Sunday, March 31, 2024

Easter Creativity . . . . Part 2 "Decorating"

Greetings lovely friends & readers

And the happiest of Easter Sunday's to you all 💗

 Easter has been rather chilly here in my neck of the woods & I am wearing full winter clothing.  This morning I had to have my dear friend Carolyn at the airport by 6 am so it was an early start for me.  I did find time later in the morning to sit outside at my deck table & enjoy a Hot Cross Bun, a frothy coffee & the latest magazine which came through the mail  ...  lifes simple pleasures.

Early yesterday I made two loaves of Banana Bread ... one in the new tin from my op-shop haul last week.  I often double the recipe & now I have 2 proper loaf tins to use.  These are gifts for my sons & their wives instead of chocolate eggs.
  Little One & I gathered some walnuts as the tree-trimming men are due here next week.

This sweet little tarnished & grubby jug was $2 in my recent op-shop haul & it got the tomato sauce treatment yesterday.  It is photographing as silver but it is actually the palest brass in colour. 

I found these crochet coasters in my drawer - I could never bear the thought of The Mr plonking his mug of tea on them so they were never used.  I thought they made the sweetest bunting pegged onto a length of ric rac.  Should I applique E A S T E R onto each one dear readers ...... or leave as is ?? What do you think ??

I thought I'd share some of my Easter decorating with you - rather hard to get good photos on this overcast day but much of it is the same as past years.  I like to decorate my vintage Singer Sewing Table in my dining room for different seasons.

Much of it handmade ... chenille rabbit made in * this post *

I attached a length of thin dowel to this pretty teatowel to make a wall hanger & added the bobble trim.  Easter topiary from my last post.

This little table sits in the corner beside my fire place ... small Linen bunnies made in * this post *.  Yes I do prefer to colour co-ordinate my choccy eggs if I can because I am pathetic particular like that 😉

Into the lounge we go ... this is the mantle that I also change out for the seasons.  Tilda rabbit made in * this post *

All the pretty pastels   💕

Beside the fire place ... wooden egg decoupaged last Easter in * this post *

Miss Maggie Rabbit made Here in 2019.... P.Cottontail Esq made last Easter in * this post *  & (pink) Hareloom Rabbit made Here in 2021

Wooden rabbit from last post ... the other display is atop a wooden speaker ... the book bundle was made by me 

A little display of Easter bits tucked into the table that holds my pomander collection 

Cardboard Peter Rabbit bunting from Spotlight - Bunny bunting from The Warehouse but I added the pompom tails  🐰🐇

Finally my only sewn makes this Easter ... my dear friend Shirley gifted me the cutest pattern for these rabbit-head shelf-sitters.  A pattern by Rustic Country Handcrafts called Bonnie, Betty and Buttons.   I made the smaller one first, then enlarged the pattern as I wanted mine different sizes.  I just used wool oddments already in my stash - I may make a third one to have a trio - but not this Easter  😉

Wishing you all a wonderful Easter Sunday dear friends 
May the coming week be a good one for you all - remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship to you all,

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Easter Creativity . . . . Part 1 "Making"

Greetings lovely friends & readers

There has been quite a bit of Easter Creativity going on here at Threadbear HQ.

I wanted to make the Grandchildren some Easter treat bags similar to the Carrot Bags I made in * this post *.

A google search for Easter Treat Bags free patterns sent me to this wonderful site.   I didn't want anything too complicated & these box bottom bags with their bunny ears just fit the bill nicely.

Fronts with their lovely bows & bunny ears                   Backs with their fluffy bunny tails     

 I made a prototype using the measurements they gave ... 6 x 9 inches - it was too small for what I needed.  So I made another slightly larger one but still needed to increase my length.  This is why I ended up with the 3 prototypes above, which I filled with some Easter treats & sent off to 3 dear friends living away  ... some surprise mail to hopefully brighten their days.  

From left to right .....  Sadie's, Juno's, Alec's & Sid's is the dinosaur one

The final measurement I settled on was 7 inches wide by 12 in length.  This just held all the goodies nicely that I wanted to include for my 2 Grandsons & 2 (step) Grandaughters.  

I was also determined to use up fabrics that I already had in my stash & was able to achieve this without buying anything - even the ribbons were from my stash.  

I included stickers & crafty bits, Pokemon cards for the boys, egg cups, not all of it was chocolate ... some of the choccy items accidentally ended up in my mouth (!!!) 😐

 Another change I made was to fit a rectangle of cardboard in the bases as this just made them sit that much nicer.  Some pom poms glued on for tails & Happy Easter  🐰🐇 !!!

Each grandchild gets an Easter Activity book along with their treat bags.  They are all wrapped & ready to hand out this weekend.

I had to drive & collect Alec from school last week so I went via the city as The Mr needed a motorbike part picked up.  I popped into K-mart for some bits to fill the children's treat bags & spied these Easter wreaths on sale.  I purchased one as I'd seen * this * wonderful YouTube Video & decided I just Had to make one!  

On my way out the other side of the city I stopped at The Hamilton Flower Market to buy a bag of green moss.  I was parked right outside St Vinnies Op-shop so as I was running ahead of time I popped in for a quick look.

