offered to do it while I was there.  I have to say - about 5 minutes into this project I wished I had kept my mouth shut tight. It was a horrid job & took me 3 days in the hot sun to get 2 good coats on both sides.

            I was very pleased & relieved to complete this job & Mum was happy.

I took Mum to the crematorium where Dad's ashes are scattered & we took flowers as we usually do. It is so nice to see the silk flowers from the previous visits are still there along with the little plaque that Mum has put there for Dad. We had not been to visit this spot for nearly 2 years.

 Mum has lost yet more weight.  I realised she is giving her delivered hot meals to her "new friend" - a stray cat that visits daily crying with hunger.  I went to the Supermarket & bought a couple of big bags of dry cat food & set up a little tray down the back where Mum had been throwing her hot meals.  By the time I left the cat was eating the dry food.  I was able to pat it on one occasion but I did get hissed at too - underneath all that fur he/she was very bony.

While waiting on a prescription for Mum I had approximately 5 minutes to do a quick scour of the 2 Op Shops that are opposite each other in Mum's small town - Hospice & the SPCA.  I was thrilled to find all this vintage glassware for the sum total of $24.00. I have a large Candle Order to complete & am rather short of vintage glassware containers.  These have all been put through my dishwasher & have come out sparkling.

It has been very dry while I was away & nothing got watered so much of the veggie garden is going to seed.  The tomatoes are just starting to ripen at long last & this was my pickings this morning - courgettes, a cucumber & some tomatoes. 

The lillies outside my dining room window were bent over from the winds, so I picked a couple of big stems to enjoy inside,  tied the remaining ones up & gave them a good watering with the sprinkler.  I know lots of folk don't like the fragrance of lillies inside but I just love them 💗

This dahlia decided to put on it's very first bloom.  This is Cafe au lait - I had to put my name down for these bulbs at my local Garden Centre & wait a whole year for the bulbs to come in. I bought two packs (they limited numbers) & planted them not far from each other - this one has come up but the other has not showed its head above ground.  These heads are the size of a dinner plate. 

I bought this terracotta pot home from Mum's shed - she has alot she no longer uses.  I scrubbed it yesterday & painted it with a new colour chalk paint - Pumice by Reloved Boutique.

This morning I applied a Re-design transfer to it & waxed it well.  It is a birthday gift for a friend who I am catching up with tomorrow.

I like to paint the inside too when it is to be planted as I feel it protects the outside paint & transfer quite a bit more.

This vintage enamel wall vessel has been sitting on The Mr's work bench for over a year now a very long time.  Finally while I was away he managed to fashion me a little tap to screw into the hole in the bottom where a tap would have originally been.  I was delighted.

This morning I applied an Iron Orchid Design transfer to brighten it up a little - I just LoVe it so much 💕 & would like to sit some dried flowers in the top at some stage.

Thank you as always for your very welcome visits today dear friends,
I hope the coming week is good & kind to you all - a shiny new week tomorrow And a shiny new month,
With much love & friendship to you All,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Buttons, Tags, Hearts & a Frame

Greetings lovely friends & readers

Sometime back in very early December I entered a competition run by Barb of Theodora Cleave.  I really love Barb's buttons .... well everything she designs really - & I subscribe to her online newsletter which is where I first read about the competition.

You had to share a Tradition you engage in each Christmas so I emailed Barb & shared one I had begun with my own sons & now continue with my grandsons.  In the hectic leadup to Christmas I must admit I forgot all about entering until Barb's email popped into my inbox informing me I was one of the two winners.  I was so delighted & a couple of weeks ago Barb's box of goodies arrived - all packaged up beautifully like opening the most special advent calendar.


Oh My !!!!  I could barely breathe .... the packages just kept on coming.  How special I felt that day & my mind was spinning with projects & things to create with the beautiful array of buttons & handprinted ribbons I had won 💕💗

The week following my receiving the prize I decided it was high time I actually did something with some of the buttons!!   These two tags above were my first attempt - they are a pattern from an old Christmas issue of Simply Vintage Magazine - pictured below.

I love to pull my old copies of these out & go through them & always seem to find a new project I wish to make.

Two dear friends have birthdays early next month - both are in their 70's & have homes full of "stuff " but both love their gardens so I decided to get them each a Garden Voucher.
I follow Craft With Fee on YouTube & came across this wonderful tutorial for making these hanging heart pockets - I hope the link works here okay ...

