Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Working (a little), Playing (a little) ... & Colleens Garden

Hello dear friends & readers
Lately there has been a little bit of working & a little bit more playing going on here at my odd little Threadbear corner

We had the scariest storm come through last week & afterwards I found this delicate little nest had fallen from a tree
It almost looked to be woven with lichen & moss.

In the midst of the storm the cats & I tucked ourselves away & stayed by the fire
Note to self .... it is much easier Julie if you paint the boots BEFORE you attach the legs to the bodies !!!!
There were dolls boots to be painted ... each coat dries quickly by the fire,  & of course . . .

. . .  I had supervision to make sure I stayed on task  !!!

A customer requested some hostess gifts to take on her overseas trip - she loved the kiwiana fabrics featuring kiwi's, native birds & the Pohutakawa flowers

So I made her some handtowels, spice mats & covered notebooks using these gorgeous fabrics

A couple of years ago I made a name bunting for my friend Sandy's lovely daughter Abby. 
 Last month Abby requested a further 2 name buntings for her flatmates - Laura who loves purples ...

. . . and Ashleigh who adores lime greens . . . 

I really enjoyed making these for Abby - they are presently flying down to the lower part of the South Island

Playing . . .
My friend Gail ordered this rustic cabinet for her Gift Shop - however when it arrived one pane of glass was completely shattered & the other cracked right through - she was in a dilema as it was going to cost her to freight it back again ... so she offered to sell it to me at under cost price ...(which I jumped at as I just adored it!!)

It is hard to see but I have removed the shattered glass on the right hand door & the left hand door has a crack in the very top left hand corner 
I removed all the glass, went hunting in The Mr's farm shed & found some old chicken wire, complete with chook droppings, hay, dead mouse skeleton etc ... all for good effect !!!
I cut out 2 squares, scrubbed them well, then staple gunned them inside the door frames 

I just love my new (old) rustic cabinet in the corner of my dining area

The Mr's comment was "so when are you going to strip all that old paint off & oil the bare wood ???!!!"    
Hmmm . . .

This checked lampshade needed some trim to finish it off but I could only buy a stark white bobble trim ...
 so I dunked it in warm (not hot) parisian essence & managed to get a nice light caramel colour - 
(I did a "test run" using 2 bobbles first in a tea cup ... before dunking the whole lot)

Keep this in mind if you are ever wanting to change a white trim. 

 I find this works for most whites & you can control the depth of the shade you want by how much parisian essence you add ... from brown to just a slight off white ... the first 2 bobbles I tried grabbed at the mixture & went very brown so I just rinsed them under the cold tap.

Colleen's Garden:
I belong to a group in my rural area called Good Neighbours.  Although they meet once a month, this month was the first meeting I had managed to attend all year.
I especially wanted to go as it was held at Colleens home, not far from me.
I first posted about Colleen's garden here last year
I just adore visiting her garden with my camera - come join me on a little tour if you wish ...

Colleen & her husband David planted over 3,000 daffodil bulbs last year but they were still coming into full bloom when I visited last week

Some friendly ducks also wandered along to greet us
One of the definate highlights is Colleens swan, Elizabeth, who came to say Hello . . .

I love how you round a corner in the path & the little rustic Cottage appears in view across the pond . . . 
My son Kayne built the Cottage about 8 years ago as a gift from Colleen to her husband

Thanks so much for joining me today folks - I hope you enjoyed your little virtual tour of Colleens beautiful property

I hope you find some creative time in the coming week
Jinxy has been being rather umm ... "creative" in the lounge this morning . . .

Just helping Mum do some new displays . . . 

Thanks so much for your visits & the lovely comments you always leave me
with much love & friendship,
Julie x0x0

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Absolute Chaos Somedays ...

Hello dear friends & readers,

Gosh, where did July go to I ask you ??
I have just realised I have yet to turn two of my calendars over into August!!

There are definite signs of spring being just around the corner & things are coming to life in the garden ...

I replanted my two vege beds just after my return from the South Island at the beginning of May ...
(when my moon calendar told me it was very good planting time)

Finally we are getting some rewards & enjoying broccoli, cabbage or silverbeet with our dinner each night

Although the garden around the pond needs some serious care & attention, the fish are happy & the first daffy's are bursting into flower

We have  new Thyme, Chives, Marjoram, Bergamot but the Aloe Vera is not a new plant

I emptied out my old concrete wash tubs as the herbs had gone all woody . . . & replanted with some fresh new ones

There has been very little craft activity going on lately - but I did manage to finally complete the old tool carrier that I was attempting to paint last post ... with a little bit of help of course ...

I had purchased it quite some months ago from the Animal Care Op Shop - it had been $18 but the lady told me I could have it for $10 as it had sat for quite awhile

It was a nice solid piece but under about an inch of grime, so a good scrub, a light sand, a wax & 2 thick coats of paint ... (slapped on while the rascals were sleeping)

Then I added some embellishments ... my favourite part  :-)

As someone had engraved quite deeply the initials "J C" in one end, I mod podged some doilies over each end ...

I padded the base by covering a piece of corrugated cardboard with  thick wadding & then covering this with some vintage floral fabric

I was really happy with the end result ...

I am actually finding it quite difficult to spend time in my sewing room of late ...
 the 4 legged rascals appear to have claimed it as their own

When Little Blackie is not asleep on the ironing board, he is underneath it !!!

Little Jinxy spends a great deal of time up here ... cos if you look real closely in the distance of my photo, you will see the neighbours goat grazing the road verge ... most fascinating indeed!!!

We decided little Blackie was now big enough to go into the Vets for a "little operation" as he was becoming quite an aggressive tom cat.  However, getting him in the cage was another story altogether ... we had been trying for over 2 weeks & in the end I borrowed my friend Jan's bigger cage. I finally succeeded this week but OH the pandemonium when I shut the door!!!  After I had secured it, while waiting for The Mr to come & collect him, I snapped these photos of Jinxy "assisting him to escape" . . .
Warning ... these photos may be disturbing to some folk!!!

Honestly friends, it is such absolute chaos around here somedays ... I just have to try to make light of it & laugh or I fear I shall go quietly insane!!!
I must add that little Blackie has returned & is none the worse for his "little surgery" & now allows me to pat him & even purred this morning for the first time ever (yes I know ... such is my life!!!!)

Thanks so much for popping by today - I shall be back soon with some more creativity - fingers crossed!!!

A wee rest, thats what we all need,
with much love & friendship to you all,
Julie, Jinxy & Blackie x0x0x