Back from our holidays. We enjoyed incredible thunder storms and didn’t enjoy the many, many flies. I am glad to be away from the spiders and the mouse poo that mysteriously appeared every morning, but miss the night time frogs, the morning kookaburras, the cheeky horse out the window and the kind ladies in the post office who were so helpful when I took the odd order of christmas cards down to mail. It took Amelia about four days to settle in and to stop being incredibly frustrating in that frustrated-toddler way. Once she got into the groove, she started to smile and play happily and run through the garden in the late afternoon screaming at the top of her lungs into the wind just for fun. She loved all the animals and was particularly keen on the puppies but couldn’t stand going out in the heat of the day because of the flies that insisted on buzzing around her face. I have a very keen memory of her standing in chin high dry grass in the paddock behind the house in her funny little sun hat bawling as the flies hung around her in a huge cloud. They were so annoying.
I hit a bit of a jackpot. Mum had mentioned that there was a fair amount of thread, fabric, buttons, lace and other miscellaneous bits and pieces in the back sleep-out which had been shut up in cupboards for years and years. So I went for an investigate and apart from having to dash from the room from time to time due to a black spider emerging from some nook or cranny, I discovered a cornucopia of embroidery thread – I guess because my great great grandmother lived out in this house in the country and would probably have only visited the city occasionally she must have stocked up on her threads. And boy did she stock up! Instead of one or two hanks of white she has a whole three boxes of white DMC thread – want blue? There are about 15 shades of blue to choose from. And she also used a lot of very fine, beautifully glossy silk thread – which there is less of but still enough to use here and there. It all smells quite musty so I am going to hang it all out in the sun to see if that will help — otherwise I might have to gently wash it which scares me a little.
There was also a few useful bits of fabric, cards of ribbon, buttons and lace but an added bonus was stumbling upon a huge box of exquisite iron on transfer patterns for embroidery from the 1920s and 30s. Ah wow! There is enough there to keep me going for the rest of my life. While not quite as hip as the stuff that Jenny Hart produces and while a lot of it is useless and rubbishy some of it is elegant, some of it is beautiful in it’s simplicity and some of it is fabulous in all it’s tackiness. I felt truly lucky to have found my own Aladdin’s cave out there. I want to use some of the threads to make two cushions – one for Amelia and one for my little nephew James. I think they might treasure these cushions in years to come knowing that the threads came from their great great great grandmother’s stash.