Monday, February 20, 2023

Struggling to Blog ..................................

 Greetings lovely friends & readers

I have been away down to my Mum's for quite sometime & upon my return I've been struggling to blog.    I received a phone call from the Resthome to say Mum had deteriorated (again) so I drove immediately down there.  Mum has slightly improved but she will not get properly well again now & is very frail.  I knew I needed to sell the family home this year in order to continue paying for Mum's Care so when the neighbours approached me about their daughter buying it, I didn't hesitate.

Thus began the looooong process of sorting & clearing out 60 plus years of stuff.  I have been home a couple of weeks now but will return next week to finish up & stay on for settlement.  

Every time I would sit at my computer to write a blog post - the words just wouldn't come - so I would walk away.  Since my return I have not been idle & have found some creative moments in amongst catching up on everything around here.  While at Mum's I took 5 bootloads to the Hospice Op-Shop.  I have a large vehicle so they were certainly NOT small loads.  Even so, I still bought some treasures home with me ... my Dad's old paintbrush was one of them.  It was hanging on the hook in his shed where he always hung it.  I can still see myself, probably aged about 5 or 6 looking up at it & asking him why he hung that one there?  "Because it's my favourite brush" he said.   I'm sure I've mentioned before that my Dad was a Painter & Paperhanger for all the years that he was my Father.

The "before" on the left ... I stripped it using the Oven Cleaner method that I have seen on YouTube.  It took a couple of applications but eventually got rid of the layers of old paint. I had to sand it a little bit & then I just wiped it with furniture oil.  I used a wire brush to clean the bristles out as much as I could.

I love vintage tools hanging on the wall so I've hung it in my dining room where I can enjoy looking at it.  

Another couple of "before pics".  These wall sconces were in my sleepout ... they were Op-shop purchases from awhile ago, & I decided it was high time to do something with them!!

I cleaned them both before giving each a couple of coats of chalk paint in the colour Pumice.  I also stripped all the wiring out as both of them no longer worked.

I've hung the single one on my dining room wall where it matches some frames I've painted.  I purchased 3 plain candles from The Warehouse & glued lace around the bottoms to "tizzy them up a bit". These sit quite sturdily on the sconce bases although I'm not sure I will be lighting them.

The double one is hanging in my lounge room.  I also rubbed each one with a tiny bit of silver gilding wax just to bring out the detailing in them.  So happy with my wall sconces πŸ’•

If you had told me that I would spend 2 solid days sitting at my work-table making Pokemon toys, I would've told you that you were quite insane!!!  However, that is what I did last week as Cyclone Gabrielle raged around us here.  Fortunately we didn't lose power although the Mr had no power at the farm to milk the cows.  

This is a free pattern from this amazing website.  I showed Sid these free patterns last year & he asked for a black Mew Plush.  When I showed Alec he asked for the same.  
I'd like to say they were enjoyable to make but they certainly did "test my sewing skills".  πŸ˜‰

I used plush fur for the bodies & felt for all the eye details.  Some hand embroidery in parts also.  The feet & hands were all needle sculpted.  

I think the trickiest part was probably the long curly tail ... wiring & stuffing that very nearly sent me over the edge.  But Mew is famous for his long curly tail so I persevered.  
Luckily I had Blackie to talk me through the trickiest bits. 

My two grandsons were absolutely thrilled with their Pokemon toys & Sid has now requested a Gengar Plush πŸ˜

While I was down at Mum's I worried that my veggie garden would dry out but luckily we had plenty of rain.  I am picking courgettes & tomatoes each day & giving lots away.  This is yesterday's pick above.  

And the dishcloth knitting continues as I work my way through all my oddments of cotton yarn. I know * this dishcloth pattern * off by heart now so I can sit & knit it without thinking too much.  I find working on these quite therapeutic in the evenings at Mums when it is so quiet.  

