Yesterday I continued work on the hydrangea plant. I needed to find a way to make hydrangea leaves, lots of hydrangea leaves. I decided to give my Cricut try. I started by finding a hydrangea leaf template online. I uploaded it into Cricut design space, resized it so it would be 1:12 scale, and set it up to do 2 test cuts. Since I’m trying to use what I have on hand I wasn’t sure which type of paper, I already had, would work best between a heavy craft paper or a vintage typewriter paper. Turns out the typewriter paper was best. It’s thinner and easier to shape. I then set up the Cricut to cut out 160+ pairs of leaves.

Here they are after they were cut and removed from the mat. Knowing what I know now I should have colored the paper before I cut them. It would have saved a lot of time.

I used a combination of alcohol ink and water soluble markers to color each individual leaf.

It took the better part of 2 days to color the blossoms and leaves, glue all the blossoms and leaves in place, and add extra leaves to fill in the extra area around the stems. It was worth it.

I’m happy with the color variations on both the flowers and leaves. I couldn’t fully capture the color with my camera.

The next flower I’ll be working on are cosmos, or at least my artistic rendering of cosmos. I’m using the same typewriter paper, yellow flocking left over from my flower shop build a few years ago, glue, and wire. The paper punch is by Punch Bunch. They are really quick to make.

After the cosmos I’m thinking about trying to make little garden roses using the same paper punch. We’ll see how many I end up gluing to my fingers before I give up.

A New Project

Awhile ago I learned A.C. Moore was being acquired by Michael’s. At first I wasn’t too concerned since it’s not the closest craft store to me and I rarely visit them. However, I remembered that they had a lovely selection of lanterns that I had filed under my “projects for a later date” folder in my brain. I’ve been making an effort to not buy supplies unless I am currently working on a project that needed the supplies, but this was clearly an “emergency”. So, I made the drive to my nearest store and picked up 4 lanterns that were 40% off.

The week after New Years, while I was getting ready for a week long trip, inspiration struck. I knew exactly what I planned on doing with one of those lanterns. Sadly I had to wait to start work until I returned. Isn’t that always the way?

This is what I’m starting with. A simple black lantern. The top is open, it has glass windows, and a door on one side.

I have a mini urn that I purchased from Miniatures.com for a different project that didn’t pan out. It will now be the centerpiece of the lantern.

After cutting a piece of MDF for the floor I decided I needed to do a little hunting for inspiration. I always have a picture in my head, but I like having reference pictures to look back on. I wanted an overflowing garden urn, like this print by Michael Longo.

Or this one.

I wanted it to be the center of a garden with brick walkways.

Eventually, I found the perfect brick pattern.

Keeping with my attempts to not buy anything unless absolutely necessary, I’m trying to use supplies I already have. I had saved all my scraps of cork from my last buildings facade and I decided to use those for the brick.

After the brick was all laid out and glued into place, I painted it with layers of red, orange, and brown paints. It turned out a little brighter than I had wanted, but overall I was happy.

Next I used grout we had left over from a tile project to fill in between the bricks. I learned that adding a little glue to the grout is important to help it from breaking off the edge of the project.

The grouting process ended up removing some of the paint. I wasn’t too upset since I wasn’t completely happy with the brick colors to begin with, but I needed repaint the bricks to give them more color variety. I also added sand between the bricks for some added texture.

The purple is foam insulation I picked up at Home Depot. I like to use it for landscaping since its easy to cut and shape, and plants can be poked into it easily.

I had the ferns in my stash and used alcohol ink markers to color them. The roots are jute rope, glued to wire, and twisted to look more natural. The woody vines are tendrils cut from grapevine garland. I colored some onion skin paper with markers and used a paper punch to make tiny leaves. The leaves are just glued in place. The grass I used was found at a thrift store many years ago. I plan on adding more, but I wanted to add my plants and flowers first.

This is where I stopped today. I’m attempting to make a hydrangea bush with purple flowers. I’m using the same process I used to make the geraniums for my last build’s balcony. You can learn more about it here. I need to figure out how to make the leaves. I’m thinking about trying to cut some out on my Cricut.

I still have a ways to go. I still need to add moss to the bricks, age the urn (which I should probably do before it’s too full of flowers), make the pedestal for the urn to sit on, and make a small garden worth of plants. I always forget how time consuming making tiny plants is, but I do love doing it.