Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Botanical Dress

Some people have very predictable tastes and I fall into this category; anything with a floral/bird/insect/gardening theme is irresistible.  It is a pity, but there it is, it can't be helped.  Friends and family can always tell that certain objects will appeal to me if they have that certain look.    

When we went on the girls’ road trip to Tarnished Frocks and Divas we discovered a lovely shop on the way home called Village Fabrics & Needlecraft.  It is a good thing I don’t live too close or I would be spending all my time and money there.  I did buy half a metre of this botanical themed fabric and am planning to make my special Christmas/summer frock for the year using this fabric for the bodice.

 Look!  It even has birds!

 and butterflies
  and bees, flowerpots and trowels!

For the skirt there will be black silk with a black tulle overlay, and the tulle will have all kinds of flowers, insects, birds and garden themed things appliquéd to it.  So far I am working on these flowers …

strawberries and blackberries

but eventually there should be some dragonflies, butterflies and whatever else I can think of.  Planning all the things to be appliquéd on is great fun.  I will show you the end result – provided I am not too distracted by the redwork sampler with birds which is taking all my spare time at present!  It is ages since I did any cross stitch and it is very relaxing to take up the needle again.

 Birds - they seem to be something of a preoccupation of late

  Cherubs on another piece of cross stitch for a cushion

Foiled At Every Turn

(Mrs Shoestring Wallows In Self Pity And Needs To Pull Self Together!)

Though I hate to admit it, I have been feeling a teeny tiny bit sorry for myself of late.  First of all there was a nasty injury which necessitated a visit to the doctor and has made it unadvisable to jog for a while.  (Or forever, if doctor is to be believed.)  To add insult to injury the doctor to whom I presented myself, rather than being sympathetic, was unable to understand the reason for a sensible person to want to indulge in such a foolhardy activity.  In fact he questioned me closely as to "Just what exactly is it that you like about jogging?"  I felt as though I had admitted to some strange perversion and it was hard to explain what attracted me to this ghastly activity.  He then went on to tell me (rather smugly, it seemed to me) that he took no exercise.  I was surprised that he didn't add, "And look how gorgeous I am, despite that!"  He moved on to a lecture as to the reasons why the human body was not designed for running.  At intervals there was, "short sharp burst of activity only", "not long distances of exertion", "damage to tendon", "stress fracture", "should not run on hard surfaces", "if must run should only run only on soft surfaces, take self to grassed area" etc etc, on and on it went.  Perhaps the reason I can only recall snippets of this lecture is that my mind began to wander off and I was resisting the urge to stick my fingers in my ears and sing, "La la la la la" until he ran down and reached the end of his speech.  Just as well it didn't come to that; he may have prescribed me an entirely different treatment in that case.

Having given in to the advice not to do any more running (for a while at least, we shall have to await further developments on that front) it was horrible to come down with ghastly cold and almost lose one's voice.  (Though Mr Shoestring is possibly pleased about that.  He seems to find it very amusing for some reason.)  Now am croaking away at family and having to live a very quiet life.

On Saturday in the sewing room at Shoestring Cottage there was chaos all around and the room seemed almost ankle deep in various pieces of fabric, sewing accessories.  The situation began to seem beyond hope.  Imagine how lovely to hear from Mrs Tasty Hastie - she and Mr Hastie were in town at the annual "Cruise In" where people with vintage cars all turned up and parked them in the main street.  Yes, how lovely to see her, just what a sad and sick sedentary person needed to cheer herself up.  As soon as we met at the front door it was necessary to explain about horrible head cold and decision to let hair go grey, in case Mrs Tasty Hastie thought she had come to the wrong place, such was the hideousness of one's appearance.  "Oh God no, you mustn't let yourself go grey, you will look like an old grannie!" exclaimed Mrs Hastie.

Once we were comfortably installed in the courtyard of the lovely cafe in town Mrs Hastie told me about her love of all things with leopardskin prints, and her beautiful leopard skin swing coat and various other leopard skin garments and accessories she possessed.  This old grannie began to feel rather overshadowed in the glamour stakes, it has to be said.  Mrs Hastie even had on tall leopard skin wedge heel, peeptoe sandals with pretty red painted toenails peeking out, and was looking most sleek and pampered.  One couldn't help but reflect that if one were to attempt the wearing of such sandals, one would be likely to lose control of them and tumble head first down the steps of the cafe thereby making complete spectacle of oneself.  The only consolation was that Mrs Hastie's ankles were attacked by voracious blood sucking midgies whereas one's one sensibly encased ankles (thick black opaque tights, not in the least bit glamorous it must be said) were unscathed.

It was lovely to catch up with Mrs Hastie (and Mr B Hastie too of course), but I couldn't help reflecting, as they roared off in their vintage car, that some people have to content themselves with being sparrows rather than brightly plumed tropical birds - or, to put it another way, some people are the Mustangs of the world

 and some people are old Austins.

I took myself off home and peered out the back window where rain was threatening and noticed a large flock of finches feasting on the grass seed so lovingly sewn directly under their bird feeder, where a treat of assorted bird seeds awaited them.  Would they eat the special bird seed in the feeder?  No, they would not, the ungrateful things.  Sometimes life just does not go in the way you had planned.  Sigh.

 Look at the little picnic set, isn't it perfect?

 The ultimate in comfortable touring vehicles

Or perhaps you would prefer a luxury caravan and car combination like this one?