About Cheerio

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In general I am a cheery and energetic person. But I am enshrouded in a cloak of iron. That cloak is the weight of greiving my son, whom I've lost to adoption.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

glimpse of the 'crafty side' of cheerio

I was asked to preserve a dozen roses for someone. The roses were given to here at a very special ceremony and they have a lot of sentimental value to her. By the time she asked me, she had already had the roses for a week. They survived the trip home in her luggage w/out great damage. But they still were not pristine condition when I picked up the roses. The first step is to preserve the rose. Hanging them upside down does not retain the color as well. I prefer to cut the stem off and put the rose in silica gel (which is not a gel at all, it is granualar almost like sand) using plastic quart soup containers. Once the roses are covered in gel, they take months to dry. It is critical that the very center of the rose bud is completely dry. I let them in the silica gel for 6 - 9 months. Then I gently take them out of the silica. This leaves a fine dust on the flower, so being anal, I use a few paintbrushes of various bristle types to brush the dust off of and in between all the petals. After dusting, I then take wire and use it to connect the rose to a 'fake' stem. Now that the rose has a long stem, it is easier to handle. This is when I spray each rose with light layers of clear silac to bring out the color and give a bit of a glossy shine. This makes the rose look alive again. It is important to let it completely dry between coats. I like to wait 24 hours. After it has been sprayed, I then wrap the stem in green floral tape. I start wrapping just below the base of the rose to cover the wire union to the stem, and with a twisting motion, spiral the tape the entire length of the stem.

For this project, she wanted the roses displayed upright in a vase. I had to create rose leaf stems. I took three pieces of wire and twisted them together to form a turkey foot. Then I wraped these wires in green floral tape.

Rose leaves have a distinct shape. I took silk leaves and cut them apart, then using hot glue, glued three leaves to each turkey foot. I now had leaf stems.

Later I will use more green floral tape to attach these to the rose stems. While waiting for the spray to dry, I found the perfect vase. I centered it, then securely adhered it to the wooden base of the glass dome display. I found that Gorilla glue works great for this. I've also learned that they really mean to use sparingly, otherwise it seeps out along the edge of the vase, and that is not attractive. After the vase was secured, I mixed several colors of decorative sand. I used a buff, tan, light blue, and a royal blue. I mixed these together very well. Then I poured this mix into the vase. Next I took my 12 roses and the 12 qt containers they had been dried in. I arranged the 12 containers in the shape I wanted my arrangement to have. I then sat one rose in each numbered container, so I could determine where to position each rose. Now all I had to do was arrange the 12 roses in the vase. I was careful to move the wired leaves into position as I arranged the roses. Once all the roses were in place, I took 3 silk ferns and put the in the background. Lastly I took pieces of white baby's breath and tucked pieces of it here and there among the roses. I am horrible at cleaning windows - so my hubby will wash the dome for me. Then I can sit it over this arrangement, and it will be preserved for many many years (as long as she keeps it out of direct sunlight). This was 'Due' first day of spring. I acutally had it done w/ a few days to spare.

I hope she likes it!
crafty cheerio

1 comment:

  1. Cheerio,

    That arrangement is stunning. I don't have a crafty bone in my body so therefore I am envious in every single way possible. Wow, what an incredible testament to the virtue of patience as well.