At Home With Nicole…

Is Nicole’s House a ‘Real’ Model?
Yes, it is a ‘real’ model! And created in 12th scale.

Can I Visit Nicole’s House?
As Nicole’s House has been on private and public display in the past; there are occasions when it can ‘seen’ in person and a subscription to the Brentwood Ghost Newsletter will keep you informed about our studio open-days and forthcoming exhibitions.

What is the Story Behind the Creation and Design of Nicole’s House?
Nicole’s House began life in kit form purchased from an independent dolls’ house supplier with the original design having been ‘tweaked’.

However the house has been created primarily with the use of MDF, plaster, strip wood, paints, mountboard, papier-mâché, air-drying clay, natural foliage and of course with plenty of glue and lots of imagination!

The model remains the exclusive work of Tee Bylo.

Can I Follow the Stories from Nicole’s House?
As well as sharing the stories on the website, you can also follow the news from Nicole’s House on InstagramFlickrTwitterPinterestFacebookTumblr and Google+

And you can now join Tee as she continues the story from Nicole’s House on her blog At Home With Ms Simpson…

Why the Creation of Nicole’s House?
Beginning with the news of the murders in June 1994 and from the first book she bought in the Autumn of 1994 to the sensational murder trial with the lurid tabloid tales and the campaign to raise much needed awareness against domestic abuse as well as being the subject of a controversial thesis; Tee’s interest in the life of Nicole Brown Simpson has been an enduring constant.

Tee’s contention is that for all of the many thousands of words written about Nicole with the tales of glamour, celebrity, wealth and beauty have only served to make Nicole a remote and insignificant figure – a wrong Tee is determined to remedy.

“The woman loved life. She loved to entertain, and she went all out when you visited, whether it was for coffee, lunch, to play tennis, to have drinks to eat dinner. You always felt special walking into her world…”
Tanya Brown ‘Finding Peace Amid the Chaos’ (US: LangMarc Publishing 2013)

And even though Tee has been making ‘Small Worlds’ for many years now and the passion for design remains just as intoxicating; the creation and story of Nicole’s House celebrates the life of a talented and much-loved young woman who relished nothing more than being with her family in the home that she had made for them.​

How Can I Learn More About the Work of Tee Bylo?
You can discover more about the artist’s work with a visit to her official website Tee Bylo or by signing up to follow her blog Creating Life in 12th Scale… and you can also support Tee’s work on the crowdfunding site Patreon and enjoy exclusive access to the creation of Nicole’s House.

Tee can also be found on the usual social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Flickr and Twitter.

And Your Plans for Nicole’s House?
With ‘pumpkin carving’ planned for Halloween, a turkey to ‘roast’ for Thanksgiving and gingerbread cookies to decorate for Christmas; there is plenty to keep the artist busy in the kitchen of Nicole’s House for some time to come!

However, beginning later this year and with completion scheduled for June 2018, Tee is now busy with the ambitious design of another and much larger Nicole’s House and plans to recreate Nicole’s last home at 875 South Bundy Drive as faithfully as possible; the story of which will be published on the blog At Home With Ms Simpson… with further exclusive updates available on Tee’s Patreon Page.

There will also be an opportunity to buy Tee’s tribute to Nicole Brown Simpson as a gift for yourself or a loved one with the release of a beautiful coffee table book which tells the story of Nicole’s House and is due for publication in 2018.

Can I Share the Information and the Images from Nicole’s House on My Website or Blog?
Of course! However, all we ask is that you will remember to fully and accurately credit the artist and her work. Thank you!

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The Mouse Lady…

Here are just some of the questions about the work and ministry of Tee Bylo and of the stories she weaves from the Mouse Parish of St M’s in the Village of Merryworth…

Are the Models Used for the Mouse Parish of St M’s ‘Real’ Models?
Yes, they are ‘real’ models! All have been created in 12th scale primarily with the use of MDF, plaster, strip wood, paints, mountboard, papier-mâché, natural foliage and of course with plenty of glue and lots of imagination!

