Saturday, May 28, 2022

Autumn.....All Wrapped Up♡


Hello lovely lovelies♡ Autumn♡ It's a wrap for yet another year. 

I have been absent through the month of May. I didn't intend to. I never do, really. It's never my intention to be absent for weeks on end, but I've been hibernating within the safe cocoon of my humble abode. My little, humble abode; it ain't much.....but it's home. =) A safe place from all ills, both here on the home front, and the ails of this sorry world. A sunshine-filled, little home on those sunny days with the sunbeams slowly creeping across the rooms, embracing...warming; and on those not so sunny days, a cosy fire to ward off the winter chills. Be it ever so humble, I love my little home. So, so thankful for my little home.

While I am on the subject of  'home sweet home' I have been leisurely reading a beautiful book about all things home. It was a Mother's Day gift from my Pete. It is a sumptuous book, both in photos, layout and words. It is a book which enthuses all things home, giving me a peek into others' culture and their homes. I am enjoying slowly turning page after page, delighting in the words and photos. I mean, what's not to love about a book where the title page for each chapter has details of running stitches scampering across the page and the number of the chapter in cross stitch?? Oh, how I love a book where the words dance off the page. Oh, how I love a book with a beautiful binding and cover. It is what attracts me to a book  in the first place; shallow woman that I am. Whenever I cross the threshold of a book store my eyes ricochet from shelf to shelf in search of gorgeous covers. Well....I am a visual gal, after all. =)

I have had my nose deep within many a fabulous book of late. Both fiction and non fiction. Many have made the month of May speed by. Oh, how I love to immerse my hours, my days; my thoughts, my imagination in the land of the literary world where gifted authors (and illustrators) spin their tales, their truths, and some, inking page after page of whimsical and magical illustrations which cause one's heart to smile. Two of my favourite books (not that I can choose a favourite, as I have loved them all for varying reasons) are ones which I suppose would be considered as 'children's books' but I think everyone of all ages would love them. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy and Big Panda and Tiny Dragon by James Norbury. Both are poignant in words, thought and illustrations. Both are a must read in these times. Why, I bought three copies of each book; one for me and the other two for my two adult daughters. Do yourself, your child....indeed your grandchild a favour and gift them a copy. In this horrible, dark world of late these beautiful stories touch the soul. Besides, one is never too young to read a beautiful children's one?? So love the power and insight that books bring into our lives. Indeed, books have always been the very best of  friends to me.

Elizabeth Gilbert, when she reviewed The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse said "The world that I am required to inhabit is this one. But the world that I long to inhabit is the one that Charlie Mackesy has created."  I must say I would have to agree. I happened upon an interview (one of many) here with the fabulous Charlie Mackesy. As I have said, do yourself a favour and buy this book. Let the beautiful words and delightful pictures hug you♡ 

Autumn♡ As always, it was alive with glorious, burnished colour. Truth be told, the trees here are still in the process of shedding their leaves. I suppose within a month all that will be left are the skeletal limbs of the trees against the wintry landscape. The dahlias were lovely for a good while and the hydrangeas changed into those lovely muted hues.  I must say the cosmos, too, hung on for dear life but have now been pulled out, the seeds sprinkling wherever they will in readiness for a gazillion flowers next summer. There were celebratory days during the autumn months.  There was  my Pete's birthday where cupcakes sent from my daughter via a courier were enjoyed in the Fernery. There was Mother's Day, and our wedding anniversary, also. Goodness, he and two; have been pedalling, in tandem, along the scenic roads of life for such a long time. Forty four years.....goodness it doesn't seem that long. Of course, perhaps if you were to ask my significant other as to how the years have passed during our matrimonial bliss, he could well give you an entirely different answer. =)

During this last little while I seem to have been hopscotching from one imagination to another; dreaming, thinking of more pretties to start, but alas, not a skerrick to show for all that time wasted dreaming. My knitting needles have been rhythmically knitting in a fashion, though. Both sides of the front are knitted and the back, too. The bands are done as well. Gosh, they were a bit of a pain. I can't tell you how many times I unravelled these, but finally they are done and I have been wearing my lovely kimono jacket around about town. I rather love the pattern of this one. It reminds me of a lovely knitted shawl with opening for the arms where cuffs have been knitted on. A buttoned-up-kinda-gal-that-I-am, I will cinch the front together with a variety of brooches. I will probably live in it this winter. For those of you who are interested in the pattern it is from a Patons book 'Women's Merino Collection'. My woolly kimono is so very comfy and very warm. So, so love it♡ 

For a very long time I have wanted to fashion a coat in the design of a patchwork quilt. There are many, many to be seen popping up everywhere on the net.  Honeybea and  Lady Lancaster, are a few designers that come to mind. Now, I don't have any vintage quilts here that are threadbare waiting for another life in a new guise, and I don't really want to cut into any of the quilts I have fashioned, so I thought I might play with fabric and patterns and see what I come up with. Such fun.

