Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Catching up Post (Part 3) .... Clearing out No 44

Greetings lovely friends & readers

This post is written mainly as a record for myself, my sons & grandsons ... & I acknowledge it may be of no interest to anyone else.  But I wanted to keep a record of clearing out my family home,  as I have a tendency to forget ๐Ÿ˜‰

Winter Pansies planted in my old trike just yesterday  ๐Ÿ–ค

I was down at Mum's house for 2 weeks emptying it out & cleaning it ready for settlement on March 10th.  The new Owner was purchasing it as a rental property & I wanted it presented as "move in ready".     I first came to live at No 44 when I was aged 1 so I had 61 years of memories tied up in the house & large section.  I expected to feel all sorts of emotions the day I drove away for the final time but I did not feel one iota of sadness whatsoever.  Which surprised me to be honest.   I felt incredible sadness for my Mum who was lying in bed in a Resthome, just 6 doors away from the house she had lived in for the bulk of her 93 years of life.  The morning of settlement I had walked up to visit Mum as I did twice daily, & she had been very frail & incoherant.  So I felt a deep sadness over my Mum but certainly not over leaving the property. 

My brother had sold quite a bit of Mum's furniture on Facebook Marketplace prior to my arrival so this was my little set-up in Mum's lounge, where I sat for my meals & to do a bit of knitting or reading in the evenings.  A cane chair borrowed from my sister in law & a banana box for a side-table. There was nothing else left in the lounge room but this worked just fine.

My brother & I had to be ruthless when it came to Mum's furniture & possessions.  We both have small homes & each have houses full of furniture already.  So many, many loads went to the 2 Charity Shops that Mum liked - SPCA & Hospice.  I kept some things that had sentimental value but even then I was ruthless.  Some things I bought home were simply because I could not bear the thought of them going to an Op-shop.  Like Mums wedding dress for example - like I would ever fit into it in a zillion years !!! But I kept it.

I certainly do Not need more sewing supplies but I kept Mum's sewing basket (which she made herself) & needlecase, which my Dad sewed himself when he went into the armed services & they all had to make one.  

This mohair bear was made by myself a year after Dad died - the pattern is "Old Boy" & that's what Mum used to call Dad.  The Granny bear I made for Mum after she fell in love with the pattern - I did not knit the cabled twinset - this was knitted by Mum in very fine wool.  Before her eyesight deteriorated Mum was an exquisite knitter.

I have been working on a few revamps of some things I bought home & you can expect to see more over the coming months as I slowly sort my way through things.  This table above was "donated to a mate" by my brother, & I promptly undonated it & hid it in my car.  It was made from an offcut of formica many years ago & used as a bedside table in Mum's spare bedroom.

I chalk-painted it with cream & then used a lovely green on the top called "Pale Sage".  Just to take the plain-ness off a bit, I added a stencil in the same colour as the legs.  I gave it a light distress & a wax & it is just THE perfect size. 

This concrete statue had sat in Mum's laundry for many years.  She had a broken neck as you can see above (cracked right through).   She was also a dirty pale lemon in colour.  

I filled the cracked neck with some strong adhesive, left it to harden & then chalk painted her in cream.  I love how she has come out & you would never know she'd had a broken neck!

The two silver trays above had Australian maps etched into them.  Mum used to feed her neighbors cat whenever she went to Australia & these were bought back as thank-you gifts.  The larger one had rust spots on it which I sanded off.  I cleaned them well & then chalk painted them in cream - I really loved the floral edging on them both. 

Then I applied a couple of the left-over transfers from Juno's rabbit suitcase in my last post.  I added hangers to the backs & these are now part of my Easter displays.  

This cutting board had seen alot of use but I loved the shape of it.  Once again painted in cream & then transfers applied.  I really like how this turned out too.

I hope to share some of my Easter decorating in my next post. ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿ‡

Last week I dug an entire tray of worm castings into my raised veggie gardens along with lawn clippings & some compost.  I dug them over well & then planted 6 punnets of winter veggies - silverbeet, spinach, broccoli x 2, cauliflower & baby cabbage. I saw cauli's in my supermarket last week for nearly $10 each !!!

