My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Fuzzy Willow Caterpillar in a buttercup and jasmine vine swirl

Use putty to secure a kenzan to the bottom of a small container

Use putty to secure a kenzan to the bottom of a small container

To get you started see the Tutorial below for more detailed instructions on how to roll a putty ring to adhere your Kenzan. If you want to learn a whole lot more about using a kenzan and how to position different stems into the metal pins you can find it all on pages 160-165 of my book.

Place the buttercup to stand at a cheeky angle in the kenzan

Place the buttercup to stand at a cheeky angle in the kenzan.

Again see my book for detailed instructions on how to position stems, how to support stems, gather stems and spear stems into a Kenzan so that they remain hydrated in the exact position you place them.

Add water to keep your fresh plant material hydrated

Add water to keep your fresh plant material hydrated

Drop small pebbles into the container to cover the kenzan

Drop small pebbles into the container to hide the kenzan.

Place the jasmine vines between to rocks

Place a jasmine vine in an arch shape between to rocks and through the kenzan pins to secure. (see this week's email)

... but before we finish the jasmine vine swirl lets see which way our fuzzy caterpillar leans so that we can frame it:

Inspect a pussy willow stem to find a lovely fuzzy catkins

Inspect a pussy willow stem to find a lovely fuzzy catkins. Pick away all the other catkins.

Design note: I chose mine to have a whole lot of personality already. For one thing it curves slightly around the branch. For another, the tip of the catkins is slightly twisted making my task to give it attitude so much easier. Have a look at the close up in the design- the caterpillar definitely looks like it is blissfully munching away on it's breakfast buttercup. It would be impossible to add these tiny details but if you look carefully you can find them already added in the plant. All you need to do is enhance that. Kind of sums up floral design, don't you think?

For more information about adding tiny critters to your design see page 386 where I explain doing just a bit more than you have to do to make your work extraordinary.

Place the fuzzy stem over the container

Place the fuzzy stem over the container.

Use a marker to draw eyes on shiny crystals

Use a marker to draw eyes on shiny crystals...

And place the eyes on the catkins with a pin

And place the eyes on the catkins with a pin.

See the Tutorial below for my how and why I add crystals using a corsage pin.

Cut a few tendrils as feelers

Cut a few tendrils as feelers

As an alternative you can always make the feelers from wire. See the Tutorials below for detailed instructions.

Glue the feelers to the catkins

Glue the feelers to the catkins.

Position the feelers to suit the personality

Position the feelers to suit the personality of the caterpillar.

Carefully allow more of the vines to drape around the design

Carefully allow more of the vines to drape around the design.

I wanted to explain a bit more about how... and why I placed these vines like this so this week in our email I show you how I added height and controlled the drape. Make sure you are signed up for our weekly email bonus tip. The signup button is below the post.

Drape the vines to create a swirl above the container to hug the flower and the caterpillar

Drape the vines to create a swirl above the container to hug the flower and the caterpillar.

Add a smaller crystal for a mouth

Add a smaller crystal for a... mouth? nose? Add a small crystal to finish the happy caterpillar face.

Gently guide the vines to drape just so over and around the design

Add more pussy willow stems resting over the container and a few more vines and by securing them to the kenzan and gently guide the vines to drape just so over and around the design.

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.

22 May 2012 Bite and snap a sturdy twig

Break the sturdy twig on the scribe line.

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.

26 July 2011 Wire Tendrils

Curl the wire at irregular intervals to create a natural wire tendril similar to that of a passion fruit plant

5 January 2011 Palm leaf Hopper-flies (grasshoppers and butterflies)

Weave grasshoppers or butterflies (or fireflies) from palm leaves

3 April 2019 Dried Blossom Caterpillar

Craft a pretty little critter by threading dried blossoms onto a wire.

29 September 2011 Twig and skeleton leaf Stick Insect

Made from dried cherry twigs and a skeleton leaf.

18 February 2015 Grass Spiral Snail

Fold a foliage snail

17 July 2012 Guacamole Green Coiled Grass Chameleon

My Chameleon is mono-botanical. Made from coiled grass

6 February 2013 Fold a Foliage Fish

Fold and weave a fish from two blades of grass

17 June 2015 Zig zag Palm Dragonfly

Fold a dragonfly from a long strand of grass or palm leaf

24 September 2014 Folding a Frog

Fold and weave a frog from grass

15 November 2017 Kenzan leaf rack

Line and position pretty autumn leaves.

22 August 2018 Vein Veil For Freesias

Cut a slight veil to frame your flowers with

7 August 2019 A Three level Kenzan skewer stack to Radiate Gladiolus spikes flat in a shallow container

Build up a design in a shallow container by stacking it by threading the plant material into the teeth of a pin cushion in three levels.

Related Designs

14 April 2021 a Yay! You

A tiny Spring detail to add to a cute little floral design.

7 January 2015 Any Which Way

Using a traditional Ikabana Kenzan to place flowers in a shallow container

3 April 2019 Blossoming like a Caterpillar

Crafting caterpillars from blossoms

29 September 2011 Pick-Up Sticks

A twig and stick design with sweet dumpling pumpkins and rosary vine (Ceropegia woodii). I also made a cherry twig and skeleton leaf Stick Insect

18 February 2015 Snail Away

Spiral roll a snail to add to this sunny design

17 July 2012 So far so green

The only thing I needed to make these avocado green arums perfect was a small admirer...

6 February 2013 Swimmingly

Fold a grass fish for an easy going underwater design detail

17 June 2015 This Summer

Weave slip on summer sandals

24 September 2014 Leapfrog

Fold and weave a frog from grass

15 November 2017 Alchemy

Gently stand leaves upright in a Kenzan

12 June 2019 Almost... all over!

Loop a grass veil over a lily stem to create a minimalist summer design.

22 August 2018 FreestyleFreesia

Dutch floral designer Pim van den Akker, from Flower Factor invited me to participate in a FloraHolland initiative promoting the versatility of Freesias entitled ...

22 August 2018 Freestyle Freesia design video for Flower Factor

Freestyle Freesia design video for Flower Factor

7 August 2019 Point Out: this is a single bunch of gladiolus!

Cut stems of Gladiolus to place in a radiating summer design.