Monday, February 27, 2012

Old, rustic, perfect!!

Well not much posting lately I know...but today...(my birthday!..;)..shhh) thought I'd show you my 'present' from my hubby...a most awesome old barnacle encrusted buoy he found washed up on a beach somewhere! He has truly given me something old, rustic and verrrrry cool!! There's a first time for everything! haha..God bless him!! HE LOVES ME!!
Chocolates are good!
Flowers are very good!
But old and vintagey is superb!!!

Now sitting pride of place on my otherwise very bare patio in this new rental apartment in Cable Beach, Broome. The beginning of it feeling like 'my' place :) Got some ideas for cottagey, vintagey goodness inside too if I can find some cool old vintagey fabrics at the local thrift stores..have begun already with some cool old must get some needles, thread, pins..and eventually another sewing machine. (hard moving to another country with just a suitcase I can tell ya!!)
Thanks for stopping by friends :)
ciao for now
luv Jess xx

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New life :)

Welcome to Broome!!

Wow..haven't blogged since December 2nd or some such thing! An accurate reflection of the time sapping chaos of my life over the past two months! haha..well, not chaos, but perhaps turmoil would better reflect how I've felt as we've navigated the change from being Nelsonians to Broome-ites??!! Yes my husband Steve and I have moved to the north west of Australia..he has taken a new job in Broome and so I am along for the ride! (as all good wives would be!) So I guess we'll be here for the next couple/three years anyway..that's the plan right now, but it could change at any time so trying to get comfortable with my new friend "flexiblity" (wish my body was flexible!!)
My 'baby' Beth, at 17, is now all settled in Wellington for her next 18months of study - doing Foods and Cert/Diploma in Patisserie - loves baking just like her mum ;)
It was a hard time for me with my last birdie leaving the nest..really, really hard. Being a hands on mum is what I do best! And have been doing for the last 28 years! So to move into this stage of life is ...different. Having no-one at home with me when Steve is away working will be really really different, so I am certainly contemplating getting a job. But leaving my Bethy was heart breaking...but she's doing well, already getting excellent comments from the tutors (who told one adult student to watch how Beth did something or other because hers were 'superb'!! yay!!) I know she'll be great..just leaving her in a big new city, only knowing two people, and then moving to Australia felt a bit like throwing her to the wolves! But thank the Lord for facebook, texting and skype! Doesn't feel so far away..but possibly feel a litte more tugging at the heart strings as she tells us the ins and outs of her days!
But I am in Australia!! you can see from the photo above, it's not all bad up here in the winterless north! Gorgeous sunsets and this was an average one, apparently!!
But having moved thousands of miles/kms with just one suitcase I'm having an interesting time considering what I'll do with my time. Maybe have more time for blogging with not much else going on in life right now! lol...and if I can stand the heat I can take lots of nice pics of the fabulous beaches here..but at an expected 38 degrees Celsius today going outside for pleasure is not actually a plan..unless its to walk to the pool! (dunno what that is in F, sorry my american blogging buddies)..but trust me...IT'S HOTTTT!! And very humid here..the worst part really.
Our furnished apartment is part of a resort complex, Broome Sanctuary Resort, (google it if you like ;))..the photos you see are pretty much our apartment, except a smaller version of the lounge dining than the photos online (and not the great pool outlook from the patio!!)...very nice, just what you'd expect from a 4 or 5star hotel..just not "home", you know? But is is for at least the next 6 months, so I'll have to get my creative genius on to make this place a home..without, of course, putting anything on the walls (permanently, like nails, picture hooks, blu tac, NOTHING!!)...Now how can I do that I wonder?? Time for some thinking outside of the box, for sure!
Anyways..don't want to bore you with my dilemma..but all creative solutions appreciated - decorating a home without hooks in my walls!!'s a hard one!
Ciao for now bellas!
(oh, yes, Italy is now a holiday destination instead of a living option...for now ;))
love and blessings...
jessie xx

Friday, December 2, 2011

Star/rosette garland Tutorial

Here's the tutorial for my paper star/rosette garland.
(sorry the photos are a bit blurry..couldn't tell when I took them but could see it when editing..but you'll get the general idea anyway :))
You need:
Old book pages or paper (mine were a bit bigger than A5)
Ink pad of choice
double sided tape
You will need an old book for that vintage look...or any paper at all..perhaps Christmas wrapping paper? But not too flimsy. Old pages look great and vintagey. You can 'age' new book pages by giving them a little paint of cold tea/coffee and leave to dry...add some vanilla for delicious smell..or a scattering of cinnamon before they dry to give a Christmasy smell! we out your pages...

