Thursday, August 17, 2023

A Bird-House Creating Workshop

Greetings lovely friends & readers

Every few days I pick some fresh stems of Daphne - I like to keep a small vaseful on my kitchen bench & each time I'm working there I lean in & have a big sniff 😉💗 ... as far as I'm concerned the daphne season is over way too fast.

My dearest friend Sandy moved away down the South Island earlier this year & I miss her dreadfully.
Before she left she gave me a big bucketful of bulbs, mainly daffodils. I picked out some large sized ones & planted them in my wheelbarrow as the begonias I had in there were not doing well.  I am so delighted with my daffy display & think of Sandy every time I walk past it, & smile 💛

A couple of Saturday's ago I attended a workshop out at The Floral Shed.  Very longtime readers of my blog will remember Nita when she first opened the Hummingbird - I wrote a blog post on it *here*.  Nita has now established a large garden at her rural property, opened a Shop there, as well as supplying Florists & running Workshops.  When I saw a space available in the Birdhouse making one, I put my name down without thinking too hard about it.
Driving out there I felt a little anxious as I did not know any of the other ladies doing the workshop. 
Seeing it all set up around the work table, I felt immediately inspired.  My first attempt came together quite quickly but then I realised I'd put my sides on wrongly ... Nita easily recitified this & gave me a new kit.  It was so much fun banging in nails - you actually had to hit them really hard to go into the wood.

The photo above was taken by Ayla who does photography & social media for Nita via her own business fablefolknz 
I was so totally engrossed in drilling that I did not know it was being taken but I did ask Ayla for permission to use her photo in my post, which she very kindly gave me.   

After our birdhouses were assembled we all stopped for a delicious morning tea.  Look at that food - I can attest that it was amazing!

After morning tea the fun part (for me) began when we got to decorate & embellish our birdhouses.  Nita had a great array of rustic bits & bobs for us to choose from.  Some ladies kept theirs quite plain, others went over the top - they all looked wonderful.

(That is me second from the right for those that don't know me 😉)

Although I knew none of the other ladies I think I hit the jackpot because they were all just so lovely & friendly, inspiring & fun to be with.  Here we all are, so proud of our birdhouses - we all agreed that it was indeed a wonderful way to spend a morning & that we don't do this sort of thing for ourselves, often enough. 

Here is my finished birdhouse - I wanted to add the No 91 to it because - well that is my address! I found some silver numbers that you put on birthday cakes & painted them matt black.  I just adore my birdhouse in all its "rustic-ness".  I would do another workshop with Nita in a heartbeat. 

Currently I have it sitting on my deck area under my vintage Mangle.  

My lovely friend Shirley was visiting so I made some banana & white chocolate muffins as I had banana's turning brown.  A few days later I was hunting for a caramel slice recipe online & came across a new-to-me recipe  Caramel Anzac Slice. It sounded divine & as I had all the ingredients, I made it up.  By the amount of pieces that have passed my lips I can certainly attest that it was delicious 😏

I would like to be able to say that we have harmonious relations in our furry family but I would not be telling the truth.  Thankfully Little One can go outside now & it's made my life a little easier.  I bring him in about 5 o'clock & he has a rest by the fire before causing havoc for the rest of the evening, then bedtime.  You can see by the blue arrow he hides under this unit, thinking he is invisible. We don't as yet allow him in the lounge as it gives Pippi & Blackie a room to get away from him.  He of course, has other ideas!

Pippi is "milking it for all it's worth" & knows I will allow her on the things she is not usually allowed on, for example my Mums good mohair throw blanket.  I still live in hope but I must admit - it's wearing thin some days  😖

My chocolate addiction consumption continues & this arrived in my inbox yesterday sent from The Mr. I think it was supposed to make me feel better .... it did not  😉

Thank you as always dear friends, for your visits here today,
Enjoy the rest of the week & remember to be kind to yourselves & each other,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry three x0x0x0

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Hosting The Craft Group Ladies

Greetings lovely friends & readers

Well it would seem that I blinked & July ended 😕 - the year is slipping by so very fast.

It was my turn to host the craft group ladies in July & I just managed this on the very last day.  When I look back at the busloads of Garden Groups that I used to host it is hard to believe how much work it felt like just to get ready for 7 ladies!!!  It felt like a marathon effort.

 In my attempts to tidy up prettify things a bit round here I went off to the Garden Centre with a birthday gift voucher from my friend Gail.  I could not resist the super healthy looking maidenhair fern above, as my last one was looking rather dead sad.

I also used the voucher to buy these lovely cyclamen above - just the pop of colour my outdoor space needed at the moment 💗

Mine is the one on the right - an old frame of Mums that I repurposed

We had previously decided to make this craft meeting a Mid-winter Christmas theme so I chose the "Joy" frames as our project.  Everyone had to bring along their own painted frame.  We had a lovely time glueing vintage music papers to our frames, stamping the word "Joy" & then making the tiny wreaths to go on them.  I love how everyone's turned out slightly different as each of the ladies put their own spin on it.  

Our challenge issued last month was from Gail.  She handed everyone a Daphne's Diary magazine & we all had to make a project out of it.  Gail works at the Op Shop & a large pile of almost-new Daphne's Diary magazines had been donated.  This is my copy above.

Wanting to try something a bit different, I chose the leaf art above.  I found a tree down the far end of my section with these large green leaves on it so I pressed & dried them for a week.  I was really pleased with how the painting turned out but unfortunately I put them too close to our fire to dry the paint & they burnt & crinkled up quite a bit.  You can see the brown markings above where they burnt.  So I decided to try another project.

The patchwork coasters caught my eye so I found my scrap bag of Tilda fabrics - Yes I save every scrap!  These were a fun & simple project to whip up - I used wadding in the middle & a pretty floral backing.  These would look lovely tied up with a scrap of lace & gifted together with a pretty coffee mug. 

I had originally planned to give the ladies another project after lunch so I trialled the snowflakes made from wooden clothes pegs.  You can find the instructions * Here *.  I found that the wooden pegs were very rough & required lots of sanding once I'd glued them, then when I painted them I wasn't that happy with the end result so I ended up mod-podging a paper serviette over it to hide the faults.
Though I was able to show the finished project we did not end up creating it - perhaps another month we may make it as our group project.  

This is our lunch table

I know I have said this before, but one thing we always get right at our meetings is the food!  We all bring a shared plate & everyone bought something christmas-themed along.  It was wonderful to have the hot food as it was a cold bleak day here.  

Our morning tea table above - Yes Willie, I made Scroggin Slice !
 I reached my hand into my christmas decorations box & pulled out a few little bits to decorate our table & make it feel a bit more mid-winter christmassy.

I picked Sid up at lunchtime on Tuesday as they had parent-teacher interviews.  He wanted to craft so we made this "penguin" above from toilet roll tubes.  Sid has named him "Frank" 😉

I captured this photo of Pippi last week ... she had been creeping up on Little One on the deck & thought that she was hidden behind The Mr's farm gumboots.  She was Not impressed when he ran away inside & she couldn't stalk him any longer. 

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead dear friends - remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,

With much love & friendship to you all,

Love Julie & the furry ones (all 3 of them!) x0x0x