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.
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 haven’t made a friendship bracelet since I was at school, but decided to experiment with the method as I have plenty of embroidery thread in lovely colours.
As you can see, I experimented with a few different colour combinations and patterns. The free-form pattern below I made up as I went along, experimenting with changing direction.
I wanted to use the finished piece as something other than a bracelet, so decided to make a short length to use as a zipper pull on a jumper.
As I had cut longer strands of thread than I required for the pull, I left a gap and then knotted a second section below the first to use in another project.
I trimmed the ends and cut the top section free from the bottom section.
The top section became the zipper pull, with the loop used to thread it through the metal ring on the zipper.
This was a good way to use up some of the odds and ends of thread that I had in my stash: now I have to decide on projects for the other pieces that I made…:-)
If you fancy having a go for yourself (and didn’t learn how to make these as a child) then there are plenty of helpful guides and how-to videos to be found online.
Here is another multi-purpose Christmas decoration/present-topper. Leather tassels add a touch of luxury to a wrapped present, and can be kept and re-used by the recipient.
The tassels could also be used as keyrings, worn as pendants, added to bags or simply hung on the Christmas tree!
Using some metallic leather adds a bit of seasonal sparkle, particularly when contrasted with soft suede. Whether monochrome or multi-coloured, leather tassels are easy to make- you can find instructions in this previous post.
The tassels are so pretty in their own right, that plain wrapping paper is all that’s needed to show them off!