My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Threaded rosette foliage frog… with a kick

For this design I cut some Heuchera (Coral Bells) foliage to thread together to make an compact rosette

For this design I cut some Heuchera (Coral Bells) foliage to thread together to make an compact rosette

They slot into each other so beautifully

... they slot into each other so beautifully!

Roll the Heuchera leaf into a cone by curling in the corner

Roll the Heuchera leaf into a cone by curling in the corner...

Secure the leaf with a drop of floral glue

Secure the leaf with a drop of floral glue.

Place some glue on the remaining side of the leaf

Place some glue on the remaining side of the leaf...

Smooth the glue down to secure it into the cone shape

Smooth the glue down to secure it into the cone shape.

Thread one leaf cone through another

Look into the cone to find the natural gap left next to the stem. Thread one leaf cone through another.

Continue threading the leaves through one another

Continue threading the leaves through one another.

Design note: do not worry too much about the placement of the leaves at this point. It can still be adjusted. Focus on carefully threading the leaves without ripping it or damaging it. I found it easier to work if the leaves are far apart so that I can see where to add the next leaf.

Thread through the Bletilla striata Orchid stem

Thread through the Bletilla striata Orchid stem.

Start to adjust the leaves into a rosette

Start to adjust the leaves into a rosette...

Work from the top down twisting the leaves into a radiating rose petal position

Work from the top down twisting the leaves to radiate out like rose petals.

This week in our email I show you a time (and frustration free) trick I used to keep track of the leaf positions while I craft the rest of the design. I send out an email every Wednesday morning (Vancouver time) the moment the design is ready with an insight that I thought might be interesting for us to look into before viewing the design. If you are not yet receiving your email you can sign up below this post. This is also a great way for us to connect. If you have questions or a comment or want to say hi, reply to the email. I answer all emails... although some weeks it takes me all week to get to everyone.

Thread a burgundy stemmed clematis vine through the rosette just below the top leaves

Thread a burgundy stemmed clematis vine through the rosette just below the top leaves so that it flares out the rosette.

Fill your display container with water to place the rosette in

Fill your narrow-ish display container with water to place the rosette in.

Curve the Heuchera leaf rosette stems and slip them into the display container

To make sure the orchid remains in position move it to the side and just work with the foliage stems. Curve the Heuchera leaf rosette stems and slip them into the display container.

See the Tutorials below for more examples of how I use this technique to keep design details in place.

Press the stems down below the water so that it firmly kicks against the sides of the container

Reach into the container and press the cut end of the stems down below the water so that it firmly kicks against the sides of the container keeping the foliage rosette wedged into position. Once the foliage rosette is securely wedged into position it will support the tall orchid stem and the other design details.

Add in another clematis vine using the curved stems to anchor it in place

Add in another clematis vine using the curved stems to anchor it in place.

Reflex the lower Heuchera leaves to open the rosette up

Reflex the lower Heuchera leaves to open the rosette up...

Book readers turn to page 304 where I tell you all about manipulating leaves, petals and foliage.
For more information about my book: The Effortless Floral Craftsman
And to get you started you can also find a Tutorial for reflexing tulip petals (very similar technique) below this post.

And create a pretty rose shape

And create a pretty and natural rose shape.

And I finished my design with a few dew drop crystals

And I finished my design with a few dew drop crystals.

For more information on how to add the crystals to your design see the Tutorial below.

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

Tutorials

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.

11 November 2012 Autumn Leaf Rosette

Great way to use all the autumn leaves you collect on walks during the season. Slowly build up the leaf rosette and let the leaves dry before adding a few more.

4 September 2019 Stack banana leaf rice pockets to float as rosettes

Fold and peg banana leaves into pockets so that they float freely on water. This is inspired by a traditional banana leaf craft used to cook rice in.

15 February 2012 Gladiolus Composite

This looks spectacular but it is the easiest composite flower to make

24 January 2024 Suspend delicate stemmed orchids in a Willow Infinity Weave Flower Frog

Create a little grid that fits the stems exactly to position them above and below water in a large container.

19 July 2023 Knot a dragonfly

The easiest critter ever. All you need to do is make a few knots...

