Friday, May 31, 2013

floral arranging: week four, the bridal bouquet

This week in floral arranging the assignment was to make a bridal bouquet and boutonniere. My biggest challenges were finding the flowers. Prom season is here and roses are in high demand. I did consider visiting a rose garden with my clippers but was too afraid to get caught. I still wish I did as straight from the garden roses are so gorgeous.

After watching the videos, I came up with my color scheme which was whites, pinks and pale purple. I visited three grocers and two florists on the search for my perfect flowers. I did not find them but, I came as close as I could to my vision. I splurged on 5 white roses which were my favorite of the two roses here the other being pink ones that were really not that special. There are two varieties of spray roses in pink and white though quite different in shades giving it a nice balance and pale purple snapdragons.

All of my flowers were purchased yesterday and though I tried to complete my assignment that afternoon I ran out of time and would not have had natural light to photograph them in. I redid the arrangement this morning and photographed the arrangement while both kids were at school this morning. My second biggest challenge today was that the flowers were already starting to turn and drop while I worked on it because we are in the middle of a heat wave here and temperatures are in the 90's.

What I love best about this arrangement is the color scheme. It is not one I necessarily gravitate towards but, became very focused on. It is so feminine and light!

Well, if you make a bridal bouquet you also need to know how to make a boutonniere. For this I went with a bright pink tea rose to contrast with the pale pink spray rose. I had run out of white flowers.

I have really enjoyed this course and have learned a lot. It is a bit sad to see it end but, I know I will keep playing with flowers in the days to come.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

stirrup socks

On a recent trip into the city I visited Purl Soho to spend a gift card I received for my birthday. As usual, I was overwhelmed with possibilities!

I couldn't leave without a skein of yarn and spotted the stirrup socks I had seen on the Purl Bee some time ago. This was the project I wanted to knit and one that I could keep in budget with. Simple yet different then what I normally knit and a item I knew I would wear a lot with tall boots. They suggest rain boots but, I think they will also look great with leather peeking out over the top. I wear a lot of skirts and paired with tights these will be perfect and not too bulky as regular knee highs can be once we are back to the cooler seasons.

I chose Anzula Hand Dyed Squishy in colorway Boysenberry. This yarn is so incredibly soft and now that I have tried knitting with it I know I will go back to it. I found working with it very addictive and abandoned all my projects in the late evening hours to make them! It comes in gorgeous colors which made it so difficult to choose.

The pattern is available through Purl Soho and is a collaboration with Loeffler Randall who makes rain boots. I would recommend this pattern wholeheartedly.

I bought a few pieces of Liberty tana lawn that day, one which I have turned into a simple curtain for the back door and I must say it's so much better then the flimsy white fabric that was previously there.

I still have some half yards and neon ribbons and trims to play around with.

Friday, May 24, 2013

floral arranging: week three

wax flower, sage and forget-me-not

wax flower and lily-of-the-valley

This week in floral arranging the lesson is about making a floral head wreath. I wanted a white palate and chose wax flower and lily of the valley. Though I do like this it did not turn out airy or wispy. This was due to the fact that my mini bouquets were a bit dense and I was missing one type of flower that would give it this quality. In retrospect, I think a little bit of greenery may have worked here.

I made a second one. Since I was not finding what I wanted at the market I decided to take a closer look around the yard. I still had some wax flower and decided to pair this with forget-me-not and sage which had flowered. I like the result and the forget-me-not does help achieve the look I was after.

I will continue experimenting with crowns over the summer. I bought extra supplies and there are so many flowers I'd like to try out.

Monday, May 20, 2013

martha stewart handbag

The June 2013 issue of Martha Stewart Living included three templates for handbags which was the little nudge I needed to get around to using some purse handles I had in my craft room.

I made a lining which it didn't call for but I thought necessary so that it would be sturdy enough for my keys, wallet, lipstick and various other bits that wind up in my bag. The fabric is a small cut I have been holding onto of Echino fabric and I lined it with black linen.

The article in the magazine showcases a few varieties of handles though the ones I have were not in there. These are sewn on with button thread. My handles are U shaped and had openings on either side and the handles used in the article are the type you would slide the fabric through or loop it over which would make for a more finished look. It would be a nice idea to make up a bunch of these as gifts.

