Wednesday, 4 June 2014

A Map Garland


I've been re-arranging the mantelpiece again, changing the displays, celebrating the seasons. I love this time of year when you can buy peonies and stocks in the supermarkets so easily. Peonies are one of my favourite flowers, so showy and extravagant, and extra special as their season seems to be so short.


I was given this stunning Ken Eardley jug recently and filled it with cow parsley I picked on my way home from the school run yesterday morning. The flowers are past their best now - more green than white - but I picked some all the same and I love their cloudy, lacy texture. The combination of frothy white and pale pink reminds me of stawberry Crusha milkshakes.


I enjoyed putting this display together, all the different shades of green and white, the warmth of the copper vase and wood against the cool marble. The cow parsley I picked is echoed in the David Hockney postcard of a Yorkshire hedgerow in spring that I have propped up there. 


Our fire surround is quite monolithic and stark, and needs a bit of softening I always think, and I decided to change the garland. My favourite rainbow one felt too bright and I wanted something more subtle. I found an old, out of print Ordnance Survey landranger map of the Leeds and Bradford area that we've had knocking around for years and decided to make a paper map garland. I wanted circles (for the softer shape and to echo the flowers) and so I got an egg cup from the kitchen and drew 14 little circles all over the map and cut them out. I chose places with meaning, like where we live now, where our old house was, our local woods and Leeds city centre (where the children were born) and some of our favourite places. like Salt's Mill, Ilkley, Otley Chevin, Harewood House, Bolton Abbey and Harrogate.


I threaded them together with two strands of embroidery thread and a big needle (I tried a sewing machine but found it just shredded the paper) like so:


Then hung them across the fireplace.


I love maps and could look at them for hours, poring over the details. Place names fascinate me and we have some great ones in Yorkshire. I like the way this mantel display celebrates Yorkshire, the outdoors and spring. And it only took an hour to make. 



*****

Do you know, I only recently twigged that I have been spelling mantel wrong for, oooh, about the last two and a half years. Probably for ever. I always spelled it "mantle". But no, that is wrong. That is different! I honestly had no idea. You were all too polite to point it out. Do you know, some time ago, I wrote about some public gardens we'd seen somewhere, I can't remember where now, and my friend Debora texted me the next day and said err...you do realise you've typed "pubic" gardens on your blog, don't you? Ha! Spell check missed that one! I quickly changed it. I don't know if anyone noticed; if you did, I hope you had a giggle. It doesn't matter how many times I read through a blog post before pressing publish, I always seem to come across a mistake later on, every flipping time. It's annoying, because it makes me look sloppy and half arsed, which I'm not. Well, not much.


*****

Don't forget to enter my giveaway! It closes this Friday night, and I'll announce a winner over the weekend. 

53 comments:

Helen - sittinginthekitchensink said...

A lovely mantel! I've been eyeing up the Alice's Aviary poster for so long. I think I might just use a rainy Wednesday afternoon as a good excuse to buy it... Love the map garland - so nice to use places of meaning. I too love maps (being the daughter of a cartographer might have something to do with that though!) x P.S Spelling mistakes just make you look human, not half-arsed!

the linen cloud said...

Your mantelpiece is always perfectly styled Gillian ... so pretty ... the map garland is a great addition ... and as for spelling errors in posts I am sure I have had many ... sometimes I can't see for looking ... Bee xx

Kate Eastwood said...

Such a good idea Gillian, especially as it highlights particular places relevant to you and your family and it looks lovely on your mantel.
I'm not sure I'd have known that you were spelling mantel wrong - spelling is definitely not one of my strengths - and I chuckled when I read about mistakes made in posts and that however hard you proof read something always seems to slip through - so true with me too !
Have a great week,
Kate x

Jen Walshaw said...

Just a tip for sewing through paper, you need a really sharp needle (I sewed loads of love hearts together at valentines)! I adore the colours and the sentiment with the map. Please tell me where the vase is from I have been looking for something for an age

RedSetter said...

