This episode is subtitled: ‘A little bit of luxury…’
With the three flower shop peaks over for another year (Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day) and with the wedding season not yet in full flow, Kim and I took the opportunity to have a bit of time away this week. The spa day and overnight stay in a posh hotel was Kim’s choice; actually it was her Christmas present to me and was extremely generous (I made her a velvet doorstop in the shape of a cat – lovely, but very thrifty). A spa isn’t normally my kind of thing but after a busy time in the shop I was looking forward to the lazy day lounging round a pool, slinking off to the jaquzzi, the steam room, the sauna whenever I fancied it. Kim had also booked us both in for a back massage and dinner in the hotel that evening.
She had put Joan in charge of Teacups (hoping she wouldn’t ruffle too many feathers) and I’d got Jaz managing things for Tulips. Blue was going to spend the time with my sister Laura (which he always loves) and Kim had prepared a mountain of food for Gary so he wouldn’t starve without her. We were just deciding on arrangements for getting there when she said idly to me, ‘I can’t decide whether to take my floral one-piece or that outrageously expensive bikini with the geometric design.’
Oh my goodness, do I even have a swimsuit? I’d completely forgotten that I’d need one. When I got home I searched through my drawers and pulled out a crumpled bundle of black nylon, which was a swimming costume, but the elastic was definitely not at its best. Why am I not more stylish like Kim? Well, I guess I’m just not, but I would have preferred to have been slightly better equipped for this trip. I tried it on and had just about managed to squeeze the wobbly bits in when the door bell rang and there was Laura, out of the blue offering me her swimsuit that she’d bought for her holiday last year. No match for Kim’s but a hundred times better than mine! Staff sorted, Blue sorted, clothes sorted – all set.
What a treat it was. We spent the day chatting by the Grecian-style pool and from time to time trying out the other spa facilities. Then, late in the afternoon, our massages melted away the last bits of tension. We took our time getting ready for dinner and sat in the hotel snug for pre-dinner drinks. We had a lovely time and everything was luxuriously opulent, from the treatment rooms to the bedrooms to the dining room.
‘This is heaven,’ said Kim.
‘It is all very beautiful,’ I replied, but what had impressed me more than the décor was that after all these years, and despite us being quite different people, we could still take time out to relax and enjoy ourselves, the best of friends, with hardly a mention of the mayhem that might be happening back at Teacups & Tulips.
Now, you may think the extravagance of our surroundings would have inspired me to make something quite splendid this week but it had the opposite effect. I couldn’t wait to get back down to earth and do something simple. And what could be simpler than making vases out of jam jars?
I’ve been collecting jam jars for a while and pulled out three from my salvage box that didn’t match each other and weren’t particularly interesting, plus some odds and ends of ribbon and braid.
I wanted to use Easter colours again this week and I just had three flowers left from the braid I’d used for decorating my hats which I thought would help to make the vases into a set. I had to add some colour to the middle of two of the flowers (I think the middles were missed out because they were on the end of the roll) but it did allow me to choose appropriate colours.
For each jar I measured round the neck, added a bit to the measurement to enable me to turn in the raw edges and then I cut the three lengths. I made life a bit more difficult for myself because the ribbon I had chosen was a bit too wide so I ended up machine stitching a pleat down the middle to make the ribbon narrower. Hopefully you’ll have something more suitable.
A quick method would just have been to tie the ribbon on, or use double sided tape as I did for the candles in episode 5 but I wanted a neater finish and I wanted to be able to remove the decoration when the vases needed to be washed so I added a small piece of elastic to join the two ends together.
The flower covered the elastic perfectly and by stitching it on in the middle only, the elastic was still able to stretch to get it round the neck of the jar.
I think they do look part of a set, don’t you?
They look even better with daffodils in!
- Co-ordinate your decorations if you want your vases to look like a set.
- To save cupboard space you could have one set of jars and make seasonal collars for them. A Christmas set with candy canes instead of flowers would be good!
- You can do a faster, more temporary job by tying the ribbon on or using double sided tape.
- If you’re sewing a motif onto elastic, like my flowers, then just attach them in the middle otherwise the motif will stop the elastic from stretching round the neck of the jar.
- Jam jars
- Bits of ribbon/braid etc
These creations would look good on the tables at Teacups or would be a lovely welcome in a guest bedroom.
Next week’s craft project will be a tiny bit of sewing for little girls. Look out for it next Thursday.