Projects and Happy Mail :)

I seem to be forever posting this past two weeks….nothing for months then too many.

The first thing I need to do is say “THANK YOU so much” to the dear, sweet blogging friend (who wishes to remain nameless) who trolled my site to get a link for a family member’s lavender farm and sent these as a most lovely gift. I am not sure what I did to deserve such a pressy but what a gorgeous surprise, I am truly touched. Big,big hugs to you know who you are 🙂

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I finished the bird house and Roger added a couple of old wood and cast iron handrails around it. These had been lying around for years.

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I am still working on these and will show before and afters when finished. Loving the map drawers 🙂

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Last weekend we went to a couple of garage sales. One was a tumbly down old garage full of boxes and old crates of all sorts of man stuff. But I did see some boxes I needed. Roger filled them with junk handy stuff to have and asked for a price. Only $10 for the lot. See the one in the bottom corner, it ended up in the basement and I need to find it, it’s fantastic (if you love old boxes)

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Emptied, scrubbed and dried, my new SOAP MOLDS!!!!!! What joy, they are on their way to being filled as we speak.

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In one of the boxes was a long chain which Roger knew I had been looking for to go with this plate I picked up years ago for just a few cents. It had holes in the sides, no use for much but being pretty but I did get an idea off Pinterest last year.

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A bird feeder 🙂

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 Funny thing which I must add just while I am here before I forget. Does anyone else look at the search engine part their stats to see what leads people to their site? Most find it through searching for Tumeric to  Whten Teeth…thousands. But one last week got me ” Rubbing soap on legs descise drugrunners”. Mmmm!!!!

Blog Hop Around the World

Pauline, The Contented Crafter invited me to take part in this blog hop. Pauline is a fellow Kiwi and a talented artist who sells her lovely work on Etsy. I won these beautiful cards in a giveaway when she first had them printed and I treasure them.

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She is also mother to the most gorgeous new wee puppy Siddy and a most precious ginger cat called Orlando (featured in this middle card above) and I read her posts of the antics between these two with many giggles. Pauline is a kind and generous lady with a great sense of humour. Do check out her blog, she’s a sweetie 🙂 I must admit to feeling anxiety when Pauline nominated me. As she wrote in her introduction, I don’t think of myself as being particularly creative. I used to be many years ago, I was always an avid knitter –  over different periods I made rag dolls, handsewn patchwork, did folk art and knitted tiny lacy layettes for antique dolls with crochet cotton. but I hadn’t done anything at all for years, I am only just starting to make “stuff” again.

 

 

So the questions I have to answer are:

 

 

WHY DO I CREATE WHAT I DO?

I have no one hobby that I am great at. Either, I have a desire to make something prettier (the little cabinet) I have a need for something in particular and would rather make my own (soaps, skin balms, lotions etc) Roger asks me to paint something for him (the birdhouse he wanted painted as a traditional cottage) I want to see if I can  (paintings and drawings) or I have something that I’d like to re-use (broken china from the quakes made into mosaics) seemed a good idea at the time (the cat bed).

HOW DOES MY CREATIVE PROCESS WORK?

Well it depends 🙂 I am confident in the kitchen so I guess that’s where I am most creative. Food holds no issues, making things with oils and herbs is something I enjoy and get “into”. Some things I will simply give it a go and be happy with an ok finish, some things I have collected materials or tools for but don’t know the HOW’S yet – I would love to try many different things. I draw pictures for my granddaughter and enjoy the fact I don’t have to do perfect for an 8 year old. Painting on the other hand gets me stuck but it’s the one thing I would like to do well…I get frustrated by it 🙂 I don’t want lessons,  I want to learn through my own processes but then get hung up on being unable to ever complete them. The painting above of the vase of flowers is something I have got wrong in some areas and still haven’t finished because I don’t know how to make them right. I can see what the problems are but…..!

HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF IT’S GENRE? How does one answer this lol. It doesn’t. I generally copy someone else’s ideas, recipes or pictures while I am learning and I have much to learn in many areas. A couple of ways I may be a little different are that I like to create pretty spaces and inexpensive decor from things I find in nature.

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I also love the look of rusty barbed wire, lichen covered recycled wood etc. Roger recently made this because I wanted one and couldn’t do it, HE enjoyed making it alot.

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These materials lie as scrap everywhere on the farm he works on so we would like to use it 🙂 He is now making a large celtic cross. My ultimate desire would be to make barbed wire and beaded corsets (about as “different” as one could be!) but I cannot bend the stuff. How very kind is my rather rugged man who offers to make the corset if I show him how I want it…..I probably couldn’t make him go through with that 🙂

WHAT AM I PRESENTLY WORKING ON?

The bird house pictured above and a small set of map drawers I am decoupaging. I have also just discovered soapmaking and have two batches curing and have plans for others.

So, that’s enuff about me.