This is a wonderful idea Gillian. I am definitely going to poach this especially as I've got a map in the car I just cant bear to chuck despite having the new one.

Typo's and errors I should have picked up upset me unreasonably and I have to put it into perspective that it is not life threatening, tho' to hear me you'd think it was. Conversely, I often find others unintentional errors or typos hugely amusing (never the person, just the typo) because they often bring an additional layer of fun or a Freudian slip. Too many years of watching these kind of funnies on That's Life from many years ago.

Marion Ogden said...

I thought it's spelled 'mantle' too! I worry about my grammar whenever I write a post but then I just tell myself English is not my first language so I should be excused hopefully...Your mantel display looks stylish as always. The map garland is a wonderful idea and looks great. We have a bigger version of your black Newgate Metro clock. Ours is red.....Hope you're having a lovely week! x

lemonade kitty said...

What a lovely idea, one that I think we'll all be having a go of if you don't mind too much? I also love you "bird" poster....beautiful. x

Angel Jem said...

Simple and effective: I love how you used places special to you. I wonder if an old Collins Road Atlas would have the same effect or does it need the soft sepia hues of the Ordinance Survey to be really beautiful?
And a cracking gift for a teenage boy, me thinks. Especially if you use a close range map and set a treasure hunt up as well!

Curlew Country said...

Such a lovely display x I adore maps too and they're always the best present for my husband ( and my dad). My boys love looking for the rudest sounding place name too! X

Jennifer said...

I love this idea. I think it's really nice how you specifically chose parts of the map that you like or that have special meaning. I love maps too and enjoy decorating with them. I've used them to cover books as well.

Ingrid Orens said...

I love your mantel (ps I would have written it wrong as well, a word ending in -el in stead of -le is so un-english...). I particularly like that little old clock and the aviary-print !
And about re-reading a blog post - so happy to hear I'm not the only one who cannot stop re-reading before hitting the publish button... I wonder why we all are so afraid of something as futile as a spelling or a grammar error :-)...

Katie Bedlow said...

I always look forward to your seasonal mantles! That clock is perfection, I've been trawling ebay for weeks looking for just the right clock for my front room, I am hopeful! I also share your love of maps, I found a map covered wooden box recently which is already one of my favourite things!

Col | Hello Olive said...

Pubic gardens :-D Don't beat yourself up about little mistakes. Your posts are so gorgeous, and so full of detail, you're allowed a slip up here and there.

Love your new jug! x

Amy at love made my home said...

What a great idea Gillian, a good use of your map and a very pretty garland for your mantel. I wonder if adding an additional layer of paper would make the sewing work better, or could you add some iron on fabric interlining to stiffen it? I have sewn through paper before with no problems, so perhaps you just need thicker paper, as maps are fairly thin to allow for the folding. Oh and increasing your stitch length helps as it stops it just giving you perforations which you get if the stitches are very short. Anyhow, your solution is lovely and it looks great, so this is probably all irrelevant as you won't want to make one to replace this will you! Sorry to ramble! xx

Jo said...

I like the way they are actually places you admire. My bloke is really into maps. Did you know that on the OS site you can make a custom map for someone. You can add their photo on the front or a photo of their favourite place. Dad's farm in on the corner of about four OS maps but his mates from work made him a custom one and dragged Kenley to the centre and gave it to him for his 40th Birthday - it's a great bloke or baby boy present. He loves it. Do you know I haven't told enough people about that yet, but your map circles triggered my memory!! Jo x

SaraJ said...

I wish I had time, or made the time to change my mantel regularly. I had no idea it wasn't spelt correctly! I did spot the "pubic" one though and had a little chuckle. :) x

Julie said...

Reading this post made me realise I'd spelled a word wrong on my last post and I had to dash off to correct it! I think it's our perfectionist tendencies. Love the way you've used the map - I love maps too and could spend hours looking at them. x

Susan Smith said...

