Saturday, December 3, 2022

My Childhood Chest of Drawers

Greetings lovely friends & readers

On my last trip to Mum's, when I told my brother I would be taking home the old chest of drawers out in Mum's shed, he said some words I can't actually print on here 😉 ... but their interpretation went something like "was I barking mad?!"  No I was not !

It took some effort on my part to load them into my vehicle as they are native timber & not exactly light ... but I was determined.

This chest of drawers was used by my brother & I for the first 5 years of our life as we shared a bedroom together.  Eventually we got our own bedrooms & I think he used this for awhile longer before it got moved out to Dad's shed & became home to all his painting & wallpapering gear.  You see my Dad was a painter & paperhanger.  When I got the drawers home & loaded onto my deck I realised they were probably in much worse state than I had envisioned.  But that's okay - I still had a "plan". 😉😶

The drawers & the sides of the unit were full of borer holes.  I sanded & stripped the wood - it took me a week but that wasn't continually working on it - that was walking away from it quite often !!
I treated it by spraying with kerosene to kill any live borer lavae.  Then I set about filling all those borer holes with wood putty.  Believe me friends, there were about a gazillion of them !!

Lastly I oiled the wood using a woodstain that I already had on hand.  It has actually turned out darker than I wanted but I am fairly sure where I have placed it - on my covered deck area - it will soon lighten a bit & fade.  The stain looks patchy here but it is not this bad in real life.  I also replaced the 5 handles with new ones as they were broken.  I wanted a simple handle - nothing too fancy.  

My "plan" for this chest of drawers & my "vision" was to use it to house all my garden supplies.  These were previously sitting on our old dog kennel & often looked messy/unsightly when you walked up our deck steps.

Everything fitted in perfectly & I also ran an old candle along the base of the drawers as the wax helps them to glide open & closed easily.  I was really pleased with how it turned out but felt it needed "something more" ..............

I ended up purchasing this botanical transfer from * this * gorgeous shop & I think it just finished it all off nicely.  I am really pleased with how these drawers turned out & the fact that they are so useful is a double blessing.  

Safely under cover on my deck area & out of any weather.

Attractive as well as useful at the same time 💚

I also washed all my china plates & replaced a couple that had big chips/cracks in them using the plates I op-shopped in * this post * for $2 each. 

"Beautical Sunray Pink Petunia" in my wrought iron chair planter - a gift from my friend Julie 💗

Lastly dear friends - I absolutely LoVe this photo above - look at the body language on Sid! Could he sit much further away? 😊 He is not especially fond of Santa, but he thought there might be a toy involved so he persevered. Makes me smile everytime I look at it.

Thank you as always dear friends, for your visits here today,

Enjoy the weekend, remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,

With much love & friendship to you all,

Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Chasing My Tail .........................................

Greetings lovely friends & readers,

Sometimes I watch Miss Pippi chasing her tail ... round & round she goes madly ... never actually catching it or achieving anything - well that is rather how this entire year has felt.

 Round & round I go - achieving very little at times.  And yet another month goes by since I last blogged. 
  I have been away down to Mum's again but prior to that, & just as I was recovering from my surgery, I caught Covid.  I know everyone has a different experience of Covid but I have to say - it absolutely flattened me.  I always had grand visions of being able to craft the recovery time away but friends, I could barely lift my head off the pillow - it just immobilised me & a month later, I am still trying to get some energy back. 
(I should probably add in here that I certainly did Not travel to Mums until I was well over my Covid)

(The stunning Mount Taranaki was peaked in white in the background)

I delivered a large citrus potpourri order (10 bags & 10 boxes) out to the lovely Deb at Brandy's Botanicals while I was down at Mums.  And she has just yesterday messaged me for another order please.  So my dehydrator is busy drying another load of oranges off my tree.

It was the Centuria Garden Festival time while I was down at Mums.  I usually miss this yearly event but this year I was hoping to get to see a couple of the gardens.  In the end I managed to visit 3 but the one I was most excited about was Jenny Oakley's Garden out at Manaia. 

Mum & I first visited Jenny's garden together, probably about 10 years ago now.  I well remember her stunning hanging baskets & they were just as magnificent this time round.

                                           Here they are hanging in this beautiful old Native tree.  

Even Jenny's window boxes took my breath away.

Such a riot of glorious colour everywhere 💗

I loved how she had planted out these Moa's & Pink flamingo's that her husband had fashioned for her.  The Moa's are filled with Mondo grasses in green, & black for the baby.  The pink flamingo is planted with pink impatiens that will be stunning when they grow.  Such imagination 💕

As luck would have it (& good timing on my part), Jenny was giving a hanging basket demonstration & talk at 11am on the morning I visited.  She gives a couple of these throughout the festival. 

