Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Spring Event of the Year

Hello everyone. We are back in town, myself and I, safely ensconced in the little cottage and my good husband just across the road, being wonderfully cared for by the lovely hospital staff. Yes, he has had his operation and is looking remarkably well considering it was only last Monday he underwent major surgery. Honestly, he is an amazing man with the best attitude to life. The surgery went well but as to what we face next is dependent upon the pathology results.

So.......because I haven't anything of the stitching kind to wax lyrical about (though I have been faithfully stitching my hexie quilt whilst sitting with my husband and keeping him company),  I thought I might tell you about a local flower show my good husband and I visited a couple of weeks ago. Now a word of caution here; I have donned my naughty hat for this little recount as I am in the mood for a little drollness...a little jocosity!

This little flower show we visited was advertised by the newspaper  as the "Spring Social Event of the Year", well anyway at least in the North East of Tasmania. It was the place to be for all those green fingered types who have been lovingly tending their Spring gardens in hope of growing the perfect bloom. It was the social event of the season for all those who were anticipating to clasp a pretty coloured ribbon (preferably blue)......or two, and be rewarded for their horticulture par excellence; and of course not to mention the filling of their pockets with the measly equitable monetary prize!!

Upon reading this advertisement, the motion picture tape of my mind. humorously rewound back a few years, to the first time we visited "The North East Event of the Year"!! It was a warm autumnal day; we had just arrived from Sydney (we had only been living in this far rural outpost for a couple of weeks) and as we were up for a bit of people meet and greet and my good husband wanted to investigate the botanical delights peculiar to this far rural outpost, we moseyed along.

(Sshhhh now.......what I am going to tell you might well precipitate  a trowel in my ribs or perhaps a spade finding it's mark on my cranium. One never can tell just who is watching and has to be a wee bit careful.)

The rewinding of the metaphorical tape continues...............With great expectations of what lay behind those cobwebby doors, we crossed the threshold of the "Event of the Year", but alas...............our progress was thwarted. Before us stood a dear old soul (well I thought she was, alas, my summation of this dear old soul quickly evaporated).

"Stop" she cried! "Hello", I excitedly greeted her, "we have come to visit your flower show, it's been haled as the place to be seen," inwardly smiling at my reply. I am afraid my facetiousness can at times get the better of me. "You can't come in, you are too early!" stated Fraulein Hitler. "Really," I queried, "but it is ten minutes to ten."

Now you must, must forgive me at this juncture with the naming of this dear old soul with a name that sends shivers up anyone's spine but honestly, a picture did begin to form in my mind's eye of  a female version of Herr Hitler. If only she was holding a revolver pitchfork my imaginative depiction would have been complete. I do confess, I failed to read the small print regarding the opening times......I had left my glasses at was completely unaware that this little shindig opened at 10.00am, and was a little taken aback by what unfolded.

"I have money" I stated hesitantly. "I don't care if you have money, you can't come in; you are ten minutes early" expostulated Fraulein Hitler, barrelling the doorway. "Really?? But seeing as we are already here, can't we perhaps quickly come in??" I pleaded. "I promise we won't be a bother.....we will just inconspicuously meld into the floral display!!!!!" Now I did look into her eyes to see if perhaps there was a glimmer of amusement at my waggishness, but alas, there was none. "No," she interrupted..........."where do you hale from?" she asked. To which I replied..."Sydney". Now the absurdity of  my reply completely whooshed over her head swirling round and round into a comical drawing of a bloated, belly laugh. At this stage both my good husband and I began to tremble with inward laughter. I mean really, did Fraulein Hitler this dear old soul really imagine my good husband and I, had left Sydney, driving through two states, embarking on the "Spirit of Tasmania" to sail across the pond with the intention of visiting "The Event of the Year"??  Although this Flower Show was haled as "The Event of the Year" in this far rural outpost on the social calendar......believe you me.....The Chelsea Flower it was not!!

My husband and I who at this stage could hardly stand up for the percolating giggles that were beginning to escape, quickly exited The North East Flower Show....."The Event of the Year" and went and sat in our jalopy for ten minutes, trying to regain some semblance of control, and waited for the 'town crier' to publicly declare  The North East Flower Show open, flinging it's doors and hospitality wide open to the madding crowds the genteel folk!!!

I must say when we once again tentatively crossed the threshold of the Flower Show at one minute past ten o'clock, Fraulein Hitler had lost all her prickly-ness, that veiled look of malice in her eyes; and had donned an attitude and demeanor of a dear old soul!!

