Saturday, June 11, 2011

DIY Flowers

I like to think that, for me, DIY stands for Design It Yourself, not Duplicate It Yourself.  It is a point of pride and also a little bit the writer's horror of plagiarism.  Besides, copy enough different styles and your audience (btw, I used to be an assistant costume designer, I think in terms of "audience," "show," etc.), instead of being wowed by your impressive research and creative genius, will stand there going "erm, yes, how very *unique*."  As in, "my head is reeling from the sheer mass of unfocused energy that must have gone into this riot of eight million Arts and Crafts Projects all in one room, dear lord, give me some air." - my costume professor had this reaction to several of my projects...

That said, tonight I am attempting to copy some other people's ideas.  They gave tutorials.

This is from
Coffee Filter Roses
Beautiful, aren't they?  They're not only not real, they're nothing but coffee filters, craft paint, masking tape, and drinking straws.

This was just a practice attempt for me, so I did not do the paint/dye thing or the leaves thing.  My tools were, I thought, pretty similar to the requirements:

Plus scissors and wire cutters.

I also did not take progress shots...try aunt peaches for those.

But here's how it turned out:

Not too shabby, eh?

 I did figure out that I was being a little too lax on my base-pinching-technique, as evidenced by the fat wad of tape at the base here:

 I also thought it probably could've done with just a little more fullness.  But on the whole, a very successful duplication, I thought.  I offered it to my little niece Lizzie, and she was awed in that distinctly flattering way that 2-year-olds have.

Inspired by this success, I moved on to these fabulous tissue paper carnations from

Being incurably lazy, however, I just used what I was already sitting at the table with...plain wire and coffee filters.

I had already learned the lesson of needing to add just a little more fullness than the recipe called for, so I about tripled the number of layers foldingtrees says to use.

She used pink marker around the edges to add interested and a little more realism to her blooms.  I used a dark brown, being interested only in the contrast for the sake of the picture I intended to brag with uh, post on the blog.

The result:

Jumbo toasted marshmallow on a stick drizzled with chocolate.

*Unique*, no?  And delicious.

I offered this one to Lizzie, too.  She looked at it for a second, then tactfully picked up Baby Doll and left the room.  Having flunked the 2-year-old challenge, the bloom went into the garbage.  (I think I'll start asking Lizzie how I look when I get dressed in the morning...a truly honest opinion of "do you like this outfit?")

Ok, ok, bad idea.  Or Good Idea, lousy attempt.  Undeterred, I moved on... this little nugget:

Everything it ought to be: sweet, simple, easy, and elegant.

I was a little skeptical of the no-glue/no-glue-alternative approach, and just rolling it up on my fingers sure wasn't doing it.  (I also realize, looking at it now, that I was rolling it from the inside, not the outside.  Oops.)  So I laid it out on the tape, like I did with the first coffee filter rose, and rolled the whole thing around a bit of wire.

And I ended up with: bait? 

I held this one up to Lizzie.

"Whassat?" She said.

"It's another little flower."

She looked down.  Then, in her best Learned Lady, Politely Surprised tone of voice, "Oh!"

"Oh!" is right.  In the trash.

So the best part of the evening, all things considered?

Aunt Heidi couldn't find the pjs, so baby girl went to bed in a giant T-shirt.

Lizzie pulls out the shirt as she looks down at her outfit.  "It's cute!" she says, pleased.  Aunt Heidi agrees.

1 comment:

  1. Wow I am glad you followed that first paragraph with your own duplicated-yourself attempts b/c I feel like 90% of what I blog about is duplicated from somebody or other. There's nothing new under the sun - that's my mantra. I LOVE the top picture (peonies?). I was just telling Mom the other day that using artificial flowers continues to be one of the decisions I am most happy about from my wedding. Will call you later today.


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