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

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A sweet little blue bird brooch

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



Foxy Ladies

I’ve had it in my mind to make foxes for a while now. I have a lovely rusty chenille bedspread that I want to make some foxy cushions from. To start with though, I’ve made some foxes from a vintage, very orange, pure wool Australian blanket. I think they’re pretty foxy looking! For those of you who like Foxy Ladies and Jimi Hendrix, you might want to pop in here. This is something that makes me laugh hysterically every time and has my boys telling me I’m so weird….

Frankie 1

Frankie the foxy lady

Felix 1

Felix the foxy lad is in Winter Owls shop with Frankie

Frances 5

According to my boys, Frances is freaky looking. So I sent her off to in.cube8r gallery where she would fit right in.

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…

Button brooches

A few weeks ago I read a lovely post written by Pippin Run Wild (don’t you love her blog name?). In it she describes cutting up an old napkin, to make a pretty brooch, after hesitating  for a while about possibly ruining it. You can read her post here.

Pippin inspired me to cut up an old stained napkin I had thrifted and turn it into a self covered button brooch. Once I’d made one, I became addicted and next made a brooch from an old pillowcase, adding some embroidery of my own. Finally, my mind turned to owls (as it often does), and I embroidered an old gingham tablecloth. I must say, I really like the way they turned out and have plans to make more. It’s a wonderful way of using stained or holey old linen to make something beautiful and new. I’ve put them in my shop, but I think I will almost feel sad to see them go….

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Old stained napkin turned into a pretty brooch.

blue floral 2 jacket

Just the thing to brighten up a jacket.

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A vintage pillow case embroidered and upcycled into a groovy flower brooch.

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Hoot hoot!

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Hmmn, I really can’t decide which is my favourite…

Blanket Bunny Rabbits

When I was a little girl I slept with my old baby sleeping bag. I had loved it to pieces, so soft and comforting, a little rabbit stitched on it, I called it Baggy. I still have Baggy but do not fear dear reader, I do not still sleep with it! I could never bear to discard Baggy after a sleep over at my grandparents around the age of five. My grandmother was rather aghast that I still slept with such a ragged old thing and so, she sent Baggy to the rubbish bin. I rescued Baggy and hid it inside my pyjamas until I went home. This is the inspiration behind my Blanket Bunny Rabbits. They are made from vintage pure wool Australian Blankets and have their own little blanket firmly attached to their paw. Nobody is taking away their blankets!

Blanket Bunny Rabbits have joined the owls in Winter Owls shop.

Blanket Bunny Rabbits have joined the owls in Winter Owls shop.

Blanket Bunny

A busy sewing week and a vintage pram

It has been a busy sewing week and my house looks like a bomb has hit it. My brother and his family are coming over to visit from the United States so I have a lot of tidying up to do. Thankfully it’s cooler in Melbourne at the moment which always makes me feel more like handling cosy fabrics like vintage chenille bedspreads. My dear friend Mary tells me she has the blue bed spread at her parent’s beach house. I did tease that they might find a few owl shaped holes after the next time I visit there…

Some of the owls went to a local school fete and the rest will fly off to my Etsy store soon. My younger son and I found this lovely old pram on a pile of junk put out on the nature strip. He was rather horrified when I asked him to pop the pram into the car, possibly imagining that people might think he wanted it for himself! I think it is quite old, it has a steel frame and bamboo around the base. It also has a heavy piece of chipboard as a base which is yucky and flaky, I’m not sure if this is original or a repair that was done at some time. If it’s not original I would like to replace it at some stage. I have a photograph of my self with a pram just like this as a little girl, I think that’s why I like it so much.

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You can never have too many owls in a pram.

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Cosy owls enjoying the autumn sunshine.

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Chenille owls lounging around.


Stitching on a piece of vintage sheet.

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Close up detail

closeup pink



Owl eyes

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.

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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.