Monday, July 15, 2013

Winter Finally Arrives - It Had To Happen Some Time

One of the joys of life in a small provincial town is the stories which dominate the news.  As soon as we arrive at Shoestring Cottage Mr Shoestring scours the local newspaper eagerly to see what he has missed out on this week, while earning a crust in The Big Smoke.  The lead story in our local "rag" this week was that a cow had given birth to triplets, and all of them were heifers so the dairy herd would be increased by three instead of one (or possibly none at all if they were bobby calves).  At least it has got to be more encouraging than reading about robberies, burglaries or assaults.

We are suffering the effects of an icy blast and so it was perfect timing that the gas fire was finally installed this weekend.  It still needs to have some sort of surround made for it, but the effect of the flickering flames is very warming and cosy and I crouched over it like some morose tropical bird who had been brought to colder climes this weekend.  The older I get the more I crave warmth and sun, and when I looked around the garden was very saddened to see that nothing almost was blooming apart from a few early white hyacinths (the result of some frenzied planting when first I hit upon the idea of a white garden) and some primulas.

Most things hibernating though one of the lilies was sending forth shoots and Mr Shoestring eventually became tired of being shown the green spikes of new growth and being asked to predict how many blossoms might be expected this summer.

At the monthly market in Matamata I had to give in and buy some pansies luscious purple and yellow, just to cheer the place up a bit.  I love the way their faces are all slightly different with differing amounts of black, yellow and purple.

And I decided to give precious cupboard space to this ridiculously sentimental plate with the lady and gentleman in their powdered wigs, deep in conversation.  I suspect the gentleman is making romantic advances to the lady but being hopelessly unromantic myeslf,

I began to wonder what he might be whispering in his good lady's ear.  I suspect he was saying something along the lines of, "Oh no, it's those ghastly people we met last month at Lady Ramsbottom's soiree.  Just look behind me, where I am indicating with my right hand thumb and index finger, but for goodness' sake don't let them catch your eye or they will attempt to engage us in conversation!"  The lady is a very haughty looking minx, I don't think she would be pleased to make conversation with the newcomers either.  

Though these plates are ridiculously sentimental the colours and scenes are so pretty with their gold surrounds, I would like to build up enough of them to make a whole dining table full and have a luscious pastel dinner party one day.  I remembered I had this one already in the cupboard, which is slightly smaller, and now that my interest was roused I had to have a closer look and try to guess what this gentleman might be saying.

He seems to be dusting off the lady's armpit with a heart encrusted handkerchief, and she is blushing mightily.  (So is he, now I look at him closely.)  Most curious behaviour.  I wish I hadn't hung so many similar plates around the garden, I could use them now to boost up the numbers in my new collection.  

The cross stitch is coming along for some new cushions on the bed, but I must say it is very slow going.  I like the natural coloured Irish linen 

but it is hideously expensive and I think I shall need to put in some pieces embroidered on cheaper fabric.  Lo and behold my mum gave me an enormous piece of cream cloth from her local op shop which will fill the bill nicely.  

I have to admit that I was nonplussed to begin with, how would I ever use such an enormous piece of fabric, but now I think it could look very pretty as a curtain if it had lots of cross stitched motifs on it.  Definitely too good to pass up, anyway.  

The weave is perfect for cross stitch.  (I suspect that there are a lot of keen stitchers, knitters and  crotcheters out there who rather than be endlessly confronted by the proof of occasions where their ambitions outreached their time/ability/interest, will furtively hie themselves off to the local op shop and get rid of the evidence.  It is the only reason I can think of for there being so many bargains to be had from time to time!) 

And speaking of our ambitions outreaching our time, I found these little hexies which I prepared for a new quilt with a chicken and egg theme.  

I can just picture them, each "feature" chicken being surrounded by "fussy cut" hexagons creating gorgeous geometrical patterns which will all blend in together.  But first I have to complete some other projects, the second hand rose crazy quilt, the doilies and damask one and all the others stored in various nooks and crannies in the sewing room.  I sadly put away my hexagons and will try my best to resist their alluring call.