Well, Flower Tent Season put a stop to the blogging, and a summer crash kept me out of things for longer than I would have liked. It seems impossible that the first day of Fall will be here in a few days… I feel like I lost my whole Spring and Summer… I usually get to gardens before the Tent Season kicks into gear, but this year, the weather didn’t cooperate.
Rain, rain and more rain made gardening, even while the Tent was open, nearly impossible. I have a love, hate relationship with Flower Tent Season. I love being around all the flowers that we sell, and helping customers choose their goodies to brighten their yards, but it also takes me away from my own gardens and often results in bad flares. Most years, I have had enough time off from the Tent to get some work done at home while the Tent is up, but things were different this year with very few days off, and a body that wasn’t cooperating. By the time the end of June came, when we close up shop for the year, I crashed with major Lyme and other flares… No Fun… Only my Front Door Garden got the attention it needed (and that was well after the quack grass was hiding the perennials trying to bloom). The photo above, shows one view of that garden, showing the huge Dahlias beginning to bloom with a Hibiscus tree and the Hydrangea tree. I barely even looked at my laptop , much less open up Photoshop to do any design work.
The gardens did produce some beautiful flowers that I could get photos of, and cut for bouquets. The body is beginning to behave a bit better, and I’ve been able to get back to designing. I even purchased a yard of one of my designs printed onto a knit fabric from Spoonflower, did some sewing and made a top. Now I can wear my art!
The Spoonflower Design Challenges have been a great help to motivate me and give me some deadlines to work towards. The above photo shows the results of doing the Pollinators and April Showers Challenges that were done just before Tent Season started. The blocks with the Echinacea flowers and butterflies resulted from the Pollinators Challenge. The version entered is in the upper left area, in white on the blue green sunprint texture that I showed in a previous post here on the blog. I also played with different colors of the sunprint texture, with white or black over the colors. It’s fun to see how some designs look on various backgrounds. The three blocks in the upper right resulted from the April Showers Challenge. I used an image of one of my salt painted fabrics, that always remind me of rainy days, for the background and added Mini Roses and Dwarf Iris flowers with raindrops on them. As always, there are some oddball blocks in my proof yards when I need to re-proof something I had to change colors on. The colors printed out too bright and harsh for my taste on the flower bouquet panels, so there is a chunk of the Roses and one of the Peony.
I seem to be on a blue kick as far as the color I have been working with a lot lately… Very soothing… I guess I must need that… I still need to proof a bunch of the Soft Blues Collection, above. The bottom right White Spotted Sable Moth was another challenge entry, for the Moths Challenge. The photo below was where I took one of the White Sable Moths from. After the deadline for the challenge entry, I played with some different ideas, and ended with the version in the upper left corner that I like better…
I never know when something I have found in the gardens and photographed will end up being perfect for designing with. I really like the form of the Deutsia flowers, so they may end up in something in the future.
The most recent challenge is Winter Flora. My first thought was to use the Blueberry Viburnum berries that are brightening the garden now and hold into winter. I had planned to do some sketches of Poinsettia flowers, but changed my mind. I Love Hellebore flowers, and got some good shots of my favorite variety, Peppermint, while we were at the Philly Flower Show this past spring. After playing with the images, I ended up with Hellebores and Blue Viburnum Berries on Frost, which is on the mock-up of the blanket above. A photo of frost crystals on one of the bird feeders was manipulated and used as the background. I have been playing with color variations, changing from the natural gray-blue color of the berries to shades of mulberry, and playing with different background colors. What I have come up with so far are on the pillows. I am trying to do a better job of coming up with doing coordinates for my main designs. So far I have just done the simple frost background, and made some smaller berry bunches to repeat for another. The black background in the right pillow came about totally by accident.The frost crystals were on a black bird feeder, so I just worked with the black and white to make the repeatable design, then manipulated colors. I hid the frost layer I was using, and kind of liked the result with the black. Pretty fun to be working with layers in Photoshop, and come up with a combo just from randomly hiding or showing things differently.
This week’s challenge voting is open through Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. There are over 700 entries! If you would like to vote for my design (or anyone else’s) click the caption under the above photo.
Hopefully, I will be back to regular blogging again…. Have I said that before???