Monday, April 2, 2018

Will I......or Won't I............

.......wear my jacket that I have tarted up recently?? Me thinks I just might, though I fear a good few of the locals around here might well think...."what is she thinking"!! As Elizabeth Bennett of Pride and Prejudice fame once said "what do we live for, but to make sport for our neighbours"! AND....believe you me, me and my 'interesting' garments of choice do indeed give plenty of fodder for our neighbours!!  Come to think of it, me thinks they have not come across anyone quite like me before. How deliciously entertaining!!

This jacket is the before photo of my newly tarted up lovely. Oh dear........nice but rather plebeian.

 AND.....may I say a perfectly respectable and acceptable kinda jacket just the way it is. BUT.....I am me, a gal whom more often than not feels the need to breathe new life into a garment of clothing, by the adding of this and a whole lot of that.

Remember this............

And this.............

And then there was this..........

Needless to say, I love tarting up the odd jacket or two.

But I digress.....again! A little over a year ago I chatted about tarting up my op shop find with needlepoints and other such pretties. With Autumn beginning to cool things down here at the bottom of the world,  now is most definitely the time to add to the "Kim Sharman's Wardrobe of Interesting Tarted up Wearable Pretties and Curiosities". I thought I might as well throw caution to those rather chilly autumnal winds and refashion another article of clothing.

Having been a fan of Mandy Patullo's inspired textile collages for a while now, when I saw a book written by her I snapped it up. With a slew of inspirational pretties within the cover of this book, I thought I may as well begin playing with some ideas of my own.

Yet again, I gathered together a delicious jumble of needlepoints, ribbons, laces and other such pretties, probably too many pretties if truth be told. As you know, when undertaking this form of garment transformation I always garner a plethora of pretties. There is no way on God's sweet earth, that even I would add all these bits and bobs to an item of clothing. I just love to corral them all together as I am really just playing. I just love to gaze upon all these pretties for the trillionth time before I put them all away......again.

For the cogs in my brainpan to kick into gear, and for me to decide what could work, I find it easier to have a profusion of pretties on hand to inspire me. I might say at this juncture, when I do this form of design and stitching and indeed play with my pretties, it always looks as if I have landed smack in the middle of a bomb site. My work space always has the look of a 'pretties' bomb having been detonated. Alas, this cannot be helped. Thus, I spend an exhaustible amount of time cleaning up.

Remember all those glorious needlepoints I happened upon at my new favourite bric-a-brac shop......well I returned and purchased yet more.....just a few.

I started to play and after snippety-snipping needlepoints, I stitched these to the lapels and pockets, adding a sweet birdie resting amongst some pretty flowers. I carefully  snipped this embroidery from a cushion piece.

I rather love this English scene; a sweet little cottage surrounded by an even sweeter garden, with the church spire in the background towering to the heavens.

I stitched a butterfly to the lapel; also snipped from the cushion piece.

I decided the bottom pockets might sing a little more with a flap fashioned from some lovely vintage trim that I acquired a long, long time ago.

I played with an assortment of flowers and leaves down one side of the jacket, tucking them a little under the right lapel, but decided this was overkill.......just a tad.

In this instance I much prefer the jacket to be absent of floralicious delight. Really?? Yes really!! After all, I cannot cause too much of an overload of scuttlebutt for the neighbours! I don't want to be that sporting!! =)

I also thought about embroidering a vine of flowers and leaves trailing down the right front, but again, decided against it. I decided just the lapels and the pockets adorned with needle points would be the way to go. I have a few more jackets waiting in the wings for me to work 'miracles' on......perhaps a spot of hand embroidery will be just the thing for these.

