Saturday, October 28, 2023

Craft Group Challenges, Book Characters & A Little One Update

Greetings lovely friends & readers

Yesterday I picked a beautiful bunch of lilacs from my tree - this is only the 2nd year it has flowered but last year was not enough to actually pick any.

Their fragrance is gentle & soft ... I have sat a framed photo of Mum underneath as she would be smiling I am sure.

Throughout the year my friend Gail & I like to think up random "challenges" for the ladies in our craft group.  When I hosted the ladies back in July I had saved & washed up a load of cat food tins. 

  We go through 2 or 3 of these a day so it doesn't take long to get a good supply.  I'd removed their labels & any stickiness left behind & I held the bag out & told the ladies it was a Lucky Dip - they could take 1,2 or 3 ... or however many they wanted ... & they had to create something with them!
(I should add that these challenges are entirely optional to take part in)

I chose 3 tins for myself & then found this old broken table leg in my stash that I knew would-come-in-handy-one-day.  I cut it down to size & then painted the tins & the spindle. Then I hot glued the tins to my spindle as I wanted to make A Sewing Caddy.

Click on the picture to enlarge for a closer look

I mod-podged some paper serviettes to my tins & spindle to embellish them - I'd originally planned to use transfers but paper serviettes are a lot more cost effective.  Then I mod-podged the whole thing to seal it.
(I've forgotten to photograph it step by step hence I am explaining what I did)

Tin 1 : I drew a cardboard circle, padded it, covered it with fabric & glued in - this was to hold my quilting clips.
Tin 2 : I cut some floral foam to fit & then cut a slit in the middle & covered the entire thing with fabric - this was to be a scissor holder.
Tin 3 : I made into a pincushion using a gathered circle of fabric & some wadding, all glued in.
I made a little stitched tag to attach to the handle along with a scissor charm & then I filled my tins with their various bits & bobs.

Such a sweet, fun project & would make a gorgeous gift for a crafty person πŸ’—

I loved what Sharlaine had done ... she had taken a thrifted wooden goblet, turned it upside down, glued her catfood tin onto it & then painted the whole thing & added some transfers.  It was so lovely & would be wonderful with a small candle or tealight in it πŸ’œ

Maureen had cut hers into the shape of a sunflower, painted it & attached it to a thin dowel, then sprinkled glue + glitter to the centre.  This would look great poking into a potted plant πŸ’›

Liz had been thinking of her grandchildren when she created hers & had knitted tiny peas with black eyes as well as worms with tiny felt hats on, then made the cans into houses for them, including using the lids off the tins.
These had been such a hit that Liz asked me for some more cans as other family members had ordered some from her - I was happy to oblige. 

- Before -                                  - During -                                        - After -                

A tiny bud vase picked up from the Op-Shop for $1.50 - given the tomato sauce treatment last week.  I originally thought it was brass but I think under all the grime & discolouration it was more silver. 

Sids school recently held a Book Week.  To celebrate the children got to choose a Book Character & then dress up as that character.  Sid chose Marmaduke Duck from the book above.
Posing at Home                           At school with the telescope his Dad made him
His Mum did an amazing job of creating his costume using alot of what Sid already had (orange shorts, socks etc). My contribution was the hot glue gun, some white feathers & the wooden spoon tucked into his belt.  Sid was delighted to win the competition for his classroom & won a book voucher.

Many of you have asked after Little One & I have not updated you for awhile.  He is doing well & is living his best life πŸ˜‰ No Pippi & Blackie have still not accepted that he is here to stay - Pippi is the worst & still hisses & chases him at every opportunity - Blackie not so much.  It is certainly easier now he can go outside during the day & we only have to keep them apart in the evenings when they all come in for the night.