Another sewing idea in this issue utilizes linen tea towels to construct little girl clothing and toys. I have two perfect Irish linen tea towels that I have been wanting to turn into clothing for a few years now. In the article the dresses look so cute!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wild English Arrangement

Week 2 of of Floral Arranging 101 has been quite an adventure. This lesson is about a wild English Arrangement. In this type of design a round container is used with at least a 5" diameter. A floral frog and tape are also used to help distribute and arrange the stems. Two main flower varieties, filler flowers and a vining flower are the types of flowers here as well as greenery. The shape of the arrangement is asymmetrical. I wished I had a lower urn shaped container to fan it out a little better.

The flower recipe I used for my arrangement:

Greenery- Rose Leaves and blackberry leaves (taken from the front yard)

I have some plants growing in the yard that would have been perfect here but, they have not bloomed yet. At least now when they do show up I will know how to make this type of arrangement and be able to continue testing out this technique.

Hope these blossoms brighten your day. My house is really filling up with flowers. I have a cup of lily of the valley by my bedside that smells and looks amazing.

Ah, Spring...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

hand tied bouquet

This month I am taking part in Chelsea Fuss's Floral Arranging 101 online course through Nicole's Classes. There are some technical issues with the app (some of the text and links are missing) but, after some struggling (clicking blindly) I did manage to get to the course and view the videos. We have not determined the reason why (the app and my mac compatibility?) but, please don't let this deter anyone from the school.

The first lesson was about conditioning flowers, tools and learning to make a hand tied bouquet. I learned how to arrange in a circular fashion with a variety of flowers, when to mix in greens and having a nice balance. I think each flower pops and works well together in the bouquet I made.

The recipe I used was:

geum (the orange, which I had in my yard)
pink hyacinth
white and red ranunculus
tiny daisies or chamomile? (this was part of a mixed bouquet I picked up and it didn't specify the variety)
greenery (from my yard, again I am not sure of the type as it was planted by previous owners)

I emailed my homework which was this bouquet and a aqua pack since I can't access the galleries and am looking forward to the feedback. I also want to make another one really soon!

Hope all you Mom's have a lovely Mother's Day tomorrow.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

double gauze quilt top

A finished quilt top in a square/plus sign pattern. All Nani Iro (because I love her designs) in double gauze fabric. These patterns and colors came together nicely. Sewing this was a bit fiddly since piecework with double gauze can be a little challenging. I am debating how to finish this and am leaning towards hand quilting or tying because I don't see it going smoothly through the machine. Unless I use a longer stitch? If I hand quilt it I am not sure of the pattern so perhaps tying would be better Ugh, I don't know. Maybe I will sleep on it. Ha! That's sort of funny.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

sewing for baby

I mentioned I have a new nephew a few posts ago and this past weekend I got to meet him. There is nothing that one can compare to holding a new baby, is there? It was amazing! I haven't done much sewing for babies in awhile and so it was fun to make some simple projects. I decided some bibs would be useful and used this pattern. I chose a variety of fabric scraps I had on hand - Liberty, Kokka and Denyse Schmidt and backed them with organic cotton fleece. I also wanted to make a toy. My children love their baby oobee's I made them a few years back when I won the pattern from Leslie and so it seemed like a good idea to make one for Owen as well which includes the quilt, blanket, pillow and drawstring bag to carry it in. A appliqué onesie is always useful and I paired it with a organic cotton jersey pants that were a breeze to sew up. I could easily get carried away making things for him.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

drop cloth stitch sampler

I finally finished my Stitch Sampler 2010 by Rebecca Rinquist. This is the second sampler I have done from her designs, the other being Cake. I would love to get a subscription for the 12 month Stitch Sampler but, I am more likely to buy a single for my next one and am trying to decide which to chose. I am leaning towards the Love Embroidery Sampler. Samplers are fun to learn on and there are many stitches I am still mastering and many more to learn. My great grandmother did beautiful embroidery and her stitches inspire me whenever I pull out something she made. Sashiko embroidery is also a favorite of mine. It's a really nice alternative to knitting for something portable and relaxing.