Monday, May 9, 2011

Chaos and Confusion in the Kitchen

The kitchen on moving day

Well my dears, we have been busy in the kitchen over the last three weekends, attempting to install our “new” hand-me-down kitchen.  Of course these things never go quite according to plan.  I was acting as Mr Shoestring’s builder’s labourer and discovered it required a talent for mind reading as well as the usual attributes such as physical strength.  Mr Shoestring tends to demand that one should “get the thing” and one is left thinking, “Thing, thing, now which thing might that be I wonder?”  Also he can become rather brusque and short tempered and bark out orders such as, “I need the parrot beaks” at which point one becomes flustered and dashes about inspecting every available piece of equipment looking for anything which vaguely resembles a parrot’s beak.  And then there were the occasions when I thought a hefty push was in order whereas Mr Shoestring was requiring a pull instead, or a tilt to the left rather than a jerk to the right.  Once we had lifted the range in and out of place four times in order to get it in the correct position I began to lose interest in the project, I must admit, but things are slowly taking shape.  Sadly the gas hob is designed for piped natural gas and we are going to have to either re-jet it or acquire another hob.  Mr Shoestring obtained one from TradeMe but it turned out not to fit into the “hole” in the bench top, so we are back to the drawing board where the hob is concerned.   
The counter tops are a buttery cream colour and the cupboard doors and drawers are a rather strident shade of turquoise.  We toyed with the idea of painting all the drawers and cupboard fronts cream to match the counter tops but have now come up with a plan to paint them a 1940s shade of green instead.  We have a set of enamelled canisters in a similar colour which will sit on the bench, also a green cast iron pot stand and a whole set of this crockery with a gardening theme.  Somehow this particular shade for me epitomises the charm and nostalgia of the 1940s and it fits in perfectly with the “make do and mend” philosophy of  Shoestring Cottage.   The flooring will have to be replaced and perhaps we will eventually put down cream and green tiles but we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves. 

On a different note, I am pleased to report that our hat model has now acquired a name.  After careful thought and much discussion at stitching group one night we decided on Esme, which is a little sombre and suits her very well.  Actually Esme has a new hat to model for you this week, and I fancy she is wearing a slightly more cheerful expression to show her approval.  Rather later than the cloche it has a more 1930s feel and perhaps she favours this slightly more modern look.  This hat was a great bargain, it cost me 50 cents at the church shop and will hopefully travel to art deco weekend next year when it has a new trim on the band. 

 I also acquired this little purse – not too bad at $1.50.
But the piece of costumery which has me most excited this week is this fabulous pair of mint condition tangerine kid gloves, which will form the basis of an entirely new costume.  Picture a green silk 1920s type outfit with orange appliqué of suitably “moderne” motifs such as ziggurats or rising suns.  The same motifs will trim a hat and I am determined to acquire a long string of amber beads and some amber drop earrings to complete the ensemble.  Green suede shoes are in the wardrobe department, in readiness. 

We found this crinoline lady apron on the same day as the tangerine gloves – the thrift shop gods were smiling on me that day.  She will grace the kitchen when I have completed the stitching needed.  She has a rather odd expression and I am not sure what thoughts may be going through her mind. 

Another thrilling acquisition (for Mr Shoestring at any rate) was this vintage (red of course) chopper.  I bought it as a present for him when I found the tangerine gloves – it seemed sad for him to miss out. 

 And how about this whole roll of burgundy coloured thread for stitching on the new crazy quilt for the princely sum of $1.50?

Last but not least, this print was languishing in a Salvation Army shop.  It is by Adrian Allinson who designed  posters for London Transport in the 1930s and if you look carefully you can see it has an Airedale Terrier in the right foreground, our favourite type of dog. 

 Bliss on the thrift shopping front in recent times.