Sunday, May 30, 2021

Ahh...Sweet Autumn; Farewell ❣


A lovely welcome to my little place❣ Here we are once more. I keep returning like a bad penny, don't I. =) Sunday morning has awoken again. And, I must say it has risen with beaming sunshine to warm the rather chilly air. The ice-sheathed land outside my window is glistening in the sunshine; slowly melting as Old Man Sun sprinkles his warmth everywhere. Tomorrow is the last day of May. Goodness gracious me, how quickly the last month of autumn has flown by. Goodness gracious me, how quickly the season of autumn hurtled by. Down here, we have experienced a continual theatre of glorious hues. Trees dressed in shades that only autumn can create. Hues of burnished golds, russets, yellows, orangey browns; a most spectacular sight. The trees have taken on a bare, sculptural quality. Naked, exposed; but nevertheless beautiful. The silhouettes of the balletic limbs of autumnal/winter trees are statuesque. The flowers in the garden are all but gone. Though the sweet peas are still gifting me with the smallest of posies, they will soon be pulled out and the soil prepared for spring. The hydrangeas which I cut in late summer have dried rather wonderfully. Petals of crisp, taffeta-like petals are scattered here and there throughout my home causing me to smile. Hydrangeas, either the summery, fresh bunches of blue, mauves, pinks, or the dried, mellow tones in autumn and winter, are always a welcome sight to me. The only fresh flowers for the next couple of months will be blooms  from the greengrocer....and occasionally, the florist. During winter, alstroemerias sprinkle a little fresh, flowery prettiness here and there. Thank the Good Lord for alstroemerias.....and greengrocers❣

Late autumn of course, means the enjoyment of cosy fires to warm the nip in the air. Here in my little abode I am blessed to have a slow combustion fire in the kitchen and an open fire in the 'parlour'. Wintry winds outside may try to uproot our little home from it's foundations, but inside one snuggles down under a quilt, stitching away, forgetting for a little while the one-upmanship goings-on, of Old Man Winter and Jack Frost raging outside, trying to outdo each other.

In Australia, Easter and Mother's Day are celebrated in autumn. Autumn found me many, many times enjoying hand quilting. As each autumnal day floated by on a breeze into another, I sat and stitched quilting stitches onto my flower quilt. Quilting to the sound of my sweet Maisie's snores as she snoozed nearby; or sometimes, quilting meditatively with just my thoughts for company. Oftentimes, as I quilted I lost track of time, my mind wandering elsewhere, thinking upon those whom I know are finding life tough, my whispered prayers finding their way to the intended hearts. As I stitched, skies were painted in a Monet fashion with variegated threads skipping across the fabric. Leaves too, grew here, there, everywhere, jostling for space among the applique garden; peeking from behind the foxgloves, daffodils, tulips, cosmos, and all the other flowers sashaying on the quilt. These last couple of weeks I quilted the pond. Ripples softly blown by the gentle breeze giving the sense of water moving. Ripples skimming the surface, while the lily pads float gently upon the water. Again, free-hand lines sketched here and there. Again, variegated threads of shades of blue. As the fabric on which the hydrangeas are stitched is quite expansive,  I quilted invisibly (under each hydrangea leaf) to cause the leaves to pop, giving lovely texture and definition. I also  quilted around the flowers which kiss the water at the pond's edge. Again, the expanse of the fabric was too great not to do this.

The colours of autumn have faded for another year, but they will return. Carpets of  leaves strewn everywhere, a  reminder of the autumn that was. There is something comforting about the seasons returning year in, year out. Winter! The very word makes me shiver. I will snuggle down inside my humble abode and quilt the winter away with the fires belching out warmth keeping the frigid temperatures at bay. I am comforted by the thought of the promise of spring in about three months time. The happy faces of daffodils will pop up and begin the dance of the flower kingdom yet again. Why, some of the bulbs are already pushing their way up in the garden. This sight does cheer my day.  For now, the garden needs to rest, to recuperate, allowing Old Man Winter, and yes, Jack Frost, to do their thing. As much as it pains me to say, I have to admit  the daffodils, tulips, snowdrops, many other bulbs flower all the better  because of the frigid darts Jack Frost flings everywhere.

May this week see you finding joy in the ordinary. May this week find you collecting moments of beauty and holding them close, in these troubled times. May snippets of loveliness bless your day❣ As for me, sometime this beautiful Sunday, as autumn begins to wave me farewell, I am going to enjoy a little quilting by the fire. Some more quilting under the hydrangea leaves, me thinks❣ 

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

PS.......Do you remember Sweet Lucy's quilt which I fashioned  'just because', for my friend's granddaughter, which I waxed lyrical about here?? friend sent me this photo of sweet Lucy snuggled in her quilt....isn't she sweet?? 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Oh, I Do Love a Granny Needlepoint.....Or Two ❣


Hello lovely lovelies❣ 'Tis Sunday morning here. A morning where Old Man Sun is doing his darndest to peek through the clouds. There is the promise of sunshine later on, though. Regardless of the absence of  sunshiny, happy beams, the autumnal colours are aglow. 'Tis rather easy on the eyes. The land as far as the eye can see is dressed in verdant greens, and autumnal russets, oranges, yellows and burnished golds.  The floor of the garden is covered in leaf-shaped  carpets in the prettiest of mosaic patterns. My fancy boots want to splish-splosh in the crispy, dry leaves, dancing to the sounds of the crunch underfoot. Why, I want to sink down into the softness of the leaves, with my face upwards to the autumn sun basking in its happy sunbeams, soaking up all those happy endorphins. Why, maybe I will.

