Dec 29, 2007

New School Year

Our new school year stars mid January. Its always a busy time for parents and children alike getting things ready, especially after the Christmas rush. Here are a few of my "mini books of notes" I have been working on for the first Farmers market fair of 2008 on 5th January, my theme is "Back to School". As well as these mini books, I have made pencil bags in various shapes, sizes and colours, pen and pencil toppers, fabric paper clips/bookmarkers and have a few other items in the pipeline.

Happy New Year

A new year is unfolding – like a blossom with petals curled tightly concealing the beauty within.”

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I've played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.
~Edgar Guest

Wishing all a great 2008! Peace, health and happiness.

Dec 14, 2007

Out of the Blue

Latest pincushion - "Out of the Blue". Its is a sort of play on words story behind this pincushion. A couple of years ago, I went on a felting seminar where we each had to give a workshop on felt and felting, I gave one on needle felting. Anyhow I learnt so much on other forms of felting, particularly wet felting and making felt. Well one of the things I made was a pair of blue baby's booties with a knitted top. After the seminar, I tucked these away as I really didn't know what to do with them, no babies at home and no grandchildren yet. Well today out of the blue, while clearing some boxes, I found these again and suddenly had the idea of turning them into pin cushions.

Dec 9, 2007

Bird nesting sequel

Spring/summer is such an exciting time in the garden, the birds are really busy.
The sequel to our robin story is the bulbuls nesting. Right outside our front door, we have two Australian myrtle topiaries and in the centre of one of these a pair of bulbuls decided to make their nest. Their nest is a very exposed one, unlike the robin's hidden deep inside the watering can, and we wondered how well it would stand up to the summer elements of strong wind and fierce storms.
Well we needn't have worried for soon there was "the chick", well fed and ready to take its first flight. The parents hung around all morning, issuing warning calls when our dogs walked too closely past the topiary. The little chick, flapped its wings and stretched while surveying its new world from the safety of the nest and then it was ready for its first flight. I didn't think something like this would give so much pleasure to watch, it is wonderful!
The parents came back and forth for a few days for more tasty cheese bits and then one day brought along the fledgling. It didn't take him/her long to catch on to where this tasty morsel came from and now as well as robins sitting on our window sill we have three bulbuls, mother, father and baby. Oh and never mind the many weavers that try to get a bite too.
Must just add the robins are very tame and virtually eat out of one's hand, the bulbuls are a little more hesitant and wait for us to withdraw to a safe distance, but all, robins, bulbuls and weavers respond to our special whistle.

Christmas Picks

Every year for the past ten years or so, I have made chenille stem critters. These are simple,cute and easy, the hardest part is thinking up new designs and characters.
This year for Christmas I made Santa, Snowmen and Gingerbread men picks but these can easily be changed into fridge magnets, name card holders for your Christmas table, serviette rings, added to your centre display, used in your card making and so many more uses, the ideas are endless.

Dec 2, 2007

My Etsy

Just added my first item for sale on Etsy.. I made a total of six of these Santas.As all are made without a pattern they are slightly different, mainly in the expressions of face.
Take a look if you have some time at my Santa Cone 2007.

Sorry, I have had to withdraw my Santa as I had a sale for it outside of Etzy!
many thanks for the interest.

Nov 28, 2007

Christmas 2007

It's been over a month since my last post with two big Christmas events now over and two more to come. I so enjoy this time of year and these events certainly start the spirit of Christmas.
Here is a slideshow of the first event, a Christmas meander. Six homes were involved, I set up mine with my friend Anne Hande at her home. We used her lovely outdoor covered patio for our cosy Christmas show.
Hope you enjoy looking as much as we enjoyed it.

Oct 9, 2007

Snowdoll 2007

I have just finished my first snow doll for 2007.Made entirely without a pattern, snowdoll stands 16 inches tall, her head is muslin and in four pieces, painted, aged and baked and covered in a sprinkling of mica. Her clothers are layered with body in a mustard cotton, dress in cotton brick red with stars, apron in a checked red/mustard, coat in sage green wool with check red/green cotton collar and pockets and matching scarf ending in a rusty star.