But then some epaulettes of needlepoint would look mighty fine.....oh and a pretty button or two. I cut two snippets of a needlepoint  and stitched them onto the shoulders. These were such a pain to do as I had to unpick the lining and the shoulder seams. The shoulder pads also had to be worked on. I have no idea who constructed this jacket, but let's just say the person's tailoring skills were a little questionable. I discovered this jacket was made so that it was near high impossible to alter. The altering of this jacket only reinforced the notion that earning a quid in an alterations' place of business would be the last thing I would want to do. I am that gal whom when she spots someone walking up my path with an article of clothing in hand to ask me if I would alter and deconstruct it, I want to find some hidey hole and pretend I am not home.  I know, terribly uncharitable and un-neighbourly of me but I simple HATE altering garments from the outside in. It always takes a preposterous amount of time and effort. Me thinks I might think twice next time if I want to put these ornamental pieces on the shoulder again!

Just to give my pretty the finishing touch, I stitched upholstery fringing to the you do.

Will I.......or won't seen out and about in this jacket dripping with pretty needlepoints?? Me thinks, the answer would most definitely be a YES!

I do rather like this tarted up jacket!! It will be perfect for stepping out this Autumn season, adding a little bit of interest to this far rural outpost. There will be some who consider needlepoints should only be seen in a pretty frame hanging on a wall or perhaps as the star of a cushion......but I rather think adorning an article of clothing with needlepoints is a most excellent idea.

I am going to be absent from blogworld for a little while as me and my good husband are off for an overseas holiday in San Fransisco. "San Fransisco???"....I hear you say. Yep.....that's right. For my 60th birthday present, my daughter and son-in-law (who live in San Fransisco), bought return air tickets for the both of us to pop over (3 air flights, 18 plus hours of flying) and stay with them for a while!!!!!! I know, how positively exciting. I am so delighted, I haven't quite come down from those arty farty, white cotton-candy, needlepointed clouds.

So........perhaps the next time we 'chat', I might just have a happy snap of li'l ol' me swinging from the rails of a cable car. Or....perhaps a happy snap of moi posing in front one of those architectural beauties, the painted ladies could be a goer. Gotta, gotta have a bo-peep at those ladies! Wherever our little holiday adventure leads us, my daughter tells me San Fransisco is the shangri-la for free spirits and those whom are a little offbeat; she says I should fit right in. Whatever does she mean!! In any case, whilst out and about in 'The City  By the Bay', I will be sure to wear some flowers in my hair. =)

If perchance you leave a lovely comment and I don't reply to thank you, please forgive me....I will reply when I return. Each and every one of you always delight my day.

Until the next time............

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Drink Tea and Do Some Knitting

Very good advice if you ask me. I have been enjoying many a cup of tea this last little while and I have been enjoying knitting my aran woolly. Is it my imagination but does one seem to drink more tea when knitting?? I have been hellbent on finishing my jumper. Since I last 'chatted' with you, when a menial chore demanded some of my attention I have repeatedly said, "just a moment; let me finish this row". I always remember my darling mum saying to me "Kimmy (no-one but my mother ever addressed me so)...always finish the row you're working on before you put your knitting down." Wise woman, was my mother. So.....because I would never in a million years think of disregarding her wisdom, I always finish the row. =)

My single-minded determination of knitting till I reached the woolly finishing line, with both knitting pins raised high in the air, whilst rather exultantly shouting hip-hip-hooray; has reaped wonderful rewards. The constant clickety clack of the needles has resulted in the completion of my aran woolly. A huge sigh of relief at this juncture. This jumper really took an age to knit, and I might add I am not in the least bit sorry that it is done.

It is a jumper which oozes cabled texture and is a long covers my derriere. It is a bulky knit, perfect for those early, wintry morning walks where the landscape is shrouded in a veil of mist. 

These last couple of days the mornings have been unbelievably beautiful. These mornings when the sun's rays send beams of light through the maze of mist is truly a most splendid sight. These misty mornings delight me. They declare God's loving kindness to me. Each morning is a gift from Him to me. It is these mist-filled mornings that God's awesome handiwork brings a tear to my eyes......they humble me. I will never tire of seeing the majesty of the sun rising each morning, kissing me on the cheek. thinks whilst roaming around this little patch of paradise that I call home, on those early, misty morning meetings with my Heavenly Father, my aran woolly will keep me toasty warm.

