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Thursday, November 11, 2010

For The Birds - A Silk Flower Tutorial

I love flowers.  
To me, they are a celebration of love
a celebration of the feminine spirit 
and a celebration of mother earth
When the counselor and I were first married, we lived in a small white brick house built around 1950.  The house looked like a cottage.  It was the perfect starter home, right down to the crank-out pocket window in the kitchen and the squeaky screen door hanging on with its last breath.  The gentleman who sold us his house left his somewhat functional washing machine and a broken dryer.  Our first year of marriage, I hung-to-dry wet laundry in a spare bedroom closet in the back of the house.  
The homeowner also left his rained-out lawnmower in the shed with the leaky roof.  I borrowed some carburetor cleaner from my dad and worked on getting that lawnmower to start.  Once I got it going again, it worked great.  The counselor and I both love yard work, so on the weekend we worked together.  That fall, we found a spot in the front yard for a flower garden.  The counselor pulled the grass and planted snap dragons, pansies and more.
As the flower garden grew, so did my love for my husband.  He nurtured me in a way I'd always dreamed of.  He planted a summer garden and then re-planted again in the fall.  I remember being so pregnant with my first baby and how difficult it was to bend down and pick out the weeds so the counselor did it for me; for us.  I loved that flower garden. 
Last weekend, while out garaging with Kelly, we found the most impressive sale.  We walked into a home full of stunning art, smells of floral fragrance and silk flowers.  Amber beads strung with green foliage, intricate embroidered bedding, hand-made Renaissance greeting cards and so much more left me wondering if I could just write a check for everything in the home.  The antique furniture was worth the steep prices and Kelly and I witnessed a buying frenzy right before our very eyes.  The home was painted to look like the Sistine Chapel.  Every corner sung with a message of expression.  This was a home with a lot of love.
Silk flowers draping the stairwell and covering tabletops were priced as they should have been.  $3.00 for a 2 foot high red orchid, $2.00 for a lovely fabric rose and so on, but in the corner of the room was a large basket full to the brim with silk flowers.  The basket was marked $10.00.  I asked what it would cost for just the flowers.
$10.00,” the homeowner said, her glasses resting on the brim of her nose. 
There must have been one-hundred flowers, many imperfect because they were used for her own projects, but full of decorating potential for me.
Deal,” I said.
So, what to do with one-hundred silk flowers?
Some were already cut, others half there, but I had a goal to create with these silk flowers what I’d felt in that beautiful home; the expression of love, the feminine spirit and celebration of mother earth.
My celebration started with this.
It’s a $5.00 used CD rack I found at a different garage sale.  I also purchased four hand-knit tweed birds for $1.50 each.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to do either until Mayer started making homes for these little birds.
It looks like a dreamy bird house, doesn’t it?
Yes, that’s it.  I’ll turn this into something with spirit, something alive with energy, something for the birds.
I paint it a soft gray and then distress it a bit.
While working, I seem to be attracting not just birds, but children.
and many of them girls.
I start weaving the vines of green in the wiring, then try to make little nests in each rack stand.
We work together, some helping with the birdhouse while others make hair bows.
Each bird has a place to lay its little body.
So, this is it.  Hmmm. 
Now that it’s finished, I can’t decide it I love it or hate it.
It’s no surprise the girls love it.  IT has a sort of fairy book appeal to it.
I never realized I could over-kill with silk flowers, but I think over-kill is what I did.
If the seller of theses amazing silk flowers could do it in her home, why can't I do it in mine?
Maybe it will grow on me, (hopefully not literary) or maybe it will be fore sale at my next garage sale.
But not the birds, I love the birds.
Later that day, the counselor comes home and says “Is that what you did all afternoon?  What is it? Is it a birdhouse?”
Yeah, after a comment like that, you know he's bringing flowers home tomorrow night for his sweetheart.
F.Y.I., I’ll be posting the winner of our $20.00 Goodwill gift card on Friday afternoon.  Click here to enter.

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