I thought the pockets would be ideal to pop the Garden Voucher in rather than buying a birthday card.  I used some of the buttons from Barb to adorn my pockets instead of the applique flowers that Fee used on hers.

 A couple of dried lavender sprigs & the voucher tucked in ... just perfect.  I bought my vouchers from Mitre 10 which is a large hardware store here in New Zealand but each branch has a wonderful Garden Centre inside it.  It's a pity their brand colors are orange & not nice pastel colors to match my heart pockets 😉

Jenny of elefantz encourages us to pull out our "orphan stitcheries" & turn them into something.  I came across this one in a box which is originally a Jenny design.  I decided to make it up into a pincushion & then filled it with crushed walnut shell which keeps your pins nice & sharp.  

Although I tossed it in my pressie box, I actually pulled it out again as I decided I could do with a nice new pincushion to start the New Year off.

This picture was an Op Shop purchase for $10 - bought for the frame & Not the picture which was very faded, rubbed & worn in areas.  

I painted right over the entire thing with my Voodoo Molly Vintage Chalk Paint in the color Old Linen.  The Mr was watching me & nearly had a seizure ... "for all you know it might be a Rembrandt" he stated.   For $10 from Hospice I somehow doubt it!!! 😉

I had a section of the transfer left over from when I did the Nesting Tables in my last post & wanted to use them up.  I cut several of them out & spread them around to fit them inside my frame.  I especially loved the finished effect when I rubbed the frame over with some silver gilding wax that my friend Gail had loaned me. 

Hard to show up in my photograph but the wax just bought out the filigree in the frame so well.  My picture looks great hanging just above the Nesting Tables in my dining room.

Well dear friends - although I would dearly LoVe to go to my Craft Room & play - I am actually off to pack a bag as I head to my Mum's early tomorrow morning.  Thank You as always for your visits here today.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend - be good & kind to yourselves & to each other,

With much love & friendship to you all,

Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Thursday, January 14, 2021

These Twixmas Days (Part 2) ........ She's Waving Her Brush Again (!!!)

Greetings lovely friends & readers

The day after I returned from my Kinloch trip I decided to clean out the entire Sleepout.  This involves hauling nearly everything out & Hopefully NOT putting it all back in again 😉

This Nest of tables had been in the back of my sleepout for about 5 years now - given to me by a customer when I ran my Craft Cottage.  I was only just into painting/upcycling then but had thought I could do something with them.
If you click to enlarge the pic you can see the blistering of the varnish in the right hand photo

As you can see they were Not in a good state of repair - the thick shiny varnish on them had blistered & peeled & the main table had a crack right through it.  I knew they would require some work & not just slapping a coat of paint on them. 😉  I sanded & sanded the small nesting tables first while The Mr glued the split with PVA & clamped it for a couple of days.  The large table required the most work & the varnish did not want to lift on this one.

After sanding the smaller tables they changed colour somewhat from the dark brown they had been.  I washed the dust off them & dried them in the sunshine.

Because it is now so hot here, it is not good for painting outdoors as the paint dries too fast - so I set myself up a "painting station" down the end of my lounge in the cool - as I knew this project was going to take several days/a week to complete.

(I'm not sure why the right hand photo is showing the cream table as yellowish)

As all our shops were closed still this was very much a case of using up what I had on hand.    I had decided to paint the nesting tables in different pastels so I had to find colors that complimented each other.  
The main table & one small table are painted in Aged White,  The pink is a Resene testpot Pale Rose that I used alot around here & the grey is Grey Mist from Newton's Paints.
While I was happy with my color combination I still felt they lacked something so I dug into my supply of Re-design Transfers that I buy from Paint Me Vintage .

I absolutely LoVed this one.   I used the main part of the transfer for the big table.  Translated this reads "A house is made of walls & beams while a home is built with love & dreams".  How perfect 💕

I then scattered some of the remaining transfers on the bottom shelf of the nesting tables but left the tops plain.  I am really happy with the finished effect & the transfers just seem to set it all off nicely.  I also lightly sanded the edges of them to distress them a little.

Cup of tea anyone ..... I can give it to you on my new/old nesting tables 💗

My lovely friend Jane had given me this plain white cross so while I had my transfers out all over the floor I decided to embellish it a little.  I am so pleased with it & when I texted a photo to Jane she mentioned that she thought I might just be a teeny bit addicted 😉

These little tin hearts were 50c a pair from the Stratford Hospice Shop back in this post * here *.   I painted them with my testpots then added some remaining floral transfers & ribbons - they look great hanging on my fireplace bricks. 

