Now that the season is finally showing signs of shifting from Winter to Spring, this past week we've ventured back to our allotment. Our main tasks right now involve clearing up the winter mess (sadly, a storm damaged tree which fell right across our plot), admiring the wildlife (huuuuuuuge frogs and a mass of frogspawn in the pond), and sitting quietly on the bench at the top of the sloping site to take in the view (it's a south-facing sun trap). Behind the bench, our plot becomes a wild kind of shaded bank beneath a very large tree. It's covered in ivy and honeysuckle with bluebells that will flower in early May, but right now it looks extremely pretty with primroses, primulas and narcissus planted by the previous plot holders. There is blossom in abundance too, as the tree I told you about in last month's Making the Seasons post is flowering it's heart out. I popped up there yesterday to pick a few blooms to bring home, and it delighted me so much to do this simple thing. They are slim pickings as I wanted to leave plenty flowering at the plot - I gathered just enough to bring into the house so that I could create a little spring/Easter visual celebration.
A few years ago, I saw a photo in a magazine showing a small spring flower arrangement where the stylist had used painted eggshells as miniature vases. It was so simple, beautiful and inspiring that the image made a lasting impression in my mind, and I knew that at some point I would love to try doing this for myself. It's taken me a while to bring the idea to reality, but I can tell you that it was worth waiting for!
I usually buy my ordinary brown free range eggs from the local butcher, but this week I happened to have some gorgeous "Bluebell Auraucana" eggs in. I deliberated about painting them (the magazine eggs were painted in soft chalky pastel shades, perfect for an Easter display), but in the end I decided that I really loved the natural blue shade of the egg shells, and actually I was feeling far too impatient to carry out the whole painting/drying waiting game. So I simply chopped off the tops of my egg shells with a small sharp knife and emptied out the eggy innards to save them for some baking.
I went down to the cellar to dig around for a suitable vessel and found a vintage cake stand that I bought a few years ago from the local collectors centre. I wish I'd photographed it to show you before I covered it in moss as it has such a pretty floral design in the middle. Speaking of moss....................
................isn't it an absolute delight??! Also from the allotment, I seriously love this particular green colour - it's so vibrant and fresh looking and it's pleasing me on a very deep level to actually have some real live moss in the house. I L♥ve moss so much! I used some blobs of blutack to secure the eggshells on their ends, but the mossy hillocks also work to keep them nestled in place. Also, note the kitty feet in the background, she is always so curious about the things I do here in the Attic.
I really, really, really, really enjoyed arranging my little spring flowers in their eggy vases, only the process just didn't last long enough! So I took them all out and did it all over again, just for the sheer pleasure of doing it. I think possibly I overdid it in my typical more-is-more way and maybe I should have used less flowers as it all looks a bit jumbled. But honestly? I simply don't care - I love the sweet exuberance of it all.
I plucked a few beautiful deep purple violas from the hanging basket at the front of the house to add to the yellow and white.....
...... and added some little feathers from my extensive feather collection too.
I thought it would be a nice touch to add some foil-wrapped easter chocolates which I'd bought for the Little People. I always enjoy Easter for the opportunity it gives us to enjoy sneaky bits of chocolate whenever we feel the need - I don't think this is something I've ever grown out of actually.
Whilst I was photographing and faffing with my flower arrangement, it occurred to me that something felt like it was missing. A little crochet bird perhaps, to nestle amongst the feathers and moss?
You might remember my mini chicklets from three years ago.................
well, I found some duck egg blue yarn and started to crochet a mini chicklet to perch on my table decoration.........
except that instead of adding wings.......................
Yup, my chicklet decided it wanted to be a Bunny instead, so who was I to argue??!!!!
I scribbled down the pattern as I made the ears, just in case you might feel a pressing need to hook up your own mini-bunny.
I used DK weight yarn (Stylecraft Special DK) and a 4mm hook.
I'm writing in UK crochet terms.
You make the body in exactly the same way as described in the Mini Chicklet pattern.
MINI BUNNY EARS (make 2)
Using pink yarn, chain 7; work 1 dc in 2nd chain from hook; 1 dc in next stitch; 1 htr in each of the next 4 stitches. Fasten off.
Change to same colour yarn as used for body of bunny. Insert hook in beginning dc and pull through a loop; chain 1 in same stitch; 1 dc in each of the next 4 stitches; 3 dc in next stitch.
