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



Friday, June 16, 2017

A lovely visit to a friend .....................................

End of Week Greetings dear friends & readers
 Working from home can often mean that the days run together somewhat & you frequently find yourself working on the weekends as well
It is often hard to distinguish what day it actually Is !


The other day,  feeling overwhelmed by the business & busy-ness of late - I got up early, loaded my car up with goodies & travelled 2 hours through the fog to spend the day with a very dear friend
I had not visited my lovely friend Donna for well over 2 years - a visit was long overdue.

Her home is called The River House because a river runs through at the very bottom of her section
 Visiting with Donna is always a tonic & a treat
 Her home is always welcoming & warm & cosy in winter with a roaring fire ... Donnas friendship is one of those that kind of wraps itself around you
 Upon arrival you are immediately given a hot cuppa & delicious homemade cake to eat
It was just so lovely to escape the endless distractions of home & just sit & chat .......... & then chat some more.

When the rain stopped we put on our welly's & went for a walk up the river along the boundary of her property
Donna's chooks & sheep
  Donna is self sufficient & grows everything they need in her large veggie garden & fruit tree area ... though she has put many of her beds to sleep for the winter, she still had lots of veggies available for picking


Lucky Girl .  .  .  .  Isn't this just the cutest little potting shed ??!!

At lunchtime we sat out on the deck in rug wrapped chairs & ate bowls of steaming homemade soup with chunky bread while the winters sun made a brief appearance


Donna is a fibre artist & always has baskets filled with yarns & homespun wool dotted throughout her home
She used to run a Gallery & Craft Shop from her Home but closed it a few years ago ... you can read an old post about her Shop here

It was such a lovely visit though it felt like it went by in the blink of an eye.
It is so very soul replenishing taking the time to visit with friends
Late last year, while popping in to see my friend Sally in town, I admired a large cross stitch leaning against the wall in her hallway.  Sally informed me she had purchased it from the Op Shop for $15, found she had nowhere to actually hang it & if I liked ...... I could own it for $15 !!
I wasted no time rummaging around in my bag for some cash !!

 I absolutely loved the picture, every stitch so perfect & so lovingly hand stitched .  .  .  .  what I wasn't quite so keen on was the shiny gold frame.
Reframing it was out of the question so a couple of days ago I decided to paint the frame.
I had neither the knowledge, the energy, nor the inclination to pull the whole thing to bits, so I simply masked the glass.
 This week we have had crisp, clear winters days with a few rays of sunshine so it was perfect for chalk painting on my deck table

 I had unwanted intense supervision to ensure I stayed on track !!



It is now dry & hanging back up on my lounge wall .....
I LoVe it !!!  And am So pleased I painted it.

 I think the pale grey goes perfect with my wallpaper as well as the cherub I revamped in this post

I saw this beautiful verse on a friend's facebook page
I thought it was just delightful & thought it would be wonderful to get it copied & framed for each of my grandsons

Thanks So Very Much for your visits today dear friends,
May you have a wonderful weekend ... Yes its Friday again !!
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A Productive Weekend

Wednesday Greetings dear friends & readers
It was a long weekend here in New Zealand as we celebrated Queens birthday Weekend.
The Mr was away riding Moto X, which meant that instead of spending time in my kitchen preparing & cooking meals ............... I got to spend time in the kitchen creating far more interesting things .................

3 were Green Tea & Lemongrass, 3 were Calico fragrances
I had some soy wax leftover in a plastic bag which I was keen to use up, so I made another batch of soy candles.
 I realise now I had been adding the fragrance too soon, while the soy was still hot, & hence burning off alot of the fragrance.  I waited 10 minutes for the soy to cool this time & achieved a much better result.

I had a new oil I was keen to try - "Calico" .... such a gorgeous fragrance!!
Waiting to harden a bit & have the wicks trimmed down

I also spent time making up another batch of homemade laundry liquid
I hadn't actually used up the batch I made back in March but found that I had given lots away to friends to try.
Plus I came across a further two cut glass decanters in a box of the Mr's junk things !!

The two taller decanters on the right are the newly discovered additions
 This is now the 2nd batch of laundry liquid I have made ... I have so far learnt two very important things.
Firstly, do not go off & leave it unattended on the stove (as I did) as it will indeed boil over & make one big huge gloppy mess !!
Secondly, do not leave the milk bottle containers filled with it sitting on the kitchen bench (as I did) as your Mr might very well come home, grab it to pour in his cuppa & words will come out of his mouth that I simply cannot print on here !!!!!!!*********!!!!!!!!! 


As I constantly add lawn clippings to my raised vegie gardens, the Mr suggested I needed to add some lime to sweeten the soil before I did my winter planting
I drove out to the farm & came home with four 20 litre buckets of lime which I dug into to my vegie beds 

Then as my moon calendar told me it was ideal planting time, I planted broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages & a fresh punnet of silverbeet & spinach ... all good hearty winter fare.

I also dug out some herbs that had become woody & replaced them with new ones. 


I found a Mothers Day Garden Voucher in my wallet, so off I trotted to the Garden Centre & purchased some potted colour pansies to revamp my cane pram for the winter


  This little miniature wheelbarrow was hiding abandoned under a tree so I planted it out with a punnet of pansies in "antique" shades

And my dear old parsley pig, which was lying neglected under the house, got a scrub & a fresh parsley plant to cheer him (& me) up a bit

 I recently finished a further 3 dishcloths from this free pattern here

 I took them to my friend Joyce who kindly crochets around the edges for me in exchange for a batch of my 
apricot fudge slice which she loves so much !!


