Sunday, 27 November 2011

Hanging gardens and Thyme bombs

Hey check this out...
the results of a few weeks planning (i.e talking, chewing over ideas, web surfing and delegating shopping lists for materials) and a very productive afternoon in the sun with some lovely girls, out in our favourite outskirts location...Tharwa. 

1. The inspiration. String Gardens 

2. The ingredients - chicken wire, fresh moss, twine, various plant materials like trailing, flowering annuals (e.g petunias, geraniums), succulents (all the usual little rosette ones plus zygo-cactus), herbs (like parsley, thyme and strawberries) and we even put seeds inside some of them.

3. The method - varied - you can make a shape, line it with moss, fill it with soil, enclose it and then tuck the plant materials in

OR you can make a ball of soil around the root systems, wrap a layer of moss around it and bind with twine. G&T obligatory on both methods.

OR apply the same concept to other objects and forms - this little old chair is going to have a "blooming" seat of thyme, heartsease and geranium.

4. The results... works in progress no doubt as they fill out and lush up.

When you're finished...put your feet up (wherever you can), have a celebratory drink and survey all the green, hanging goodness!

The great thing is we all made something different with our own spin - mine were pretty full of flowering stuff, Michelle's were neat little bound balls of herbs, Leila's were imaginative diversions from the theme like a flowering pillow and bag shapes, Libby's were loose spheres of edible stuff and Ali fought with barbed wire to make another garden sculpture!

The possibilities of hanging gardens seem endless -  these take my breath away - all images from The String Garden (web and facebook details as above) 

I am definately making some more of these - watch out if you are on my christmas list...

Friday, 25 November 2011

Its been a while...

Yes, it has been a while but I have been doing "stuff", just not reporting on it! 

I got the chance to meet up with a lovely friend who I dont get to see enough of, we had lunch outdoors at a pretty swish cafe and browsed the nurseries around Pialligo - I think this would be my pick of nice al fresco places to take out-of-towners to!
It's good to have the company of someone who is a bit removed from the everyday routine of your life and gives a different perspective - we talk craft, family and big picture stuff - so obviously she deserves a little bunch of goodness!


Front and centre this week is a little show at ANCA gallery called Rituals, Relics and Icons, which I have some small works in.
I had been thinking about them for ages, and so they came together pretty seamlessly. They are small assemblages made from found objects like book covers, birds' eggs, glass and silverware and botanical materials like branches, seed pods and some living stuff like moss and succulents. Fairly self induglent as they are just a collection of my favourite things really.
There is a rather nice selection in the exhibition, with glass, sculpture, paintings, prints and tedxtiles represented. Because it was a festive, end of year show I also popped in some of those lengths of bunting made from vintage fabrics and papers. Pics below!


My horoscope today said this is a time of change and turmoil, and I have in fact been doing the usual end of year regroup - I often re-assess where I'm heading and what I could change to make for a better journey! Indeed, there may be some news in the coming weeks...
Tonight I went with a car-full of lovely, interesting friends to the Undercurrent Design Market at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.  This was the brainchild of Richard Baz, owner of the Portrait Gallery Store which would have to be one of the most interesting retail outlets in Canberra - if you only have time/funds to go to ONE shop in Canberra for a gift/gifts - I would recommend going there, for everything from great cards and stationery to specialist art and design books and homewares and jewellery.

You can also browse and order online.
It was worth the trip in this bucketing rain - plenty of interesting things and much productive shopping done with champagne glass held aloft. What a nice start to the weekend!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

colour everywhere

There've been zaps of colour everywhere lately...I'm just waiting for them to energise me into action for the silly season which looms in the back of my mind like a bit of a gloomy cloud*.

 we had champers with my beloved cousins...with a funky FINK bowl on the side...

they brought this super-special Molis Azalea from their garden for me...

 and in between gallery work and weddings I have been reading some great blogs - Pip from Meet Me at Mikes (Melbourne) has a lovely, friendly style and heaps of cute ideas for making stuff. And over at Marimekko  I found this (which combines two of my great loves - pink flowers AND hot air balloons),

and learnt how to make these, for christmas wrapping I think. 
Bryn and I also had a little crafternoon, and sewed a couple of bags out of felt, ready for christmas goodies for school teachers. There will be more of these to come, no doubt.
Have I mentioned how much I love my garden when it's all wild  - blooming, climbing and drooping with flowers?



*I don't mind Christmas, it's just the panicky weeks leading up to it where I cant seem to remove myself from the building stress of making sure everything is finshed/made/bought/posted/wrapped/cooked/hidden etc. and everyone is kept happy. They usually are.


Thursday, 3 November 2011

busy, busy...

It's been busy, busy here at brave botanics. How about you?This feels like the first clear 5 minutes for a while now, so a chance to add some more photos.
The Wedding Fair at The Brassey Hotel came and went, and I finished off the day with a drink in the gorgeous, green courtyard area listening to some live jazz, which they host every Sunday arvo there from about 4pm onwards. So nice to sit and soak up the atmosphere of the old place and reflect on the day ...

It is a funny old hotel, formal but also quite homely...that does sound like a contradiction, but maybe I just got comfortable really quickly! I'm thinking G&T in the plush tub chairs, overlooking the manicured gardens and edges...

So, the Wedding Fair. Lots of lovely brides, and plenty of grooms, bridesmaids, sisters, mothers and various other types of hangers on - which we love! Everyone has an opinion, but happily no bridezillas on the day! This is how I set up my little stand - I wanted it to look like a bit of a spring fair - plenty of pink and fragrance.I had David Austin roses, Flannel Flowers, Orchids, Lilies, Peonies, Freesias etc.

A funny thing happened though. 
The hotel provides table flower arrangements as part of their packages for wedding receptions and they use a local purveyor of fine flowers, no names. So he is all booked in and confirmed to deliver - this is the bi-annual showcase for the hotel of what they provide and their chance to show off - all polished, i's dotted and t's crossed...and he doesn't turn up. 
15 minutes til opening. 
They call him - he forgot. They ask if he can whip something up - he says no, sorry.


So I got the gig of rushing out into the old fashioned gardens, clippers waving madly and having pick of the plants. The selection of vases (I use the term loosely!!!) scavenged from all corners of the hotel  was quite funny, but I was very happy to be snipping massive open rose blooms, and lavender, rosemary and leaves and especially happy to be helping out the Brassey team, one of whom I know reasonably well from my other job at the gallery. 
But really, I cant believe that a supplier who already had a commitment in the form of a guaranteed, standing order would be so unreliable and blase. It sounds like blowing my own trumpet, but I can tell you I would never say that to a client, and if I had forgotten or run out or whatever, I would be hot-footing it into the closest farmer's market, or woolies or order to deliver on the promise. 

Anyways, I have posted this all topsy-turvey, with the ending at the beginning and visa-versa, but you get the idea. Great venue, great brides, great day.