Saturday, June 24, 2023

L.B.L.O. (Life Before Little One) 😉 ...... & an Update

Greetings lovely friends & readers

Life is still very chaotic here at Cat Central Threadbear HQ but I realised I had not shared some projects that I'd finished before Little One came into our lives & tipped everything on its head !! 

The Mr sent this through to my inbox yesterday morning ... I did not laugh like once I would have 😉😐

Before Little One I found an old wooden frame in my stash & chalk painted it off white.  I then framed the wonderful Certificate that Sid gave me in * this Post *. It hangs on my sewing room wall 💗

Before Little One I called to visit my friend Jane whom I hadn't seen in many months.  Jane was just about to list this gorgeous vintage needlework picture on Trademe, an auction site here in New Zealand.  As luck would have it I was able to purchase it off her & I absolutely adore it! My photo is not really doing justice to the beautiful colours in this handwork piece. 

Before Little One I hauled this old wooden stool out of my sleepout. It was a $2 purchase from the Paws Animal Care op-shop.  I was originally going to just paint over the old vinyl top but in the end I removed all the staples & took it off. 

This was fortunate because the original foam padding had completely disintegrated & turned to dust.  I cleaned all this off with a scraper & gave the stool a good scrub with sugar soap. 

I gave the legs 3 coats of chalk paint in the colour Sage - the same colour I used on this small table.  I gave the top 3 coats chalk paint - Vintage White which is really more of a cream.  Then I applied this White Cloud transfer.   I lightly sanded the whole thing as I wanted it to have a time worn appearance.  I will use this either as a plant stand or just a stool to put a cuppa on - these are always handy as little side tables.  

While still on the "$2 theme" I saw this wooden box on my last trip down to Mum's, in the Hospice Shop, sitting forlornly in the corner.  The first thing that popped into my head was "pansies" ...  I could visualise it planted with pansies.

Once again, a good scrub & then two coats of a matt black testpot that I had in my stash. You can see I painted the inside well too.  Miss Pip used it in the interim as a sleeping box - then I added some of the leftover Botanical Transfers from * this * chest of drawers..  I waxed it really well both inside & out before lining it with a folded up black rubbish sack.   I forgot to add that I drilled 6 holes in the base for drainage.

As originally planned, I planted it with a selection of 6 gorgeous flowering pansies - they are so pretty here in New Zealand this time of year.  

The reason I used the Botanical transfer was because I wanted to sit in on the chest of drawers that I'd previously upcycled out on my deck.  Many things that I sit on here blow off & I knew this was solid & weighty enough to withstand some wind.  

I am so pleased with how this turned out. I've put a piece of oilcloth underneath so that when I water it, it doesn't run over onto the wooden drawers. 

An Update on Rascal Little One ........

Physically he is doing very well. On a trip to the Vet last Friday he was pronounced well enough to have his surgery (neutering). I don't know what they gave him but he came home bouncing off the walls & has not really stopped since.  He has finished all his antibiotics & even his blind eye is looking alot better.  He is living The Life of Riley

He is most fascinated with the fire & cannot understand it - our fire makes a noise as it has a fan fitted in it to blow the heat around

Now that he has some confidence he is venturing further than the spare room ... there is much to explore in this house & different smells.  This is not always a good thing as I have to be vigilant with my other two cats.  Blackie takes not alot of notice but then he is gone most of the day to his favourite sleeping spots outdoors.  Miss Pip, being an indoor cat, has her nose most out of joint & I can't leave them alone as yet at all! This means not alot gets done. 

She is currently allowed to do things she would normally NOT be allowed to do ... such as sleeping in my underwear drawer (!!) 😟  (You may notice I managed to quickly tuck a cuddly rug down to save on cat hairs)

Oh dearie me .... & on it goes . . . . . . . . . .

My friend Elaine popped by for a visit last week & gifted me this beautiful bowl of Viola's - perfect colours for my deck table, & such a lovely surprise.

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

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend - its mid winter here in New Zealand now & a bit gloomy,

Sending much love & friendship to you all,

Julie & the furry ones (3) x0x0x

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

The Tale of "Little One"

Greetings lovely friends & readers

I captured this stunning sunset last night from our deck area.

