Art and Craft / Gardening / Home Decor

Inspired by California Native Plants

Over the past few months, I have fallen really hard… for California native plants. Last year, I planted a few Ceanothus aka California Lilac, a few Mimulus aka Monkeyflower, and some others.   After they got settled their first year, they have flowered and grown beautifully in this, their second.  But here’s the most amazing part – they have received no supplemental water.  After lightly watering them the first year, I have given them not a lick of water… and they like it that way!

With our ongoing drought, this is especially practical.  But the best part for this lover of natural beauty is that California natives produce beautiful flowers that attract tons of bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.  So I’ve decided to allot much of the front yard landscape and certain non-irrigated areas of the back to the low to no water natives.  This year, I’m looking at Manzanitas, native Butterfly Weed, other varieties of California Lilac, Buckwheats and Flowering Currants.

Observing bees in our little oasis gives me such a deep, peaceful joy.  So during my most recent crafting session, I decided to make a few home decor items to celebrate that love.  Before I share my projects with you, I feel like I need to be completely honest with you about the state of my studio – it’s out of control.  OMG it’s never been this bad.  How about yours?  Well, for the time being, I will remind myself what they say about creatives and how this is just how it is for us.  At least I keep the rest of the house in order.   Can you hear the rationalizing/justifying?  Oh well.  Over the next few days, I’ll have a good chunk of time to get it in order.  Please wish me luck in that endeavor!   Since it’s been like this, I’ve lately just been grabbing whatever is close to me and working with it.

This time, I grabbed a few squares of corrugate that were in a bag under my table and headed for the trash.

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I die-cut some fun foam letters using Tim Holtz’s new Typo Lower XL Alphabet Die.  This die is a bit pricey, but if you are like me and you like to use words in your projects that might not be readily available as dies or stamps, it’s a great die to have.  With the Bigz type die, you can die-cut nearly everything you can think of.  In my case,  I love that I can make a word stamp, adhere it to a corrugate scrap, use it, and not fret about keeping it safe in the midst of my “creative mess.”  If I lose it, I can easily make another with my indestructible Bigz XL die that is impossible to lose 🙂  For the Sizzix Sandwich, I placed die and a piece of self-adhesive fun foam between my Cutting Pads and sent this through my Big Shot.

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I stamped onto my corrugate scrap using white pigment ink – lovely variations in the imprint.  I love this style of Tim’s fonts – homey, informal, warm even.

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For my second corrugate scrap, I decided to make a stamp using Tim’s Doily Thinlits Die.  This one I’m going to want to keep awhile – the detail is amazing!

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I adhered it to a piece of corrugate to have on hand to use whenever the feeling strikes.  I was too lazy to pull off all the leftover bits – but no big deal.  I have a wonderfully unique stamp!

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OMG I can’t get over how detailed the impression is – truly lacey.

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I have a set of equally delicate Wildflowers dies from Tim Holtz that I want to feature.  They remind me of the types of carefree native plants that grow here in California.  But before die-cutting those, I prepare a white mat for them using a die from the Stitched Rectangles Thinlits Set.

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This Die Brush and Foam Pad make releasing those detailed die-cuts a cinch.  It’s actually quite gentle on lovely die-cuts like this one from the Wildflowers Thinlits Set.  Much gentler than my fingers.

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I love how these turned out, so much so that I’m going to display them nestled among some other favorite things in our living room.

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What’s super satisfying about these pieces is that except for the white cardstock I used to make the mats, everything else came from scraps.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

-V

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3 thoughts on “Inspired by California Native Plants

  1. Please post pics of your CA native flowering plants. I didn’t know there was a CA lilac! So glad you are enjoying your gardening/landscaping. It is so rewarding!

  2. I grew up on the Mojave Desert. Your post brings back memories 😉 I miss your videos so much. You have such a pleasant voice and interesting perspective.

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