Rustic Country Easter

Rustic Country Easter

Happy Easter or Eostre or Smyngus-Dyngus or whatever you celebrate (if you celebrate) this weekend.  As a good-for-nothing heathen, I basically celebrate having a few days off work, seeing my family and bemoaning the fact I can’t eat chocolate.  My brother and sister-in-law, however, are making up for my lack of respectful worship and/or church-going abilities by taking their four children to church this morning so that they could learn a bit about one of the real reasons we even have Easter in the first place.  They themselves are not religious in any way, but they felt it was important the children understood that the holiday is not all about chocolate and bunnies and going on egg hunts.  I myself lean towards the older, pagan traditions and meanings behind Easter but that is just a personal preference and belief – I don’t judge anyone else for what they believe in.

Anyway, moving away from the heavy and slightly inflammatory subject of religion…  This weekend I spent a lovely couple of days at my Dad and Step-Mum’s farm in Boyanup with my Mum.  I have spoken before of how well my parents get along and how my Mum really enjoys going down to see my Dad and Step Mum.  It’s such a relief.  It wasn’t always this easy and pleasant, believe me, but they have built bridges and gotten over them and now it is just NICE to spend time in their company.  My Mum and Step Mum get along well and have a laugh (I mean, nobody knows my Dad as well as they both do) and my Dad is just so happy that he can have us all there with him and it’s not weird or uncomfortable.

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Dad had quite a bit of work around the farm to do so us gals went sight-seeing and shopping.  Lots of little vintage shops and antique stores were open, as well as cafes and other places of interest.  I haven’t gone antiquing for ages so this was a fun afternoon for me and the prices in many of the shops were unbelievably cheap.  At a shop called “The Quirky Den“, I got this adorable little W H Goss vase for just $4.  It’s so cute.

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At first I was put off but the bear baiting / dancing bear image but then I couldn’t “bear” to leave him behind.  He can be safe with me and never have to perform again (except to just look cute on my display cabinet).  He can sit with my miniature bears.  My Mum bought a nice blue and white plate and my Step-Mum picked up several nice pieces of china to decorate her walls, including a little miniature house which she collects.  The Quirky Den was indeed quirky, but well worth a visit 🙂
Their prices are very reasonable and they have lots of great stuff.

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We also visited a GORGEOUS little shop called “Rustic French Living“.  Ooh la la!  So pretty and chic and gorgeous.  I will let the pictures speak for themselves – I wish I had bought something in there…I was eye-ing off the lovely little rabbit/Easter tags but then didn’t get them.  Regret!  Will definitely have to go back another time and spend a longer period there.  It was getting late and so we only looked around for a little while.  But beautiful stuff 🙂  They also have cakes and tea/coffee if you’re partial to a bit of refined refreshment. If you’re in Western Australia and travelling through the South-West, do stop in and have a look.  I wanted to buy everything…the lovely ladies in the shop were very welcoming and did not mind me taking photos (sometimes shop people get a bit huffy when you do it, so I always ask first and tell them what it is for).  You can also visit their awesome Facebook page here

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That evening we were treated to the most gorgeous sunset – the colours were amazing and I am so glad the photo does it justice.  Just beautiful – isn’t nature amazing?

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Hope your weekend was as relaxing and happy as mine.  If you can eat chocolate, I hope the Easter/Eostre Bunny was generous.  Have a great week everybody 🙂

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Time for cards…

Sunday evening already…boo.  I really do think it’s about time weekends were three days long.  I’m only just getting into my stride by Sunday afternoon.  Now it’s time to pack up and make things tidy again.  But I have had a relatively successful day of card-making.  I wasn’t really in the mood to make Christmas cards but I persevered and made a handful that I’m happy with.  It’s a start anyway!  I had lots of other things I wanted to do today (paper-clay, embroidery, ironing…wait, that last one snuck in – as if I’d want to do ironing!  Pfft!) but the day progressed very quickly (it has nothing to do with the fact I got up late either, I’m sure) and I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked.  But something is better than nothing so the day wasn’t a total loss.  I also got lots of ideas (mostly about uses for buttons!)  while I was crafting so I am hoping to make a few new things
in the week, if my ideas can translate into an actual, do-able thing.

So, here’s a selection of the cards I made today.  I stuck with a general colour scheme and that way I had all the papers that I needed and matching ribbons etc.  The little crocheted flowers are from my cousin, who kindly posted me a little parcel last week filled with flowers.
I can’t crochet so I am very grateful for these cute embellishments that go so well with a lot of things.

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I like the “Noel” card the best – it was the first one I made in the morning and the one I was happiest with for the day.  The button baubles one is ok – just very simple.  Just thought I would try a quicker one and use up some of those odd buttons I have.  I have lots of vintage buttons so I am thinking I am going to sell them at my stall too, on pretty button cards.  they make a nice gift for someone who is into sewing or other crafts.  If nothing else, they look good just displayed in a basket or dish, I think.

So, packing up time now – worst part of the day!  I need to get some dinner on too (I’m making roasted capsicum soup – yum!) and think about sorting out my clothes for the morning.  Hope your weekend has been fun and relaxing, fulfilling and restful 🙂

Market Day, Mags, & Love from Mum

Market Day, Mags, & Love from Mum

My Mum is awesome.  She is loving and gentle and tolerant and fun and inspiring.  She has nurtured my brother and I, never judging us or making us feel like we weren’t good enough.  She understands us (or at least tries to!) and protects us, even in our adulthood.  She is also super talented and arty.  She and I share a love of all things vintage/shabby chic/collage/mixed media and whimsical.

