To justify this he explained that it was in fact an economy measure and that it would work out cheaper in the long run. Also he bought some "logs" for feeding the birds and he was very upset to find the birds completely ignored them, which necessitated moving them to various spots around the garden in the hopes that the birds would look more favourably upon these fresh offerings. When this failed, rather than abandon that idea he set off and bought more logs, with a different flavour. He spends a good deal of his time peering out the windows, muttering to himself "Eat birds, eat", and fretting that they will never come to his offerings. I didn't like to point out to him this morning that whole flocks of them had left the back garden and were in the front garden, gorging themselves silly on things such as rosemary flowers and rose hips. It would have been just too unkind.
I must commend Mrs Shoestring though for his tolerance in the home decorating area. For many years I have gradually introduced more and more floral accents into the cottage, particularly the bedroom, with roses being my particular favourite. Rosy jugs, pink depression glass china, rose prints on the walls, and finally the piece de resistance, a rose print which I unearthed on a particularly fruitful day's shopping with my sister.
(I like to remind myself that while I bought a rose print and a few op shop bits and pieces, she bought a beautiful Victorian dining table, four balloon back chairs and many trees for her garden, somehow it makes me feel better.) This print is now hanging above the bed and not only did Mr Shoestring not bat an eyelid, he even hung it for me. (This is because decades ago I used to hang things myself and he never liked the way I did it; apparently you have to tap all over the wall to find mysterious things called noggins before you can proceed, which seems downright silly to me, but I bow to his peculiar preference and let him hang things up these days. It saves us from having a lot of unpleasant scenes.)
One of the best things about this weekend at Shoestring Cottage (especially since the weather was complete rubbish once more), was that I finally finished this quilt. I don't know how many years ago it was started (and it's best not to dwell on such depressing questions), but half way through I hit upon the idea, which seemed brilliant to me at the time, that rather than having it the same front and back, I could use different colours. Terra cotta and green for the "winter" side of the quilt,
and yellow and green for the "summer" side.
Mr Shoestring much prefers the terra cotta version, which was the originally planned one.
Of course this meant making a whole lot more pieces and set progress back by a long way, but it also made the quilt more interesting to complete. Or that was the plan anyway. Mr Peaceable Kingdom suggested to me that I should not only label my quilts with my name and year of completion, but the year of commencement, which was a very hard hearted and mean thing to say, I thought. I'm congratulating myself that so far this year I have finished two quilts, which was the total for the whole of last year. If I make four this year, who knows how many I will get through next year?
We have had another winter art deco weekend in Napier and it was a wonderful one, possibly the best yet. (I think perhaps I say this every time, but no matter.) We attended the tea dance and the opening ball, also the radio play and a wonderful talk on hats. This was very inspiring as we recently went on a weekend course where we learnt from a wonderful milliner the basics of hat making. We were thrilled that The Dancing Queen could attend as well, so there was quite a bit of chatter and laughter and gossip as well as the hat making. Our tutor was very friendly and wonderfully knowledgeable and we came away feeling much more confident and ready to create our own hats for future deco events. It was absolutely blissikins. While at winter Art Deco weekend we managed to catch up with the Southern Sisters and as ever were inspired by their wonderful costumes, especially the attention to detail with using the correct sewing techniques, fabrics and materials. We met new art deco chums from as far afield as Sydney as well and as usual came away full of ideas for marvellous confections in the hat department and stunning costumes for next year. We recently visited a shop in Auckland which sells Japanese imported antiques and memorabilia and were excited to find silk kimono which would be perfect for cutting up to use in making dresses, but so far have been afraid to take to them with scissors, it would seem to be a desecration.
On the way to Deco we stopped at all the op shops and unearthed quite a bit of treasure. I was particularly thrilled with this jug with a cross stitch design on it,
also a mother of pearl brooch (a bit bright to show up properly here)
and a diamante hair clip.
This pansy bowl of course is a favourite of course,
and we also found a hat block and several bits of clothing to alter for summer deco.
I'm going to attempt to make a blue rayon two piece suit into something more deco with the addition of some pockets trimmed with embroidered finger napkins and a collar and sleeve alterations. And mother of pearl buttons if I can find any in the right size.
Mr Shoestring found an evening suit and cummerbund, plus a hat or two, so he was well pleased.
Puddings aren't my forte and when I foolishly offered to take one to The Peaceable Kingdom this weekend it caused a bit of hasty rustling through my sparse collection of recipes at Shoestring Cottage. I have made this pudding before and it always turns out successfully, though it is officially called a fruit cake it's excellent as a warm pudding in winter time as well. I had no fresh fruits but used cherries, nectarines, pears and apricots for a mixture of colours and flavours and it came out very well. Put the cherries on top so they aren't buried underneath the other fruits, and put the pears on first if using them, as they look rather anaemic and bland compared to the more colourful fruits such as nectarines and apricots. . I'll put the recipe on the side bar.