My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

A fluffy faded leaf "tail" to display delicate autumn treasures

Cut a small slit into a dried willow twig

Cut a small slit into a dried willow twig

See the Tutorial below for more detailed instructions on how to strip the bark from a willow twig.

Measure the twig to sit snugly at an angle in a display vase

Measure the twig to sit snugly at an angle in a display vase.

Thread faded foliage into a wire

Cut a section of wire and start threading foliage to create a long garland.

Design note: I used sweet pea foliage. They are wonderful to use in design work once faded because they take some time before becoming brittle.

Push the foliage all the way down to one end and twist the wire to create a stopper

Push the foliage all the way down to one end and twist the wire with pliers to create a stopper.

Thread foliage from the bottom to the top of the wire

Thread foliage from the bottom to the top of the wire.

Book readers turn to page 209 for another version of this garland- this time using eucalyptus.

For more information about my book: The Effortless Floral Craftsman

Slip the wire through the slit in the twig

Slip the wire through the slit in the twig.

Twist the wire with pliers on the other side of the twig

Twist the wire with pliers on the other side of the twig.

Cut the rest of the wire away to create a neat foliage tail on a stick

Cut the rest of the wire away to create a neat foliage tail on a stick.

Place the stick at an angle in the display container to balance the foliage garland

Place the stick at an angle in the display container to balance the foliage garland.

Glue a leaf to either end to hide the wire stopper

Glue a leaf to either end to hide the wire stopper.

Make sure it is at the same angle as the threaded foliage

Make sure it is at the same angle as the threaded foliage.

Add in a dried sweet pea vine to curve around the foliage tail

Add in a dried sweet pea vine to curve around the foliage tail

Glue in a few seedpods to the dried vine

Glue in a few seedpods to the dried vine

Add in a few water tubes for the fresh flowers

Add in a few water tubes for the fresh flowers.

Design note: I make these myself from used drinking straws or plastic tubes to the exact size I require for my design. See the Tutorial below for detailed instructions.

Slip the tiny little flowers in to nestle between the foliage

Fill the tubes with water and slip the tiny little flowers in to nestle between the foliage.

How cute are these miniature Chinese Lanterns

How cute are these miniature Chinese Lanterns!?! Simply glue in the pods between the flowers.

Help! I am growing these for the first time and would love to make sure they come back next year. Do you grow them? Do you have any tips for me?
I would love to hear from you. The easiest way for us to chat is simply to reply to this week's notification email. It makes it easy for me to keep track of our conversation.
Also in this week's email I tell you about the joy of a cutting garden. Even if it is (like mine) two balcony gardens. If you are not yet signed up to join in the conversation the button is below this post.

Add in a few more green tendrils

Add in a few more green tendrils...

And finish the design with a few dew drop crystals

And finish the design with a few dew drop crystals.

See the Tutorial below for more detailed instruction on how I add the most delicate crystals with a pin.

Every week I add a new design with related tutorials. Be sure to subscribe to receive an email notification with design inspiration.

Tutorials

8 July 2015 Using a pin to place tiny dew drop crystals

It's sometimes difficult to place a tiny crystal or bead exactly where you want it.

4 January 2011 Drinking straw "test tubes"

When you need to keep a tiny stem hydrated this is just what you need.

8 June 2016 Stripping bark from willow sticks

Strip the green bark from the stems to expose the smooth wood

3 September 2014 Skeletonize Physalis Pods

Remove the pulp from the papery pod (sepal) covering the little berry of Chinese lantern plant so that only the vain framework remain

12 September 2018 Off-center hole-wreath armature

Craft a slightly off center wreath from dried vines and grasses for Phalaenopsis orchids.

26 August 2015 Sun baked Sweetpea vine wreath

A perfect way to use a Lathyrus vine after all it flowered

2 July 2019 Grass Spiral Wind Spinner

Thread grass into flexi grass to create a spinner that gently turns in the wind.

16 October 2012 Taco-shaped twig armature

Make a half-moon shaped armature to fill with flowers

23 March 2012 Drying Physalis sepals

Every Autumn we see the beautiful Physalis pods everywhere but they are easy to dry and preserve to use year round.

27 September 2017 Tendril vine Wreath Pumpkin

Reshape a vine wreath into smaller wreaths to combine as a pumpkin

2 October 2019 Cross hatch Twig Armature

Add a bit of shadow and dimension to a flat armature by using the sketch technique of cross hatching.

Favourite Flowers

Lathyrus

Sweet pea

Physalis

Chinese lantern, cape gooseberry, Peruvian cherry, Inca berry

Related Designs

5 October 2022 Tail End Of The Season

A display armature for a delicate autumn display.

22 July 2015 Fluffy

Fluff out Washi paper to create a delicate armature

12 September 2018 Hole-ding it’s breath

Craft an almost Autumn armature from dried sweet pea vines

26 August 2015 Bent

Weave a wreath from sweetpea stems and tendrils

1 July 2015 At a Stretch

Glue a paper tube floral art structure

3 July 2019 Taking a Breather

A relaxing summer design that spins gently in the wind

22 May 2019 Putting your own spin on it

I would definitely describe my own personal style as minimalist classic... but with an edgy twist.

7 October 2011 Thanksgiving Harvest

Thanksgiving pumpkin with Chinese lanterns and spiral blossoms

16 October 2012 Bright, brighter… brightest!

Celebrate the bright colours of autumn with lilies and Chinese lanterns

3 September 2014 What's done is done

My article and lace fine wreath design featured in the Autumn issue of DIY Weddings Magazine

27 September 2017 As tendrils tend to do

Curl a wreath with tendrils to create a twig-pumpkin

1 November 2017 A Round

Create a delicate design that rests lightly on the edge of a container

31 October 2017 Mr Twig-or-cheat

An extra Almost-a-Design for Halloween this year

3 October 2018 But what’s inside?

This week we are looking at the contents pages of my book... but more specifically at the sweet little pod design on the content page of my book.

2 October 2019 Cross-hatch a Shadow Bright Autumn

A clever trick borrowed from art techniques to add dimension to a bright and colourful Autumn floral design.

14 April 2011 In the Bag

My bag was woven from re-purposed wire and recycled fishing line and tiny stems of growing sweet pea plants and orchids