Sunday, 18 May 2014

A woman's needlework is never done : NZ onward

Blogging has been good therapy because it gives me a prompt to look back and reflect about the last week(s).
Confession: I've kind of lost my blogging mojo lately.
Sometimes I don't know how to express myself but a picture can say 1000 words.
A fringed velvet embroidered wall-hanging from Egypt.
Found in an op shop in Balclutha.
I'm guessing that a soldier brought it back after World War 2 for his mother.
I love the naivety of it.
For thousands of years people have been embroidering, either to embellish an object or to express themselves. These are some little purses I've acquired.

I don't use them but I love to look at them and think about the hours that went into making them, the attention to detail and the perfectionism.
I'm a bit like that at work, although I'm not much of an embroiderer at home.

The rosebud-embroidered bodice of a dress, which I accessorised last week with a navy cardigan and my green rose collar.

An embroidered woollen scarf which is my current favourite, now that the weather has officially turned to custard. 

A tablecloth embroidered in beautiful colours.

A bag from Oxfam.

A knitting needle holder, bought online.
The needlework is exquisite.

A paisley embroidered handkerchief case, made by my Nana.
One of my most treasured possessions.

A nylon nightie with an embroidered yoke and pocket, from a Gore op shop.

An embroidered picture of Waitaki Girls' High School, Oamaru, crafted by my late mother when she was at school there.
On mother's day last weekend, I found myself missing her a lot.
The yellow behind is the colour of my living room walls.
I had to empty everything out last week so the ceiling could be repaired, plastered and painted.
Before I put everything back I am thinking of painting it a light cream as I will be selling the house in 5 to 10 years.
It was also too cluttered and I will have to sell some of my china collection.

A tablecloth embroidered with poppies, in honour of ANZAC day a few weeks ago.

A piece I bought online - the colours are amazing.
I just can't resist this sort of tablecloth - found in an op shop.
They look like passionfruit flowers.
Things around here have been pretty busy.
On top of packing everything in the lounge up, and dealing with insurance claims, builders and painters, my cat became ill and went missing for three days.
When she turned up she was sicker than before and needed a trip to the vet and a course of antibiotics.
One of the neighbour's cats, Archie, has been constantly tormenting her in my garden and I suspect he was the cause of the wound in her head.
I finally lost patience with him and turned the garden hose on him, and he hasn't been seen since.
Lola can't stick up for herself at the moment.
The stress at work continues, with more budget and staff cuts looming because of our city's financial woes.
First world problems.
I've just been to see a film called Bella, about a mixed-race woman in England in the 18th century.
Highly recommended and a bit of a tear-jerker.
So I think about embroidery, and how women (and men) over the years have enjoyed it and escaped into it and made beautiful things out of just a few scraps of thread.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

A basket case.

Yesterday I made my habitual trip to my favourite op shop.
After finding nothing I liked, I was about to leave when I spotted this beauty, the holy grail of handbags:

She is made of woven strips of white and gold plastic, adorned with shells.
She looks almost new, and has a lemon cotton (?) lining.
The op shop was strange though, it looked to have been taken over by staff I'd never seen before.
They were frantically moving all the furniture around.
When I went to the counter to pay, the assistant saw my bike helmet in my bag and asked if it was mine, implying that I had stolen it.
When I denied stealing it he backtracked but the damage was done, I felt like a criminal.
I told him I was in the shop all the time and it was my favourite shop.
He replied that there was one lady who came in every Saturday and bought random things, but he didn't know if she used them.
It sounded like he was talking about me, and I wanted to tell him that I did use them, and wasn't a dealer.
But I was too stunned.
It's the first bad experience I've had there, normally the weekend staff are lovely.
Anyway it was a cheap weekend as that's all I bought, except for some bike lights.
I had a lot on my mind as our reorganisation at work was announced on Friday.
I can't say anything about it yet except that I am probably one of the luckier ones.
And I've been dealing with a crazy internet troll in a group I'm in.
In better news, I made a poppy dress for Anzac day and some wheat free Anzac biscuits.
And I bought a glorious 1960s purple midi.
It's a size too small but I call it an aspirational dress.
I haven't got any photos yet, but will soon.
Advice please: my felted crochet hat hasn't shrunk enough.
Should I boil it up in my witches' cauldron?