Last week my copy of The Gentle Art of Domesticity arrived and I've been having a lovely time dipping into it. Keen readers of yarnstorm will recognise many of the photos and stories but I've found that there is enough brand new content to make it worth buying in hard copy. And besides, luscious colour photos on glossy white paper outshine a computer screen every time.
Over the past few weeks I've been doing a lot of knitting. But no other craft work has been touched. On Sunday, feeling inspired(partially by Jane's book and perhaps by the new political leaf that has been turned here?), I rummaged around my "studio" and found this long time UFO which hasn't been touched for the best part of four years.
This Emu Ballet School pattern was given to me by Aunty M when she was having one of her periodic clean-outs of her patchwork stash. Ordinarily it's not the kind of project that I would undertake. Most applique patterns I find are really not to my taste, being too twee, or too country, or too naif for my liking. But something in the elegance and shape of these ballet dancing emus appealed to me enough to give them a go. The background was a beautiful piece of linen and the skirts were all scraps from the stash. The pieces were all ironed on with Vliesofix and that was where it stopped. The project got wrapped up with a box of embroidery threads when I moved and then other projects took precedence while I occupied myself, first with a series of 30th birthday quilts, followed closely by the infamous series of wedding quilts.
Now I'm having some fun doing some very simple blanket stitch edging around these outlines. The project bag has a series of scraps which I obviously intended to be used as a pieced border, so there really isn't that much left to do in order to finish this project. It's not very large so perhaps it might be done by the end of the year. I'm not making any Christmas presents this year (well... perhaps one pair of socks for Kris Kringle... but apart from that nothing) so that's not such a big call.
One of my colleagues, who's currently on maternity leave, came in to visit at work this morning bringing her toddler daughter and brand-new one week old baby boy (I got to have a little cuddle - he's beautiful). Her little girl was clutching a big new bag of buttons and M reminded me that Buttonmania in the Nicholas Building is having a sale this week. I've been to this store a few times when I've wanted some special buttons, but I'd never made the effort to go to one of their periodic sales before. What a revelation. Boxes and boxes and more boxes of buttons. Grab a tray, run your fingers through the buttons and pick out whatever you want, then pay by weight - $60 per kilogram which sounds like a lot until you realise that buttons don't really weigh that much. This is 220 grams worth of buttons.