Thursday, July 5, 2012

Curtains! and other cottage bits

Today is for sewing (and spinning and grafting sock toes together, later) because I finally have time to make new curtains for the window over the sink at the cottage!

Yes, I know, that exclamation mark looks misplaced for every single person but me, but honestly there is an excitement there that you too might be able to use some day.

Here is the thing: I bought that great fabric up there over the winter, knowing full well that the counters in the cottage kitchen are green, and only a couple of years old.  It's not possible to justify changing them even though laminate countertops aren't the biggest kitchen investment, because doing so would mean Most Expensive Curtains Ever.  Equally not possible is me giving up the teacup fabric with its green-clashing turquoise.


line the dish fabric with the teacup fabric.

so that the curtain is fully reversible.

Is that genius or what?  Then if I do change the counters down the road, I can flip the curtains - and in the meantime, the teacups will invite me, and hopefully some guests, in from the driveway.

* * * * *

The cottage learning curve is combination steep/natural, I'm finding.  The neighbours on either side are on to their third generation there, as indeed were my aunt and uncle before they sold it to me, so they really know the deal.  I on the other hand am adapting to a ton of dishwashing by hand, brushing my teeth with a cup of purified water, keeping an eye on the septic pump, and remembering to put on bug stuff before I go outside (I bombed at this one, but you don't want to hear about the multiple blackfly bites on each of my toes and how I haven't been able to put shoes on for a couple of days.  Oops! Guess you've heard it now.)

At the same time: it turns out it's true that at a cottage you eat when you're hungry and sleep when you're tired, and these things are tremendously relaxing.  Even though I'm not technically relaxing up there because there is so much to do, always, somehow the not relaxing is still relaxing.  This is probably the biggest learning curve: understanding how that can be so.

* * * * *

Rocks: I love them.

I've always gotten excited about the rocks blasted flat on either side of a road, and more so about untouched rocks the road was designed to pass.  North of Toronto you don't have to go far to find the Canadian Shield and I find it extraordinarily beautiful.

Amazingly - this never occurred to me when I was a child visiting this cottage - the lakebed where the cottage is set is entirely Canadian Shield.  Yes, you have to wear shoes in the water, and yes, the rock is slippery enough in spots to make it a good idea to put on your personal flotation device even if you're not in a boat, but it's just so incredibly cool to look through clear clear water at the pockets and curves in this rock as you pass over it.

Other cottages on this lake are set over sand, or mud, or in a few cases rock so sharp and pointy-uppy you can't steer a boat around them let alone walk, with or without shoes.  How lucky is it that my cottage's lakefront is set directly over my favourite surface?

Something I've learned about myself in the last few days is that I can't sit still even when I'm in the lake, because there are so many smaller rocks in the water.  They're buoyant enough in there to roll or lift them up to shore, to make paths in and out of the lake that prevent you stubbing a toe en route.  When I'd cleared everything I could manage clearing, I figured out how to position some bigger rocks to make a natural stair out of the water onto the dock, and then I spent a long time fitting rocks together to make a flat path to the shore from another part of the property.

It's mosaic work really, and boy is it addictive... though perhaps not quite so addictive as wool?

* * * * *

Speaking of wool: I'm spinning some new fiber for Tour de Fleece at the moment, a test run for the yarn I hope to make for the mittens I'll knit during the Olympics.  I'll show you the gorgeous colours tomorrow, so feel free to come back if you can.  I'm off now to sew together my cheery new curtains.  Hope you are having a lovely day where you are!

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