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19.11.12

52 Something old, something new ...


Late last autumn I accepted Sue of Backlane Notebook's Cut Flower Challenge. This is how I described it at the time ...
With only your garden, allotment if you have one, and local hedgerows to pick from, can you pull together some cut flowers to adorn your home each and every week of the year. Rather crazily I've decided to give it a go. Crazy because we have a minuscule courtyard garden, no allotment, and although there are a lot of hedgerows hereabouts I won't find much that's useful growing wild in winter.
Crazy, but I did it! The foliage you see here belongs to week fifty-three. That's fifty-two weeks of a foraged floral something on the table and just one week when I rebelled and there were bought blooms in the house.

It's been fun, but I won't pretend I didn't miss the tulips, sweet peas and sunflowers that are usually among my farmers market buys, and the occasional 'big bunch of something' treat from the local florist. I'm sure I'll continue to come by my flowers for free whenever I can, but on Friday I'm going shopping for roses and just this once I won't give a fig where they have come from !


Do you like my jug? Just such a green jug featured large in my childhood - it held milk at breakfast, custard at dinner, and cocoa or Ovaltine at bedtime - but I had no idea that it was a Wood's Beryl Ware jug from the 1940s - popular in post war canteens apparently - until I recently found its twin in a thrift store. Needless to say, I had to make this lookalike mine. Well could you have resisted?

The felt heart was made by Ellie and I've fashioned a little hook for it. As I mentioned before, I was lucky enough to win it in her giveaway. The fibre is Black Welsh cross Texcel from her sister's sheep and I love the woolly simplicity of it.

I can see this jug full of red-berried holly in the weeks ahead and I thought I'd maybe make a second heart to hang from that hook, in red and cream to suit the season. I have a length of very rustic, undyed merino felt somewhere, I must find it.

Or I might just use my new purchase for my knitting needles ... I could do with somewhere to store them close to hand. I'd need to keep them paired though, and I'm thinking I'd like to label them somehow with their millimetre sizes as many are either Imperial - the smaller the diameter the larger the number - or American - the smaller the diameter the smaller the number. First kitchen scales versus measuring cups, now knitting needles ... could there not be just a little more consistency in the world!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Many, many thanks for all your responses to my last post - please do let me know if you try Becca's chocolate cake recipe - and welcome to all my new commenters and followers, Elaine at Ted and Bunny, Gilly at Gilly Makes, Kate at Kit and Kaboodle, Connie, Maria, Irene, and Kate, who I can't seem to find a link for, sorry. I do hope I haven't missed someone, please let me know if I have! Oops, I did, sorry Jenny at The Custards (Annie hangs head in shame).

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52 comments :

  1. I was just heaping myself with praise for having flowers from the garden on the kitchen table in late November, but I see now that there are greater heights to reach for. Your green jug has a very comforting look.

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  2. Well done on completing your challenge Annie!
    Your jug is beautiful, I love a jug, there's something very useful about a jug, so much can be done with it! Pretty little heart too. :)
    Vivienne x

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  3. Well done keeping that up for a whole year! It is so difficult to buy ethically - I know of a project growing flowers in Kenya which allows families to send their children to school for the first time....it is hard to judge. Enjoy your roses anyway, just because they are roses!

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  4. I totally empathise and would be very happy if there was more consistency on the crochet abbreviation front! I seem to be alternating between UK and US terminology depending on the pattern to the point that I now can't remember either definition without a reference.

    I remember you starting the flower challenge a year ago and thinking it was a great idea. I picked some wildflowers while on the caravan trip and that was the end of the challenge for me. Well I think I will do it as a 52 week challenge for next year.

    I love your jug, especially the colour. I love the green depression glassware that you find in thrift stores too. Why is everything from war eras green? And your sweet felt heart is just lovely - lucky you!

    Mel x

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  5. Lovely jug...I know exactly what you mean...I happened to quite accidentally inherit my great-grandmother's Pyrex mixing bowls. They are such a treasure to me, and when I broke the smallest red bowl, I scavenged antique stores until I found the replacement!

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  6. I love the first shot of the soft green jug on the gingham cloth and that delicate tendril green hanging down. That little heart sets it off so well and your idea of making one red and cream for the new jug sounds good!

    Yes, cups and grams and ounces and now some knitting needles with numbers and others with letters! What about aperture in photography? The bigger the number, the smaller the opening?!

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  7. After days focused on celebrating my youngest daughter's wedding, I have enjoyed viewing your posts I had missed, Annie, and especially enjoyed your photos...your 'study of green' is lovely. Thanks for posting. xx from Gracie

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  8. I love Beryl Ware. I read somewhere that the teapot was a 'good pourer'.

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  9. Your photos and arrangement are lovely, it's amazing what can be found to make a lovely vase of greenery. Your jug is beautiful and no I would not have been able to resist buying its lookalike; I love visiting second-hand stores for unusual items.
    xoxoxo ♡

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  10. well done on your challenge Annie, and I love the jug too. it would look be a very stylish home for your needles, mine live in a golden syrup tin.

