As promised, I wanted to share some of the coolest tips and tricks to come out of the Rene Van Rems Tablescapes class I took last weekend. Like most floral design tricks, these all seem really obvious after you are showed them, but I personally had never thought of them and might never have.
This one is for cutting woody stemmed or line element flowers into smaller pieces to insert into shallower foam arrangements. Not many people like the look of those cut ends peeking out, and Rene showed us how to cover them with another insertion that’s parallel to the offending stem, with a head big enough to cover it. Here’s a before/after example:
OK this one is fun. Everyone loves carnations en masse, but you know what’s even cooler? Carnations en masse with the sepals removed. If you pop off that part of the flower (it’s what holds the petals together) it can’t stand upright / alone without looking kind of sad (actually on second view I think it’s kind of cute solo in that bud vase even) but they look awesome bunched together. They take on this fluffy whipped cream look that is not quite carnation, not quite hydrangea, not quite sweet pea – just fluffy and frothy. I was staring at this piece trying to figure out what was up with it before Rene showed us his trick for manipulating the carns!
p.s. that cute little bud vase is a cheapo holiday ornament with a quarter glued on as a bottom – brilliant and so inexpensive!
This one was *such* a time (and probably finger) saver, and was from a fellow student in the class! We were all shaving the spines off of ti leaves with sharp floral knives and I was sure to injure myself at any moment, when she showed us that if you just make one small horizontal cut in the leaf to start, you can actually pop the spine out and just peel it away from the leaf with your hands. It was easy to master and only took a second! sold!
And this trick was to anchor flowers at the top of a vase in a tall arrangement when the stems aren’t tall enough to support them- it’s a way to avoid designing in foam dishes sitting on the top, or filling the vase with something to meet the stems. These flowers are bunched and then wired to form a little hook shape that stays inconspicuous and lets them stay put. Again, simple but to me, opens up a whole new world of possibilities!
Hope that some of these tips and tricks were of use to you all!
Until next time…