Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Tyranny of Well Meaning Friends and Relations

The golden weather has continued this weekend; despite predictions by the forecasters in advance that Sunday was going to be cloudy and cooler it has been beautiful on both days and people have been out and about making the most of the warmth.  We took the chance to visit the Thames Saturday market and I was overjoyed to find a lot more crystal and glass pieces for the garden sculptures.  (The lady who served me was curious as to what I was doing with my booty and when I told her she planted a new seed in my mind - using light fittings on poles to make impressive tall sculptures.  Must resist for now though.)  Mr Shoestring was very patient and let me ferry my treasure back and forth to the waiting car without becoming annoyed, because he too was scratching about looking for bargains. I was pleased to find this old tray (set me back one dollar so acceptable purchase) which I hoped would be large enough to sit comfortably across the freshly rejuvenated claw foot bath, and sure enough when I got it home it was a perfect fit.  I said to Mr Shoestring that it would be perfect for putting houseplants on, because that room has become like a hothouse and is almost overflowing with indoor plants which are thriving in the sunshine and warmth.  We almost need to take in a machete to hack our way to the shower.  Mr Shoestring thought it would be more useful to put glasses of wine on while bathing but I'm sure we will be able to reach a compromise mutually pleasing.

At the last minute, just as we were leaving town, I remembered one extra opportunity shop and dashed in for a quick reconnoitre.  I was pleased that I did, because lo and behold, awaiting me and only me, were four fabulous needlework canvases all complete and begging to be put to use.  It's always been an ambition of mine to cover a chair or possibly (getting very ambitious now) a chaise longue with old needlework canvases and for $3 and $4 each these beauties were mine.  I was almost hyperventilating with excitement and also, it has to be admitted, slightly anxious lest another collector arrive and snap them up before I had secured them for myself.

Here they all are.  They were all completed to the very last stitch by somebody and then not used for anything in particular, so it will be a great pleasure to use them for something rather than letting them go to waste.  They are rather stretched out of shape (not as much as they would have been had I worked them though), so they will need to be blocked before they can be put together to upholster anything, but that's fine because as yet I don't have the perfect thing to use them on.  The fourth one, which is sideways, you will just have to turn your head to make out.  It is a scene of the Coromandel, so appropriate since it came from Thames, the gateway to the Coromandel peninsula.  (I didn't have my camera with me so had to use my phone, and I can't for the life of me fathom out how to rotate the pictures and make them stay rotated, they seem to have a mind of their own and will not do as I desire, the pesky things.)  

After the markets my dear mama, sister, mama's dear old friend and my niece came to visit and we had a lovely lunch outside in the sunshine.  Somehow when you feel it could be the last occasion for enjoying the warm weather before the winter comes it makes it all the more pleasant.  I was showing off my new glass and crystal sculptures because my dear mama, though she gave me the idea, has not completed any yet.  (I suspect she may just carry on collecting her raw materials and not ever commence work, but she assures me she is just waiting until the cool weather sets in and she is at a loose end for projects to keep her occupied.)  Imagine my disappointment when rather than admiring fulsomely my efforts my visitors came up with all kinds of suggestions (all of them impractical I hasten to add) as to how things could be improved.  Not content with the sculptures glistening and twinkling in the sun they thought an element of water would be a great improvement.  (They are not the first ones to come up with this difficult proposition.)  Then they thought spotlights or other illuminations would be pretty and should be added.  Worst of all, they weren't overwhelmed by my trees with painted trunks, adorned with butterflies, strings of beads, pretty plates and other ornaments - oh no, they thought some snakes wrapped around the boughs would be very effective.  At this point I gave up resisting their suggestions and feebly went along with the idea of snakes, and promised to try to create some.  Not knitted or crocheted though, they would deteriorate in the weather, they need to be sparkly and metallic for the best effective.  Sometimes we just can't win, no matter how we try.

After they left I sat down with my stitching, wracking my brain for the best way to create a stunning group of snakes in the garden.  (I looked up the name for a group of snakes and it can be a den, nest, pit, bed or knot of snakes, all of which sound rather suitable for the snakes which I am determined will inhabit my garden.)  In the meantime though, raw materials not being yet to hand, I contented myself with starting to embellish yet another wool jacket for the winter weather, this time with appliques of left over patchwork fabric.  Maybe a few snakes could wend their way around the hem too.
I had some pretty photos of what else was happening in the house and garden this weekend, but they are all either sideways or upside down so this single lonely well behaved one will have to do.  Happy stitching, gardening, cooking or whatever it is which is occupying your leisure hours this weekend friends.