Posts tagged flowers
Crepe Paper Foxgloves Online Course

It's here! I finally launched my crepe paper Foxgloves Online Course. This post is a few days late, after I realized that I never actually posted about this on my blog. Oh man, I think I'm going crazy. With so many social media outlets to keep up with nowadays, I've completely lost track of this outlet. I literally just uploaded a link to the course on Facebook.So here's the low down on my Foxgloves Online Course:• The basic formula to make my 'Dalmatian White' Foxgloves• 2 additional variations of foxgloves, namely, the 'Camelot Rose' and 'Apricot Beauty'• Using colour to imitate the stages of progression from bud to maturity;• Creating buds and blooms in different sizes to mimic the stages of maturity;• Creating realistic petal details using tools you already have or can easily access;• Assembling the buds and blooms in a natural spire shape.It's my favourite flower to include in my arrangements when I need an element that draws my eye up or in a certain direction, and when I'm looking to emphasize more organic style.  So I hope you'll start incorporating it into your arrangements too. After teaching this flower at one of my workshops, I sought to improve my techniques so it was better suited to all levels of paper flower enthusiasts. I saw how some of my students struggled with the petal details and so in this course, I tried to address the underlying issue. I have to thank those of you who attended my Foxgloves Workshop at The Paper Place back in May. For those of you who attended the in-person workshop, please contact me via email or DM - I'd love to send you a code so you can get free access to the online course!I don't say this for most of my flowers, but I think you'll find that you'll be able to get consistently stunning results with this tutorial because my instructions and demonstrations are so clear.As well, if you purchase my crepe paper Foxgloves Online Course, you'll also receive a 15% discount to my Distant Drums Rose Online Course too. This is a limited time offer, so if you've been thinking of enrolling in my Distant Drums course, here's your chance to enrol in 2 of my classes at a discount!Thanks for reading,Jessie

WedLuxe Wedding Magazine Feature

Back in March, I was approached by WedLuxe, a Canadian magazine with  high-end wedding clients, to participate in one of their editorial spreads. At the time, I was in the process of designing and making the paper floral display at The Paper Place, so I had offered to use that for the shoot. They also asked for a headpiece for one of the models to wear. In the end, they decided to go in a different art direction for the shoot, sticking with whites and light light pastels, so we did not end up using the large floral ring which had too much green in it.I based it's size on inspiration photos provided, and built it as large and crazy as possible. I used a cheap headband that could grip onto the hair with small teeth. I covered it with white floral tape and attached the branches of magnolias in different stages of maturity and leaves to it in all directions. It looked ridiculous when I tried it on. I could hardly walk through doors. But, apparently, the crazier, the more "editorial"! To create the extra large magnolia blooms with diameter of about 10", I had to stiffen the paper by fusing white doublette crepe paper with 100 g crepe paper. I then sprayed the strips of fused crepe paper with Design Master in Perfect Pink along one edge to create an ombre effect. I cut the petals into the shapes and sizes I wanted. Before shaping the petals, I placed them under a hot iron again to melt the fuse so it was easier to stretch and cup. Once cool, the petals kept their shape wonderfully. I finished the headpiece with white leaves.I felt so out of my element when I was making this. It was so different from what I normally do, which is seek to faithfully interpret nature. This was an interpretation where the sum of its parts was the inspiration.In reflection, I wish I had been on set to just tweak the headpiece a bit on her head, to show off the other flowers more and really emphasize the 3-dimensional elements that I had strived to define when I was assembling it. Oh well. An overall worthwhile experience overall.I'm SO thankful to have been able to contribute my work to this magazine.~ Jessie

