Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman
Suspend delicate stemmed orchids in a Willow Infinity Weave Flower Frog
Choose a display container that opens at the top like a trumpet or fluted vase.
Measure a willow stem to rest just below the edge of the vase opening.
Cut a partner willow twig to match.
Cut through the middle of one of the twigs to create a slit...
Next we start the weave. Choose the thinnest stems you have for weaving. Make sure the willow stems are really fresh and pliable. The weave is too delicate to use dried willow even if you soak it in warm water. The fresh twigs might need a bit of help to keep it from breaking. One way is just to roll them slightly to make them more pliable.
This week in our email I also show you another way. I send out the email to notify you the moment the design is ready to view and include a little "something more" for you to take note of so that you get the most out of the weekly inspiration design. If you are not yet signed up to receive my Wednesday morning (Vancouver time) email the sign up is below this post.
But to get you started I have also linked a Tutorial about manipulating twigs below.
And slip a thin fresh willow twig so that it is pinched in the slit.
Bend the thin twig down to rest on the thicker willow twig edge.
Wrap the willow around the twig to secure the end piece...
Wrap it around a second time and add in the second twig above the thin willow.
Wrap the thin willow twice around the twig and extend it over to the other willow.
This is our weaving pattern: Wrap twice around one side and then twice around the other side.
I found it easier to wind the thin willow around the twig and then to pull it tight and position it exactly where I wanted it.
Hang on tightly to the twigs for the first few wraps. They are slippery. But the moment it is all secure it gets easier. Book readers have a look the section on Mastery (from page 201 to 252) for more information about wrapping and winging, braiding and coiling. You can use any of these methods to personalize your design to your very own... effortless style.
For more information about my book: The Effortless Floral Craftsman
When you reach the end of a pliable willow section cut it so that it rest behind a twig and slip a fresh willow tip into the weave...
... and start wrapping again. The new twigs will keep the old twigs in place.
When you reach the end thread the willow twigs through itself to secure it with a knot
Cut the leftover stems away to neaten up your willow frog.
Place the willow twig frog in your display container to make sure it rests securely.
For my design I am making a mirrored image. Two small monstera leaves and two... well... from what we can tell it seems to be a Miltonia and Oncidium orchid hybrid. Very pretty though!
Carefully insert the first orchid stem through the willow weave...
The two orchid stems are positioned slightly differently so that they remain hydrated. This stem that will be above the water gets pushed in slightly deeper through the willow weave.
Take care not to crush the stems. Rather wiggle a hole through the weave for the stems if it is too tight. Don't force it.
Slip the second stem through the willow weave. This time the stem should be just through the weave but not extend beyond that. This way you can be sure the stem end is under water as long as the willow is covered with water.
Add in the monstera leaves to fit into the weave in the same way as the orchids
Carefully turn and adjust the flowers so that they are a mirror image or whatever way you want them to be in the water.
Set the willow frog into the container so that it kicks against the sides to stay exactly where you want it to be.
Fill the display container with water to just above the willow.
Adjust the floral details...
Finish the design with a sprinkle of artificial snow to float on top...
And add a few dew drop crystals for sparkle.
See the Tutorial below for more detailed instructions on how I add the dew drop crystals with a pin.
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