Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
This week, we will focus on using images of cacti and succulents on functional and decorative items for the home and look at ways that these can be incorporated into various decorating styles.
First, images of cacti and succulents can appear in the form of posters, art, and botanical prints. They can be used on all sorts of materials ranging from wood to paper and fabric. For example, for summer use create a folding fireplace screen for summer use stenciled with the cacti or succulents of your choice. A similar approach can be used with folding screens to be used as room dividers.
Don’t neglect the obvious. Take an everyday thing like lamp shades, which are essential, and dress them up with images of succulents and cacti.
Various ornamental items, such as decorative umbrellas, can be charming as part of indoor décor. Stencil these with images of succulents and cacti. Once the paint is dry, either hang the umbrella from the ceiling or set the umbrella on the floor in a corner where it will be out of the line of traffic.
It’s a pity that murals aren’t used very much any more. Those talented at painting can create picturesque scenes using cacti and succulents. Typically, these are used in the more public rooms of the home, such as entries, dining rooms, and living rooms. In small rooms, such murals can make a tiny space seem so much larger.
For textiles, there is no shortage of projects we can do with images of cacti and succulents. The only limit is your imagination.
I have found some beautiful fabrics that depict blooming cacti in pots. The fabric store had several colors in stock. One had a dark blue background. I chose the one with burnt orange for this fit better into my color scheme. If you shop around, you are sure to find other similar kinds of textiles.
These textiles can be used for so many items in home décor. This can be for everything from window treatments, pillows, and upholstery to table linens, place mats, and napkins. Pillows can be used to soften the look of a room.
When you don’t find the plant-decorated fabrics you want, then do it yourself. It is easy to do with a computer and printer using your own photos. To learn how, get a copy of “The Ultimate Color Printer Craft Book” by Susan Krzywicki et al, published by Watson-Guptill. This presents over 35 projects for ink-jet printers, and gives illustrated, step-by-step directions along with a list of tools you will need. Many of these are suitable for novices.
An entire chapter is devoted to fabrics. Among these projects are quilts, napkins, and other items. They include a chapter on decorating ideas as well, such as tables, custom-made wallpaper, wallpaper decals and borders, and organizers. In addition, there are chapters for paper projects and ideas for the holidays.
Learn how to use your own photos of plants to create appliqué patterns for pillows, quilts, wall hangings, and other items around the house from a recent book released by the American Quilter’s Society. “Fabric Photo Play” was written by quilt designer Julia C. Wood. By following her fully illustrated, step-by-step instructions, those with no art experience can recreate photos from fabric. Never fear for she also explains how to select the fabrics and put the pieces together. She tells how to use your computer’s photo-editing software to create the pattern from your photo. Though the photos shown in her examples are pets and family portraits, this same technique can apply to plant photos.
Award-winning fabric artist Margaret Cusack has taken appliqué to new heights. She is noted for her Americana textile artworks. Her work appears in numerous American museums. She has written “Picture Your World in Applique-Creating Unique Images with Fabric,” which was also published by Watson-Guptill. By using the techniques presented here, you can create exquisite wall hangings, banners, quilts, and artwork realistically depicting cacti and succulents. All of the seven projects presented here are machine-stitched. For each, there are complete step-by-step instructions, and patterns, all of which are illustrated with over 200 color illustrations. Cusack explains how to work with photographs, and how to design your pattern. The book is illustrated with 200 color photos.