Well my dear friends ... it would seem that - without even trying ... we appear to have become a three-cat-family 😉
Let me tell you the tale of "Little One"
(Yes named by The Mr - can't you tell !!)

You can clearly see the glassy eye in this photo above - this is the one he is blind in

His pregnant Mum was dumped at the metal pit beside the farm that The Mr runs ... this is a frequent occurrence (cats being dumped) as the farm is at the end of a dead-end road, not very far from town - so they don't have to use much petrol to abandon their animals. 😠  This infuriates me but that's not why we're here today. 
 Pregnant Mum (black & white) made her way to the cowshed where The Mr feeds a motley crew of assorted previously-dumped cats.  The Mr always maintains "you either shoot them ... or you feed them but you never starve them".  I am inclined to agree with him.  Our small rural town no longer has an SPCA so there is nowhere to take these dumped cats & nobody wants them.  
Pregnant Mum gave birth to Little One & a black/white female kitten around Christmas time if my memory serves me correctly.  The Mr would sometimes send me photos of Little One & I remember saying I thought he had Siamese in him.  Always one eye was runny.  As time went on & he became very friendly The Mr decided he needed to get him neutered so off to the Vet they go.  The Vet checked him out thoroughly & informed The Mr they would not be doing the surgery as he had a nasty lung infection & an eye infection, as well as being born blind in one eye.  She also said he needed to be kept inside & given antibiotics & eye drops in order to recover properly or the lungs would never clear up.

The first I knew of this was when The Mr arrived home & plonked the cat cage on my table ... what should we do??!! What a dilema ... we both shook our heads.  So The Mr said we'll try it for one night & see how it goes. 

It's a very stressful life here at Threadbear & sometimes we get tired from playing with the toys!!!

Now let me be 100% honest here dear friends.   Do I want a 3rd cat? No I most certainly do not!! Somedays - I don't even want the two I've got !!!! (sorry Pip, sorry Blackie) But can I bear the thought of him living in the tractor shed in the cold & the damp with a lung infection?? No I cannot.  
And so we do the best that we can.

He has certainly made himself right at Home in the spare bedroom & Yours Truly (myself) even found herself in a weak moment at the Variety Store last week - purchasing cat toys (!!!!) 😖

Back again to the Vets last Thursday for another check up (we're up to $397 currently) ... & although he is much better, he's still not well enough for an anaesthetic, so another weeks antibiotics.  

Oh my goodness ... how on earth did this happen I ask myself?! 
Unfortunately along the journey of caring for him - he has well & truly crept into my heart & I just adore him.  
The Mr informed me that several people had been to the farm to look at taking him but they all either wanted a female so they could breed from her ... or the weepy eye put them off.  Our new milkers took him home & he lasted one night before he escaped through a window & back up to the hay barn to his family.  

The minute I walk into the spare bedroom he gives a tiny squeak & starts to purr 💙

And so - for now - Little One appears to be living here at Threadbear HQ - & what the future holds I am not too sure. I always said introducing another cat would upset the balance but we shall see what unfolds.  And while I am being honest here my friends ... No it is Not all cuteness & playing with toys - it is VeRy stressful & I find I feel anxious alot of the time & get very little achieved with endeavouring to keep everyone (3 cats) happy !! 

And what's a girl to do when her Mother does this despicable thing ... bringing in a strange-looking creature to the house?  Why take to her bed of course & while she's at it - sleep on one of the Good Cushions that she's usually Not allowed on 😉😖

I found some time over the weekend for a couple of creative pursuits ... my friend Sally had given me this gorgeous vintage fine lawn nightie in a toile pattern & asked me to make her some lavender bags from it.  I had enough of it to make a lavender sleep pillow too.  The sewing room smelt heavenly with the lavender fragrance  💜

I made up another batch of Laundry Liquid over the weekend. I find a batch usually lasts me about a year ... I used the recipe in Rhonda's book below, which I refer back to all the time.  The vintage decanters have been thrifted over the years & I love filling them with the liquid but I keep a plastic milk bottle under my laundry sink to use daily so I can give it a really good shake first as the liquid can tend to gel.  

