Autumn is here

Autumn has finally arrived!

I love it; I’m probably alone when saying I’ve really not enjoyed this warm October, it’s not normal and now we are all panicking that we may actually have to put the heating on in November and wear a sensible warm coat!

I adore crisp, sunny Autumn days.

When writing this post, I was sat on a train on my way back down to Devon with the autumn sun shining through the carriage, it was blissful. I rarely ever get rains, I always associate them with crowded smelly, long and uncomfortable journeys (that has been my only experience of them) and I have to say it was more than pleasant, probably something to do with the fact I was travelling in the middle of the day on a Tuesday. Hmmm. Make note: Continue to travel during the day and week and my perception of trains may change.

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I had the delight of attending my college course this last weekend back up in Warwickshire – here are the two designs I created;

A hand tied bouquet influenced by Per Benjamin – here is one of his beautiful Carnation ring bouquets.

Per Benjamin

As Per Benjamin, we used a very simple threading technique with the use of Carnations creating ‘the perfect circle’.  First and foremost, decide on the length of Aluminium wire. Florists Aluminium wire is incredibly flexible meaning (in the words of my dear floristry friend….)you are able to modulate it into any shape you’d like(!!)  Once the aluminium wire is manipulated, it can be quite hard to get it back to its a smooth, straight form so keep that in mind!

I then went onto pierce the heads of the Carnations and thread carefully onto the aluminium wire until I filled the length. Then joined the two ends together securely by piercing the ends of the wire through the final two heads of Carnations. The stems of the flowers will probably be in a tangled mess, try to even these out as carefully as possible as they are prone to snapping at the nodes , the little bumps all the way down the stem.

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We then went onto place the other flower material through the middle of the Carnation circlet continuing to spiral as we go. If you have read previous floristry blog posts of mine, you will know that I am heavily influenced by texture, so the first given moment, I find all manner of wonderful different textures pieces to include into my design.

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Ingredients in my design:
Florist aluminium wire (you can buy this here)
Carnations
Birch
Eryngium thistle
Hydrangea
Hypericum berry
Vine
Fir cones
Panicum grass
Lily grass
Aspidistra leaf
Decorative pin

Second Design – Novelty Wedding Design

The Second design was a novelty design, where we were forced to use our creative juices and create any shape or size wedding design to be held. Many of us were influenced by a handbag shape with a handle, easy to hold for the bride.

We used coloured foam as the make up of coloured foam is stronger than wet or dry foam.

Coloured oasis foam

I then went onto shape the foam carefully using a knife and smoothed it down with my hands. Following onto attaching the wire handle, covered in lime green wool secured with hot glue.

Strip the pretty patterned paper roughly and paste onto the foam shape using wall paper paste. This will dry clear and secures the paper onto the foam.

Leave for a few hours to dry, this can be aided by the use of a small travel hairdryer!

Soak the top section of the foam with a misting bottle and place in the selection of flowers, ideally in groups to give impact of texture.

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Ingredients in my design:
Florist coloured foam (you can buy this here)
Eryngium thistle
Hydrangea
Ornithagalum/Chincherinchee
Miscellaneous black berries
Akito white Roses
Wool
Pretty patterned wrapping paper

 Over & Out X

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Happily Ever After….

Well, where do I start?!

On the 21st March 2014, I had the privilidge of being involved in the wedding of two very lovely friends of mine last week, an absolute pleasure. From start to finish, I enjoyed every second of it, from the very first consultation, to the last dance on the dance floor to MJ, it was FAB!

All day Thursday I was creating designs to suit their style, Spring-like, very natural, and floopy.
(Floopy is a word we kinda came up with, a combination of floppy, flowing and free!)

Here are a few snaps from the morning of the wedding, I hope to receive more from the lovely Photographer, Cat, sometime soon so will upload these once I have them. Enjoy!

bridal bouquet

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Buttonhole

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Bridesmaids bouquet

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Bridal head crown

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Flower Content:
Craspedia, Ranunculus, Hard Ruscus, Eucalpytus, Delphinium, Wax flower, Panicum grass, Gypsophilla and Hypericum Berry.

Extras:
Emerald green ribbon, natural string and Scrabble letters.

