Thursday, 2 July 2020

June Wrap-up

It was a mostly quiet month, with some sporadic meet-ups with friends and a lot of crafts, 
but above all it was a lucky month, and I'm very grateful to all those generous friends to gave us things.

Jose and I met up at Grace's house for an afternoon coffee and to collect a chest of drawers and a bookshelf she kindly gifted me so I could paint them.
She was also holding onto a box of "Mon Cheri" those delicious cherry liqueur filled chocolates that Iris had sent Grace for my birthday, all the way from Germany, and those were enjoyed in a blink of an eye 😉.

Before we left Grace's house a rainbow made a grand appearance in the dark sky.

Later in the month we met our friends W & L for lunch at the South African restaurant Kalahari, a Taste of Africa in the southern suburb of Willetton, not far from me.

The restaurant has a small grocery area selling South African products, wines and beers. 
In the frozen section I was thrilled to find Indian meat samosas which we love. I used to buy them at an Indian store near me but they appear to have closed towards the end of last year and the only ones I find at Indian shops now, are the Potato samosas which we don't like.
That evening we had some samosas for dinner served with Tomato rice.

There was also a colleague's farewell at Raktacino Cafe in the suburb of Salter Point, where staff from the Clinic where I work (12 of us, 2 Drs didn't go) got together for coffee and nibbles.
I love little collections, and the Cafe had an lovely collection of porcelain boxes, tea pots and old cups on their walls.

Most of my spare time was spent painting furniture if the weather was sunny, and I managed to finish 2 pieces of furniture - the chest of drawers that Grace gave me and a vintage telephone table that was also given to me.
I use Fusion Mineral Paint for all my furniture, and the chest of drawers was painted in Ash and Pale Gold and the telephone table was painted in Lichen.

And this is the before of the chest of drawers and the telephone table, a big improvement don't you think?

This 60's sideboard that I had painted a couple of months ago was still in the garage as I like to wait a couple of weeks until the paint fully cures before selling the items. But every time I would go into the garage I just wasn't feeling the love, so I decided to paint the doors in the same colour as the body, and I also swapped the knobs. I like it better now.

Towards the end of the month we were gifted more furniture...
An elderly friend who lived nearby moved into a retirement village. Jose had been helping her transport some furniture and take stuff to the Charity shops. Just last week her house was sold and she still had a few things to dispose of, so she called us to go over to the house as she would like to give us a rattan patio set as a thank you for our help if we wished to have it.

It's a lot sturdier than the old cane set we inherited with the house when we bought it, which I had then varnished and got new foam and covered them three times in the last 13 years.
The last time I recovered the pillows in turquoise was actually in August/September last year.

I'm investigating foam prices to substitute the original pillows that are more than 30 years old and a bit too soft already and then I'll have to buy fabric and start my sewing sessions... 
Jose thinks I should paint the cane but right now I'll just oil or varnish it and I think that with some bright pillows (turquoise again) they will look great. 

A stack of new furniture waiting for space in the patio...

I offered our "old" patio set to my suburb's "Buy Nothing Facebook Group" last week, splitting the offer into two - the two roundish chairs and 2 foot stools with orange pillows, and the two seater and 2 single chairs in turquoise and the table. It was a popular offer and I took 3 days to decide so that enough people had a chance to apply for it.  On Saturday we delivered to the two winning households as we have a trailer and they live in the same suburb just a few minutes from us.

A month to be grateful to many people, and to consider myself a lucky girl.

Our lemon tree is full of lemons and I made a couple of jars of lemon butter.
The metal patio set was also given to us by the same friend who gave us the rattan set.
Jose put it under the lemon tree to get shade in Summer, but it's a sunny spot now in Winter.
It's also the area next to an almost finished Barbecue area and next to our veggie garden.

And as if I didn't have enough to do, I unearthed a carpet (which you can see under the 60's sideboard) from one of our cupboards. I started that carpet in Portugal, years before we came to Australia 13 years ago! 
It's called "Arraiolos" a traditional hand-made wool carpet from the town of Arraiolos north of Evora in Portugal.  They are made with a sort of cross-stitch over a linen cloth foundation, using designs derived from Persian carpets brought to Portugal by the Moors. It's now a protected and regulated small industry.
In Portugal I only worked on it in Winter because it gets heavy and hot as you work on it over your knees, no wonder it took me ages to almost finish it. 
For it to be completely finished there is still part of the surrounding boarder to be finished, so I'm aiming to finish it maybe next year, although I've realized I will probably run out of the main colour to fill the background of most of that area...
I'll have to either send a bit of wool to my Mom or sister in Portugal or wait until our next trip...

Arraiolos is a well known brand in many parts of the world, and in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, there is a Arraiolos carpet from the XVII century, that the Museum bough from a Portuguese nobleman in 1895, measuring 315 x 148cm.  (10,33 x 4,85 ft). 

Arraiolos carpet and on the left the bar that needs to be completed


  1. ...I've seen many rainbows, but noth as nice of yours!!!

    1. Thanks Tom, I usually only see part of a rainbow, it was the first time I saw the whole rainbow.

  2. You certainly do a great job with this furniture, Sami, and it is great that it acquires a whole new life and stays out of the landfill.