Peach Small Garden Bouquets

Happy Thursday Day!It's been a little more than a week since my ankle surgery. Before I went under the knife last Tuesday, I finished three beautiful peach small garden bouquets.I am normally approached to make large bridal bouquets, like this and this. If I make small bouquets, it's usually for the maid of honour and/or bridesmaids, and always as part of a set of bridal bouquets. My brides, while they're quite happy to pay a bit more for their bouquet, understandably tend to be on a budget when it comes to their fairly large bridal party, so I'm often restricted by how intricate I can make the smaller bouquets.This time, my bride, Jessica, approached me to make small bouquets to gift to her mother and her fiance's mother on their wedding day.  She had a  reasonable budget which wasn't nearly as tight as some of my other brides. I was quite satisfied that with her budget, I would be able to deliver her something that was more intricate than some of my past bridesmaid bouquets. Jessica was super easy to work with.  She made her own felt flower bouquet in her wedding colours of light peach, light pink, and cream. The mother's bouquets wouldn't go down the aisle, so they didn't have to coordinate with her bouquet. So we spoke about taking colours from her bouquet as a jumping point. She especially loved my Orange and Pink bouquet that was featured on 100 Layer Cake  with the bright/ bold colours. We decided that we would incorporate some bright/bold peaches and/or pinks and work with lighter versions of those colours as well.A few weeks after she approached me for the order, her fiance contacted me to ask me to make a 3rd bouquet for Jessica. He wanted it to be a surprise, so that arrangement was made between us. I thought it was so sweet for him to think of that! Since I already spoke to Jessica about her ideal bouquets for the mothers, I knew what her preferences were.My small, but intricate bouquets, have about a 10"-12" diameter. When I was envisioning these bouquets, I knew I would not be able to use large peonies or large dahlias or any large flower really. If I used only one, it would throw off the scale of the bouquet and look unbalanced. If I used only large flowers, it would make the bouquet look very sparse and emphasize how small the bouquets were. So I knew that I had to keep the flowers small in order to make the bouquets look fuller which meant I had to work with "accent" flowers, or flowers that are usually added to create accents and interest, versus traditional focal flowers that are larger and say "look at me!". Perfect. I love accent flowers. I'm often drawn more to accent flowers than focal flowers. And the ranunculus is my favourite accent flower.Ranunculuses come in various colours and shapes, so it's really a perfect flower to use in practically every arrangement. They have thick stems and their stems can point straight up or bend and droop.  Here, I've used them as the focal/main flowers. I've made a variety of ranunculuses in different sizes, colours, and with different petal placements. I've placed them in the bouquet on different levels, some deeper into the bouquet, and some higher up. Most are turned away from directly facing out; they're faces look down or up or sideways.I made ranunculus buds to create further variation in sizes and to also throw in slightly different colours in smaller doses. I love that I can use the buds to create dimension by merely placing them so they extend above the the bloomed ranunculuses. They emphasize the different planes or layers. I really had a fun time making them. Their construction is completely different from the full blooms, and in fact, forced me to use new techniques to achieve that flat round shape that the buds are known for.My favourite and the most challenging part of the process was manipulating the colours of each bloom so they look cohesive when together with the other flowers.That way, I don't need to determine which flower would go in which bouquet ahead of time; I knew that as long as all of the flowers and foliage I made looked good together, it didn't matter too much which ones went together.As you know, I'm really particular about colour and I never use the crepe colours right "out from the tube" so to speak. For these bouquets, I used a variety of Pan Pastels, especially the Pan Pastel in Orange, Winsor & Newton Inks in Deep Red, and Ranger Alcohol Inks in Coral, applied to a variety of peach, orange, and red crepe papers in different weights. In my experience, I've found that if I use one crepe paper colour and apply a colour variation to it, I can get 2 flowers with 2 different colourings that would sit adjacent to each other on the colour wheel. Similarly, if I apply another colour variation to that crepe paper colour, I'll get a 3rd variation that will always look when placed beside the other two. However, it's easier said then done.Some of you have asked me how I made the stems of the ranunculuses so thick; like many paper florists, I used a clear vinyl tubing. You can buy the tubing from the plumbing section of the hardware store (I bought mine at Rona), or cheaper online. You want to get the tubing with smallest outer diameter as possible like this one with a 1/4" outer diameter.  What I do is I cut the correct length and slip it over the stem wire, glue it onto the bottom of the flower with hot glue, and cover it with green floral tape or crepe paper. It allows me to increase the size of the flower stem without losing the ability to bend the stem in any direction or angle. I use this technique for my poppies as well. For the ranucs, I added an additional step though; after cutting the correct length, I cut the tube lengthwise  and cut off a sliver about 1/2 cm to further reduce the diameter of the tubing. I then taped it back together before slipping it over the stem wire.I made sweet peas to add a little bit of textural interest and ruffles. They're made with doublette crepe in white/peach and some which had been dip dyed. I used white/peach that had been wet with water to let the inks run and blend together. I finished the sweet peas by spraying them gently with a Design Master TintIt spray in Sepia (I got mine at Michaels). The sepia makes them look less "sweet", and their addition to the arrangement "grounds" it.I usually make my foliage last because I find that they need to compliment the flowers, so I design them only after I have a clear idea of what type of movement would look good with the flowers I've made. To find inspiration, I foraged through my brother's backyard and cut different types of greens that I thought had interesting shapes or colour. There was one shrub that grew low and had variegated leaves. I liked how the leaves were fairly small, and one branch held several smaller stems. So I recreated it in paper. I love how it looks in the bouquet. I'm able to move one branch in one direction and another in a different direction if I want. I place it in the my arrangement and let it's placement tell me where to put the next flower. I strive to make foliage that bounce when you walk with it so I use very thin gauge stem wire to emulate the strong but flexible stems of the real plant.The other foliages are coral bells (inspired by the ones I am growing in my garden), ferns, a vine, a branch, and a garlic mustard plant. I made these ferns last year when I was making Marilyn's bouquet. I remember I made them while I was at the cottage, and didn't even end up using them for her bouquet. Their limey sourness were perfect for this bouquet. The branch and vine are my staple and my signature; I would add them to everyone of my bouquets if I could! They're delicate and whimsical. I can't even describe how I make them; I just do. After I make them, I bend them in random directions until I like how they look. Then I use them in the bouquet and let them tell me where to put them. I knew I needed flowers that would peek up and between the flowers. The garlic mustard plant provided the perfect little white flowers that float about and between the ranunculuses. I also recreated these from real ones found in my brother's backyard, however, added a variegated edge because I wanted it to create more visual interest. Too bad the real thing is a very invasive specie and most people would rather rid of them than see them recreated.I also added green fritilleria to Jessica's bouquet. I really love how they add another touch of the garden to her bouquet. They're really time consuming to make and I'm not completely happy with them, although I really like the colouring I achieved with the alcohol ink on doublette. I'm going to try to make them again and see if I can make them look even more delicate.Here's the final flower count and recipe for Jessica's bouquet:

