Aug 26, 2011

Bathrooms, Buys and Bobbins.

 (Yeah, I managed to get some alliteration going in my title...!)

A wee display just for my (and your ) viewing pleasure!
 Bird finds; found nests and remnants of eggs, feathers and a gull's skull.  The feeding blue-tit ornament is chalkware , made by Bossons, England and dates from 1968.  Super detailed.
 I have had the white ceramic vase for many years, it has no marks but I suspect it is Crown Lynn.
The old wooden bobbins with sewing thread have such beautiful shades with lovely names; the 2 small Sylko bobbins are "ice-blue" and "light kingfisher".

And now the big thing happening at my place, courtesy of Mr. D.I.Y. himself;
It's the Bathroom Make-over!!
Don't worry, he's done this before, twice actually.

This new house has a bathroom.With a bath.
We don't take baths, we like showers.
 This new house also has a shower. 2 as a matter of fact. One tiny cramped one right next to our bedroom, it's very 70's, with 3 brown tinted glass sliding doors and no room to move without banging your head, elbows or other parts. Also no heater or extractor fan, or storage for clothes, towels etc, so you have to get dressed in the bedroom.
The other shower is just as awkward downstairs in 1 of the bedrooms, and is exposed to the room over the top of a little wall. So the whole room gets steamed up!
An entire bathroom solely used to brush you teeth in, is just a waste of space, right?

We think so.
Out with the bath!
If we want a long hot soak we will go to Ocean Spa or go to my brother's spa pool , where we can lay under the stars and play 'spot the satelites'.
 And out with the lino.
We want tiles this time!
And out with that little cupboard in front, so there will be more space for the shiny new shower. Bye to the wall lining, cause all the plumbing has to be changed and we can add some insulation in the walls. And more tiling.
And away with that basin and vanity unit. We are having a beautiful recycled hardwood (rimu) shelf with 2 green glass bowls and funky taps.
Don't worry ; the real plumber will come to connect the very important stuff.
The ceiling panels are gone too now, and we already have some halogen spot lights, cause it would be good to have a light in there. There was only a little fluorescent tube above the mirror.
Mr. D.I.Y. is having so much fun playing demolition man!
But he's only allowed to do 1 room at a time.....

Last weekend I took myself and my friend M. off to Palmerston-North to the Fabricabrac Market to sell our unwanted fabrics. M. was a professional dressmaker and loves to quilt, so she turned out to have quite a bit of stash... (She had to get her own table in the end.)
We had to leave bloody early to get there by 8am. I'm not very good about getting up at quarter to 5 in the morning on a Saturday... But M. kept up a pleasant conversation to keep me awake.
It was very successful, I had 4 overflowing freezer baskets full of fabrics and zips and threads etc, but came home with only 1 basket! Most of it was retro 1960's and 70's and it seemed to be wanted by many people.
 I also had 4 meters of silver and turquoise brocade in pristine condition, which was snapped up by this overjoyed lady. She told me the date had been on her calendar since March or so, and she had come to look expressly for brocade, and there it was. She was going to make herself a party dress for her 30th birthday and I had made her day!
Well, that story just made my day too! Brilliant!
Above you can see what I spend $5 on; 2 small curtain samples with embroidered trees and leaves- for book covers.
A piece of vintage pink-with-white-roses mattress cover- for making lavender hearts.
3 lots of bias binding- for bunting.
A crocheted-bonneted-lady - to applique onto a child's dress.
A 1960's french monsieur with bouquet- for the front of a satchel bag.
And will I get brave and make myself a skirt with that 1 meter fabric pattern?

Lovely M. gave me a box of chocolates vintage wooden bobbins. The thread on most of them is still nice and strong for use, but I just love looking at them. And as I mentioned before, the colours have names, not just a number. How do you like "light apple green", "saffron", "lilac", "dark myrtle" or "heliotrope"? Perhaps you can picture "moss green", "blue jade", "light emerald" or "green plume"?
Then what about "linen", "cairo" or "goldfish"? Maybe "frivolous pink" does it for you?...
Oh I just adore them, thank you so much M.!!

With it I put a few op-shop finds of late; a crocheted border, already salvaged from maybe a pillowcase.
2 embroidered old-fashioned guest towels. And a little Japanese kimono-fabric purse with an appliqued bird, so kawai-i !!

Aug 15, 2011

Surprise snow!

      Well we are having a country wide winter storm passing over. Of course we are in Hawke's Bay and the weather never gets worse than a little frost and very rarely a sprinkling of snow on our local Te Mata Peak, but only for an hour on the very top.
 Not this time. 
My husband warned me this morning after he had left for work, so I took my camera to work at school.
This first picture was taken at the end of our street at about 8:20. Wow!!!!
Te Mata Peak is the left high area you can see. It is 399 meters above sea level.
It used to be a giant warrior...

