Sunday, January 22, 2006

Florals 101

Okay, if you read my blog regularly, you know I sometimes create floral arrangements. So I went to my mom's last weekend. She has several arrangements that I have created for her. One of my favorites that I've ever done is one I made during my 2004 trip there:

This used to be a really horrible arrangement that someone she used to work with had made for her, and it was just awful. But my mom kept it around because occasionally the woman would drop by. Well, last year, the woman moved back Peru. So we doubt we'll be seeing her again, or at least anytime soon. When I asked my mom about re-doing the arrangement, she said she guessed it would be okay. Trust me, it was horrible...unfortunately, I didn't have a camera with me so I could show you the before-and-after shot. Anyway, I created the above arrangement out of it, retaining just a few pieces that the woman had used originally, so that if she ever did show up at Mom's, at least Mom could say, "we just refreshed it a bit." Knowing the woman, I told my Mom, she wouldn't even ask the question, she would probably think it was what she did. Ha. If only.

At any rate, on this trip, I decided I would make over another arrangement long in need of a makeover. This one had been around for a long time...17 years to be exact. My friends Steve and Scott had come up from Texas in 1989 when my mom had remodeled her former house, and we went out and bought the flowers for this arrangement to go in a lovely cobalt vase that she had received from a co-worker. It's pretty, but silk florals have made a LOT of progress in the last 17 years, and the ones you can buy now look much more realistic than the ones of old. I didn't want to get rid of the arrangement because it had sentimental value for me and my mom, as well as aesthetic value. It mainly needed some freshening. So I went to Jo-Ann, Etc. (they have the best silks) and found a few pieces to add. I didn't tell my mom I was going to do this, I just came home with the flowers and started working. She was really surprised with the results, and actually, so was I.

The old silks were flat. No depth and virtually no realism to the petal shapes. Stems were gangly, buds had to be added to the original stems using floral tape. It was difficult to shape the flowers realistically because they didn't have as much wire in them. The red sticks were supposed to be pussy willow. The little white tufts had all fallen off over time. The entire arrangement was pretty sparse. Silk florals were not as cheap then, so I couldn't afford that much.

Mostly accomplished by adding florals to the arrangement, notice how the newer lilies actually look like lilies! New pussy willow stems have tufts! The old "red-stick" pussy willows added interesting color so I left them. Hyacinth that matched the deep blue of the vase more closely than the unreal-looking blue lilies of the old arrangement was added, as were several stems of berries that livened the color and worked well with some of the color in the existing arrangement. Since I took out very few stems, the new arrangement looks a lot more robust than the old.

By the way, if you're wondering, Jess took these beautiful pictures with his new Nikon D200 camera that he got for Chanukah.


At 11:12 AM, January 23, 2006, Blogger Knottyboy said...

Any good artist will tell you that a good artist is only as they are willing to see past design mistakes. You obviously have that in you. I mean, the first was nice but your fleshed out the concept so much more completely. I detect your next calling?

At 10:06 AM, January 25, 2006, Blogger Dantallion said...

I'm hopeless at that kind of stuff - which makes me genuinely appreciate the beauty of what you've done. Good job.


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