Can I Visit the Mouse Parish?
As the models used for St M’s have been on private and public display in the past; there are occasions when they can ‘seen’ in person and a subscription to the St M’s Newsletter will keep you informed about our studio open-days and forthcoming exhibitions.

What’s the Story Behind the Creation of St M’s Church and the Mouse Parish?
From her earliest memories the artist has always loved exploring our local parish churches and having worked in many of the churches and chapels in and around the historic town of Malton in North Yorkshire on behalf of the Methodist Church – the opportunity to recreate her world in 12th scale was realised.

It could also said to be ‘in the genes’ as many of the artist’s maternal and paternal ancestors were skilled craftsman, architects and stonemasons who designed, restored and built churches throughout the United Kingdom including the Wilson family chapel in Radford and at York Minster.

And as every parishioner, fictional or otherwise needs a ‘little’ something to buy, eat AND love; the creation of St M’s Parish with its impressive huddle of emporiums has been realised too!

Although the models used for St M’s began life in kit form as simple pieces of MDF purchased from several independent dolls’ house suppliers and having ‘tweaked’ the original designs; the creation of these models has been the exclusive work of Tee Bylo.

Does the Mouse Parish of St M’s Follow the Teachings of a Particular Church?
The world of St M’s Parish is inspired by the Church of England ethos and the festivals and holy days are celebrated in accordance with the ecclesiastical calendar; however, the ministry of St M’s remains a unique one.

Can I Follow the Stories About St M’s?
As well as following the ministry, musings and mishaps from St M’s through the Parish Records, you can also catch those mice scurrying around on InstagramFlickrTwitterPinterestFacebookTumblr and Google+

How Can I Learn More About the Work of Tee Bylo?
You can discover more about the artist’s work with a visit to her official website Tee Bylo or by signing up to follow her blog  Creating Life in 12th Scale… and you can now enjoy exclusive access to St M’s by supporting Tee on the crowdfunding site Patreon as she makes the world a better place one mouse at a time.

Tee can also be found on the usual social media platforms including FacebookInstagramFlickr and Twitter.

Tell Me the Inspiration for the Mice from St M’s…
Since the beginning of her work on the Parish of St M’s in 2010; Tee has resisted the idea of using any form of character ‘doll’ as her vision had always been to set the scene in which the human presence is keenly felt and to also encourage the visitor to weave their own narrative about the unfolding story before them.

However, as her designs have continued to evolve; Tee fell in love with the idea of creating a community of unique characters who could inhabit the world of St M’s and so the concept of those Mice was born!

And Your Plans for the Mouse Parish?

As there are several models in the design and creation process including the ‘Leaf & Maple Flower Shop’, ‘Merryworth Market’, ‘Mollie’s Tea Room’, Alessa Mia Farm Shop’ and the ‘Hub Barista Church’; there is plenty to keep the artist AND those parishioners busy for some time to come!

And with plans for the ‘Mallow & Teasel Gift Shop’ nearing completion, there will be an opportunity to buy and enjoy a ‘little something’ from the Mouse Parish for yourself or a loved one.

Can I Share the Information and the Images from St M’s Parish on My Website or Blog?
Of course! However, all we ask is that you will remember to fully and accurately credit the artist and her work. Thank you!

 

The Last, Loveliest Smile of Autumn…

The Year’s Last, Loveliest Smile…

The American poet and journalist William Cullen Bryant once said that Autumn was the “year’s last, loveliest smile” and even though I adore the season’s vibrant colours, collecting horse chestnuts, the fallen leaves and the welcome appearance of the humble mince pie, I haven’t really had much to smile about lately.

Since September I’ve been tormented by the ‘Tooth of Autumn Present’ and although the pesky molar and I finally parted company last week, I’m now haunted by the ‘Tooth Ghost of Autumn Past’ which has had a severe impact on my daily cookie fix and has also kept me away from the studio lest I scare off any of the fellow artists with my wild look!

