Sunday, June 26, 2011

Life is a garden of flowers

Over the last few weeks I have been indulging in a serious bout of self pity. It's not a pastime I usually get into, but I have found that I have a real talent for it! 49 years wasted when I could have been honing this skill and may by now have even been running workshops- 'Misery: how to make sure you have the worst time'.  

Nothing lasts forever though and even while I was putting all my concentration into being unhappy, I found outside influences kept distracting me. One distraction was from Laura at my wee life who was lovely enough to send me a bunch of snowdrops... and intelligent enough to make me assemble them! I am thrilled with the results - they are fiddly and I almost fainted when I saw all the tiny die cut petals  (fortunately Georgie Steeds at  the miniature garden includes spares) but very satisfying.

A few weeks previously I had made a garden room with a pink geranium for my garden/shabby mad friend

so was inspired to make a few pots of red geraniums for the (yet unbuilt) kitchen window sill at Hollyhock Cottage in the best tradition of Enid Blyton.

Luckily my dolls house geranium making skills are an improvement on my geranium growing. This plant is the result of years of nurture!

If you want to make your own geraniums, here is how I made mine:

Hole punches - you will need a 6 petalled flower approximately 1cm across for the leaves (I also had a smaller one for smaller leaves but this is optional ) a small 5 petalled flower (I used the smallest on this corner punch) and an optional small star for the bit under the flower head - you can also cut a rough star with nail scissors.

Paper in colour of flowers and leaves or paint in colours for same

Stylus (embossing tool to give leaves and flowers shape)

Polystyrene food mat to emboss against

Fine paper covered cake wire and green paint (you will need the green paint to splodge on the leaves and the flower head base as well

Polystyrene balls from a bean bag - assorted sizes.

Tacky glue 

Felt pen in a shade darker than the flower colour

Scissors, tweezers, pot and clay or oasis, used (dry)tea leaves

For a full pot you will need around 3 - 5 flower heads and 15-20 leaves.

Cut leaves and lots of flowers.
Gently shape each flower by pushing in the middle with your embossing tool onto your mat and mark the centre with the felt tip pen.
Snip a small wedge at one of the indents of the leaf shapes and shape by embossing a line from each indent to the centre.
Cut flower head cake wires approximately 1 1/2 -2 inches and leaf cake wires 1 - 11/2 inches. 
Push the flowerhead wire onto a polystyrene ball  and paint green (you can use your embossing mat to hold the pieces as they dry)
Fold one end of each of the leaf wires 1/8th inch over as pictured and glue onto the leaf so that the stem comes from the snipped section. When dry dab a smudge of colour in a rough circle on top of the leaf. You can be more adventurous for more decorative geraniums.

Using a pin, push a hole in your star and squeeze onto the flower stem to the polystyrene ball (I'm not sure this is really needed, so you can decide)

Dip your painted geranium head into tacky glue and beginning at the top centre add flowers to form the flower head - tweezers are very useful here! 

When all is dry, put some air drying clay into your pot with a covering of used tea leaves, and begin pushing the geranium leaves into place, bending the stems slightly as needed. Add the flowers last ranged around the centre. 

I sprayed mine when finished with a matt varnish (the flash makes it shiny) for a bit more durability)

I had planned on welcoming people next time I blogged, but again my blogger list has gone into hiding.
Welcome anyway and I hope you enjoyed your visit!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Giveaway winner!

I've been a bit lazy and pottered around yesterday instead of doing important tasks like drawing a giveaway, but tonight my conscience nagged loudly enough to make me get the names printed out and organise my helpers.

 Winner chosen by dark haired Sally with her eyes closed. (I can't trust Dolly to close hers!)

and it is Irene!

If you can get in touch with your details, please Irene, 
I will be able to get your parcel off to you.

Thank you everyone who entered,
I wish I could have sent you all a prize.