The day was filled with such personal touches, such as an amazing giant Pork Pie, some wild flower seeds to spread the love as gorgeous little favours, and some awesome little figures for the top of the cake!

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All in all, it was the most enjoyable time and I even managed to bake this……….

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Mary Berry’s Chocolate Tray Bake with Feathered Icing!

Tomorrow is Mothering Sunday, don’t you all forget! (In England anyway!) and unfortunately, unable to spend it with the most lovely lady in the world, (MY MUM!) I will be spending it by eating lots of cake and hopefully meeting the baking queen herself, Mary Berry, at ‘The Big Cake Show’ in Exeter! And ofcourse, will pick up some hints tips and recipes to bake something delicious for my delayed Mothering Sunday celebrations in a weeks time!

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Earlier in the week we popped along to Artigano to see listen to Richard James a soul, acoustic pop style music artist who was top notch! Check him out on YouTube ..! http://youtu.be/i3RpUV74km8 definitely worth a listen . Just click on his name for more info re: gigs etc. A Devonshire gem!

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Over & out y’all ! Thanks for reading :-)

E x

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Sunshine Celebrations

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Super dooper smashing sunshine all round this weekend! Doesn’t it make a difference ? Everywhere looks ten times more colourful and pleasing to the eye, but then again, when wouldn’t a scene like this look pleasing to the eye?!

One of the best If not THE best Cornish seaside views.

This weekend we were back visiting Hawthorn Cottage celebrating Nicks birthday, a fun-filled , food-filled and sun-filled few days!

Here are a few snapshots from a fantastic family weekend, enjoy :-)

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Birthday Breakfast

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Birthday Stroll along the dunes

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Birthday Bug!

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Birthday Blooms

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I kinda got carried away…. But I just LOVE the sight of these gorgeous coloured bursts of Spring !

Over & Out X

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Hello Stranger…

A while… a very long ‘ break ‘ between my last post and this. I do apologise, a lot has happened in the space of a year and I am currently living down in the South West of the country! Not working in the floristry industry, and I have to say, I am indeed missing those little instant bursts of happy colours, smells and textures. But fear not….. I will (hopefully) be returning to my floral studies come April.

In June 2013, I completed my Level 3 Diploma in Floristry at Moreton Morrell, Warwickshire College with an overall grade of Distinction to which I was incredibly pleased with and proud! All my hard work paid off!

After almost a year off from studying I felt keen to get back into the swing of things and volunteered at a recreational floristry evening session with the Academy of Floral Art down in Exeter. It was a festive November session and the ladies were creating some amazing candle holders inspired by Gregor Lersch.

gregor lersch inspiration

It only took a few hours of shadowing a recreational ladies class, to get those floristry juices flowing again and I attended the Academy of Floral Art demonstration in Newton Abbott a few weeks later, in aid of raising money for the charity Water Aid. Here are a few of the designs created on the evening, there were three different themes of the evening, drought, water and tropical. The designs were all auctioned off at the end of the event and all money raised went to the Water Aid charity. (Sorry for the poor quality of photography ! We were sat quite far away only using a camera phone! )

Water aid event 2

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water aid event 5

wateraid event 1

Wateraid event 3

My current aim is to become a Floristry Tutor. I have such a passion about this industry and feel it would be incredibly rewarding to help individuals realise their potential, value their skills and ultimately achieve an award in the floristry industry. To further my career, and achieve this status, I am hoping to study Level 4 Higher Diploma in floristry come April. In a few weeks time, I will be attending a Level 4 Higher Diploma workshop at Moreton Morrell with a view to starting the course the month after. Level 4 is aimed at “ambitious, experienced florists who wish to progress to management level and will encourage you to develop your creative floristry skills and your business acumen” I can’t wait!!

floristry tools

flower school

As for the moment, I have a gorgeous Spring wedding to concentrate on, my dear friend Miss C soon to be Mrs P on 21st March! An eclectic mix of fresh spring meadow flowers from ranunculus (one of my favourites) to craspedia. There will be photos to follow. I promise.

craspedia and ranunculus

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Follow ups part two

Here are a couple of the follow ups from last week.
A decorative planted design in a self-made container. Mine and Paula’s :)

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Spring has sprung!

Happy St. David’s Day y’all!

