Snipping and stitching

One of things that gives me lots of pleasure is playing with my button collection. I found some lovely ones yesterday whilst out thrift shopping, but you will have to wait until my next post to see those. I like to play around with different combinations until an idea pops into my head. I made these little brooches, with scraps of vintage Australian pure wool blankets, tiny pieces of doily and embroidery thread. Things have been getting busier in Winter Owls Shop with the holiday season on its way, and my day job of course, so I’m sorry if I haven’t popped in to visit your blog lately. but I hope to see what you’ve all been up to very soon.

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A twitchy nosed upcycled bunny brooch

brooch 2

A sweet little blue bird brooch

brooch 3

A cosy wool bird brooch, with vintage pink and green buttons, available with its friends, in Winter Owls Shop



This little piggy

A friend of mine asked if I’d make her daughter Kate one of my wool owl cushions, except not as an owl, as a pig. Also not a pink pig, but a blue one. Kate is turning thirteen and is obsessed with pigs. I found this a little challenging for a while as I didn’t want her piggy cushion to look too babyish or too girly as she is not a girly girl. Eventually I did what I often do and got out the materials to play with. I make my wool cushions from pure wool thrifted jumpers which I wash on the hot cycle. This causes the wool to felt and makes a lovely soft fabric. I chose a navy blue body, pale blue face and a soft dusty pink for the ears and nose. The eyes are two black buttons and the tail is embroidered on with soft pink thread. I was quite pleased with the finished piggy and am waiting to hear what Kate thinks of it when she gets it for her birthday in August.

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The owl cushion that is not an owl.

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I think he has a very enquiring expression on his face…

For Mum

Friends who share my eclectic taste, have sometimes told me I should have done something in Interior decorating and I think I would have loved that. I love putting together little vignettes and arranging and rearranging. The person I learnt this from is my mother and this post is for her. Mum has an amazing talent for getting an old piece of furniture or junk from the side of the road and then turning it into something wonderful that you would never have thought of doing. She also loves making collections and displays that delight the eye. She has a real talent.

I wanted to do this post for my lovely mum because recently, she severely broke her ankle and has to stay in bed for six weeks with her foot elevated (a real hardship for someone who loves getting out in her garden and restoring furniture). The photographs below are of mum and my stepfather’s beach house which I know she is missing very much. You can see her collection of vintage kangaroos and she loves them because sometimes roos will hop through the garden early in the morning. Don’t you just love her gate to nowhere, attached to no fence? Which of course, she found on the side of the road and rescued.

I hope you like this post Mum, you are an inspiration to me.

Jen x

anglesea fireplace

Carefully created vignettes are one of mum’s pleasures.

kangaroos on shelf

Vintage kangaroos march along the bookshelf.

Kangaroo on shelf closeup

Not only am I handsome, but also useful.

anglesea gate

A whimsical gate stands alone.

A complete house refurbishment

On the Australia Day weekend I completely refurbished a house. Not bad eh? Well actually, I must confess that it wasn’t a real house, but a little house to display knick knacks. I found this brown house in a charity shop and decided it could do with a make over. I love finding some unloved object and saving it from landfills. For more about saving from landfills you might like to visit Livingsimplyfree who is on a journey to simplify her life and shares lots of valuable ideas.

First of all I sprayed the house with white paint (if I was doing this again I would use a paintbrush as I think I would have a more even finish). Next for the fun part, decorating. In my scrap bag I had little pieces of vintage sheets which made perfect wallpaper which I glued on and then varnished. Also incorporated into the decorations were an old stamp, piece of doily, scrap of old music and a book page. Some of the rooms I left completely white for possible later decorations or for those knick knacks that prefer a minimalist decor.

brown house  watermarked


owl house watermarked


top storey watermarked

Salt and pepper owls

Bambi watermarked

Vintage Bambi brooch

yellow room watermarked

I do like matching wallpaper with eye colour, one can’t be too coordinated.

deer watermarked

Tiny deer

Colourful Owls watermarked

It’s impossible to look too groovy.

dolls's head watermarked

A broken doll’s head I found whilst digging in my garden

Key watermarked

Vintage book page and porcelain key

brass owl watermarked

What a shame we’re too big to fit in the house.