Monday, October 6, 2008

From Serving Piece to Centerpiece.....

"Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower."
~Albert Camus~
In my last post I gave you a sneak peek at a fall decoration I was working on. I bought this partridge in a pear tree serving piece/candle holder at a flea market recently.I really liked the height and scale of this piece. I thought I could also use it as a base for a centerpiece for fall and then change it out for Christmas. I wanted to show you how you can easily marry simple objects to create height and scale and make an impact on a budget.TIP: When using a deep pot for a floral arrangement use something in the bottom for filler. I used a quart size paint can and stuffed some plastic grocery bags around it, making a nice base for just one layer of floral foam. This saves on the cost of your project.After inserting the foam, I covered it with moss. This type of moss grows wild where I live and is plentiful. If I keep it watered it will stay green, cool huh?To marry the iron piece to the ceramic urn I used candle wax fitters. These are wax strips that are soft and can be molded around the bottom of taper candles to keep them from wobbling in a holder. It is sometimes also called: museum wax, tacky wax, earthquake wax, or museum putty. This stuff is great and a must have on hand for me. I use it everywhere I have delicate pieces that I want secured and they have withstood the gregarious grandson test! I purchase packages of these at Hobby Lobby in the ready made candle section. Depending on which type you buy this product usually runs from $2.99 up to $5.00.

I peeled away a strip for each "foot" of the iron piece, warmed it in my hand and then rolled it into a ball pushing it gently onto each "foot".
I centered the piece over the urn and pressed into place, molding the wax around each "foot". Next I cut green floral wire and bent it into "U" shaped picks and secured the center by putting one side of each pick over the wire rings and pressing it into the moss covered foam.I twirled a bit of honeysuckle vine around the center securing with bits of copper wire.Since there were going to be flammables on this piece, I chose not to use candles but three little faux pumpkins instead.
The color of these was a bit garish so I used a bit of clear glaze mixed with some acrylic copper and bronze metallic paints to tone them down a bit. I brushed the mixture on each and let them dry. Once dry, I pressed them down onto the candle holders.For the foliage portion, I inserted two fall floral picks and used three very large pine cones at the back for filler.TIP: Knowing this was going to be a one sided arrangement, I saved on filler by using three large pine cones, while barely visible they take up space using less leaves and berries.I then did what I call the jammer crammer method of floral arranging. Jamming and cramming leaves from one silk leaf bush, one silk ivy bush, two pepper berry bushes, and some twigs I filled out the bottom, stepping back and viewing, adding until it looked full and lush.

TIP: Buy a bush of leaves or berries rather than stems. Cut them apart into stems, saving on the cost of the arrangement.

I wired a few pepper berries and bits of ivy up the honeysuckle vine.
Lastly, I used one floral pick, a strand of silk ivy, a pheasant feather pick, a silk leaf clipping, and a pepper berry clipping plus a few twigs to make bouquet, securing them together with floral tape. I wired this at an angle draping down the front of the centerpiece. I tucked another feather pick at an angle parallel to the other one, adding one cream colored rose and its leaves, a birds nest with speckled egg, and a glass bird ornament. This arrangement stands 38 inches tall and looks perfect in my hallway.
Unbelievably this project only cost $22.00, a fraction of what it would have cost had I bought a ready made arrangement. An arrangement of this scale could cost up $200.00 or more. By using materials I had on hand, (museum wax, floral wire and tape, silk ivy bush, nest, egg, bird ornament, clear glaze, acrylic paints, and urn), utilizing what was free, (twigs, moss, pine cones, and honeysuckle vine), and bargain shopping, ($8.00 for serving/candle holder from a flea market, $7.00 for 3 pumpkins, 2 pepper berry bushes, 1 fall leaf bush, and 1 block floral foam from Dollar Tree. $7.00 for 3 fall floral picks, 2 pheasant feather picks, and one silk rose all bought at half price from Hobby Lobby), I was able to create impact on a budget. I love how it turned out.Originally I was planning on using this arrangement on my hearth but with the mantle decor it was too much, any ideas for hearth decor?

I am off to the pumpkin patch for a little inspiration! Enjoy your day!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

19 comments:

The Feathered Nest said...

Sandy!! This arrangement is absolutely GORGEOUS!!! And the price?? GORGEOUS as well....I love you showing the steps of creating it ~ How neat to combine the two elements to make one amazing base for your arrangement, too! Wishing you a wonderful week sweet friend, xxoo, Dawn

Susie said...

Sandy, you kill me with all that talent. Would you just hop on a plane and come down here and decorate my house? This is a beautiful centerpiece. Your home must be gorgeous!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Darlin', you are one talented artist! I could not begin to imagine such a creation. It's delicious!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

I knew I liked you! I am a jammer and crammer too. :)

Anonymous said...

Miss Sandy, Well I've been delayed from reading your blog until today, love the story and the little pixie you created. Love the fireplace redo and your beautiful flower arrangement you are so talented! Vicki Page

Charmingdesigns said...

Oh my goodness that turned out so beautiful. Love seeing the pheasant feathers!! Nice to be able to change the look of pumpkins. I am still on the lookout for inexpensive pumpkins with nice shapes...I cant find any anywhere. Thanks for your nice comment on my blog...I do have an interesting "shelf" I'll put it in my next picture with my next bottle. Laurie

kathy said...

Oh how delightful , beautiful -- not a great flower arranger myself - so thanks for info and the stepos - the pictures a re so beautiful --THanks for the comments on my blog _ Kathy - Ga

Cindy@Cutepinkstuff said...

Wow, what a transformation! You are so talented, Miss Sandy!

Judy said...

Wow...amazing what can be done with what is on hand..it's beautiful! Thanks for including the little tips.

cindy said...

Sandy...this is just amazing! I love it! You are so clever! And the colors and the elements...wonderful. Thanks for sharing on how to.

c

Catherine Holman said...

Sandy, That is just beautiful! You are so talented!
Hugs,
Cathie

Myrna said...

What an amazing arrangement! Beautiful!! Yeah, to buy it would be AT LEAST $200! Thanks for the step by step instructions. I may give it a go, but you have THE EYE!
Thanks for the inspiration!!
And thanks for visiting me!!
Blessing!
Myrna

Cindy Is Crafty said...

Lovely, Miss Sandy!

Helen Read said...

This is inspired! I love what you've done and you're a genius in how you did it!!

allaboutpretty said...

Hi Sandy, WOW, what a lovely creation! It makes me want to sit down by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate & a good book, so perfect for the fall. Thanks for sharing! God bless, Laura

Pat said...

Stunning!!!
I plan to try my best to copy this. Thank you for sharing every detail since I am totally depending upon each one for victory!
Bless you,
Pat

Flower said...

So very pretty and it makes your hallway say "Celebrate!"

Pinkie Denise said...

Hello Miss Sandy,
I love your beautiful fall arrangement and that fireplace so lovely. You did a great job! You have been so busy creating lately, love everything Pinkie

Meredith Teagarden said...

Love the links and the project!

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