And as I’m still confined to barracks for a few days yet, I’ve been working on some exciting 12th scale projects while trying really hard NOT to feel sorry for myself particularly when I think about all that I achieved this summer over at the Mouse Parish and when the weather was so much nicer…

For yes, the Parish of St M’s has continued to grow and and as every parishioner, fictional or otherwise needs a ‘little’ something to buy, eat AND love; the Mouse Parish now has an impressive huddle of emporiums including the ‘Leaf & Maple Flower Shop’, ‘Merryworth Market’, ‘Mollie’s Tea Room’ and the ‘Alessa Mia Farm Shop’.

And with plans for the ‘Mallow & Teasel Gift Shop’ nearing completion, there will soon be an opportunity to buy and enjoy a ‘little something’ from the Mouse Parish for yourself or a loved one.

Now, all I have to do is to put those mice to work after their extended summer holiday and when they see what I’ve got planned for Christmas, they may not be smiling for long!

It’s just as well that Tim Burton wrote “Every day is Halloween, isn’t it?” as I’m still attending to the All Hallows Eve party celebrations over at Nicole’s House which includes sharing the recipe for Nicole’s delicious ‘Toffee Apple Candy Cake”… I use the word ‘delicious’ purely on the feedback received from that Little Big Cat who I know enjoyed more than one slice!

However, I have heard a whisper that after Nicole’s Halloween party, Minnie B wandered over to the All Hallows Hamlet with a HUGE bag of treats and was last seen near the Harum Scarum Emporium which is shielded by the prickliest thorn bushes and whispering trees in this bleakest part of the hamlet and managed by the reclusive crone Claire Eno.

As there are no visitors here, Claire’s only friend is the ancient book that has been in her family for as long as anyone can remember and from within the dusty pages of this HUGE recipe book she concocts a vast array of nasty potions from the beautiful flowers, nourishing berries and healing plants that she gathers every day at dusk and even though they all gather dust on the cobwebby shelves waiting for the customers who never arrive; Claire is unable to stop weaving her unkind magick.

And having heard the rumour about Claire’s sinister remedy of ‘Black Cat Scratch Fever’, I rather admire the bravery of Minnie B…

And if you too are feeling a little brave, there is now the opportunity to indulge in a ‘little’ retail therapy while browsing the shelves of this magikcal emporium and linger over the intoxicating array of exclusive notions and potions designed to entice imagination AND wallet

On offer and measuring just 2.5 cm or smaller is a collection of miniature vials ALL freshly brewed from Claire’s ancient recipe book and now available exclusively on the Yorvik Faerie Etsy Gift Shop.

With a pinch of ‘This and That’ suspended in resin, labelled in parchment and finished with paper tied with jute, raffia or silver wire- these little vials will add a perfect finishing touch to YOUR fantastical miniature world… OR could YOU discover another use for it?

And talking of sinister spells…

For having dithered for nearly a whole year with the design of my Patreon page with so many drafts and deletes that I could have rewritten the novel Les Misérables from a personal point of view; I’m convinced that a spoonful of that old crone’s ‘Lazy Trout’s Procrastination’ ended up in my tea by accident.

However, before I procrastinate a little longer and enjoy another cup of tea, let me tell you why I’m now on Patreon.

Having done the parenting bit for my two amazing sons, I suddenly found myself as a full-time care giver to my infirm mother and vulnerable brother in 2014 and life became difficult with time and financial independence diminished and a wish that sometimes I could live a million miles away BUT as I have continued to dream, plan and create new ‘Small Worlds’ either at home or in the studio and even in my shed at the bottom of the garden; I have come to understand that a loss of freedom can also be strangely liberating!

A few days ago, I discovered the quote by Lewis Carroll that “Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality” and right now, my imagination is all that I have as it gives me the freedom to create and write stories and to keep moving forward on this road less traveled and it would be wonderful if you could be by my side too!

Your kind support will enable me to create my ‘Small Worlds’ and line the shelves of my two Etsy stores with my uniquely designed miniatures.

