Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Gumby School of Flower Arranging Strikes Again

Autumn. Darker days. A lot of rain (this is Ireland, after all). Windy season. Time to switch on the heater when I sit down at the computer at 6 am. Candle light. Soups. And lovely walks in between the showers (of rain - I don't take showers more than once a day. At least in autumn.) No wonder this season is called "fall" in American English - the falling leaves are the most descriptive characteristic. I love the colours of autumn/fall. And today I found a project to combine my degree from the Gumby School of Flower Arranging with my obsession for collecting leaves and stuff from the park.

Can you guess what I made (apart from a classic Gumby-style arrangement)? Well, I'm not sure whether you can guess it, but I made those roses from leaves. Oui, oui. I got really quite excited about this project (yeah, go on, amuse yourself by imagining this middle-aged wifey prancing around excitedly in her kitchen, brandishing leaves and twiddling with twine...). I had never seen this in craftblogland before. It actually came from a contact in an internet forum who provided me with a link to a German crafts website called Bastelelfe (sorry, no link available to tutorial). Right, a project that appealed to me - autumnal, involving a walk for gathering leaves, for free. Let me show you.

I started out with a heap of leaves from my park - plus assorted autumnal plant bits and bobs which I indiscriminately had chucked into my bag when gathering leaves. A little advice: When getting the leaves, do pick them from the tree and do not gather them from the ground. They are dirty little buggers, so to speak. I'll show you evidence later.

In order to make those roses, you need some red leaves. Mine are from a Virgina Creeper that grows on our terrace of houses. They are the most vivid shade of red, sometimes even pink. So, start off with one red leaf.

Fold the leaf in half, keeping the shiny side outside.

Roll up the leaf. It doesn't have to be particularly tight.

Now place another leaf behind your rolled one, fold the leaf backwards (shiny side out) and fold the two sides loosely around the rolled leaf.

Continue to do that until you have a "rose" in the desired size. Then secure the leaves with a bit of twine like so:

I made my roses fairly small (partly because I hadn't picked enough red leaves...) and this is what they look like:

After rolling about seven of those leaf roses, I realised it had been a bad idea to pick up the leaves from the ground. Look at my fingers:

Now, you can either just arrange your leaf roses in a bouquet or you can make a wreath - that's what I did. I found a straw wreath base that gave a bit of volume to my meagre amount of materials *grins*.

Taking leaves, roses and the other stuff in little bundles, I just placed them on the base and then secured them by wrapping florist's wire around them. I used leaves to hide the unsightly wreath base. Keep overlapping the bundles over the previous one, that way the wire is invisible.

And voila - you have a lovely autumnal wreath that can grace your door or wall or might also look nice on a table with a candle in the centre. True to Gumby style, my wreath is a bit lopsided. I like it that way!!! *ahem*.


Linking to:   The Weekend Wrap-Up @ It's So Very Cheri   ***  Get Your Craft On with Today's Creative Blog   ***   The Boardwalk Bragfest @ Bobbypin's Boardwalk   ***  Make it Yours Day @ My Backyard Eden   ***   Strut Your Stuff Thursday @ somewhat simple   ***   


Heather said...

Very pretty and unique!

Coleen's Corner said...

That is beautiful! Leaves? Really! You make it look so easy!

Anonymous said...

Oh Sonja, I LOVE it. I love the natural look of your wreath, particularly the beautiful roses. How unique. I hope they "dry" beautifully so that you can keep your wreath past the fall season. Let me know how that works out for you. Thank you for sharing this treat of a project on the Boardwalk Bragfest

Kristol Faucheux said...

This is absolutely Gorgeous!!!

the old white house said...

I can't believe you made that with leaves! It is gorgeous... must be I like lopsided too because I swear that is how all of my projects turn out! Thank you for sharing! Theresa xoxo

Christine said...

Greetings from Seattle Washington! I love your roses here! What a wonderful and fun idea.