#MiniMayhem? That's SO Tee Bylo!

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

While THOSE Mice Are Away, Tee Sees to the Flowers...

As Sunday January 22 was Homeless Sunday here in the UK and having given up the word 'procrastination' as my only New Years' Resolution; I was determined to throw open the doors to St M's Parish Church and having gone to the trouble of creating a feast of tasty goulash in polymer clay for the less fortunate of the parish; I was also determined to put those church mice to work that day.

Welcome to Parish Church of St M's...

I should add that several of the mice decided not to put in an appearance that day as I could offer nothing stronger than a mug of tea and those who did finally brave the cold to serve up the hot lunch I had prepared and raised awareness and support for those who have no home they can call their own - well, they did me proud!

However, as the Mice of the St M's Flower Guild were also nowhere to be seen and with neither the time nor the inclination to teach the basics of floral design to those mice I could see who were scurrying around; I decided to take myself off to find a quiet corner in the midst of all of this frantic activity and arrange the church flowers myself.

Our December holiday decorations may have long been packed away but as the liturgical colours for the church are still in honour of Christmastide with white, yellow and gold; I decided to create an arrangement with the use of this fancy pedestal although they are typically used for the display of a painted egg.

Using a combination of white silk roses, some smaller paper roses in a golden yellow colour with snippets of Conifer and some other bits of fauna I snaffled from my garden and with a handful of fine silver wire and my trusty scissors; my first step was to attach a piece of DRY Floral Foam to the top of the pedestal.

Step One of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo

With the snippets of Conifer and inspired by the shape of the humble triangle, I begin the design of my arrangement. 

I should add that Conifer remains one of my favourite faunas to work with as it has a gorgeous colour, the appearance of being 'freshly picked' for many weeks and a heady scent which I simply adore!

Step Two of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo

I also employ the use of fine silver wire for those snippets of Conifer which require more flexibility in which to arrange.

Step Three of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo

For those of you who are familiar with my floral creations, you'll know that I love to use 'real' foliage when I can and that I am an enthusiastic 'harvester' who loves to take advantage of the free pickings from the hedgerows and bridleways around me!

Step Four of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo

Step Five of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo

As I continue to add the snippets of Conifer and Fern to the arrangement, my design takes form.

Step Six of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo

Now that the basic design has been completed with the fauna; it's time to add the white silk roses.

Step Seven of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo

And with the silk roses in place, I now 'speckle' the arrangement with the use of the paper roses in a delightful colour of golden-yellow.

Step Eight of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo

With all the roses now in place, I continue to add more snippets of the Fern here and there.

Step Nine of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo

With the design nearly complete; it's time to add the finishing touch with some tiny pieces of fresh moss and which I love working with!

Step Ten of the Pedestal Floral Arrangement Tutorial with Tee Bylo

I use the moss to fill in any of the small gaps that remain until I am happy with the design and after a gentle spray with misted water from top to bottom, my pedestal arrangement is now complete and ready for display.


And with the pedestal arrangement now in place and with those church mice busy elsewhere; I think it's time to put the kettle on and enjoy some of that delicious shortbread I received as a gift for Christmas.


Bye for now!
Tee

A Bouquet for THAT Fairy Tale Bride!

On July 29 and on an incredible and much more summery day 35 years ago, the world was 'lost' in a sea of enthusiastic flag waving, military parades, dubious hats, the soaring strains of Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance, swathes of ivory taffeta and unbridled patriotic fever to celebrate the wedding of the Prince of Wales to the Lady Diana Spencer.

As a young teenager and naive monarchist who would happily spend hours sketching designs for wedding flowers on the odd bit of paper; I remember being the first to claim the best seat in front of the television at the home of my grandparents to watch this real fairy tale wedding.


When some years later we heard the chatter about mistresses, dubious telephone calls, obsessive bahaviour and emotional turmoil; I and the other 750 million who tuned in to watch this unique and frothy spectacle would soon come to learn that this fairy tale had not ended on a happily ever after!

But what of that wedding? 


Even though I had been excitedly anticipating seeing the dress; my excitement soon faded when I finally saw that huge crumpled frock and even as I write this, I can only think of that wonderful quip from Fiona in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral; 'Scarlett, you're blind, she looks like a big meringue.' 

Five years later on another sunny July day, I watched Sarah Ferguson promising to 'love, honour and obey' the Duke of York at Westminster Abbey and even though she couldn't even find the City of York on a map for a US television interview; I still believe that she really was a beautiful bride.


Although I had been a florist for some time before the union of the fun-loving Fergie to the boorish Duke in July 1986, I can only remember one or two commissions from brides who wished to emulate her S-shaped bouquet of gardenias, yellow roses, cream lilies and the obligatory sprig of myrtle grown from a cutting of Queen Victoria's bouquet.

Diana's bouquet, however was quite a different thing altogether and although it isn't one of my personal favourites; I remain just as impressed by this betrothal extravagance of flora and fauna even now!

Even three years after this wedding and as an eager trainee florist I would be wiring lily of the valley, stephanotis, gardenias, yellow roses and endless ivy leaves every Friday afternoon as the 'Diana Bouquet' was the fashionable choice for every aspiring fairy tale bride and even thirteen years later; a mock-up of this bouquet in silk flowers displayed in my design room would still attract admirers with a request of 'Ooo! Could I just hold this please?'

And so it was that one summer with time of my hands and the need for a challenge, I created a bouquet designed as a 'shower' in 12th scale inspired by the one carried by Lady Diana Spencer.


And, yes, it really was a challenge!

