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?

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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.

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!

Tears For Fleurs! A Tutorial with Tee…

Hello and welcome to more of my efflorescent tales from a corner of this ‘Small World’!

As the last weekend in October is one for remembering the dearly departed with the festivals of the Mexican Day of the Dead and All Souls’ Day, I have designed my own unique tribute in remembrance of those no longer with me with the creation of a spray of flowers in the design of a teardrop and which I placed on the table in the Design Room of Bouvier’s Flower Shop on All Hallows Eve.

Boo! Bouvier’s Flower Shop is NOW Open!

However, given that my photographic skills appeared to have deserted me when I set about capturing the images of this teardrop floral spray perched on a table in the Design Room of the newly revamped Bouvier’s; I was relieved to discover that the results of the outdoor shoot were something of a compensation!

“Let your tears come. Let them water your soul.”
Eileen Mayhew

And if you would like to discover the tale behind the creation of this teardrop floral spray then please read on!

Using a combination of off-white silk roses, snippets of Conifer and some other bits of fauna that I snaffled from my garden, I also assembled a piece of DRY Floral Foam, a handful of fine silver wire, my trusty pair of scissors and a mug of tea…

I might add that the choice of beverage is optional!

Step One of the Teardrop Floral Spray Tutorial with Tee Bylo

With the snippets of Conifer, I begin to design a ‘Floral Bed’ in the design of a teardrop.

Step Two of the Teardrop Floral Spray Tutorial with Tee Bylo

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

As I continue with the snippets of Conifer, my design begins to take shape.

Step Three of the Teardrop Floral Spray Tutorial with Tee Bylo

Conifer remains one of my favourites to work with for reasons that include a gorgeous colour, the appearance of being ‘freshly picked’ for many weeks and its heady scent which j’adore!

Now that the basic teardrop design has been completed, it’s time to add the silk roses which are a lovely off-white colour.

Step Four of the Teardrop Floral Spray Tutorial by Tee Bylo

With the roses in place, I now add the other pieces of interesting foliage that I have harvested.

Step Five of the Teardrop Floral Spray Tutorial by Tee Bylo

I use the silver wire to hold the pieces of foliage intact within the spray.

Step Six of the Teardrop Floral Spray Tutorial with Tee Bylo

The silver wires are also useful for creating ‘circles’ of foliage which adds nicely to the design.

Step Seven of the Teardrop Floral Spray Tutorial with Tee Bylo

As the design is nearly complete; it’s time to add the finishing touch with some tiny pieces of fresh moss.

Step Eight of the Teardrop Floral Spray Tutorial with Tee Bylo

I use the moss to fill in any of the small gaps that remain until I am happy with my design.

The Completed Teardrop Floral Spray by Tee Bylo

With my floral spray completed, it’s now time to enjoy a well-deserved mug of tea…

Bye for now!

* ADDENDUM *

Although I have used ‘real’ foliage for the creation of this teardrop floral spray; alternative snippets of plastic, silk or even paper leaves would also happily work with this design and I have found some wonderful pieces of ‘foliage’ while browsing the Aquarium department of my local pet store.

Even though I have been creating and teaching floral design for many years now, I STILL believe that everyone has the ability to make some sort of an arrangement with the use of fauna and flora and once you have mastered the basics, there really is no right nor wrong way!
I hope that my tutorial will inspire you to create your own little floral masterpiece and if you have any questions for me, please ask…

BOO! Bouvier’s Flower Shop Is NOW Open!

“Witch and ghost make merry on this last of dear October’s days.” ~ Anon.

For on All Hallows Eve there was ghostly fleurs and much merriness a’ plenty to be discovered somewhere in a ‘Small’ world!

For after the trials, tears and tribulations of that drastic renovation and the tale of woe you can chuckle over; the doors of Bouvier’s Flower Shop have finally reopened and with a revamp of enhanced lighting to appreciate the larger floor space, the exposed beams that are both aesthetically pleasing and practical and finally the lick of cheerful paint that banished those pesky damp patches; I am confident that the imaginary inhabitants of this particular small world will find their new working conditions much improved!

