Oct 30, 2008

Happy Halloween Pop-Up

Have a Happy Halloween

Now you see him, now you don't.

Oct 26, 2008

Christmas Pudding Tea Cosy

I wanted to make something different this year and came up with my Christmas Pudding teacosy. Knitted in double ply brown wool, which has a lovely fleck in it, topped with cream and decorated with pinecones, berries and leaves, it looks good enough to eat.I had four of these in two sizes to fit six cup and two cup tea pots, and am now down to this one two-cup cosy, so I had better get knitting again.

Oct 25, 2008


Yesterday we celebrated our 11th year reunion of our club,Hugbeary Den.
I had started Hugbeary Den as a teddy bear club and after about four years or more of teaching members "how to make a bear", from designing a bear to full assembling of bear, we branched out to include crafts of all kinds.
We have learnt about needle felting, wet felting, embroidering, decoupage, tatting, lace making, quilting and patchwork, cross stitch, spinning, clay sculpting, knitting, scrap booking, beading, cloisonne work, and so much more. Most members have been with me from the start and yesterday was a wonderful day spent with these special friends,where we enjoyed a luncheon, photographic session for our 2009 calender, workshop and shopping.
A group photo.

Oct 19, 2008

Spring - A Feast of Flowers

"And in green Underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins"

The garden is bursting with colour, azaleas are blooming, Petra is a-buzz with bees and flowers, hanging baskets are a picture; its a wonderful time of the year to see how nature has coped with our dry winter.

" I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods,
Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook"
Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882

Oct 13, 2008

Spring/Summer Dries -Potpourri -part 3

A useful way to use your flowers for potpourri. Today I picked some spring/summer flowers from the garden. I placed these in a vase without water and there they will remain until the flowers and leaves are dry to make a new batch of potpourri. Some flowers will dry beautifully this way, without tying in a bunch and hanging upside down. I now have an arrangement of fresh flowers for quite a while and at the same time adding to my dries for potpourri.
In this batch I picked bougainvillea, green foliage which has a tiny flower and sprigs of rosemary to add a lovely scent.

Oct 10, 2008

How to make Potpourri -Part 2

Mixing your oils for Potpourri.
Your flowers/leaves are now ready. You can break the flowers/leaves up if you have not already done so, leave some buds whole as they add to the look. Lavender stems should be broken up small, again leave some small lavender sprays to add to the look.
Place your flowers/leaves into a large bowl, I love to use my large old enamel bowls for this. You will also need a wooden spoon to mix, but hands do best.
Choose your oils depending on the scents you want. Remember if you have essential oils, it is concentrated so you will need about 2 drops per cup of dried flowers.
If you use fragrance oils, it is not as concentrated so you will need more drops of oils per cup, about double. When choosing your oil, try and match the flowers natural scents as far as possible. The oils will enhance the flowers natural scents.
You need a fixative, that is something you can use to add the oils to so that it disperses better amongst the flowers. Orris root is probably the best fixative, but if I make a spicy potpourri, I have used ground citrus peels.
Mix your chosen oil into the orris root.
Gradually add the oil mix to your flowers/leaves, mixing well in between each addition. You can add drops of oil straight onto flowers/leaves but this needs to be mixed very well between each drop.
Once your flowers/leaves/oils have been well blended, place all inside an airtight container and leave to "mature" for a about six weeks. I like to open my container every few days and toss mixture around so its all well blended.
Mature potpourri displayed in an open bowl or bowl with some opening, gives a room a wonderful natural scent.
How/where to use your Potpourri.- part 3 to follow soon.
Some of last years dries.

Oct 9, 2008

How to make Pot Pourri- Part 1

There are probably many ways to make Potpourri, but thought I would share with you how I make mine.
The first thing you need are dried flowers, petals and even the leaves,stems (lavender) are suitable.I like to do my dries during our winter as we hardly get a drop of rain and air is very drying.
If you are going to dry your flowers yourself, the best time to pick them is in the morning when the flowers are dry. If you don't have flowers in your garden but would like to dry your own, buy a bunch or two from the flower market. As soon as you get them home, tie into a bunch with some raffia or string and hang upside down in a cool, dry, airy spot. If you have flowers without stems, break the petals up,or leave buds whole (I like to add rose buds), place on a sieve of some sort, preferably a large flat one, spread your petals out and leave to dry in a suitable spot. Toss them around occasionally to make sure the petals dry out all over.
The most suitable flowers for potpourri are roses and lavender, but you can experiment with all types of flowers. Just a tip here is keep the different flowers apart while drying. Once you can see which ones will dry suitable for potpourri, then you can mix them up. I like to keep my different flowers apart until I make my potpourri, that way I can mix the colours together for whatever potpourri I am making.
Here is a picture of my autumn potpourri I made last year, where I used petals and berries of autumn shades.

Your flowers will be ready to make into potpourri when the petals are crisp to the touch.
Part 2- mixing the potpourri oils to follow soon.

Oct 7, 2008

Spring/Summer's Potpourri

Today I made my first batch of Spring/Summer Potpourri, a mixture of rose, rose geranium and lavender. The room is filled with the beautiful scent but it will take a few more days before its ready. This past winters dries were the best as we had a long dry winter and not too cold.

Oct 1, 2008

Christmas is coming..... and the stockings are hung!

Well not quite hung yet, but getting ready for my three day Christmas event this weekend. These burgundy and cream stripe stockings are hand knitted and each one has a winter gathering tag. I wanted to have something different this year for stockings and thought the old fashioned idea of a hand knitted stocking would just be what I was looking for. I am cuffed how they have turned out..now to make some longer ones.