Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Interests and Some Experimenting

Here are six words I never thought I’d write with any degree of conviction:

I think I’m becoming a gardener.

Not a particularly knowledgeable or proficient one, but a gardener nonetheless.

I say this because a few weeks ago I walked out of my local nursery, a bag of pea straw mulch under each arm, and felt as happy and satisfied-with-life as if I’d just bought a pair of shoes.

It’s funny; growing up, gardening was the Ultimate Chore, but now it’s become a whole new way to be creative. And given our new block didn’t have a single tree, let alone plant, when we moved in, it really does seem like a wonderful blank canvas.

It’s been exciting to see the kids start to appreciate it too. While I don’t think they’re enormous fans of weeding (but then, who is?), they’ve noticed the trees we’ve planted sprouting, and point out new buds and growth with excitement. It’s lovely to see.

All three have chosen and planted a tree just for them. (Well, two have, one’s still deciding). Week Eight’s layout is on one of them:

This layout had a couple of starting inspiration points. The first was this picture of kids’ wallpaper that I tore out of a magazine a few years ago (I think it’s by Catherine Martin, but I didn’t write it down at the time.):

 Sadly, I wasn’t able to convince any of my kids that they loved it enough to have it in their new room, so it’s been sitting in the ideas file ever since. I did try to draw some silhouette figures for my page, but wasn’t happy with any of them. Besides, they got in the way of the photos.

The second spark off point was a book I read last week on twelve incredibly talented art quilters. This group got together online and each took a turn at choosing a theme that they’d then all interpret as a 12” x 12” mini quilt. The results were phenomenal; so creative and clever. (There’s a website – might be Twelveby12, but don’t quote me)  I really loved that it wasn’t a competition, but rather a challenge in which everyone’s very different styles were celebrated and appreciated. Sounds like a pretty good idea for a scrapbooking group, actually!

There were a couple of these quilts that looked like they’d been painted, only using thread rather than paint. Thought I’d give it a bash on my tree here. I drew a tree (and grass) then cut it out and stuck some paper behind it. Then I used different machine stitches and coloured cottons and played till it looked finished. I was umming and ahhing as to whether to stitch some extra thinner branches and twigs over the cream paper to fill it out a bit, but when I started to sketch it out in pencil it all looked a bit fussy, so I stopped. It was a fun technique to play with though, and I think I’ll have to try it again sometime soon.

Have a wonderful week :)


  1. This is one truly amazing layout, I so love it. Your techniques are wonderful. Be proud with your own ability. xxx

  2. I LOVE how you have sewn on the tree! You make gardening sound lovely :)