Friday, July 28, 2017

Teaching


End of Week Greetings dear friends & readers,

 Very early in the New Year a lovely lady (Jean) rang to ask if I would be interested in teaching a craft class?
The class was to be part of a Rural Womens Institute Craft Day, held yearly in the middle of winter ...  the ladies would learn card making in the morning & I was to take the afternoon class.
I jumped at the chance & said "Yes - definately!!"

As she ended the call Jeans words to me were "the class is months away yet so you have plenty of time to think what to teach"
Me - being me .... promptly forgot ALL about it !!!*!!!

Just before I had to go down to Mums Jean rang & asked me if I could "drop off my samples please"
"Oh yes, nearly finished" I lied replied
Rummaging through my craft cupboard a large bag of dried teasel thistle heads fell down .... perfect !!
I hadn't made teasel hedgehogs for about 17 years .... now might be a great time to give them another whirl !!

I quickly ran up my samples using fabrics I had plenty of in my stash 
 I named them "Miss Pink" & "Miss Lavender"

Last week, before my teaching day, I spent a rainy day working at the table with Mum & Miss Pippi's help, putting together my kitsets 
 As there were no sewing machines at the venue, I sewed the lace onto the bonnets before kitting them up

When I was almost finished, Blackie & Pippi had a brief conference to make sure I had everything in order & meeting with their approval .  .  .

Jean asked me to bring 13 - 15 kitsets in a mixture of both colourways
My kitsets all ready to go
I also had to type up a pattern & instructions, & then fill my car up with all the paraphenalia we might need to complete our hedgehogs, pretty much including the "kitchen sink" !!


The mornings class had made two cards & then each decorated a candle using hessian, bark & miniature cones ... the ladies work looked wonderful
I had originally put my name down for the morning class but decided to pull out when Mum came to live here as I felt the entire day was too long to leave her on her own.


The day was stormy & wintery so several of the ladies didn't turn up & I only ended up teaching 9 ... what fun, delightful ladies they all were too.
Though I forgot to snap pictures while they were all working on their hedgehogs, I did remember to get a photo at the end ... 5 Miss Pinks & 4 Miss Lavenders
I took along my lavender & cottage rose oils & the ladies got to scent their bonnets at the end ... the classroom smelt rather heavenly.


Let me know if you would like the pattern for this little sweetheart & I can scan & copy it, & add it to my next post?


On an earlier visit to Mums - last March in fact - I brought home a large cardboard box filled with all Mums knitting wools & oddments
Mum can no longer knit due to her macular degeneration so she asked me to give the wool away for her.
I decided to gift it to my friend Joyce for her crocheting & then Joyce could pass on any unwanted wool to the Church Op Shop where she works.


To my surprise & delight, Joyce turned up last week & presented Mum with this beautiful knee rug she had crocheted from all the oddments of mohair wool that was in the box.
It is beautiful & light but Oh So Warm & Cosy.



My lovely friend Carolyn was up this way & we caught up for a coffee at the Hummingbird.
Carolyn gifted me this cute little knitted vintage golly ... I thought he made a perfect companion for the golly 
Carolyn sent me in this post

We had a family lunch last Sunday when my brother & his wife travelled up to visit with Mum, & my boys & their families came to join us.

I love this photo of Mum playing with Alec on the floor ... & then this one below is my older brother with Sid.
It was rather special because my brother (who lost his arm in a motorbike accident at 20) doesn't hold babies Ever!!
And yet both He & Sid looked most comfortable with each other ......


Have a wonderful weekend dear friends - it looks like a wet one here - July has been such a wintery month
Thanks so much for your visits today - you bring some sunshine to my world.

with much love & friendship
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Monday, July 17, 2017

Small Steps (really small) ........ & some advice please


Monday Evening Greetings to you all dear friends & readers
Welcome to another bright shiny New Week !!


Thank you all So Very Much for all the kind & caring comments & emails you left me after my last post

I would like to say Mum & I have been ticking along nicely but to be honest, it has been difficult
There have been lots of tears (mostly mine) & tantrums (mostly Mums) as we navigate our way through this tricky time 
 We continue to take just one day at a time taking very small steps



Precious moments of stitching & creativity are such good soul food ..... & even though I emailed a dear friend threatening to throw my sewing machine out the window this past week .... I still managed to complete the little stitchery I was working on & make it up into a wallhanging


As I save every single scrap of Tilda fabric, I was able to use my offcuts to frame the stitchery panel
This gorgeous pattern is from Jenny of elephantz design

Really hard to photograph on this dull day !!!
I found an old black wire hanger in my craft drawer that was the perfect size so a quick warm up by the fire (the hanger that is - Not me!!) & a blast with a can of cream spray paint


I always had the idea in my head that I wanted to hang this from the wall unit that I revamped last year in this post




As there seems to have been lots of sitting & drinking tea while I get Mum settled, I decided to pick up my knitting needles again.