I'm excitedly waiting for the new Tilda collection Chic Escape to burst onto the market. June 1st is the day when this exciting event happens; so this coming Wednesday I will be high-tailing into my friendly patchwork shop and purchasing metre after metre of this new, gorgeous line. So, so excited! Have you seen Tilda's Chic Escape?? 'Tis gorgeous! Big, blousy, so delicious. Why, I'm quite certain some of these fabrics will find a place to show off on my patchwork coat. I cannot wait to fashion a few quilts from these luscious fabrics, too.

So, there you have it. The month of May skedaddled along and with it it the last of autumn. The trees are still in the process of shedding their gloriously coloured leaves, but very soon with one blustery force the leaves that are clinging on for dear life will be swept from the trees in an almighty whoosh, falling to the ground forming crunchy, mosaic-coloured carpets to dance upon. Not that I will be dancing as winter doesn't enthuse me to dance; much more like sitting in front of the fire, reading a book or enjoying some hand stitching. Oh, and speaking about slow hand stitching I had better go and find a pretty to stitch joining in over at Kathy's place tomorrow. Perhaps some hand Hydrangea Cobblestones has been left languishing of late.  But.......I did immerse myself in knitting throughout the merry month of May, so that is something, I suppose. After all, I did want to finish my woolly pretty in readiness for the Antarctic blast that will arrive at my doorstep, sooner rather than later.

Such a rather lengthy post, but I suppose that is what happens when one  has been absent for a wee while. I have had a pleasant month of May, a lovely autumn, tucked away here in my cosy, humble abode. Though, of course the cocoon of my little place does not stop the 'horribleness' of this world from filtering through......nor should it! I  need to be jolted from my safe and pleasant existence and be made aware and act upon others' tragic circumstances; to walk in another's shoes and cause change to happen. Sometimes though, it all seems impossible.

The world this week, and in particularly America has saddened me to my core. The murder of children and their teachers in Uvalde, and the racist murder of people who just wanted to shop for groceries in Buffalo last week; and all the tragic ramifications, is devastating.  How does one begin to fathom those who will not begin to nut out the vexed issue of gun control; to begin to try to put laws into place to stop the senseless carnage of their citizens caused by military style guns??  It seems to me that although the majority of the population want changes, there are those who by hook or by crook stop everyone from getting over the line. Mid term elections coming up.......make your vote count!! 

I know, I know, what do I, someone who lives in Australia, know about the political dealings and subterfuge of America?? Obviously.... not much. I admit I continually shake my head in befuddlement of the political machinations of the US. In Australia, here in Tasmania, we had a massacre 26 years ago at the hands of a lone gunman bearing a RK-15 rifle, which caused the government to put in place new gun legislation. Thirty five people were murdered and 23 injured. What happened at Port Arthur  caused our government at the time to move in twelve remarkable days. The gun lobby here, too, was powerful, but thankfully they were "outpaced, outflanked and outwitted" by a very determined Prime Minister and his cabinet; and others. I might say at this juncture it was a bipartisan legislation where both sides of the hallowed halls of parliament unanimously concurred. Here in Australia, as a collective, we never wanted to experience carnage such as Port Arthur ever again. I am continually nonplussed that America does not act upon the tragedies that is the continual massacres. In what universe is it okay for an eighteen year old to be able to stroll into a store and buy military assault style weapons??!! He can't legally buy beer but he can buy an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle......REALLY??!! Time after time I watch the conferences after each tragedy and see pro-gun governors....senators, mouthing senseless platitudes. Quite frankly their thoughts and prayers....their platitudes for the families, spilling from their mouths is outrageous!! Shame on them!! Enough said!

Should I say have a lovely week, lovely lovelies?? Somehow, it seems shallow. The paradox of these days; deep sadnesses living alongside the small joys of our everyday life remains, as ever, such a conundrum to me. Indeed, my heart is heavy these days. Heavy-hearted by the stupidity and disgusting, self-serving nature of some of those in power, and their evil. Heavy-hearted by the murder of innocent children and adults, just going about their everyday lives.

Nevertheless, I do hope you find joy in the small moments, this coming week. We have to grab those moments of joy with both hands. Hoping all you lovelies way up yonder are enjoying your warm, sunny days. As for me I brace myself for Jack Frost to blast in. I suppose I shall wrap my new knitted woolly ever so much closer to ward off the chill. =) Hoping your day causes your heart to smile a little, however difficult that may be♡ Such a mix bag this week. So, so very thankful for the cocoon of my little home; and so, so very sad for all those families whose lives have been shattered. I cannot for the life of me imagine waving  my 'babies' off to school, kissing them, hugging them, wishing them a lovely day; and them never returning home ever again. It is beyond me. It causes me to weep; to sob. I am so sorry, my lovely American friends that you are going through tragedies such as these, yet again♡

Perhaps when next you visit my little place, I will be in a cheerier frame of mind. Perhaps next time, normal transmission will return........... 

