Monday, August 1, 2011

Treasures from Distant Parts

Whenever we leave town we make a beeline for the charity/church/second hand shops.  Our trip to the winter DIY Deco weekend was no exception, and we has some wonderful finds.  Mr Shoestring could not find any red handled kitchen implements but was pleased with this cream and green handled fish slice - very appropriate for the "new" kitchen at Shoestring Cottage, too.

There were a couple of beautiful glass plates which will come in handy for sitting under pot plants

and these very convincing "art deco" earrings were all $2. per pair at a tattoo parlour/jewellery store in Hastings!  It pays to persevere in our quest for the perfect accessory.  Some of them might end up being used on hats perhaps.

I was thrilled to find lots of woollies of various colours which are going to be thrown into a hot wash and then dried in the clothes drier to felt them.  After that the plan is to deconstruct them and put them back together in new forms to make snuggly woolens for winter weekends.  The composition of the fibre needs to be at least 70% wool to get the felted effect, and this is the first time I have tried experimenting with woolies in this way.  More updates to follow.  As well as the knitted woolens there was a good selection of tweed skirts for putting together into a crazy quilt muffler for winter but first of all, to get more interesting colours, some pieces are going into the dye pot.  More to follow on that project in time too.

This old curtain called to me; it needed to be loved and I was the person to do it!  It is going to be transformed into a 1950s style dress complete with full skirts.  More later on this too.  (Perhaps I am setting myself a few too many goals here, even remembering to keep you updated will be a mission.)

When we come back from a holiday it is surprising which things return to us and give us pleasure when least expected.  Since we returned from Napier I have been thinking about the swallows which dived and swooped all along the foreshore there.  For some reason I thought they were migratory birds which fly away in the autumn and return in the spring.  Having consulted up a book about birds in New Zealand I discovered that they actually stay here all year round.  They are self introduced; presumably they were blown off course on their way to or from Tasmania.  Their subtle colours are to my eye as beautiful as those seen on brighter hued birds, and the way they feed on the wing is so skillful.  I celebrated them by decorating a velvet jacket with new buttons and sleeve ruffles and adding a swallow pin.

Not very much is happening above ground in the garden at Shoestring Cottage.  We can only hope that lots is going on underground though; that the lilies are preparing themselves to put on a stunning display in summer for example.

Only a few blossoms in the garden now

The most surprising happening this week was that this beautiful beaded evening purse was donated to the collection of rapidly accumulating relics.  I think the frame may be tortoiseshell, which of course we would never contemplate buying now.  The workmanship is exquisite and I suspect that it is probably Edwardian.  It is very well preserved,considering how delicate the beading is.  The colours are surprisingly strong and intense.