Sunday, July 31, 2016

Mr Shoestring - Paragon of Virtue

Now just before I get started, let me say that Mr Shoestring is an all round excellent person and a shining example to us all.  I say this because he found in the space of half a day my lost camera (the loss of which had prevented me from writing blogs about Shoestring Cottage for quite a long time now) and also my best Little Black Dress, the one I go to automatically on Monday mornings when I have an early start at work and which is a life saver in the wardrobe department.  So, well done Mr Shoestring and long may you continue in this manner.

Winter art deco weekend in Napier has rolled around again and it was a great success.  This year we initiated Mr and Mrs Canuck into the mysteries of this heavenly festival and they proved to be easily up to the task.  For one thing, Mrs Canuck made herself the most creative costumes including a spectator coat and matching hat, and she decked the uncomplaining Mr Canuck out in wonderfully colourful art deco raiment.  Also they were both excellent travelling companions, by which I mean that they never balked at the prospect of stopping at every op shop along the road and even returning to them again on the return journey.  When it comes to op shops I'm a bit like a dog who remembers once finding a bone at a certain spot and will always return to the scene of past op shopping triumphs in the confident expectation of a repeat performance.  Once when we left Napier I found a beautiful landscape painting to add to my ever growing collection of masterpieces, but my little car was so full that even when I opened the top I couldn't fit the painting in, so sadly had to leave it behind. You can see that she is only a diminutive thing and once she had all the furs, hats, costumes and accessories two decophiles needed for a weekend of fun and frolics loaded into her she was loaded up to the roof and I had to try to slip the painting in by opening up the roof, but even that wasn't going to work.

When we revisited the shop after winter deco I told Mrs Canuck about this sad near-miss and had a look through the paintings but could find nothing to take my fancy.  Lo and behold, Mrs Canuck found this wonderful treasure for me and made me very happy.  (Luckily she is not interested in priceless artworks, concentrating more on items for her budding art deco wardrobe.)

My new landscape fits in with the theme of these ones, but it can't be hung with them as there is no wall space left so it has to go nearby.  Still looks pretty damned fabulous all the same though!

Every time we return from art deco weekend I'm fired up with enthusiasm for making better costumes for next time.  This time the gauntlet was well and truly thrown down by Mrs Canuck (and her a novice too!) and rather than run out of steam as I usually do I resolved to get started before the enthusiometer started to run down.  I have one hat which I adore and which has no costume to go with it, the poor thing.  Esme agreed to model it for me, but you can see that she wasn't happy about it.

I think the fruits and the net are so cheerful and optimistic and I love the way the crown and brim are different colours too.  

This weekend I cast about in the overstuffed art deco costumes wardrobe and came up with this dress which I think has the same cheerful optimistic outlook as the hat.

  I think I will change the buttons and take off the plain black ones, and perhaps use these old glass ones, keeping to the theme of the more colour, the better.  

Another great find which Esme reluctantly agreed to model for me was this boater.  (It is a bit large for her, that might explain her less than enthusiastic expression.) 

 It has a school crest on the front and it's beautifully woven, a bit the worse for wear but I was really interested to find an old newspaper inside the crown.  It must have been a tad large for its original wearer also.

When I visited The Duchess of Ringloes while we were at winter deco she gave me this most wonderful old cardboard box.  You can only imagine how I wished my bosom pointed skywards in the manner of this fortunate young woman.  I'm using it (the box, not the bosom), to store all the hexagons for my swallows quilt (which is growing at a woefully slow rate, and of which I am becoming heartily tired).  I hope that having this beautiful container will imbue me with a new sense of purpose and that I will race through the finishing stages of the swallows quilt, but somehow I suspect I will continue on in the same ramshackle and lackadaisical fashion.  I have a terrible craving to get back to some more crazy quilting and do some cross stitch and make the Lucy Boston quilt but I have imposed this restriction upon myself that first things first, finish what you have started, no more projects until then, blah blah blah, very boring but virtuous.  Sigh.

And The Dancing Queen also gave me a beautiful gift, the green depression glass box on the left which I think I will store my old glass buttons in.  I have never seen one like this before, I love the unusual shape and all the ridges on its lid and underneath as well.  More of an incentive to keep the sewing room tidy - a place for everything and everything in its place.  Or close to its place.  Or within reach.  Or at least knowing where the thing you want is, that's always a good thing.

Happy days, happy days, and we only have one more month of winter to go now before spring is well and truly with us.