PS My husband has just bought a book; probably another sad book to read, but then, other people's stories inspire me. I consider these stories, as hard as they are to read, need to be chewed upon; digested slowly. Why, though I have read many peoples' memoirs of the Holocaust, I have never read one from the perspective of the dressmakers who sewed to survive. Should be an interesting read. 

Anyway....on that note, it really is goodbye from me♡

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Knitting .....'Tis The Weather For It ♡


Hello lovely lovelies♡ Well, a new month has ushered in. The month of May. Goodness, each month seems to disappear quicker than the previous one. May; the last month of autumn. It certainly has brought with it cooler days. So, of course, a fire is needed. A cosy, crackling fire to warm the cockles of my heart.....and toes. Love the hypnotic, open fire in the parlour.

The garden♡ Besides the autumnal toned, hydrangeas, all the flowers have disappeared. The dahlias, cosmos; the roses......have all vanished. No flowers!! Whatever will I do??!! Not to despair, two beautiful friends gifted me some gorgeous, autumnal, Australian native flowers this week; proteas and leucadendrons; so all is not lost.  I must say though I have been creating beauty with fallen leaves, branches laden with tiny red berries and whatever other autumnal foliage I could find. There is much beauty in an autumnal garden. I must savor it while I can. Though, there are the flowers in the fernery to add pops of colour to my little place. These flowers just keep on keeping on. I have a feeling this little glass room might keep my soul smiling through the dark and dismal months of winter.

Thank you so very, very much for the gift of your beautiful comments re my 'little' bag last week. It has been out and about with me, filling up as I flitted around the shops. One of my purchases which 'fell' into my carry-all was a tall figurine of a willowy lady with dress billowing in the wind; a crown of flowers in her hair and a sweet flower cupped in her hands.  She is so pretty. Why, I have named her Lady of the Flowers. She is going to keep watch over all the flowers in the fernery. =)

Would you believe I have been imagining another bag??!! I hadn't meant to, but while I was tidying up after the mess which enveloped my sewing room from last week, I became distracted with some more pretties and I inadvertently happened upon another vintage coverlet, AND...I became sidetracked and skipped along another bag making path. I know; who would've thunk it. 'Tis hard to believe that I might wander off the straight and narrow path, but there you go. Perhaps though, that is a story for another day.

Bag making imaginations aside, and styling Lady of the Flowers among all the pretty flowers, this week I picked up my knitting again of my kimono jacket. Gosh, it's been a while since the quiet has been interrupted by the clickety clack of my needles. As this is the weather to be knitting (it is also the weather for quilting....but....) and I would like to wear my knitted woolly sooner rather than much, much later I decided to enjoy a little knitting. I have finished the left side and have just started the right side. If I remember correctly the last time my woolly was chatted about here was when a wayward cable went off in the opposite direction, completely slipping my attention. Hence, I unravelled much of what was knitted; picking up the stitches once again and moving in an upward direction along the correct cabled path. Such a pain in the right royal proverbial. But enough about that; all is well now and the knitting needles are moving once more, knitting in a rythmic fashion.

I have spent moments in the fernery, knitting as well. If perchance Old Man Sun's sunshiny countenance smiles upon me then it's off to the fernery I go. My aim in life is to follow the warmth. =)

I potted up a few pansies up this week. Pansies are such cheerful little flowers with the sweet kitten-like faces. Slowly I am acquiring different pots in which to plant all the plants in the fernery. A little while ago, my Pete built me a potting bench just outside the door of the fernery. As with the fernery, he used reclaimed wood with layers and layers of peeling paint; just the way I like it.  As we all know potting flowers can be a dirty business so a potting bench was needed where I could make as much mess as needs be. Not only is it fabulous for the messy potting of pots, and alas, when potting up flowers I do make one helluva mess, but it is a fabulous prop for photo shoots, of course. =) A win, win, if you were to ask me.

'Tis Sunday afternoon here. A dull, cloud-filled sky, kinda Sunday, but here in the parlour all is well. The fire is a-crackling and I am happily knitting away. It must be time for a cuppa. It's off with me to put the kettle on. Thank you, lovely lovelies, for stopping my little autumnal place where as always, much fun was had with the taking of much too many happy snaps. So, so, sorry.....but I do love to tell a story with my happy snaps. Later on this evening I will join the other lovely lovelies who gather together for a little stitching....knitting....crocheting; over at Kathy's place. Hoping your Sunday is a pleasant one♡ Sprinkling a little beauty and love into your day♡

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