Monday, May 20, 2019

A Moment of Sunshine....

Catch It If You Can.....

Some of you, Dear Readers, might have wondered where Will was now that the Lilacs were in full bloom. I can promise you that like many of us, he was hurrying to and from work every day in the rainy and gloomy weather, and had not been paying the lilacs any attention. So one sunny morning as he stepped out on the porch the blooming bush really took him by surprise! He could not believe he had not noticed before. It seemed almost as if the blossoms had appeared overnight!

It was such a magnificent sight that it stopped him in his tracks!

He was almost positive that the bush had never bloomed so beautifully before....
At least he could not remember if it had....

Or perhaps he had just been somewhere else when they bloomed!
But the scent was just Heavenly!

It made him wish he could share the experience.... 
Perhaps he would make a plan after work...!
But then, Dear Readers, there was a Moment
 when the sun really did shine in!

A Brief visit in the early morning....
Oh, what a rare thing this has been!
Can you see why I am so glad to see it shining on my Little Worlds?

I grabbed my camera to try and capture it...

 Even Will was astonished at the brilliance...!

And then it was gone!

I'll invite a few friends over for a cook-out... he decides.
This is just too special to miss!

Meanwhile, I have finished another blossom....
The Fifty-something-eth blossom!

And I added it to the vase on the mantel of The Folly.
(How many blossoms do you think each bouquet will need?)

Well, Dear Readers, it is a good thing
 that I can just keep on making lilac blossoms
 while I am waiting for the sun to shine.
Those moments are Rare, but Heavenly....
So catch them when you can!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Lilac Bouquets....

More Blossoms....

You might wonder, Dear Readers, if I have ceased making lilac blossoms yet, and the answer would be "Of course not!" There are all those bouquets that need to be supplied... and you would be surprised how many blossoms it takes to create a lush display! Since this is a slow and on-going process, you will have to accept that I started small. The above blossom in a canning jar is something I have wanted to show since Forever! In fact, this desire just might have sparked the entire lilac bush project! Ideally there would be another blossom or two added to this humble bouquet... but the larger double blossom branch was too heavy and toppled from the jar. I will show it later. But first I wanted to share with you a few more pictures of the shrub in morning light...
Because we had sunshine the other day!

This has been such a rare thing this spring!

In the RL garden the blossoms of the lilacs are still not in bloom!
The cold and the rain have been relentless....

I hope you don't mind if I dwell on the mini blooms instead!

We can pretend they are blooming everywhere!
And Meanwhile, Dear Readers, 
I am still making a blossom a week!

I wanted some of the blossoms in the bouquets
 to be the double blossom kind.....

And it really does take me two weeks to make!
But, as I said earlier, this heavier blossom
 toppled right out of the little jar.
It needed its own display.
I searched through all my houses for the proper vase...

And finally found one on The Folly mantel.... 
or rather, I found a pair of them on The Folly mantel...

Do you think this means I will have to make a Pair of lush lilac bouquets?
(I know it is too dark to see well in here....)

With a little added light..... 
can you see how Perfectly Lovely it will be to have two bouquets?
(Oh, what have I gotten myself into?)

So you can see Dear Readers, 
I have not ceased making lilac blossoms.... 
and probably will be making them
 for Quite a while longer...
because Lush bouquets need More blossoms!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Oh May!

Oh My....!

I Hope you can Imagine, Dear Readers, just how Happy I am to be able to Finally show you the Blooming Lilac Shrub! And I hope you can understand how difficult it is to get good pictures! The weather in this part of the world has been relentlessly cold and rainy and gloomy. This morning was the first sunny morning in weeks... but I leave for work before the sun climbs over the neighbor's house to shine in my windows. I tried to catch a few early pictures, but the low light just makes getting good focus really a challenge! And the "evening" shots, like the one above, either look glaringly bright or still a bit gloomy. So I will be trying to get better shots in the coming week, but meanwhile I will show you the best I could do today since the bush was only completed last night! For now, we can pretend it is early in the morning .....

And perhaps you stepped outside onto the porch.... 
and realized suddenly that spring has truly arrived...

The lilac is covered in blooms and the scent is just heavenly!

It is hard to imagine that just such a short time ago, 
the stems and branches were all so bare!

Now they are covered in a froth of bloom...

What can I say....!

I am So in love with this Lilac Bush!

The early morning does not disappoint....!
And perhaps there is a little room in our hearts
 for the artificial evening light too...!
But I can promise you one thing, Dear Readers,
 You have not see the last of this Blooming lilac shrub!
Oh Me Oh My Oh May....  
I just Love this lilac!
(Can you Believe I finished it...?!)

Monday, April 29, 2019

And Still More Leaves....

So Little To Show.... But The Promise of Spring...