SOLD, thanks for the interest.

Sep 28, 2007

Guardian Angel

"A bit o' sun,
A bit o' cheer,
And a guardian angel always near"
A primitive cloth angel bust with old jute hair wound in a bun and knotted on top.
Aged, stained and baked with washed watercoloured features, pinched nose and padded cotton wings. New for Christmas from Whimsical Prims

Getting ready for Christmas

This next month will be all out Christmas crafting in preparation for my four big Christmas events. These little angels made from ribbon and beads are fairly quick to turn out and great for stocking fillers and inexpensive gifts. Great to add to a gift instead of a bow, hang on a tree, add to a wreath or dot around a table centre display. I will have some up for sale soon in my new Etsy shop, yes I have joined Etsy, welll I did in May but haven't done anything about it yet.

Sep 20, 2007

Our Robin Family

A while ago i posted about our robins in the garden, how they come to the window to get their cheese, especially when nesting.
Well here is the continuation of this particular story.
One of the robin pairs made their nest in a galvanized wateringcan hanging up as a decor on the outside of my cabin shoppe. We were thrilled that they trusted us enough to make their nest in such close proximity. Everyday we watched as the parents built that nest and when we saw food being carried into it, we knew there were babies. One day without disturbing them, hubby and I held up a mirrow and saw two little mouths open wide We were happy!!. Being a galvanized watering can and in full morning sun, we were worried the tin would heat up too much, so every morning, hubby wet a cloth and hung it over the back of the can.
we felt so priviledged to be able to watch this whole process and were amazed how clean these birds are, with father and mother carrying out any mess the baby robins had made.
Then one morning we knew something had happened overnight, for the male robin was making a wailing sound, a kind of crying chirp. It went on for quite a while and eventually he stopped and flew off. So out came the mirrow and yes, only one baby left and no mother. We wondered if father would cope as a single parent, but we need not have done so, for he was marvelous, in and out all day feeding his one baby left, cleaning out the nest just as we had seen before.
well after that hubby and I couldn't sleep well, listening for all kinds of sounds of any danger to our robins., of course we knew nature would take it course but well we couldn't help worrying.
In due course all seemed safe, and one day hubby went to place the damp cloth over the watering can and next thing this little furry thing fluttered pass his ear and into the nearby bush. Baby had taken his first flight. We were thrilled!!
We were also worried, would it be able to get back into the nest, what happens now??
Well soon father came along with a fat worm in his beak, took it into the nest, popped out again, still with worm in beak and looked around till he spied our little furry friend, all puffed out on a low branch. Next father flew to the baby and with gentle noises and still worm in beak, coaxed the baby up the garden path, across the driveway, into the carport and out through the back into thicket on the other side of the garden. It was amazing to watch and follow this progress and we felt so priviledge once more. Well since then we have seen the two, hopping around the thicket looking for worms. Father still comes to the window for cheese and we are just waiting now to see if he brings baby along.
In the pictures above you can see the wateringcan with cloth and a close up. From the outside it looked a little messy but inside the nest was beautifully built and quite deep.

Sep 3, 2007

Farmers Fare

This weeks theme for our saturday fair is "Farmers Fare".
Here are two of my new items, a bunch of carrots and a mini pocket of potatoes.
I am so enjoying the challenge of doing something new each week, it has motivated me once more to create for the sake of creating, without having to stay with one type/style. So far with our new concept (Anne and I) we have done, nostalgic vintage -pretty 'n pinks, country kitchen- coppers, red's and blues, garden settings, sunflowers and pumpkins and this next one farmers fare. Besides the above I have barrels of strawberries, (sheep, pigs and cows still in the making). What is great is that Anne and I work separately, we just do our own thing within the theme, yet our stuff blends in well. The response from visitors has been encouraging, even if they just come along to see what's new for that week.

