Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dreary Days


Winter has arrived, we had rain most of the weekend and even the cats were reluctant to go outside.  Poor Mr Shoestring had to toil away in the garden when it was dry because he had rashly carried out a radical cut back in the garden last week and had to take away all the tree limbs and greenery he had lopped.

I was bowled over because my mum had given me a second piece of Te Aroha souvenir china, which she found in her local opp shop.  (How is it she has found two pieces while I have never seen any?)  This piece has pretty yellow and white blossoms around the central decorative motif and was made in Germany.  It must be very old because only two buildings are visible, and the rotunda in the foreground is in a different position to the current one.  I was surprised to see that the "New Sanatorium" was supposedly in Te Aroha (Auckland), but then realised that this must refer to the province of Auckland, in those days when New Zealand was divided into provinces which were fiercely parochial.  I suspect that residents of Te Aroha would be offended if they were considered to be a part of Auckland now!

So now that I have two pieces of Te Aroha souvenir china I feel yet another collection coming on - very vexing as I am trying to cut back on these collections which mysteriously worm their way into Shoestring Cottage.

Last weekend we took our new little Fig over to the monthly Matamata markets and I was unable to resist these pieces of embroidery.

This Scotty dog has been very carefully embroidered by some unknown person and I love the way s/he lost interest before they completed the little skein of smoke coming from the chimney in the top right hand corner - I can understand how that last little detail would not be quite so enthralling after conscientiously toiling away on the rest of the piece.

At the other end of the runner is this scene - the Scotties complete with a thistle of course - and no incomplete embroidery.  This end was probably stitched first.

They set off my collection of scruffy and disreputable terriers so well!

From the same stall holder I got this most curious hand towel which seems to depict some sort of disgruntled fairy offended by the appearance of nearby flowers, or at least that is all I can make of this vibrant  embroidery - and look at how the colours of the flowers on either side have been transposed!  Such attention to detail.

Also these two pretty embroideries which will go into the latest crazy quilt - I am sure they were completed by the same embroiderer, the colours are identical.

A little further along my favourite stallholder had this amazing metal bowl, which will nicely hold the wools for this canvas work  

which is coming along very slowly and is doing my head in with all the colour changes.  Every few stitches demands a change of wool and I was ready to throw it out the window and into the rain this weekend, but persisted with it because otherwise how will I use up all those left over wools I was given?  

Mr Shoestring has developed a passion for red onions.  Every time he has to go to the shop for anything he comes back with yet another bag of them, "In case we have run out", and to keep up with them all I found a recipe for red onion soup.  (You can't just substitute them for ordinary brown onions in all recipes because they can discolour the dish.)  It is very piquant and tasty with the addition of some balsamic vinegar and as it uses eight onions, well worth trying out if you have a glut on your hands.  Just the thing for warding off coughs and colds in this horrible weather, give it a try if you aren't going to be closely confined with your fellow citizens in the next day or two.  Definitely not for those who are attempting long haul air flights though.

Apart from that, more quilting on the tumbling blocks quilt - another very slow project.  Roll on spring time!

1 comment:

  1. Some great childhood memories for me upon seeing the embroidered Scotties.