I found this ball of super soft cotton in a bag of wool oddments while at Mums ... so I was able to knit up a couple of small face washers with it ... & might still have enough left for one more



For as long as I can remember there has been an Antique Shop on the corner of the main road, one block away from where my Mum lived in our family home    . . . Ethel Anne Antiques

While down at Mums recently I drove past this store many times on my way to errands & appointments.
I noticed a big sign painted on her window  "50% off all stock"
Gosh that sounds like me !!!!
So - on my birthday to be exact - I took myself off & spent a good half hour browsing at all the goodies & drooling
Normally these shops are well out of my budget but because everything was half price, a few treasures came home with me


The two china soup bowls were $7.50 each, which meant I got them both for $7.50 ... & the sweet little china butter dishes were $15 each, which meant I got them both for $15

This tray was my bestest find .... not photographing terribly well but it is a gorgeous tray with copper surround & a doiley set under a glass top ... would be beautiful with some vintage glass perfume bottles sat upon it (a shame I don't actually own any)
I was thrilled with my purchases & as Mum had given me some birthday money it felt even more special,


On Saturday evening after Mum went to bed, the Mr & I stood at the kitchen bench & bottled the wine we had made with our grapes from the summer of 2016 !!
This batch had actually sat in the glass demijohns "brewing" for a good 18 months !!
(Incidently my stepson & his girlfriend walked the length of the city street they live on & pinched acquired glass wine bottles from folks recycling bins in order to gather the amount we needed!!!)


We ended up filling 24 bottles which was quite impressive I thought .... & even though I was sorely tempted to drink/ taste test every single bottle .... The Mr would not let me !!!!!!!!

Some advise please dear friends & readers .................
I gently handwashed my wool felt penny rug in cold water & the colours have run badly as you can see below
Mostly the black has run into the cream of the felt tongues .... does anyone have any suggestions of what I might use to "un dye" this mess ??
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated as I am unfamiliar with any products that are out there but thought some of you may have experience with this.


As I sit on the couch typing this post tonight I have lit my candle that I made in this post here .... the smell is lemongrass & green tea ... just the gentlest fragrance is wafting through the room
And these two - tucked up beside me on their granny blanket - never far away


Have a wonderful week ahead dear friends,
I hope you find some creative time in your week as I hope to


Thanks again so much for your visits, your friendship & your kind words & thoughts,
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Friday, July 7, 2017

A bit of a Curve Ball

Friday Greetings lovely friends & readers
Gosh what a fortnight it has been!!~!
Sometimes when you feel you are ticking along nicely, not too many expectations on yourself & life in general, not thinking too far ahead, just focusing on the immediate task at hand ...... life can come along & throw you a bit of a curve ball
This is pretty much what happened to me in the last two weeks.

If you look up the meaning of a curve ball you will see it states "to introduce something totally unexpected, surprising or disruptive"

Mt Taranaki (Egmont) was indeed wearing her winter coat while I was down at Mums !!
My dear Mum is most unwell.
She has lots of things wrong with her .... things that have been brewing away for quite sometime but have gone undetected due to Mum not letting on.
The outcome of all these things going wrong in her 88 year old body, is that Mum can no longer live alone in the family home.
The short version of a very long week involving many Doctors consultations is that I made the decision to bring Mum back home with me.

This Verse hangs on my Sewing Room Wall ... I have always loved it & thought how very true !!!
(Click on the picture to enlarge it if you are having trouble reading it)
This leads me to two questions ...... did I envisage myself caring for my aged Mother ??  Not really - No !
Secondly ...... did my Mum envisage herself living with me here ??  100 % most certainly Not !
So we have quite a period of adjustment ahead of us both.  While Mum still believes "when she gets well again, she will be going home" ... I know this will not be the case.  But I cannot look too far ahead at the moment & am just trying to take one day at a time as I muddle my way through.

There are only two things bringing a smile to Mums face these days .  .  .
Her great grandsons Alec & Sid ... Mum had not even met little Sid until this week
And .  .  .

the never ending antics of these two above !!

While I was down at Mums another birthday slipped on by 
I was lucky enough on my return home to be greeted by some wonderful handmade gifts from treasured friends


My dear friend Leeanne lovingly stitched me this beautiful cushion after me moaning telling her via email recently that I was "over winter & couldn't wait for summer !"



