Sunday, September 7, 2014

Springtime Capers

This weekend Los Valentinos came to stay overnight at Shoestring Cottage and they were very tolerant of the overstuffed rooms and the fact that every flat surface was covered in the sorts of things which warm the cockles of my heart (oh, and Mr Shoestring's too of course).  Senora Valentino is a magpie, so could understand our malady, but Senor Valentino is not - he told me in all seriousness that his idea of a collection is having one of something - and where is the fun in that?  Although to be fair, the thing he is searching out presently is an ocean going yacht and I suppose one of those would be enough for most people - cold wet and uncomfortable, give me a cosy room with a few needles, some fabrics and lots of luxurious threads to play with any day!

On Sunday the weather was heavenly and Mr Shoestring and I ventured forth like a couple of moles emerging from a period underground, enjoying ourselves very much even though we were only engaged in mundane gardening chores.  The flowers had the saturated acid colourations of early spring and it was worth having a good close look at them emerging and promising a beautiful summer to come.

 Even the discarded hyacinths from last year consented to put on a bit of a show - in fact I think the sparser blossoms in the second season are more appealing and dainty.

 And the same for the tulips too.  

The fig is already showing its fruits, which seemed a bit odd considering they burst forth fully formed but in miniature from the bare winter stems until I remembered that the "fruit" of a fig is actually its flower.

The birds on the birdhouse roof were giving Mr Shoestring a few concerns because he thought they were attacking the wood, until he realised that they were in fact trying to clean the residue off their beaks after consuming the left over "birdforte" from last week which had become rather sticky and must have been like candy floss or toffee for them.  (Isn't it lucky that they have no teeth and therefore don't need to worry about cavities?)

All this abundance and fruitfulness made me want to go indoors and unearth favourite pieces of fabric which I have saved for a long time, waiting for inspiration to strike.  (I only have a very small amount of the fabric to use so will have to be very careful how I cut it and put it together again but I can't wait to get started.  Shame I have that self-imposed ban on starting any more quilts until the 15 or so which are awaiting completion are dealt with.)

I also dragged out a barely started piece of canvaswork which was brought to mind by the polyanthus in the garden.  It is an Elizabeth Bradley design and it will make a beautiful long bolster for in the sewing room when it is complete, having two potted polyanthus beside one another.

But the embroidery which seemed to best suit the mood in the garden was this scruffy old object which was put away ages ago, but which makes an excellent portable project and is good for using up odds and ends of embroidery cottons, especially if you have been given leftovers after some major project.  

It's great fun to do because you can put all sorts of unexpected colours together, the more the better, for an eye wateringly bright effect.  

Here you can see the string stitching which is the base for the overstitching, it is so simple to do but really satisfying.

And now it's time to go and rest the poor tired back and dream of projects to come.  Happy stitching, gardening or whatever happens to keep you awake at night planning and scheming!