Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Horror vacui

...or    'Nature abhors a vacuum'

My youngest child stretched his wings yesterday and moved away from home to the big city so for therapy you can probably guess what I did today ...

Yes, off to the op shops!

First stop my eye was caught by trios and incomplete trios between $2 and $4 a set. I splurged and picked out these two (leaving lots of lovely sets for other mothers whose homes are empty of their chicks). I already have a matching Moss Rose cake plate and 
what intrigues me about it and this trio is that although the pattern is now a Royal Albert design, these are older and produced by Roslyn. I can only imagine that Roslyn was taken over by Royal Albert but haven't found confirmation of this. The teacup and side plate are Royal Winton chintz (design Cheadle) and as a china and fabric lover what could be a better combination?

Next stop was an addition to my honey pots with this sweet little jug with bee and clover. The shelf they live on is above eye level so dust isn't an issue...until you take a photo. 


3 pretty pressed glass plates joined it and calling in on the way home to our very local walking distance op shop I was able to take advantage of the ongoing sale and relieve them of this lovely white embroidered carver cloth, marked down to $1! 

Dusting and ironing are on the agenda tomorrow...



Friday, 23 May 2014

And so to bed

I slept and dreamed that life was Beauty;
I woke and found that life was Duty.
Was thy dream then a shadowy lie?
Toil on, sad heart, courageously,
And thou shalt find thy dream to be
A noonday light and truth to thee.

Ellen Sturgis Hooper

Three years ago I went through what the Queen would call an annus horribilis although some of us might describe a year like that rather less elegantly. My mood was low and it seemed that I was on an eternal treadmill. As they say 'misery loves company' and I derived some comfort from an  an ebay picture of vintage embroidered pillowcases I had saved a couple of years earlier indicating that women before had felt the same and survived. 

As they described my mood so perfectly I started a set. Lots of enlarging of the original thumbnail, some fudging of the very pixelated lines and a bit of imagination gave me the pattern. Embroidery was done at a relaxed pace for a couple of years and after much procrastinating they made it to the sewing machine for assembly. I was even able to use the lovely vintage lace mentioned a few posts ago and some pearl buttons from my stash.

Googling to check the original quote for this blog post, I also found that the original pattern dated back to 1897 and was available then from a Sears Roebuck catalogue and now from etsy shop How much easier would that have been 3 years ago, although it's been fun comparing and seeing that what I thought was an arm is actually a pillow and ...

Life is happier but I still think of those women who could create something beautiful  despite from the frustrations they must have felt.


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Bag lady

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I'm possible.
Audrey Hepburn

I woke this morning...the sun was shining... And I made a bag!

Made for my patient daughter to carry her laptop from this delightful pattern linked from Melody who finds the most wonderful free stuff to make. 

I'm so pleased with myself! 
I never thought I'd get it finished and all from bits in the stash too.

Off now to soak my old and weary shoulders...


Friday, 16 May 2014

The good old days

There is a lovely warmness about feelings of nostalgia as though in one's head one is putting on a pair of comfy old slippers and curling up in front of a fire. 
William E Geist

I have been a busy little semi productive bee lately and actually finished a couple of items! 

But today I am sidetracked. The call of the op shop came and while the local school children were still loitering on their way to the school gates, I was in my car with a bundle to drop off, full of anticipation of what I would find.

And what lovely finds were waiting. Our local St Vincent de Paul was having their regular 'fill a bag for $5' and after an hour and three quarters, studying every book they had, I filled a bag - with magazines, novels, collectable hardbacks...
including this magazine. With the bits I found in another part of the shop I have been in a lovely, gooey, nostalgic mood all day and wanted to share some of that with you.

How gorgeous is the printed panel from 'the Stitchery' in Sydney. I have a special fondness for embroidered items and patterns from that era - practical made pretty and I'm lucky enough to have a few lining my laundry.

The kitten fabric caught my heart (they had a couple of meters in green too). It is a bit old and stained but it brought a rush of memory of when I had my first job and Woolworths was still a variety store where you could buy whatever you needed.
The sifter? Well, I don't have one and who would pass up a good vintage 99% percent aluminium aid for the fledgling domestic goddess - in perfect working order!

The cream of the shopping though was the wonderful Australian Home Journal from 1st January 1954! With pattern sheets!
This will be going to live with someone precious to me who loves and collects these however it's so delightful I wanted to share with you life as it was 60 years ago...

After a satisfying day sewing an attractive new nightdress ensemble 

And preparing special food for your little cherubs

what could be more pleasant than a night at the theatre with choices like South Pacific or Kiss me Kate, or maybe a trip with the children to the cinema to see Disneys newest creation - Peter Pan.

and in case you are still striving for a slender form to do the nightdress true justice, the secret is here...
(But don't overdo it, lest you too become washed out and no fun!)


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

A quilting we will go...

Good friends are like quilts, they never lose their warmth.

With temperatures in single figures, quilting has jumped back to the top of the must do list so off I headed yesterday for a beginners quilting workshop at the wonderful Quilters Angel 
with the very talented and aptly named Joy. Even better, quilting friend Lyn came along and Joy included Fiona, whose advanced class had been cancelled, keeping her busy with  
intricate designs. What fun!

With so much talent around me, some of it was sure to rub off!
(Well... I can dream!)

And today is our regular quilt meeting so I get all the pleasure all over again!

Christine xx