Yesterday we took some time out to go to the Guildford Fair.  We had not been before but it had a special draw this year – Miss Johnson’s Vintage & Handmade Market.  We have loved Miss Johnson’s Market for years – it showcases beautiful handmade items as well as vintage clothing, jewellery and bric-a-brac.  Always inspiring and always a good way of spending lots of money (you can’t leave without buying something).  In the last year or so, the market has been unable to run in its usual setting – The Guildford Town Hall – due to financial constraints (public liability insurance being the main problem – just too expensive) and so we have missed out on all the goodies.  But this year – huzzah! – they appeared at the Fair and, lucky us, we got to be there and check out all the yummy items for sale and display.

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Artistic Journey – a mixed-media haven of vintage/shabby/altered goodness!  And LOTS of Somerset Studio mags for sale – yay!

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I wanted to tuck all these vintage suitcases under my arm and run off home with them.  Strangely enough, the stall-holder (Mulberry Tree Vintage) wouldn’t let me!

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Pretty, pretty things! (from Tea)

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Love this dress made from old sewing patterns!

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Industrial Chic – lots of yummy altered pieces.

Mum and I LOVE Somerset Studio magazine – in fact, pretty much all the Stampington & Company publications are like drugs to us! – and we were really hoping to snag a few issues from one of our favourite stalls, Artistic Journey (the lady there used to have the most amazing mixed-media supplies shop that was just heaven!  Sadly not a bricks-and-mortar store any more, just online I think…).  As luck would have it, there was a whole rack of magazines just asking to go home with us…and we obliged!

IMG_7752Stampington & Company – magazines, magazines, magazines (what more is there in life!?)

Somerset Studio and the other Stampington mags are just soooo expensive here in Australia – they are totally worth the price but who has $30-$40 to spend on one magazine?  Not us!  So here, at the market, they had back issues at $10 each – heaven!  We bought, between us, ahem, 14 copies of Somerset Studio, Where Women Create and Somerset Life.  Whoops!  There goes my savings!  But totally worth it!  I also bought some rusty wire (you never know when you might need some rusty wire!) but other than that, we just got the mags.

Afterwards, we went back to Mum’s for a cuppa and to look through our haul.  So many inspiring things to look at and use for a creativity boost!  My Mum also surprised me with a little art work she had made the previous day – a Kelly Rae Roberts-inspired mixed-media piece, just for me.  We love Kelly Rae Roberts (in fact, just last week, I bought one of her pieces, the “Become a Possibilitarian” dish featured in one of my previous posts here) and find her work very inspiring.  Mum and I had been watching some of her Youtube videos the week before and Mum had secretly gone home and gotten straight to work, creating and finishing a couple of pieces.  Here’s the one she made for me:

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So pretty!  I am jealous because Mum can “do” faces and I can’t.  The picture is lovely though – don’t you think?  She layered pieces of patterned scrapbook paper, scraps of music sheets, paint and rubber stamps.  I love it.  I want to make one now!  The sentiment is perfect for me too – I don’t believe in myself enough and I really need to work on that!

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So, all in all, a lovely day.  Lots to think about (creativity-wise) and plenty of things to inspire and get us in the mood for craftin’.  Now I just want to ignore all the mess in my house and start painting/stamping/glueing etc.  Cup of tea first methinks and then I’ll get cracking.  Hope you are having a lovely day – thanks ever so much for stopping by.  I appreciate all the “likes” and comments 🙂

Magazine Box & A Move

Magazine Box & A Move

We have to move.  I spoke to our landlord today and she said that she and her husband were struggling financially and that they needed their house back because they couldn’t afford to rent as well.  I am so bummed.  Not because I don’t want to move – our house is old and in a bad neighbourhood and we’ve been here for four years and it’s probably time to go – but because I JUST FINISHED MOVING MY MUM OUT OF HER HOUSE!  I don’t think I can cope with packing and unpacking and shifting furniture and changing addresses on mail etc etc etc.  Especially before Christmas.  Hopefully we have until the end of January but, as our actual lease expired months ago (the landlords are pretty slack about that sort of thing), technically they could kick us out at any time.

So the search for a new abode begins.  I’ve already been on the ‘net this evening, looking at new places and cringing at the hefty rental prices.  We’ve been so lucky with our rent for the time we’ve been here.  Wish us luck!

A little bit of crafting helps soothe frazzled nerves (maybe) so today I finished off a project I have been working on this week.  I nabbed a grotty brown magazine holder from my Mum before she moved out (she was in a throw out/donate/give away frenzy) and decided I would give it a coat of paint and jazz it up a bit so it was worthy of being on display.

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I also rescued some nice vintage drawer knobs from Mum’s (before they got thrown out with an old sideboard) and thought they would look nice on the front of the box.  They don’t serve any purpose…I just like knobs on things!

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So, a couple of hastily added coats of white house paint later, the box was starting to look a little fancier.  I sanded the edges to give it a shabby chic look (actually, my crappy paint job was probably shabby enough – I’m a little bit impatient when it comes to painting…I might fix it up later) and drilled a couple of holes at the front for the knobs.  Then I added a french advertising label  – I used Lesley Riley’s TAP – Transfer Artist Paper.  The design is printed out and then just ironed it on – simple!  I’m sure with a bit more practice I could get better at the actual technique, but it was ok for a first go.  Oh, and the lovely french label is from the lovely Graphics Fairy.

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What do you think?