This is what I came away with friends  ....  I could not believe my haul & all of this for the princely total of $27 !! Some real treasures in amongst this lot (tho' for some reason The Mr did not seem to think so & he did mention the word Junk !!!) 😉

These sweet little Easter Candles were still in their original cellophane - $4 for 6.  I removed them from their carton & displayed them on a dear little ceramic dish that I'd thrifted several weeks ago  .  .  .  .  .  .

.  .  .  .  .  . sitting on a nest of pastel coloured Easter Grass 💗

Be still my beating heart 💕

Last Saturday it rained here all day long, was dreary & cold & this is where the furry 3 spent the entire day.  If you see the arrow in the top left hand pic, that is fat Blackie asleep on Mum's glory box (!!),  Little One on the bed & Madam Pip in front of the heater of course!        I decided to have myself  "A Crafting Day" 

I happily stood at my bench all morning & painted wooden tags & this wooden rabbit cut-out purchased 

Two coats of Vintage White chalk paint & I was ready to decoupage a serviette onto my rabbit.  I added a lace bow & a key charm to her neck.  These wooden eggs were in a drawer - I used to have them as display items in my craft cottage when I sold the Hessian Hen doorstops that I used to make.

I gave them a good wash (they were filthy) & applied some Re-design knob transfers to them ... a sweet little display beside my wooden rabbit  🐰💗

Once painted I decoupaged the tags with serviettes & also this little wooden paddle in the centre .. I lightly rubbed the edges with antiqueing ink to age them a bit.

Back to finishing off that wreath .... once the glue was dry & I'd filled in any gaps, I found an old tin urn of Mums which I filled with oasis & then secured the wreath in using bamboo skewers.  This stabilised it well.  I decoupaged some polystyrene eggs with vintage music papers & popped these in the front.  My urn could do to be a bit bigger but sometimes you just have to use what you have on hand, as well we know dear friends.

I had planned to trim my topiary but I've decided I rather like it hairy for now!  My friend Desiree visited this morning & when she said "that just looks like it's been there forever" it was the best compliment she could pay me  😊

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

Wishing you a wonderful Easter weekend - I shall be back with Part 2 over Easter as I still have lots to share with you,

With much love & friendship to you all,

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Giveaway Winner & Bedroom Finish

Greetings dear friends & readers

I have been trying to blog since Friday evening but sometimes ...... it gets really difficult  . . . . . . . . . . 

. . . . . .  as you can see (!!)

Friday 15th was the day we drew my Easter Giveaway winner ... I wrote all the names out on pieces of paper, put them in my big old twin-spout teapot, gave it a good shake & The Mr drew out a name.

Congratulations to Pam from Waiuku (no blog) - if you would like to email me your address please Pam, I have your package all ready to go 💗

A huge Thank You to everyone who entered - I had 70 entries (although 2 of them asked not to be entered).  I very much enjoyed reading everyone's favorite colours & yesterday I wrote them all out - in case you are interested, here are the results :-
Blue (including Teal, Aqua & Navy) = 20
Green  =  14
Pink = 9
Purple = 4
Orange = 3
Red = 2
Yellow = 1
Burgundy = 1
Grey = 1
White = 1 
Love all colours = 4
So Blue was a clear winner  💙
(Also not everyone who left a comment/entry wrote their favorite colour)

Last Tuesday I drove to the city to collect my blinds from being professionally cleaned, came home & hung them up.  I have a large one at the French Doors in my bedroom & then 2 long narrow windows on another wall, each with a blind at them.  I love my blinds & felt it was a good investment to have them cleaned (tho' I did feel quite faint when they told me the price !!)

Here are the long narrow windows, both on the same wall.
When I had the blinds made I bought an extra metre of fabric & made myself some cushions to match.

I carefully washed all my bedding to save on drycleaning costs & it came up beautifully.  Photo above right was not what I anticipated but Little One had gotten wet through & The Mr wrapped him up in a fleece cuddly blanket to warm up  😣

You can read about my bedside table upcycle in * this older post *

My dressing table - I love this old piece of furniture & I had thoughts of stripping the varnish off it to give it a flatter finish, but for some reason I don't mind the shiny finish so much now.  Other side of the bed - oak cabinet & the vintage footstool under it from this post in 2013 !!!

The Mr's chest of drawers which matches my dressing table, & my tomato sauce tray upcycle.   Lots of Mum's treasures on here.

Rectangular doiley stool upcycle in this post * here * & other stool covered in leftover blinds fabric.  Stools are handy in the bedroom for plonking your stuff on (!!!)

We have a double wardrobe on the wall as you enter the room, with Louvre doors. I took these off, took them out on my driveway & scrubbed them with sugar soap, then hosed them off.  They came up beautifully so I didn't need to paint them, which delighted me immensely.

In a corner, beside the wardrobe is an alcove.  This is the exact size of a babies cot - previous Owners put this in when they added the master bedroom on.  They had a baby so hung a curtain over the alcove & it worked well.
  It is the perfect space for our computer. Our old desk was wobbly & inefficient so I went online & bought a new one that fits exactly in the gap. I was thrilled about this & also the lovely big drawer it had.  Apart from the wall paint for the room this was my only purchase - everything else I used what I already had on hand.  I would love to replace the 2 wall lights at some stage but will wait for a sale.  

