If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to make an owl picture from scraps then scroll down until you see Blue’s paw print below.
This episode is subtitled: ‘Thank you Caitlin…’
‘Blue looks happy,’ said Jaz.
Blue’s always happy, I thought. More to the point, Jaz was looking fairly happy. A state we’d not seen lately here in Teacups & Tulips.
‘How are things at the flat?’ I asked.
‘Not too bad,’ she said with a smile and carried on with the mammoth task of making 125 rose buttonholes for Sacha, our bride for that day, whose father was spending an absolute fortune on her wedding.
We were working flat out but keeping to the tight schedule I’d devised for the preparations. Unfortunately there is only so much you can do in advance when you’re making up flowers for a wedding and often the day of the event is incredibly busy.
Just then my phone and Jaz’s phone beeped simultaneously.
‘It’s Ruth,’ she said excitedly, looking at her message, ‘she’s called an emergency meeting at the flat because there’s some fracking news and they want to organise a vigil.’
‘My message is from Sacha,’ I said in disbelief, ‘she wants an additional large arrangement at the entrance to the hotel and for the stems of the bridesmaids’ bouquets to be bound in organza.’
‘We’ll manage, won’t we?’ said Jaz, not very convincingly. ‘Obviously I’m at work so I can’t go and join the campaign planning back at the flat. They’ll have to live with the fact that I do have a life outside of the crusades.’
I was relieved that her mind was still on the job and started to consider the implications of Sacha’s requests. It’s totally unacceptable to be throwing things in at this late stage but she’s very assertive and I didn’t fancy letting her down on her special day….and if we could accommodate it why wouldn’t we? But could we?
‘Jenny, daaarling. Be a love and take Caitlin for me this afternoon, won’t you?’ It was Petra. She’d breezed into the shop, Caitlin following behind. Petra is my sister’s sister-in-law so strictly speaking she should be far enough removed from me for me not to be called upon when she’s running late for a hair appointment or needing to rush to a friend in need (probably for a glass of champagne). But being in a shop makes me more accessible than anyone else.
‘I can’t- ’
‘But she loves spending time with you and she promises to be on her best behaviour, don’t you Caitlin?’
Aged seven, Caitlin is showing early signs of growing into her mother and I feel strongly that she should see a bit of the world from a less privileged perspective so I agreed. Also, we were pushed for time and it was easier than arguing with Petra. ‘As long as she sits there and lets us get on with this big order,’ I said, cursing the last five minutes when the day had gone so horribly wrong.
Hmm, I thought, another pair of hands would be useful but she can’t make buttonholes and she can’t search the stock room for organza. Could I ask a primary school child to go down to Old George’s hardware shop for a plastic container to make this blasted new arrangement in? It’s only three doors down.
Don’t worry, she was fine. In fact she was very helpful. She set off with a skip and a jump and returned five minutes later with the exact item we needed.
‘Auntie Jenny… that old man was grumpy and had a red face,’ she said when she returned clutching the container.
‘Oh, don’t worry about Old George,’ I said, ‘he’s always grumpy.’ George sits all day in his dimly lit shop with his scowling pale face so all the better if he’s got some colour in his cheeks today, I thought.
‘Hope he’s okay,’ said Jaz.
‘He’ll be fine,’ I said, ‘just concentrate on those buttonholes and I’ll bind the bouquet stems then get started on the new arrangement. We have to get everything delivered within the hour.’
Jaz’s fingers speeded up even more and Caitlin was good enough to sit quietly and just watch us. My heart was beating like crazy while we worked. We’d be sunk if there were any hold ups on the road. Why do people assume being a florist is a walk in the park?
We loaded the van and Caitlin and I dropped things off in the order we passed the venues – firstly buttonholes to the church, then all the arrangements, favours and thank-you bouquets to the hotel, then on to the bride’s house. I thought Sacha would be panicking because we really were on the last minute with her bouquet, the bridesmaids’ bouquets, her father’s buttonhole, and her mother’s corsage.
Sure enough, when we arrived she was in a state – upset, barking orders at the bridesmaids, and wailing, ‘It’s all gone wrong!’
But she saw us and her face brightened. All the hard work and stress is always worth it when a bride is overcome at the sight of the beautiful flowers we’ve prepared for her. I breathed a proud sigh of relief. But then a little girl emerged from the mayhem of bridesmaids, white as a sheet, tears streaming down her face, Sacha’s mum carrying a bowl of pungent vomit behind her.
‘I need a replacement bridesmaid!’ said Sacha. ‘Everything is planned around six bridesmaids! Can I borrow your granddaughter for the afternoon?’
‘Can I Auntie Jenny…pleeese?’
So, a more mature Caitlin than I’ve ever encountered before, saved the day. And as a reward for being so good, I let her help me make this owl picture for her bedroom wall.◊
How to Make an Owl Picture from Scraps
I found some scraps of material (including an old cardigan) and a couple of old buttons. Our canvas was new.
I used an old cereal box to draw and cut out the templates for Caitlin. I just made this up so you could make them slightly different and it still look like an owl.
I ironed Bondaweb onto the fabric scraps and we drew round the templates.
After cutting them out we layered them up to check they looked okay. It was at this point I realised we hadn’t sorted the branch so I ironed a strip of Bondaweb onto a piece of the cardigan, drew a branch and cut it out.
Now time to assemble. Firstly, iron the feet onto the branch.
Then iron the tummy onto the body.
Then the outer eyes……
…and inner eyes.
While I did all that, Caitlin painted the background. I’d found this lovely shade of pearlescent blue.
For a starry twinkle she added some silver glittery paint.
We did another quick check that everything was okay before gluing the back of the assembled owl and the moon and pasting them into place.
The last thing we did was glue the eye buttons on. Ta-dah!
- Choose a variety of scraps to give contrast to your design.
- Fabric scraps
- Old cardigan
- Two old buttons
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