Thursday, September 13, 2012

End of Summer Bittersweet

Change of seasons is always bittersweet for me. I absolutely love the summer – my seaglass walks, seeing family at the beach, harvesting tomatoes and basil from the gardens and cooking on the grill almost every night. Autumn is sneaking in now though and I am bidding farewell to to the heat and closed windows. I am opening the house to cool nights, cutting back the spent flowers and looking forward to fall why not put up a wreath to welcome the season!

Bittersweet is an invasive vine that curls around just about everything. It is flexible and easily wound into a circle. With a little help from my friend Willie, we made quite a mess!

For the time, I left the leaves on the vines but they will eventually dry and drop off. To add some interest I looked for anything in my yard that would look autumnal to add some character to the circle of green now and as it becomes barren.

 Dried coneflower seed heads, dried black-eyed susan seed heads, deep purple and soft green hydrangea blossoms were intertwined between the layered bittersweet vines. There is no need for anything else to hold this wreath together as those "killer curly" vines are just like twine.

The new wreath with one from a past year.

The elements are so gorgeous up close and personal!

The completed wreath. 

I will add to this when the bittersweet leaves drop off with more pods, seed heads and anything else that feels right. It is all about going with the flow, using found materials and enjoying the process!

Happy Almost Autumn to all!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Seaweed Sunday

A follow up to my beach week that is long overdue! My week staying at the family cottage resulted in more collecting...par for the course if you know me at all. Because there is virtually a complete absence of seaglass (not like when I was a child) I found myself drawn to something else.

At first, the driftwood I found in abundance pulled me towards the high tide line and above. But as the tide pulled out, I noticed a plethora of interesting seaweed! The bluestone walkway was HOT and I spread the fingers of my new found favorite weed out to dry. 

Serendipity, a great word! Just so happened that my brother had a book and he was "cleaning house" a I am now the lucky owner of a book that may keep this interest in seaweed alive. The interest mind you, not the actual seaweed! I believe I found the description of the seaweed that caught my attention in the first place. 

I was not able to identify all the seaweed I collected and some was quite difficult to dry...but bear with me here. It isn't as boring as it seems!

The pressed and dried seaweed was just like pressing flowers but with a head start on that hot bluestone, was taken out and shaken off. Lesson learned, wash all sand off before drying! Then the "what to do with all this stuff" question arose. Do I do what is expected or do I go out on a limb?

My favorite piece (top photo) above did not fit in the mattes and frames on hand. That will be saved of course but no expenses here please-use crafty leftovers to give this beach week project a home. Using the paper choices I had on hand...well, what color do you think I went with?

Ta da!

 An antique desk, a flower bouquet in a seaglass filled jar, a simple rock jar and some bling. This corner has many other pieces of artwork coming along in addition to the prints you see here. Stay tuned as to how the scene develops. For now, my seaweed adventure is done. I definitely plan on drying more and hoping to find even more exotic looking species along our Connecticut shoreline.