Friday, 28 September 2012

Seeing Orange and Birthday thanks!

Thank you all so much for taking the time to leave such sweet b'day wishes for me.  I am so glad to know you as blogging friends!  I had a special fun day and lots of chocolate to top it all off!

Before I show you one of my special b'day gifts, I thought I'd share  a couple of pics.  This is what my craft room floor looks  like.  
I am trying to sort out my Fall decor items and got most of them out of storage bags/boxes etc.  I'm going to try grouping and placing them as I decorate. Maybe it's just a delusion but I'm trying to be organized!!

It's a sea of orange~

 I think I've enough pumpkin critters but I've still to go out this weekend and find some rose hip branches and foliage to add to it.

Now here's my special b'day gift - a new bench/table made especially for me by own dear Dad!  I'd hinted (just a little!) that I'd like one.  Dad is a carpenter/builder by trade and he's been making a new chicken coop so with left over wood, this is what he put together.  Needless to say, I'm thrilled with it!
I still need to sand it down but don't know whether to leave it as is for a rustic look, or to paint it or stain it.
I'd really appreciate you thoughts on it! 

The hole in the top is intentional -  when my dad served his apprenticeship as a carpenter, he got his own bench as did all joiners and they kept their tools in the base and used the bench to saw and plane timber on and drill holes into the woodVery often they drilled down in through the bench! I remember Dad's bench very well though he doesn't have it any more since retiring.

Thanks again for all your comments - it's good to know you're there!
Thanks so much!
Best wishes

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Another year slips away...

 September is slipping away just as quietly as the leaves are changing color and drifting from the trees.

And for me, another year has slipped by, almost as if I dreamt it.  Tomorrow is my 43rd birthdayI will be spending the day with my family: my mom and I will do some shopping and there just might be chocolate cake at tea time!

Here's what I've been stitchin' lately - a wool applique pillow - excuse the bright pic!

I made a more seasonally fitting dress for Kitty~

 In the hall I have a country style shelf with a heart cut out and as soon as I had finished this freebie Primitive Betty's punchneedle, I had a light bulb moment and stuck it over the heart - something I had wanted to cover for ages but couldn't find anything the right size.  Now I can change it seasonally.

And lastly I finished Purcee Pumpkin, a really handsome fella for Fall, (a Chestnut Junction pattern).

Have a great day!
Best wishes

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

New Harvest Cross Stitch Pattern!

I finally did it! This is my own design for harvest with a little verse I composed and set it in Berlin, Ohio ( because we had such a lovely trip there this summer!)
It is deliberately naive in style as if done by a child's hand. The colors I used are all autumnal hues of pumpkin and rust orange with tan beige and browns.
It is stitched on 28ct raw Belfast linen.

If you would like to purchase the pattern for £5.00, please email me at

Thanks so much!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Pumkin Love!!!!

Sewing has been a stress reliever the past few days. Maybe I need stressed out as I made more dolls and such this week than I have in ages! But seriously, this bathroom makeover is dragging on. This morning as I came home from dropping the kids off to school and the house was quiet, I heard a scary sound... drip....drip...drip...drip. I headed into the dining room and the floor was wet so I looked up and saw a row of water drops. Oh no! Oh yes - a pipe from the upstairs had a slow steady leak. To make matters worse, the plumber's van broke down on route to our house and it took 2 hours before he came to fix the pipe. It's all good now though, and thankfully there's no major damage.

The two dolls I showed in my last post were chillin' out in the mild September sun - if you guessed pumpkins you were right!!

Out in the sun drying out was a new prairie stump doll which is for sale on my selling blog.
Here she is all finished...

Close up of her dress and apron... (it is more tea stained than it looks in the pic)

But back to pumkin girl - she's from a Sweetpeas Primitives pattern - all dressed up for a wedding I thought... bouquet of dried Annie... her round head isn't too bad??

So today my two pumkin dolls united in wedded bliss!

A sweet couple dontcha think!!!
(As for the other guy she was on the sun lounger with earlier, I'm afraid she jilted him for the older fella!) He's now having treatment and will be as right as rain very soon. I'll keep you updated!