27 June 2018 Foliage tube armature for long stemmed freesia buds

Curl and pin a few leaves into a tube to create an armature for those "left over" freesiabuds.

30 March 2022 Double water source to keep Carnations hydrated in foliage cones

Quick and easy design... perfect for something tiny to celebrate spring.... everywhere!

10 July 2019 Letting grass kick against the side of the vase to create a neat and minimal line

Plant material float about in water. To keep it in place it is best to wedge it slightly to touch the sides of the container.

17 March 2021 Cone shaped leafy puddle for a short stemmed flower

Take all the usual ingredients for a budvase design- a flower, a leafy green something and roll it into something unusual to display.

6 January 2021 Rolled leaf shelter for a lean-in-closer tiny bud vase design

Create a tiny visual tunnel to focus attention.

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.

28 June 2017 Skewer leaf rolls to support a tiny water source for fresh flowers

Hide the water source in a rolled leaf

5 October 2016 Folded leaf nest

Leaf armature made of rolled mini Monstera leaves

13 January 2016 Stacked Grass Pyramid Armature

Stack snippets of grass on a wire frame to make a floating pyramid armature

30 December 2015 Eucalyptus rose

Release the soothing effect of the aroma and vapors from the Eucalyptus leaves my slightly crushing it while making roses

11 November 2015 Balancing the curved stems of dried Autumn leaf tubes

Long stemmed autumn leave tubes as a floral armature

21 February 2024 Get a head start with a long lasting shallow vine basket and succulent table top Spring display

Long, long, long lasting display that will even root in place with a few adjustments.

25 January 2023 Snowy Magnolia forest floor armature

An armature to display a lovely surprise orchid that developed on the long spike just after the other flowers started to fade.

Related Designs

15 May 2024 Well, well, well, if it isn’t the design solution I have been procrasti-crafting on

Beautiful Bletilla striata (Chinese Ground Orchid) deserves it's own elaborate frilly skirt display.

11 November 2012 Leaves by Hundreds came

A rosette of fall leaves to celebrate the beauty of autumn

4 September 2019 Gently down the stream

A mindful summer craft using banana leaves to create a floating arrangement.

15 February 2012 Blue Harlequin

A small hand held design as an alternative to a corsage.

24 January 2024 I mean… really!?!

Using fresh twigs to bind a little twig platform to suspend the beautiful orchids from.

19 July 2023 … And his little flower

Easy support for a single flower... and knot a special secret admirer just to keep it company.

27 June 2018 Look deep

Curl foliage to use as a natural armature for delicate buds.

21 April 2011 Happy Easter!

Spring "Ice cream" posy with a Banana Leaf "cone"

30 March 2022 Cone of Gratitude

Sweet spring design to hold some buds

17 March 2021 A scoop of pretty

A tiny budvase design that rearranges basic ingredients, such as a single leaf and an orchid to create a new design concept.

6 January 2021 I tip my (flower) cap!

An enclosed design that invites the onlooker to lean in closer to explore the pretty orchid.

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.

22 May 2019 Putting your own spin on it

I would definitely describe my own personal style as minimalist classic... but with an edgy twist.

28 June 2017 Somewhere in the Middle

Skewer Dracaena leaves into a roll that supports a tiny water source for the Oncidium orchids

11 January 2017 As special as an almost never find

Sometimes you find such a beautiful plant that you just can't bring yourself to cut it. This design explores using the entire plant, pot and all, in a design

5 October 2016 I found it this way: Leaf nest design

This was the third design I did in my "I found it this way" floral art demonstration

13 January 2016 Once Upon A Time

Stack and glue a Grass Pyramid Armature

30 December 2015 Achoo! Season

Fold and roll a rose from Eucalyptus leaves

11 November 2015 Balancing Act

Bend dried fall leaves to balance on the edge of a glass container

22 July 2015 Fluffy

Fluff out Washi paper to create a delicate armature

19 November 2014 Forest Floor

Glue a autumn leaf rosette armature

21 February 2024 I'll Go First

My Spring/Easter design and the introduction article about my floral journey written by the editor, Nina Tucknott in the latest issue of Flora Magazine.

25 January 2023 Even More

This orchid developed at the very end of a long stem... right as the rest of the flowers started to die back so I made a special armature to display the cut stem.