I am Sure you will be screaming in frustration, Dear Readers, when I tell you that the Lilac Shrub is still not covered in blossoms. I know, it is taking forever to assemble all the parts of this soon to be Glorious blooming Lilac bush! And I will reassure you that I am Not screaming in frustration, but am jumpy with excitement that we are Almost there! But I cannot bring myself to show you even a glimpse of the shrub in progress.... I just don't want to spoil the "reveal" of the completed bush. But I can show you another little detail that I realized was necessary to add in order to complete the blooming shrub. Above you can see the beginnings of leaves which need to be added to the stems of the single blossoms. They need to be glued and painted before attaching them to the already finished blossom stems. That way there is less risk of damage to the blossoms. I have only made this sample bunch because I don't know just how many I will need in the end!

I painted them the same way I painted the rest of the leaves...
first a stripe of pale green down the middle of the top side
and then the undersides are painted in the same green.

Then the top sides get the darker green painted up to the middle,
 leaving just a thin stripe of the paler green showing for the center rib of the leaf.

Then the leaves are twisted around the blossom stem and glued securely.
(This means waiting while the glue dries!)

And when it is dry, you can shape the leaves
 as I showed you in the last post....

So the stems are pointed upwards and the leaves fold downward.
Now this blossom is ready to attach to the shrub!

And lest you think I have been doing nothing, Dear Readers,
 I will tell you that the ninety leafy stems I had completed last week
 have all been glued to the shrub!
And I have made ten more leafy stems this week,
 bringing my total to 100 leafy stems!

Here are the last ten ready to be attached to the shrub!
But I am realizing that my original estimate
 of needing 120 leafy stems was probably accurate.
So I will be doing my best to make 20 leafy stems this week.
Because I Promise you Dear Readers,
 that Next week this lilac will be in Bloom!
And just so you know,
 Mother Nature is still not ready either!

Here you can see my RL lilac shrub
 with its tiny blossom just barely started from the bud.
The lilacs rarely bloom before May in this part of the world,
 and we are having a slow start to Spring.

Yes, there are Still more leaves to make, Dear Readers,
 and the blossoms to attach as well,
 But I just can't tell you how Excited I am
 about the Promise of Spring!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Leaves At Last....

Slowly Growing....

My collection of Leafy Stems has been steadily growing, Dear Readers, and even though I have a goal of approximately 120 leafy stems for this shrub and I have only completed approximately 90 leafy stems, it has reached the point when I must begin to attach them to the shrub itself! This is because I realized that the stems need to be attached before the blossoms, to protect the delicate blossoms from being handled too much, and also because the stems have to be attached in order from the lowest or closest to the ground, to the highest in order to be able to fit them around the branches of the shrub. It is a very crowded shrub from the point of view of the leaves! Even with that in mind, the leaves are only growing on the uppermost parts of the branches, because they would not get enough light in the lowest parts of the shrub. If you have ever climbed into a large tree or shrub you will notice that the leaves are only on the very outer edges or ends of the branches, leaving the inner area open and yet sheltered at the same time. And because the "removable garden pods" that hold each of these Lilac shrubs are all unbalanced when not in the Garden, I needed to construct a "stand" to hold the shrub while under construction so that it would not tip over as I was working on it.

I simply pounded a nail through a spare piece of plywood... 
large enough to add stability but not too large for the work space...

The "pod" fits over the nail and is easily removable
 for any quick maneuvering of branches or glue or paint.

And then it was time to begin to attach all those leafy stems.... 
but not before they were carefully "shaped" 
the way they would be on a real bush.

When the lilac leaves grow, they are reaching for the sun,
 so their stems all point upwards,
 and the leaves themselves have a fold along the center,
 and open out like little parasols to catch the most sun.

Here you can see a stem with all the leaves folded.
And here the stems are pointed upwards...

And then you open out the folded leaves, 
with the stem still pointing up but the leaf pointing down...

Like this!
And you must do this for every stem!
And then wrap the stem around one of the branches and add glue.

And you need to let the glue dry on each attached leafy stem
 before you add another one... to prevent dislodging the first one. 
You can shape the leaves on the next stem while the first one is gluing....
Yes, this will take a while!

And before you have added too many stems, Dear Readers, 
you must remember to paint over the wire
 where it wraps around the branch... 
with the gray of the lilac bark
so it looks like the branch, 
not the new leafy green stem!

Here you can see I have attached about a dozen leafy stems....
I have tried to begin with the branches in the center of the shrub
 that would be the most difficult to reach... 
and to work outward from there...
So far I have added two leafy stems each
 to many of the shorter branches.
The longer branches will need more leafy stems each.

And we have to test it in place in The Folly Garden... 
to be sure we are leaving enough clearance under the roof eaves......

Those leafy branches do get crowded under there!
(I am sure you can see the nest!)
There will be more leafy branches added on the taller stems... 
and of course, the blossoms too....

And the branches in the front of the shrub will get filled in too.....

It might be slow going Dear Readers,
 but the Spring Lilac Shrub
 is getting it's Leaves at Last!