I always had a hankering for some pretty chandeliers for Shoestring Cottage, despite the fact that she is a rather raffish and very modest cottage and not grand by any stretch of the imagination. Having seen the modern ones on offer I knew they were way beyond what I was wanting to spend and so I was very pleased with myself when I found some languishing in a shop which was on the move, looking for a good home and not expensive.
Mr Shoestring put in a lot of time and effort to bring them up to scratch but of course some of the fittings were missing which meant we needed to find another old light fitting to pirate bits off and reuse. After the necessary stripping down of that light fitting we were left with this, the discarded remains of the light fitting reused for parts.
It seemed to good to toss it out and so the quest began for a new use for this leftover. Perhaps I could decoupage it with pretty pictures and turn it into a plant pot? Or maybe set it into the ground and use it to keep precious bulbs safe?
All kinds of possibilities sprang to mind but then it occurred to me that being frugal has many hidden dangers, not the least of which is the “knock on effect” of things left over from other projects and the desire not to waste anything, and to put every remnant to good use. Looking around Shoestring I realized there were bowls of buttons removed from garments before they were discarded,
pieces of broken jewellery waiting to be remade into other things,
baskets full of left over crewel and tapestry wool,
scraps of patchwork fabric almost (but not quite) too small to be of any use whatsoever,
pots of cuttings taken at pruning time,
not to mention the bits of damaged china waiting to be smashed up and turned into mosaics
doilies for recycling and using in crazy quilts
small blocks left over from patchwork quilts
on and on the list went. This is where we need to start to be a bit firm with ourselves and ask whether we really do need another box hedge, and whether those pieces of fabric really are too small to be of any earthly use. But it is always difficult to know where to draw the line. Ruthlessness is the order of the day.
Some things will definitely have to go. But one thing I can never discard is my precious Farmers Trading Company catalogue from my nana, which is falling to pieces and has tissue thin pages and no cover. If there was anything to save from Shoestring Cottage this would be it, I could spend hours poring over it and marvelling at the things people used to buy from all around the country, and apparently if they weren't satisfied their money was returned without question! I think it dates from the early 1930s and maybe it is partly responsible for my fixation with all things deco, who knows?
And looking out for signs of spring (the shortest day has passed at last) I was surprised to see this bird at my dear mama's place, instead of wishing to steer well clear of any chance of being caged it was determined to perch on top of her ornamental outdoor bird cage - even birds can be contrary and misguided we humans are not alone. This bird was probably contemplating spring time and wondering how many recycled objects it could accommodate in its next nest,or that's what I like to tell myself anyway.