I can rejoice as the adventures of Little Big Cat can be found within the pages of a picture book to be cherished and enjoyed by children and adults alike and the anticipated coffee-table book ‘Nicole’s House’ due for publication in late 2018 will be a fitting tribute to the lady who inspired the creation of this 12th scale house.

And who knows what kind of mischief those mice could get up to as they find themselves at the end of a film lens?

There are monthly pledges of $1 and upwards which are charged on the 1st of the month and there are lots of ‘Tee Time’ rewards and exclusives for Patrons to enjoy.
A pledge can be cancelled at any time and if you are unable to pledge – that’s OK for knowing that you are still reading this means just as much – Thank you!

Bye for now!

Hatching an Eggstraordinary Design for Those Flowers…

The Floral Design for St M’s Parish Church at Easter

After the austerity of Lent, Easter always calls for something a little special in the way of floral design and my plans for the 12th scale church in the Parish of St M’s were NO exception!

And as the liturgical colours for the church at Easter are yellow and gold; I decided to create two arrangements with the use of these fancy pedestals which are typically used for the display of a painted egg.

Using a combination of real chocolate eggs, some stunning paper leaves, snippets of Conifer along with other bits of fauna I had snaffled from my garden and with a handful of fine silver wire and my trusty scissors; my first step was to attach a piece of DRY Floral Foam to the top of the pedestal.

With the snippets of Conifer and inspired by the shape of the humble triangle, I begin the design of my arrangement.

I should add that Conifer remains one of my favourite faunas to work with as it has a gorgeous colour, the appearance of being ‘freshly picked’ for many weeks and a heady scent which I simply adore!

The Floral Design for St M’s Parish Church at Easter (Step 1)

I also employ the use of fine silver wire for those snippets of Conifer which require more flexibility in which to arrange.

Adding the paper leaves to the arrangement was less troublesome as they were already wired and so it was just a case of arranging them as shown.

The Floral Design for St M’s Parish Church at Easter (Step 2)

And now for the real fun!

In order to add the eggs to the arrangement, I made a tiny hole at the base of the egg with my trusty tool of all trades and having inserted a piece of silver wire which I then cut to size, the egg could be arranged in the dry foam with ease.

The Floral Design for St M’s Parish Church at Easter (Step 3)
The Floral Design for St M’s Parish Church at Easter (Step 4)

As the eggs were a little larger than I would have liked (NOW, there’s a first! ME complaining about the size of a piece of chocolate!) I only needed five for this arrangement.

The Floral Design for St M’s Parish Church at Easter (Step 5)
The Floral Design for St M’s Parish Church at Easter (Step 6)

And with all the eggs now in place, I added pieces of dried twig and continued to add more snippets of the Conifer here and there.

For those of you who are familiar with my floral creations, you’ll know that I love to use ‘real’ foliage when I can and that I am an enthusiastic ‘harvester’ who loves to take advantage of the free pickings from the hedgerows and bridleways around me!

The Floral Design for St M’s Parish Church at Easter (Step 7)
The Floral Design for St M’s Parish Church at Easter (Step 8)

With the design nearly complete; it’s time to add the finishing touch with some tiny pieces of fresh moss and which I love working with!

The Floral Design for St M’s Parish Church at Easter (Step 9)
The Floral Design for St M’s Parish Church at Easter (Step 10)

I use the moss to fill in any of the small gaps that remain until I am happy with the design and after a gentle spray with misted water from top to bottom, my pedestal arrangement is now complete and ready for display.

The Floral Design for St M’s Parish Church at Easter (Step 11)
The Floral Design for St M’s Parish Church at Easter (Step 12)
Welcome to the Parish of St M’s…

And with the pedestal arrangements now in place and with those church mice busy elsewhere; I think it’s time to put the kettle on and sample one or two of those chocolate eggs that have been surplus to requirement…

Well, it would be rude not to – wouldn’t it?

