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 πŸ’— 

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 !!! πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰πŸ˜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 πŸ˜•

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 😊

I hope the week is treating you kindly dear friends,

With much love & friendship to you all,

Julie & the furry ones x0x0x


  1. well done with the big job of sorting, cleaning, selling etc.... hope you can relax a bit and get your breath back.... some lovely creating... now I see tomato sauce in a different light... perhaps there is a use for it after all!!! haha...

  2. Hi Julie wow you sure have been busy and what a awesome idea to use that frame to make a trey it looks absolutely stunning,you are a very clever chicky Julie,I have also started my blog back up ,enjoy your evening lovely lady 🌹🀍🌹

  3. Dear Julie I know to well what it is like to clean up your parents home , we did it a few years ago and it's hard work and upsetting .
    Love the glass tray , I will try to look to see what I can clean now .
    I always love your blog to see what you have been up to with your creative hands , Hugs June.

  4. You must be exhausted, Julie, and emotional. Selling, clearing everything and cleaning a house is a gigantuan task. I must say I love those mirrors on the chest of drawers. You did a brilliant job with the frame to turn it into a pretty tray. Who would've thought tomato sauce would making it sparkling clean. Love the smashed tin and, love, love, love those teacups for the garden. Hoping you can now relax after the ordeal you have been through. You deserve it!

  5. Goodness me Julie...Where to start..? Where to start..?
    Pleased Mum's house went though o.k. Certainly a weight
    off your mind..hopefully back to normal...!

    Love what you've done with the frame, turning it into a tray!
    The whole thing with the mirrors looks very regal...shinny
    and bright..! I do love glass..HeHe! Especially wine glasses,
    better still full of wine..! :).

    And the tin can and Easter eggs looks really great, l suppose
    you have to something with the tin, once you've got the Tomato
    Sauce out of it...HeHe! Bless! :).

    And finally the two stars of the show...And the best quilt cover and
    the good cushions are what they deserve...Bless there furry paws....!xx

    I see Henny has posted, must get over there...first time l've had my 'two'
    favourite Blogs post on the same day...busy day to~day..ladies coffee
    morning at eleven..catch up with a bit of gossip....! :O).
    😼 🐾🐾 😼 🐾🐾 😼 🐾🐾 😼 🐾🐾 😼 🐾🐾 😼 🐾🐾

  6. I'm sure you're very relieved to be home again after a stressful time away. Now perhaps you can have some 'me' time.

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  8. Oh Julie, here I was under the impression you painted the rabbit and flowers on to the can! I know I could never do that, but decoupage would be easy enough, thanks for the idea. You did a lot to get the potpourri ready for shop while knowing you were going to be doing so much for your Mum. The photo showing all the lovely crystal is just so feminine, and with your 3 sided mirror, how fun to walk into the room and see this. It is snowing and 20 F for the 3rd day in a row. I just knew February was too too mild and we would pay for it. I get a reprieve today and plan to get out to the closest city, 50 miles away, as this weekend it is all going back down hill again. I am sure having the house all finished off is a relief. And you are safely home with the Mr. and lovely cats. Lynn and Precious XX

    1. Thanks so much Lynn & Precious. Gosh I hope the snow goes away & you get some spring weather soon. We are having lovely autumnal days here - it is so nice. Yes it is wonderful to be home again & finding some creative time in amongst my days. Enjoy the weekend both of you xx

  9. Desr Julie. I can definitely understand your utter exhaustion! I am very glad it all went smoothly for you eventually. You have made a beautiful job on your brass tray and tomato sauce? Who knew! It looks gorgeous with all your crystal treasures. Lucky you to do a workshop with Joy. I adore her squashy tins. Yours is lovely. Congratulations on ypur wins also. Take care xxx

  10. Oh, wow! What a time you have had. Cleaning out and selling the home is a huge task on so many levels. I am glad you had a friend who went with to help.
    And that was a very big order you had to complete before working on the home. It all looks amazing!
    I laughed at the image of you stalking through your home looking for tarnished brass--tomato sauce at the ready! But what a job it did. I'll have to keep that in mind.
    The crystal display truly makes me think we have stepped back in time. So dainty looking on the spruced up tray.
    Who would have ever though a squashed can could end up looking so sweet?!? And even the leftover lid?
    Only the best of bedding for your two furry friends. They know quality. LOL

  11. That is so much work, moving a mother out of a home. Having done it I can relate. Take a rest!

    1. Thanks Kim .. Yes I am sure you can relate. Take care Kim xx

  12. Gosh you must be exhausted. It must be a relief though, to have sorted your mums things out, one less thing go worry about.

  13. Lovely to hear from you Julie. Sounds like life has been exhausting for you, yet you still manage to create some wonderful things. Remember to look after yourself too m'dear.

  14. Jackie has left a new comment on your post "Catching Up Post (Part 1) - Back From Mum's":

    It is so much work to clean out a parents home, so many memories are contained within the walls.

    I love those bird feeders. I have made candles from old tea cups, but feeders would be awesome.

    God bless.

  15. Hope you are having some quiet time Julie while you can. I know the stresses you are having .Your brass tray looks beautiful and with the lovely pieces on it that mean such a lot to you all the more special.Blackie and miss Pippy, they are just not silly are they, they know what they want and get it. But that's what we do for our beloved pets.I wouldn't own up to the spoiling we gave our poodle when he was with us.All those goodies you took down to Brandy's Botanicals looked positively fabulous. Loved the squished tin you did at Joy's.

  16. Jill at emeraldcottage has left a new comment on your post "Catching Up Post (Part 1) - Back From Mum's":

    Gosh you've been busy, as usual! I had heard that tomato ketchup is good for cleaning brass, but never tried it myself! Well done!

  17. Glad all went well with your Mum's house Julie, wow what a great tray, I want to find one with a mirror on the base to put my candles on, but no luck yet, well in a reasonable price range that is. Love your squished tin as well.

  18. Trabajas muchΓ­simo en cosas muy bellas.
    Tomo nota de la idea de utilizar la salsa de tomate. BESICOS.

  19. Good to hear the house sale has happened and hopefully all is done there. So much work, I am glad you had someone to help. Who knew tomato sauce could be so helpful!! Your tin looks amazing Julie. Nice to see the furry babies happy and settled.


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