Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Waving my brush around . . .

Good rainy afternoon dear friends & readers

Since my return from Mums I have been waving my brush around
. . . my paint brush that is . .  .
. . .  Not my hair brush (hmm,  mores the pity). . . 
prior to going away I had begun a couple of projects & I wanted to get these completed & also attempt some new ones

When I helped my friend shift shops back in February lots of bits & pieces got loaded onto the Mr's ute to be taken to the dump
Me ... being the Steptoe that I am ... unloaded some of it!!
This shelf looked like it could do with a makeover

It had come with a range of soft toys that Gail had in her shop
& was in a the shape of a teddy bear

My friend Elaine had told me about this technique she uses to wax & then distress things, & I was keen to try it & also I figured that - if it went wrong - I had nothing to lose!!!!

I waxed the unit first with an old white wax candle rubbing on all the corners & pieces I thought I may want to sand later
then I painted the topcoat straight on - no undercoat

Because it was a type of plywood it really soaked up the paint
so I ended up having to give it 3 coats in the end
then when it was dry, I set to with my paint scraper

note to self ...  treat yourself to a shiny new paint scraper!!!

I didnt take too much off initially & just sort of decided as I went along - taking a little bit more here & there
I wanted a sort of timeworn, vintagey, distressed look
(yes, rather like myself you are thinking!!!)
Honestly folks ... it is soooo much easier than the sanding method
it just glides off where you have waxed
Thanks so much Elaine - now you have got me well & truely hooked!!!!!

this is the finished shelf being used in my sewing room to hold my baskets of fabrics & tidy up the clutter on my desk

As it is kind of jammed into a corner, the photos dont really do it justice 
 I was really happy with the teddy bears "arms" detailing on the side which I had waxed around

I came across these lovely patchwork letters from here

& treated myself to some for the top of it

all handmade & in a variety of colour combinations :-)
I was very happy with my shelf that I "saved" from the dump

My next "waxing" project were these 2 Op Shop finds

 -  from the SPCA Op shop, while I was down at Mums

I waxed/painted them both & then made the bowl into a pincushion  -

using a selection of fabrics & laces I already had ...

I am rather in love with this pincushion :-)

My final project was yet another throw-out from Gails shop
a little mahogany table - nothing very inspiring ...

A light sand to remove varnish, then my candle waxing again
& a couple of coats of paint

Yes I have embellished the poor swan with the "repaired" neck

& it keeps company with a lovely vintage sewing box given to me by my friend Claire 
This little table sits in front of the planter stand I gave a "make-over" to back in January - this piece was done the labour intensive way using sandpaper & lots of elbow grease

When I look at this floral plant pot I always smile to myself
I well remember the customer off the bus group last year
She gave me a right royal "telling off" for having "that valuable  china jardiniere" out in your garden!!!!
"Oh thank you" I said - thinking to myself ... "is now a good time to tell her I bought it from The Warehouse for $19.95 ???!!!"
(she should be pleased with me anyway, I have it inside now)

Finally, on the weekend, my son Kane came & built me some handrails for my cottage steps
I had been wanting some for ages - we had never put any there when we built the cottage & it had become evident that I needed something for the elderly visitors to help them get up the steps

this photo was taken last spring but shows how I only had the poles going down & also a rather cluttered entranceway to get up the steps

Kane also reframed & re-concreted in the steps for me
It was amazing to see the rabbit tunnels underneath them!!!
(quite a little rabbit village going on under my cottage!!!)

I am really pleased with the handrails & I have moved all my clutter off the steps to the garden at the sides making it much easier access

Well folks the rain has stopped so I need to go out & garden some more as I have a big group coming this Saturday . . . 
A Clan Gathering !!!!!
bringing their afternoon tea to have in the garden
(incidently the weather forecast is for torrential rain!!!!)
I do hope you will be inspired to try this waxing technique next time you are wanting to revamp a piece of furniture.
Wishing you a wonderful week wherever in the world you are :-)
Julie Xoxoxo
(thanks SO much for stopping by)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Visiting with Mum

Hello dear friends & readers

I have been away for a week to visit my Mum :-)
However, I have been home for a week now & had not planned to be this long between posts ...
but while I was at Mums my camera had a "hissy fit"
then when I got home my computer decided to have a "hissy fit"!!
then yesterday when my sewing machine had a "hissy fit". . . 
I very nearly had my own massive Hissy Fit -
and threw the lot out the window!!!!!!!!