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  11. I will miss your weekly floral arrangements - they were always so beautiful and I loved them. Might have to take up the challenge myself now! You certainly learn something new every day don't you and it was interesting to discover that Kenyan roses might actually be more green in terms of fuel used to grow and transport them than those from Holland! Your little mosaic of photos is as always beautiful and I look forward to seeing your jug used for other things and maybe your little red heart too.

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  12. I like that expression 'flowers for free'. That sums me up. I stopped buying supermarket flowers a couple of years ago. I definitely like the natural looking flowers or greenery you can see out and about, with the odd exception of course! a nice jug and love green gingham, Heather x

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  13. It's the first time I've heard of this challenge, Annie. But now that I have I must try it. Especially as I've taken over a rather neglected garden. Each year will get better than the last. I hope!

    I do like the vase, and the photographs are lovely. Jx

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  14. I really love that felt heart. Its funny as I am usually such a colour obbsessive and anything that dosent zing usually I pass by. But the minute I saw that heart I thought ooo I really like that. Funny how we can be stopped in our tracks but such funny things.

    I do love the jug as well (and rather compliments the heart). Well done on your challenge. I bet although you have missed your usual colour you have had some amazing displays you wouldnt of thought possible. Do you think it has changed you a little in what you might put together in the future?

    Hope though that you enjoy your beautiful roses when you purchase them, nothing like it really is there.

    P x

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    1. I certainly discovered some interesting floral combinations ... I think my favourite was field buttercups and mint that had bolted ... yellow, blue and green, it was lovely. And I've also learnt that you can rapidly tire of little posies and tussie mussies, sometimes you need a proper armful of flowers! But will it change how I do things? Only in so much as I'll continue to buy as few flowers as possible.

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  15. I like your jug! And your little brown heart - is it felt?
    Gorgeous as always!
    xox

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  16. I love to have flowers in the house. I'm not sure if I could find some in the garden all year round - I think many of them would be 'weeds'. As for the jug I have more than one of these but love my blue one best. If I find some flowers today, I'll blog about it...

    Penny
    x

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  17. I use the hedgerows and our own overgrown hedge this time of year too Annie. Beautiful pictures as ever x

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  18. Isn't it lovely to have happy memories brought back by something you see in a magazine or find in a thrift shop! Lucky you! I think it would look lovely with red holly berries and twigs frosted lightly with that spray on!
    I have a zip up carrier for my knitting needles with all the different sizes marked out but do I keep them there? Some I do have stuck out of jugs and others are spread around where I tend to be to sitting at the time....I really must spend time sorting them out! whatever you use it for...enjoy!! Joan

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  19. The foliage challenge sounds perfect - it might make its way into the dreaded New Years Resolutions as a cheery, happy challenge! Wonderful photographs. Maggie.

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  20. Precious photos!

    Precious challenge!

    And please add different *sizes* of photos, to your growing list of inconsistencies-in-measuring. I am trying to change photos from MB, to KB. Eeeek! Who knew??? Certainly, not I. -moan-

    :-)

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  21. I love LOVE the idea of this challenge. It sounds challenging indeed, but worth a go...hmmm, I might have to give it a try as well. I love the idea and I think you would learn so much arranging by trial in error.

    You are so right about the differences in US vs UK - why aren't some things more standardized? We could just start with the plugs :)

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  22. Well done on rising to the challenge, it must be satisfying to know that the arrangements haven't had to travel for miles in order to brighten up your home. I love the jug, especially for little posies from the garden or hedgerow.

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  23. Oh I adore Woods ware, especially the green. Such beautiful simplicity!
    Victoria xx

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  24. Dear Annie
    I really enjoyed your post - OK, there may have been a vested interest in seeing the heart as well! It is so nice to see it being used as a decoration, because usually I don't get to see their lives once they leave me! I have made a couple of scandinavian influenced white/cream merino hearts with red and white gingham ribbon and it worked really well. I do like my sister's sheep's wool though as it gives a lovely texture with the mottled colours (even though it takes ages to felt as it resists the process a bit and has to be almost beaten into submission - that's why texel is used for carpets, I suppose!)
    I love the jug too - we have got some of that style too and I particularly like the gentle colours.
    Best wishes (and thank you again)
    Ellie

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  25. Very witty post today. I love it. Great idea for the wild flower displays. I never would have thought of using hedgerow plants. I wouldn't exactly be stuck for choice being stuck here in the middle of the Irish bog!!

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  26. I'm sure you are feeling a great sense of accomplishment (and relief!) that you made it through the cut flower challenge. What a great discovery to find the twin to the jug you grew up using! And I love the felted heart. I especially love that it was made from Black Welsh. It is on the top of my "must knit with" list. In fact, I was looking just this week at some websites that carry Black Welsh yarn.