He is still kitten-ish in that he wants everything you touch & frequently runs off with my crafty bits.  He must be happy enough though because I have never known a cat to purr so much !!  In my naive way, I still live in hope that they will one day get along but who knows?!  When I do my big monthly grocery shop & buy cat food, the girl on the check-out always asks me ... How many cats do you have??? I usually say 4 as I include Fluffy at the farm πŸ˜‰

Thankyou as always dear friends, for your visits here today,
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend - remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry three x0x0x

Monday, October 23, 2023

A Trike-Trailer, A Drawer, & Dishcloth Knitting

Greetings lovely friends & readers

Those that know me well, know my absolute LoVe of old vintage trikes ... I have four of them in varying states of disrepair.

 This one above is still looking pretty with the last of the pansies blooming, but these will sucumb to mildew soon as it's getting warmer here.

This trike above left is probably my "best one" as far as condition goes.  It has always stayed up on my covered deck so doesn't get the weather & the Grandkids have ridden it frequently so I keep it oiled & running smoothly.  
The trike trailer was purchased from the SPCA Op Shop ($12) late last year.  I had been asking The Mr to weld a loop to my trike so I could hook the trailer through it  .................... but I was still waiting ....................

During my deck clean-up in my last post I found an old wire hook & managed to find a gap under the trike tray that I could screw this into quite securely.  I was delighted 😊 - I gave the trike & the trailer a good scrub as they were both looking green after the winter.

As I knew I wanted to sit potted flowers in them, I lined each tray with an offcut of oilcloth to help prevent the wet pots sitting against the surfaces & rusting.  

I planted some mixed colour petunias into six terracotta pots I already had - 3 for each tray.

How happy this little set makes me every time I look at it.   And if the Grandsons want to ride around on it still, then it's simple to lift the pots out & away pedalling they can go  ............

This old drawer was found at Mum's Hospice Shop at the same time I bought the Pansy Planter Box.   I thought it might make a handy addition to my craft room.  It had originally been bolted to a desk so I removed the old hardware from the back.  It was actually formica but I thought it should chalk paint up okay.

You can see I removed the handle & painted right over it the same colour.

I gave it 2 coats of chalk paint in the colour Vintage White.  It went on really grainy - to be honest I think this was more the paint than anything wrong with the surface of the formica.  I tried thinning my paint out but it still went on like this.  I very lightly sanded the roughness out afterwards but still wasn't happy with it.

The drawer had a chunk out of one corner but I was able to fill this with some polyfiller.  I came across a large sheet of decoupage tissue that I'd been gifted last Christmas & decided to use this over my paint.  This was my first time using this tissue & it went on really well using mod-podge.  Once dry I coated it again with mod-podge as I find this seals everything & makes it wipeable.

The sheet was large enough that I did the top, the drawer front & also managed to line the drawer base. 

I tied a Tilda swing tag to the handle & soon filled it with crafty bits & bobs.  I was really pleased with the finished result after being not so happy with it originally.

And it fits in just perfectly on my sewing bench πŸ’™

The last time I delivered an Order of Potpourri to Brandy's Botanicals Deb asked me if she could try some of my knitted cotton dishcloths to sell.  I was more than happy to oblige as I just love knitting these up - 
here is the free pattern I use.
I decided I needed to come up with a nice packaging method that was not too overly fancy but presented them nicely. I tied a brown paper belly band around them & then made up some swing tags that I printed off onto brown paper & cut out.  

I was pleased with the simple but effective way they looked.  I had enough cotton in my yarn stash that I was able to knit 10 different ones to send down to Deb.

  This way people can pick them up & feel the softness of them but also Deb can package them up with a soap easily enough if she so wishes.

Last month Alec had his first ever Grandparents Day at his country school - they have been cancelled in recent years due to various Lockdowns.  He dressed up as a Wizard & I dressed up as a Granny πŸ˜‰ (!!!)

(I promise to have a proper cat update in my next post - Little One is fine & dandy & No - they are still not getting along)

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

With much love & friendship to you all,

Julie & the furry three x0x0x0

Friday, October 13, 2023

Three Things I do each Springtime

Greetings lovely friends & readers

Longtime readers of my blog will know there are three things I like to do each Spring to help to refresh my home & outdoor area. 

