After a very long break from the op shops and markets it was very exciting to go back to the Matamata monthly markets again this weekend. The number of stalls was limited because it was a rather miserable Waikato morning with a lot of fog which almost felt like a gentle rain, but for a person starved of marketing for a while there was something to be explored on almost every stall. To make it even more enjoyable I had the companionship of my sister, which was good in many ways but also it has to be said that we can be a bad influence on one another, urging purchases and searching out treasure for each other. Still, what a lot of fun we had though. Both of us bought one of these birdy soap dishes. My sister assured me that hers was the more attractive and that mine had too much eye makeup on, but I suspect they were identical.
I was thrilled to buy my first piece of uranium glass (though I forgot to get up in the night to check if it was glowing in the dark. I have a lot of green depression glass but no other pieces of uranium glass.
This little dish isn't a very useful size for many things but it served well when I scooped up all the pieces of jewellery which were scattered about the cottage and in danger of being forgotten and left behind when winter deco comes around.
My sister has had a passion recently for buying old pieces of silver and she was kind enough to point out this pretty little silver spoon to me.
It will go nicely with the sugar bowl and creamer she gave me last Christmas and I think the pearly handle sets off the spoon beautifully.
She also urged me to buy this hydrangea vase, using that old tactic, "If you don't get it, I will", which technique always has an energising effect on dithering shoppers.
I found one more landscape painting to add to my ever-growing collection. I do think it would be better if artists left the people out and stuck to the landscapes if painting people isn't their forte, but on the other hand for the outlay of $8 a person can't be too choosy. I love the way the people who work in opportunity shops work out the pricing on paintings. There are several ways of doing it, but the way this one was priced was by the shop ladies comparing it with another painting, which they thought was a) nicer, b), larger and c) had a prettier (more opulent looking) frame, and as that one was priced at $20 they felt it was fair to offer mine for $8. Another charming thing about these people who do such a wonderful job of manning charity stores is the way they feel compelled to pass judgement on your taste. Fortunately they are approving more often than not but it can be a bit disconcerting when they look askance at your choices and ask you pointedly what on earth you intend doing with your new treasure. Sometimes it's hard to justify just what it is that you like about an object which obviously has no redeeming features in their eyes. If you are feeling particularly weak that day and not able to explain yourself you can almost feel like saying that on second thoughts you were mad to even consider such a foolish purchase, and put it back on the shelf.
A large part of the rest of the weekend, I am ashamed to report, was spent on cutting up hundreds more one inch hexagons from the large containers I have full of scraps. I only got them down from the high cupboard in the hopes of finding a scrap of one particular fabric I had a hankering for, but then I got started cutting just a few hexagons, and before I knew it I had made a terrible mess all over the floor and spent a long time snipping away. The worst thing is that these tiny hexagons aren't destined for any project in particular, they are only cut up like this as a way of using the tiny scraps left over from other projects. I tack them onto papers while passing time and I'm sure they will eventually be put to some good purpose. At least, I fervently hope so because I shudder to think how much time I have spent on them. It is gratifying to use up the last of a piece of fabric though, and to think that if you live to be about 150 you might one day have no more scraps left. I had been planning to keep them all in the bewitching May Belle Lingerie box given to me by The Duchess of Ringloes but there are so many of them now that I may have to resort to a more utilitarian and much less pretty container.
I did manage to drag myself out into the garden for a brief weeding session and was surprised to find this shard of pottery in a part of the garden where I have been lavishing compost and coffee grounds for ages.
It was just below the surface when I stuck my trowel in to remove a particularly obstinate weed and I can't fathom how it came to be there. I used to find old pieces of pottery at Shoestring Cottage but this piece surely would have bee dug up before, it's as though things gradually work their way to the surface somehow.
Now that Big Red and Large Blue are out of the way I am going to try to finish the chicken quilt. Madame Canuck kindly gave me a piece which will be good as part of the backing. She and I were talking about the strange bits and pieces of fabric we end up with. This piece is not something she would have chosen for herself because though she likes chickens well enough, not in quilting fabrics, but I was only too happy to accept her kind donation. Part of the enjoyment for me in creating these projects is looking at the various pieces and remembering where they came from, especially if they have been a gift or a remnant from some favourite sewing project.
I loved the chickens in this quilt when I started making it, best be hurrying along now before I fall out of love with them as can sometimes happen. I am still particularly pleased with the chicken wire fabric used to space out the blocks and I was thrown into a panic when I took the quilt out to work on it and couldn't find any more of it. That's the problem with these long drawn out projects but in the end the chicken wire hexagons were located, just as well or it would have been a very unusual looking quilt. Here's hoping your week was a great one with lots of the things which make you happy.