This episode is subtitled: ‘Sharpie at the ready…’
Good morning everyone. It’s going to be a very busy day ahead so I’ve had to get up extra early to write this week’s post for you. It will be all hands on deck from 8.30 as we prepare most of the flowers for tomorrow’s big wedding. I don’t think there will be much time for food so thank goodness for coffee. The smell from my steaming cup is just starting to dance in my nostrils and is beginning to wake up my brain.
Planning for the wedding started weeks ago because my very lovely bride wanted white anemones to be her main flower. They are beautiful with their papery white petals and bold black centres but they aren’t very robust for a wedding. Something as flimsy as an anemone is a florist’s nightmare, even when you’ve presented all the risks to the customer. Still, we’re here to give the bride what she wants and do our very best to make it all look spectacular. They arrive from the grower in bunches of 50 and look like little moths on sticks. They don’t look as though they will ever open up but you need to have faith for a while because most of them do turn into beautiful specimens…. eventually.
We bought our first batch a week ago and put them to one side, out of sight. This was supposed to stop me thinking about them and let nature take its course – good in theory.
My delight when they did open was dashed as we noticed that the little moths were unfurling to reveal green middles instead of black! My highly dependable Dutch supplier had got my order wrong for the first time ever, just at a critical time. My only other possible source was Guus, the Dutchman.
The Dutchman’s van is amazing (and so is Guus, actually). He travels round flower shops and invites you to hop aboard, see the amazing array of colours and shapes on display and choose there and then what you want. It’s pot luck what he has but with a van full of flowers he’s great for topping up supplies. But topping up was not what I needed. I was desperate for masses of white anemones with black middles that would be open and in full glory by tomorrow. Would he have them? I couldn’t concentrate at all on Monday afternoon, willing his van to pull up outside with everything I needed on board. When it did, I rushed outside and couldn’t get my words out fast enough, “Guus Guus do you have three bunches of white anemones with black middles I need them urgently Guus?”
“Of course.” He said calmly. I wanted to kiss him. I explained my predicament and as he handed me the massive bunches he winked, slipped a black Sharpie into my apron pocket and said, “Just in case”.
I felt a foot taller as I walked back into the shop. Five minutes earlier I’d had my head in my hands and now I had all the flowers I required plus a black Sharpie marker if emergency action was needed – could I really colour in the centre of a flower and get away with it? Hopefully I won’t need to put it to the test!
The work ahead of us today will be challenging and I’m already looking forward to a long calming walk through the woods with Blue at the end of it all.
My dog is the perfect antidote to the mayhem of a busy flower shop. We can take as long as we like, have fun and unwind and then we can shut the door on the world for another evening. It’s at times like these I appreciate the solitude – no-one expecting a meal on the table, no-one needing PE kits and school uniforms washed and ironed ready for Monday. I can put my feet up and think of some more crafty projects to share with you.
For this week’s project I’m going to show you how I created a lovely pair of fingerless gloves from an old pair (looking forward to giving them their first outing later when I take Blue out).
I started by getting rid of the bobbly bits from an old pair of gloves by scraping a fabric and sweater comb over each one. That made quite a difference for starters.
Then I measured down 20mm from the top of each finger and chopped it off in a straight line. Be brave! You might think it’s going to unravel the moment you touch it but mine didn’t.
Turn the tops in (I did mine about 10mm) and stitch down with a similar coloured thread. Happily you can’t tell how neat these stitches are because they just get lost in the knitting. Then stitch some braid around each cuff.
I bought this particular braid from Hobbycraft and it really jazzes up the black. It was also really easy to hand stitch on because I was able to put my needle through a few threads behind each flower. Did you see Bjorn Borg’s wife at Wimbledon last summer? She was wearing this round her head – very hippie chic!
- Be brave when you cut. It will be fine.
- I cut an equal amount off each finger so the finished product follows the same shape as my hand but you may want all of the fingers to finish at the same point.
- Pair of old gloves
I could use them for keeping warm in the shop but I think I might just keep them for walks with Blue instead of getting them messed up because I have an idea for a matching hat.
Join me for something new next week (well, newly salvaged!) and in a few weeks I’ll have a go at that hat.