Orchids: Silk versus Real

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How do you feel about silk plants?  Are you a purist who will only allow fresh flowers in your home?  Do you frequent the silk flower section at Michaels, Hobby Lobby or Dollar Tree?  Or, are you perhaps somewhere in between?  I place myself in the latter category and in just a minute,  I will show you why.  Before I do, I wanted to show you an article that I found from Architectural Magazine.  Let me quote just a little,

“Mention fake plants to most people and the response will be outrage—artificial flora is a soulless simulacrum, they moan, a horticultural travesty, and just plain tacky. John Updike, the novelist, called them an “obscene mockery”.  Yet no less a design authority than Mario Buatta swears by potted silk orchids, saying they look like the real thing and are godsend for clients who travel so frequently they can’t keep real ones alive.”

I couldn’t agree more.  Case in point?  This little natural beauty:

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Stunning, isn’t it?  Ahem.  Actually it looked great for about 2 months I would say.  I made sure that I didn’t water it too much.  I made sure that no water ever touched the leaves.  I made sure that it wasn’t in direct sunlight, yadda, yadda, yadda.  I was quite proud of my little orchid and of my apparent green thumb.  But, like all good things, the blooms came to an end.  I was left with just that one little bloom.  After some research I learned that if I continued to care for the “plant” with just the right amount of watering, right placement, etc. it could bloom again!  In about a year.  Hmmmph.   The phrase, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” comes to mind.   Into the trash it went.

And check out the orchid that I have had for almost 10 years:

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It is still as beautiful as the day that I bought it.  The only upkeep is a light leaf-dusting every couple of months.  The only thing that I have changed is the pot color.  Teal spray paint with a bit of Minwax Ebony stain to age it.

Here is my mom’s fake orchid:

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It’s a beauty, isn’t it?  It has been looking this fabulous for 3 or 4 years now.  When my sister gave her the orchid, she started messing with the branches to reshape them, and Mom finally said, “I’m afraid that you are going to break it.”  My sister then answered, “Mom, you do know that this is fake, right?”  She didn’t.

Which makes my point perfectly.  Is it really such a travesty to have fake plants, in this case orchids, if they can forever be in bloom, looking vivid and fabulous?  My answer?  An emphatic “No!”  Of course I do still love real flowers, as well.   I’m pretty well-rounded that way.

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So, what do you think?  Are silk plants/flowers allowed in YOUR home?

 

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Recycled Jeans Satchel

 

At this very moment, do you have any jeans in your home that really should be in the trash?  I’m talking holey, stained, terribly out of style jeans that you know will never be worn again?   I recently came across some jeans destined for landfill and I decided to check out Pinterest (of course!) to see what I could make with them instead.  Although I found some really fun projects, I didn’t see anything that screamed, “Make me!”.   Not knowing what I was going to make, I started cutting and this is what I ended up with.

Recycled Jeans Satchel

I kind of love them!  Think of it as a satchel for putting your phone, lipstick, or whatever you need, in.   Do you ever find yourself wearing an outfit that doesn’t have pockets?  Maybe a dress, skirt, yoga pants?  It’s kind of a pain.  Make one of these simple satchels and you won’t need to carry your stuff in your hands or have a full on purse when you really don’t need it.  Ready?  Set?  Go!

First step, cut off the pockets.  Easy!  Cut only the bottom layer (not the finished pocket edges) and leave a bit of fabric on the top.

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Flip it over and hot glue the top edge down so you can have a finished-looking front.  Back doesn’t look too bad, either.

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For the flowers I did an internet search for “flower template”.  Here are the two that I used: 4-petal-heart-template and Flower-Pot-Card-Template.  It is best to have at least 3 different sizes, so I had to do some re-sizing in Word.  Once you have a paper pattern, cut it, then trace it on your fabric,

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then cut out the fabric.  Might as well cut out two layers at a time, right?   I wanted the denim to looked a bit frayed,  so I just scraped the fabric edges with my fingernail to get that effect.

To assemble the flower, grab some thread, a needle and a button and sew the button through all of the layers…or…hot glue each layer and add the button to the top.  Then just hot glue the flower to the pocket.   Play around with positioning before gluing.

For the strap, cut out the inseam starting up one leg and once you reach the crotch, going down the other leg, then back up and down the other side.  Most, if not all jeans have double stitching for the inseam so just cut near the finished edges on each side of the stitching.  Easy-peasy!

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And this is what you get:

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At this point, determine how long you want your strap to be, cut to size, then hot glue on the back like so:

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Done!  Check it out!

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I have been asked to be in charge of crafts for a young women’s camp this summer and this is definitely one that we will  make.  My goal is to have the girls create items that are useful, not something to shove in the back of a drawer once they get home.   I think that they will like them.

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What do you think?

 

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Nemcsok Farms