    1. I agree, I like to keep good pieces out of landfill and with a lick of paint the old becomes new again. Thanks David

  3. You've had a very productive month. I am in awe of people giving you furniture and you turning them into lovely pieces. Even more lovely is that rattan/cane seat you got. I wouldn't paint it either, at least not until you are sure how well it fits in your beautiful sun porch.

    Gosh, I want lemon butter. It sounds absolutely divine. I'd love to sit under your lemon tree, too. And like Tom, that's the most beautiful rainbow I've ever seen, Sami. Hope July is as fruitful (no pun intended) as June was and you continue to be lucky enough to dine out (something I won't do, or even order take out).

    1. Thank you Elizabeth, it was a very lucky month for me with so many pieces of furniture gifted to me. Lemon butter is delicious on top of cakes or on toast.

  4. Beautiful furniture especially the one painted in ash and gold. And oooh that lemon tree. Hahaha so very pretty

    1. Thanks Bertie, glad you liked the chest of drawers Grace gave me, it was a brave choice of colours but I think it looks pretty.

  5. Dearest Sami,
    You have been very industrious during this social distancing period!
    Wow, the furniture you had going through your magic hands underwent quite a metamorphose. The lemons are very rewarding in giving you lots of fruits for changing into delicious homemade lemon butter.
    Those Mon Cheri für dich were of course a welcome treat that we know too well. Our German son often sent them to us over the years.
    Your special Arraiolos carpet with its interesting history, will be quite an asset. If it was in my possession, I would not want to wait but try hard to get some additional wool and finish it!
    Enjoy your July.

    1. Thanks Mariette, I have been doing a bit of the carpet every evening. Will see how far the almost finished colours will take me.
      The Mon Cheri are just delicious and we can't find them here.

  6. It may have been quiet for you, but you seemed to fit an awful lot into your month. I wouldn't paint the rattan set. As you say, oil or varnish.

    1. Thanks Andrew. I've bought furniture oil today and will be doing that over the weekend :)

  7. Que aquele arco-íris anuncie o fim das porcaria da pandemia.
    Esse sim seria um óptimo pote de ouro.

    1. Seria bom Pedro, ja andamos todos fartos desta pandemia! Bom fim de semana :-)

  8. Glad you liked the Mon Cherie, hope they were OK (Ingo wanted some, too, and they were... "wrinkly", he said).
    Love your "new" furniture!
    I sadly was so dumb to buy golden spray. Spray. Goes everywhere, dumb idea.
    A telephone table :-) My Niece knew at once what the 70´s phone is, that I still have as deco, crazy, huh. The days we were stuck to a place to use the phone...
    Love your make-over, great work from the heart.
    Dumb question... is that really butter then, from your lemons?
    OH! The patio set! Beautiful, but burned bums come to mind! ;-)
    WOW to your carpet. Anything arty you can not do, Sami??? WOW.

    1. Thank you again for the Mon Cherie, a few wrinkly ones but that didn't prevent us from eating them, lol.
      The lemon butter is made with butter, sugar, eggs and lemon juice and rind. It is great with toast or over plain cake :)
      I've always been crafty and love colour, and throughout the years I've tried many crafts, some I liked more than others.
      Have a nice weekend Iris

  9. So many terrific pieces! Your porch looks like something out of a magazine ~ I love the colors and that rattan furniture is timeless. Your lemon tree is amazing too ~ Enjoy the weekend!

  10. Thank you Karen, it all second hand furniture and all pillows sewed by me. Our lemon tree is fabulous, we get "tons" of lemons every year.

  11. You really are talented at re-working used furniture into beautiful and useful new objects!

    Telephone tables are useful for quite a few purposes, too bad the furniture people really don't make anything that size any more. The old ones fit into very small spaces, as telephone connections used to be placed in a hall where space was limited. At least that was the case here in the US more than 50 years ago, when the telephone tables were a thing.

    be well... mae at

    1. Thanks Mae. I remember my parents having a phone table in their house when I was in my teens, in the entrance hall as you say.

  12. I Am Smiling From Ear To Ear - Thank You


  13. Oh my gosh if that was a quiet month Sami 😀 Love what you did with the Queen Anne drawers, looks amazing, will you sell it now? The carpet you are seeing is beyond gorgeous, you will have to either use it or display it somehow, all that work, those gorgeous colours 💜💙

    1. Thanks Grace, yes I'll hopefully sell it. The carpet was originally meant to be for the dining room, will have to see if the cats behave themselves and don't scratch it.

  14. That rainbow looks amazing!
    Greetings from Sri Lanka!

  15. That furniture you painted looks fabulous. You have a talent for it. Lots and lots of lemons on your tree.

  16. A good month …
    That rainbow is amazing …

    All the best Jan

  17. Let me start by saying I cannot imagine how lovely and remarkable it would be to have that glorious lemon tree! And the table is perfect right beside it. The rainbow shot, the painted furniture -- fabulous!

  18. Continua a impressionar-me, Sami. :) A sua energia, talento, determinação...
    Muita saúde!


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