While I was outdoors working I picked my gourd harvest.  These are one of my most favourite things to grow as it's always a lucky dip what shapes & colours you get.  I decided to do some autumn decorating on my deck table as I'd given it a good clean out there.

I washed my gourds & displayed them in my vintage scales .. I am not usually an orange-&-yellow-fan but I just loved these rich warm colours for autumn.  ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿงก

While at the Garden Centre buying my veggie punnets I noticed these celosia plants in autumnal colours so a punnet of those went in my trolley & the Kalanchloe plants were on special so I grabbed one of those too.

Love, love my new display .... & not a cat in sight (Yet!!) ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿฑ

Thank you as always dear friends, for your visits here today,
I am all caught-up now & hope to continue blogging more regularly.
Wishing you a wonderful rest of the week - be kind to yourselves & to each other,
Sending much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Catching Up Post (Part 2) - a Rabbit Suitcase for Juno & a Pattern Request

Greetings lovely friends & readers

Sometime last year my lovely friend Leeanne gifted me 2 of these suitcases covered in cat paper.  She said I might like to "Julie-afy" them at some stage.

Thinking about my step-grandaughter Juno & her rabbit obsession I decided to re-vamp one into a rabbit suitcase for her.  Her birthday is just after Easter so I thought it could be an Easter/birthday gift combined.

 Firstly I painted it using my left-over chalk paint in the colour Soft Duck Egg.  I love this particular shade. I embellished it with some rabbit transfers purchased from * here *

These are the same range of transfers that I used on Juno's table & chair set way back here & then the chair I did for her new baby sister in * this post *

I added some to the inside of the lid also.  Then I sprayed it all in clear laquer to make it wipeable. 
Originally I had planned to just re-vamp the suitcase for her but then I thought "why not make a rabbit to go inside ?"

So this little girl came to life using a free Tilda pattern from * here *.  I even dressed her in some vintage Tilda rabbit print fabric from my stash. 

Then I thought to myself "all good rabbits need some food" ... so I made a couple of felt carrots that made The Mr laugh rather too loudly when I showed him ๐Ÿ˜‰ ...  & a bag to carry her carrots in. 

Just right ! ๐Ÿ’™ ๐Ÿฅ•๐Ÿฅ•

When I sat my rabbit in her suitcase, she kind of rattled around a bit ... so I thought perhaps she needs a little bed?  I found some sweet rabbit-print flannel fabric in my stash & fashioned her a mattress & a pillow to fit in her suitcase - nice & comfy & squishy, just how good rabbits like it!  ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿ‡

I sewed a simple sheet for her & tucked her in all snug ๐Ÿ’•

Then I thought "every good rabbit needs a quilt for her bed"... so I made her a quilt using this gorgeous Peter Rabbit fabric.  I made it reversible so the print is on both sides.  Juno's rabbit looked so cute tucked up in her bed ........ but perhaps a teeny bit lonely ???  She needs a wee friend I thought ........

I knew exactly what pattern I would use! I receive an online newsletter from Swoodson Says & she has a free felt rabbit download if you subscribe to her newsletter.  This is only 2.5 cms tall & Soo sweet.

Finally I was happy with my suitcase, my rabbit ... & her friend.

Then just last week this cute wooden swing tag arrived from * here * - just the perfect finishing touch.  I need to gift this to Juno asap as I cannot stop myself from playing with it & every time I show it to a friend the first thing they say is  Oh I want one too !!

I have a pattern request please dear readers ... if anyone has this book could they please contact me at
  I am actually only after the cushion pattern & will happily pay postage & photocopying costs.  

Thank you so much & thanks, as always - for stopping by here today.