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  27. Your jug is gorgeous and my favourite colour, no wonder you couldn't resist it. Well done completing your challenge, sounds like it must have been quite a difficult one at times! xx

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  28. The jug brings back lots of fond memories for me too. We had a whole set but somehow it is the jug I remember most........possibly because ours too often held custard! Juliex

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  29. I have a bit of a thing for utility china and have quite a bit of woods ware both the green Beryl and the yellow Jasmine. I can't think of a nicer vessel for your knitting needles. Well done on the cut flower challenge and enjoy your roses x

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  30. Late November....and still a few things to pick! I just brought in what will most likely be the last of the roses....although I've been saying that through two frosts! The little green jug looks perfect for your arrangement.....as does the little heart!!! How lucky to be a winner!

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  31. Well done, mind you I always think of you as a resourceful person, so I'm not surprised! Love the little story attached to your jug! :)

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  32. I'm sure you will enjoy those roses and congratulations in meet the challenge despite your small courtyard garden.
    I love your vase and hope you will take another photo of it for us with those red berries.
    Sarah x

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  33. I was just thinking about this today as I looked at the unattractive flowers in the supermarket wondering how to put a little cheer around the house - before it gets decked out. I really must try a bit harder tomorrow and go on a forage.

    Nina x

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  34. your outdoor pickings look so bright and fresh and yes, i do like your jug, i have the same one (well i think so anyhow) from my mother-in-law.
    love jooles x
    P.S enjoy your roses!

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  35. Annie you did so well to resist buying flowers for all those weeks. A cheap supermarket posey is one of my main pick-me-ups! The jug is simple and classic and full of history - I certainly could not have resisted it. x

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  36. We have two of those Beryl jugs. One is precious as Mike's mum kept the milk in the fridge in it so it's part of his childhood. The other is chipped and any old how so I keep the colouring pencils in it. WOnder what you'll end up putting in yours Annie.

    X

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  37. Having saved so much money on supermarket flowers that jug is a fitting gift to self! Brilliant challenge but I'm not sure I wold manage it although I do love a natural arrangement x

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  38. I love the drama of your header. It's like a book cover or poster.
    The green mug is cute. What a neat thing to collect. And cool how you filled it w/a small cutting from the garden. That's a great way to bring in some mother nature. Your possibilities for how to use the mug are creative.

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  39. Yes, your header is a really lovely photo - as are the rest. Nothing wrong with foraged items, whether to consume or to beautify your space.

    I'm with you on the 'too much choice' issue. Life becomees more and more unneccesarily complex, doesn't it? Lx

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  40. Therein lies the joy of thrifting! Finding a small snippet from your childhood or Nan's house can be a pure, nostalgic delight!
    I have a yellow jug full of old collected knitting needles which I just save for the delicious colours. I do not need more but can never pass them up in an op shop. Somebody clacked away with them making items of love and quiet calm. It is a bouquet of little talismans of goodness.

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  41. What a challenging challenge - helps with sparking the creativity.

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  42. It was a lovely idea of a challenge all that time ago - but really well done you for keeping it going. I don't have a garden...yet! But I haven't bought a lot of flowers either as ...how can I say this...the Spanish seem to have crap ideas about what flowers to sell. Mostly they do fit their purpose - to put on the graves of loved one; or elaborate, formal, unimaginative arrangements for elderly mothers' birthdays...at least in this town. Axxx (That was a moan - probably because I am feeling a bit ashamed about and fed up with my awful, unadorned, unloved rented home at the moment.)

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  43. The jug was always going to be yours, wasn't it?!! And congratulations on your year-long challenge, crikey I'm impressed : -)

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  44. Well done you! That's a long haul..fifty three weeks...longer than a school year, longer than a year at uni! Your green jug is fabulous, so versatile and pretty.

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  45. such a wonderful challenge. I also gather from my garden and from the roadside too and from my work but it is so much more difficult when winter last for months on end.

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  46. I'm impressed that you kept up with the challenge every week. I started with great enthusiasm but it waned a little with all the rain and some of my arrangements have been more suited to a buttonhole than a vase. It certainly made me look at plants in a different way and rather than cursing the veg for going to seed I just picked the seedheads and arranged them inside.

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  47. I do so love those jugs Annie, isn't it a treat when you find a "twin" of a much loved item in a junk/charity shop it thrills me. I love to use jugs and tea pots for my found flowers too, I was thinking of going for a rummage in the countryside this weekend to find me some pretties to gather in my house,but then again its pay day tomorrow and I jolly well might just join you in spending some pennies for some flowery cheer :o) I do hope you get great joy from your roses xox Penelope

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  48. I have one of those jugs plus a random assortment of other Beryl pieces. They were my great grandmothers and my grannies originally. I have given some away but the last few bits I have kept as they remind me of them. I too use my jug to put flowers in!

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  49. [Gasp!] I love the look of that jug AND that pretty little heart. Your photos are gorgeous! Congrats on the challenge, not something that could be accomplished here I'm afraid... Frozen solid :D

    Janine x

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  50. Beautiful jug, lovely heart, and congrats on keeping up with the Backlane Notebook challenge!

    One nice thing about crochet hooks - at least the aluminium kind - they're all stamped with at least two forms of size identification. :)

    P.S. I'm noticing some fun new things on your blog - "Back in Time" / "to the Future", the cute little comments icon. Looking good!

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