 This picture was taken from school. Everyone was SO Excited about the amount of snow so close to home! This aount of snow around Hastings and Havelock North hasn't been seen since 1976 ( or so we heard).
Can you see the giant? He is lying down on his back, his head is on the right. His feet are out of the picture , but he's definitely a he... He was tricked to fall in love with a maiden from a warring tribe, and made to perform impossible tasks, such as eating a forest and eating the hills. Unfortunately the maiden fell in love with him too. Then when he choked on a rock and died , she threw herself off his height to die . He formed our Peak and she formed the steep depth on the other side.
A sad story of un-requited love.
This is mount Erin a bit further south of Havelock North.
Oh I love my little zoom-lens .
 Although the wind was bitterly cold, there was quite a bit of sun, and by 11:30 all the snow was gone again. But this cold weather should last a couple more days, so we shall see what tomorrow will bring.

  This is the view from one of the classrooms in which I work. A herd of calves gets fattened up in the field each year, we can see the swallows and the sky-larks, silly pukekos pass by and falcons/harriers look for mice and rabbits. 
It's nice to be able to point out an animal to one of the children, quite often they don't know the name of the creature, or thought to look for nature right outside the window.
I am very lucky and pleased that I am allowed to have a permanent nature table in 1 of the classrooms. I try to put things on it in relation to the season. And the kids can bring their own things, although it had to be explained to them that a toy truck or a lego creation wasn't what we wanted on that table.
Live bugs are fine, for a day, and then we put them in the field. However I draw the line at cockroaches and dismantled rodents the cat brought home..... 

Aug 12, 2011

Kitchen curtains.

    So these are my new kitchen curtains (or bunting) that I made in the school holidays. 4 of these flags have 1960's bark cloth with florals on a light -blue background , the other 4 have been made with white damask serviettes, light blue ric-rac and purple embroidered morning-glories from a vintage doilie. And I used some of the 60's style faces from my Fabric-a-brac buy. I appliqued them on with blue thread.
All of them are backed by pieces out of an old white tea-towel. Woven into that tea-towel were the words ; New Zealand Steam Ship Company Ltd. I'd say it's quite old.
 We haven't had steam ships for a while now....

 Well, it sure beats those nylon fluffies that were hanging here. These add a festive atmosphere to my dark 1970's kitchen decor. Yet a touch of vintage at the same time.
 I had to hunt through my box of bias binding to find the right blue. All bought secondhand, some quite old.
There are a few still wrapped in their old labels, look how pretty!
A bird of paradise on the pale pink bias binding  from Scotland.
Paramount Art Deco buildings on the black gingham bias binding from England.

Tuis and Buzzy-bees on the bias binding from New Zealand, and who was Sister Susie from England? Looking at the style of the graphics I'd guess it's from around the 40's or 50's, although it does have a cellophane wrapper.

Speaking of Fabric-a-brac , I will be having a table at the next "meeting"in Palmerston-North on the 20th of August. And I have been going through my stash  finding fabrics I have decided must go.
(Still not finished with that..)
Above are some patches I scored years ago, all the same size , cut from unused 1970's curtains.
Very bright and beautifully ugly. All up for sale; cheap cheap!!  Genuine retro!! Get it here!!

Aug 7, 2011

Settling in.

Of course I went op-shopping in the school holidays. Actually I can't let a week go by without visiting one somewhere along my route. But I mostly leave empty-handed.
Not this time;  look! a wee box of vintage glass X-mas ornaments. Well nearly all of them glass. Not the big strawberry or the golden apple. The old ornaments have quite pretty pastel colours.
 I would really like it to be Christmas this week, what with the snow on the mountains and the fire on, and no festivals until Halloween, or Guy Fawkes. Never mind.
 Another handful of coloured knitting needles with black knobs on the ends. Nice to display in an old vase.
And some pretty doilies and a blue rosed curtain off-cut.

More rain. This is what happened to a house just down the drive from our house. The garden gave way... That's their outdoor deck lying there amongst the dirt and rocks and trees. Bulldozers and trucks were busy since the small hours in the night. Somehow it doesn't look like steady rock underneath; surely that's not a safe place to build a house? Who gave permission or checked... They'll have to reinforce all the sides now.

Look who's in our little tree-gully, Mr. Woodpidgeon, or kereru He is eating the young leave buds.
This bird is a native, and is twice as big as the tui. Actually they get really fat and you wonder how the branches don't break or how come they are so agile when they fly. They are sort of like those big fat bumblebees , that seem impossibly supported by flimsy wings.
 They don't make much noise, except for the loud whooshing of their wings.
They used to be trapped and eaten by the Maori and the old colonials, but luckily they are now fully protected. Many native trees rely on these birds for spreading their seeds.
They have the most beautiful green and purple colours.
This guy didn't stay very long: probably not enough berries to eat here.

My little project for the holidays was making a new handbag for myself with all re-used materials. That's the blue-rose curtain fabric, a strong turqoise linen blend and a cotton sheet with blue roses for the lining. I used purple zips, they "popped" with the turqoise, and some 60's laces to decorate the outside wallet.
I  can sling it across my chest for hands free walking, handy for when you walk back up the hill.
Very satisfying to sit in my workroom listening to music or National Radio, making stuff!