Sunday, March 17, 2013

I spy with my little eye something beginning with the letter.... "B"

Whilst visiting my daughter in Adelaide earlier this year I happened upon the coolest little button shop. It was brimming with container after container of exquisite buttons of every possible colour, shape and size. Having a penchant for collecting the odd button or two, there were enough fastening doodads before me to make my little creative heart sing.

You would be hard pressed if you could not find the exact button in this little shop to add the finishing touch to your creative project. Let's just say that quite a few treasures found their way into my handbag that day.

Shops like these always evoke in me the sense of wonderment I felt as a small child upon entering a haberdashery or drapery. Some of my favourite childhood memories are of those going shopping with my mum every week just because I could visit the haberdashery, where my mum would purchase her weekly supply of wool for whatever project she was knitting.

Upon crossing the threshold I always felt as if I had entered into a bejewelled wonderland, a needleworker's Aladdin's cave filled with indescribable treasure. As far as my little girl eyes could see there was row upon row of shiny buttons representing every colour of the rainbow, in a wide array of shapes, textures and sizes. They shone like precious jewels all bustling to be noticed.

My eyes would wander to glass door cabinets, where beautiful laces all sat prettily in rows showing off their varying degrees of extravagant lavishness, waiting for someone to purchase a snippet or two for their next creation.

Then there were the ribbons. Even today I consider ribbons en masse to be the prettiest sight! I imagined that my short bob was a long flowing ponytail; that my mum would buy me a pretty ribbon, so that I could wear a beautiful ribbon bow around my lustrous locks.

There were rolls of fabric everywhere. From bright and colourful cottons representative of the 1960's, sweet plisses, delicate baby lawns, sumptuous silks and brocades, shiny luminous satins, plush luxurious velvets......bolt after bolt of assorted textiles just waiting to be transformed into the latest fashionable frock.

I loved the snipping sound that the heavy dressmaker's shears made as they moved decisively along the wooden counter whilst cutting the fabric. Even today I find the sound of cutting scissors along counter tops strangely comforting.

Of course, my visit each week was much, much too short.....I always wanted to stay a while. I wanted to hide from all the adults and just be in that place where I felt strangely protected as in an insulated cocoon, a place where I could in my mind's eye whip up fabric concoctions heavily embellished with all the treasure that surrounded me. Aaaahh yes..... it was my fantastical Utopia.

Friday, March 1, 2013

"In spite of everything....yes, let's....." Van Gogh

A little over 3 years ago, my husband, daughter and me packed up all our goods and chattels, leaving the cacophonous jungle of Sydney and all that was familiar behind. With Van Gogh's quote "in spite of everything......yes let's" foremost in our minds we set off for a new lifestyle in an idyllic pastoral corner of Tasmania.

After a journey fraught with obstacles, I must admit that upon walking up the front path of our country abode, I murmured to Pete, "are you sure that this is the house that we bought?"
On the very first day, before my mini breakdown developed into full blown depression (the sojourn from Sydney to Tassie was akin to a Cecil B. de Mille's epic Hollywood production), we immediately ripped up putrid coloured carpets.....each room had a peculiar, ghastly hue of its own; diarrhoea brown, spew green, the most appalling of oranges, mustard yellow, dreadful maroon etc etc. And the walls.......they were adorned with paint colours that I have no doubt would never have made the cut in the Dulux paint charts. Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I am no chroma phobe, I adore colour, indeed I am in love with and embrace the myriad of hues represented in the colour wheel with open arms; but the painted walls before me, shouted at me, indeed, willed in me a desire to paint every wall cream, cream and then some.
So the fixer-uppering began. In a continual mindset of "what were they thinking??" we sanded, patched holes, painted, pulled down, ripped out; endeavouring to transform our  strange li'l olde country abode into a cosy and comfortable place we could call home......and I might add, as seems to be more often the case, we are still at it, this far down the renovating track.