Well there you go - I actually managed a blog post.
And if you stopped by for a visit then Thank You So Much!
I hope to get back to regular blogging soon dear friends, & also to visiting you all over at your blogs again too.
Remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship to you All,
Julie & the furry Ones x0x0x0


  1. Keep on writing a blog, i like how you documented things and your photos as well.

    Anyway, I love your blog. Let’s connect. I followed you, and I hope you’ll follow me back :)

    INSTAGRAM: @julieann_lozada

  2. I wonder how you have managed to work your magic on those pretties with all that you have attended to of late. I love what you did to your dad's old paintbrush.....oh the memories you must have. Those Pokemon softees are cute. They do look a bit tricky to sew. Good luck with making Gengar Plush. Perhaps ask Blackie for his advice. =) I did smile at the picture of you taking bootloads of your mum's stuff to the op shop. Normally you are purchasing treasures from an op shop and working your magic with them. It's good to visit you again, lovely Julie. All the best for the next little while. Take care.

  3. My darling friend, you and mum are in my prayers daily. I'm glad you got some creative time at home between the difficult trips to be with your mother and also clear out her home - your own home for so long - and prepare it for a new owner. This isn't an easy season for you, Julie, but I believe the Lord can carry you through every valley. Wish I was there to help. (((hugs))) Those grandsons have you wrapped around their little fingers! Ha ha! And isn't that the loveliest place for us grandmothers to be? :-) Sending lots of love.

  4. Dear Julie , oh I know what you are going through with your mother , it is heart breaking .
    First my lovely mother had a stroke then my dad with dementia and selling the house and sorting through there life time
    of personal things is a sad thing to do.
    Sending you loads of hugs and love to your mother .
    Your post is lovely with those pokemon your father's brush and all the fittings you painted are lovely .
    Thank you for the dish cloth pattern I lost my one so I can start making them again.

  5. So sorry that things are not going well for mum now. Thinking of you both. Such a big job clearing out a home after all that time, so many memories to deal with as well as all the physical stuff. But how wonderful to have a buyer find you rather than having to put the house up for sale, one less thing to worry about.
    I love the paint brush and the candles are just perfect for your sconces. Well done with those pokemon things - something that has passed me by fortunately haha. Having been searching for candlewick to make the rabbit you kindly sent me the pattern for to no avail, I have come up with another plan. So hopefully I will have an Easter Bunny ready for 2024! Yes, it is not straightforward!!!
    The storm was horrendous, so glad you are safe. xx

  6. Blog only when you feel like it. This post is a snippet of your life at this moment in time. You and your family will have something to look back on in years to come. Much love xxx ilona

    1. Thank you so much Iona. You are so right ... sometimes I blog things & then I think no-one will be remotely interested in that Julie! But as you say, its a record of my life at this time & I like to document it to look back on. Thank you for reminding me of this. xx πŸ’—

  7. Oh Julie, so sorry your mum has become so frail, I remember how that was with my mum:-(
    I tried the oven cleaner method on an old frame that had a lot of paint on it, worked well until the can gave up spraying, so just left the frame as it was. Love your old brush .
    You did an awesome job on the pokemons.
    I love seeing new blog post from you, but understand how busy you are, I gave up on instagram, only check there now for family msgs. Take care Julie xoxo

  8. Sometimes it is just hard to do a post Julie and that is all there is to it! It is a lovely post, so special you have your Dads paintbrush with you. It is a huge job to clear someones house. Sorry to hear your Mum is getting frail. The wall sconces look amazing and the Pokemon cats are stunning! You are very clever. Good to see Blackie helping! Lots of goodies from your vege garden.

  9. HeHe! Any chance of a 'PINK' Pokemon Julie....Bless!x

    SO sorry to hear of Mum getting frail....Let's hope she can
    hang in there a while longer, the thing is with older family
    members is all the memories they leave, and all the bits
    and pieces we hang on to, to remember them by, my
    daughter always says upon my demise she'll just move
    into my home, and carry on as if l'm still living there...!
    I hope she's l'm taking everything with me..! :).

    Love Dad's old paintbrush..I have many things hanging
    around my home, that belong to my parents, and Grand
    parents...! My daughter wants to keep many of them, to
    remember her past history...She is proud of her Sicilian
    history as l am of course...! Bless..!

