Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Monobotanic and still coming!

I am so proud of our club!!!  We chose a somewhat hard design for our January subject and we had a tremendous turn-out and spectacular designs!  Hooray for us!  This time we decided to create a floral design using monobotanic floral material in any National Garden Club Handbook sanctioned type of design we wanted.  And, boy, didn't we get some beauties!

Before I go on, let me explain what a monobotanic design is.

This is Heather's genus quercus design.  She has the huge acorns of the bur oak with a trunk of oak and some water oak branches with foliage.  Heather felt the multicolored striped background integrated the green, red, orange and brown of the natural material.  However, the group felt the the background was too busy and distracted from the design.  We changed out the backgrounds with these two blues and really liked the sky blue. Pat Graber, a Master Judge Emeritus, commented that in Flower Show School 101, it was stated that all designs looked better against a sky blue background.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Resources for Mechanics

Items we used for this group of designs are as follows:

uglu - Southern Floral, Amazon and other places
zots - Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Scrapbook stores, Amazon
floral frogs/pincushions - Amazon, these are harder to find at other stores, you can try Michael's and hit the garage sales.
floral tubes - Michael's, Amazon, Hobby Lobby
Southern Floral - a floral mechanic resource, this is their website.
Oasis Rustic Wire - Save-on-Crafts, Southern Floral, Michael's
Craftex - 7215 Ashcroft Drive
Houston, TX 77081-6386
(713) 771-6691

Last design

Suzanne's Angular 
Suzanne's decorative unit is flawlessly executed, especially the construction of the angular features.  We commented that the black angular base complemented the design.  The lily shows the angulation quite well, yet provides contrast of form and color.   The colors of the lily unite the container and the angular material.  We did not address the underlay.  The underlay color is appropriate however, the size is too small.  An underlay should  be "proportionate to the frame of reference" which means as wide as the design is wide and as deep as the design is deep.  She used a cane grass which can often be found on the side of the highway. As she worked with it over a period of days it faded from bright green to a light yellow green, which caused a change in some of the components she used.  If you are working with fresh material in the structure of your design you might want to start a few days in advance, so you can be prepared for the unexpected.

More design discussions

The following are some designs that we worked on at our first meeting, last week.

Here is Beverly M's piece.  We discussed the open and closed silhouette by using the thistles she has in the topmost part of her design.  An "open silhouette" has space between the floral components, allowing air or fingers to pass through.  A "closed silhouette" has the thistles bunched together as a basic group, allowing nothing to pass through.  We felt the bowl was too wide across for the size of the design and so we lifted the thistles up towards the left a little and made the design taller.  Then it was balanced with the bowl.  We also commented that we could turn the bowl upside down and have the smaller base toward the design.

This is Deana's other piece.  We really liked the leaves and the container and wood.  The protea was too big for the design and all the weight of the design was on the right side.  We played with turning the wooden branch around and putting the pokey out branch on the left and that helped a great deal.  If we simply removed the wooden branch entirely the top of the container was left open to the eye.  I think those leaves are sycamores but I'm not sure and I'll find out from Deana.  They were really gorgeous.

Liz G made this gorgeous fall centerpiece.  It has persimmons and dried wood as the components.  The photo picks up the persimmons really well but in real life they are very pale next to the wood and didn't show up well at all.  We felt that if they were red or pomegranates they would have a much larger visual impact and carry the wooden base very well.  Then we turned the base around and saw a totally new side of the piece with a knot in it and that helped offer visual presence too.

This is Mary B's terrific design.  Can you tell she has worked for a florist?  We commented that she had great plastic manipulation and abstraction in her clipped palm frond and in the rolled variegated ginger in the front.  The ginger, in real life, was overpowering the rest of the design and there were holes in the center going up to the grasses.  We recommended that she split the ginger leaf to make it smaller and re-position it to fill the spaces in the center.  Then we had a discussion about zots and how wonderful they are.  So she redid her ginger and next time I will have the after photos as well.

This is Joanne's miniature or maybe small.  We got the Handbook out to verify the size and the rules for a Miniature and a Small Design and we measured her design and it was 5 inches.  A Miniature Design may not exceed 5 inches in height, width or depth.  The background is considered "staging" and must be "in pleasing proportion to a five inch maximum design."  A Small Design may not exceed 8" in height, width or depth.   All other rules of Miniature apply to Small with the substitution of 8" for 5".  Her container is cinnamon sticks and her floral material is statice.  She brought several other colors of background cardstock and we had a great discussion on the importance of picking the right colors for your background and underlay.  It can sink or swim your design.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Welcome future designers!

Floral Design   Floral Design  Floral Design  Floral Design  Floral Design   Floral Design  Floral 

This blog is all about Floral Design and Arranging.  Designer's Choice is a club founded here in Houston for aspiring floral designers who are affiliated with a National Garden Club or the Houston Federation of Garden Clubs.

We meet four times a year and put our creative juices to work by designing floral arrangements.  These arrangements use the standards of the National Garden Club Handbook for Design.  We explore the boundaries of the NGC rules to develop our sense of creativity and we move beyond the rules to develop our sense of discovery.  Currently, we have no membership requirements other than to show up with a design and no dues.  We bring our own food and drink.  And we have fun and learn a lot!

The National Garden Club Handbook for Flower Shows, revision 2007, itemizes the attributes of a floral design.  There are Principles of Design which are carried out through the Elements of Design.  Below is a brief explanation of the Principles and the Elements.  These will be discussed in detail as we go along.

The Principles of Design are:
1.  Balance - Visual balance, stability
2.  Contrast - putting component characteristics against each other
3.  Dominance - any great impact of any specific physical characteristic
4.  Proportion - comparing the relationship of areas to one another
5.  Scale - comparing the relationship of objects to one another

The Elements of Design, which are used to attain the Principles are:
1.  Line - visual path
2.  Form - 3-D object
3.  Color -both attributes of light and the Pigment System of Color
4.  Texture - Surface qualities
5.  Pattern - spatial divisions of solids and voids
6.  Size - perceived dimensions
7.  Space - open areas in and around a design
8.  Light - illumination

We held our first meeting last Wednesday, October 19th, and the theme of the program was "Designer's Choice". This is an award offered in a Standard Flower Show organized under the rules of the NGC.  It allows the floral designer all freedom to choose plant materials and other components.  Each participant brought their own design and, after some general introduction material, we analyzed and discussed each arrangement.  The creator was asked to give the title for the arrangement and to tell us what design style and type it was.

Here are some pictures of our first designs.  Next meeting I will take before shots and after shots for those designs where we made changes.

Betty B attended a Beginning Design Workshop given by the Houston Federation of Garden Clubs, where she was instructed on the Traditional Line Design.  Betty wanted to expand on her new knowledge and created her design, which she called a Creative Line-Mass Design.  We had much discussion concerning the amount of blooms and the placement of the line material.  Although you can't see it here, the container was quite shiny and distracted from the overall harmony of the design.  What a great attempt for a new designer!

Here is Rogayle's design.  She had never put a design together before and this photo is an "after" photo.  The plant material on the right, the branch and two dried roses were not on the original design.  We discussed the "thrust" of the dried wood and how it needed to be offset by some plant material on the right side.  She had the material in her "bag of tricks" and added the required roses and leaves.  Now the design is balanced and pleasing to the eye.