  • 3 light peach ranunculus
  • 2 honeysuckle coloured ranunculus
  • 2 coral ranunculus
  • 1 orange and red ranunculus
  • 1 orange ranunculus
  • 1 red ranuculus
  • 2 coral ranunculus buds
  • 1 light coral ranunculus bud
  • 6 muddy peach sweet peas
  • 2 green fritilleria
  • 2 green coral bells and 1 lime coral bell
  • 4 garlic mustard plants
  • 2 lime ferns
  • 1 vine
  • 1 branch
  • 3 variegated foliage

The Mother's bouquets are slightly more simple, without the fritilleria and the orange ranunculus. I wish you guys could see how the foliage and the buds bounce and move when I walked with it. I took a few videos of them, but I really should have taken videos of them in my hands - DUH!. I also took the videos on portrait view, which is a newbie no-no. Ah we live and learn. really loved making these bouquets, especially when I began putting them together. They were a challenge to make because they're small, so they have less real estate in which to make it look cohesive and full. I've seen too many (and made too many) small bouquets that look too sparse, too round, and where you can literally count how many flowers on in the bouquet. I don't want you to be able to count; I want you to see the entire bouquet as one construct, and to wonder, how did she do that?Thanks for reading,Jessie***DISCLOSURE: Just to let you know, sometimes my blog posts contain affiliate marketing links. If you make purchases via the links I've provided, I receive a small commission which costs you nothing, but do help to support my website/maintenance and fees. . You can read my full Disclosure statement here. Thank you for your support!***