Sunday, 24 January 2016

Handbags - new workshop

Last week I ran a new workshop for a group of friends. The idea was to make a handbag and fill it with flowers. We used an up-cycled carton which we covered with aspidistra leaves and then decorated with all sorts of materials. Then we filled the handbag with beautiful flowers. I was really pleased with the results. This workshop provides a great opportunity to be creative and develop your own style. Here are some close-ups of the handbags. This one has a bit of glitz in the handle and a pretty silver bow.
This next one is rather romantic and whimsical.
I like the way this one uses ivy leaves at the top of the bag and I like the candy-striped handle.
This last one has some lovely detail on the handbag itself.
Last week I also took the opportunity to revamp my woodland log. I added some new dried materials to it and replaced the succulents. I also added some fresh flowers which appear to grow magically out of the log. Then I placed it in our porch to greet visitors to the house. It is hard to capture the shape and all the detail on the log, but here is my best shot.
I haven`t yet offered the woodland log or the handbag workshop as an open workshop yet.They both include some clever ideas for construction and produce individual, slightly quirky results. I really enjoy them both and so do the participants. The great thing about the log is that it lasts for ages (I made mine originally last May). After a bit of thought, I`ve decided to run a handbag workshop this spring and then I will add a woodland log to the autumn schedule. Please have a look at the information page of my website to see details of up-coming workshop dates.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Twelfth Night

Tonight is twelfth night. As we take down all the greenery and glitz of Christmas, I thought this would be a good time to show some pictures of the beautiful table centres and wreaths which people made at my Christmas workshops. The table centres (like the one above) we made this year were woodland-inspired. We started with a humble wooden chopping board. 
Then this was covered in moss. Here is the set up at the golf club workshop and some of the participants attaching their moss. 

Then we added lots of different materials to the moss. For example:
Once the base was complete, we added a small arrangement of red roses and seasonal foliage. Like this.
Here are a few more completed table centres. They were interesting, quirky and attractive and I hope they drew a lot of admiration during the holidays.
I ran a similar workshop at my house. If you were wondering how the arrangement of fresh flowers accessed a water supply, this picture shows you how. We made a small container from a plastic cup which we covered in moss and attached to the base.
A final touch being added. For this arrangement we included pretty red anemones as well as roses.
Here is another completed table centre.
At this workshop we also took some small wooden discs.
These were decorated to match the main arrangement and the idea was to use them as individual place settings. They worked really well – a definite hit!
I ran my wreath workshop again this year. Here are the stages for making a truly splendid wreath which can be hung inside or outside. First, take a wire wreath base and handfuls of straw. Then use reel wire to attach the straw to the base.
Next, make small bunches of spruce.
Then make an equal number of bunches using holly, ivy and spruce.
Next use the reel wire to attach the bunches to the foliage base.
Next comes the design stage. This is where you decide what to attach to the foliage. The materials you choose need to be wired like this.
Then the wires can be pushed into the base to hold the materials securely.
Here is the fabulous result. What amazing workshop participants.
This is my wreath hung on an internal door. It is a gorgeous, sumptuous wreath and I will be very sorry to take it down this evening.
I made a lot of arrangements in vases and jam jars for customers, friends and family. In this one I added a bit of blue to the traditional red, white and green. I thought this added a freshness that I liked.
Then for these jam jar arrangements made with English flowers from Cornwall, I added some yellow (soleil d’or narcissi) as well as blue. The result was bright and joyful. On this up-beat note I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year and thank you for all your custom, enthusiasm and support during 2015.