The last of the spring freesia's picked this morning & displayed in Mum's crystal vase

 Thing One :
Each Spring I like to treat myself to a fresh new length of Oilcloth for my dining table.  This table is a workhorse & gets a great deal of use so I really enjoy refreshing it each year.  This gorgeous 1.5 metre length was purchased online from this wonderful store.  I've always been partial to paisley designs & this really caught my eye.

I especially loved the Lineny look & feel of it, even though it is fully wipeable.

A gorgeous new variety of Gerbera gifted to me from my friend Sharlaine ... sitting on a thrifted silver tray.

Thing Two :

Every spring I give my old wrought iron table & chair set another coat of paint.  The colour is Hot Chilli & I just use the Resene testpots for this - I had some left over from last spring. This set is so old now that The Mr tells me the only thing holding it all together is the paint I keep applying to it. 

They are sitting up on my deck at present as everything on the lawn is covered in a fine confetti of blossom flowers that are floating everywhere with the winds we are getting.

Thing Three :

I always give my large wooden outdoor table a good scrub with sugar soap.  During the winter months I keep an eye on Spotlight & when their Hessian comes on sale I buy a 2 metre length of it to refresh my table.  This year it was $3 a metre on sale so the length only cost me $6.  

I like to overlock the ends to stop fraying & I also gave it an iron as it was creased.  No sooner had I gone to get my plants to display on it, than a certain ginger furry being decided it looked rather nice & comfy & plonked her derrier down on it 😐  Usually she sashays down it like a runway - being the Princess that she is !!!

I have some potted red petunias in my vintage scales & in the old cooking pot I have planted white petunias.  I didn't plan on a Ginger Cat featuring in my display but it appears that this may be non-negotiable !! 🐱 

The pansies in my black planter box had gone mildewy so I replaced them with some red & white Impatiens ... every single thing got a good scrub & a clean & a de-cobweb.

I don't particularly enjoy this job but things get really manky during winter & if you want to have all these derelict vintage treasures around then I feel you need to actually care for them.  Otherwise it all ends up resembling Steptoe's Yard. 

My friend Jane had given me this sweet daisy wall pot so I drilled some holes in the base & planted it with some miniature viola's.  So simple & lovely πŸ’œ

The 5 red tulip bulbs I planted in Mum's old pedestal pot are flowering & looking so vibrant.

This lily bulb has come up & although the flower looks brown in my photo it is actually quite black & reminds me of velvet.  I have no idea who gave me this or when I planted it here.

It has been school holidays here in New Zealand & I have had the Grandsons on various days.  Sid's Mum asked me to drop him home a bit earlier last week as he was going for a haircut.  This is the photo I got sent later that day.  This is very "out there" for Sid who is usually such a reserved little boy.  It did make me smile.

I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your comments on my Eulogy Post last week for my Mum.  I did hesitate when I went to hit Publish but I write this blog as a record for myself & my Grandchildren who may read it all one day & I felt it was important to include it.  Your comments just warmed my sad heart so very much - you are all so kind & thoughtful. πŸ–€
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend dear friends - we are due some rain here in rural Waikato so it might be a sewing weekend.
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry three x0x0x0

Sunday, October 1, 2023

My Mum's Circle of Life πŸ–€

Greetings dearest friends & readers πŸ–€

On the 31st of August, the official last day of Winter here at the bottom of the world, my beloved Mum's Circle of Life came to a close.  As she took her final breath, I was there by her side holding her hand, patting her head & playing her favourite song.  I told Mum that it was okay to go & be with Dad now, to be well & happy & healthy again.  That's how I like to think of them now ... together after 22 years apart.

When Mum met Dad he was fresh out of the Armed Forces & not ready to settle down.  She loved him & waited patiently ... eventually they got engaged, married & moved up to Taranaki to begin their new life together.