While THOSE Mice Are Away, Tee Sees to the Flowers…

As Sunday January 22 was Homeless Sunday here in the UK and having given up the word ‘procrastination’ as my only New Years’ Resolution; I was determined to throw open the doors to St M’s Parish Church and having gone to the trouble of creating a feast of tasty goulash in polymer clay for the less fortunate of the parish; I was also determined to put those church mice to work that day.

Welcome to the Mouse Parish of St M’s…

I should add that several of the mice decided not to put in an appearance that day as I could offer nothing stronger than a mug of tea and those who did finally brave the cold to serve up the hot lunch I had prepared and raised awareness and support for those who have no home they can call their own – well, they did me proud!

However, as the Mice of the St M’s Flower Guild were also nowhere to be seen and with neither the time nor the inclination to teach the basics of floral design to those mice I could see who were scurrying around; I decided to take myself off to find a quiet corner in the midst of all of this frantic activity and arrange the church flowers myself.

Our December holiday decorations may have long been packed away but as the liturgical colours for the church are still in honour of Christmastide with white, yellow and gold; I decided to create an arrangement with the use of this fancy pedestal although they are typically used for the display of a painted egg.

Using a combination of white silk roses, some smaller paper roses in a golden yellow colour with snippets of Conifer and some other bits of fauna I snaffled from my garden and with a handful of fine silver wire and my trusty scissors; my first step was to attach a piece of DRY Floral Foam to the top of the pedestal.

Step One of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo

With the snippets of Conifer and inspired by the shape of the humble triangle, I begin the design of my arrangement.

I should add that Conifer remains one of my favourite faunas to work with as it has a gorgeous colour, the appearance of being ‘freshly picked’ for many weeks and a heady scent which I simply adore!

Step Two of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo

I also employ the use of fine silver wire for those snippets of Conifer which require more flexibility in which to arrange.

Step Three of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo

For those of you who are familiar with my floral creations, you’ll know that I love to use ‘real’ foliage when I can and that I am an enthusiastic ‘harvester’ who loves to take advantage of the free pickings from the hedgerows and bridleways around me!

As I continue to add the snippets of Conifer and Fern to the arrangement, my design takes form.

Step Five of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo
Step Six of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo

Now that the basic design has been completed with the fauna; it’s time to add the white silk roses.

Step Seven of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo

And with the silk roses in place, I now ‘speckle’ the arrangement with the use of the paper roses in a delightful colour of golden-yellow.

Step Eight of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo

With all the roses now in place, I continue to add more snippets of the Fern here and there.

Step Nine of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo

With the design nearly complete; it’s time to add the finishing touch with some tiny pieces of fresh moss and which I love working with!

Step Ten of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo

I use the moss to fill in any of the small gaps that remain until I am happy with the design and after a gentle spray with misted water from top to bottom, my pedestal arrangement is now complete and ready for display.

Step Eleven of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo
Step Twelve of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo

And with the pedestal arrangement now in place and with those church mice busy elsewhere; I think it’s time to put the kettle on and enjoy some of that delicious shortbread I received as a gift for Christmas.

While THOSE Mice Are Away, Tee WILL Play! Welcome to St M’s Parish Hall…

As my ideas for St M’s have grown, so have the properties and with another church, a chapel and a manse in varying stages of the embryonic design process, I have been happily dreaming up so many new festivals, feast days, fundraising ideas and fun for this 12th scale parish that unless I live until the year 2120, I fear that most are likely to be sadly unrealised!

Fortunately, the vision for St M’s Parish Hall has been realised and this old and quaint parish hall has been created as a place for celebration and busy social interaction for besides the Christmas Coffee Morning to raise funds for Shelter, a UK charity that offers assistance for those threatened with the loss of the very roof over their head and a Shrove Tuesday Feast; St M’s Parish Hall has also thrown open the doors to host a week of campaigning in which to raise awareness about domestic abuse and among the notices jostling for space on the busy parish noticeboard, space will always be found for the poster of ‘Missing’ Claudia Lawrence who vanished inexplicably from her home in York over seven years ago in March 2008.