Thank you so very much for staying to the end dear friends,
I am off to fill the wood basket again - a heavy frost here this morning & its taking some work to get the house warmed up.
Wishing you all a wonderful rest-of-the-week,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones (all 3 of them !!!) 


Saturday, June 3, 2023

Welcome to June 💗

Greetings lovely friends & readers & Welcome to June 💗

Officially the first month of Winter here in the Southern hemisphere.

May it be a wonderful month for us all !

 I bought Mum this "Welcome Trough" many years ago from a delightful home-based business just south of me - Tomo Pots.  I bought it home with me when I cleared out her house & yesterday I filled it with water & floated some Camellia flowers in it - just like Mum used to do.

I have been looking for a new rug to go in front of my fire for many months now.  The previous one came out of the Farm Owners house & was in tatty condition when I received it several years ago.   All the ones I looked at cost many hundreds of $$ but I was able to find one online that I liked (for only $85) & it arrived on Tuesday.  
I absolutely LoVe it & when my eldest son saw it he commented "it looks like it's a hundred years old".  How perfect!!!  Even Miss Pip gave it her seal of approval & she almost blended right in with the new rug! 

As I had two Orders for mothball sachets I made up another batch earlier this week.  These are wonderful to put in your yarn or your woolen clothing & keep the moths away without leaving that nasty lingering camphor smell.  I'll put the recipe at the end of my post today in case you would like to make some yourself.

I had a baking day on Monday.  I made fruity cereal slice & a new-to-me banana bread recipe as I had a large bunch of bananas turning black.  This is the new recipe I used.  You can see from the photo above that my eldest son & Alec quickly demolished half of it, still warm from the oven.

Dear Alec won Player of the Day for Soccer last Saturday & he was Oh so proud of his Cup & Certificate.

My dear friend Sandy gave me some plants she no longer wanted & when I had planted them all I discovered this wooden cat under the layers of newspaper in the bottom of the banana box that the plants came in.

I've forgotten to take a "before photo" but it was faded & chipped in a couple of places on the paw.  I had the matt black chalk paint out so I gave it a generous coat of paint & it came up beautifully.  Well what else could I write on it ... it IS their house & they very generously allow us to reside here too 😉

I used to have a subscription to the Simply Vintage Magazine (4 issues per year) until I could no longer fit them in my bookcase & I cancelled it.  I still enjoy pulling them out to re-read from time to time.  This Issue No 8 is from 2013 & when I spotted this primitive pumpkin in it, I thought perhaps I could use up some of my autumn toned wool fabrics.

It was simple & fun to make ... I used 8 different fabrics for the wedges in muted autumn tones.  

I stamped a tea-dyed tag & made some "curls" from a length of rusty wire.  Just wind the wire around a thick knitting needle & slip off. 

I had a pair of these silver plated candleholders ($1.50 for the pair) in my stash so I painted one with matt black chalk paint & it was just perfect for the base.  You are supposed to use the pumpkin as a scissor holder but I like mine just fine without scissors poked in the top.  ✂

I have been continuing on with my dishcloth knitting - at nights when my eyes are tired. I am using up all my small oddments of cotton yarn & making scrappy ones.  This free pattern is still my preference as I like a small sized dishcloth that I can squeeze out in one hand. 

Every now & again something happens that tugs right at your heartstrings.  This was the case yesterday when I attended my Grandson Sid's school Grandparents Day.  He very proudly presented me with this below & it bought big tears to my eyes.

How fortuitous dear friends, that I just happened to be wearing my pink shirt & black pants that very day!  Please take note of my curly hair, my eye make-up & my slim body (!!!)  I shall be putting this in a frame in a special place. 

Thank you so very much dear friends, for your visits here today,

Wishing you a wonderful (long) weekend - its King's Birthday Weekend here in New Zealand & the sun is actually out!

Remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,

With much love & friendship to you all,

Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Herbal Moth Ball Sachets:  50 grams dried Rosemary, 50 grams dried Mint, 50 grams dried Thyme, 25 grams Ginseng (tea), 200 grams whole Cloves.  Combine mixture & add to muslin bags.  I also add a large handful of dried lavender to mine.