Thursday, May 19, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The purple Iris shown here are happily growing in my garden, my Mother sent them to me from her garden in Iowa and before that they were in her Mother's garden. I think Iris are incredibly beautiful flowers and there are so many varieties out there that no matter what color you like you could probably find some to please you.
Since I started beading Iris have shown up in several of my pieces and I am sure that like other flowers will continue to show up.
The first beaded piece I made that used the Iris is my necklace below. I made it for a contest at Turquoise String Beads in Fall River, Massachusetts where I got my beading start. They were having a summer themed contest and I designed this piece for it.
After I started doing bead embroidery I knew that I absolutely had to make an Iris piece. Even with size 15/0 beads (which are quite small); I knew that the piece would have to be fairly large to get the details that I wanted. I had this purse that gotten at a charity sale and realized that it would be the perfect canvas. With lots of photos of Iris in hand I played with ideas until I came up with what I wanted.
I used 50 colors of seed beads for the purse to allow me as much freedom with values as possible. The Iris has some ruffled edges to the petal which helps give dimension to the flower. This purse is still one of my favorite pieces that I have made.
My pond piece was inspired by some Iris we saw in a little pond when we were hiking in New England. I mad this piece to enter into the Bead Dreams contest for their crystal category. The Iris in this piece is entirely 3-dimensional and was added after it was made.
Bead Fest in Philly last year I took a Mini Mosaics class from Joan Babcock. In class we learned how to make mosaic pendants using seed beads instead of tiles. I loved the idea, how cool and "what if...."
Oh how I love the "what if"s, when my creative brain slams in to high gear and takes me for a ride. What could you do with this technique only bigger? A mirror frame? A piece of wall art? Or how about a backsplash for behind our cooktop in our kitchen? Mmmmmm...... I like that idea. We didn't have our builder put in a backsplash because we didn't like any of their options, we wanted something more interesting. I had been trying to think of a really cool idea for over the cooktop and then we were going to use that to pick the rest of the backsplash for the kitchen.
Since we weren't in a huge hurry I could take on this project which I knew would be a big undertaking. The project started with measurements and a to scale drawing so I would have an idea of what I wanted to do. Hmmmm.... what did I want to do? At this point we had already painted the kitchen blue and copper. Nature has always been my go to inspiration and the idea of using Iris just jumped out as an image that we would enjoy year round and could pick up on the blues and coppers in the room.
The scale drawing was a rough idea and gave me an idea if I could make it work and what I wanted to use and to see what Wayne thought since as always he was funding the project (luckily he doesn't have to pay me by the hour).
The photo above has the drawing that is sitting on top of the substrate that I am using for the mosaic. I will leave you with this and continue with the project in my next post. If you can't wait you can check out the photo album of this on my facebook page.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
|Wayne digging holes for trees from Maryland DNR|
|Some of our first bulbs to come up from fall planting.|
We ordered 50 trees from Maryland Department of Natural Resources and they sent us a few extra so we ended up planting 55 trees and giving 3 to our neighbor. We ordered half redbuds and half black locust. These trees were in better shape and bigger than the ones we had gotten from the National Arbor Society in the fall. I had dug over half of the holes before the trees arrived and in 2 days we dug the rest of the holes and planted all 55 trees. So far they are doing pretty well although I am going to have to spray for bugs since they think the trees taste yummy.
As winter was ending and spring neared we got our first colorful visitors with the crocus starting off the show. I was so excited I had to text Wayne to let him know we had our first flower open.
|Baby Iris and Crocus, so cute and very welcome color.|
|More baby Iris, less than 6 inches tall.|
|More bulbs coming up and blooming.|
We planted over 1000 bulbs in the fall and it was really exciting to see them starting to come up and we were out many days looking to see what had changed and who was blooming.
|Daffodils in bloom.|
|Pretty Double Daffodil.|
|Seeds from Grandma's Hollyhocks a few generations later.|
As we have spent all of this time planning and planting our garden I have thought a lot about the females in my family who were gardeners and how proud they would be of me. I have especially thought of my Mom and my Grandma Throne. My Mom sent me 3 boxes of plants from Iowa including tulips, iris, seeds from my Grandma's hollyhocks and cuttings from her peonies. I like that these plants will be in my garden where they can remind me of her. The lilacs and redbuds that we planted will also remind me of my Grandmother since she loved them as well.
|Wayne's Anniversary Present to me, Roses and Daylilies.|
|Not too bad for $5 rose bushes, cheaper than cut roses and last longer, too.|
|First Iowa Iris to bloom (the day after our anniversary)|
|Second Iowa Iris to bloom.|
I will leave you with these beautiful Iris in bloom, they bloomed the 2 days after our anniversary, I really like that Iris (one of my favorite flowers) bloom around our anniversary here in Maryland. And these came all of the way from Iowa to grace us with their beauty. If you like Iris come back for my next post which will have Iris coming into our home decor.