    Don't give up on the Blog Julie...We'll ALL miss it...It's
    such a caring down to earth Blog....We ALL love it.....!

    Lot's of love to Mum...Take care,,God Bless!x
    πŸ™ 🐾😽 πŸ’ž πŸ™ 🐾😽 πŸ’ž πŸ™ 🐾😽 πŸ’ž πŸ™ 🐾😽

  10. Julie, you have so much going on at the moment and so much on your plate. Please don't feel pressured. Your family comes first!! It is a huge job as Myself and my Brother's had to clean out the family home a decade ago. Remember to pace yourself and just do what you can manage. Your wall sconces are just lovely. You have been Blessed with a real gift. Go gently Julie xx

    1. Thank you so much Robyne. That is such a sweet kind comment - I do tend to forget to pace myself. Thanks for the reminder today xx πŸ’—

  11. Julie, I am glad you felt the itch to craft so much between worries and trips. It does help to keep your mind off the worst sometimes. I love the brush because my father (one of 13 siblings!) had two brothers who spent their entire working life as painters and paper hangers. How I remember visiting my grandmother and they would stop by after work in their paint splattered clothes. Oh, so many years ago. I have my fingers crossed nothing stops the sale of the house and then you can concentrate on just the care of your Mum. Lynn and Precious XX

    1. Thanks so much Lynn & Precious. Yes I do feel like I am holding my breath a bit ... hoping that the sale goes through okay. Settlement is set for 10th March so hopefully after that - I can breathe again!! xx

  12. I really love all your blog posts Julie, but you must know your blogging chums will be here whenever you have the time to blog. I think you are accomplishing loads, prioritising your Mum of course and making creatures for the boys, wonderful. Don't forget to look after yourself too. Jean xx

  13. Sorry to hear about your Mum. I know how you feel going through 60 years worth of stuff. Lovely that you kept your Dad's paintbrush, i never thought about keeping one of Dad's but then he didn't have a favourite. Your sconces are lovely. Love the plushies & i'm sorry but it had to laugh about you new request. Have fun with that. :) We'll all still be here when you can get back to blogging, take care of yourself.

  14. So sorry to hear about your Mum. We've had to clean out two houses (my mother in law's and my parents') and they saved everything! So I can totally sympathize with you having to do that task. I love what you did to your Dad's paintbrush... what a wonderful keepsake. Love the Pokemon stuffies that you made. I will surely not be showing them to my Pokemon loving grands! ;-) Hope you have a restful, peaceful week.

  15. So sorry about your Mom. We cleaned out my in-laws house many years ago and there was just so much. Years of living in one house certainly adds up.

    Your sconces are gorgeous, and you did a wonderful job on the Pokemon toys. I can just see eyes lighting up when you gifted them.

    God bless.

  16. You have done some lovely crafting... love how the candle holders turned out..... It is very hard going through different steps with your Mum not well and then you having to make decisions about the home... well done you for doing this step by step....

  17. What a stressful time you are going through, I hope that with the closure on the family home you will a chapter has closed, your mum gets the care she needs without you worrying and you can get back to home and some rest for yourself. Your pokemon toys are amazing, the eyes are so clever and they look very professional, well done! Betty (wood fairy/Elderberry Rob)

  18. I'm so sorry to hear your Mum is struggling, she is lucky to have you there. The brush is wonderful and cleaned up so well without loosing any of its character. I love the Pokemon toys! I am not going to show my boys. LOL. I have made a couple of dragons from "how to train your dragon" and goodness they were tricky. They came out well, but they took many, many hours. Holding you in my prayers, much love - Emma xx

  19. The simplest things can often bring the greatest satisfaction. I love your wall sconces and the knitted dish cloths. They took me back to my primary school days when we were taught to knit. My dish cloth was not a work of art! The Pokemon toys are wonderful - no wonder your grandsons were pleased and putting in requests.

