Saturday, July 6, 2024

A Birthday, A Soap-Dish & ............ "A Speckledy Tree"

 Greetings lovely friends & readers

On the very last day of June I celebrated another birthday πŸ’—

64 years around the sun (!!) Goodness me ... where did those years go to I wonder ??

We had a simple family lunch to celebrate because our nights close in early now & many family members had work early the next day.  I made nibbles, we ordered in pizzas & my eldest daughter-in-law made me a birthday cake ... well two in fact!

Sarah made me a carrot cake first but was unhappy with how it didn't rise much, so she then baked an orange cake which rose about double the size.  I can indeed testify that both cakes were delicious & at 64 years old I have decided I rather enjoy cake (!!)  

The orange cake was decorated with rosemary flowers,  she put 6 candles on it & I got to blow them out.

I was very spoilt & received some wonderful gifts from family & friends including a beautiful pair of handknitted socks in Tilda colours. 

Alec & his family presented me with a large gift wrapped box - it's fragile he told me!   I carefully opened it & inside was the most stunning set of Crown Lynn china-ware in a gorgeous muted red.  Alec's Mum frequents the Retro markets & had seen this previously. I'd mentioned at one time how I struggled to find red transferware & she remembered seeing this set so went back the next month & purchased it - from a dear older couple who had it still in its original box.  

Some of the pieces are faded slightly but it is in immaculate condition with no chips or cracks - I was just speechless.
This then led me to spend the next 3 days (I work slower now) bringing in a shelf that I used to use for display in my craft cottage & setting it all up in my Lounge so I could display the china-ware but still get to use it also.
      This was a simple pine shelf that I had previously white-washed with watered down left-over white house paint.
All the pretties ............  πŸ’—πŸ’•

I used the old lace curtains from my cottage to line the shelves.  I just adore all my pink china tucked in amongst the faded reds.  

My former sister in law called in last week - we hadn't seen each other for a long time but we keep in touch & have remained great friends.  She gave me a card with money in & instructions to "buy something pretty"  ... so I purchased a beautiful soy candle (on sale) & this enamel teapot in my favorite sage green colourway.  The candles fragrance is Palo Santo & it is just so lovely ... the description says "a smooth woody blend of tobacco leaf, smokey cedarwood & leather" 

I found this thrifted silver dish in my craft room cupboard. It was the perfect size for a soap dish which I was needing for my kitchen.  I decided to paint it with the Resene Paddock colour that I'd used on some other kitchen items.  In order to get the paint to stick to the shiny surface I gave it an initial coat of cream chalk paint. This worked well ... otherwise the acrylic paint would've had nothing to adhere to, would've gone on streaky & not dried well.

It came out very green so I went over it with white wax which toned it down nicely & bought out the flower details.

It's just the ideal size to hold my kitchen soap & doesn't take up valuable bench space that I don't really have.

When we laid Mum's ashes to rest back in February I remembered her always telling us "don't forget I want to go with your Father under the Speckledy tree".  There is a large variegated shrub where Dad's ashes were & she always called this The Speckledy Tree.  I hadn't realised that my daughter-in-law had taken a couple of cuttings from the shrub when we were there & has managed to get them to take root in a pot. I was delighted when she presented me with one & it even has another leaf beginning to form at the tip.  I will let it get a lot bigger in the pot before I plant it in the garden.

We have had cold frosty mornings this past week, a couple of -1 degrees, but sunny days with blue skies.  Here we have a-meeting-of-the-unemployed all lined up on the deck keeping their respective distances & solving the worlds problems (!!!) πŸ˜‰

Thank you all so much for visiting here today dear friends,
Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead - remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship to you all,


  1. Happy Birthday Julie! Thank you so much for sharing the photos of your special day. Your home and your creations are truly beautiful and you have such a lovely family. Your posts always give me a lift. That little cutting is really taking off and your unemployed crew made me laugh. Hugs to you, JennieπŸ–€πŸ–€

    1. Thank You Jennie - for your sweetest kindest comment!!! It made my day!! I am so delighted with the cutting - I was not aware my DIL was doing this & it was such a special surprise. Hugs to you too Jennie x0x

  2. A lovely post Julie. A lovely birthday celebration. The Crown Lynn is stunning. Love the colour.

    1. Thank You Sandy! Yes I love the colour of the Crown Lynn too ... I knew you would love it as we both enjoy similar colour palettes. Happy Sunday Sandy x0x

  3. ╔═════════ ೋღღೋ════════╗
    ೋ ೋ 🌸Happy Birthday🌸 ೋ ೋ
    ╚════════ ೋღღೋ═════════╝
    Sorry! A little behind...still..better than a BIG one....! :O).

