For The Man Who Has Everything

A colleague of mine with a penchant for fancy socks is retiring this year.
To honour him, I was commissioned to create a bouquet of…. socks.

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It was exactly the kind of challenge I love!
I spent a week or so thinking about how to go about it and then I sat down and got started.
I had six pairs of socks, so ended up with twelve “blooms.” Each sock became a single flower. After some trial and error, I ended up using some embroidery thread to gather each sock, using a running stitch along the bottom of the sock and pulling it tight. You can see in the photo where I stitched each one, indicated by the red dotted line.

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Once each sock was gathered, I just wrapped the gathered edge together, using the toe as the centre of each flower. A few stitches secured each one in place and soon I had twelve rosette-style flowers.

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What do to for stems? I decided to use a black button for each flower’s centre, securing it to a paper straw with a dab of hot glue (I stuck the shank of the button into the opening at one end of the straw). Then, I slid the straw through the centre of the rosette; the button stopped it from falling out. A few more stitches of embroidery thread through the paper straw and the sock to hold each flower together and, ta-da! Twelve sock roses!

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Next up, I used garden twine to make a French-tied bouquet and then tied on a jaunty polka-dotted ribbon I’ve been saving in my stash for just such an occasion.

When he is ready to wear the socks, all the recipient has to do is snip the embroidery thread (I was sure to use contrasting colours so that it would be easy to see) and unfurl each sock. The perfect bouquet to extend the length of time between loads of laundry!

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My colleague was delighted with his bouquet, I am happy to report.

Peonies & Polka-Dots

I realize that it is not strikingly original of me, but peonies are my favourite flowers. I love white ones best and am lucky to have five (!) bushes of white peonies in my back yard.
They smell heavenly and one of my favourite things to do in spring is to sit on my patio and enjoy the sight and scent of my peonies.

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This year there are so very many blooms and there has been so very much rain that I had to intervene in order to lighten the load on the stalks of the plants. I made bouquets to share with our neighbours and put them in empty soup jars. I could not get the labels off the jars completely, so I decided to make the best of the stubborn labels by turning them into a “feature” of the makeshift vases.

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Of course I turned to my dear friend, washi tape, to help me out.
A black fine-tipped pen to write on the labels and a few strips of washi tape and ta-da!
Cute little vases that don’t need to be returned, all ready to be delivered to our neighbours.

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Eliza Doolittle…

has got nothing on these ladies!

In the true DIY spirit of my brother’s wedding, my mum and my “other mother,” her next-door neighbour of 40 years, did all the flowers for the bouquets and corsages and boutonnieres.

 And didn’t they do a great job?

The bride’s bouquet was adorned with a treasured family heirloom.

The brief for flowers for the wedding was “bright colours.” The bridesmaids’ bouquets looked great against their jewel-coloured dresses; the hot pink & white really popped.

As you can imagine, the flower girls stole the show & a whole lotta hearts
( a deliberate ploy on the part of a bride who did not want to be the centre of attention!)
in their fluffy tutus and their Chucks, carrying their bright yellow bouquets.

All but the first two photos were taken by Lucas Jarvis.