The year before last I found myself surrounded by vases of lilac Sea Lavender and buckets of lime-green Asters on All Hallows Eve at the Brentwood Flower Market as I went in search of some feline luck that was rumoured to be nestled among the gloriously decadent Birds of Paradise in those colourful clay pots.

Last year however, as the theme is one of ghostly design and to compliment the new furniture that has been finished with a subtle powder blue paint; I have been working with bunches of white Statice, elegant Arum Lilies and snippets of lucky white Heather.

The black spiders that can be seen dotted here and there and the generous lashing of cobweb finished with a moss in the palest of green compliments this scene of spookiness…

If the Halloween palette of orange and black is more to your liking, there are several grumpy pumpkins to be found and let’s not forget the obligatory large bowl of candy canes that are waiting to be devoured!

And if you are in need of a little feline luck, a York Lucky Cat is patiently waiting…

Upstairs at Bouvier’s and the design room is as busy as ever for there’s been a flower basket to create that will offer some much needed cheer, the design of a hand-tie bouquet with a message of sympathy and a plant that waits to be lovingly gift wrapped and delivered to its lucky recipient…

As the first day of November is All Soul’s Day in which the dead are remembered with prayer and celebration throughout our world; a poignant funereal tribute of white roses awaits…

And if you too would like to create a floral tribute for your own special ‘Small World’; there will be an easy to follow tutorial coming soon!

Perhaps it’s just as well that after such a busy day that someone has kindly left a large slice of a Halloween ‘Treat’ for me to enjoy!

May your All Hallows Eve continue to be a sweet delightful treat too!

Tales of Demolition AND Woe!

Dear Diary…

Ooo! How refreshed and rested do I feel after two weeks of soaking up the sunshine on a delightful beach in the Caribbean with only the sound of the waves to listen to and that handsome young waiter at my beck and call.

Alas! The nearest I have been to a beach lately has been to gaze at the pebble that is perched on my work bench and I am feeling very far from refreshed right now and for those of you who follow my ‘twittering’ on Twitter, you will know only too well what I have been up!

On one chilly April day and after a week or two of sensible deliberation, I served an eviction notice on the ‘Pinchot Art Studio’ which had been nestled in the garret of ‘Bouvier’s’ Flower Shop for a number of years as I wanted to expand  my miniature floral business and with the ‘Art Studio’ duly relocated to the temporary and safe residence of a plastic stacking box, I continued with my plans for the vacant attic space.

However, I failed to resist the urge to keep my creative digits from the remaining two floors of my beloved flower shop in pursuit of an extreme make-over that would have made any hedonistic designer proud!

It was only after spending several hours ripping out the walls and flooring accompanied by the sound of my sensible inner voice reproaching me with the cries of “what have you done?” that I decided that a ‘time out’ was needed as I reconsidered the cost both literally and metaphorically of my grand designs and that my beloved flower shop would need time to recover from the horror of that unexpected pillage.

And as if things could not get any worse, I had to abandon this sad and sorry excuse of a building for several weeks  as I found myself increasingly occupied with other projects as my sympathetic followers on Twitter can probably attest to!

And I confess that I frequently had cause to regret my impetuous creativity.

However, I was delighted that when the renovations were finally under way; my designs for a wonderful refurbishment finally materialised from the ‘wonderful big idea’ to actual reality!

And just to add to this tale of woe, the ‘scaffolding’ you see was one of the most time-consuming and frustrating miniature structures that I have ever had cause to make but that’s for another tale!

The Door of ‘Bouvier’s Flower Shop’ Opens!

It was the artist Henri Matisse who said that “there will always be flowers for those who want to see them” and although I am no fan of his work, I do love his philosophy!

For many years I lived and breathed a world of flora and fauna as a floral designer and although my life has taken many strange twists and turns since I began as a ‘green-fingered’ recruit in my teenage years; there will always be a place in my heart for a flower or two.

That’s Me with Another ‘Small’ Creation of Mine!

When I began to create my ‘Small Worlds’ many years ago, a flower shop was one of my first projects which I designed in the style of the Victorian era in the year 1898 as a tribute to a gentleman called John Tibbett, a florist and my great-great grandfather!

Now, if I had a coin for every time that someone has said to me that ‘It must be in the genes’, I would be extremely wealthy!