Also in my sleep out was this metal cooking pot. It had been in a banana box of junk treasures that The Mr had come home with at one time.  I decided to paint it for a friend's birthday gift.

I LoVe this green chalk paint - it is called Country Green from Newton's Paints.  The pot took 3 or 4 coats to get a good coverage but I was so excited to embellish it.

Don't you think the addition of the transfers just finishes it off so nicely dear readers?  

I had to stop myself from getting quite carried away but I must say - I LoVe it so much I am just a bit tempted to keep it for myself 😉😊

In the midst of all my painting escapades my friend Sue came over for a visit from the city.  We had morning tea here & then drove around the road to Alphra Lavenders - a gorgeous lavender farm about 5 minutes from where I live.  

This is the sight that greets you when you get out of your car & you can imagine the fragrance.

The mountain in the background is called Kakepuku

Sue took this lovely pic of us both in the midst of all the lavender.

Thank You all So Much for your visits today dear friends & for staying with me through this lengthy post.  

Remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,

With much love & friendship to you All, 

Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Thursday, January 7, 2021

These Twixmas Days (Part 1)

Greetings lovely friends & readers -  Happy Bright Shiny New Year to you All !!!

I read on Lucy's blog that the days in between Christmas & New Year are called Twixmas days.  After the busy-ness of Christmas passes I just love these more relaxed days with less pressure & no meals to cook as plenty of leftovers to consume.  Sometimes it inspires me to craft & create, to garden or just relax with a book.

This is how the furry two spent their New Year - tucked up together on the bed !!

My New Year celebrations involved a glass of bubbles, an early night with a good book & at least One Cat tucked up beside me - just perfect !!

We have welcomed a new furry member to our extended family

After the sad passing of dear little Karma in * this post * Sid's family have welcomed a new furry girl into their lives ... dear little Darcy whom is both delightful AND rascally all rolled into one.  She even got to take part in the annual Christmas Photo Shoot.

I spent 2 1/2 days putting the Christmas decorations away & this was alot less fun than it was putting them all out. 

 I came across this stitchery tucked in a Simply Vintage magazine - it is an older pattern by Natalie Bird of The Birdhouse - stitched way back when I ran my craft cottage.  I found some matching fabric in my stash so I bordered & backed it & made the 5 felt pennies that the pattern called for.

As I didn't have any spare wire hangers I used this old wooden lace making spindle to hang it from.

This sweet little Moptop kitset was a gift from my neighbor for pet feeding duties & I finally found time to make her up using a hot fix rhinestone tool borrowed from a friend.

The lace detailing on her felt hat                                          Her beaded "legs" under her petticoat

 I must be honest here & say that although I am pleased with the finished product she was not especially enjoyable to put together & I didn't seem to have enough fingers or hands at times !!! 😉

Whilst I was digging out long-forgotten-kitsets I found this one above - an Op Shop purchase for $5 & it had everything included inside to create the 6 wool felt decorations.

These were very enjoyable to stitch of an evening & you can either affix a tie to hang them from the tree or a small gift can be fitted inside each one as they are backed with wool felt.  My favorite was the black cat but Sid told me he preferred the sheep 😊

In early December I ordered the above pad of Iron Orchid Transfers from * this online store *    - it was not inexpensive but had so much in it - 8 pages of transfers in total.

I wanted to affix the Deer's head to a mirror but had nothing suitable - I was so delighted when The Mr picked this one up for me off Facebook Marketplace for a bargain price & wasted no time applying my transfer

Really tricky to photograph !!  The Mr thought I may want to paint the frame but I loved the slightly coppery rustic look of it all.

The day after Boxing Day I headed down to Kinloch - a small bay on the edge of Lake Taupo.  My eldest son & his family have built a holiday home there & younger son & family were also staying in Kinloch.  

We had a wonderful family day together. I took a picnic lunch & we went to the Lake edge where we flew kites, & the little ones swam in the crystal clear (but freezing cold) lake water.

Even Darcy came along for the day 😊

Thank You all So Very Much for your visits here today dear friends,
I shall be back soon with Part 2 of my Twixmas escapades.
I hope your week is going well ... remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x