Spring walk, spring thoughts

Up in our little corner of Italy, we’ve almost forgotten that it’s winter. Days are warming and the bulbs I planted last November are valiantly pushing out their tender buds in a burst of colour.

Seeing them reminds me that winter never lasts forever. No matter how cold, harsh or dry the days, eventually the spring warmth and gentle rain awaken the earth.

We’re still waiting for the rain. It hasn’t rained since Christmas and the forest is tinder dry. Nevertheless, spring’s urge has woken the forest flowers and in some places, they carpet the dry, leaf-strewn soil under parched trees. May the rains come soon.

Favourites
Snowdrops?
Daffodils dance beside the road.
Reflections on Lago Nero
Majestic cedar. It’s about 80 years old but we can’t get to it. It’s behind the gates of an old monastery.

Grey

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Grey Song

Tell me the sun will shine
Tomorrow will be clear and fine
Tell me it will take away
This overwhelming grey.

Grey sky absorbs
The colours of the world
Consumes them, hides them
Hills fade into the distance
Grey on grey, black on black.

Yet in a corner of the drive
A group of daffodils now thrive
Light up my day with verdant
Leaves and buttercup flowers.

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I think daffodils must be one of my favourite spring flowers. They are such messengers of hope! You see them and know with absolute certainty that spring, and warmer weather, is just around the corner. Food for the soul!

Making a wedding dress (part 2)

Well, the dress is now cut out and I’ve tacked the bodice ready for fitting. But life is still teaching me lessons. The biggest one is – give yourself lots of time to do a big project like this. The first reason is that your ideas change as you go along, and your new ideas may be more time-consuming.

We initially thought we would add some beading to the bodice to give it pizzazz, but with a deep purple fabric, which is shiny and crushed, we just couldn’t see how to make it work. So last weekend, I started playing around with ribbons and flowers. Now, our idea is to add a ribbon and flower embellishment on the two central panels at the front and the back. The rest of the dress will be plain. As it has a pulled up ball gown skirt, I think this option will be better. Here are some photos of my ideas.

 

This was my first attempt on a scrap, but it gives you an idea.
This was my first attempt on a scrap, but it gives you an idea.

I discovered that it’s almost impossible to get a perfect circle with this kind of ribbon, though.

The jacket she will wear with the ribbon embellishment showing.
The silk jacket she will wear with the ribbon embellishment showing.

So I went back to the drawing board. What if I used voile ribbon? And look at the gorgeous flowers I found! Pity she says she doesn’t like them.

voile ribbon with gorgeous flowers. Which colour to use? Will be experimenting today.
voile ribbon with gorgeous flowers. Which colour to use? Will be experimenting today.

The second reason is that life sometimes throws you a curve ball. My mom in South Africa needs a hip operation, and I want to go there to help my her and my dad, who is still recovering from an accident and can’t manage on his own. So it looks as if I’ll be in SA for April and get back here in time to do the final bits on the dress before the wedding in May. Whew! So in the next two to three weeks, I need to basically finish this dress.

So what do you think? Are we on the right road? If any of you have advice for me about the ribbon embellishment, please feel free to give it. I’m willing to try anything at the moment. I’ve been searching the net for “how tos”  but not found much that is very useful.

Have a crafty day everyone.