Sunday, September 11, 2016

Filled With Enthusiasm

Yet another couple of weeks passed before we were able to get back to Shoestring and it might be these periods of absence, but for whatever reason everything at Shoestring Cottage seemed particularly enjoyable and relaxing this weekend.  Last weekend I went to see Giselle with my dear mama and two of my girls and what a magnificent production that was!  I was so inspired that I decided not to give up my ballet lessons after all, but to persevere, and fully expect in the fullness of time to be hailed as one of the leading lights of the ballet world.  I even cut out one of the picture from my programme to put with the two little old swan lake scenes I once got at an op shop.

This weekend was the weekend for the monthly Matamata markets by a happy coincidence, and what a lot of wonderful treasures we found there.  It might be just that we have had an enforced break away from op shopping but I was very excited to find a little plate to add to my Royal Visit Collection, which now is officially a collection as it has three pieces.  

The other souvenir piece I found was this little vase celebrating the "new" Auckland Town Hall, which was opened on 14 December 1911 and apparently looks a lot like the Brixton Town Hall.  It was designed to fit its wedge shaped plot and even now is used by Aucklanders, and is very much beloved by us.  

The vase has that pearly, shell-like quality which so much New Zealand souvenir ware is made with and it's going to live with the Te Aroha souvenir ware unless I find other Auckland commemorative pieces for it to cuddle up to, all in good time though.  

Another great find was this special raffia hat.  I am beginning to hope that Esme may not be perennially displeased, but that rather she is just awaiting the perfect hat and I fancy I may be getting a bit closer here because I think she looks slightly less annoyed than she usually does, though still a bit sad and down in the dumps.  The beauty of this hat is that the brim is not symmetrical, it is smaller at the back giving a kind of halo effect.  We are planning a day at the races for summer time, when all the attendees will bring a car boot picnic complete with the correct type of picnic foods (bacon and egg pie, lamingtons, asparagus rolls and so on) and we all will get dressed up in our race day finery, and I think this hat may be the starting point for my costume.  Often it's good to start with the hat and work the rest of the costume around it, or you end up with a nice outfit but no hat to match, which is indeed wrong on so many levels.  Being cream this hat looks summery and it shouldn't be difficult to find gloves to go with it either.  

These wonderful publications will give me a lot to think about, the Summer Fashions 1946 1947 is by the Australian Home Journal and has a good selection of dresses and clothes for children and teenagers as well as women.  

But the one about millinery was fascinating too.  It was published by the Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences of Scranton, Pa (I think that must be Pennsylvania) in 1921 and was full of information about the various hats a well dressed woman might need for special occasions including 

the sailor hat


and this mysterious creation, which apparently is an Oriental headdress for a fancy-dress, concert or tableau.  

Even the breakfast caps were inspired though I must admit I began to feel as though a person could spend a lot of time changing their hat if they were to take this booklet too seriously.  It did give me a lot to think over as far as trimming hats for art deco weekend goes though.

It wasn't all flea marketing this weekend though, in between times I finally managed to make the tulip needlepoint up into a cushion and I'm very pleased with the result, despite the fact that I lost the pale yellow remnant of velvet I had intended to use for the background, and also lost the edge trimming and had to purchase it all over again.  No doubt now that the cushion is finally complete they will both resurface and I will feel duty bound to find some other purpose to put them to. 

I was very pleased to find these old buttons which I will reuse on an art deco costume or four.  In inspecting the back of the card with the white buttons still attached I was rather alarmed to see that the buttons were made from "the finest urea" (who knew that urea came in different degrees of quality?) amongst other things.  They were guaranteed to be "boilproof, ironproof, fadeproof and unaffected by dry cleaning",  so that good quality urea obviously made a big difference to the finished product.  

Of course it was essential to make a start again on the garden now that hopefully the spring is really here and we won't be getting any late frosts.  I am very pleased to say that Mr Shoestring has helped me out in my plans for the most decorated garden in the country because he went along with my fanciful idea of putting solar lights into an old light fitting which we were given, and now that he has finished it and hung it in the garden I am thrilled with the result and expect that there will be a lot of light pollution in the night sky around Shoestring Cottage in the future.  It looks so pretty and I'm sure we will spend many a happy evening under the lights once the summer comes.  Next weekend when it is twilight I will take a photo so you can see the effect, which is sure to be very pretty.