In the summer of 2009 when I could no longer resist the urge to ‘recreate’ another world, I decided that it was time to propel my little floral abode forward in time to our present day and ‘Bouvier’s Flower Shop’ was the result.

My vision for ‘Bouvier’s’ was the creation of a typical flower shop within a building that was essentially Victorian in character and which having seen better days is now in need of a lick of paint and is alive with human presence.

The inspiration for the name of ‘Bouvier”s Flower Shop’ was realised after I had read a rather riveting biography of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, for who despite the triumphs of being a First Lady and style icon, also happened to be blessed with the wonderfully elegant name of ‘Bouvier’!

There was once a small room nestled in the attic of ‘Bouvier’s’ Flower Shop’ called the ‘Pinchot Art Studio’ and inspired by the Georgetown artist Mary Pinchot Meyer.

And as has been reported, Mary had enjoyed something of a liaison with the spouse of the said Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis before her murder on a towpath in October 1964.

However, that is for another story!

Bye for now!

EVERYTHING Is Blooming Lovely!

If you are fed up with the cold weather, the bills that must be paid and the housework that never seems to be completed and if you long to escape into another world that is deliciously fragrant and delightful to look at… Welcome to my Flower Shop Tales!

For it was the artist Henri Matisse who said that “there will always be flowers for those who want to see them” and although I am no fan of his work, I do love his philosophy!

For many years I lived and breathed a world of flora and fauna as a floral designer and although my life has taken many strange twists and turns since I began as a ‘green-fingered’ recruit in my teenage years; there will always be a place in my heart for a flower or two.

It’s All Hallows Eve and a Broom Awaits at Bouvier’s Flower Shop…

Having already created ‘Bouvier’s Flower Shop’ several years ago, I have simply been unable to resist the opportunity to design another small world of flowers and so I have created the Brentwood Flower Market which now can be found nestled within a quaint Tudor building that has all the appeal of a typical rustic flower shop and which remains alive with the human presence.

Roses Abound at the Brentwood Flower Market for St Valentine’s Day..

As Marcus Tullius Cicero once said that “The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.”, I have been known to whittle up a floral tribute in 12th scale too!

Time to Say Goodbye..

For as well as sharing the musings and mishaps about the unique ‘Small Worlds’ that I will be creating; I will also be including a few of my ‘Tee Tips’ that may inspire you with your own floral endeavours!

And as I have been creating small worlds in miniature for many years now and the passion to design and create a miniature world remains just as intoxicating and challenging!

The vision and inspiration for the creation of my small worlds comes to me in all different forms, the pages of a history book, a television drama series or the glorious and imperfect world that I frequently find myself in!

One of my ‘Small Worlds’ can be discovered in the Parish of St M’s which includes an old church and a parish hall that I have designed with a scruffy and charming graveyard capturing a sense of our history and yet is forever changing and alive with the human presence.

And the opportunities in which to decorate the chancel of this 12th scale church with any assortment of blooms for the occasional betrothal, thanksgiving service and a flower festival really are never ending!

Welcome to the Parish Church of St M’s…

I also have a curiosity in the life and legacy of Nicole Brown Simpson and although she and her former disgraced spouse have continued to make headlines since he was tried for her murder in 1994; my interest is very much of the 12th scale kind as she has been the inspiration for the creation of an abode known as ‘Nicole’s House’

Red Roses and Memories in the Kitchen of Nicole’s House….

And as Nicole loved nothing more than a home full of flowers, I have only been too happy to oblige!

I can also be found immersed in the year 1815 as I continue with the design and creation of 13 Piccadilly Terrace circa 1815a large and suitably grand house that has been inspired by the life and times of my favourite poet, Lord Byron.

A Portrait of His Lordship in the Hallway of 13 Piccadilly Terrace in the Year 1815…

And although the pots of distemper paint, lime wash and brown mahogany wood dye have been packed away for the moment, a large cardboard box containing the gorgeous silks for the soft furnishings still awaits for I’d much rather arrange a bowl full of roses than thread a needle with cotton thread; any day!

However, I am very happy at the moment surrounded by lots of small pots and moss that await the planting of some wonderful flowers that will find a home somewhere in a small world… but perhaps after a nice cup of tea?

Bye for now!

