So today I did some flower arranging.
Not the most usual of activites for me so I shall explain. It was my 40th birthday earlier this year and I had a big party and invited everyone I knew. One of my neighbours, the very lovely Pippa, came to my party and brought me a big pink bag full of goodies. Once the party was over I opened up all my presents and this big pink bag contained a host of unexpected items, all hinting at floral arranging; vases, oasis, tape of sorts, plant scissors (is there a proper name?!) Anyway, Pippa explained that she would love to have a morning with me teaching me the basics of flower arranging (she has been doing it for quite a while now, and is marvellous at it)
My birthday was the beginning of March. It is now mid July. This is how long it takes for two busy people to get together at a mutually acceptable time! Yes, I am still extremely busy but I had cancelled twice previous and so couldn't again, and anyway, felt like I needed this (remember my mantra?!!)
So, 10am on another beautifully sunny day, after a slow stroll down the road, I was greeted by the lovely Pippa and a nice cup of tea. We chatted over magazines and discussed the principles of design, whether it be floral, interior, fashion, textile, art, they are basically the same.
We then went strolling around her extensive gardens snipping and cutting and smelling and ooing and ahhing at all the beautiful plants. As a flower arranger she grows her plants for her work and so there is such a variety of wonder (apologies for lack of photos until this point, I was far too absorbed!)
We finally had a big bucket full and got to work. I didn't really know what I was doing, but I was going with instinct and working on the principles that Pippa had gone over earlier. Composition, balance, texture, colour. All those things you learn throughout your art training, but now with flowers. I honestly didn't know where it was going to take me, but I just went with the flow. I felt out of my comfort zone, but not, if you know what I mean. I loved it - and I never thought I would say that!
I discovered that I like very delicate flowers, and I like delicate arrangements. I was scared I was going very OTT but the final result didn't show that. I thought I was going to be really rustic and messy but actually they had a great deal of structure about them. I didn't use a great deal of colour, which I thought I would. The colours that I love in my home (browns, oranges, yellows) I didn't like in a floral arrangement, I went for a lot of greens, whites and a little of pink & purple.
It was absolutely fascinating, and A LOT harder than it looks. You may see these pictures and just see some flowers and leaves chucked together, but there was so much thought and experimenting involved in creating this arrangement. Exactly like the process I use for my cushion designs!
I am so proud of what I achieved today, and felt inspired and invigorated once I left. I have them both pride of place in the kitchen and will keep topping up the oasis's (is that a correct plural?!) with water to help the sweet peas and roses and all the other ones that I don't know the names of to last as long as possible!
A new world has been opened. And I am going to keep it open!
I am discovering that it is good to get out of your comfort zone every now and again, as you might just learn something...