Take each page and fold one end in about 1cm, flip over and fold another cm, and continue on concertina-style until the whole page is folded back and forth...

Next staple the middle. This becomes the centre of your star.

Now cut a V out of each end

Take a stamp pad and rub across the folded edges to give some dimension and colour...just a quick rub along the front edges (or both sides if your stars are hanging free and you’ll see both sides)
then fan each side out into a semicircle, and stick edges together to form a circle. I used doublesided tape to stick sides together but you can use a stapler if you have got a small one which would be much quicker or even fast grabbing glue like Fabri Tac. You now have a concertina’d circle rosette/star.

Glue a button onto the centre of each...different sizes is more interesting than all one size. (didn't have a button here for this photo)

Then I just threaded wool thru the back of each star to make a garland...threaded the wool into a darning needle without cutting it off the ball....kept threading till I had enough for where they are going and then cut it off.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Handmade Christmas part 4 - Book Page Wreath I made a book page wreath!! (that photo is a bit yellow from weird night lighting!)
Yay!! So excited!! lol ... I've seen them aplenty on other girls blogs and on decided to give it a go. As usual, I forgot to take photos from the beginning!!...but remembered as I started here goes...
I used a book from the opshop..cost me about 50c - the same book I used to make the paper star garland..that book is value for money!
Anyway, I started with a 30cm (12"?) polystyrene (stryofoam) wreath,
an old book,
some Fabri Tac
and a stapler.
That's it. out oh about a hundred pages!! (Oh if your book is not aged looking and you want it to be, rub some coffee/tea or thinned brown paint along the edges of the book before you rip the pages from the book, and let it dry)...Bring the ends of each page to meet in the centre, then fold in half, with the edges innermost, without creasing - you want it left rounded. The shape kind of makes a heart ♥ when you look at the end :) Pinch the torn end together and staple in centre.

Starting on the outside bottom edge of the wreath, put a dab of glue on the middle of the stapled end, tuck under the outer edge of the wreath and press against it to stick. Place them side by side creating a kind of fanned row all the way around. Next do the innermost edge in the same way, but standing them upright.
Next fold the end of each stapled edge on the rest of the pages up about 2cm (1") forming a 'tab'. Apply the glue to the underside of the tab and begin the next row, above the first outer row, and in the 'gaps' it formed, gluing to the wreath, working from the outside in, in complete circles before moving inward to the next 'row'. When you've filled in the whole wreath, check for gaps and glue in extra pages until it's as full as you like and no polystyrene is showing.

So this is how it looked at the end. You can just see the centre gap..they've 'crowded' in a little in the just push them back up. Oh I meant to say attach a loop on the back of the polystyrene wreath at the beginning - I forgot and had to add it later. I simply made a loop of jute twine and glued it on but if I'd remembered at the beginning I think I would have tied it around the wreath form.
I sat a silver star in the centre..might leave it there, might not. What I did find tho was that it was too 'round' and uniform for my taste so I carefully 'scrunched' it all, handful by handful to make it look a little 'shabbier'..a little more aged and rustic looking....
Much better!! Wish I had a dark wall to hang it on...maybe a square of dark fabric behind it? hmm..I'll see.

Thanks for stopping by :)
ciao for now
jessie xx

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Handmade..Part 3 - Stars and Hearts Garland

Today I made up a garland on simple jute twine, with stuffed fabric hearts, sewn and left with raw edges..I like the fraying look...and tin stars...made from aluminium oven liners! Found a reference to them on Pinterest (where else?!!) found a star template on google and set to work. They are quite fiddly, a little sharp..but definitely worth the effort. I LOVE the 3D feel of them..tho probaby they're reall 2D aren't they? Cos they have no back. I was going to join two together to make a completely 3D one, but my mind went to the garland idea and that was the end of that! my 50c scarf from the second hand shop and $4 oven liner (sadly they are not 2 or 3 for $1.50 as I saw on a US blog :(..)...made me this beautiful, folksy, charming garland..what do you think?

Oops..still got the pen marks on this star...need to wipe off :)
I thought how cool they'd look too if you painted them and distressed them to look a bit rusty and aged...going with the silver for now cos I love that too...
but I might make some 'aged' ones too..

