Monday, February 13, 2012

Let Preparations Commence!

The art deco weekend in Napier may be the highlight of the social calendar for deco devotees, but it has to be admitted that the actual preparation can be somewhat fraught.  This weekend it could not be put off any longer and though the weather was scorching hot I set aside some time to struggle in and out of all the outfits which competed for roles in this most magnificent of events and were ruthlessly “auditioned”.  It did help somewhat to know that at the opposite end of the North Island The Dancing Queen was going through the same tribulations, though you can be sure that she was well ahead of me in the organisational skills department.  Things were not helped by the fact that Mr Shoestring also chose this time to make last minute adjustments to his wardrobe and we spent a lot of time bumping into one another at the ironing board or in the narrow corridor.  Out came the furs, out came the hats, out came the stockings with seams up the back, the jewellery and the handbags. 

But wait!  The most crucial handbag was missing, the brown alligator skin with the matching coin purse!  A very long and fruitless search ensued and I eventually muttered to myself, “Well, that’s that then, I can’t possibly go to art deco weekend this year without my best handbag.”  Finally it was located, and all was well.  But it has to be admitted that there seems to be a bad history with this handbag.  When I took it on its inaugural outing Lady Raglan was showing off a similar handbag and I told her firmly, “No, I am very sorry Lady Raglan but my handbag is more beautiful than yours by a long chalk Old Thing!  Look what perfect condition it is in, yours is a bit scruffy and nowhere near as lovely.”  As I said this I slopped my coffee over the side of the cup and directly into the pristine lining of my treasured bag and it has never been quite the same.  That’s what you get for pride.  So now more humility and modesty is called for when comparing deco costume notes. 

We hear that the weather may not be as perfect and summery as it has been in past years so the furs may get an outing.  My current favourite fur is a cape which was probably made shortly after the craze for all things Egyptian came about in 1922, when Howard Carter unearthed Tutankhamun’s tomb.  Look at the adorable  faces on the clasps, they are so evocative of that time when people were still thrilled by faraway places and exotic archaeological discoveries.   

I never did find my favourite blue parasol with white spots, but as it is made from some kind of stiffened paper it probably would not fare very well in the rain or wind anyway.  (Always look on the bright side …)

On the way to Shoestring Cottage we passed by this maize paddock and it was lovely to see the sunflowers growing amongst the maize.  Mrs Peaceable tells me that stock adore the taste of sunflowers in their feed and it conjured up visions of them snuffling through it, looking for the bits with sunflower flavours.  (A bit like people picking out the dried apricots in their muesli perhaps.  I am sure they are not that discerning but it was a nice thought. 

In the garden there seems to be a bit of a blue mood coming to the fore.  This is a new patch of garden recently started and once the blue plants went in there was no turning back.  They will look pretty with pinks, mauves and purples and perhaps the occasional touch of white also. 

At the local market this weekend I vowed and declared that I would not be rash and buy anything in the "collections" category.  (I am starting to imagine headlines:  "Woman crushed to death under avalanche of flea market finds" or possibly "Police mystified as to cause of exploding house - debris covers wide area.")  But in my defence it was Mr Shoestring who found these teaspoons.  They are the perfect match for our cutlery set, which has no teaspoons.  Also I found two lovely green glass pieces but I am too ashamed to show them to you - maybe after a suitable interval with no more purchases I will feel bolder.  

And this pretty mother of pearl brooch was only 50 cents and it won't take up very much space.  

This silk scarf was going to be cut up for the crazy quilt but it has a hand rolled hem and is in such beautiful colours.  If I wear it with the mother of pearl brooch I will look just like Miss Marple - but is that a good thing, one wonders?

And in order to use up some of the treasures so rashly obtained in recent weeks, here is a cake stand made from three old plates, a candlestick and a little sherry glass.  You can't see the candlestick very well, it was very difficult to photograph.  Good fun to make though!