I recently came across these pictures on my phone, and they are a nice reminder of summer now that autumn has arrived. They are some of the smallest blooms that I could find in the garden at the time, sometimes they are overlooked among the larger, brighter flowers but their delicacy has a beauty of its own.
Looking at the structure of the blooms that are made up of many small flower-heads (such as the delicate white flowers shown here) appeals to my love and fascination for patterns. The way that these blossoms are built up from smaller identical forms is also a technique that is often used in craft projects, from patchwork quilts to jewellery.
I like to keep a crowd of flowering plants on the windowsill behind my workbench, so that even in the depths of winter I have a reminder of the beauty and colour in nature.
Autumn has definitely arrived, although after such a wet summer the change hasn’t been very noticeable. The leaves here are starting to turn gold and brown, and the last of the berries and fruits are just clinging on.
Looking at the fir cones I have started thinking about Christmas decorations already- I’m torn between using some real cones, or replicating the shape of the pine cones in another material.
If I decide to use real pine cones in my decorations I will have to start collecting perfect-looking ones soon as the birds and squirrels have been stripping them of their seeds, leaving funny-looking husks behind.
The dogs seem to be enjoying the change of season and one of them even managed to stay still long enough to have her picture taken!
These pretty ceramic blooms make cheerful decorations, and are lovely props when arranging still life compositions for photographs.
My mum and I discovered the flowers at a car boot sale a few years ago- the blossoms have rough, unfinished backs/bases and appear to have been made to decorate a larger ceramic object/item. Some of the flowers have small chips, but I think that they just add to the vintage charm!
Some vintage finds awaiting use in a collage or two…
I have a collection of small vintage finds such as these that I upcycle or use in craft projects. The interesting items range from keys, watch faces and tape measures to engravings, photographs and medicine labels. Some of the finds are worthless on their own (e.g. a key with no lock, or a single domino), but can tell an interesting tale in a collage, or form a useful part of an upcycling project (for example the domino could be made into a drawer pull/handle).
The downside of collecting these little things is that I sometimes feel that there are so many things to make, and too little time!
There is a cabinet of lovely old lace fragments at my local museum, which always serves to remind me that it is good to tackle a more complicated craft project every now and then, and that it is amazing what craftsmen and women could make with their hands before machinery started to do it for us.
These pieces of handmade lace are so delicate and intricate, and must have taken an immense amount of time to complete: they certainly show the benefits of patience and dedication.
A recent museum trip provided lots of inspiration- I particularly enjoyed looking at the textiles and natural history exhibits. As you can see here, there were some interesting bird displays, with a wide variety of species from all over the world displayed together.
The pink cherry blossom is out in the garden now, making pink my colour of the week!
Small, plain wooden trays are often used as packaging for small items such as tealight candles or craft items, and are useful for organising small items. The trays are very plain, and sometimes only roughly finished, but it is quick and easy to turn them into decorative and useful drawer or desk-top organisers.
First use some sandpaper to smooth off any rough edges. I simply decorated these trays by cutting felt inserts to sit in the bottom of each compartment- this is a useful project for using up fabric odds and ends.
The compartments were measured, and squares of different coloured felt cut out and fixed into the bottom of each compartment using a small amount of glue.
The trays could alternatively be lined using leather or decorative papers, or be decorated using paint. I have these trays in the bottom of a shallow drawer in my jewellery bench, and they are perfect for holding jewellery making materials and semi-finished items.