We quickly circumnavigated the hall (it took about 10 minutes) and oohed and aahed over one Dahlia in a vase.......two Dahlias in a rose in a vase, two roses in a wilted Gladioli in a vase. Indeed, Dame Edna Everage would have need of her smelling salts if her cat-eyed glasses caught a glimpse of this specimen of her fave flower, gasping for it's last breath. The list of single stems of the flower kingdom in a specimen vase goes on and on!! Obviously the workings and judging of a good flower show thoroughly escapes my pea brain!!

Aaah yes.......that day was just too, too funny. A story that I have filed away in the dark chambers of my brain pan under the heading "Humorous but Naughty"!!!!!! I might add, this recount is a correct recollection of the events.....though I might from time to time, sprinkle the story with just a wee bit of is basically gospel......I tell no lie!

Anyway, with our first introduction to that Flower Show many moons ago but a distant memory, I quickly fast forward to present day and again had a bo peep of what the green fingered populace of this far rural outpost had been cultivating lately.

As Spring had only just begun to spring at the time of the flower show, there wasn't the variety of the flower kingdom that one might see at the Autumn Show. Yes the flower show is a bi-annual event. There were oodles of pretty daffodils of many species. I only have a few species of daffodils in my garden so I was pleasantly surprised to see the variety of daffodils on display. I made a mental note of what daffodils I would love to plant next year.

Some pretty Fritillaries. I just might have to get some of these. I love the chequered pattern on these nodding, bell-shaped flowers.

There were Camellias, Pansies, Waratahs, Lilies and other pretty flowers. Just between you and me I much prefer the Autumn show where Hydrangeas, Gladioli, Liliums, Roses, Dahlias are the main stars of the day. There is a gentleman around these parts who grows the most amazing Dahlias and Gladioli and of course always goes home with a wheel barrow of prizes.

This was my favourite plant....I would have liked to have whipped this under my arm and head for dem dar hills!

I really liked this delicate flower. I'm not sure what it is.

Camellias weren't quite as abundant as the Daffodils.

One of the mums of one of my clever stitching girls won a prize for her Camellia. Lovely lady....lovely flower!

As I walked around, my 'stylist's eye' made a mental note of what I would do if I wore the Queen Bee hat of the flower committee. First of course I would sweep away the cobwebs that reached out their lacey hands, dressing me with their sticky lace as I entered the building. As beautiful as cobwebs are, I really am not enamoured at having critters of the arachnid kind, finding a new home in my coiffured locks. Oh and there are a few other things that could add a little sparkle, a little savoire faire to this social calendar event of the year. But of cannot diplomatically suggest little just isn't least not if one likes to live a little longer in this lovely far rural outpost......and I do!!

I rest my case. Bunting please........beautiful pots of flowers please......a little pizzaz please....if nothing else, at least some colour!! Mmmm......would a brass band be overkill. =)

But....cobwebs, utilitarian tea cups and forlorn front entrances aside, there was a lovely display of what people have been growing in their gardens and of course one does have a delightful natter with every single person one has ever met in the last seven years. One enjoys a cuppa and a scone and one does have a lovely time seeing what pretties are blossoming in gardens at this time of the year and the odd exquisite vase that has been handed down from generation to generation. Though I did spy with my little beady eye, an inordinately large number of daffodils in what seemed to me, mandatory green bottles. I curtailed my wickedness in wanting to surreptitiously whip out my sling shot from my pocket and bring those green bottles down one by one.....singing a hundred ten green bottles sitting on the wall. 'Tis obvious I am no aficionado  when it comes to the display protocol and the judging of single stemmed flowers in green bottles at a flower show.

I suppose there is an edict from the higher echelon of floral societies all over the world, that any reputable garden show is all about the blooms AND most definitely not about the vessel in which they are displayed. I have been told that gardeners of repute spend hours and hours in perfecting their blooms. What would I, a shallow minded arty farty type, whose stylist's head is up in dem arty farty, fluffy, white clouds; where cherubs holding cachepots and jardinieres over-spilling with glorious floral arrangements abound, know. What would I, dreaming about pretty vases, know about such things???? Nothing really. 'Tis probably a good thing I am not a judge!! To me a beautiful bunch of flowers always looks ever so much perkier in a beautiful receptacle. Mmmm....I have just had a thought.....perhaps I could enter a display of blooms in the next flower show.

