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Seattle, Wa

We want to share the richness in giving a new spirit to old things; playing a part in the life of something held precious and passing it along in the world.

JOURNAL

Ariel Tustin

Firstly, I'd like to clarify that I am NOT a florist. Which means- I am not an expert. However, I do create bouquets by hand for friends and family on occasion and I really enjoy it. I'm just going to walk you through my own process and I hope it works for you, too. Just have fun with it, and don't worry about making it PERFECT. The beauty lies in the imperfection with these. 

 

 

WHAT YOU NEED:

- Pruning shears or a sturdy pair of scissors

- A basket or something to keep your collection in while foraging

- Optional: some semi thick wire (you can get wire specifically for floral arrangements at the craft store.)

- Pretty paper and string / twine / ribbon to wrap your arrangement in (I like using pages from an old issue of Acne Magazine- which has big, beautiful text and imagery. You can also use regular newspaper pages or butcher / craft paper.  I tape the paper together using colorful washi tape and tie it up with twine.) or some type of vase - get creative.  Stop by the thrift store and look for any pretty container - it could be a marble utensil cup, a copper cup, or a mason jar... For this shoot we used a vintage brass ice bucket. Also keep in mind the size of bouquet you want to make. Simple, small bouquets are just as lovely to me as Large, grandiose arrangements. When selecting all of these elements, remember that simple is always better.  You don't need a giant red bow wrapped around a gorgeous understated bouquet or a vase with a colorful, loud pattern. 

 

GATHER YOUR BOUQUET:

Now you simply hop in your car or take a walk in search of any plantlife that stands out to you.  You will need a healthy mixture of subtlety and color.  What is growing around you right now?  A good bouquet doesn't have to be all about blossoms.  It can represent where you're from- the natural vegetation and season.  Take notice of what's plentiful.  Don't worry about searching for pinks or purples or any bold colors if they're not to be found. Your bouquet  might have blossoms, or it could have succulent, ferns, wildflowers, etc.  Be sure not to collect plants from someone's home garden.  However, most sane people will not mind if you collect fallen blossoms from the earth beneath their bush or flowering plant.  (This is what your wire is for.) When clipping, be sure to clip far enough down the stem of the plants to be able to arrange it with other flowers- give yourself plenty of length. You don't need to have your  bouquet in mind at this point.  Just collect everything of interest to you and be sure to handle them with care. Use discretion and consideration.  Don't trample the plants as you cut or take more than what you need. Place them gently in your basket.  You don't want to arrive at home with a basket of loose petals. Try to select the most hearty of the crop.  (Not the one that looks as though it's dying.) If you are able, collect some buds as well as blossoms. (They will last a bit longer.)

 

CREATING YOUR ARRANGEMENT:

Once you've gotten your collection home, spread them out into types.  What do you have the most of?  Which plants seem to flatter each other?  Use whichever plant you have the most of as a filler.  Next decide which blossoms or plants add a wow factor.  Place them centrally within the bouquet. Trim the leaves back so that they are only at the top of the plant, or trim all the leaves of some if you wish.  Leave leaves at the top of a few, to add a natural feel. Be sure to stagger the heights of your plants- hold them up and see which ones should peak out and which should stand a bit taller than the others- you don't want them all the same length.  Do not neglect the back and sides of the bouquet- It needs to be beautiful all the way around- not just at the front.  If you collected fallen foliage or blossoms without stems, simply insert faux wire stems carefully into their base.  Don't push too far or you'll puncture the top.  Clip the wire to the desired length so that the blossom stands where you'd like it to within the bunch.   If you use a vase, make sure all the plants can reach the water! Once you have placed your filler and your wow factor selections, begin placing additional plants in between.  Don't worry about using everything.  Use only what works.  If you have unused plants, find some additional paper or containers, complete the process again, and voila!  You have multiple gifts to give! 

Foraged bouquets like yours are incredibly genuine and heartfelt.  It means so much to know that these plants were collected and arranged by the hand of a loved one rather than simply purchased at a checkout stand.  They are like a love letter in and of themselves.  They may not last as long as their grocery store counterpart, but they will blush all the more brightly when you pass them off to that special someone.  

We've also included this hand painted printable card (below.)  You got this!  Happy Valentine's Day and good luck!  They're gonna love it.

printable card







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