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.
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!
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.
The Dahlias are still looking gorgeous; I love the gradation of hues, and the structural pattern formed by the petals.
Some more lovely vintage and antique embroideries, this time in neutral white and creams. I featured coloured embroideries a few weeks ago, but felt that these understated lovelies deserved their own post! Some are destined to be sold as they are, and some will be upcycled.
I recently went through the various vintage and antique hand-embroidered fabrics that I have, in the hunt for some material to make bunting for a friend’s wedding. Due to the hours of work that these pieces represent, I am loathe to cut them up, with the exception of any items that are damaged or spoilt by a permanent stain (I remove and bin the damaged area, and use the rest of the material in craft projects).
Depending on the size of the material, the embroidered fabrics can be used in a variety of projects: I really enjoy giving new life to something that someone else has put so much time and effort into, but is now ‘ruined’ for it’s original purpose (e.g. a tablecloth with a stain in the centre).
Using some fabrics that I already have (in this case by upcycling) also means that I am still managing to stick to my new year’s resolution to buy no new craft materials this year!
The few pieces that I have shown here are all undamaged items, and as I seem to have collected quite a few pieces in good condition, I have decided to sell a selection- after all, there are only so many tablecloths etc that one person can use!
I am inspired by all things floral at the moment, particularly the vibrant colours that can be found in the garden now that the flowers are blooming!
This is a mish-mash of crafty floral items: the ceramic flowers are vintage, the postcard was from Paperchase, the leather flower was made in this DIY post, and the vintage buttons and handmade lace motifs are awaiting an appropriate project!
I have a row of orchids on the windowsill in front of my work bench, and never cease to be distracted by them when they are flowering. I love the delicate shapes of the flowers, and find the gorgeous colours particularly inspiring.
Because the foliage of the different plants is almost identical, I often have a nice surprise when they flower, as I have forgotten which one is which colour!
After some rough seas over the winter there seems to be more pottery fragments on the beach than usual- or maybe the (rare) sunshine has just made them easier to spot!
I particularly like the piece with an anthropomorphic lion face painted on it.
I have used the pieces in small mosaics before, and would like to use some to make a mural on a section of the garden wall at some point in the future (when I have collected enough pieces!). In the meantime I just enjoy admiring all of the different patterns.