No Excuse for Abuse! Getting the Message Across During the Annual Domestic Abuse Awareness Week at St M’s
Tucking into a Big Brekkie for Christian Aid Week…

Although St M’s Church and Parish Hall both took a bit of a battering during the transit to my new abode in York over a year ago; once the bubble wrap was removed and the minor repairs attended to, I decided to give them each a make-over including the creation of a dedicated bell-ringers enclave, a purpose built kitchen, some kinder-on-the-eye flooring and topped-off with a design for some attractive new landscaping for the Memorial Garden which compliments St Margaret’s Church and although the appeal of this scruffy, evergreen and restful place still endures; it remains the best place in which to enjoy a well-earned cuppa.

And on that note, I shall bid you farewell!

While THOSE Mice Are Away, Tee WILL Play! Welcome to St M’s Parish Church..

Welcome to the Parish of St M’s and the ‘Small World’ that the Mice from St M’s inhabit in which they will be sharing their musings, mishaps and ministry, although I should add that I will be the one attending to most of the arduous work including designing, creating, researching, the blogging and the cleaning up afterward!

However, I remain hopeful that I will get to enjoy the occasional ‘hot’ cup of tea and until those Mice have made their presence felt; I shall enjoy sharing a ‘little’ more about me…

The Parish of St M’s consists of (for the moment at least!) a church and parish hall in 12th scale and although both began life in kit form as simple pieces of MDF; the creation and design has been entirely my work and with my dislike for stairs and hinge brackets, the original concepts have been ‘tweaked’.

As I have always loved visiting churches, particularly those old churches that upon entering can stir up an evocative history of its’ people which remains as a public monument to their art, architecture and faith and where for centuries they have poured out their hope, joy, struggle and love; my vision has been to create an old church that captures this sense of history and yet is ever changing, a peaceful place for reflection and thanksgiving.

The church has been named the Parish Church of St Margaret in honour of an English Saint who having died in France in 1192 enjoys a Feast Day on February 3 and as both my mother and mother-in-law are also called Margaret; the naming ceremony was simple.

The inspiration for St Margaret’s has come from many sources and as I spent over ten years working in and around some of the most wonderful churches and chapels that surround the market town of Malton in North Yorkshire for both the Church of England and the Methodist Church; I was rather spoilt for choice!

As this little church is full of items that are of personal significance, I will share the story behind some of them with you. The first being the communion table with the inscription In Remembrance of Me created by Mark and Sharon for Stockton Miniatures and although they have created other miniatures of the ecclesiastical kind for me; this remains a personal favourite as it reminds me of the wonderful table I would use in Leavening, a delightful village nestled in the shadow of the Yorkshire Wolds.

Likewise, the simple gold cross that enjoys pride of place on the altar and the primitive wooden reading stand have been inspired by their full-size counterparts from the Church on Saville Street, a place I spent many happy years, as on any given day I could either be packing my craft tools into a plastic stacking box for Tot’s Praise or beavering away in the office preparing for a FloodZone Holiday Club amongst a jumble of papers, boxes of candles, fundraising buckets for ‘Water Aid’ or ‘Action for Children’ and the donations of cereals, pasta and biscuits which would soon be on their way to the Malton Food Bank or else I could be making a cup of tea for someone who just needed a warm drink and a friendly ear…

And on that note, I can hear that kettle boiling!

Adieu for now!

Tee

A Bouquet for THAT Fairy Tale Bride!

On July 29 and on an incredible and much more summery day 35 years ago, the world was ‘lost’ in a sea of enthusiastic flag waving, military parades, dubious hats, the soaring strains of Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance, swathes of ivory taffeta and unbridled patriotic fever to celebrate the wedding of the Prince of Wales to the Lady Diana Spencer.

As a young teenager and naive monarchist who would happily spend hours sketching designs for wedding flowers on the odd bit of paper; I remember being the first to claim the best seat in front of the television at the home of my grandparents to watch this real fairy tale wedding.