Aug 31, 2007

Looking Back

Its been sometime since I have made a bear. Looking back through my pictures of my creations has given me as much pleasure as actually making the bears. It has also motivated me into making one again soon. After six years of producing bears non-stop, all my own designs, I had a burn out and it was then I found the primitve scene. I did combine the primitive look and my bear making and rather like that type of bear as opposed to the traditional bear, for me I could be more adventurous. One of my favourite traditional bears I ever made was Sailor Boy or Billy Boy as his new owner named him. He only stood three inches tall, with his white hat, suitcase and sailor doll. Hand stitched in mohair and fully jointed, he sold within an hour of stitching the last stitch.

Aug 29, 2007

Long time

It seems to be ages since i posted or even visited my blog. Life is so busy with weekly shows, at time two in the weekend. My friend and I do the weekend shows together and each week we have a different theme, so its make like mad during the week to get some stock. Still I am enjoying being creative again.
I hope the weather for this saturdays/sundays shows is sunny so I can take some pictures and will post them here. This weekends show is garden settings.

Aug 15, 2007

Coffee anyone?

Today I found this cute enamel coffee pot and milk pan, and it goes so well with the mini enamel mugs I had already. Hubby and I sat down this evening and enjoyed our first pot of coffee in this set. It bought back memories of my childhood, life on the farm. We always had a pot of coffee bubbling away on the coal stove, that aroma filtering through the farmhouse, giving it a warm inviting homely feel. There were always huge mason jars of freshly baked rusks to enjoy with the coffee, of course as children we were allowed to dunk our rusks if no visitors were present. Ahh..... the memories, I just love enamelware!

Aug 13, 2007

"String Beings"

Years ago, I did a range called "String Beings" long, tall skiny gollies, dollies and bears. These appealing fellows sold very well and had a wooden body, feet and hands and their arms and legs were string. They were dressed in cotton fabrics and embellishments and could sit on a shelf or hang on the wall. Recently I came across three unfinished bodies, I think I had kept these as samples incase I decided to re-do the range.
Well here is the first one, Lanky Larry -a golly. Now to dress and finish the dolly and bear.

Aug 12, 2007

Good Morning Scones

Today I made a batch of oat scones, perfect for an early Sunday breakfast.
Served with Morella Cherry preserve or one of your choice and a cup of good filtered coffee, nothing could be more satisfying.
Here is my recipe:
Into a bowl put,
250ml of oatbran or rolled oats
500ml of self raising flour
250ml of milk
25ml sugar
60ml salad oil
1 egg
pinch salt.
mix well together. If mixture is too dry add a little more milk.
Grease patty pan tins (or use "Spray and cook") and drop tablespoon into each one.
Makes about 24 scones.
Bake at 400 degrees farenheit for 15 minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately with preserve of your choice.

Aug 10, 2007

Saturday Farmers Market

Its saturday again and another day to spend at the local farmers market. I love doing this show, its a combination of stalls with wonderful fresh produce, great food, and craft stands (that's where I come in). Folks come in their hundreds and bring along their dogs too. I still can't work out who numbers more, folks or their dogs. There is every breed of dog one could think of, and all so beautifully sociable, mothers meeting their offspring, weekly friends greeting, I just love watching it all. The great part about this weekly show is that is over by 10.30am (We start at 5.30am)
Our craft side is usually busy as well and tomorrow I will have a touch of Spring and a little Autumnia. I'm one of those who needs to do a pre-run display the night before, so here is my touch of spring with lavendery items, pincushions, bath salts,
hand cremes, tapestry scatter cushions, sewing tins and a few other items. Not shown are the shades of lavender throws, hand made bags which will be hung on a stand.
Now I had better go and do my autumnal display and hopefully have time to take a picture of that too.

