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
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.
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
Drop small pebbles into the container to hide the kenzan.
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. 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.
Use a marker to draw eyes on shiny crystals...
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
As an alternative you can always make the feelers from wire. See the Tutorials below for detailed instructions.
Glue the feelers to the catkins.
Position the feelers to suit the personality of the caterpillar.
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.
Add a smaller crystal for a... mouth? nose? Add a small crystal to finish the happy caterpillar face.
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.
Temporarily adhere a traditional Ikebana Kenzan or pincushion to a shallow container.
It's sometimes difficult to place a tiny crystal or bead exactly where you want it.
Curl the wire at irregular intervals to create a natural wire tendril similar to that of a passion fruit plant
Weave grasshoppers or butterflies (or fireflies) from palm leaves
Craft a pretty little critter by threading dried blossoms onto a wire.
Made from dried cherry twigs and a skeleton leaf.
My Chameleon is mono-botanical. Made from coiled grass
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.
Using a traditional Ikabana Kenzan to place flowers in a shallow container
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
The only thing I needed to make these avocado green arums perfect was a small admirer...
Loop a grass veil over a lily stem to create a minimalist summer design.
Dutch floral designer Pim van den Akker, from Flower Factor invited me to participate in a FloraHolland initiative promoting the versatility of Freesias entitled ...
Freestyle Freesia design video for Flower Factor