How has your week been?? Hopefully you have been dancing to the rhythm of springtime, or, if you live here downunder frolicking to the beat of autumn. Oh, I do love the word frolic. =) Last Sunday my dear husband and I did as I intimated we would and meandered, and yes, frolicked,  around the beautiful Tassie countryside, stopping here and there whenever we felt the need for coffee or tea, and cake. Lo and behold we found ourselves right smack in the middle of a market. After a long drive we love nothing better than finding a market where a 'pot of gold' may lay ready to be discovered. We strolled along, stopping to inspect any pretty that caught my our beady li'l eyes. I happened upon a sweet little vase and of course it came home with me, just because I haven't enough receptacles to show off the flowers from the garden. =) But.....the gold; the treasure I found was in the form of needlepoint canvases. Some complete, some in an unfinished state, some threadbare.....and some canvases without a single stitch on them, but nevertheless beautiful. 

I am that gal who  has always adored a 'granny' needlepoint or two. Back in the day when I was but a slip of a girl, you know, those medieval days; the Bayeux Tapestry was the talk of the village. You know the one, that fabulous embroidered cloth depicting scenes pertaining to all things dukes, kings, kingdoms, battles, horses, knights in shining armour; and Norman conquests. Those days way back then, when countries battled other countries in order to acquire more kingdoms. Mmm....nothing has changed much, has it?? But....I digress. Throughout the history of mankind, ladies, and I suppose, men, have enjoyed the art of stitching pretty thread in a variety of stitches, onto stiff canvas and on printed canvas when they came into being. I mean, who can resist a bouquet of flowers in resplendent colourful threads, or perhaps a cute little country cottage hidden by an English country garden?? Certainly not I. Needlepoint, the very word conjures up beautiful canvases covered in tent stitch, basketweave stitch, continental stitch....a myriad of decorative stitches. I might say at this juncture that a needlepoint pretty doesn't have to be finished or in a pristine state to make my heart beat a little faster. Any old needlepoint pretty, suits my fancy, regardless of the state of disrepair it is in.

As with most things, everything old is new again. 'Granny' needlepoint is back in vogue. I don't know the number of times over the last couple of years,  I have heard of so-called, 'on-trend' interior designers looking down their supercilious noses at the needlepoint pretties of yesteryear. These so called experts in modern day interior design refer to these forms of stitched pretties as "channelling granny"!! What do they know??!! To my delighted surprise, I was reading an article the other day how millennials are trading their cell phones for needlepoint. Really??!! These hip young things are picking up their needles and colourful threads and are enjoying the art of needlepoint just like their grannies once did. Fabulous!

Now, this aged and venerable gal has always adored needlepoint and tapestries. Needlepoint, indeed tapestries have always been hip to me. Not that I have stitched many, though. I have collected them for years in all stages of progress.  I love saving these vintage needlepoint pretties blooming with gorgeous flowers and repurposing them into a modern aesthetic. I adorn all manner of things with them; chairs, cushions, tarting up the odd jacket.....bags. Oh, I do love a bag with a needlepoint remnant peeking from behind ruched ribbons or a vintage brooch.

And.....speaking of bags; and needlepoint and ruched ribbon flowers, this week I thought I should finish the sweet little, blue bag I started months ago for my friend. And finished it I did. I stitched it up by machine and added the finishing touches of fringing and some decorative braid just to dress it up a little. (As if this little bag wasn't dressed to the nines, already!) It's okay though, because my beautiful friend isn't opposed to a little frippery sprinkled into her days. And.....if one is out and about town, one really should have a carryall with fripperies dripping from it...just saying. =) I lined the bag with a toile fabric depicting pastoral scenes with gentleman serenading their  sweethearts. It is a fabric which I have had forevermore and now is no more.=( So, my friend's little blue bag resplendent in ruched ribbons dancing around the threadbare needlepoint, vintage pretties and pretty fringing is done! I can perhaps fashion another bag for moi...or perhaps for another friend, for no other reason than....just because.  One can never have too many handbags, shoulder bags.....can one??

Alas, not a lot of quilting was done this week. I stitched with great gusto, and much zeal the previous week and a bit of a sore wrist eventuated. So I have had a little break from my fabric flower garden. But, later this evening I will join all those other lovely ladies and enjoy a little relaxed slow stitching over at Kathy's place, and perhaps begin to stitch the ripples in the pond on my quilt. Hoping you enjoy a beautiful Sunday when it comes a-knocking at your door. May it be a day where a little love and beauty causes you to smile❣

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