Thanks for all your suggestions on making rounder heads, I'm going to try them all and see what works best for me.
As for my tooth, it turns out it was a gum infection and is on the mend - thanks so much for your prayers.
And welcome to new followers, you are more than welcome and please leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

Have a great weekend

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Midweek Mayhem

It's a bit chaotic at our house this week to say the least. Or maybe it's just me stressing about having workmen in the house. At long last (I won't tell you how long to save DH's blushes!) our shower room is being given a remodel.
Funny, I thought I'd be more excited - I've been planning and hoping to see it all come together for ages but now it feels more like I'm gritting my teeth and wishing it was done and dusted.
Speaking of which there's far too much dust -ugh! - and it is like grit in my teeth from chipping off old tiles and plaster and now I feel a visit to the dentist coming on - I do not jest - that awful niggling pain has started again :-(

Anyhoo, I've started a couple of new dolls and do just keep a check on their progress for a special event I'm thinking of... no prizes though, for guessing what kind of dolls I'm making!!And if anyone can help I'd love to hear from you: how can I make my round doll's head round and ball like instead of flat on top?

I appreciate you all stopping by and taking the time to comment.
Here's hoping the dust settles and we all enjoy calmer times come the weekend!

Best wishes

Monday, 10 September 2012

Redware Tutorial

Since discovering primitive decorating, I have learned that there are many 'branches' to it.
It reaches out to include many arts and crafts, so many of which I have come to love such as quilting, punch needle, cross stitching, doll making, rug hooking which I'd love to learn. Then there's all the furniture and punched tin lamps, rugs and pottery, yellow ware and redware.

I admired some pieces on holiday but would not risk paying top dollar for a few pieces which would possibly be smashed in my suitcase on the plane journey home. But I'd toyed with the idea of painting some plates and seeing how they'd turn out. I

I've been on the lookout for flat, plain plates and the other day I dropped by our local goodwill store to leave in some clothes and spotted some plates and a pitcher. Yep, I thought, these will be perfect to experiment on as they cost mere pennies.

Surprisingly the whole process was quite easy and so much fun watching paint dry!!!
I already had some paint in the cupboard and got started right away with a rich red paint that was a sample pot from our local DIY store and I had some 'Papyrus' yellow in a tester pot as well as some varnish ~ here they are:

After making sure the plates were clean and dry I painted on the first coat of red. It took about 4 coats of paint to achieve a good coverage and each coat must be completely dry before adding the next.
Then I took the mustard/yellow paint and came up with this simple redware style pattern~

When this was all dry, I sealed it all with the antique pine varnish which stained it to a nice antique glazed finish and 'TA DAH' What do you think? I am really quite pleased with the end result.

So the other plate and jug were next. The plate was easy enough to do but the pitcher was tricky with all the curves and it's all to easy to chip off the underlying layers of paint but here's how I painted it~

Love stars so that went on this plate~

It really is fun to do! I'm heading back to the Goodwill store for more of those plates!
Let me know what you think! Thanks so much for your comments!
Have a great week!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Day out in the country

Today was European Heritage Open Day when the public is able to visit places of cultural and historic importance free of charge.

The weather was gorgeous so we packed a picnic and headed to County Armagh to see Ardress House, built in 1660 and added to in 1760 to become a more elegant farmhouse for the Irish gentry. It's set in beautiful countryside.

We were able to take a guided tour of the house but photography was not permitted. One part of the house is still lived in.

There is a wonderful farm museum in the stone outbuildings and an original cobblestone yard full of chickens.

The dairy was full of primitive crocks and churns and butter paddles that I could've taken home with me!
I really want the checkered feed sack - isn't it awesome!

Lots of poultry to welcome us into the farmyard~

Keeping a lid on things!!

Views over the surrounding countryside~
Ardress House is in the midst of County Armagh's apple orchard country. Mostly Bramley cooking apples are grown

Thanks for joining me for a glimpse into Irish farming life 200 years ago!
God bless you this weekend!