Sunday, February 28, 2010

Things That Make You Go Hmmm

Again, love has blinded me to reality.

The instructions for this wall hanging say to "freehand draw the branch as shown on the piece of fabric."

Um, okay. Sure.

*record scratching noise*

Wait, what? Branch?

Yes, the pattern shows a branch -- a tree branch! One that looks very much like a gnarly apple tree, if you ask me, except that instead of apples hanging from it, there are Chinese lanterns!



One of these things is not like the other.

Chinese lanterns, or Physalis alkekengi, grow along the stems of an 18-24 inch plant.

You can cut them for a vase or container and the stems will dry out, but they don't usually turn dark brown, and they do not resemble an apple tree branch. The pattern even has you using a marbled fabric that resembles wood.

Alas, the lovely "Climbing Lanterns" has presented me with a dilemma. Do I suspend reality and make it as pictured, or go out on a limb and come up with a (possibly horrendous) alternative?

I need a couple of aspirin and some time to sort this out. Comments and suggestions appreciated.

6 comments:

GaelicAmethyst said...

So, is it necessary to use "chinese lanterns" on the branch? Since they are red, can you round them out a little bit and turn them into apples, or cherries, or something like that? I say, do what feels right to you. If authentic is what is necessary for you to be happy with it, go for authentic. If you can suspend reality and make apple branches produce Chinese Lanterns ("In your world," as Bob Ross would say), then follow the pattern. Frankly, my world prefers the authentic to be authentic and the imaginative to include dragons.

P. said...

The Chinese lanterns are essential to the design. Also, they're the coolest part (they get stuffed with a little fiberfill so they poof out ever so slightly). Right now, I'm leaning toward authentic, but I don't know exactly how to make that happen. It was going to go on the wall at the head of my bed, in place of a headboard, so I'd see it every day.

"Frankly, my world prefers the authentic to be authentic and the imaginative to include dragons," cracked me up! Thanks for your perspective.

Michelle said...

Hmmm. I see the dilemma. You know, you need to make yourself happy. I have a feeling you won't be happy with chinese lanterns on an apple tree trunk. If you could be, you wouldn't be having this dilemma.

Michelle said...

Maybe you could use the same basic design, but rather than making branches, you could make stems and a few leaves? The colors are so pretty and the puffed lanterns sound so neat, I'm sure simple modifications could bridge the gap.

P. said...

It occurred to me this evening that I could just think of them as Chinese PAPER lanterns hanging from a TREE branch.

Or I could do what you suggested and make more realistic looking stems. Either way, I've got to freehand draw whatever they're hanging from.

Thanks for your suggestions!

concretenprimroses said...

I think there are places where chinese lantern plants are small shrubs or trees, unlike the way we think of them here.
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantnop/plimagesnop/nymancap3.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantnop/nymancap.htm&usg=__2-C3layuL60GaeUZSWuX-Q33gBM=&h=254&w=283&sz=19&hl=en&start=80&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=rMKt-L9yfBPDWM:&tbnh=102&tbnw=114&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dchinese%2Blantern%2Bplant%2Btree%2Bimages%26start%3D60%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-us%26ndsp%3D20%26tbs%3Disch:1

I googled chinese lantern tree,but didn't find a great picture. Even the ones we grow here can live for 3 years and grow to be 4 ft tall in the right climate, but I couldn't easily find a pic of that.
Have fun,
Kathy