Saturday, May 29, 2010

A shabby chic weekend.

Hello blog chics. I trust you are all having a nice weekend in the sunshine, or not, if you live where I do. It's been raining cats and dogs here! I'll how you some of the cats further on!
Hubby and 'she who is proficient at separating eggs' have gone to Taupo to race their 1973 purple toyota corolla, and it will be almost freezing there with a wind chill factor of about minus 97, so I didn't go!!!

"She who is proficient at separating eggs' is also fairly proficient on a wet race track, so hopefully the car is still in one piece when they get back. Some times it's not, and Hubby emigrates to the bloke's shed for the next three weeks to fix it, and I don't see him except to feed him.

This is the view outside my kitchen window. There's a small tsunami in the bird bath created by the huge amounts of rain and wind.

So back to the Shabby Chic weekend. I stayed at home by the fire with the magpie cats.
But I have a confession to make. I was in Poppies book store on Friday, to take my mother in law shopping for books for the great Grandies first birthdays. She bought Richard Scary's The Great Pie Robbery for Cooper, and a beautiful little book called Rabbit's Blueberries (I think) for Lucy. I just LOVE Poppies book shop. They have such unusual books there. But I am supposed to be being extremely thrifty on account of being temporarily retired at the moment and a kept woman. But I have been covetting that latest Rachel Ashwell book SO much. I look at it every time I go to Poppies, and it's on my Amazon wish list, and ... you guessed it. I bought it!

It's beautiful. I just gazed at it all weekend, and read it from cover to cover. The text is a bit same old same old if you've read her other books, but the photos and the styling, and the lovely Shabby Chicness are just the stuff of dreams. Magpie Chic is really shabby chic without the celebrities I think, and on a much smaller budget.

This is my favourite page, but I couldn't get the blogger to pick up that I've rotated the picture, so you'll all just have to turn sideways to look at it. It's the gorgeous shabby chic prom dresses.

The Magpie Cats know when I am home alone, and both get on my bed in the morning to read Rachel Ashwell. Normally they wouldn't have a bar of each other. But they do both get up there when I'm on my own. Funny how they know.The ginger cat also tries to eat my toast!

This is my one and only shabby chic prom dress. But I have my eye on a fantastic blue tulle one in my favourite vintage shop, but alas it costs more than that jolly Rachel Ashwell book!!!
'She who is proficient at separating eggs' chose this one for her first "prom". It looked wonderful on. I had the matching coloured gloves too, but she drew the line at that!

This part of my post should really be called a hundred ways with table cloths! But really it's just two ways, so can't exaggerate. I use all the scraps in my raggy ballerina quilt, which is still under construction.

These tablecloths were in my "box of serendipity" from the auction mart a few weeks ago.
I blogged about it here.

I'm totally into fabric roses at present. I embellish everything that can stand embellishing with them. I stay up way too late at night sewing this stuff because I'm very pre-occupied during the day just being me, and going from one thing to another. Then I think, well I really should actually sew that instead of just looking at back issues of Victoria and being totally inspired, but producing nothing....
I have a guest blog thingy to write for a Uk website called shopaholic too, which I'm intensively planning in my head, but also that's where it's stayed, all week now. It'll be about up-cycling vintage fabric and op-shop finds into kid's clothes. So I'll put a link up when that goes on, because I'm so excited that they asked me. They gave me their editors new blog pic of the month award too, which was so exciting, 'cos now I know not just my Mum reads it LOL!

This is what I'm planning to make for Lucy's birthday, and I have exactly about 24 hrs to finish it and get it in the post!!! So better get that one out of my head and onto the sewing machine too, but first I just have to watch Ruth save a Country House!!! I love how mean she is to the people, and how they are so eccentric they don't even notice!
See ya.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A box of serendipity and some re-arranging.

I have new treasures.
Some are things I already had, but had put away,
or forgotten about in one of my Miss Haversham corners.
Some are things I got in a box of serendipity from the auction mart the other day.
Some have been excavated from cupboards I've been emptying and tidying.
Every year I seem to be overcome by a need for autumn cleaning,
setting things to rights before the winter starts.
Some of the blog chics describe it as shopping your basement or shopping your attic...
which I like, even though I don't have a basement; or an attic.
I love the idea of an attic. I'd hide up there if I had one, eating apples, and have a stash of House and Garden magazines to read.
This little fellow reminds me of the Cath Kidston Stanley dog.

I re -arranged this corner with some glass bud vases from the box of serendipity,
my lovely Tamsin Cooper broach, and one of my new rose dishes, also from the box.
I found these "swaps" in a drawer that I hadn't cleaned out since 1998. (They used to belong to my sister.) I know this because I also found a book list that I remember putting in there last time I cleaned it out; dated 1998. A bit like opening a time capsule. No Miss Haversham spiders in there thank goodness!

These little fellows followed me home from a second hand shop in Eltham a few weeks ago.
Just the cat and the collie dog. The others I had as a child, but they have just come back to my place after many years living at my Mum's house. They used to come free in the brand of toothpaste we bought in the early seventies. My sister was a very serious collector of them, and still has her collection. I didn't take it quite so seriously, so only these few survived.
I bought the cat and the collie dog because they reminded me so much of Beatrix Potter 's Tom Kitten and her collie dog. Can't remember his name. Was it Shep?