Now - thankfully - normality is restored :-)
(well - as normal as we know it)

One of the highlights of visiting with Mum is that my friend Claire lives down there
Claire invited me for lunch one day - I accepted with enthusiasm
(to be honest with you - I would accept even if Claire told me she didnt actually feel like speaking with anyone that day & I could just visit & wander around her house!!!!!!)
Visiting with Claire is always such a tonic & an inspiration
& was exactly what I needed
I didnt know it at the time, but she had invited her Mum and also Michelle who had joined us from here
we had the most lovely time together
this was the table where we ate our lunch

Yes - I fretted about eating off a quilt!!!!
Michelle had made THE most lovely raspberry muffins & bought them in a colander with a doiley under them !!!
How perfect

Our serviettes on plates :-)

Claires Easter display

Eating by candlelight for lunch ???  Yes I could get used to this!!!

Michelle wrote a post about our day here 

More eye candy

bunting made from vintage handkerchiefs/brooches

I never tire of looking at Claires displays - she just has this amazing instinct for putting treasures together - many of them are Op Shop finds
She had re-decorated her bedroom since my last visit...

And I can see why she feels like she is "on vacation" when she sleeps in here !!!
Also her spare room has had a make-over . . . 

It was just stunning with its colourways & its feature wall

She had just completed another room the day before our visit
This was where my camera had its first "moment"
but Michelle had captured some really good photos on her blog
I did get these couple . . .

                        of her lamp she had "embellished"

And this quilt actually matches her sewing machine
sitting in front of it!!!!   :-)

Michelle & I pulled this gorgeous basket out from under a dresser
& offered to "go halves" sharing it between each other

beautiful vintage laces wound onto old music paper & vintage wooden spools
(Claire - if it goes missing .... it may well be at my house!!!)

The visit was such a treat - thanks Claire & Michelle & Nancy
& best of all ... they let me sit there talking about the fat fluffy for ages too !!!!!!!  (thanks so much girls xxx)

While I was down there Mum turned 84 :-)
I had stitched her this cushion over Easter - I told her there were lots of tears stitched into the fabric as Mr Wolf had just passed away - Mum LOVED her cushion :-)
(by 84 it kinda gets hard to know what to give them)

This was a Natalie Bird design but I changed the verse as it was written about "friends"
also it was a bolster cushion but I knew Mum wouldn't be into the bolster style so I altered that
& I changed the words to relate to "mum"

(I used a variegated thread to stitch this & was a little disappointed in the result - the Mr asked me why it was ":faded" in some places - Mum, thankfully, didnt notice)

Mum & I travelled many miles this visit - on one occasion I took her down to Foxton to visit her brother (who is 86)
we also visited family gravesites at Palmerston North

Mum commented that her sisters grave was looking "very old"
I reminded her that little Yvonne did, in fact, pass away in 1936!!!

While I was down there I did indulge in some retail therapy
of course, for me, this mainly means Op Shopping
some of my bargains included . . . 

THIS gorgeous little oven cloth - I loved the applique detailing on it
- & all for 50 cents !!!!!

This lovely little swan with a "repaired" neck which I shall disguise

This little verse appealed to me - from a craft shop in Sanson

this little "planter" was just ideal for my vintage kitchen utensils & sits perfectly on my egg holder

And THIS lovely box made from old rulers (which was NOT an Op Shop purchase) but was bought brand new to hold bits & bobs on my sewing desk :-)  (I could NOT resist)

Since I have been home I have battled with my sewing machine & only achieved one completion
which was this cushion made from the doiley I purchased back in January, from Raglan
I had in mind to make a squashy cushion for my chair for the winter

And I especially didnt want to cut this doiley up!!!

Finally friends, I just wanted to say Thank You to you all for all your lovely, very kind comments on my last post
your heartfelt words wrapped themselves around me at a very sad time & made me feel comforted
I miss the fat fluffy more than I could ever have imagined
Yesterday while mowing, I saw a birds nest on the lawn
& upon inspection, I noticed it had lots of his fur wound around inside the very middle of it
I liked to think that he was still "giving back" even though he is no longer with us

to all creatures, great & small :-)
Thanks - as always - for stopping by 
Have a great rest of the week everyone
much love/hugs/friendship
Julie Xoxo