Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman
Clips to hang flowers vertically
Groom a chrysanthemum stem. I have a lot of information about grooming plant material in the book... but in a nut shell: do not pick away all the foliage from chrysanthemum stems. The foliage draws up water to help keep the flowers hydrated.
Place the flower stem at an angle in a vase.
In this design I hanged the flowers from this stem. But you can use the clips to hang flowers from any horizontal stem or hook. Or even an acrylic structure as I did for my design at the Canada Blooms competition: International Invitational Class: Celebrate
Hang line to dangle vertically.
The clips look like a tiny comb... with two raised ends to help "catch" the line when woven.
Weave the line through the teeth.
For more detailed instructions on how to weave see the Tutorial below. This is pretty straight forward: just an over and under pattern.
You can also use fishing line for an almost invisible way to hang flowers.
Once the line is woven through it catches and you can easily hang a water tube from the clip.
Just see where you want a flower and weave in a clip. It can easily be removed and re-positioned.
Wire the tubes and simply create feelers to hook over the clip.
For more detailed instructions on how to wire a tube and create feelers see the Tutorial below. You can also use hot glue to glue the tubes to the clips.
Twist the wire at the back to secure.
Make sure you weave the line through all the teeth.
If you are reusing the clip make sure the teeth are straight and the line gets caught between the teeth as you weave it.
Place the water tubes straight on the line.
Fill the tubes with water.
And place the flowers...
Now here is an important hint:
When you do any kind of design that is suspended you need to know how to design with gravity.
This is a great way to practice placing flowers and how to "eyeball" what is the center of gravity of your design elements.
It is a bit like having training wheels on your bicycle. If you are a beginner designer or if you are doing a design that needs to be completed in a limited amount of time, with no room for error: tie the line on both ends, top and bottom. This way you don't have to bother too much with gravity and there is very little chance of the flowers toppling over. My Canada Blooms competition design is a great example of this.
Level up: take your designs skills to the next level by adding something heavy (like a twig or a pebble) to the end of the line. There will still be some movement in the line but it will be fairly steady. You can now experiment with where the center of gravity is located as you place the flowers.
Level up again: Now, a design like this one, with dangling lines that curl and move will require you to adjust the placement of each flower so that it doesn't topple over. Almost like riding a bicycle... but once you have the know-how, it looks so easy... effortless even (get it? the effortless floral craftsman )
When you need to keep a tiny stem hydrated this is just what you need.
For this tutorial I focus on a simple weave pattern that does not require you to soften or prepare the leaves to be more durable or flexible. This is the starting point in...
Easy way to fill test tubes and easiest way to remove water from a vase
I don't always want to wire my test tubes into the design. I like to create a bit of movement by simply hooking the tubes to gently swing.
Tucked into the box with every advance copy of the book, the effortless floral craftsman is a packet of clips. This design and Tutorial is a bit of inspiration... what will you...
A closer look at my design at the 20th anniversary of Canada Blooms and The Toronto Flower Show
A veil of green wool, Spanish moss and dried hydrangeas hang over white lilies
I have always been fascinated, as a designer, by the idea that there is a point when extremes or direct contrasts flip into its opposite.