 As well as being just a genuinely nice person, Jenny was So happy to share her knowledge.  I honestly learnt so much & so many little tips & tricks.  I shall be giving this a go sometime over the summer months.  

The day after my return was the big Fireworks Spectacular at our local Speedway which we can see clearly from our outside deck area.  So my Grandsons & their families came for a Pizza dinner & then around 8.45 we sat out on the deck & watched the display.  The little ones loved it & it was all over by just after 9 pm. 
I have to say I don't especially enjoy fireworks, mainly because of the trauma they create for our animal friends.  Thankfully I had gotten my two furry ones inside early enough as in past years Miss Pip has gone missing for days at a time, so traumatised is she by the noise.  

 En-route to Mum's I usually break for a coffee at the lovely Cafe Lure in Inglewood that I wrote about * here *.  I like to browse their craft section & purchased this catnip mouse for Madam Pip (Yes in floral colours, reminded me of Liberty fabric).  As soon as I gave it to her she just devoured it ... she can obviously smell the catnip inside.  Two weeks later & she is still obsessed with it.

After my surgery my dear friend Sandy loaned me a wonderful selection of books to read, so I decided to make her a bookmark as a little Thank You.  I used one of my lovely friend Jennifer of Elefantz designs bookmark patterns - go 
* here * for the free downloads.   I made Sandy's in Tilda fabrics in two of her favourite colours. 💙 

Lastly dear friends, my step-grandaughter Juno has become a "big sister" as they welcomed little Sadie Joy into the world a couple of weeks ago.  I just adore this photo above - they are all doing well & we look forward to meeting Sadie very soon.  

Thank you as always, for your welcome visits here today,
I am off batten down the hatches as we are experiencing dreadful stormy weather here this week,
Remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship to you All,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Saturday, October 22, 2022

A Catch-Up Post (Part 2) .......... (A Waffle-y Post)

 Greetings lovely friends & readers

After hitting Publish on my last post, I was unable to get it to actually Publish.   I did not know how to resolve this as contacting Blogger seems to be a mission impossible, but finally I found a Community Help Forum & a lovely Polish man named Arek very kindly assisted me.  I was So immensely grateful as I had been wondering if I may have to give up blogging if I couldn't reach you all with my posts.  It made me realise how much I would miss this chatty, friendly place called blogland.  

Anyway - all that just to say ... I am very happy to be back here again 😊 This is a bit of a waffle-y post filled with all sorts of things I wanted to share here.

During our first Lockdown in 2020, my friend Gail dug out an entire garden of Clivias down one side of her house.  Unable to visit the Dump she filled 2 black rubbish bags & The Mr picked them up from her gateway to dispose of in the farm burning hole. When I saw them on the back of his Ute I grabbed them as I thought I might have somewhere to plant them.  The greenery was all cut off & it was mainly just the root system left.  We have a large area of native trees between our house section & our rented depot yard - nothing much grows here as the tree roots have sucked all the goodness out of the soil underneath.

I carefully planted all the clivia's root systems & slowly they grew - I was delighted this spring that most of them are putting on such a lovely show of colour.  When I saw One Clivia Plant in my local Garden Centre for $25 I realised what a treasure trove I had planted here.  

Some of you may remember this table & chairs that I revamped for Juno late last year in * this post *.  On my last trip to Mums I saw the little chair (below) in the local Hospice Shop for $6.  I walked back to my car without buying it .... but then I sat & had a think & I remembered that Juno is going to be a big sister any day now.  

I thought an extra chair might be handy once Juno's new little sister can use the table too ... so I went back & paid my $6.  I gave it 3 coats of chalk paint in the colour Rosie.  It was actually a horrid thing to paint - I am not sure why but I didn't enjoy it & it took 3 coats to get a decent coverage.

I still had some of the rabbit themed transfers left over so I was able to keep the same look going.  Juno is rabbit-obsessed so I am sure she will love this pink chair & will no doubt be the bossy older sister who gets to decide who-sits-where !!

I gave the chair 4 new rubber feet that I already had on hand - as well as 2 coats of matt finish spray varnish.  I find this makes the furniture wipeable which is handy when it gets used by children. 

I saw these wooden slabs last month when I visited the Daffodil farm & purchased 4 (they were $5 each).  I had always wanted to make some stepping stones from our driveway to the corner of the deck which is where I take a short-cut every time I go to check the mail box.  The Mr made me stain them well with several coats of Oil before I set them in the ground because he is annoying, fussy thorough like that. 

