Felines and Flora

I’ll just get the cat pix out of the way first thing.

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Classic long-suffering Albie and his unwanted sidekick. All he wants to do is sleep on the bed and not be mauled. She shadows and adores and mauls him.

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See the succulent/cactus hybrid hovering slightly above her sisters in the long planter? This is a new feature :) I’m adding believable stems to some of them.

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This may be one of the most enigmatic photos I’ve ever published. Here are tiny stems very close up — they’re just over an inch long. They’re made from floral wire wrapped with torn strips of brown paper bag. Easy to make a gentle curve and plant.

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In other projects, I got all the sizes of leaves from JMG Miniatures to make potted palms for either side of the stairway. They come five to a bag and are cut from a nice green sturdy stock. I’m not even painting them! I glued a fine gauge green wire onto the central stem of each frond to enable sculpting.

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Once the glue was dry, I curled them around a fat watercolor pencil (Derwent Inktense, Teal Green 1300, not mandatory).

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I gathered groups of three or four fronds, and bound them together with strips of torn brown paper bag.

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I bundled three or four frond clusters around another length of floral wire, and covered the lot of them with more torn paper bag strips, and stabbed them to dry in their eventual planters. These are those ever-versatile, well-modeled chocolate brown Houseworks tapered pots to which I had given a “zinc” finish.

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Here they are “palmed” and waiting for the glue to dry in the pots. I’ll cluster more succulents around the bases, tying in with the rest of the casual landscaping. I like how they both frame and add a “parlor” friendliness to the entrance. Since this is meant to be a refurbished working farm building, I didn’t want to put in a stuffy staircase banister.

In the showroom proper you can see an exquisite spinning wheel, gifted by our beloved reader BW. We’ve both agreed it’s a bit too pristine, but I’m reluctant to augment it. I need to channel my inner Sleeping Beauty for counsel.

Until then…

10 thoughts on “Felines and Flora

  1. Sheila says:

    Love your palms! And that spinning wheel is gorgeous. Maybe use it as a template and recreate one that’s a bit worn and rougher looking?

    Poor Albie… it’s rough to have a baby sister who just won’t settle down and sleep.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Thanks, Sheila! JMB is the source of the palm fronds and my wrought iron railings. They do fine, fine work!
      The spinning wheel *is* gorgeous. BW described it as “spindly” by which she meant “incredibly detailed and fine”. I cannot even imagine re-creating it to wear it up. Perhaps I should watch “Maleficent“ once again :)
      Albie *is* beleagured. Today he upped his schooling game by modulating his warning growl for a full 15 minutes. Kittens are exhausting.

  2. Pepper says:

    The palms look fab and work well as the sentinels to the entrance. I’d be reluctant to age the spinning wheel too — mainly because I’m crap at doing that with any realism but I’m sure you’ll come up with a solution =0)

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Of the many palm leaves out there, I really do like JMG’s the most. As for the spinning wheel, I gently sanded all the easily accessible crisp edges and some of the flat surfaces to soften and knock back the shine. Then I retouched those with a golden oak stain marker. Subtle, but more dimension. Appreciate your confidence in me, Pepper :)

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Making succulents is so relaxing, yes? I made a few more today, as well. I also ordered a spikier flower-shaped (daisy?) punch to expand my repertoire, maybe for the base plantings around the potted palms.

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