Of Flowers And Trees


Stained Glass Flower Quilt Patterns | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Lately it has been wet around here and my plans for planting our now fairly bare garden have been stagnant.  In the meantime, I moved on to working on a little indoor flower project.  This is another one of those long-forgotten quilts.  I designed my favourite flower quilt patterns in the style of stained glass window panels.  As I was drawing the flowers, they took on shapes of mineral crystals.  Since I love geology, the blocks are all named after my favourite minerals – Garnet Primrose, Kyanite Iris, Olivine Tulip and Selenite Clematis.  I made the initial blocks with the Downton Abbey fabrics.

 

 

Stained Glass Flower Quilt Patterns | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I didn’t want an usual 4 x 5 block arrangement for this quilt.  I wanted something completely different, a special layout for this one.  Until I had the layout designed, I didn’t know how many blocks I needed to make and progress stalled.  The four blocks went into the cabinet not to see the light of day again for a long time. Now it is finally time to dust off the pieces and start working on the rest of the quilt.

This is the layout I came up with.  I imagined walking through a very big garden made up of smaller, sectional gardens.  Enchanted Garden is what came to mind as the name.  Now that the layout is done, I can start making the rest of the flowers.

   

Since I always get asked about the pattern links, here they are –

Garnet Primrose pattern on EtsyKyanite Iris pattern on Etsy

Olivine Tulip pattern on EtsySelenite Clematis  pattern on Etsy

 

They are quite easy to make 12″ blocks.  Many thanks to those of you who purchased the patterns already.

 

 

Derwent Pastel Pencils Evening Sky Drawing | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I do love nature and my most favourite are the trees.  One evening, I sat down to relax with my sketchbook while running one of my favourite movies in the background.  It was early March, the trees were still very bare and the sky took on beautiful colours at sunset.  Using pastel pencils I was trying to capture those colours peeking through the silhouette of a tree.

 

 

Sennelier Oil Pastel And Derwent Pastel Pencils | Whims And Fancies

 

A few notes about oil pastel and pastel

  

Although they share the name pastel, oil pastel and pastel are really quite different from each other and cannot be used together.  I used paper stumps to blend the pastel pencils.  I tried to use the stumps to blend the oil pastel, but using my fingers proved more effective.  The heat from my finger warmed up the oil in the oil pastels, which in turn blended the colours a lot better.

 

I didn’t buy any special paper for the pastel pencils.  They worked great on Strathmore 400 Series 80lb drawing paper.  For the oil pastels, however, I used a thicker paper so the oil from the pastel would not seep through.  I used Canson 150lb smooth surface paper for the oil pastels.  I would like the try the oil pastels on canvas one day.

 

Pastel sticks create quite a lot of chalk-dust, pencils create a lot less.  That’s why I like the pastel pencils better.  They blend very easily, they smudge easily too.  Oil pastels have mineral oil which never really dries completely, so they would smudge as well.  Therefore, both of them need sealing. I used Grumbacher Matte Finish Final Fixative to seal both of them.  One thin coat was enough for the pastel pencils, but the oil pastels needed three thin coats.  I did take the time to let each coat completely dry before applying the next one.  I suggest you try out the sealant on a small test sample before you apply it to your finished painting.

 

I couldn’t find much information on this and had to figure a lot of this out by playing.  So, in case you paint, I thought you might find this information helpful.

 

 

Van Gogh style Field Of Wildflower Oil Pastel Painting with Sennelier Oil Pastel | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I painted this Field Of Wild Flowers with oil pastels in the style of Van Gogh.  As you can see, they behave quite differently than pastel pencils.  I wrote about his painting a couple of weeks ago in The Master And The Apprentice.

 

 

Copic Marker Landscape Painting | Whims And Fancies

 

 

One Friday, it was raining outside and I was feeling like doodling after work, but without taking out a whole pile of painting paraphernalia.  So I pulled out my box full of markers.  I have never used markers for landscape painting before, so this was a first for me.  Markers can get quite expensive and they can’t be mixed together to create new colours. Since I don’t have an unlimited supply, I lined up the shades I had at home and doodled away at this picture of trees in the morning at the local park while listening to the patter of rain.

 

 

Spring Vetch Flower | Whims And Fancies

 

 

I leave you with a photo of a tiny little Spring Vetch adding its splash of colour to the countryside around here.

Hope you find some inspiration in flowers and trees this week as well!
-Soma

 

I am also linking up on Through My Lens, Our World TuesdayWednesday Around The World, Seasons, and Friday Photo Journal along with other linky parties on my Events And Links page.

 

 

 

 

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Garnet Primrose And The Rest Of Sweden

Garnet Primrose Flower Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Garnet Primrose pattern on Etsy

 

I continue to work on my Downton Abbey stained glass flower quilt.  Garnet Primrose is the last of the four flowers I designed for this quilt.  Since the rest of the flower quilt patterns look like mineral crystals, I made the tips of the primrose petals less curved to keep with the theme.  I have always loved the deep red colour of garnet, plus, I also find schist – the metamorphic rock in which garnet is found – fascinating.  So I had to name this flower after the mineral garnet.