I would like to introduce you to another two bloggers whose work I admire, Lois at living-simply-free.com  oawritingspoemspaintings.wordpress.com who unfortunately can’t participate because she is committed at present to other things but is happy for me to share her blog with you. Lois is a passionate environmentalist and I always find her posts enlightening and thought provoking. She also works magic on neglected furniture, saving them from landfills and restoring them for those who can use them. projectIcon She sews and does the most loveliest of crochet (and all sorts of other things!) for her grandchildren. princess dress

Photos copied with permission, thanks Lois

Oawitingpoemspaintings is an artist, a photographer 🙂 a poet, a writer, a gardener, a thinker. Photo used with permission, please do check out this great blog.

Living life to its fullest! ©copyright2014owpp

 

Making new from old….and homemade Mod Podge

A month or so ago I showed a little cupboard I had started repainting, one that my son almost threw out. I wanted to turn it in to something my granddaughter might like but or I would rather have inside (depending on how it turned out!) then I didn’t like my paint job 🙂 I decided to decoupage it. Anyway this is it before:Image

My husband pinched a short length of cane from the back of a cane bookcase to replace the missing one, I painted it, covered it, attacked it with sandpaper to shabby it up a bit and applied a couple of coats of Mod Podge.Image

Mod Podge is a horrific price here in New Zealand – $20 for a wee pot of it. As I have never tried the real stuff I have nothing to compare the results with but from my very unexperienced eye I am happy with the surface.

Mod Podge:

1 cup Elmer’s or PVA Glue

1/2 cup cold water

2 tablespoons clear varnish

Mix all together and store in glass jar.

The price for much more than a jar or Mod Podge was around $3.

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I love the look of rusty barbed wire and old timber. Rustic and shabby are my favourite styles in decorating…which is good because it’s cheap, or sometimes free. Overall though I guess you could say we are eclectic collectors of junk 🙂 Roger works on a farm that has heaps of discarded “materials” everywhere so he brings home bits and pieces sometimes.

6 months ago he made me this kitchen shelf to hold bigger things I had no storage for. It was made from old farm gates and posts.Image

And a few weeks back he made me this 🙂

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And maybe everyone will wonder why on earth I love this but I have no idea….I just DO love it. We went to help someone clean up their section around 5 years ago. They own an old country pub/cafe and this was in a skip. It was much bigger and is solid wood and quite weathered. Much to my husband’s consternation I asked if I could have it for the kitchen wall. He cut it down for me to fit but it’s still very large. It came down in the quakes and we are about to put it back up.

About as eclectic as it gets adding this to the bunch lol

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Heart stones, mosaics and pictures.

I seem to have developed a preoccupation for hearts. I mentioned last month I had tried mosaics for the first time and readers asked to see them…I still have to grout the last one so hadn’t shown photos yet. We learn (I certainly do!) by trial and error, the pink one was my first ever and pieces were too far apart, The second a little better, the coloured one much better but still unfinished.

I collect heart shaped stones and rocks, they are everywhere. I decided to cover some of these for my first mosaic efforts.

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Two paintings I did for my granddaughter’s room at her Dad’s. One has yet to have to words put on. I shamefully copied these from a beautiful artist whose work is on the net and to whom I am no threat whatsoever, so I do hope she never minds! In the original the fairy is blowing bubbles and I substituted with hearts.

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About six months ago we bought a secondhand sewing machine for $25. I can sew for haven’t for many years so have been looking at it with some anxiety about using the thing. But a couple of weeks ago I saw these pieces of fabric in a thrift shop and bought them, I had visions of a basket of homemade hearts with maybe lace and some hessian. I don’t know where this things for hearts has come from, funny how things just develop within.

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My mum died a couple of months ago, when I saw this set in a shop window I decided to treat myself to something new…it took me all of ten minutes to decide to buy them lol. These 3 hearts represent my mum, dad and sister who have all passed in recent years. They are enamel with birds and roses on.

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Two hearts I found at the beach on Saturday, yet to find their place. Not perfect but heart enough.Image

When we moved here Roger was building the new bridge down the road, he’s a concretor by trade. We had no money to spare and he felt guilty because he hadn’t got me anything for my birthday. At work that day he made me this. It was our first year together and I was very impressed by this! Few men on a building site would stop to make their wife a large heart. Apparently the comments of his workmates were to the tune of “Oh man….that’s cool dude”, and “Your missus is a pretty lucky lady, mate” with a pat on the back.

No one made fun of him but he wouldn’t have cared less anyway lol

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And just because I think this is pretty cool but apparently it has a hidden meaning for me only, lol, I am showing you my angel stone I found on the beach.

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These still need some finishing but….

…this is what I have been doing today (I paint  when I can get the courage lol) These are the first paintings I have done in 17 years and have taken months to get back to – I wanted to show Linne  🙂 They still need a bit more work but getting there.

This is a picture of a vase of flowers in the lounge and I have struggled with the flowers but will keep on:Image

This is a picture copied off the net:

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And I have been doing pictures to send my granddaughter in the mail each week, this is this weeks 🙂

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