The garden is still being a bit of a showoff; not that I mind of course. The Cosmos are still 'cosmos-ing', a few of the roses have decided to still astonish with their beauty and the Easter Daisies are in bloom delighting many a bumble bee. The longer the garden gifts me with beautiful blooms is just fine with me, thank you very much.

Little pink, orchid-like impatiens cover the ground everywhere, like a carpet. They too seed like weeds every Summer. These pretty flowers though, will soon disappear.

I cannot tell you how much I am beside myself with great joy with the completion of this woolly. My poor ol' pea brain no longer has to perform cranial gymnastics. My muddly brain pan no longer has to think about RT, LT, MB, C3, BC, FC, C4B, C4F etc etc., or indeed which row I am up to. Thank goodness for that! Though, would you believe another aran pattern has caught my eye. I know, I know.....what am I thinking!! But.......for now the most taxing thought in my muddly brain pan is in which pretty teacup will I drink my tea?? =)

Until the next time.......

Friday, March 2, 2018

Summer is fading

Each day tells me Summer is slowly fading. The sunlight bathing the countryside is softer, less vibrant. On my early morning walks Old Man Sun is showing his face a little later. As he is resting lower in the sky, throughout the day beams of sunshine ever so slowly creep across the rooms of my humble abode like tentacles, touching here and there, casting a warm glow everywhere. One thing I do love about Winter is the sunshine that fills each room. There is a crispness to the air......aah yes, Summer is fading.

I love early morning walks. Each morning I am a witness to nature slowly arising and greeting the new day. It is a beautiful time of the morning. It is a time where it is just me, Maisie and my Heavenly Father. It is a time when I pray to Him and silently chat about so, so many things. Each morning is different. Each day's sky is different. Some days are filled with lovely blue skies suffused with light casting a milky glow, some days filled with amazing cloud formations................LOVE clouds; or some mornings the landscape is veiled in the lightest of mists. Those misty mornings add a luminosity and ethereal quality to the countryside.  No morning is the same. Each morning is a perfect beginning to a new day.

The garden too, tells me that perhaps Summer is beginning to think about leaving my little corner of the world, to visit all you lovelies way up there and stay for a season. Yes indeedy, Summer is making way for Autumn. The flowers are showing signs that it is time to rest awhile. That is okay because each and every flower has performed the most lyrical of colourful dances for  me to enjoy. They warrant a long slumber. The leaves of trees will soon don their autumnal, crisp, taffeta-like frocks in the most glorious of shades and after a while, will slowly and delicately float to the ground. In a month or two the trees will be bare of their verdant canopy.

The Hydrangeas are changing into softer, autumnal hues, the roses are all but gone and other Summer flowers have finished. Though I must say, the Cosmos are still awash in an exuberant palette of pinks. They will continue to smile and sashay in rhythm until that cranky old fellow, Jack Frost arrives. Wish oh wish he wouldn't visit me; he is not welcome.

We haven't planted Cosmos seeds for years now. At the end of their flowering season the Cosmos drop seeds and gift us with gazillion of flowers the next season. They are truly like weeds, but oh-so-beautiful weeds. Though Hydrangeas are my favourite flowers, Cosmos are way up there on my list. I cannot but smile when I see their pretty faces and besides, they do not need any care or looking after, they just bloom where they fall and contribute to our rather disobedient garden. Though manicured gardens are beautiful, I rather love wild, disobedient gardens. I rather love  flowers invading the garden and popping up wherever they will.

The Dahlias are in their last flush and though they are still gifting me with beautiful flowers, it won't be long till the cooler weather will burn the leaves and flowers, precipitating them to scurry deep into the ground away from you know who's, icy fingers.