Tee’s STILL Among THOSE Flowers as Lord Byron’s Bed Awaits!

Dear Diary…

‘Today’s Valentine’s Day. There’s a whole day devoted solely to love. Does that make any sense? Nah. Love makes us all crazy. But it’s fun too.’ Lisa Greenwald.

Listen! Can you hear that crashing sound?

Yes, that’s the sound of yet another New Year’s Resolution demolished, kaput, finito, gatavas!

As my intention was to have shared some news with you dear reader at least once a month, this is my February post even though even though we are now enjoying the third day of March.

However, as the rest of the calendar year consists of eleven months of at least 30 days; this would be day thirty if it were any other month other than February.

Not that I have anything against February for not only was I hatched and matched in this month, but I also met my ‘other half’ on the 29th and lest we forget, it is the month for a profusion of chocolates, expensive red roses and some very dubious love tokens as Cupid’s Arrow flies forth!

Even though I would be happy to find myself lost within a profusion of chocolate confectionery on any month of the year; it was to the Brentwood Flower Market that I headed for on St Valentine’s Day to be surrounded by, yes you guessed it, the humble rose!

Yes, it was one busy day and with only moments to go until closing time, and as I finally beginning the arduous task of sweeping up the mess from the floor, while, I might add with one eye firmly on that box of chocolates nestled upon the wooden dresser; who should potter in but that Little Big Cat!

“My Valentine,” he said in a quiet whisper “is the girl next door and she loves nothing more than sitting by the rose bed in our garden on a nice day… She just loves those roses and until they bloom again later this year, I will miss her…”

I ask you! How could I resist whittling up a little love token for Murphy? Could you have refused?

However, I know that I would happily resist and say an unequivocal ‘níl aon’ to making a bed for Lord Byron even though on Friday last I found myself in a fabric shop on a gorgeous day, and on my birthday! And I had wandered into the Sewing Centre entirely of my own accord!

The Sewing Centre is the horn of plenty to a connoisseur of fabric as the shelves of the hardware store are to a D.I.Y. enthusiast; as it is a veritable Aladdin’s Cave with room upon room stacked ceiling to floor with bolts of fabric of every inconceivable pattern, texture and colour and possessed of an extremely helpful and knowledgeable assistant; which in my case, was just as well!

For with the pleasantries observed and the offer of help extended forthwith, I duly uttered; “I have to make Lord Byron’s bed and am in need of some fabric that resembles Chinoiserie in the colours of green and white and it also needs to have an accent of mustard in the pattern. Do you have anything that you can show me please?”

The reply was gracious to say the least; “Let me see if I’ve got this right; you have to make a bed for Lord Byron?”

However, before I answered in the affirmative; I had realised that some sort of explanation may be called for and a pleasant thirty minutes passed by with some cheerful banter about the merits of the delightful Lord B, the wonder that is Newstead Abbey, the virtues of creativity and of personal challenge; which for me sounded a HUGE note of resonance with this recreation of his Lordship’s huge, ponderous bed complete with lavish swags, tails, tassels and something else that I’m sure to have overlooked!

And for those of you who have followed my monthly ‘Tee Time’ with the Dolls’ House Magazine may well recall my column from November 2013 in which I mused about how close proximity to the needle and thread can STILL make my heart beat a little faster…

The logical part of me screams out that it is my fear of failure that holds me back from opening that cardboard box full of the sumptuous silks that I have lovingly chosen as the contents patiently wait for me to gather my tools, open the pages of the book Curtains by Sue Heaser and ‘just get on with it’.

And how do I know that my elaborate window dressings will be an epic fail until I have at least tried?

Dolls’ House Magazine Issue 186 (GMC Publications Ltd)

For as I was to write on my Facebook page earlier today: “Give me scraps of wood, a pot of glue with perhaps some powdered filler, access to a tap and I’ll build you a whimsical cottage. Give me a metre of fabric, needle and thread in which to dress a bed and I’ll run screaming from the room!”

Well, at least in the words of Lord Byron that he attributed to his estranged spouse, I remain “admirably consistent.”

Adieu for now!

And if you are curious about  learning a little more about Lord B’s “admirably consistent” spouse; I have just posted the tale about her on my Lady Byron Blog and it is yours to savour!