Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Bethan's wedding flowers


When our niece, Bethan, said she had a limited budget for her wedding flowers, I assured her she could do her own flowers with a small team and a bit of help. This blog shows how the ideas and skills were developed. Bethan's team would have to learn how to make a hand-tied bouquet because there were eight bridesmaids!

Then the idea we developed for the table centres was to use dark glass (mainly beer bottles and marmite jars) which would be placed on wooden slices. Here is the first mock up (using bread boards to stand in for rustic wooden slices):

Then Bethan, Jill, her mum, and her brother's girlfriend, Maebh, came to a workshop with me. We had a great day and a lot of laughs:

Everyone mastered the skill of hand-tying. Hurrah!:

And the table centres worked well too, especially when they included Bethan's lanterns (she makes these herself):

Then we had to think a bit about the kinds of flowers that would fit with Bethan's colour scheme of white, green and copper. I tried out roses, alstroemeria, gypsophila and chrysanthemums, with plenty of foliage, and also added a bit of contrasting blue (sea holly and lavender). Lovely, and very fitting for a September wedding:

Bethan bought her wedding flowers from the Liverpool flower market and they were driven to the venue the day before the wedding. Then the team got to work. The brilliant thing was lots of other wedding guests, who were at the venue the day before, helped out with the table centres, and with big jugs of sunflowers which were scattered around the venue. Everybody was really pleased to have a hand in the flower preparations. The core team were outstanding in making multiple, beautiful bouquets. Here is Bethan with hers:

And a selection of bridesmaids:

These pictures give a sense of the flowers in the venue:

Finally, here is the entire wedding party - including the men with the buttonholes which the team also made. This shows what a fantastic job everyone did. The flowers looked wonderful and added something truly lovely to a very, very happy day. Congratulations Jon and Bethan!

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Looking back on 2021


Last year it snowed in January. As well as snow, this is the month for reflection on the past year. When I look back I realise I didn`t post a single blog in 2021. It was a challenging year for all of us, starting with another lockdown. I used the enforced isolation to follow Este MacLeod's brilliant on-line art course, Imaginarium. A lot of the course used organic inspiration, like this cactus and these mushrooms: 

Then I painted a terrarium to house the mushrooms!
As my final piece for the course I painted this imaginary vase of flowers.
So, it was a good, creative start. I also got excited about the early flowers which appeared in the garden in February.

But later in February everything creative ground to a halt when my father had a catastrophic fall. He was hospitalised for a long time and finally returned home in April in a bedbound state. He died in September. Here he is in the good times, a force of nature.
Even though Dad had a team of professional carers to look after him, much of my emotional energy was taken up with supporting him and it gave me a lot of insight to how draining it is to be a long-term carer. Although the tulips came up as usual in the spring, this is the only picture I took of them:

I have searched through my galleries, but this is the last picture of flowers that I took throughout the year. Even when I arranged the flowers for Dad's coffin, I didn`t have the heart, or the inclination, to take a photograph of them. I am so pleased that Jessie loves flowers and she kept our joint instagram account ( alive all year. She is also encouraging Cormac (already 2 and three quarters!) to see things that grow and to forage about in parks and in the garden. This little collection of autumnal offerings (with Tiger!) can`t help but make me smile.
I am really hoping that 2022 will be better and that some creative energy and some inspiration will return to me.

Happy New Year to you all. May 2022 bring everything you hope for