Aug 8, 2007

Keep it Symple-African Pumpkin

Over the past months,hubby and I had come up with a saying, to slow down our rushed life, "keep it simple". It just somehow seems appropriate to place my new range of creations under this name, "Keep it Symple". Here is my African Pumpkin Pin Cushion, as simple as can be. Texture fabric 6 segment pumpkin, all hand sewn, with a centre handmade wooden Blackwood button and hand painted wooden beads. The African pumpkin sits loosely atop a tiny enamel tin mug which can house your extra pins, thimbles and cottons. The mug is simply decorated with old jute.
Would love to know what you think.

But wait, who has come to visit??? Take a look at !
Keep it Symple.

Aug 6, 2007

Buttons Buttons Everywhere!

A History of the Button
by Roy Earnshaw
Listen. Listen hard.

Something is trying to tell you something. Those little round discs, there on your shirt. Yes, yes, your buttons.

They're saying, "Let us tell you stories, of our former glories. Plain though now we be, once magnificent were we."

You can't hear them? Well, maybe not. Life is awfully loud these days. And fast. And huge. Hard to focus on a humble little button.

Guess it's up to us to tell you stories of their former glories."

I love buttons and have a good collection of them, in all shapes, sizes and colours.
I love running my hand through the boxes, wondering about their history, their stories and bringing back memories of when I was a child. Whenever I or one of my sisters were poorly, mum would give us her big old blue padded chocolate box filled with buttons to play with. It was the best medicine any child could want.

I thought it about time to sort them out and decided for now its best to sort according to colour. White was my choice, well shades of white.
Once I have all the "whites" together, (which will take some time to get through the bottles and boxes of buttons) I will then sort further into sizes.
I have just singled out a few, merely as their size fascinates me, and the ones on the right are very different to the touch. They are ice cold and quite weighty and have a well worn look in places. I wonder how old they are and what they are made of, its feels almost like some sort of shell?

Aug 3, 2007

Tea For Two

It's such a beautiful day today, we decided to have our morning tea outside.
With my little bistro chair and table and our Royal Albert "Cottage Garden" tea set for two, what more could one want. Well a perfect compliment is a bottle of lemon zest sugar, somehow it just enhances the tea. If you are not a sweet tea drinker, just add a tip of a teaspoon to your tea. If you enjoy your sugar in tea then use as you would use sugar.
Here is the recipe for you to enjoy, or make a bottle of two to give as a gift, it really is most delicous and refreshing.
Lemon Sugar

The fragrant oils in lemon zest give a distinctive aroma and flavor to foods. Combine lemon zest with sugar, and use in place of ordinary sugar in baking. Try sprinkling over sugar cookies or stirring into hot tea for a delicious lemony treat

Makes about 1 pound
You may substitute oranges and limes to make other citrus sugars. Use instead of plain granulated sugar in baking, or try sprinkling over cookies or stirring into hot tea for a delicious citrusy treat. The sugar will keep for several months in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

3 lemons
2 cups sugar

1. Using a citrus zester, remove the zest. (Alternatively, using a paring knife or a vegetable peeler, remove the zest; then scrape as much of the bitter white pith off it as possible.) Roughly chop zest; transfer to a food processor, and add 1 cup sugar. Pulse until zest has been finely ground, about 3 minutes.
2. Transfer the ground mixture to a medium bowl. Add remaining cup sugar, and toss until evenly mixed.
3. Spread the lemon sugar on a baking pan, and let sit at room temperature until dry, about 1 hour


Aug 1, 2007

Birds in the Garden

I have been trying to catch our abundance of wild birds on camera, but with my little digital, its not so easy. I just can't get close enough and when I am close enough, I don't have my camera, murphy's law! So until my son comes in December with his sophisticated zoom lens camera, I will just have to be content with the snaps I do take.
Hubby made me two new bird feeders, just simple large platforms, for the amount of birds who try to eat at once is great and these fancy birfeeders just don't satistfy them enough.
The little mannekins are the sweetest , most perfect miniature bird, one wants to hold and cuddly them. They come in numbers, and I suppose because of their size always huddle together when eating. Weavers are more daring and noisy at that, but I still find them fascinating in their business. The sunbids are our midday birds, they love it if I have the sprinkler on, the male with his irridescent colours is just such a picture of natures wonder.
For now I have to content myself with a picture of mannekins, if you take a closer look you can see then on the branches of the tree and one in the water bowl.
More about out birdlife later.

