My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

A radiating, gradient carnation design in a shallow container

Place two kenzans in a shallow container

Place two kenzans in a shallow container.

Roll a bit of floral putty to secure them... if you are unsure of how to do that I have a Tutorial below to get you started- and a whole lot more in my book.
Book readers page to page 160-165 for all things Kenzan related.

Place the carnations on a flat working surface to measure and cut the stems

Place the carnations on a flat working surface to measure and cut the stems.

There are a few floral design tricks to where to cut the stems that I wanted to share with you in greater detail in this week's email. If you are not yet signed up to receive our once a week email you can sign up below this Tutorial.

Determine the height placement of the carnation and give the stem a cut

Determine the height placement of the carnation and give the stem a cut. Insert the stem to stand upright between the Kenzan teeth.

Have a look at our email tip if you are unsure of how to cut a stem for a shallow container design.

Place a slightly lighter carnation next to that

Place a slightly lighter, slightly shorter carnation next to that

Continue the design radiating the carnations out from the middle point

Continue the design radiating the carnations out from the middle point.

Move over to the other side and add a slightly lighter carnation next to the darkest one

Move over to the other side and add a slightly lighter, slightly shorter carnation next to the darkest one.

Add all the carnations to radiate out

Add all the carnations to radiate out.

For an easy way to measure a radial see the How-To on page 26 and 27 of my book. You will also find a never seen before dried flower armature to craft something similar to this.

Fill the shallow container with water

Fill the shallow container with water.

Use a pin or bamboo skewer to break up any trapped air bubbles

Use a pin or bamboo skewer to break up any trapped air bubbles.

Press a Wisteria vine between the metal teeth

Press a Wisteria vine between the metal teeth.

Weave the vine through the carnation stems

Weave the vine through the carnation stems.

Add the next vine to extend to the other side and weave it through the carnation stems

Add the next vine to extend to the other side and weave it through the carnation stems.

Continue weaving vines making sure the ends are well below the water line

Continue weaving vines making sure the ends are well below the water line.

Oh yes, new growth. It is so tricky to design with because it will wilt if you don't grow it for the purpose. In this case it is because the stems are so pliable that we can weave it in this way but the tips will not hydrate and will simply collapse.
So here is a sneaky work-around for that...

Add a few sturdy vines to offer support to the new growth

Add a few sturdy vines to offer support to the new growth.

And add the tinniest drop of floral glue to tip of the new growth and secure it so something that will keep it from drooping

And add the tinniest drop of floral glue to tip of the new growth and secure it so something that will keep it from drooping. This guides the vines to dry out and can then be released to remain in the exact position you want it.

Important note: make sure all the design elements dry in a fresh looking upright position to prevent the design from looking sad and wilting. Use this trick sparingly- it is always better to use design elements that will remain looking fresh and pretty for as long as possible.

If you want to put in a bit more effort you can also wire the tips to dry in a specific way (great for tendril looking details) like I did in my Spring design. I will include the link below for you to look at.

Add a few dew drop crystals to finish the design

Add a few dew drop crystals to finish the design.

See the Tutorial below for more detailed instructions on how I add crystals to delicate designs.

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

Tutorials

7 January 2015 Securing a kenzan

Temporarily adhere a traditional Ikebana Kenzan or pincushion to a shallow container.

24 February 2016 Willow Spring

Set willow tips into a spiral to create a spring design

24 February 2016 Wire Wrapped Willow Garland

Make a continues length of flexible willow to weave or design with by wrapping the delicate stems with thin wire

19 February 2013 Manipulating stems: Snapping at an angle, Bending, Spiraling, Curling and Straightening

Most stems, twigs and even sturdier branches can be bend into shapes. It takes practice and more than a bit of patience. The main idea is to slowly manipulate the branch without...

11 February 2015 Stripping foliage from weaving stems

Remove foliage from stems to weave with

28 January 2015 Well Rooted Sprouting Willow Weave

Weave a sprouting armature

13 April 2012 A secret trick to conditioning new growth

Conditioning new growth and sprouts are difficult because the little sprouts have not had time to fully develop its cellular structure to survive being cut and taking up water on...

10 June 2020 Overgrown vine tangle to suspend flowers in a clear vase

A zero waste and sustainable floral design solution to keep your flowers exactly where you want them without using floral foam.

10 August 2016 Bamboo frog for a shallow container design

Cut short bamboo lengths to keep your flower material upright in a shallow and narrow container

11 April 2017 A little nest for Easter chocolates that naturally hooks over the edge of a container

Weave a tiny nest with a twig hook so that you can hang it in a design

5 September 2018 Wisteria Wreath Vine

Weave tiny vine wreaths on the leave stems of a stripped Wisteria vine

5 September 2018 Wisteria Vine Wreath Armature

Create a barely there armature with sturdy end of season vines.

24 June 2020 Building up a wreath panel

Connect six wreaths to build up a hanging panel to display your flowers on.

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 November 2020 Pot-scrubber copper wire curls and autumn twig twirls bud vase toppers

A quick solution for a minimal horizontal autumn display -on top of bud vases.

18 April 2018 Clematis Vine Swing

Weave a delicate nest for a small spring design.

8 July 2015 Overgrown Willow web inspired by a traditional Dream-catcher

I wanted my willow armature to hint of a web-like dreamcatcher that grows in the wild rather than being a precise replica of the traditional craft technique. But I did weave it...

25 January 2012 Weaving Willow spheres

I build up the spheres by weaving willow wreaths and then use those to shape the ball

Favourite Flowers

Dianthus

Pink, Carnation, Clove Pink, Chinese Pink

Related Designs

12 May 2021 It’s up there

Whether it’s a solid foot for floating flowers, the tips of new growth or the curve of a dried twig your design needs help to stay upright.

24 February 2016 How to make an early Spring

Roll and set willow twigs into a spring

28 January 2015 In a State of Flow

weave some willow to use as an armature

10 June 2020 All Out

An all out effective way of keeping a flower stem in the exact spot you want it to be in a clear water vase design.

27 January 2016 Well, I'll be

Manipulate fresh willow stems to create a sprouting armature for long tulip stems

10 August 2016 Saved up

Cut lengths of bamboo to place in a shallow container as a flower frog

11 April 2017 Well… we did it again!

Blossoms and chocolates for Easter

5 September 2018 Wreath Vine Season!

Weave tiny wreaths on the stems of Wisteria vines

24 June 2020 End Up

Connect small wreaths to create a pretty summer armature to arrange your flowers on.

4 November 2020 Because that is just how I roll

A tumbling fall leaf design making use of the autumn leaves that are already falling to the ground.

18 April 2018 Swing Vine

Weave a delicate vine swing to nestle a small vase with spring flowers in

8 July 2015 How To Catch A Dream

Take inspiration from a traditional Dream-catcher design to create a floral armature

25 January 2012 Three Drops of Floral Chocolate

The design drips down in three tiers each celebrating life, love and connection.