Art And Craft

Bring Paradise to You

One of the nice things about have artistic talent, is that you can make crafts as gifts for other people or to spruce up your environment, work or home. I know. I have been making things for what seems like centuries and I learn new techniques all the time. Of course you have to have an eye for pattern, shape, proportion, and color and how to find appropriate materials like paper and fabric, ribbon and yarn. The more unique your materials, the more individual will be the outcome. People love my gifts and I try to suit them to the receiver. It’s easy if they like afghans, monogrammed towels, or painted vases. I can give them something new and different every year. What is it about homemade things that make people tear up? It reminds them of grandma or a former era when machine manufacturing was not the norm. I say yes—abandon the factories. Let’s make our own decorations.

This was my mindset when I took a look at my backyard. The focal point is the above ground pool but there is not much else. It is pretty simple and plain, but that’s exactly what all of the best above ground pools look like. I start pondering what I can do and the ideas flow. I will turn the area into a tropical paradise using my best craft skills. First I have to have a plan. The patio needs fabric chairs with cushions and accent pillows for pizzazz. I have a covered area and it needs a vine. I also add potted plants around the perimeter. I paint the pots in different colors that bring out the palette of the chairs. I add a small glass top table with two wrought iron chairs so someone can have a meal without putting a plate in their lap. The chairs I paint, of course; what else would you expect. Their cushions are homemade and of a contrasting fabric. So what you see is a lot of variety of hues and textures. All the fabrics are weatherproof and should last many seasons. This is the basis of my tropical paradise. The flowers on the vine help establish the theme. The luxurious green of the potted plants adds immeasurable to the effect. I put up some fisherman’s netting on one wall of the patio and place a variety of seashells within it. It is just as an element of surprise.

Now for the above ground pool. I float a raft on the water’s surface and cover it with tropical flowers. I will have to replace them every now and then, but the effect is magical. More plants in beds adjacent to the pool amplify the entire concept. There is a nice green space consisting of a real lawn that makes the pool even more inviting than it already is. I place some tropical theme towels on a bench by the pool in a stack. In the summer, they get plenty of use. My tropical paradise comes alive for friends and neighbors. I have done my work on a major project. Now on to the next.