It's Time to Give-Away

"A gateway to heaven"
Thank you to all those who took the time to view my Howick Give-Away, I wish that you could have all been winners.
Hubby drew the names and I have listed them on .Wednesday's Wanderings.
I have also added some new "old " items from my treasure hunting, take a look and let me know if you're interested. I will add a few more later in the week.

Jul 25, 2007

Wanderings to Howick -Give-Away

Wednesday was spent wandering around the midlands, in particular the town of Howick, a rural farming area. It was a most magical day, but I will write more about that soon. Here is a picture of the famous "Howick Falls".
In the meantime, I have three sets of lovely postcards of the old Howick to give away. Each set has six postcards of scenes and buildings from around 1850 of Howick in those days. All you have to do is leave a comment to this post, make sure you leave your email so I can contact you if your name is drawn. Drawing will take place on 1st August.
You can view the postcards at
Wednesday's Wanderings

Jul 24, 2007

OLd Locks

I love locks and keys, from great big skeleton ones to tiny delicate keys. Locks and keys conjure up all sorts of stories in my mind, what lay beyond the doors they opened. I have a small collection and am always on the look out for any interesting bits. I try to use the locks and keys in my decorating, hanging them on cupboard doors. While tiding up a few shelves in my office I re-discovered one of my favourite locks still in its box. Made in holland, this lock is heavy and would have been used on one of those old huge doors of some museum, well that's the picture I have in mind.

Shower for the Garden

I love unusual items in my garden and home. I have an old solid metal roller, and mini roller, some old forks and spades, galvanized watering cans and old tin baths, an old push type lawn mower and hope to get a few more to add. My new feature in my garden is an old shower now used to hang a basket of flowers.

Jul 22, 2007

Our Jessie -Every picture tells a Story

Jessie has come a long way since we first saw her at the dog pound some six years ago, just a little terrified scrap of a thing. She has such character, is always into everything, adores everyone especially when our children come home.
Here is her story in pictures captured by my daughter Jayne.

I wonder if I can squeeze in here!
And of course, when asked what she was doing there, she implored,
"Well they kept me a space!"

Here she shares a joke with the ladies of my club!

Jul 18, 2007

First listings

I have listed my first few items from my Wednesday Wanderings.
Click on the link above to view.

Jul 16, 2007

Rescued Bunny

Before and
A few days ago I rescued this ceramic bunny from the dump. He was missing an ear and had been painted various shades of brown and a large patch of white. I made him a new ear out of terracotta clay and I finally restored him to a somewhat acceptable colour. He now looks contented on my shelf amoungst the other bunnies.

Jul 14, 2007

Cape Robins

Every day, a couple of times a day, the little Cape Robins come knocking at our kitchen window for their "cheese". This has being going on now for a number of years, mother and father robins have come along, bringing their new fledglings to show them the ropes, and they inturn have brought their young ones. They now answer to our whistle,and in minutes are at the window and if we are late in calling them ,they soon let us know. Its a particually busy time in winter with one family of robins after the other calling for fuel food. I have tried to take pictures but none have been sucessful yet so thought I would share with you a beautiful antique card from my collection.

Wednesday's Wanderings

I decided to open another blog for items I have for sale or have created under Whimsical Prims and Scallywag Bears. I have called this blog Wednesday's Wanderings as this is my day of the week to hunt for treasures, great finds to keep or share with someone else looking for such pieces.

Jul 13, 2007

Aged Fraktur Bird Box

Aged Box, stands 4" tall and 3" in diameter. I have painted, sanded, and aged this box to give it a time worn look. I added a Fraktur style bird which I did in watercolours and then sealed the entire box. Inside, sitting on a natural coir nest, are three aged splatter painted "mock" eggs.
For sale: email for details.

