I don’t know why exactly but I had a strong urge to make a terrarium today! I’m not particularly known for my horticultural skills but having seen some rather lovely examples on Pinterest, I decided it was time to give it a bit of a go. I went to the local Dollar King and bought myself a small fish bowl, a little bag of stones and I was all set.
And here is the result:
The plants were all bits and pieces I got from our own garden and I’m hoping the sedum will grow and spread out a little but all in all I was pretty happy with it. I think actually I want to make some more!
On another flowery topic, I was given the task of pricing up some items for the upcoming market at the Pioneer Church. I was given two enormous soup mugs and rather than just stick a price on them and hope that they sell I decided to play with some artificial flowers that had been sitting there doing nothing to see if we could jazz them up a bit. Here they are post jazzing!
So there we have it, I have been absent for so long (and have missed my little blog and bloggy friends) but as Spring is definitely under way in this part of the world, I thought it might not be a bad idea to do something sufficiently Springy!
I showed you my garden blocks a few weeks ago which I made as part of our friendship group’s 20ll theme and here they are again finally made into a quilt top with a couple of additions.
I decided to make a larger central block using my Go Baby shape cutter for the flower motifs and then machine zig-zagged around them. I was pretty happy with how they turned out and thought I would embroider the names of the group members on the central block to remind me of who contributed to the various block designs.
It meant of course that I had to do a little bit of a calculation to work out how to incorporate the the squares on either side of the middle block (math is not my strong point)! but in the end I was quite happy adding the floral strips to the two squares and putting a couple of narrow blocks that I could embroider on to.
The other pleasing thing for me was the sashing fabric which I bought about 5 years ago from a closing down sale for a bargain price. There it was just waiting for the right opportunity to present itself and now I can feel satisfied that it has been put to good use … at last! The other blocks too were all made from fabric already in my stash so no new fabric purchased – Yay!
Here is the finished quilt top, hope you like it.
If you want to see a close up of the blocks take a look here
Still waiting for news of baby’s arrival (from friends in Bonnie Scotland) but in the meantime I set to putting some flannel squares together to make a nice snuggly quilt for bub. I appliqued some stars on to the squares and then gave to Natalie at the Quilting Bug who echoed the star design in her quilting. Hopefully mum, dad and baby will enjoy!
Baby flannel quilt with stars
Thought you might like to see a couple of other that came back at the same time. The first one is my friend Carol’s who made a large version of this (not shown) and a small baby one which she is about to send off as a present overseas. I think you will agree it is very pretty (and bonus knowing that it is made up from the left-overs of a bigger quilt – including the batting)!
Carrie’s been at it again too! Again this one is going overseas with get well wishes for her mother in law. I think this quilt would cheer up anyone’s Christmas.
Here are some proteas I often pass in a friend’s front garden – I just couldn’t resist their beautiful colours and I hope it brings a touch of sunshine to those going into the depths of winter!!
I feel like I’ve been away for so long, having visited family in London for the past three weeks. I must admit the jet-lag is still kicking in from time to time but I was keen to get back to it again so hopefully I won’t make too many slip-ups!
While I was away I read a book called The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney who wrote the Tenderness of Wolves which I really enjoyed. The story is set in England and based on Gypsy culture and centers around a girl who has gone missing from their community. Not a bad story but what was interesting was the reference made to the gypsy craft of carving flowers out of wood. It was something I had never heard of before and found it difficult to imagine what the finished article would look like. Imagine then my surprise, when a few days after finishing the book I found myself at a local apple festival and there was a man sitting whittling pieces of wood, making these very intricate chrysanthemums – it was weird to say the least!
Anyway I had a good chat with him, his name was Ivan and he was born in a horse drawn caravan down on the marshes, not far from where I grew up in Plumstead. He told me how traditionally they would get work at local farms throughout the spring, summer and autumn but in the winter there would be no work for them and this is how the craft of flower carving came about. It was a closely guarded skill and they would carve them out of off-cuts from the elder bushes during the winter and sell them for a small amount of money. Ivan even gave me a few words in his native Romany language which I have to say sounded like no other language I’ve ever heard before. He also told me he was 78 and on my way out the lady at the gate saw I had one of Ivan’s flowers in my hand and said “he’s a bit of a character isn’t he? – He told me he’s 92?!” Which left me wondering – perhaps he fancied his chances with me if he’d knocked off 14 years!!
Ivan the gypsy flower carver
I can’t profess to be the greatest gardener in the world. However I do love to have a few tubs of colour around the back yard. It’s lovely to walk outside with my cup of tea in the morning and see something so cheerful!