Fans and Farewells

To start off the last week of class, we created a fan-shaped arrangement. These are often used for sympathy, because they convey a sense of comfort. All of the line elements lead into a focal point, with the whole design being centered. Overall, a very safe arrangement to make.

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To end the class, though, we had free(ish) reign. We “ordered” our materials and came up with our designs completely on our own, with no guidance from our professor. Some people didn’t really have enough materials to make the centerpiece look full, so they were scrambling. Luckily, I was not one of those people.

Also luckily, I got white spider mums…which gave me the chance to paint them! That’s right, there’s spray paint specifically for flowers. The only downside? I still have some of the paint on the thumbnail of the hand I held the flowers in.

The purpose of this arrangement was to create something fun — whimsical, even — for a (fake) garden party. The lily grass crisscrossing the arrangement really helped, especially with the hot pink flowers and green button mums.

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Thorns & Roses

By now, I feel fairly comfortable wielding my florist knife against the armies of flowers and greenery lined up each Monday and Wednesday afternoon on the counters of room 39. After spending last Friday savagely (but safely) cutting through handfuls of leather in Tiger Garden, I can cut the few necessary stems in class quickly and cleanly, without hesitation.

Unfortunately, this week presented a new challenge: roses. With thorns.

On Monday, we each collected our basic greenery of leather and lemon leaf, as well as our filler flower, limonium. Finally, three roses. We were to complete a triple-rose arrangement, so that the roses formed a triangle. Easy enough, right?

Wrong. Those blasted thorns had to be dealt with first. So I grabbed an innocent-looking, brightly-colored, flower-shaped…thing. And proceeded to harshly rip the thorns from the stems, while my hand was safely protected.

Below, my victory.

Triple Rose

On the second day of class this week, we disassembled our earlier work to create an even larger arrangement. We added carnations — the kittens of all flowers. These things couldn’t scare someone even if they tried. With the other combatants already defeated, I knew I’d won this battle.

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A Bouquet of Nerves

I never realized floral design could be so sink or swim. It was as though we were taught how to doggy paddle and then flung into a raging river — survival of the fittest, indeed.

After simply cutting some stems and plopping flowers into a plastic cup on the first day, we were assigned the challenge of creating a “bundled arrangement” on the second. While some of the flowers were familiar (Alstroemeria and daisy mums), the mountains of greenery were overwhelming at first glance.

Leather? Wax flowers? Tree ferns? To me, these were just mini islands on the counter. But, with shoulders set, I stepped in line to gather my materials.
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Flowers, Flowers Everywhere!

For my final spring semester at the University of Missouri, I decided to embark upon a quest outside my comfort zone — floral design class. Although I enjoy crafting and other design adventures, I cringe in fear at the very mention of plants or gardening. While this may purely be an instinctive abhorrence of even the possibility of weeding, it has extended into an avoidance of foliage of any kind.

But enough is enough. I had to face my fears. And thus, the adventure begins.

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