20 October, 2013

Rosy Cheeks: Floral Art (Wk. 1)

1. (esp. of a person's skin) coloured like a pink or red rose, typically as an indication of health, youth or embarrassment.


I still remember the first time I felt embarrassed. I was six years old, all white and puffy ready to be a flower girl for a youth pastors' wedding. As I walked nervously down that aisle, hand in hand with a boy; I felt uneasy.

I had never felt that uncomfortable and self conscious before. I can't remember their faces, but I do recall figures leaping over the pews trying to get a glimpse of us. Being embarrassed of the attention I looked down at my feet the whole way down. 

Running late into my first floral art class last Tuesday was not as dramatic. The small classroom was filled with a dozen warm faces all eager to start the session. I simply apologised for being late and rushed to the back of the room.  

We began by introducing ourselves and explaining why we were taking the course. As I spoke, blood rose up to my cheeks as everyone turned around to look at me. I imagined that my face was turning a deeper shade of pink.

I used to worry a lot about my rosy cheeks. On one hand I wanted to hide them because I was afraid everyone would think I was embarrassed 24/7. But when I was actually embarrassed I used to turn it around and shriek, "No I'm not, I just have naturally rosy cheeks!"

My logic for wanting to hide them was: If I already had pink cheeks, then I must have looked like a ridiculous bright tomato when I was either embarrassed, playing sports or crying. So I hated it when I had any of these reactions in public.

However, as I finished explaining why I was taking the class, and they moved onto the next person, it was over. Nothing had changed except that I had just introduced myself to new people. My face was warm but I couldn't help but to be ecstatic that I felt uncomfortable.

This year I have been too comfortable. Fearful to go out and meet new people and to do new things. I was glad when I felt uneasy because I knew I was doing something different. And I'm happy to let my cheeks be whatever shade they choose to be. Because hey, at least I don't need to spend so much money on blush!

In the workshop we used beautiful pink roses to create our first arrangement. The whole experience was quite soothing and therapeutic. I loved sitting alone and taking my time in the two hour class. Not worrying about what anyone else was doing or how fast they were doing it. I was able to do something for myself and with myself (if that doesn't sound too strange to say.)

We learnt two ways to support wire our roses. Both techniques required poking the wire into the neck of the rose to start off with. The first method is executed by wrapping the wire tightly around the rose in a spiral. The second ( professional way) is to have the wire straight against the stem, securing the top, middle and ends using green parafilm (tape.)
Then we simply lined our boxes with the left over cellophane from what the roses were wrapped in.

After that we placed more cellophane and the pink material (forgot to write down the name) over our boxes and slowly pushed our Oasis floral sponges into our boxes. The sponge was surprisingly heavy and moist. It was very peculiar to touch.

Using pruning shears we cut off pieces of foliage (greenery) and stuck them on the outer sides of the sponge. I had no idea if I was cutting the pieces at the right length or putting too much on, but I had fun pretending I did. 

Our next step was to place our roses in. I became very pretentious at this point, standing up now, trying to angle the roses in correctly. But I honestly didn't know what I was doing, and ending up fiddling with it for a while and not making much of a difference. Tip: cut the roses at an angle so that you have more control over how they will stand in the arrangement. And if you don't cut them at the same length just push them lower into the sponge. 

Our final step was to add in fillers. I simply chose to place misty (the purple flowers) at the base. Fillers are only meant to compliment the arrangement not take any attention away from the feature flower (in this case the roses.) Other ladies added vines and more elaborate decorative features but I liked keeping mine simple. Fun fact: roses survive longer in a vase of water rather than the sponge.

At the end of the first lesson I had a look at what I created, and I've got to tell you... I was pretty impressed. Even though we were given a lot of guidance, I was proud. And you know what? I can't remember the last time I ever felt proud of myself, and felt comfortable saying it. 

The roses now sit on my "study" table at home. Every time I walk past it, I am instantly gratified. I am reminded of the journey I have embarked on and the fact that it's ok to give myself affirmations.

But most of all it helps me appreciate the beauty in little rosy things.

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