The final meeting of the year seems to have arrived much faster than usual, but after an extremely busy floral year I am sure everyone is looking forward to a well-deserved break.
Margie Voogt was our demonstrator this morning, and what a fun and relaxed morning we had with her showing us some very interesting and unusual designs.
Her first design was inspired by a visit to her son in Hoi An, Vietnam, known as the City of Lanterns. She created a lantern shape by making a cone of chicken wire filled with oasis.  This she filled with gypsophila packed tightly from the top to the bottom.  Other flowers can be included too, as well as ribbons, baubles, or other bling and these can be made in various sizes and hung out on a patio for instance, freeing up space on the dinner table. Adding fairy lights allows your design to sparkle in the evening as well.
Margie then showed us a technique inspired by the work of Hitomi Gillium.  Using a rose, she removed the guard petals around the outside (this allows the rose to blow open), cut the stem off right against the calyx and using a strong wire or skewer made a hole through the calyx.  She then took a pipe cleaner and rolled this into a tight spiral leaving a short piece on the one end and a longer piece on the other.  Using oasis glue she filled the hole in the calyx and also put some around the base before inserting the short end into the hole, and placing the spiral on the base of the rose.  The tail or long end can now be used to tie the rose into a design or add it another pipe cleaner to create a garland!
Taking tortured willow Margie bent two pieces to create a heart shape and secured these at the bottom centre.  To this she added gypsophila using reel wire to secure it and covered the shape.  Again depending on where you would like to use the heart, different plant material can be used, eg. Lavender for a kitchen.  It can either be left rustic with the little pieces sticking out, or trimmed for a more formal look.  You can make them in different sizes as well, hanging them or using them as a pretty chair back for a special function or wedding.
Another design inspired by Hitomi was the angel wings – made with a bunch of midelino sticks bound together with binding wire and then adding more sticks but this time leaving a small gap before binding.  Then bend into shape and secure.  Can also be used to hold a tied bunch.  Using a stand with small cages attached at the top, the angel wings were inserted into the back.  Margie then used schefflera, rabbits foot fern, Xanadu leaves, soft fern and myrtle before adding white orchids and roses to finish off her beautiful angel.
The final design was a place setting for a very special guest.  But first the making of the Cheesecake – using the fibre from the coconut palm Margie made the crust.  To this she added the filling and the topped with the cream – cotton, before adding her chocolate (bark) curls to finish it off. The chair back had already been attached and then the table was set with a pretty Christmas runner, candle, a special bottle of wine, glasses, a decorative bottle with fairy lights, some Christmas mood music and finally, the Cheesecake before Margie slipped into something a little more comfortable to await Father
Christmas …..
   I hope that after this beautiful spread he manages to get on his way again and finish all his deliveries……..  If not, we all now know why!
  Two of Margie's designs were then auctioned off by Leila!
Thank you Margie for inspiring us with your beautiful designs and to Gene for assisting today.
Wishing all our members a safe and joyful Festive Season!
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