 

The Garnet Primrose flower quilt pattern is also on my Etsy shop.  Just like the other flowers, it is also a 12″ block.

 

 
Downton Abbey Stained Glass Flower Quilt Patterns | Whims And Fancies

 

Links to the patterns

 

Top Row – Garnet Primrose on EtsyKyanite Iris on Etsy

Bottom Row – Olivine Tulip on EtsySelenite Clematis  on Etsy

 

Here is the initial set of blocks for my quilt.  I have already printed out more copies of each pattern.  Now I need to work on the quilt layout so I know exactly how many of each flower I need to make.  Thank you for your lovely words on these quilt blocks and many thanks also to those who have purchased the blocks already.

 

I also have the last few photos of Sweden that I want to share with you.  Last time I left off at the Lerkaka windmills in Öland.

 

 

Eketorps Borg Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The next day began at Eketorps Borg.  It is a reconstructed Viking fortress, which is closed during September.  My husband emailed them about a private tour.  We were very surprised to get a reply back and we were not disappointed. Gabriella and her friend, who are both archaeologists, were waiting for us when we got there.  While her friend got busy with getting ready for the last celebration of the season, Gabriella gave us an extremely detailed tour and answered all of our many questions very patiently.  We even got to see the meticulously created props for the festival which are usually off-limits to the public.

 

 

Eketorps Borg Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

This is the back wall of one of the reconstructed huts.  These replicated wall hangings are modelled after fragments that were found during excavation.  There is a reconstructed loom on the right side of the room.  After the tour the four of us spent more time chatting about the history of that area over coffee.  That completely derailed our tight schedule, but we were having so much fun that we didn’t want to rush out of there.

 

 

Gravfalt Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

We finally forced ourselves to say goodbye to the two lovely ladies.  On our way to the Borgholm Castle we stopped by Gettlinge Gravfält – a prehistoric burial site.  This is one of the many burial sites on the island.

 

 

Kalmar Runestone Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

There are also many rune stones in Öland.  You could literally spend days spotting them!

 

 

Borgholm Castle Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

It was a fairly long drive from Eketorps Borg to Borgholm Castle.  Due to the extra time spent at Eketorps Borg and at the burial site, we only had an hour at the castle before they closed.  It was a rushed visit, but we managed to see all of it.

 

 

Borgholm Castle Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

It is a castle ruin, most of the flooring is now missing.  There are four towers, one at each corner.  I took the photo of this tower from the top level.  We were desperately hungry by this time since we had skipped lunch to get here on time.  So it was time to forage for some food.

 

 

Ismantorps Borg Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

Light was starting to fail as we drove toward Ismantorps Borg.  We walked through a short path through an extremely quiet wood at this remote place during dusk.  I could almost feel the spirits of the prehistoric people in that place.  Ismantorps Borg is a ruin, but remnants of leftover structures can still be seen.  It is suggested that it was not used as a fortress, but as a place for worship.  There is an alter-like area in the middle.

We clambered up on a wall, speculating about the area over a coffee break.  As I was coming down after taking this photo, my ankle twisted and I took a spectacular fall.  Luckily I was able to put my hands out in front of me and my face didn’t meet the rock underneath.  I got away with a limp and some bruises.

 

 

Kalmar Castle Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

We spent the next morning at Kalmar Castle.  It is an impressive renaissance castle that faces the sea on one side.  We walked all around the ramparts and also alongside the castle wall.  This photo is taken from one of the ramparts.    It was such a beautiful day, sunny, cool and lightly breezy.  A group of four young boys and girls were having a small picnic up here.

 

 

Kalmar Castle Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

The rooms were beautifully decorated with panelling and paintings.  We were really happy about our decision to spend the whole morning there.  After lunching at Kalmar Cafe inside the castle we started on our drive toward the west.

 

 

Lund Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

On the way to Malmö where we would overnight, we stopped at Lund to see the astronomical clock inside Lund cathedral.   Very much like Uppsala, the university here is also located close to the cathedral.  It made for a very nice afternoon walk.

 

 

Ales Stenar Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

In the morning we drove from Malmö to Ystad by the seaside to see the stone ship, Ales Stenar.  It is a megalithic structure shaped like a ship.  It may have had astronomical significance as well.

 

 

Malmo Sweden | Whims And Fancies

 

 

We were going to spend a little time in Malmö before leisurely taking a train back to Stockholm airport.  Unfortunately, on the way back from Ystad, we got stuck in a road closure due to a traffic accident.  That and the returning of the rental car hardly left us any time at Malmö.  A few rushed minutes at the town centre and it was time for us to depart Sweden.

Thank you so much for travelling along with me.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing about it.

We explored Sweden in 9 days, across 1500 miles, 22 cities and 1111 photos.  We had to forgo visiting a few places in favour of spending more time at others, but we are very happy with the choices we made.

 

 

Previous Sweden Travel Stories

Kiruna To Umeå

Umeå To Falun

Falun to Öland

 

Happy Holidays Everyone!
-Soma
 

 

 

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