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I live in a little wooden bungalow with my 3 darlings and Dulcie lives in the shed.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Rona's Throw Out Made Good!

Clean and ready for action.

This cardigan was found outside an Op Shop in the free 'Please take this away' box.  I immediately spotted it had vintage potential mainly because of the perfectly old shabby pink colour.  I picked it up.  Someone called Rona had scribbled their name inside the collar.  I knew whoever she was she would be pleased with the project I had in store for her castoff. Back at home and all lavender lovely from the wool wash I set about chopping the cardigan up.   

Measure twice cut once!
Firstly I turned it inside out then I stitched along the bottom hem and then in from the side seams to fit snugly around the cushion inner that I already had.  I have found that most jumpers and cardigans are easier to fit to oblongs.

Next I sewed across the top of course hopefully leaving the right amount of space to fit in the cushion pad.  The buttons up the front of the cardigan make the perfect opening so no need to bother with a zip or any other complications and there you have it.  With very little bother I have a lovely almost free upcycled vintage cushion to cosy up my home with.  Any way must dash ... I am off to find my next more dash than cash project!

Outdoor comfort.

Button side up.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

We're Jamming! Rhubarb and Ginger to be precise........

  I wanna jam it with you,  were jamming, jamming, I hope you like jamming too!  Always  have this Bob Marley song in the back of my mind whilst I make jam.  Slightly  incongruous maybe! Anyway I loved this jam,  it turned out delicious and surprised  quite a few Rhubarb haters!!

You will need the following ingredients:

1kg Pink Rhubarb, trimmed weight.

1Kg Jam sugar (which has added pectin )  I just used ordinary sugar so my jam was quite loosely set which I seem to prefer.
Zest and juice of 1 Lemon (can add more lemon juice for added pectin).
50g Stem or Crystallised ginger,  finely chopped.
4cm piece ginger peeled.

I like to put all the ingredients into the fridge over night to macerate and let all the flavours infuse, it makes me feel like I am adding a secret ingredient and it feels very 'celebrity chef' but the recipe doesn't say to do that so it is possibly  an unnecessary flight of fancy. Before I start I put a small saucer (vintage of course!) in the freezer ready to test if the jam is setting. Next I bring all the ingredients to a boil and then for around 20 minutes or less keep it at a rolling simmer. Stirring it and after about 10 minutes I start checking for thickening and setting. Much better to have runny preserve like jam than tough toffee like jam. At least runny is yummy on ice cream! My mum used to put a knob of butter in her jam to disperse the scum that forms on the top and I do this too.  Again the recipe doesn't tell you to do this.  So up to you.  It worked for Mum and so I do it for sentimental reasons plus it seems to do the trick. I find testing for setting the tricky bit. A blob of boiling jam on the chilled saucer and if you can swipe your finger through the middle and the two halves don't run back together then its a go!  Please find the proper instructions here:-


Then I put the hot jam  into your sterilized jars.  I boil the jars in a large pan to sterilise.  I have a recently purchased a special jam funnel which helps to fill the jars with less catastrophic mess than I otherwise create!

Once the lid is on my trick is to cool the jam with the jars upside down.  When cool turn the jars the right way up and this should suck down the lid and form a perfect seal.  Keeping the jam nice and fresh for the longest time. Of course finally comes time to eat your delicious creation on lovely crusty buttery toast with a hot cuppa would be my personal recommendation!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Washi Tape, Washi Tape, I Love Washi Tape!!

Almost edibly sweet!
Running an errand in town took me past the Red Cross shop.  Well of course I did not go past I went in!! I got a lovely Japanese horse tile for HORSE -mad Stella and an old fashioned  white silk ribbon wrapped lucky horse shoe which may be incorporated somehow in her upcoming ' pony party '. I also got an old picture frame for 50c.  Here it is ... thought I would paint it for Stella but when I got home I instead decided I would wrap some of my Washi tape around it.  I have found this stuff well nigh impossible to buy in New Zealand up until recently, in the shops that is, of course. Online shopping is an option but fripperies like these tapes are more likely to catch me on a whim in the flesh than online where postage and card transactions etc leave me time to come to my senses! Anyway this little project took me around 10 minutes and then I put a lovely Mabel Lucie Atwell,  picture in the frame and I was finished.  Crafty happiness for just over 50c!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Doilie, doily, doyley, doiley, d’oyley or d’oilie?

I was wondering since I had so many of the darn things if I was spelling the name doilie correctly and whilst searching for the answer I came across the following snippet on The Dreamstress blog all abut the history of the word doilie! http://thedreamstress.com/2011/06/doilie-doily-doyley-doiley-doyley-or-doilie/.  I often wonder at the lives of the people who put so many hours of painstaking effort into these beautiful little works of art and how different my life is and how I barely have time or the knowledge to make anything let alone something so intricately complicated. This weeks creative pinnacle was to merely glue a doilie onto an old battered stool. A very simple idea but as you can see in the photos it looks interesting and evokes for me just enough pretty but not enough to be cloying.  I always love the juxtaposition between opposing forces, bitter sweet, old and new, love and hate it excites my senses indeed!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Pimp my Suitcase

Not going anywhere!

Not a very lovely thing is it this old battered suitcase?  We moved not very long ago and I ended up collecting a lot of these type of retro cases from op shops cheaply instead of spending money on packing boxes (I spent a lot of time loitering furtively behind shops and befriending delivery men in pursuit of cardboard boxes as well!).   Anyhow I don't need packing cases anymore but as always in my house we do need storage, storage and storage.  Here is what I made for little Stella's room. Pink is the order of the day and so after a liberal slosh of 'Lipstick' pink I cut out some flowers from a Cath Kidston book I had and Bob's your uncle as they say.  A new receptacle for the dolly clothes which up until now have lived on the floor and under the bed and sometimes up the hall.  Also if the dolls want to go on their hols anytime soon their clothes are all packed and ready.  I have been commissioned by my little boy for a more manly version for all his artworks.  I think this idea will be useful in my sewing room for all the odds and sods I collect to make things out of and can never find when the moment arrives!  Here is the result ....cheap but cheerful.........sounds a bit like me! x

Off on new adventures!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Styling Vintage with Dulcie Green!

One of the best days I have enjoyed so far this year was when my wonderful friend Florence came to stay. Not just fun because we always have so much exciting stuff to talk about but also because I got to exercise my styling muscle and Florence got to do what she loves most, take exquisite photos!!! I have so many vintage props at my disposal from years of collecting that it's easy to create whimsical scenes for her to capture on camera, we have had lots of fun photo shoots in the past but this time was special.  This time Dulcie Green my little Ford Transit MK1 and the inspiration for my blog was to be the star of the show!! The theme of course was Vintage!!!! What else? Florence is an accomplished and talented photographer you can see more of her gorgeous work at http://fotographiebyflorence.blogspot.co.nz .

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Darling Doilies!

Doilies are something I cannot resist when I am out trawling the op shops which is a pastime I love to indulge in on a very regular basis.   They are often inexpensive and they are always examples of amazing crochet/lace-making skills and I feel that somehow it is my duty to 'save' them from extinction (my excuse!) The thing is not only am I on a mission to save the doilies of this planet but my darling Mummy must have felt the same way because I have inherited stacks and stacks from her as well. So something must be done with the veritable Everest of linen froufrou teetering dangerously in my arty farty shed.  So today my 15 seconds of craft was devoted to turning this plain old op shop cushion............
Into this beauty!!! ................. De na!

Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder and maybe the beholder just sees a plain old cushion with an old crochet doily sewn on it but hey indulge me!!! I always feel satisfied when I have had a little creative outlet in the day and for today this was it!!!