I love how they turned out & now I can even pop across in my slippers 😉

I have had to make an elevation in the "hospital corner" of my lounge, where I grow all my cuttings & seedlings.  I needed somewhere to put some seedling trays so this old wooden pew made the perfect second storey addition.

Sometimes my "hospital corner" even gets the odd visitor  ............

This dinosaur is one of Sid's most favourite toys, however it looked nothing like this when his little dog Darcy had finished with it.  She had bitten the back seam right open & much of the stuffing was missing as well as several holes in the arms & legs.  I was able to sit & stitch it all up & fill it with some new stuffing - Sid was delighted.

To thank me he drew me this card ... it says "from Sid to Granny" but his G is back to front.  He also made the iceblock-stick/string toy for Pippi to play with 😉  These are the things I will treasure always. 


Alec has just returned from a 10 day holiday to Tasmania, Australia.  He flew with his Mum & stayed at his Aunt's rural property - off grid, way out in the Tasmanian wilderness - no power or running water!  He enjoyed every moment of it.  I love this photo above, he reminds me so much of his Dad in this photo. 

Thank you as always dear friends, for your visits here today,

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

(Hopefully I can get this post to actually Publish!)

With much love & friendship to you all, 💗

Julie & the furry ones x0x0x 

Saturday, October 15, 2022

A Catch-Up Post (part 1)

Greetings lovely friends & readers

Some days/weeks it feels like I achieve very little but once I look back through my photos, I see this is not always the case.

The last of the Freesias picked before the thunderstorm came

 I have been in hospital for some surgery & I came home with a long list of things I was not allowed to do .... fortunately crafting was Not one of them.

My neighbor gifted me this set of vintage scales back in January for pet feeding duties.  She no longer wanted them but they were always missing their tray.  I kept an eye out on my Op-Shop travels & found this expandable cake tin for just 50 cents in the bargain bin.

I painted it with 2 coats of matt black paint & then 2 coats of clear acrylic spray varnish.

It could do to be a little larger but in the meantime it does the job wonderfully & I'm thrilled with my 50c purchase.

My youngest son cut me out these house shapes from a piece of custom-wood that I had lying around.  This design is from an old pattern identical to this one * Here *.   Yes I had "assistance" from Blackie with this project 😉 - he very kindly helped me select which buttons to use. 

I spray painted 5 of the tags with some matt black & then added Christmas fabrics to the roof.  I glued on some wooden buttons from Theodora Cleave that I already had in my stash.  The tags can be written on with chalk, then rubbed off & re-used.  These were such a fun project. 🎄

These are photographed beside my adorable new tin sign from my dear friends Jane & Sally

One of my favorite things to do is watch YouTube videos - I find them very inspiring.  At present it seems everyone else is decorating for autumn & there are pumpkins Everywhere!  I found this simple free pattern on the internet & decided to try knitting some myself - I just love how these turned out & am now knitting some in paler colours.  Though I don't consider myself a very good knitter, these were simple & fun to create.

I had a packet of wooden coathangers in my stash like these ones * here *.  I had painted two of them ages ago but never done anything with them.  I wanted to make gifts for two friends so I decoupaged them with a gorgeous Rice Paper & then stitched my friends initials onto some linen offcuts.  These initials are a pattern from Jenny of elefantz designs - I stitched them using Cottage Garden thread Pink Lavender & tied them onto the hooks. Just before gifting I'll add a generous drop of lavender oil to them. 💜

Last year I purchased two Tilda Mystery Boxes from Craft with Fee.  I have been slowly finishing off all the projects in them & this needlecase was the last one.  Everything is included in the kitset - you just have to sit & make it all up, which is lovely & relaxing.  This particular Tilda fabric was one of my favourites from an older range.  

Just prior to my hospital admission it was my eldest sons birthday.  Nobody could visit as they all had colds & I could not afford to catch anything, so there was no celebration.  
As soon as I was home & able to, I baked him his favourites - Lasagne, & a Raspberry & White Chocolate Shortcake presented with a bowl of whipped cream! He was delighted.

(Just some of the woolly mammoths that I managed to get a pic of)

I have had Sid a couple of days last week as its school holidays here in New Zealand.  We went along to our local Library as their school holiday programme was Dinosaur Themed.  We made woolly mammoths.  Now let me tell you dear friends ... this was by far the most exciting thing that I've done for ages!! Which probably tells you something about my life of late.  (in fact I am pretty sure I enjoyed it way more than Sid did - I am writing this small as if I am whispering to you)

Thank you so very much for your visits here today dear friends,
I shall be back in a few days with Part 2 as I have lots to catch up on here,
Wishing you a wonderful weekend, be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x