When I collected my blinds I noticed a big Salvation Army Op-shop just a couple of doors along so I went for a nosey - be very rude of me not to 😉  
I came out with this sweet little blue dish/bowl for $8.  I've sat a baby houseplant in it & may replant it properly into the bowl. I am enjoying having live plants in my bedroom as I've never done this before & I especially love the green against the soft blue.
I still have 1 door to paint & some pictures to hang but for now I am enjoying the blank walls & the fresh new paint.  The colour is Cottage Cream & I used Painters White for the ceiling.  I prefer a low sheen finish to a gloss.  I would also like to revamp my bed headboard but this can be a project for another day.  

A few little touches of Easter decorating are appearing in my home this weekend.

I also hauled my poor old rusty trike out of the garden, scrubbed it down & replanted it with some Snapdragons, then I planted Petunias in my tin bucket.  There is a definate feel of autumn in the air here now & the nights are cooler.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead dear friends,

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

With much love & friendship to you all.


Monday, March 11, 2024

Fun Painting & Not-So-Fun Painting ........................

Greetings lovely friends & readers

After I returned from laying Mum's ashes I had a moment of absolute madness burst of enthusiasm whereby I decided to paint my entire bedroom (!!)

Yes we're starting with the not-so-fun-painting ............ 😉

The sweetest jar of flowers delivered to me by Sid yesterday - made me smile so much 

This is how we have been living for the past 10 days - with the bedroom in upheaval but still needing to be slept in at nights.  Yes I have had assistance of the unwanted variety 🐱
The walls & ceiling are finished now, I just have the door to do but have been putting everything back in place, which requires much cleaning & some sorting (getting rid of) 

Reality check ...... this is how the Lounge looked while things were moved in here to make room for painting - I don't enjoy living in disarray but I do enjoy the nice fresh paint work at the end.  
My blinds have been sent away to be professionally cleaned & once they return (hopefully in a day or 2) I can share photos of the finished room.

-  The Fun Painting  -
When I cleared out Mum's house for sale exactly a year ago now I bought her Glory Box home with me.  I didn't especially need it (or have room for it) but just could not bear to part with it.  It sat in a corner of my bedroom where I proceeded to clutter it up with blankets & suchlike.  I decided to give it a make-over while everything else was in a big shambles.

I used chalk paint in the colour Linen - I decided to try rolling it on.  I'd not tried this before with chalk paint but my friend Gail swears by it for large flat surfaces. I was really pleased with how it went onto the wood surface & the finished effect.
  You can see above right I had the very same unwanted assistance - see the arrow - the little paw poking through.  Someone thought the roller going up & down was the most marvellous fun game  😐

Because I didn't feel confident I put it only quite thinly, so it took 4 coats to cover it well.  First coat top left, final coat top right.  I am so pleased with the coverage on it though & would definately use the roller method again.

I even painted inside the lid.  The box has a tray that fits just inside the top.  Mum had this made when she was a young woman & I especially love the curved sides of it.  
They call them Blanket boxes nowadays but when Mum was young, most girls had a Glory Box or a Hope Chest.

I had this gorgeous transfer bought from * Here * that I wanted to apply.  I just love how this has transformed the piece ... I gave it two good coats of wax when finished to protect it. 

Here it is in place in my bedroom & I've hung the mirror that I revamped in * this post * above it - (same Linen colour). 

My bedroom has French Doors leading off to an area of deck - this room gets wonderful afternoon sun. 

THIS is what I came home to yesterday!! I'd left some folded washing on the Glory box & The Mr had spread it out for Blackie to curl up on.  I have to say this is not what I had in mind when I revamped Mum's Glory Box (!!)

Here is the Turtles plant that my dear friend Sandy gifted me a couple of years ago.   You can read about the stool I revamped for it in this Post.   As you can see it has long outgrown the stool & I wanted something higher for it - away from tempting little furry paws!

BEFORE                                                                AFTER

I'd asked my friend Gail to let me know if any plant stands came into the Op Shop where she volunteers.  Within a week she'd messaged me saying one had come in, to pop in & have a look.  For $10 I snapped it up - it was black but I knew I could paint it.  Yesterday I gave it 3 coats Vintage White chalk paint. I love how the wood detailing shows up now with the lighter colour.

............ & the perfect height to keep away from little paws & the vacuum cleaner (!!)

Many of you ask if the 3 furry friends are getting along any better now after all these months?  To be honest, not really ... but I will take any signs of progress I can get  ..........
............ & this pic snapped yesterday was definately progress in my book!  
Please excuse the DIY-ing conglomeration on my deck area, paint pots, trays, backpacks of spray etc. 
 But I did smile when I saw this & grabbed my camera. Mind you it only lasted a few minutes before the hissing began again.

Thank you as always dear friends, for your visits here today,
Wishing you a wonderful week ahead - remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry three x0x0x0