I think I have one more catch-up post & then I am all caught up!!! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Wishing you a wonderful rest-of-the-week & sending love & friendship to you all,

Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Catching Up Post (Part 1) - Back From Mum's

Greetings lovely friends & readers

I have returned from packing up my Mum's home for sale, & settlement went through last Friday.  To say it felt like a marathon would Not be exaggerating.  I think I ran on adrenalin the whole time & now that I am home again I have somewhat folded in a heap.  But time to catch up on some blogging as I have lots I have not shared over the past couple of months & I want to visit you all & catch up on your posts. 

Somewhere along the way, summer disappeared & Autumn crept on the scene ... here in the Waikato we have been having the most stunning autumn days & I just LoVe them. 


I subscribe to a free online gardening newsletter & every week they run a competition.  I mostly always enter as the prizes are all garden-related items.  I completely forgot I'd entered one for Valentines Day to win a stunning 
Anthurium Plant ... often called the Flamingo Flower with its heart shaped leaves. I got such a surprise when my post lady delivered this tall box to my door.  Just delightful ๐Ÿ’— 

Prior to my trip south I managed to complete a large Order which I hand-delivered to Brandys Botanicals ... 6 embroidered Lavender-&-Linen hearts, 12 bags Cottage Garden Potpourri, Citrus potpourri filled teapots & wire hearts, & 8 Vintage Teacup Birdfeeders.  My car smelt rather lovely on the long drive down. 

On one of my past trips down I came across the sweetest little tray in a Gift Shop in Stratford.  It was glass with the daintiest rose gold feet & I adored it but I did not adore the price tag of $90.00!!
Try as I might I could not justify spending that amount on something just to sit things upon. 

This vintage brass tray above was $3 in the SPCA Op-shop - I originally thought it was a frame.  I decided to get a piece of glass cut to fit & the Glass framers were able to straighten the wonkiness of it a teeny bit for me which was wonderful.  

When I tried to polish it with Brasso nothing happened.  I googled how to clean brass & it said to use Tomato Sauce!  Surely they were dreaming?? But it was worth a try so away I went with my sauce bottle ... believe me dear friends - It Works!! I took the above photo because I thought you would surely Not believe me!  Apparently the acid in the tomatoes reacts with the metal & cleans it.  
I am so in love with the dainty brass bows on each end of the tray

I was delighted how shiny it came out & hardly any elbow grease required.  I told The Mr if all else failed we can always dip our hot chips in it !!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I have used it to display some vintage crystal on my bedroom chest of drawers - some of these items came from Mum's & I just love this little display so much.  

Very pretty & I am now eyeing up other brassware around my house with my tomato sauce bottle in my hand ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜Š

these are the items you start with above - a flattened tin, & a paper serviette
Early last year I won a draw on Instagram for a chalk-painting class with my friend Joy from The Joy Within.  I had booked in for a class 4 times but had to keep cancelling due to Mum-related issues that kept popping up.  Finally 2 Saturday's ago, I was able to actually attend.  I wanted to make one of Joy's famous squished tins.

I painted my tin a pale cream colour & then decoupaged on this delightful Easter Rabbit serviette using mod-podge.  Joy also gets you to decorate a tag to match your tin.  

Upon my return home, I styled my tin with some faux Easter eggs ... I scrunched up tissue in the bottom to prop them up a bit more.  
Joy encouraged me to try decorating the base that gets cut out of the tin ... I chose a different serviette for this piece.  Each class participant goes in the draw to win a decoupaged heart & my name was drawn out.  I won the beautiful blue heart above right. The "rules"  are that you must gift the heart to someone so it was perfect to gift to my dear friend Carolyn who drove an hour to help me clean Mum's house & worked like a Trojan. 

Oh how I missed these two during the fortnight I was gone.  And Yes here they are asleep on the good quilt & the good cushions - I have made a pathetic attempt to cover the quilt with a cotton sheet but not succeeded especially well ๐Ÿ˜•

Thank you all so very much for your visits here today,

I hope to get back to blogging a bit more regularly ... more than once a month hopefully ๐Ÿ˜Š

I hope the week is treating you kindly dear friends,

With much love & friendship to you all,

Julie & the furry ones x0x0x