They became parents to my brother & I - & built a house at Number 44 where Mum was to live for the next 61 years of her life.

Mum loved being a wife, a mother & a homemaker - even during the difficult years, of which there were many. Money was tight & Mum learned to be frugal, to make-do-and-mend  .... qualities that never ever left her.

(Mum is on the left in both photos)

Born & raised in the Manawatu area, Mum was the 3rd eldest of 11 siblings!  Her favourite always, was her older sister Margaret, gone 6 years now.  They remained close all of their lives.

Mum was always neat & immaculate - both in her appearance And especially in her Home.

After Dad passed away, 22 years ago now Mum decided she'd like to try travelling, having never ever been out of New Zealand.  

Together we were lucky enough to do 4 trips to Australia over the ensuing years - we both thoroughly enjoyed these trips immensely, visiting two of Mum's brothers.

Youngest Son Kayne & wife Nicole on left & eldest son Aaron & wife Sarah with Mum on right - taken April 2022 - Mums 93rd birthday !

Mum loved being Nan to my 2 sons & was delighted when she was able to attend both their weddings, 8 & 9 years ago now.  

Mum would often say to me "I hope I live long enough to be a Great Grandmother but I don't think that I will".              It was to her utter delight that she got to become special "Great Nan" to Alec & Sid, 6 & 8 years ago now.

I absolutely LoVe this photo above & we used this on Mum's service sheet for her funeral πŸ’—

Taken at a re-union lunch in the Bay of Plenty almost 7 years ago now - the last remaining siblings of the 11, both Mum & Aunty Marg (seated centre) now passed away.

Mum (reluctantly) entered Resthome Care last June (aged 93) & these photos were taken then.  Altogether Mum was in the Resthome for 15 months. 

When I cleared out No. 44 for sale last February,  I came across this plastic Shampoo Product bag & put it in my brother's Safe.  After Mum's passing we opened it & along with Birth Certificates & Mum's Will, it contained all her requests for her Funeral arrangements ... the Undertaker she wished to use, the Venue, the type of Casket she wanted, the Flowers, the Music/songs played & the Poem to be read out - it was incredible!

Tucked into the bag was this envelope with strict instructions to be placed in her casket with her.  The letters were written by my brother & I in 1968 (I was 8!) ... & posted to Mum who was in hospital at the time.  Mum's great Grandsons also made her a card each & these went in with our letters. 

Mum chose this Poem to be read at her Service & wanted pink & mauve flowers on her casket.  It made everything very simple to just follow out her instructions. 

 I think Mum would've been very pleased with her Farewell ... I think she may Not have been so pleased at all the cousins that came out of the woodwork, some she had not seen for well over 22 years!  I will never understand why people do this - yet they can't even pick up a phone & say Hello - how are you?!  I had to use my not-so-nice-voice a number of times to bring it all back to the small private service that Mum wanted.

Even though I had mentally prepared myself for Mum's passing for quite some time, I still cannot get my head around that she is no longer here.  I jump when my phone rings, thinking it may be the Resthome.  I hear some news & I think Oh I must tell Mum that.  Plus I have been hit by a wave of exhaustion (or maybe grief) since my return home again. 

The views from my brother's house where I stayed - the sea out the dining room window & out the other side, Mount Taranaki wearing his winter cloak!

Anyway dearest friends ... although I have a head full of fluff, I will endeavour to return to blogland again & catch up on all your posts.

Thank you sincerely, if you have stayed through this lengthy post - I wanted to write this Eulogy for myself more than anything but in all honesty, how do you cover 94 years - it would take 10 blog posts!  A dear friend sent me this little Verse last week & I thought how perfect.  πŸ’™

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead dear friends - remember to be kind to yourself & to each other ... & I hope you find those Glimmers in your week,

With much love & friendship to you all,

Julie & the Furry Three x0x0x0 🐱😸😺