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!


  1. An excellent tutorial Christine and sorry to hear you've been feeling down but what a nice surprise to receive the little snowdrops, they look lovely in their jug. I like your little setting with the chair and geraniums too.

    It appears that I've lost my followers as well.

  2. They have probably all found someone else to follow :D I can picture them as a swarm flying together from blog to blog and sometimes you can be lucky enough that they have landed on your page.

    Thank you, I'm not down now and when I was I knew it was part of the normal process, so one may as well make an orgy of it. :-D

  3. Glad to know you are sunny side up again ;)

    I'm still not brave enough to tackle flowers but I'm slowly being tempted by you...

    My Followers disappeared for a while too, right after my ability to comment came back, but I see the list is back to normal this morning. It keeps life interesting I guess - you just never know which Blogger facility is going to disappear next!!

  4. Lovely tutorial! Hope that you are feeling better. Down with feeling down in the dumps! xxx Carolyn

  5. Thank you Norma and Carolyn. :)

  6. Lovely snowdrops! I'm glad they cheered the dark time. Nice tutorial, your geraniums look great! I tried geraniums last week, they're hiding in a dim corner ;) I'm happy with the leaves but the flowers should be nipped in the bud. Where does one find punches suitable for miniature gardeners? Nothing local, nothing on ebay.....

  7. I don't believe it, my comment posted!!!!

  8. I didn't think mine was going to post earlier - I had to type the password in twice and I don't think I've ever had to password on my own blog. :-D

    I was lucky that I got quite a few punches at a church garage sale (including those corner ones) a few at op shops and when our old Spotlight closed they were selling the handled type off at 50 cents each! No idea where other people find them, because the selection here is pretty pathetic as well. Even Lincraft seems to have dropped their smaller range. :(

  9. i hadn't been able to comment on my own blog for ages, then i got infected and the whole thing crashed... but i'm back now with a vengeance. i haven't tackled flowers yet, you make it look easy. i tend to hoard the little antique millinery ones.. i'm glad you're feeling on top again. we all let life get us down sometimes, but the best revenge is to take delight in the little 'things' (literally)..
    its hard to be sad when you're smiling.
    christine xx

  10. Thanks for sharing and for the lovely tutorial!

  11. I need to try my hand at some plants and flowers. Great job!

    I deal with depression myself - it really can knock the wind out of a person. You've been through a lot - keep your chin up!

  12. I have been reading your blog over the past couple of months but like others have had a problem posting comments on all blogs including my own so im trying again, I hope your feeling better now or at least on your way there i suffer terrible depression and anxiety and know how it is i just want to hide away some days i hate how it makes me feel...
    I love your geraniums i have got to try these thanks for sharing and thanks for the link for punches take care

  13. Thank you Rachel and Alessandra. I am bouncing back pretty well and I know how lucky I am that for me it is situational. I can't imagine how it must feel when there is no outside reason and you don't know it will pass and everyone around you may not be as supportive as my friends have been. You are right about just wanting to hide away - again I was lucky that I had to get back to work - given a choice I would have hung around at home in my jammies making myself even more miserable.

    I have a new worry now - Miss 19 is off to the USA on Sunday for a month. I know that people live and travel quite safely there, but to this country mouse mother it is incredibly scary!

  14. Ooh I don't how I missed this post apart from all the probs with blogger! Love the beehive and the tutorial is great (just printed it off. Your work is stunning :) I didn't realise you had not been too grand but love the quote 'and intelligent enough to make me assemble them!'

  15. I have this punch, too; comes in handy. I never thought of geramium leaves so thank you for the idea!
    chris verstraete, In Miniature Style II