Perhaps....just perhaps I could fill some of my lovely receptacles with oodles of Irises, Lilacs, Roses and whatever other beautiful blooms are sashaying splendiforously in my garden.

Perhaps, just perhaps I could plonk a few gorgeous roses in a pretty tea cup.

.....or perhaps, some beautiful, blousy flowers which are a li'l past their best in a vintage jug.

.......or perhaps, a pitcher overspilling with Pierre de Ronsard very favourite rose.

.......or perhaps, a jug of vibrantly, splashy Dahlias.

And....about those daffodils......I much prefer their pretty, frilly, trumpet heads all jostling for space, in a much prettier than a plebeian green bottle....don't you think.

Maybe, just maybe one of these days I will plonk lovingly place  bouquets of floralicious delight into a miscellany of pretty vases and enter them in "The North East Event of the Year"!! But....then perhaps not......I have been told the competition is fierce amongst the green fingered types.

Remember the kindly soul we first encountered when we first arrived down here at the bottom of the world, well, she kindly gave me a hug and asked me and how my good husband were faring. She really is a lovely soul. Indeed, I feel great pangs of guilt for ever having likened her to that onerous historical person.

All in all it was an enjoyable way to spend a little time and of course all monies raised at this little shindig goes to help the community....always a wonderful thing.

Just in case word should filter out and my thoughts on my very first visit to the Flower Show are not received with the humour in which I intended.....(my tongue was fixed rather firmly in my cheek as I penned this piece)....I have set my 'lioness' as keeper of the gate! Just in case there are some who would like to pay a visit to the 'sweet' lady who lives in the purpley, bluey grey abode with the bright pink, front door, that sits atop the hill; bearing gifts of cake laced with poisoning; Maisie won't let them darken by garden path.......will she????

Surely she will growl ferociously at those who happen by with a glint of malevolence in their eyes.....won't she????  Surely she will frighten them off....won't she???? She won't wag her rather unkept, furry tail (well she will persist in chasing ducks across the muddy pond)  and smother interlopers with delightful, doggy kisses......will she????

No I can rely on my trusty and faithful friend........can't I?????? That look in her eyes would send those who harbor uncharitable thoughts, plotting revenge; scurrying away........wouldn't it?????

Oh dear she simply cannot be trusted.........I guess I will just keep that bright pink, front door firmly locked!!!!

Until the next time (that is of course there is a next time)........have a wonderful week, everyone. =)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

You, Me and a cup of tea

Stephanie of The Enchanted Rose has recently hosted a tea cup exchange where ladies from all over the world gifted a tea cup (and other goodies) to each other. As I adore pretty, fine bone china, tea cups I thought it would be rather delightful to join in the fun, as one can never have too many pretty tea cups.

If tea cups could talk there would be a many a story to divulge. Stories of friends gathering together, enjoying a cuppa in a pretty fine bone china tea cup, ruminating on all things life. I once read life is like a tea cup, it is to be filled to the brim and enjoyed with a friend....or two.

What would we do without a bottomless cup of tea. It seems to me in life,  a cup of tea can fix just about everything. If you are feeling a little chilly, it can warm you......if you are feeling a li'l sad it can cheer you.....if you are feeling a little warm after a hot Summer's day, there is nothing quite as refreshing as an iced tea. Yes indeedy, it seems to me in this thing they call life, a cup of tea makes everything a little better.

AND......of course one of the most absolutely beautiful things in life is to drink a cup of tea in  an absolutely beautiful fine bone china, tea cup. Indeed, a cup of tea tastes ever so much more ambrosial in a fine bone china, tea cup; does it not.

Oh...and of course, me thinks there are so many times in life where a good book and a cup of tea go hand in hand. Sometimes, all it seems you need in your day is a good book and a restorative cup of tea; oh ......and perhaps a cosy fire to warm the cockles of one's heart.

Taking part in the tea cup exchange, I received a lovely parcel in the post, pertaining to all things tea and pretty, fine bone china, tea cups. The loveliest tea cup was gifted to me by Belle, my tea cup exchange partner. It is gorgeous, with dainty pretty blue, pink and lemon Spring flowers planted around the cup and saucer with 'Royal Devonshire' stamped on the bottom.

Mmmm......very pretty, very pretty indeed! If I had to choose a tea cup myself I couldn't have chosen a more perfect one....I love it!!