When some years later we heard the chatter about mistresses, dubious telephone calls, obsessive bahaviour and emotional turmoil; I and the other 750 million who tuned in to watch this unique and frothy spectacle would soon come to learn that this fairy tale had not ended on a happily ever after!

But what of that wedding?

Even though I had been excitedly anticipating seeing the dress; my excitement soon faded when I finally saw that huge crumpled frock and even as I write this, I can only think of that wonderful quip from Fiona in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral; ‘Scarlett, you’re blind, she looks like a big meringue.’

Five years later on another sunny July day, I watched Sarah Ferguson promising to ‘love, honour and obey’ the Duke of York at Westminster Abbey and even though she couldn’t even find the City of York on a map for a US television interview; I still believe that she really was a beautiful bride.

Although I had been a florist for some time before the union of the fun-loving Fergie to the boorish Duke in July 1986, I can only remember one or two commissions from brides who wished to emulate her S-shaped bouquet of gardenias, yellow roses, cream lilies and the obligatory sprig of myrtle grown from a cutting of Queen Victoria’s bouquet.

Diana’s bouquet, however was quite a different thing altogether and although it isn’t one of my personal favourites; I remain just as impressed by this betrothal extravagance of flora and fauna even now!

Even three years after this wedding and as an eager trainee florist I would be wiring lily of the valley, stephanotis, gardenias, yellow roses and endless ivy leaves every Friday afternoon as the ‘Diana Bouquet’ was the fashionable choice for every aspiring fairy tale bride and even thirteen years later; a mock-up of this bouquet in silk flowers displayed in my design room would still attract admirers with a request of ‘Ooo! Could I just hold this please?’

And so it was that one summer with time of my hands and the need for a challenge, I created a bouquet designed as a ‘shower’ in 12th scale inspired by the one carried by Lady Diana Spencer.

And, yes, it really was a challenge!

For not only did it take several attempts with varying degrees of success to manipulate the individual flowers into place with a combination of strong wire and determination; I also had to curb my enthusiasm for adding more ivy leaves and risk a creation suitable for my niece’s Barbie doll!

Yesterday and running the risk of an inquisitive peck from one of my resident chickens, I ventured to the bottom of my garden to capture an image of this bouquet on top of the old corbel which has often served as a useful photographic prop for my creations, 12th scale or otherwise.

And as I was firing off these images, I couldn’t help musing on my recollection of how much easier it  had been to create the ‘Diana Bouquet’ in ‘real’ fauna and flora!

Adieu for now!

A Portrait of a Grandmother in Flowers…

Hello and welcome to more of my efflorescent tales from a corner of this ‘Small World’ and although the doors to Bouvier’s Flower Shop and the Brentwood Flower Market have been closed as of late; my floral endeavours have been continuing albeit in more of a fantastical way as the Yorvik Faerie and I’ve been busy creating some plants which would struggle to find a definition in any botanical guide!

However, I have also continued to indulge in some more floral design for our ‘real’ world with the flowers for the wedding of my dear niece and her dashing groom and another tinged with a hint of real sadness.

For on the early morning of Sunday April 19, my wonderful Grandmother died and although it was a privilege to have delivered her eulogy before her loved ones during her Memorial Service at Southlands Chapel in York; I also created a tribute to her with flowers.

Calling up her gentle nature and graceful poise, as well as a nod to her favourite colour of blue, I gathered up armfuls of the palest Sea Holly, cheerful Daisy Chrysanthemums that symbolize joy and added stems of elegant miniature Spray Carnations which I finished with lush Fern and speckled with spicy grey Eucalyptus.

After I had arranged these flowers in a rustic basket and inspired by my Grandmother’s ethereal nature, I then added several wisps of Bear Grass as a finishing touch and called it ‘A Portrait of Grandma in Flowers’ the images of which I now share with you, dear reader including the words of Brian Jacques that have long remained of comfort to me.

“Don’t be ashamed to weep; ’tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.”

Brian Jacques

Until next time, Adieu!