Sunday, 31 July 2016

Off With Their Heads!

It is the time of year to do a spot of beheading - removing dead heads and collecting seeds.  Here is a part of my sun lounge complete with drying seeds of allium, love-in-a-mist, marigold and poppies:
So that is a whole lot of bowls, saucers and plastic boxes out of commission - these seeds need to be removed and put into paper bags.  But where do I get a lot of paper bags and even if I label them, having to sort through a lot of anonymous-looking wee bags to find the right seeds next year will not be easy.  So why not make some seed packets like the ones you buy?  These will have all the information on the reverse, a cheerful colored image on the front and...well, let's make a couple first.

Open a graphics program, it doesn't matter much for a simple project like this which one you use but I tend to like PSP.  Here is a seed packet blank:
It is yours for your own use.  This makes a nice big packet and fits onto A4 so for a smaller packet just resize.  If you have taken a photo of your flower now is the time to use it, or have a look for public domain photos or images of the flower online.  Here it is after being cropped and having a posterizing treatment added to it on PSP, then cut and pasted onto the packet blank:
Note the caption which tells you what it is!  I have had these pink poppies for ages now and collect the seed every year but they have also become naturalized.  These double flowers are pretty but not much good for bees as they cannot get inside so not the sort of thing to go wild with and sow all over the place.  I just add a few for their looks.  Now let's open a table, fill it with useful information and you have done all the work you need
This tells you what you need to know. Print out, cut out, apply some paper glue on the tabs and stick together.  Put the seeds in and you have a pretty and practical packet!

Of course maybe you don't need yet more seeds of a particular variety or you have enough to fill a football pitch with them.  So why not give the packets to people as gifts?  You could put their names on the front and who they are from.  Lovely stocking fillers, Secret Santa or any other occasion.

Some more seedy ideas next time.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Scrap Your Garden

When your garden is looking its best under summer skies it is time to take plenty of photos.  For a simple page with a fun floral look here is an idea that won't take long to do but which showcases those floral closeups.

You will need:

Natural looking background paper in earth tones (this one is Basic Grey)
Dark green card
Scallop edged scissors

I)  Choose your central image - here family members in my aunt and uncle's garden.  Draw a circle 4 1/2" and cut out with the scallop scissors.  If you don't want to cut the photo make a copy and cut out a circle with the important parts in it 4" in diameter and mount.  Put aside.

II) Now select your favorite floral closeups.  As these vary in size and I didn't want to chop up large flower images there are two sizes of petals here.  Here is the wide one:
This is 4 1/2" high and 4 inches wide.  Here is the thinner one:

Choose any even numbered combination of these shapes that suit your photos and get snipping.  You will need eight and all require being cut out with the scallop scissors.  Mount the photos on top.  Here are the photo patterns, half an inch smaller all around:

III) To arrange on the page line up four petals top, bottom and sides with the edge of the page and stick down.  Now attach the other four in between.  Finally put the circle on top and your flower is done!  There ought to be some journalling but I tend towards double page spreads and this was on the other page leaving this for photos alone.  There is room top and bottom for captions.