Continue working down the opposite side of the ear, putting your hook under the single loops of the foundation chain, as follows: 1 dc in each of the next 6 stitches; slip stitch into beginning chain-1 to close round. fasten off, leaving a tail end for stitching.
Stitch the bunny ears to the top of the head, then use scraps of yarn to embroider eyes and nose, plus a little flower if you fancy it.
I made a little bunny tail by creating a miniature pom pom - I wound a length of white yarn around two of my fingers, then pulled the yarn-wrap carefully off my fingers and secured it around the centre with a tight knot. I trimmed the loops with sharp scissors to form a pom pom shape, then stitched it securely to my bunny's bottom.
I think my bunny secretly wants to be a mouse actually, as her face looks suspiciously mouse-like.....
.....but with bunny ears and a fluffy white tail, I think she passes the bunny-test.
I really love my table flowers and mini bunny. And of course I adore the moss too. I'm wondering how long I could keep a plate of moss going indoors if I watered it, do you think that could be a thing? I could decorate it with daisies and butterflies in summer....little toadstools in Autumn.....
Well anyways......enough gushing over the moss. Would you like to see the rest of my Easter decorations?
I always decorate the dining room fireplace for Christmas and Easter, it's one of those little rituals that makes me insanely happy and properly in the mood for the holidays. I treated myself a few days ago to a couple of lovely little papier maché birds from a local shop, I just couldn't resist them. I'm pretty sure that I won't be packing them away in the Easter Shoebox as I'd like to be able to look at them all year round.
I bought this greetings card earlier in the month as part of my quest to have cards for every season. It's a triple fold-out card called "Nest" by Mark Hearld. I'm a big fan of Mark Hearld's prints (I'm sorry I couldn't seem to find a website to link to, but if you google his name, you'll see lots of his amazing work. )
The rest of my easter decorations are all things that I've collected over the years, things that get stored away in the Attic eaves and which I very much look forward to seeing each year. There are painted eggs, a little decorative nest, some hand stitched felt egg cosies. My jug of twigs stays on the mantel all year, but the twigs really work especially well at Easter time.
I kept my twigs simple this year, hanging my small collection of little hand painted wooden eggs (you can find similar ones on Amazon), and my crochet blossom from 6 years ago (SIX YEARS????!!!!!!!)
I made these little cotton flowers in 2012 and if you click on the link, you'll find the pattern for them at the end of the Easter Blossom blog post.
Little Lady came in from school yesterday and squealed with delight when she saw the mantel (a happy Mum moment!), but the boys haven't batted an eyelid or made one single comment. That's OK - I feel certain that I would decorate to celebrate the seasons purely for my own delight if I lived alone, so I know deep down that I do this sort of thing for myself rather than expecting the Little Peeps to be grateful for it. But I do hope that in some small way they will absorb their creative home environment and remember it fondly, even if those memories are just hazy, nostalgic snippets of their childhood in years to come. Crazy ol' Mum and her Seasonal Mantels.....remember that?
I'd love to know if you decorate your home for Easter - do you make an Easter tree? Decorate eggs? Make an Easter display on your table?
Whilst I was searching for Eggshell vase ideas, I found a few lovely random images that I thought you might like....
Putting a weeny bit of earth into egg shells and actually growing little plants in them - I seriously love this idea (and there is moss!)
These egg heads with their cress hair made me smile, and I think would be fun to do with Little B. I also love the simple painted faces on these eggs too.
And how about using egg shells to sow seeds in? What a fabulous environmental alternative to plastic pots.
I find so much happiness in seasonal creativity, even just thinking about all the possibilities makes me completely giddy with excitement. I'm all set to do some seasonal baking tomorrow - I've got speckled candy eggs to go on top of some chocolate crispy nests, and I'm going to have a go at making Easter Biscuits too. We always had Easter biscuits when we visited my Mum at this time of year, they are a true taste of the season for me.
Hoping you have a fabulous weekend doing things that you love - please do pop over to Gillian's blog and catch up with her Making the Seasons post, it's choc full (literally!) of creative inspiration. Enjoy! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
ps all my Seasonal posts are tagged in the Making the Seasons category so you can find them. Gill and I also created a #makingtheseasons hashtag on Instagram for you to tag in your creative makes for us to find - it's a visual feast!