Sunday 17 November 2013

A little bit of fun......

It has been months since I have been able to go to a monthly NAFAS Flower Club demonstration meeting - and I nearly didn't make it this month either - an injury - so I couldn't drive.  Luckily Mr Lottie is driving again so he dropped me off and picked me up.

It was a very different and perhaps a bit 'wacky' young demonstrator - but I like different and wacky - its really refreshing.  I bought £5 of raffle tickets and the ladies selling them looked at me and said "Five Pounds!"  in shock.  I explained that as I hadn't been for a number of months and we rely on the raffles for funds - it was the least that I could do.

The arrangements that are made are raffled off at the end of the meeting.  And yes - you can guess - I won one.  It was the 'arrangement' that nobody wanted.  Even the demonstrator said that she knew when she made it that it was going to be the 'booby' prize!  It was an 'experiment'!  She grouped together some stems of Amaryllis, cut them different lengths, turned them upside down and tied glass tubes to them - so no vase or anything.  The flower has hollowed stems - so she decided to stick a flower in each upside down stem!   She hadn't tried it  before, and I don't think that she would do it again.   I had to ask her to disassemble it just so that I could take the components home!  It was like a sputnik of sticking out stems and you couldn't carry it or anything.

Thursday, undaunted I decided to see if I could use the flowers in some sort of arrangement as there was no way that it would work as it had been.  Here is what I salvaged and came up with.

 Amaryllis are lovely big lily type flowers - but because of their thick hollow stems are difficult to arrange in a traditional way.  I left the binding on their stems, as I think that they would collapse without it!
The ones I salvaged were a bit bruised from being stood on their heads and used as a 'container' - but I managed to save the above, added some grasses that matched their centres and a few red twigs.
(Firstly though I had to carefully cut off some of the damaged stems, turn them upsidedown, fill them with water, and stuff the end with cotton wool - as they don't take up water like 'normal' plants as they are flowering bulbs and their nutrients come from the bulbs.)  They look quite nice in the vase and much better with the sun shining on them

They now sit in my Garden Room - and one of their benefits is that they have no smell or perfume - as I am allergic to lillies - big time - they give me asthma attacks.

Next I managed to salvage the four large Chrysanthemums.
That was really good - they were losing some petals but hey ho.
The downside is that in flower arranging we like 'odd numbers' it is more pleasing on the eye and they are easier to arrange - otherwise they can look like a pair of eyes or ears.
To make this challenge a tad bit more difficult - is that they were two colours.
Not to be put off and buoyed up with the joy of winning them - I had a rummage around the garden for some foliage.
 The flower heads were the biggest I have every seen!
The bronze one at the back is the size of a plate!
 So I made a simple design - not technically correct due to the even number and colours of the flower heads
But it goes perfectly on my one and only coffee table, and the colours work very well with our cream walls and similar coloured orange/coppery carpet.
These huge chrysanthemums remind me of those featured in paintings from bygone years - by the 'Masters' that you see in art galleries.  The foliage is Fatsia Japonica and conifer.
 Lastly the 'rubbish' bits  - which were a bit broken or crushed.
The broken off heads of lilies - well those that could be rescued.
Three David Austin white roses - with a perfume - and.....

Three waxy plants with very very long knobbly stems - as in 3ft - they look like 'jungle' plants.
The flower heads are very small - but I couldn't bare to throw them away - so I cut them short.
They don't really sit well with conifer and laurel leaves - but they looked sad and weedy on their own.
I even salvaged some tatty and broken bear grass - cut it and made hoops - 'waste not want not' me!

So.....for the grand sum of £5 worth of raffle tickets and winning the 'booby' prize nobody wanted, I have my little home filled with sunshine - and had such fun playing too.
(And just the white roses cost £2 from the florists shop - and I have three of those.  You might faint if you knew the prices of the other flowers.)

Five pounds well spent.

Friday 8 November 2013

Transported back in time on a dark, dull, wet day

It's  just no good bemoaning the fact that winter has hit us here in East Anglia with a vengence.
So on went the wellies, up went the umbrella - and a mad dash to the studio.
 To continue with my scrap book of all things French!

Sorry for the picture quality - it is really hard to get good photos on a dark day
So the above is the out cover (front) - now stitched and attached
 Ditto the back of the book - vintage material onto which I have stitched tea dyed trim.
 The photo I took of the front inside cover of a vintage poster in a frame wasn't successful so I will add it when I finally finish the book - next week.
 This is a better photo of the inside back cover page of sacking. I just need to get some inspiration on how to finish it - I might just add 'FIN'

In real life, this book front looks and is the colour of vintage leather which I machine stitched onto the vintage upholstery material.  I will have to take a close up of the little flowers which I sewed on above the material 'ties'.  They are so cute.  The are fine netting, hand made, with gorgeous little sewn on beaded centres.   I found a length in a charity shop many years ago - it was bright white, and lemon, so I soaked it in coffee grounds and it has really aged them.

Thank you for looking.

I have a busy weekend ahead with family staying - so will have a go at finishing this project next week.

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Mail Art - Envelopes this time.

 I decided to sort out my stamp drawers today and see what exactly I had.
we have been having a Mail Art envelope swap with members from around the globe
It's a brilliant site as well as a really active forum and it has really got me back into 
crafting again.   I made five envelopes so sent them all off yesterday.  You only needed to make
one but I got carried away!
Sorry - I digress.  Whilst sorting out my stamps I came across some I hadn't used  before.
The little girls were second hand in a job lot I bought so long ago - I had to ink it up to see
what it was - then having done so decided to make an envelope with some tea dyed paper 
I had sitting in a roll on the corner of my desk waiting to inspire me.
The middle of the above is left blank for the address.

On the reverse I used another second hand set of stamps - cling ones this time.
I water coloured the tea stained paper with blue and used water colour crayons for the girls.
This one I am going to hold on to for a little while and enjoy it on my notice board in my studio