I love your new mantelpiece feature. I also adore poring over maps and my poor little West Yorkshire one comes out continually whilst trying to find different places. Sometimes wish I had the Nth Yks one as well.
Your flower choices are similar to mine, though here in Oz, peonies for sale are rare and "expensive", but I do pick cow parsley from the side of roads, along with a couple of others except our native flowers. Take care.

Chrissie Crafts said...

I love your garland, such a clever idea, and now my mind is racing with special places that I could use for one here! I also really enjoy seeing your mantel throughout the year, the changes and new things that make their way to this little stage...Chrissie x PS As long as you avoid the misuse of 's, you can spell mantel/mantle any way you please! ;-}

Cate said...

Aww I love your garland! Such as a sweet idea and it compliments your Yorkshire mantel display so well. My mother in law made christmas gift tags from old maps last year, I got one of Cudworth where I'm from and one of Whitley Bay where I live now, they're on my notice board so I can see them every day! x

Julia said...

Your mantel looks gorgeous! I love your new jug, and the peonies are so pretty. I am missing mine as they bloomed in May. Your paper map garland is perfect on your mantel. Such a great idea!

tangled_web said...

I love your seasonal displays! The map garland idea is fantastic :-D How do you attach your garlands to the mantel? x

Jacqui Galloway said...

What a great idea. You're map garland is a perfect way to celebrate all those special places.
Jacqui x

Jacqueline said...

Your map garland is a great idea. I thought it could be perfect for a wedding celebration, mapping where the couple were born, where they met, etc. A lovely keepsake of special places.

Charmaine Beaumont-Rixen said...

ooops… I thought that was the correct spelling too… can't win them all! love the garland, and love that the places have a special meaning too x

Kate-Em said...

Beautiful display. The map garland is a great idea. Peonies are one of my favourite flowers and I like the vases you have chosen.

Heather @ my little red suitcase said...

it's a very gentle nature loving mantel, i like maps too, Heather x

Anonymous said...

Lovely, simple idea Gillian. Garlands always make the house happier! And we all make mistakes - better to have funny ones - we all need to laugh more!

galant said...

Not being a 'crafter', thinking that cutting-and-sticking should end (ditto football!) in primary school, I am mightily impressed with that lovely map garland! What a terrific idea (provided the map was beyond use, of course) for an old, jaded, falling-apart-at-the-seams map! And I love peonies, too! My very favourite of summer flowers, even above roses. A pity they last such a short time, but glorious when in bloom, and a delicious soft scent.
Margaret P

Rae said...

hi! oh, i love the map garland! your house is adorable-peonies are one of my favorite flowers, too. Have you ever tried to dry them? they dry beautifully: just hang them gently upside down being VERY careful not to let them touch a painted or papered wall because the dye from the flowers will stain. they come out gorgeous!! very shabby chic looking. well, have a great weekend - cheers from the USA!
love your blog...
Rae

The Creative Academic said...

What a lovely idea with the maps. I'm planning a similar thing with maps of places that are special to us in frames. I love peonies too. They're just so beautiful.

Helene said...

What a lovely garland, and with your favourites places too, it feels really special.
That jug and those peonies are simply gorgeous! I love your ever changing mantelpiece.

Suzie Williams said...

Lovely mantel - and as for the spelling, when Louis went away for his year 4 residential last month, the kit list we had from his teachers said 'hopefully no willies required'.... Hehehehe! x

Mereknits said...

Love what you have done with the mantle, it looks terrific.
Hugs,
Meredith

Wainwright and Wright.Co said...

I enjoy seeing how you change your "mantel". And I have the same problem, no matter ho many times I read a post before publishing I always notice a mistake later on - even today I noticed a mistake on a 2 week old post - grrrr!
Caz xx

CJ said...