For not only did it take several attempts with varying degrees of success to manipulate the individual flowers into place with a combination of strong wire and determination; I also had to curb my enthusiasm for adding more ivy leaves and risk a creation suitable for my niece's Barbie doll!


Yesterday and running the risk of an inquisitive peck from one of my resident chickens, I ventured to the bottom of my garden to capture an image of this bouquet on top of the old corbel which has often served as a useful photographic prop for my creations, 12th scale or otherwise.

And as I was firing off these images, I couldn't help musing on my recollection of how much easier it  had been to create the 'Diana Bouquet' in 'real' fauna and flora!


Adieu for now!
Tee

A Portrait of a Grandmother in Flowers

Hello and welcome to more of my efflorescent tales from a corner of this 'Small World' and although the doors to Bouvier’s Flower Shop and the Brentwood Flower Market have been closed as of late; my floral endeavours have been continuing albeit in more of a fantastical way as the Yorvik Faerie and I've been busy creating some plants which would struggle to find a definition in any botanical guide!

However, I have also continued to indulge in some more floral design for our 'real' world with the flowers for the wedding of my dear niece and her dashing groom and another tinged with a hint of real sadness.

For on the early morning of Sunday April 19, my wonderful Grandmother died and although it was a privilege to have delivered her eulogy before her loved ones during her Memorial Service at Southlands Chapel in York; I also created a tribute to her with flowers.


Calling up her gentle nature and graceful poise, as well as a nod to her favourite colour of blue, I gathered up armfuls of the palest Sea Holly, cheerful Daisy Chrysanthemums that symbolize joy and added stems of elegant miniature Spray Carnations which I finished with lush Fern and speckled with spicy grey Eucalyptus.


After I had arranged these flowers in a rustic basket and inspired by my Grandmother’s ethereal nature, I then added several wisps of Bear Grass as a finishing touch and called it ‘A Portrait of Grandma in Flowers’ the images of which I now share with you, dear reader including the words of Brian Jacques that have long remained of comfort to me...


“Don't be ashamed to weep; 'tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.”
Brian Jacques

Until next time, Adieu!
Tee


Tears and Fleurs! A Tutorial with Tee...

Hello and welcome to more of my efflorescent tales from a corner of this 'Small World'!

As the last weekend in October is one for remembering the dearly departed with the festivals of the Mexican Day of the Dead and All Souls' Day, I have designed my own unique tribute in remembrance of those no longer with me with the creation of a spray of flowers in the design of a teardrop and which I placed on the table in the Design Room of Bouvier's Flower Shop on All Hallows Eve.

However, given that my photographic skills appeared to have deserted me when I set about capturing the images of this teardrop floral spray perched on a table in the Design Room of the newly revamped Bouvier's; I was relieved to discover that the results of the outdoor shoot were something of a compensation!

“Let your tears come.  Let them water your soul.”
Eileen Mayhew

And if you would like to discover the tale behind the creation of this teardrop floral spray then please read on!

Using a combination of off-white silk roses, snippets of Conifer and some other bits of fauna that I snaffled from my garden, I also assembled a piece of DRY Floral Foam, a handful of fine silver wire, my trusty pair of scissors and a mug of tea...

I might add that the choice of beverage is optional!

Step One of the Teardrop Floral Spray Tutorial with Tee Bylo

With the snippets of Conifer, I begin to design a 'Floral Bed' in the design of a teardrop.

Step Two of the Teardrop Floral Spray Tutorial with Tee Bylo

For those of you familiar with my floral creations, you'll know that I love to use 'real' foliage when I can and that I am also an enthusiastic 'harvester' who loves to take advantage of the free pickings from the hedgerows and bridleways around me!

As I continue with the snippets of Conifer, my design begins to take shape.

Step Three of the Teardrop Floral Spray Tutorial with Tee Bylo

Conifer remains one of my favourites to work with for reasons that include a gorgeous colour, the appearance of being 'freshly picked' for many weeks and its heady scent which j'adore!

Now that the basic teardrop design has been completed, it's time to add the silk roses which are a lovely off-white colour.

Step Four of the Teardrop Floral Spray Tutorial with Tee Bylo

With the roses in place, I now add the other pieces of interesting foliage that I have harvested.

Step Five of the Teardrop Floral Spray Tutorial with Tee Bylo

I use the silver wire to hold the pieces of foliage intact within the spray.

Step Six of the Teardrop Floral Spray Tutorial with Tee Bylo

The silver wires are also useful for creating 'circles' of foliage which adds nicely to the design.

Step Seven of the Teardrop Floral Spray Tutorial with Tee Bylo

As the design is nearly complete; it's time to add the finishing touch with some tiny pieces of fresh moss.

Step Eight of the Teardrop Floral Spray Tutorial with Tee Bylo

I use the moss to fill in any of the small gaps that remain until I am happy with my design.

Step Nine of the Teardrop Floral Spray Tutorial with Tee Bylo

With my floral spray completed, it's now time to enjoy a well-deserved mug of tea...

Bye for now!
Tee

* ADDENDUM *

Although I have used 'real' foliage for the creation of this teardrop floral spray; alternative snippets of plastic, silk or even paper leaves would also happily work with this design and I have found some wonderful pieces of 'foliage' while browsing the Aquarium department of my local pet store.

Even though I have been creating and teaching floral design for many years now, I STILL believe that everyone has the ability to make some sort of an arrangement with the use of fauna and flora and once you have mastered the basics, there really is no right nor wrong way!

I hope that my tutorial will inspire you to create your own little floral masterpiece and if you have any questions for me, please ask...