My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Give a single upright bleeding heart flower a view through a leafy hole

Place a shallow container on your design surface

Place a shallow container on your design surface.

Secure a Kenzan in the container

Secure a Kenzan in the container.

If you are unsure of how to do this see the Tutorial below.

Make sure the kenzan will be under water to keep the plant material hydrated

Tip: Before securing the Kenzan to the container make sure the Kenzan will be under water so that the plant material you spear into the teeth will be well hydrated. The easiest is just to place a pen or twig over the container to see how much water is needed to cover the Kenzan.

Pierce the leaf into the teeth of the Kenzan

Cut the entire stem away and pierce the leaf into the teeth of the Kenzan.

There is a bit of a trick to this so that the leaf is displayed beautifully for as long as possible and I wanted to explain in more detail- so that you can reply and ask questions or comment if you wanted so I added the tip to this week's email. Make sure you signed up to receive your weekly email from me. The button is below this post.

Fill the container with water

Fill the container with water.

Cover the Kenzan with frosted sea glass chips

Cover the Kenzan with frosted sea glass chips...

To mark the position of the leaf

... to mark the position of the leaf.

Design note: I use these frosted sea glass chips when I want to cover the Kenzan with... nothing. The moment the chips are in the water they become invisible and just blur whatever is behind them without attracting the attention as pebble or most other things you can use to hide the Kenzan would have.

If you want to learn more about using a Kenzan and see a few more tricks to make sure the stems are secure turn to page 162 of my book.For more information about my book: The Effortless Floral Craftsman

Cut away some of the Lamprocapnos spectabilis 'Alba' flowers so that you have one perfect flower to display

Cut away some of the Lamprocapnos spectabilis 'Alba' flowers so that you have one perfect flower to display...

So pretty

So pretty! I removed the top most closed bud as well because the stem end will help to keep the flower exactly where I want it in my display.

Before placing the flower cut two sections from the end

Before placing the flower cut two sections from the end. Set the stems aside you will need them when you place the flower in the design in the end...

Measure the flower placement in the back of the leaf

Measure the flower placement in the back of the leaf...

Pierce a pin through the leaf to mark the top of the flower

Pierce a pin through the leaf to mark the top of the flower. Carefully remove the flower and the leaf.

Place the leaf with the pin on a paper towel lined working surface.

Place the leaf with the pin on a paper towel lined working surface so that the leaf is protected.

Mark out the round shape that you want to cut out using the pin as a guide as to where you want the position to be

Mark out the round shape that you want to cut out using the pin as a guide as to where you want the position to be.

Cut the round shape out with a sharp knife

Cut the round shape out with a sharp knife...

Carefully remove the disk

Carefully remove the cut-out.

And replace the leaf between the glass chips

And replace the leaf between the glass chips.

The Bleeding heart stem is so delicate that it will simply break if I inserted it into the teeth of the Kenzan

The Bleeding heart stem is so delicate that it will simply break if I inserted it into the teeth of the Kenzan... so I bundled up three stems and secured them with florist tape so that I can insert the bundle into the Kenzan without causing any damage.

The technique is shown on page 162 of my book.

Place the delicate flower and make sure it is secure and below the water

Place the delicate flower and make sure it is secure and below the water.

With the top stem end keeping the flower perfectly in and out of the hole in the leaf

With the top stem end keeping the flower perfectly in and out of the hole in the leaf.

Cover the rest of the Kenzan with glass chips

Cover the rest of the Kenzan with glass chips to finish 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.

15 November 2017 Kenzan leaf rack

Line and position pretty autumn leaves.

16 June 2021 Shelter grass veil for a round container

A single lily flower design dressed up with a grass veil.

11 November 2020 Kenzan peg bark curls into a hollow and bottomless log vase

Craft a bottomless vase out of bark so that the floral stem is supported but can still stand in water to remain hydrated.

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.

7 August 2019 Use a drinking straw to push foliage horizontally deep into a Kenzan to leave space for stems to rest on top of them

The teeth of a Kenzan (or pin cushion) is rather sharp. Here is a pain free way of pushing down the plant material into the teeth to keep it securely in place.

12 June 2019 Loop-over grass veil for a cool summer design

A cool and minimal floral design for summer.

Related Designs

25 May 2022 Grateful Heart

Frame a single perfect Bleeding heart flower in a leaf dot.

8 June 2022 Make Believe

Ever seen an eucalyptus flower? This is... and is not one.

16 June 2021 Dream Rescue

Weave the most delicate grass shelter veil for a gorgeous lily.

7 January 2015 Any Which Way

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

1 June 2016 The ties that Bind

Bind a lily to create a trumpet shape as it opens

6 June 2018 Hi-Lo

Perfect stems, perfect flowers. Needs nothing more.

11 November 2020 What goes around

Display a single stem flower in an Autumn leaf twirl

15 November 2017 Alchemy

Gently stand leaves upright in a Kenzan

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

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

12 June 2019 Almost... all over!

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

18 February 2015 Snail Away

Spiral roll a snail to add to this sunny design