My dear friend Carolyn sewed me this gorgeous gardening apron & filled the pockets with seeds & tools 
 I have always admired these handy aprons & never ever owned one (til now)


And my dear friend Donna handknitted me this stunning selection of flowers & leaves & issued me a challenge 
"to see what you make with them" ....  along with the wonderful felted bird that was tucked into the parcel.
Thank you all So Very Much my lovely friends ... your thoughtfulness meant the world to me.

 This little wooden Tea Chest was sitting in Mums shed along with some other things to be taken to the dump.
As I consider myself "the local dump" (!!!) I bought it home with me & sat a delicate fern in it.

And so dear readers, in times of uncertainty I find the one thing that always brings peace & structure to my life
 is creativity .  .  .


It seemed appropriate then that I picked up my stitchery again .... a design from my friend Jenny of elephantz ... because Yes indeed, we all do need a home !
I hope to show you it complete in my next post.


Birthday Basket of Polyanthus from my sister in law .... Op Shop basket .... just the way I like it !!!!!
Thank you so much for listening today dear friends,
I must apologise for not replying to comments or emails from my last post & I have not had a chance as yet to visit you all at your blogs
I hope to remedy this very soon !!
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend 
Be good & kind to yourselves & to each other
with much love & friendship
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x



Friday, June 23, 2017

Snippets from my week


Rainy Friday Greetings to you dear friends & readers
My neighbour popped in yesterday to ask me to feed her pets & stock while she was away
In the course of our conversation she asked me "have you had a busy week?"
"Gosh yes, I have" came my reply .  .  .  she paused, waiting for me to tell her what I had been up to .  .  .  . 
Not one single thing came to mind !!!!  What HAVE I done with my week I wondered to myself ??



Thankfully a quick scroll through my camera gave me a few answers.
After I made the bibs for my new grandson in this post here, my daughter in law declared them to be "the best bibs ever!!"
I had quite a bit of flannelette leftover plus the remnants of the white bath towel still remaining so I ran up four more for her
This is a free bib pattern available from here


As I was about to toss the odd offcuts of the bath towel out, I suddenly thought they might make some more burb cloths/face washers

 So I managed to bind 3 more from the ends of the towel.

These vintage scales were amongst the selection of goodies my friend Elaine tossed my way during her declutter
I already have a black set myself which sit on the end of my kitchen bench & hold fruit, gourds or potpourri - depending on the season
Elaine & I (& Pippi) all agreed these could do with a makeover

 I decided to paint them using my antique white chalk paint
I very lightly & carefully masked the face of the scales -
two coats later & a light scuff with sandpaper .  .  .
I had intended to sit them in my bathroom holding the beautiful vintage bathcubes & soaps my friend Sally had gifted me when I did her Princess & the Pea Order
 Unfortunately they were too wide for the end of my bath so they now reside on the spare room dresser

Looking ever-so-slightly Shabby Chic I feel


These next two items also got a makeover this week
Though I forgot to take a "before photo" (again Julie??) they were both heavy dark brown wood covered in a thick glossy varnish.
They will both be used for what I call "cuppa tea tables" .  .  . the corner one below is to go beside the couch by the fire in my dining area

The colour is Antique White Chalk paint ...... more of a cream than a white really.

This little stool below is not quite finished, it has to have the paper doiley modpodged onto it & then a good coat of wax to make it all wipeable.
It is very similar to the stool I revamped in this post here & will be used in the lounge as a cuppa tea table.
The colour is not photographing well this grey day but it is Pale Duck Egg Blue

I have been the lucky recipient recently of some surprise mail from bloggy friends ... a lovely friend from the South Island sent these beautiful delicate lace curtains to me to cut up or use in a project .... though they are old & fragile, just look at that stunning lacework on the bottom edges
They were originally bought from a flea market in Paris many years ago ... they are the palest shade of grey, & I just love to hold them in my hands & think of the stories they could tell.

After some email correspondence with my lovely friend Jenny of elephantz about the gorgeous flour sack teatowels she was embroidering on, Jenny very kindly offered to send me two "to play with"
Jenny originally purchased several of these teatowels from the United States, they are the softest of soft.  
I gasped when I opened the parcel & some of Jennys beautiful handwork fell out ... an exquisitely embroidered bookmark.
Thank you So Much ladies ...your kindness & thoughtfulness made my day in more ways than you can imagine.

Well dear friends, it is rainy & grey here today ... time to fill the woodbasket
 For once in their lives, these two have the right idea & are tucked up in the warmth


Wishing you a wonderful weekend .... I hope you find some creative time in your days
with much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0