Saturday, May 24, 2014


I am sure I have mentioned before that I love op-shopping. I have not let myself spend much on myself lately because of the situation with my husband losing his job but last week I needed to fill in some time in town and I let myself do a bit of op-shopping.

I got myself a pair of near new shoes for about the price of a cappuccino from the Salvation Army shop.

At other op-shops I got the following, all for about NZ $12.

Lace Net Embroidery
Basic Steps for Weaving Cane Furniture
Woolen Baby Wrap
Tourist-type Russian Dolls
(I also got a folder of crochet know-how and patterns but I have not included these in the photo)

Over time I want to experiment with the lace net embroidery and the cane furniture in miniature. The woolen wrap I will cut up to make miniature blankets etc which I will edge and embroider. There is only two dolls as below and I may just use the bottoms as miniature planters once I have trimmed the top edge of them. As for the book Chocolat, that is my favourite film which I have watched many times but I have never read the book before. The felt toy book is from 1953 and has some lovely designs in it. Some of the simpler designs I will try to make in miniature but I will also probably make up some of the designs in their full size as well. I've always loved the old felt toys.

and yet more:

Little Brown Bird
Basketry the Easy Way
More Macrame
Basket Making Made Easy
Applique and embroidered table cloth

With this group I want to experiment with basketry and macrame in miniature. When I was quite young I remember doing both in full size. It will be fun trying to scale the techniques down into miniature. The Little Brown Bird book contains designs which combined make a large quilt using applique/embroidery/stitching and painting, with many of the designs containing birds. I love anything to do with birds. While I am not a quilter I thought I could take ideas from the book for miniature items. The table cloth I will cut up to use the applique and embroidery for miniature items and the cloth can be used to make miniature sheets.

So that was my op-shopping.

Finally, I couldn't resist a 960 page 1813/14 Girl's Realm Annual I saw on an on-line auction. I got it for NZ$3 plus postage. I couldn't believe my luck. The seller had described it as being in quite bad condition which may have put people off bidding, but I was happily surprised when I received it as it is not in that bad a condition at all, especially for a book that is 100 years old. I love flicking through these old annuals and they often have some lovely craft ideas in them as well as pictures of old fashions etc.

I definitely intend to make at least some little thing in miniature this weekend so check back with my blog in the next day or two.

Have a great weekend everybody.

Monday, May 19, 2014

We have names... (for now)

This is just a quick post to follow on from my last post where I introduced the two kittens I received for Mother's Day and asked for name suggestions.

First of all thank you so much for the fabulous name suggestions. We all loved receiving them and I loved many of the names. The difficulty was in trying to find a name that my husband, daughter and I all agreed on.

You also asked whether the kittens were boys or girls. When my husband and daughter picked up the kittens they were told they were boys. Admittedly they were very little and were only about 6 weeks old. Since then another lady has looked at the kittens and thinks we have two girls. We will have another good look at them in a week or so when they are a bit bigger and hopefully will be able to tell.

Anyway we have named the kittens but there is always the chance we may change the name when we are sure of their sex.

Firstly the little black kitten is called DASH. We called this kitten Dash because of his/her speed and playfulness and also because of the dash of white on his/her paw.

The tabby kitten we have named SQUIGGLE because of the mix of colours and also because of a popular New Zealand biscuit called Squiggles which has squiggles of hokey pokey on top of chocolate. Squiggle has hokey pokey colouring in amongst his/her other colours, especially a patch on top of his/her head.

We are trying to slowly introduce the kittens and our dogs. The funny thing is that our large dog Jasper (a total sook) is scared of the kittens and won't go anywhere near them.

And while we are on non-miniature matters I just thought I'd update you on my husband's employment situation. We have had a lot of kind thoughts sent our way since my husband lost his job. After 5 months of unemployment Pete is currently training for a position working with intellectually disabled that live independently within the community. At the moment is it only part time but hopefully within the next 4-6 weeks it will turn into a full time position and we will be able to start living a near-normal life again (if there is such a thing).

And finally I will finish with something to do with miniatures. I have finished the stitching on the table cover apart from needing to do hem stitch along one side so I can trim the table cloth and then fringe the two ends. I am really pleased with the way it has turned out.

I promise I will try to get back into making miniatures this week. I found some paper clips at work that are making me think of stand up photo frames. I just need to find some suitable photos to have a play.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Name Suggestions Please...

I got an early Mother's Day present today - two gorgeous little kittens. They are siblings. One is a lot darker than the other. We are having trouble naming them. We would really appreciate some suggestions for suitable names.

My next few weeks will be spent introducing the kittens to our three dogs and refereeing!

We look forward to hearing your suggestions. Have a great weekend.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

What is this?

Hi blog friends.

A friend of mine has a wonderful old sewing box full of antique treasures and I am trying to help her find out what this item is:

It is a round brass object with retractable spikes. The knob on the top moves the spikes in and out but there does not seem to be a mechanism for locking the spikes when they are out. The back is flat but with a raised rim on the outside. If this is a needlework tool of some sort it gives room for a needle to go underneath threads.

I did look at the crochet doily in the bottom picture which came out of the same box and it made me wonder if it could be a tool for making lace flowers or to start some other form of needlework but it seems odd that you can't lock the spikes.

I have spent quite a bit of time on the web this morning to no avail so I just thought I'd see if any of you can shed some light onto what this item was used for.

It was made in Italy and has the wording ES - D.R.P. - BRFVETTATO - (a Crown) - PATENTE.

If anyone knows what this tool is used for and how it is used I'd really appreciate you commenting below. Any links to anything on the internet would be appreciated.

I'm still hoping I might finish my blackwork table cloth this weekend so hopefully I will be able to post a picture of it in the next day or two. Then I'm keen to have a go at scaling some vintage felt bag designs down into 1/12th scale.

This is part of a vintage felt knitting needle holder with felt flowers.

Have a great weekend everyone.