And if anyone is listening, I would love one of her beautiful aprons for Christmas (unfortunately the Head Chef is not familiar with Etsy or Paypal, nor even is he au fait with internet shopping - I did mention to him this morning that I would also love some Skein Queen Squini Balls for Christmas, and he very kindly said that if I cared to buy them he would put them in my stocking. Which is not the point, is it?)
Which brings me to apron chic. You may have read this post where I trace out my life history in aprons, rather than coffee spoons in the manner of Prufrock, and I feel that I have entered a new phase of apron wearing. Handmade waist aprons as a style statement: Mrs B started me on this path with my lovely Mia Casa pinny, and now Charlie at Forget-me-not Fashion has tempted me further, with the beribboned little number below.
As Princess Bunchy said to me as I strode up the lane to school in my pinny, 'Mummy, that apron is lovely: you look just like a farmer's wife!' It was a compliment, I assure you, farmers naturally being held in high esteem in our rustic residence, and the pockets are just right for keys and mobile phone, as well as the quantity of hankies necessary in this lurgy-ridden household. (I was going to say snot, but I didn't want to be vulgar.) And I think that the combination of wellies, woolly gloves, quilted waistcoat and apron, all worked together to conjure up the effect of agric chic in the Princess's mind.
I don't want to take my usual Gladstone-sized bag on the walk to school, for I have Princess Bunchy's lunchbox and luggage to manhandle, not to mention a naughty dog. So an apron with pockets is just the thing.
And for those of you muttering about how the Utmost Challenge has lasted all of a week before I have cracked under the pressure, I say this to you: my new pinny ticks all the boxes! It is handmade by an individual using recycled fabric, and a student at that, and I am all for supporting impoverished students, being the mother of one whom I fear will be in that state before long. (I can say that in the full knowledge that he doesn't read my blog.) There are also the extra accoutrements that make an apron perfect: the essential pockets, and tabs for tea towels; even a sweet little felt and bead embellishment which is removable for washing.
I am also going to make Princess Bunchy a new skirt for the party that the Commander-in-Chief and my dear mamma are going to hold to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary - gold medals all round for such an achievement, I think, and a new party outfit did not seem unreasonable. (Just in case you were wondering, I will wear a frock I bought from People Tree two years ago. I am debating whether to wear an apron.) So I have bought some fabric to make Miss Iris, the lovely bubble skirt pattern that I won in the giveaway which Samantha at The Handmade Dress held a little while ago. (Under the terms of the challenge, I have allowed myself craft supplies for a stated purpose, but not just for stashing.) The fabric is washed and nearly ready to go - I have only a week before the party, so I had better get my skates on.
And last but not least, I must thank Ruth, my partner in the Letter Writing Swap organized by A Bun Can Dance; just look at the lovely parcel which arrived at my door yesterday. It was a wonderful treat to get, just as I was going off to work. As you can see, it was a really thoughtful package, the contents of which encompass all of my interests: gardening, cooking and creating, all wrapped in crepe paper and ribbon. I had quite forgotten about crepe paper - it fascinated me as a child in its stretchiness, and I always associate it with Christmas, and making your own crackers using cardboard tubes, and crepe paper in red and green.
Ruth is a very accomplished quilter and not only has her own quilt shop, but also a bag shop on Folksy. And she manages to do all this with a toddler still at home, which makes my excuses about not having enough time to finish things rather unconvincing!
And, finally, as they say, since this would appear to have been quite a miscellaneous post, belying its title entirely, here is a little amuse-gueule. Or rather, not so little. Just to turn you orange with envy.
From many of the comments on my previous post, it seems that it hasn't generally been a good year for the squash family, but perhaps the drought here in the far south-east was not such a bad thing, after all. It means that we have had a good deal of sunshine, and although I feared that all the watering in the world would not make up for the lack of rain, I think it was the pig manure what did it!