Accompanying this pretty tea cup and saucer was a sweet spoon, some refreshing Ceylon Orange Pekoe tea, a few deliciously, decadent chocolates which were lovingly handmade by a lady from a very old Russian recipe, some printed tea cup serviettes and a smidgen of lace. I might add each bite into these delicious chocolates felt positively sinful! Belle wrote the loveliest of letters printed on gorgeous paper, telling me about herself and her pretty little part of the world in which she lives.

I have had the best fun joining in Stephanie's tea cup exchange. Thank you, Stephanie for your prodigious effort in all that went into hosting this fun exchange.

It is lovely to meet a new kindred spirit, in Belle. It will be lovely to take a few moments throughout my day to sit and enjoy a cuppa in my pretty new tea cup. I have read that tea is rather akin to a hug in a cup. It is, isn't it...........a chat, sometimes a cry, over a cup of tea between friends can be the panacea for one's ills. Thank you Belle for my pretty tea cup....indeed, it seems tea tastes even sweeter in this pretty tea cup!

Belle......let's have a cup of tea, I'll think of you, you'll think of me!

Have the most wonderful week everyone....remember to take many moments throughout this week to enjoy a cup of tea, in a pretty tea cup!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

My letter box beareth a pretty gift

Sometimes in life people do the sweetest things. A little while ago my letter box beareth the prettiest  of gifts. It is always exciting to receive a present in the post; sooooo much nicer than a nasty bill, which unfortunately appears much too frequently. The gorgeous Jeneta from Plum Jam gifted me this treasure which she had found at an op shop, taking it home to live with her. This treasure sat......sat some more .........and sat even longer in Jeneta's lovely home. Jeneta said, try as she might to find the right spot in her home for this pretty, 'it' just wasn't at home.  Jeneta said she felt very strongly that this pretty should come home and live with me. I can think of no lovelier gift to come and live with me in my humble abode.

It is a lovely impressionistic-like printed canvas with dainty cross stitches interspersed here and there. 

There are two young ladies of a bygone era, dressed in pretty lace trimmed dresses, carrying  parasols; and a little girl standing in a meadow of dainty flowers. This pretty really is exquisite.

This lovely print brings to mind those paintings of the Impressionist era. The Impressionist era is my favourite period of great art works. I have enjoyed many a bewitching hour strolling through art galleries drinking in works by Monet, Renoir, Manet, Degas and the like. These artists, especially Monet, strike a chord deep within me. In my mind's eye it is easy to visualise Claude Monet painting these ladies plein air in one of his flower-filled meadows in Giverny.

I deliberated for a while what I would do with these ladies. I thought of stitching a cushion but then I remembered I had a shadow box like frame in which I could place it. The shadow box frame is 46cm x 38cm so the lovely canvas would fit perfectly.

Of course this pretty cannot sit in the shadow box unadorned, now can it. Though the canvas is beautiful just as it is; me wouldn't be me if I didn't embellish.....if only a little. Besides, the embellishing of this pretty makes for a more alluring post.......does it not??

Once again I found myself rummaging amongst my snippets of lace and crochet doilies and all those little bits that would add a little  pizazz when embellishing.

I gathered together various visually pleasing French and vintage laces, carefully stitching them around the border of the canvas.

I espied a crochet basket of flowers hiding in my plethora of pretties. I stitched it to the canvas, filling it with a beauteous, floral arrangement using a melange of crochet flowers that I snippety snipped from doilies. I added various leaves, fluttering butterflies and tiny silk flowers to fill in the gaps.  I do find the prettiest things in my lace and doily stash!!

A basket always looks so much more appealing with the addition of a pretty bow.

I twirled and swirled the ribbon in a rambling fashion across the top, meandering it's way down the side and across the bottom, adding swirls and swirls of other ribbons, cinching them down with various pearls, buttons and a few pieces of vintage ornamentation.

The embellishing of these ladies has been such a delight. I spent many a happy hour in my sunny sewing room this week playing.......stitching a button here......stitching a pearl there......swirling ribbons round and round till they happily found their resting spot.

I spent many a happy moment in my sunny sewing room reflecting what a blessed gal I am that Jeneta should think of me and gift me this lovely treasure.

Yes indeedy, my letter box did indeed, beareth the most wondrous of gifts.......thank you, Jeneta, from the bottom of my heart!

Wishing you all the most wonderful week. Until the next time...........

Linking up with the lovely Stephanie's 'Roses of Inspiration'.