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!
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.
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.
I am particularly partial to the shade of greeny-blue often described as eau-de-nil, and the contrast with the orange glaze on the rim of this bowl is rather eye-catching.
I have been playing around with the small loom I have previously used to make scarves and cowls, experimenting with different textures and techniques.
I decided to weave several small sample pieces (approximately 8 x 13 cm / 3.5 x 5 inches), experimenting with different patterns and ideas for each piece. The width of the loom allows for two sample squares to be woven at once (which was a little fiddly), or the piece can be woven using only half the width of the loom.
The individual tapestries are great quick projects, and a good way to use up any pieces of yarn left over from other makes. I plan to make a few more small tapestries, and then combine them in a project to be shown in a future post…
Bright greens make me think of spring- which is hopefully on it’s way!
To start the new year as I mean to go on, I have been having a tidy up of any bits and bobs that seem to be without a proper home. I needed a box to store some papers and photographs (a kind of memory box), but didn’t want to pay the kind of price required to purchase a nice decorative one! I found a brown cardboard box of perfect proportions at the local bargain shop, and decorated it myself using (imitation) gold leaf to make rustic-looking polka dots.
I drew circles in pencil onto the box as a guide (I drew around the base of a small plastic pot), and then glued torn up pieces of gold leaf in place (they were leftover pieces from other projects). For a super simple DIY project, I am pleased with the outcome: decorative storage at a bargain price! I like storage to be attractive as well as useful (you do have to look at it after all), and this technique could be applied to boxes of any size or shape, and would also be a nice way to make decorative gift boxes.
For a few other storage ideas please see these posts:
Wishing you all a very happy Christmas, wherever you may be.