And here it takes pride of place over my kitchen sink!
Thanks for stopping by...if you're making Christmas decorations this year, do leave a comment so I can come by for a peek!
ciao for now bellas!
jess xx

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Hey girls...have you seen Sande Chase's blog, A Gift Wrapped Life??...if not, you are seriously missing out...her fabulous giftwrapping is to die for. And while you're there...check out her FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY..but it finishes TODAY! ...GO NOW...HERE! It's the beautiful stationery, handstamp, ribbon you see in the beautiful wooden box below...and it's for INTERNATIONAL readers of her blog...go now!

She also has an amazing website where she sells all the fabulous things you see there...check it out over here.

ciao for now, bellas!
jessie xx

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pallet Love...DIY

Ah well girls...took a break from making Christmas decorations to making gifts...although this one is probably for me! lol...but now I've made two ;)

I'm LOVING all things pallet-y...and even here in NZ I've found that you can get pallets for free pretty much everywhere you see them...mind you, you just really don't see them - until you start looking! Seriously, I would have thought we didn't really have them..but I've found heaps now...AND not all pallets are equal. Which I didn't really realise till I got them home, so excited was I to grab 'em and go! ...but I'll make something out of most of the bits, I'm sure.

So I started by sanding down two of them that I'll use for wall art...paint, text, can't wait to go get some paint...(I LOVE my friend Raymonds electric sander..has a mind of it's own tho!..and my new handsaw, jigsaw and hammer all got baptised today!)
But IN THE MEANTIME..the VERY FIRST pallet creation I found on Pinterest was a shelf made from the pallet structure itself (rather than just using the timber pulled off it) , cut down and re arranged...check it out at Monica and Jess's blog "Real Housewives of Bucks County" (dont' you love it?!) - they do all sorts of things with recycled wood...really, really I gave it a go.
And I'M SO HAPPY with how it turned out...take a look...

I particularly like the old black bits, the aged bits...although I love distressed, whitewashed 'stuff'...i also love this rustic look... Now this isn't ACTUALLY finished...bit of sanding to do and I may add some stencilled text to it...maybe a couple of brushstrokes of blackboard paint across the front section...not lots of ideas...but this is how it looks filled with kitcheny 'stuff'...where I had seen it in my minds eye...tho you can stand framed photos in it, a row of herb pots, maybe rolled towels in the bathroom...the options are endless...only limited by your imagination! ...
So here it is with a few things from my kitchen...
And then I played with Photoscape a bit and made these photos look even more inviting! ..don't I look happy with my creation? lol

So there we are...Hope you enjoyed my latest creation...
Love to hear what you think,
Thanks for stopping by :)
Ciao bellas!
jess xx

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Handmade Christmas..Part Two :)

Hey everone :)
Well the other day you know I said I'm making my decorations this year, from primarily what I have at hand...which isn't much as most of my crafting things are in storage...along with my boxes of Christmas decorations!! lol...anyway, I do have my stamps and glue and some other bits and pieces so can do some things.

Okay..on to my next decorations. Well I have started the Bay Leaf Wreath that I mentioned in last weeks post, so far just a complete circle of leaves --looking very cool and drying a bit, but haven't dried the orange or apple slices yet so will post that when it's done...
the meantime...
I saw some GORGEOUS fabric wrapped styrofoam(polystyrene down here!) balls as Christmas Tree decorations on Pinterest, which were an Etsy item of decided to take the idea and make it my own :)
I began with an old sheet from the local op shop (thrift store) which I'd bought to die Donna Hay Blue (!) for a blue Christmas table cloth...but then I found a great old blue tablecloth! for $1 I got the both! ...and the white sheet has been sitting in my linen cupboard ripped lots of strips across the sheet to get freyed edges, used my stamps to stamp words like LOVE and JOY..will do PEACE etc too...and a cute heart stamp and a Christmas tree stamp...along the length of the strips...and began wrapping around the balls. Some are wrapped with all stamped strips, some with mostly plain strips with a stamped strip wrapped near the end...others different. Anyway...this is how they turned out..I'm really happy with them :)

Oh also I love buttons so tried a button idea that didn't look good, so carried on and completely covered a ball with buttons...real cute actually, tho I wish I'd had some red fabric to wrap the ball in first so the white didn't show thru...but never just don't need to look too closely.
I took lots of cool pics but am having trouble uploading as my computer is SO SLOW right have just put these few on...more maybe tomorrow :)
Hope you like them :)

Thanks for stopping by!
Be back with the next idea later in the week...not sure what yet :)
have a lovely week
happy crafting!
ciao bellas
jessie xx