You've meat this little bunny before. She's ever so photogenic.

She came from the local Hospice Shop the same week I got the china animals.

These lovelies came in the box of serendipity,
along with some linen tablecloths (more of them later),
some of an Alfred Meakin dinner service, which is quite ugly,
and some lovely glass bits and pieces including the bud vases.

I was very excited by this tea cover (is that what you all them? They are a fine organza type fabric and you throw them over the scones and jam and cream so the flies don't alight and help themselves.)
It's very kitch and obviously 1950s or 60s. I've never come across one quite like it before.
I love it's kitchiness, and that it is uniquely New Zealand. Probably made for the tourist market I think because it has tourist like scenes of traditional Maori life, chocolate box style.

I love it. I don't think I'll ever find another one.
Thanks for calling in blog chics. Happy hunting in your attics, and don't forget to remove the apple cores, 'cause they aren't very nice when you come across them next time...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Once there was a little yellow bunny...

Once there was a little yellow bunny who was bought from the op shop for 50 cents.

She was a cheerful little bunny, in a very sunny shade of yellow.

She made friends in the garden with the other bunnies - except they didn't say much.
She thought they must just like to play statues a lot.

She kept a look out for other yellow things, of a more ferocious nature...
that might also be in the garden.

On occasions she hid from the ferocious things behind a rose bush - but not very well!

Nasturtium leaves work better. And they make good umbrellas if it rains!

Next she hopped up on the sewing trolley, to try it our for size.

And posed amongst the tea things...

And cuddled up to the Granny rug, which she
noted now had two completed rows.

Then it was time for tea...

And sticky date puddings with caramel sauce.
Which she ate with a runcible spoon ...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cars and Trucks and Things That Go.

This book has legend status in our family. It's onto it's second

generation of legend status in fact.

It was my little brother's favourite, my own children's favourite,

and now one of the favourites of my little brother's boys

(along with The Wonkey Donkey, and Where the Wild Things Are and Bob the Builder!).

Alister Cookie, brother to The Woozle and Oliver Pickles, turned two last week.

So I wanted to make him something really special.

When I saw this material you can guess what it reminded me of...

Can you find Goldbug in the picture?

Officer Flossy is my fav.

That's her disappearing of the page

with her stop sign.

Probably after Maniac Bug again.

Boy did they listen when she yelled STOP!

Except for Maniac Bug. He just kept right on going.

I used this Top Kids Mag from the late 1990's early 2000s.

I used them a lot for my kids, and the patterns are still really funky,

and easy to trace, and make up very well.

The instructions for sewing however, are another matter entirely,

and I just give up and go by instinct.

They are SO long-winded

and just end up sounding like Charlie Brown's mother ...wah wah wah.

I made the little formal shirt pattern from this page.

So cool I think! I'm sure Officer Flossy would approve.

Thanks for stopping by Blog Chics.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Tale of Two Rivers.

It was a misty, moisty morning, and cloudy was the weather, as they say, and I was off to the Waikato again yesterday, for another transplant clinic appointment with my son.

This is the tale of two Rivers. The Awakino and the Waikato.

It begins at the Awakino, as I travel through the Awakino gorge,

just as the light brakes properly

through the low hanging mist and fog.

You can't actually see the river in these photos, but it's there, behind the sheep and the woolsheds.

You know about my obsession with woolsheds, so you won't be surprised to find them here.

I've been considering my options, being retired for nearly a week now,
and I think what I'd really like would be
for someone to offer me the job as front person for Country Calender.
It's a rural magazine programme, and an institution in it's own right.
It's also New Zealand's longest running TV programme,
kicking off with the beginning of TV here in 1960.
I fancy swanning around in the High Country
in my RM Williams boots and moleskins,
talking to farmers and looking on during the autumn muster.
Of course I'd only wear proper bone coloured moleskins,
any other colour being just for townies and poseurs...

I particularly like the shape of this one.

The journey ends at the Waikato River, in the city of Hamilton.

The light had broken through the fog, and turned into a beautiful day.

My friend Connie emailed tonight and said that today the fog never lifted in Hamilton, and she felt cold for the first time this year.

This is a memorial garden down by the river bank near where Callum lives.

We went there so I could get river shots, but we found a lot more of interest.

Callum says this is his "Christian Rock Band " reference.

Apparently they stare off into the middle distance on their album covers and music videos.

Maybe that signifies contemplation of God or something, I don't know, but I think it is a very contemplative thing to do anyway, for an album cover ...

This is one of the other interesting things we found.

Neither of us had any idea that it was there.

There was a remembrance wall for both world wars.

Callum said, "are these all the people who died?"

I think it was a shock. These people are Hamilton's list only.

The complex loyalties of a Colonial past.

And then there was the Boer War.

Where Britain went, New Zealand went.

But then, they weren't called "World Wars" for nothing I suppose.

And Darwin did get very close to being invaded, so needs must I guess.

This is the Waikato from the bottom of Callum's garden.

From where, if you listen carefully, you may hear the bones of your ancestors calling to you.

It was a day all about bones and ancestors really.
Callum will probably go back on the transplant list this month, but it will be at least six months before we get a date.

Just have to accept that it will be for the best, but it is hard. I just want to fix him.

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