Isn't this wall hanging cool?? I acquired it from a friend who asked if I wanted it. It belonged to my friend's mother-in-law who had recently passed away. As my friend was clearing the house out in readiness for selling, she asked me if there was anything I would like. I said "you know the wall hanging on the hall wall........I wouldn't mind would make for an excellent prop for photo shoots". My friend looked at me quizzically and said, "what wall hanging??????" My friend had never noticed it!!!!! This wall hanging is about one and a half metres in length and one metre in height and was the only object on the rather drab, hall walls. It was rather like a beacon of colour and pictorial interest. My friend had never noticed it in all the time she had visited her mother-in-law. Incredible! My beady little eyes spotted it the very first time I entered the home. 'Tis funny, isn't it, what we do and do not see. When I enter a room my eyes ricochet from wall to floor taking in all that is to see. 'Tis a visual kinda gal, that I am.

It was probably fashioned in Italy and is a beautiful, tactile velvet. I have a few rugs of the same ilk.....they always come in handy when I need a prop to gussy up a photo or two.

Love the peacock strutting in all his glory. He's totally aware what a pretty fellow he is, posing proudly in front of the gorgeous backdrop of trees, the swans gliding on a pond, the flowers and an Indian building in the aesthetics of the Taj Mahal. It really is a most striking hanging. I won't labour the point.....but did my friend not notice this pretty!!

With the cooler days I have picked up my aqua, woolly pretty once again. It is my intention to finish this woolly this year, sooner rather than later.

With the back and sleeves finished, all I have to knit now is the front. If all goes well and my needles clickety clack faster than fast, perhaps I will be stepping out in this warm woolly this winter. Though, I have to confess, since picking this woolly up yet again I have had the most bothersome of times. The saga of knitting this woolly,  began way back in January 2016, which if you want to read my frustrations with the pattern, you can so do here. What can I say, I am not the world's fastest knitter. =) I think I have unravelled the bask of the front about ten times this week. Each time I have made a teeny tiny mistake, continued knitting without noticing the glitch and when an inch or two has been knitted the snafu (love that word) has hit me smack in the face!! I don't know why I have made so many boo boos with the bask as it isn't difficult. If I didn't love this jumper so much, I think I would throw the whole blasted thing out the window!! BUT.......I will persevere....and I know I have said it before.....I will not fall on my sword  knitting needle and end it all......well at least......not yet!!

Love all that cable loveliness. As you can see, I have finally completed the bask and am well on the way to knitting the aran pattern. Amazingly, I have fallen  into a groove and it is knitting up rather quickly. Not far to go now, only....I do hope I have not spoken a little too soon. I do hope I have not "put the mocker " on finishing my woolly, before Jack Frost arrives.

A little hand quilting has also been in progress as well. I have picked up my Spring Blossoms quilt top and am happily quilting away. I am loving quilting this quilt. The hexie flowers and all the bright and happy, scrappy fabrics make me smile. A lot of things in life make me smile, don't they. =)

I toed and froed about how to quilt. I deliberated long and hard over perhaps quilting in a rainbow of bright and happy colours but decided against this thought. I want the flowers to be the star of this quilt so I am only outlining around the flowers and leaves and then quilting around the border of each fabric.

One of these days I will throw caution to the wind and quilt in brightly coloured thread but that day is not today. Besides, if I quilted in bright colours my persnickety, beady li'l eyes would seek out each of those imperfect stitches and it would bother me endlessly. 'Tis funny how my eyes always go straight to the less than perfect stitches.

The backing I chose is an all over pattern of pink and blue chrysanthemums linen. Originally I was going to have a scrappy backing but I changed my mind. This fabric is a wider width, which meant I needed less fabric, therefore being less expensive. Besides I love the sumptuousness of the print; love the big blousy chrysanthemums.

Summer may soon depart this far rural outpost for those shores further north, but with Old Man Sun beaming his rays of warmth and sunniness into my home and indeed, casting a happy glow on my flower-filled, boudoir wall each day, the colour, brightness and ambience will always give a feeling of summery cheeriness.

This weekend, there may just be time for a little knitting, a little quilting and a cup of tea.....or two.

There's my gardener photo bombing my photo shoot.....again!

Until the next time..........