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

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