  20. Oh, bless your heart, Julie. What a difficult time this has been. Sorry to hear about your Mom's decline. Even though we know it is going to happen eventually, being in the moment of it is not an easy thing no matter how much we think we have prepared ourself.
    And cleaning out the home just brings wave upon wave of memories and emotions. My heart goes out to you, and I will keep you in my prayers.
    I love what you did with your Dad's brush. Brought a tear to my eye. My Dad was a teacher and counselor and there are some of his books and notes that I just can't let go.
    The sconces are beautiful after your magic touch, and the Pokemon toys show how much love you have for those grandsons. Love the photo of the supervision by Blackie.
    You have so much going on right now--everyone understands if the blog has to take a backseat for a while.

  21. Julie, never apologize about taking care of your mum and yourself, we all understand. Glad that you were able to settle selling your mums home without a prolonged period of time. Clearing it out is always difficult, as there are so many memories attached to things.
    Glad you are ok after the Cyclone.

  22. Family first. Taking care of mum and sorting the family home are important tasks. As is discovering old memories and making new ones. Blogging will happen, when it happens. Glad that you are safe and Gabby didn't disrupt your life too much. Good on you for keeping the little people in your life happy.

  23. Oh Julie, I love your blog and every post and all I can think about when reading a new post is how amazing you are! I'm so sorry to hear that your mother is very frail. You've had so much on you lately. Don't know how you do it all. Love your dad's old paint brush. You did an amazing job cleaning it up. The Pokemon stuffed toys (I've never heard of the little character) is so cute and looks so hard to make. Wishing you the best Julie.

  24. I've been thinking of you and your Mum, Julie. I can imagine what a big and difficult job it is clearing out her home. I'm sure the boys will have lots of fun with their pokemon. My Mitchell just loved pokemon when he was young and only a few years ago he was searching for them on his phone when it became popular again! Sending you a big hug. Love Christine xx

  25. Dearest Julie. You've had your crosses to bear indeed. Glad you can still manage to fit some crafting time in to save your sanity? Love what you did with your Dad's

  26. Julie I feel for you having just been through it with my siblings when our Mum passed. So many memories and the realisations that you just cannot absorb all of a loved ones treasures into your life no matter how much you may want to. So you look for those treasures that mean the mostI am sending you a huge hug from across the Tasman. As the mother of a painter and decorator your Dads paint brush touched my heart.
    You have made a beautiful job of the wall sconces and boy oh boy the Pokemon toys! Glad you were safe from Gabrielle and your garden patch is still producing.
    Hope the sale goes without a hitch....thinking of you.
    Take care xxx

  27. Hi Julie I am so sorry that your mum isn’t doing well,sending you much love my friend. It’s a big job sorting through a house ,great that you have a buyer though .
    Oh boy you are amazing with your talent of turning a object into a beautiful piece ,love your work Julie 🌹🀍🌹

  28. With everything you've been up to lately, I'm not sure how you've managed to work your magic on those pretty things. I love what you did with your father's old paintbrush....what wonderful memories you must have. The Pokemon softees are adorable. They do appear to be difficult to sew. Good luck with your Gengar Plush project. Ask Blackie for his opinion. =) I did smile when I saw the picture of you hauling your mother's belongings to the op shop. Normally, you buy treasures from an op shop and work your magic on them. It's great to see you again, Julie. Best wishes for the upcoming period. Take precautions.

  29. You certainly have been busy. I am sorry about your Mom failing more.....Nancy

  30. I'm not sure how you managed to work your magic on those pretty things given everything you've been up to lately. Your use of your father's old paintbrush is beautiful, and I can only imagine the wonderful memories you must have. The Pokemon t-shirts are so cute. They do seem to be challenging to sew. I wish you luck with your Gengar Plush endeavour. Ask Blackie what he thinks. =) I did grin when I saw the photo of you carrying your mother's possessions to the second-hand store. Typically, you purchase treasures from an op shop and transform them using your magic. Julie, it's wonderful to see you once more. Greetings for the upcoming time. Take safety measures.


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