Monday, May 20, 2013

Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave ...

Oh what a tangled web we weave when crafting tasks we do conceive!  I would like to be able to tell you that my crazy quilting supplies were all arranged in this fashion:

But the grim reality is that they look like this:

Finally things got so bad over the weekend that I had to devote some time to untangling the hideous mess and trying to restore some order to my threads, ribbons and laces.  The current crazy quilt is almost ready to be put together now and it would be a shame to set out on the next one with the raw materials in such a chaotic state.

Fired up by that success the next job was to make a valance for the spare bed and what a mission that turned out to be.  I have a long history of disagreements with overlockers (I secretly believe them to be the work of the devil, to tell you the truth) and I needed to first use my long curving tweezers, then my pretty little screwdriver which Lady Raglan gave me.  Eventually I wanted to use my pretty little matching hammer, but managed to hold myself back and be content with some nasty words directed to the overlocker.

(Perhaps I should give said overlocker a name, I think Beelzebub would be an excellent choice.)  Finally the valance was completed 

and the sewing room floor was only ankle deep in scraps of fabric, tortured overlocked scraps and threads. 

Mr Shoestring meanwhile had been faring much better.  Having been shamed by the disgraceful state of the seating when The Duke and Duchess of Ringloes visited last weekend, we bought some fabric to recover two chairs.  I couldn’t resist these chairs because they were so pretty (and so reasonably priced, of course) but the acrylic leopardskin covers were not quite in keeping with the rest of Shoestring Cottage and had to go.  The plan is that in the fullness of time (probably in a decade or so), I will have created needlepoint covers for them, but for now this toile is a good stopgap measure and should look fine with the black and cream ticking we are going to use to reupholster the lounge furniture.  Mr Shoestring made a marvellous job, transforming the chairs from this

Into this

And without any swearing or cursing, either!  What a paragon of virtue that Mr Shoestring is.   

We couldn’t achieve very much in the garden this weekend because of the rain but it has still been very warm.  In fact some plants have been thrown into a state of confusion and this iris seems to have been tricked into thinking it is summertime again.  

Also the foolhardy starlings are building a nest in the nesting box. 

Last weekend for Mothers’ Day I gave my mum a pretty ruby glass piece which had the name of her town engraved on it, made for exposition which was held there in 1920.  I thought I was supremely clever to locate such a thing!  This week in the ultimate example of tit for tat she presented me with this lovely little souvenir from Te Aroha, where Shoestring Cottage is located.

In the late 19th and early 20th century Te Aroha was a spa town and people used to travel from far and wide to take the geothermally warmed waters and enjoy the “pleasure gardens”.  If you look carefully you can see two ladies in what I take to be either late Victorian or Edwardian costume, playing tennis in their ankle length dresses.  (How difficult it must have been to run for the ball!)  The buildings in the background are still used and look just the same, although the tennis court is now a bowling green.  Strangely, this piece was made in Austria.  It is odd to think of it travelling all the way back to New Zealand to be sold but our ceramics industry was still in its infancy then and such fine china was not able to be made.   

1 comment:

  1. I quite liked your tangled bits and pieces, but I suppose to organize them might spur you on to the next crazy quilt project! Your toile covered chair seat is lovely...much nicer than the leopard print and hopefully the Duke and Duchess will approve when they next visit! That iris is so pretty..purple flowers are my favorites!