Jul 10, 2007

Hats and Scarves

I got some new knitted hats and scaves in for the shoppe today and who better to model them than four ladies from my club. these are chunky, beautifully knitted, fully lined hats and scarves and just the thing to keep you warm in our chilly winter weather.

Jul 4, 2007

Happy 4th July

Wishing all my friends a Happy 4th July!
have a wonderful day and stay safe!

Jul 3, 2007

A tisket, A tasket, a little basket!

I love baskets, all shapes and sizes but in particular the unusual or older ones. Hubby often asks why I need another basket when I have so many, well my answer is cause all my baskets are full!
I was amazed to see so many for sale on ebay and at quite reasonable prices too, now if I only lived close enough to buy them, that would be heaven. Unfortunately the postage would probably be way more than the basket iteself, so I have to content myself to looking around locally. Here is a small part of my collection, I will show you the wire ones I have in another post.

Jul 2, 2007

Oh my, oh my!

I am sooo thrilled. Today I was given this beautiful old stool from my son's in-laws. I just love it! The grain, the joints, the little bits of metal repair, it has sooo much character and tells such stories. It reminds me of the little milkmaid stools we used as children on our farm. Each morning we would dress hurriedly, and run down to the barn to milk our cow, oh i can just see it all now. thank you so much Linda and Alan.

Jul 1, 2007

Garden Path

Photograph taken at "Hogsback" by J. Cansfield 2007

"Once upon a time, I know not where,
I know not when. A dream may be,
Out of a pine wood, unaware,
I stepped upon a quiet lea."
Gustav Falke

Jun 30, 2007

A picture says it all!

Here are two little visitors at my flea market day yesterday, Cassidy and her six month old prem baby brother. It was a wonderful day, the weather was beautiful, clear bule sky, a gentle whisper of wind, birds a-plenty, lovely company, good shopping, and satisfying food. Certainly a day to repeat and one I hope to do every last Saturday of the month.

Jun 29, 2007

Fabric swatches

I have 27 fabric swatches from a discontinued sample cards of "Raphia", Stuart Graham Furnishing fabrics. There are thirteen 15" x 9" pieces and fourteen 7.5" x 8" pieces. Some may require soaking to remove the paper border. These are varying shades of natural, tan, some with a pattern, others plain, great textures and all blend in together beautifully. These would be great to use for pin cushions, make-do's, covering notebooks, boxes, backgrounds for cards, miniaturists and general crafting.
Sale price; $20 includes postage for the entire 27 pieces.

Vintage flowers

This is the start of my big flea market sale. I have these two baskets of vintage flowers for sale, some need a little reshaping but all still in great condition.I have used some to make brooches, one can be seen on the little pearl sprays but these are great to decorate hats, scarves, boxes etc. If you are interested, email me for details.

Jun 25, 2007

Greeting card Prints of antique paintings.

Since I was a little girl, many many years ago, I have collected cards, paper and stationery. I spent the weekend sorting through the many trunks and boxes and have put aside a few of these to sell.
Here are the first ones on offer.
These are beautiful greeting cards, prints of antique paintings, published by Alan Hutchison Ltd. Each card measure 3.5inches x 5.5 inches, and has the title and name of the original artist and year at the back.
First is a Still Life (detail) Simon Verelst (1644-1721) Rafael Valls Gallery.Three available.
Second, another Still Life (detail) Henriette ronner-Knip (1821-1909) Bridgeman Art Library-two available
Third is Goats in a Farmyard (detail)Edgar Hunt (1876-1955) Christie's Images -Two available
Fourth is Poultry and Doves (detail)Edgar Hunt (1876-1955) Christie's images One available
and Fifth is Poultry in the Garden of a Mansion (detail) Jacob Bogdani ((1660-1724) Christie's Images - Two available
All cards are blank inside and are $2 each plus postage.