My creative workbook

Christine de Beer Floral Lifestyle Design

All things Autumn (by which I mean all things chocolate) floral art demonstration at the BC Floral Art Society

The concept of this design demonstration is to help the members think bigger when preparing for competition designs. We explored both thinking bigger when you look at the schedule and develop the concept of your design and how to design bigger.

Concept: All things Autumn (by which I mean all things chocolate). I based each design on an interesting chocolate fact
Bigger design: Use the same basic "ingredients" to create larger armatures to fill the backdrop when designing for competitions.

Chocolate cosmos flowers

As with any floral art design, the main focus is on the flowers. It is always the flowers that tells the story of your design. Accessories and armatures are there to support the flowers, to frame and highlight, but it is the flowers that conveys the message. And what other flower can tell the story of chocolate better than chocolate cosmos?

If there is an "it" flower right now, it really must be the Chocolate Cosmos. And rightly so. These delicate little flowers are spectacular.
The chocolate cosmos is native to Mexico, where the flower is now extinct in the wild because the seeds are sterile.
The plants are propagated by dividing the tubers and it has been re-introduced in cultivation.
The flowers have a wonderful vanilla and chocolate fragrance that is especially noticeable late in the afternoon.

Floral armatures

The armatures are all based on a wreath design, but deconstructed to create something larger and more elaborate. A medley of seasonal grasses, leaves, pods and pumpkins merely accessorize the designs.

Over the next four weeks I will add each of the designs, their concepts and chocolate facts, with related Tutorials.

I began all four of my designs kept upright with Twig Tangles and we discussed the importance of a stable structure as a foundation to a structural design.
Here is a link to have a more detailed look at Floral Art structures, constructions and armatures similar to those used in the demonstration"I found it this way" Design demonstration Floral Art Twig Tangles

The first design: Loosen up!

Loosen up

The armature was made by soaking a dry wreath to make it more pliable and the loosening it up to create more depth.

Add the flowers in the armature.

Grasses are draped over the vine wreath to create an armature for the plant material to nestle in.

The second design: Snipped into sections

Snip the wreath

Snip the dried vine wreath into large sections to use the dried curve to create a goblet or cup shaped armature

Weave delicate blades of grass between the wreath sections to fill in the cup shape.

Weave delicate blades of grass between the wreath sections to fill in the cup shape.

Add some flax to add movement and height and to emphasize the chocolate cosmos flowers

Add some flax to add movement and height and to emphasize the chocolate cosmos flowers

Add the chocolate to the cup.

Add the chocolate (cosmos) to the cup.

The third design: Another perspective

Spiral the wreath

For the next design I went the opposite direction and instead of opening the wreath to create a large design, I narrowed the inside curve to create a spiral that starts out small and then gets bigger.

To ensure that the design retains it's chocolate cookie shape add sisal fibers

The spiral is secured with tiny pegs and the rest of the "chocolate chip cookie" shape is filled out by creating sisal fibers and grasses stiffened into shape with wood glue

Add the chocolate cosmos and plant material to nestle low in the cookie shape

Add the plant material to nestle low in the cookie shape

Chocolate cosmos

... insert the stems of chocolate cosmos and...

Gently float a few autumn leaves on the armature

... gently float a few autumn leaves on the armature

I then expanded on this wood glue technique, to finally create an actual wreath design.

Design four: Worth a second look

The last design was this impossibly delicate wreath armature

The last design was this impossibly delicate wreath armature

The armature was made of dried twigs and grasses

The armature was made of dried Baby's Breath stems and grasses, glued securely to create a delicate looking armature...

On which I placed the tiny chocolate cosmos stems to look scattered like cocao beans throughout the wreath

On which I placed the tiny chocolate cosmos buds, still firmly closed, to look scattered like cocoa beans throughout the wreath. I also added autumn leaves and pods

Thank you to the Capilano Flower Arranging Club for inviting me to demonstrate

Thank you to the BC Floral Art Society for inviting me to demonstrate at your meeting

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Christine de Beer

This is my ongoing creative workbook to research and capture design projects and techniques. You will mostly find ideas for floral art but I will also include some other projects such as gift packaging, cards and even cake decorating with a few lifestyle projects arranged in between.

Everything you see in this workbook was designed, made and photographed by me, unless specific credit is given to another designer.

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