I used to have a small wooden stool beside the bed in my spare room, however during one of my frequent change arounds, I borrowed pinched it for somewhere else
I needed to find a replacement & this wooden table was in my sleepout - a $5 purchase from Hospice last year

The top was somewhat wobbly, but this was soon remedied with a generous squeeze of PVA glue underneath & a heavy weight sat on top for 24 hours. (No, not Blackie either .... I can hear you Willie!!!)
I applied 2 coats of my chalk paint "pale duck egg" shade, then lightly scuffed all the edges

 
Such a transformation from a tatty $5 table .  .  .  .  and .  .  .

 Just perfect for the space I needed it for !!!

And lastly dear friends, I got to spend time looking after one of my favouritest little people on the entire earth

 My dear little grandson Sid, who is now a whole 9 weeks old & is pondering life in general !!

  Happy Wednesday to you all dear friends
 May you have a wonderful day ... thank you for stopping by here today
with Much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Last Orders ...................& a Cat called Bob

Wintery Tuesday Evening Greetings dear friends & readers,
I have been trying to finish up the last of my Orders before I close my Cottage for the Winter period
This coming weekend we celebrate Queen's Birthday Weekend  & I will be closing just after that & reopening again on ................................well I am just not too sure at this stage!!!

Well not quite yet ......................but soon !!!!

After I finished Pru's order she was so delighted she called in again with a request to complete a couple more items for her .................

This beautiful piece above was Aran stitch embroidery that Pru had done many years ago ... she wanted it made into a cushion with a zippered back & a zippered inner as well.

This large crochet piece had been done by Pru's Nana & she asked for it to be backed & made into more of a supper cloth size.
When I made the two runners for Pru, there was still a small collection of doilies remaining so she asked me to make up a flower design with these & stitch onto a 1 mt x 1 mt square cloth that she could use on her dining table.
I was relieved to see the completion of Pru's order as I had endless trouble with the foot of my machine constantly catching in the crochet pieces 

My friend Marie rang me to ask if she could pop out & buy some more mothball sachets.
Upon checking in the Cottage, I realised I had not one single one left .... it was easy enough to quickly run up some muslin bags as I already had some mixture on hand ............
You can find the recipe at the bottom of this post *here* should you wish to make some yourself.


I was lucky enough to win these 2 old sewing machine drawers from a Trademe auction 
(incidently the auction finished at 12.22 pm at night so I sat up til that hour to ensure my $12 bid won, which it did. The Mr assured me I was "the only fool sitting up at that ridiculous hour bidding on a broken drawer anyway !!!!"

I chose to upcycle the one with the base intact first
Two coats of cream wall paint, a quick scuff of the edges, then I lined the base with a remnant of the wallpaper from my last post
I had a plan for this pretty drawer .......................

I am ashamed to admit my lovely cotton laces spend their life languishing in a tangled heap in a plastic supermarket bag tossed in a corner of my sewing room ... I had seen a wonderful idea on Pinterest of winding the lengths onto old wooden clothes pegs
I was certainly NOT short of wooden pegs so I spent a pleasant rainy afternoon ironing all my lace lengths out, then winding then onto some old wooden pegs
What enormous delight I felt in a simple afternoons task !!!!

Thank you for your lovely comments on the Nail Box upcycle in my last post
I chose to use the box as a shelf in my sewing room - it was the perfect size to house my collection of Extra Curricular Magazines, & my jars filled with vintage bakelite buttons
I had purchased these small swing tags to attach to gifts but I loved the vintage prints so much, I couldn't bear to part with them, so I strung them along the shelf as a bunting .............

.................... & my new/old drawer gets to sit alongside my new/old shelf !!


I think it was over at Betty-the-Wood-Fairy's blog blog I first learnt about the book A Street Cat Named Bob
After I had read the book myself, I ordered copies for my son & stepson for Christmas.  I well remember their faces when they opened the parcels ... total disbelief!!  It was my son Kayne who found to courage to say to me "actually Mum I think you might have given us the wrong gifts - this is a kids book?!"  No its not I told them both - read it & let me know what you think.
The books have been read & enjoyed & shared amongst many family members & friends
I was so delighted last week to be able to see the Movie that has come to my small town.  I just loved it & found that even though my eyes filled with tears frequently, I smiled alot of the way through also.
It is the real cat Bob who plays his own part in the movie !!
I encourage you to see it if you get the opportunity - it IS wonderful & just re-affirms my long held belief that our pets come to us for a reason & often-as-not ...... they choose Us !!


Long time readers of my blog will know that Blackie chooses the most unusual sleeping places including the ironing board & wrapped around the sewing machine to name just a couple
His latest sleeping place is stretched out along the back of the T.V. ... this is rather ridiculous really but what is completely pathetic about all this ... is that the Mr & I sit there with the sound almost on mute - trying to lip read the T.V - so as not to disturb His Lordship!!!
You can certainly see why Blackie chose to live in this house!!!

Have a wonderful week dear readers & thanks so much for your visits today,
Be kind to yourselves & to each other,
with much love & friendship
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0