    You certainly had a lovely Birthday Julie...Lots of family
    and friends, and lot's of prezzies to...
    I do love the pink china, l have numerous items, identical,
    think l sent you a photo of them a while back, though l
    still use mine, they are very pretty, l bought my set set back
    in 1973, when l first married, and returned to this country....
    I paid £12 for the lot, dinner and tea set...there worth money
    now, the value for one plate or tea cup and saucer is worth
    £12 now...times 22+ pieces...what ever that is...!
    So they've worked out quite well...!

    And look! HeHe! a-meeting-of-the-unemployed......Bless!xxx
    And keeping their distance of course...I don't think pussy~cats
    are to bothered about the worlds problems...HeHe! As long as
    there's food in the bowl, and a nice soft box of linen to sleep
    on...there quite satisfied....Bless them...! :O).

  4. HAPPY and abundantly BLESSED birthday darling Julie!!!!
    What a birthday are so obviously LOVED and I know for you that is the best gift of all.
    Can I just say, those Tilda socks...swooning.....oh my....
    Jennifer xxx

  5. FIONA has left a new comment on your post "A Birthday, A Soap-Dish & ............ "A Speckledy Tree"":

    What a lovely way to celebrate your birthday ... wonderful ... the new speckledy tree is such a special gift - brought tears to my eyes!

  6. Cake is definitely one of the joys in life and two cakes are even better! Happy birthday! Your red china looks lovely in the cabinet and it is great that you will be using it too. I have had some china which has been saved 'for best' but recently I have decided that it needs to be used! Life is too short not to enjoy the things we have collected.
    How lovely that you will have your own speckledy tree.
    Have a good week
    Best wishes

  7. Congratulations on your beautiful, bountiful birthday! May you have many more. So many beautiful things to admire in this post. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Happy Birthday Julie. Lots of lovely goodies you received. Love the speckledy tree. The soap dish is gorgeous. Oh that china is just beautiful, love it. How di the meeting of the unemployed go? Hope they solved the world problems. lol

  9. Such a beautiful birthday post sprinkled with goodies for you ♡ Your daughter in law is a keeper for remembering your love of the red crown lynn. Life is all about eating the cake - good for you! Xx

  10. Happy Birthday , looks like you had a great time ,
    Another wonderful post of lovely goodies .
    I love coming over to see your creations .
    Have fun, hugs June.

  11. Happy belated birthday wishes! Lovely cakes and gifts - my eye was drawn instantly to those gorgeous socks! The china was a lovely gift and looks beautiful in its new display cupboard. Nice work on the new soap dish too. xx

  12. The happiest of belated birthday wishes to you.

  13. A belated Very Happy Birthday Julie, you certainly got spoiled, just like you deserve, what a gorgeous collection of all things lovely. Your DIL sounds just like mine, always remembering the little things that make us feel loved. Those 3 unemployed residents certainly make us all smile. Have a great week - Pam x

    1. Thanks so much Pam - that is so kiind of you. Yes I had a lovely birthday thank you! I hope you have a great week too - thanks for leaving your sweet comment. xx

  14. Belated Happy Birthday Julie, oh my you have a wonderful family to spoil you, lovely gifts you received, and lovely cakes. The dishes look gorgeous in the pine shelf, its nice to see the red rather than the blue or brown all the time. It's amazing to see another shot with all three cats in it hehehe, stay warm, we just had a few frosty mornings over here, and now a week of rain to come.

  15. Belated birthday wishes Julie, good to read you had a happy day and were spoilt by the family - that dinner service is amazing and looks stunning on the shelf. Two birthday cakes - how great is that!!! I always end up with a happy smile after reading your posts Julie. How special to have a speckledy tree of your own! Great photo of the unemployed!!

  16. Wishing you a belated Happy Birthday Julie. Looks like you had a lovely time and have been spoiled by your family with some very thoughtful gifts. I love your Crown Lynn china displayed in your gorgeous house shelves. Your speckledy cuttings are very special too. Hugs, Janette xx

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet kind comment Janette. Wishing you a wonderful week xx

  17. How did I miss your wonderful Birthday post! So sorry I'm late to the party, as I am sure the cake is long gone by now, lol. You had a lovely celebration and rightfully so. What wonderful gifts and you are clever enough to already have a great shelf to place the dishes in. I am sure your Mother would get a smile out of knowing you now have your very own speckly tree start. I do see as I roast here, you are bitter cold. Nice the 3 kitties are sunning themselves without incident. Happy Belated Wonderful 64th Birthday! Lynn and Precious XX

  18. A lovely birthday post Julie. Don't the grandsons love watching Nana opening their presents. So glad you had a great day. Good to see the furry friends within each others distance but together, that's interesting. That china looked fabulous.Hugs


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