Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Wet Weekend But Not Wasted

The weather forecast was straightforward; it was going to be a wet weekend.  I chose to ignore this and all week long happily planned a prolonged gardening session.  It turned out that the forecasters were right and I was wrong.  Not only was the weather dismal, I didn't obtain a single plant at the market and when we returned home I could look out the kitchen window and see the rain clouds rolling down the mountain.  It was going to be an indoor weekend after all. Luckily the excursion to the markets hadn't been a complete failure, I found an art deco looking handbag in the Red Cross shop for $3 and am already planning an evening outfit for next summer deco to show it off in all its metallic glory.

There was also a plate to add to the ever growing green glass collection.

There was nothing for it but to hunker down and make the most of the enforced indoor time.  After some time spent industriously quilting it occurred to me that the end was finally in sight as far as the floral tumbling blocks quilt was concerned, which is something of a miracle given the fact that I prefer to hand quilt and must be about the slowest quilter in the world.  

Instead of pressing on purposefully my mind wandered over all the possibilities for new projects.  The ladder was brought out and the uppermost reaches of the storage cupboards in the sewing room raided for treasure.  In theory I was searching for the green fabric needed for the diamonds and triangles in this quilt, so that I can finish it

but somehow I was distracted and thought how much more interesting it would be to start a quilt using these bird/egg themed fabrics which have been part of my stash for a long time and are crying out to be used

At least the green fabric was eventually located (right at the top of the cupboard, in a distant corner, why does that always happen?) but I brought all the others down just in case there would be some reason to use them sooner rather than later.  Once again the sewing room was disorderly and untidy. Sigh.

There was a utilitarian cardi languishing at Shoestring Cottage, comfortable but rather dreary with its brown plastic buttons.  I ripped them all off (cutting the cardigan in the process of course) and replaced them with old mother of pearl buttons, each one different, and made a silk rosette with a button trim so Brownie would feel more special.  I think she appreciates the attention paid to her and will repay me with lots of faithful service.

What a happy time I had scratching through the notions, beads and buttons.  The time flew past and as per usual the weekend was over in the twinkling of an eye.

As well as the quilting and scratching around with buttons and notions I did manage to do a bit on the "Second Hand Rose" crazy quilt, which I am enjoying very much.  So much so that I can't seem to find a moment to work on the (paler and less colourful) doyleys and damask crazy quilt.

It was time to pack up and head back to town, but at least I had managed to dash out in between showers and do some weeding.  It was hard to resist the urge to dig around the patches where I suspect the lily bulbs to be.  Just to check that they are still there you know, and haven't rotted during winter.  The jonquils planted in a pot last Autumn are flowering and it is shaping up to be a very early spring.  

It is almost time to start listening out for the return of the Shining Cuckoo with its distinctive call, which is always associated with the return of warm days and sunshine.  

I was horrified when I learned that the shining cuckoo enters the nest of the grey warbler, lays its egg there and then departs, often taking out in its beak an egg of the grey warbler at the same time.  The grey warbler nest is apparently a beautifully woven, pear shaped work of art with an opening near the top and a porch over the doorway.  If it is in a windy or exposed spot there might be little ropes attached to anchor the nest to nearby branches as well, what a work of art and how cruel that the grey warblers are duped into raising the comparatively enormous shining cuckoo chicks!  But even so it will be a happy day when we hear the first shining cuckoo of the season.  I have seen a shining cuckoo but never a grey warbler, only heard their beautiful calls which really do have a kind of warbling or trilling sound to them.  This season I will be looking out more closely for them.  

"Yes you, get out of my nest and leave my eggs alone you worthless wretch!  Go and make a nest of your own and put your eggs there."