Seasons In The Studio

Nature, and the things it inspires..........

Monday, May 21, 2012

I am happy to say that one of my newest projects was inspired directly by the flowers in my garden.

I would like to introduce you to the "Cottage Garden Handbag".  This bag is designed with spring colors and is inspired by the columbines, clematis and poppies in my yard.  It was a challenge to make the flowers look as realistic as possible, and have the purse be functional as well.  I used Manos del Uruguay yarn for the body of the bag.  This yarn comes in a beautiful teal, violet and yellow colorway, and was the perfect compliment to the colors I chose for the flowers.  When I first saw the Manos yarn in this colorway, it made me think of a Monet painting! 

The colors of the early spring blooms are fleeting, and they are only around for a few short weeks.  I wanted to capture their color and fragile beauty.  When I look at this bag, it makes me feel like I am right in my garden.

I have always admired the lovely gardens in the United Kingdom.  There are charming pictures of little English cottages in the country, each with it's quaint garden, overflowing with beautiful flowers.  Every window has a flower box, every walkway is lined with blooms in these cottages.  I have tried to emulate this kind of ambiance in my own gardens and in my art.

The pattern for the Cottage Garden Handbag is in the newest issue of CROCHET! magazine, coming out in June.

In the photograph in the magazine, it isn't easy to see the loops at the top of the bag where the handles are attached.  I want to provide a close up so you can see exactly how they are joined.

I love spring!  It is always exciting to see the plants come back to life.  My gardens are one of my main sources of inspiration, and every year they amaze me.  The trees we planted as seedlings are now towering over the grounds, and are a haven for song birds of all kinds.  Flowers abound in my yard, and are a source of such joy!

My husband and I are amateur birders, and feed the birds all year round.  Our place at the shore has an abundance of birds, both waterfowl and woodland birds.  The house came with a bluebird box and I diligently maintain it in the hope of a new family every spring.  There is competition, but we've had our share of bluebird offspring over the years.

A Canada goose has chosen the same spot on the marsh to build her nest, for the past 4 or 5 years.  It is in a direct line of sight from the kitchen window, so I can watch her progress every season.  Sadly, the spot she likes is prone to flooding, and every year water has ruined the nest and the eggs.  The last time I saw her, a few weeks ago, she was sitting in the same spot, doing the same ritual.  I wonder if this will be the year the nest will make it.  You would think she would learn something, and build in another location, but they are creatures of habit, and habits are hard to break.

I saw some links to live web cams for a couple of red tailed hawk nests, and I have been watching them with great zeal.  It is a wonder of technology to be able to view these birds up close without interfering with their nesting or disturbing their environment.  The best site is the Cornell University web cam, because it comes with sound.  If you watch long enough, you will get to see the offspring being fed. 
The Cornell site is moderated, and the mods give all kinds of information about the development of the young before they leave the nest.  It's great fun.  The University of Wisconsin hawks are about a week ahead of the Cornell hawks.  It is amazing how adaptable these birds are, to be able to nest in the places they do!  It is almost like sitting right beside the birds in the nest!

Try these sites out and see the hawks for yourself.  They grow really fast, and will be leaving the nest in the next 2-3 weeks.

Cornell Hawks:

University of Wisconsin, Madison:

Isn't spring just grand!