Tuesday, April 22, 2014

moms know to expect the unexpected

So, say you were in the kitchen loading the dishwasher when one of your kids sneaks up, slaps something on your back then starts giggling...
What kind of silliness would you expect from a sneak attack like that one?
Would it be this?
I certainly got a shock when I pulled this post-it off my back and read it. Let me clarify, I'm not shocked that I have sweet kids - I knew that about them. I guess I am just consistently amazed at the creative ways they use to express that. I should take a lesson from them and delight someone unexpectedly like that!
Now I'm off to take this post-it out of the scanner and put it back on the fridge where it belongs. May unexpected delight come your way today too!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

tiny green worlds

terrarium embroidery hand embroidery patterns wardian case greenhouse embroidery by septemberhouse
One good thing about a long winter is that it can inspire some 'hopeful' projects. This was one of many that I worked my way through as the flakes flew outside.
terrarium embroidery hand embroidery stitches DIY embroidery by septemberhouse
I could not decide if I wanted to try out a design that incorporated a glass container terrarium or an old-style Wardian case so I just did both. Plus, with so many plant shapes and sizes that I wanted to try I knew I would need more than one design.
terrarium embroidery hand embroidery patterns wardian case greenhouse embroidery by septemberhouse
Using as many textures as I could dream up was another priority for this project. That meant using a huge variety of embroidery stitches and even learning some new ones.

Another perk of taking on a subject matter like this was that I had a chance to learn a bit about the history of the Wardian case. To be honest, I didn't even know they were called that until I started working on these! They were the precursor to the modern terrarium.

terrarium embroidery hand embroidery patterns glass terrarium DIY embroidery by septemberhouse

What was fascinating to me was how much we actually take for granted now. Wardian cases were used to transport plants over oceans by boat so they could be studied halfway around the world. Once they arrived at the their destination a Wardian case could protect that precious cargo from heavy pollution, temperature variances (imagine how difficult it would be to maintain your houseplants without central air or heat!). Just acquiring a plant that had survived a treacherous journey was a success but to be able to keep it alive as well - now that was pretty remarkable - you can bet I would have put that sucker in the fanciest case I could find. Today I can drive for less than ten minutes and choose from a variety of plants that I could purchase for as low as $2.99.  I could bring one of those plants home and plop it on a shelf for years and think nothing of it. How very different something as simple as keeping houseplants used to be!
That was just something I had never really thought about and it made me thankful for the heat, light, clean air and water that protect me and my plants - especially through the long winter. Ah, the things that go through your head as you embroider!