I was going to say lovely jugs but I've thought the better of it. I love maps too, I've got lots of old Ordnance Survey ones that I'm always cutting up for things. I like your garland idea. In fact I'm feeling the need to get the scissors and the maps out myself. I hope you guys have a really good weekend. CJ xx

Chrysalis said...

The garland is lovely, and the peony is amazingly beautiful. Thanks for sharing xx

rachel said...

Glad its not just me - when I tried to sew paper garlands it was a nightmare! Its beautiful - love an OS map!!

Emm.A said...

great idea! Have to look for some old maps around my house now! ;)

Mel @ Coal Valley View said...

Love your Mantel, and your garland, but can't stop laughing at your final paragraph!!! Nothing you do is half-arses Gillian. I can't bear the thought of reading over my past posts, it might cause me to give up blogging altogether!!! x

Ladybird Diaries said...

Oh I love your map garland! Such a fantastic idea and it looks great on your mantel or mantle...I had no idea that there were two ways of spelling it!
Marianne x

Louise said...

What a lovely idea to use place that mean something for this. I love maps, I collect old Peak District OS maps and love to compare them against the recent versions and see where reservoirs have been built and such, to compare differences between the old and new. I really couldn't bring myself to cut one up though, not even out battered old copy that's the most of to date but had to be replaced due to being well used (there are lots of memories within those dog eared corners, holes in creases and mud splatters!).

Karen said...

John Lewis spells it mantel and M&S goes for mantle. Think it might be one of those either/or things...yours is beautiful however it is spelt x

Gillian said...

Thanks for the needle tip Jen - it's quite likely the needle on my sewing machine needs changing, and the paper was very thin.

I hope you saw my reply on IG about the vase - if not, it's from Habitat. I bought it some years ago but it looks as though they still do it - its the small copper vase, £!8. x

Gillian said...

I don't think the type of map matters, although if I'm honest I did want the softer hues of the OS maps! But it depends on the recipient. I love your idea of setting up a treasure hunt as well, what a great idea. x

Gillian said...

Thank you! But I have to confess that the clock is a new one, by Newgate from John Lewis. I'd love to be able to say it was a rare vintage find, but alas! It's this one, if you're interested:

http://www.johnlewis.com/newgate-metro-alarm-clock-black/p231576220

Gillian x

Gillian said...

Hi Amy. I did wonder if backing the map paper with white card would have helped but I was feeling lazy and couldn't find any card in the house. Iron on fabric interfacing is a good idea, something to help stiffen it, as is increasing the stitch length - thanks for some great suggestions, Amy! x

Gillian said...

I had no idea! That is a great idea for a gift. My Dad has an impressive collection of OS maps of varying types and I think this is the sort of thing he'd really enjoy. Thanks for letting me know. x

Gillian said...

Gift tags! What a brilliant idea, I really like that. It would look great on a gift wrapped in brown paper too, with some simple string or twine. I am looking out for old maps everywhere I go now.... Thanks for sharing that Cate. x

Gillian said...

I buy these tiny clear plastic stick-on hooks, and attach them at the sides of the mantel, out of sight, They are just brilliant for fairy lights, garlands etc and you can even attach them to painted walls and remove them without damaging the paint. I like these ones, you can get them easily in stationers, supermakerts, B&Q:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Command-Mini-Hooks-Strips-17006/dp/B000FKDEGW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1402233392&sr=8-3&keywords=stick+on+picture+hooks

Gillian x

Gillian said...

Hi Rae - I did not know you could dry peonies! Thanks for letting me know, and for the tips. I'd like to try that. x

Trudy said...

Love your mantel and the changing display. Love maps too!!! Funny things happen with spell checker, I just commented on another blog about how gorgeous her new wellies were and spell checker swiftly changed it to willies (glad I noticed)!!

tangled_web said...

Thanks Gillian! I'll try to find some, I really want to be able to display more of my pretty things :-) x