I was lucky enough to see my first daff today, on the day of all days, St. Davids Day!
I wasn’t lucky enough to have the first pinch of the month however, the boy did beat me to that…

We have quite a few vases/jugs now full of daffs dotted around the house. Let the Spring commence!

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It’s so lovely this time of year to see the spring bulbs emerging here there and everywhere, I found these little treasures earlier on in the week.
Snowdrops, miniature Cyclamen and Crocus… CUTE!

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The follow ups (part one!)

Here is the creation/ result from the selection of flowers photographed on my previous blog “Little Something’s”!

The Brief;

A textured arrangement suitable for a wedding centre piece …

If you have seen my posts before, you will be familiar with the fact that I adore texture , so I was pretty much in my element today at Moreton.

I have placed it on a table at home with a chunky burnt church candle as unfortunately my original plan of a storm lantern failed as the vase was too wide !

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Little something’s…

Little somethings Can change your mood and maybe the outcome of a pants day!!

Here are a few snappies from the past few weeks when I’ve been unable to what I call ‘properly’ blog about experiences over busy Valentines week etc etc

First pic, a centre piece we created for the wedding fayre at Compton Verney last weekend.
A great success and I was able to use my favourite roses! The avalanche variety. Result.

Second pic, just some really gorgeous pink roses to brighten up a dreary grey day!

Third pic, flowers- these are what I will be working with for Thursdays design at college… A textured decorative arrangement ….

Fourth pic, two frameworks for next weeks practise, modern buttonhole design. I shall show you a step by step guide when I have completed the design :) they are just wool covered copper mesh backgrounds with a few teeny weeny buttons to add decoration

Fifth pic, the lost dog – my neighbour found this little chappy ( no collar ) one evening last week, after nearly 2 hours of calling around the locals, and before we were about to take him to the stray dogs centre, his owners came to his return! They turned out to be relatives visiting a friend in the village who lived the other side of the village ! Naughty pup!

Sixth pic, ribbons, I just love ribbon!

Seventh and eighth pic, FOOD ! This trusty little doughnut came from the local bakers and got me through a busy afternoon that day !! And for the bread and butter pudding … Well this was just a tasty delight !!

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Paper mâché part one…

Today we had a ‘Blue Peter’ day of cutting and sticking and generally making a messy mess!
We made containers out of paper Mâché to be used in next weeks assessment, a dish garden.

We are yet to decorate the outside and inside of the bowls but here are some steps in which we took to get us started !

Step one – chose your container / decide on a shape.
Step two- find an old paintbrush or you can usually buy these in pack of 4+ quite cheaply from supermarkets
Step three- tear your lining paper into strips ( if you don’t have lining paper , newspaper works just as well
Step four – cover your container in petroleum jelly ( Vaseline ) this ensured the paper won’t stick onto the bowl and can easily be removed . Clingfilm also works well here
Step five – water down your PVA glue
You’re ready to start layering up your paper mâché creation !!

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Progress….
Layered up and put out to dry for 24hours at least !

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Here are some of the lovely floristry ladies layering up their designs !!

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Watch this space for the finished beautiful products!!

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Vegetative Designs

    This week at Moreton …

Creations:
A vegetative non-traditional wreath and a vegetative dried hand tied bouquet in a collar

The meaning of Vegetative, no it doesn’t mean to include a carrot… It simply means the use of materials in their natural form with no manipulation or decorative input.

    The non-traditional wreath:

This was an assessment piece :
45 minutes .
Spring flowers: hyacinths, daffs, tulips, muscari ( my fave ) narcissus bulbs, iris, galex leaves, ivy and plus the saviour…. Moss !
Grade achieved : distinction

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A vegetative dried hand tied bouquet in a collar
I re-used my competition collar for this design as it has dried beautifully and surprisingly all in one piece! It brought back lovely memories of hot gluing bits and bobs, hours on end ! But it was worth it :)
Here I had to use material that was either already dried or that could dry,
I rescued the purple hydrangea from a previous bouquet and left it to dry over December and this worked beautifully in the new creation. Other material such as dried wheat, luecadendron etc were easy to source . Not an easy design I have to say …

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Next week… A foliage based tribute with a form linear top spray, a grouped, textured decorative hand tie in a collar, and a form linear hand tie in a container ….
Busy week to come !!

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