Thursday, July 2, 2015

Spring Anemones: How I Did It

This past Saturday, our family had a big graduation party for my sister Rebecca, so I had the opportunity to make a bunch of paper flowers as center pieces.  Last Christmas I recieved The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers, and believe me, I was overjoyed.  I am always overjoyed when I receive gifts that I've been excited about getting.  It had been on Maggie's List of Wants for a while.  So Rebecca looked through it and liked the spring anemones, and the book said they're "quick and easy," so that's what I did!  If you look up spring anemones, they don't look very much like what Livia Cetti (the author) made them look like, but hers are quite beautiful anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter, right?  Here's a picture of them from the book.
Though mine did not look quite as pretty, I was proud of them nonetheless.

Things I Learned From Making These 
  • Sometimes it might be good to accept (or, gasp, ask...!) for help, even if it hurts your pride.Your pride could probably use a little hurting anyway.  Mine could...
  • When a book says something is "quick and easy," don't necessarily believe it.
  • You get a whole lot more petals than you were expecting if you go the paper efficient way, instead of the time efficient way.
  • It is totally okay to improvise.  (Fiiine, I'll be honest.  I didn't learn that from making these.  I already knew it.  I do it all the time, sometimes to a fault!  But I thought I should add it in here for y'all to know.  It's a good thing to keep in mind.)

Things I Improvised On/Did Differently
  •  The book said to use floral tape, but I do not own that, and it's not like I'm gonna go out and buy something like that (ha!), so I simply rolled long strips of green tissue paper through my sticker maker instead.  Of course, that's not as strong as floral tape, so on the parts where you need to secure stuff, I used masking tape, and then went over it with the tissue paper.  The idea to use masking tape was suggested by Rebecca.
  •  Related to that, the book said to use pretaped wire, so before doing anything else, I wrapped the tissue paper strips around wire I had cut.  Later on my sticker maker cartridge ran out of stuff, so I decided to stop wrapping the wire before making the flower, and then wrap it after everything else was finished.  I should have done that at the beginning.
  • I don't know exactly what size wire the book said to use, but anyway, we didn't have it.  We had some wire that was just a bit larger though, so that's what I used.
  • For the centers, you're suppose to stick the end of a Q-tip on the wire, but since my wire was bigger than it was suppose to be, the Q-tips didn't fit, so with my baby knife, just made a little slit down to the cotton part, and then I was able to side it on the end of the wire just fine!  (Story time: Once after coming back from helping out at the print shop my other sister works at, and thus having many a paper cut, I was trying to do this in the in the car, and the knife slipped and I got yet another cut.  So, not a good idea to do this in the car, if you were planning to do that.  Not saying I wouldn't have done it had I known I would get cut...)
  • Also for the centers, it says to use crepe paper, which I don't have, and it's basically the same as tissue paper, right?  Maybe not, but I still used it.  (I realized later that I could've used crepe paper after all, because I didn't even have black tissue paper, so I asked me mum to get some, so she could've gotten crepe instead.  Oh well, it worked.)
  • When I was making a test center (it was not intended to be a test center, but I accidentally used the wrong color, so...), I fringed the edge of the piece I was wrapping around the Q-tip center, because that's what the book says to do, but it was difficult, so for the others, I didn't fringe it (with Rebecca's permission), and they still looked superb!
  •  The way the book says to cut out the petals is as follows: cut tissue paper strips measuring 3" by 20" and then cut those into 2" by 3" rectangles and stack six on top of each other and trace around one petal template, and then cut out all six at once.  Now, that would be awfully convenient and save a lot of time, but there would be space around the edges that wouldn't be used, and you know I couldn't have that!  No no no!  So I decided to trace around the petals so they were right next to each other, and that made it possible to have one, or may even two, more petals on that strip than if I had gone the time efficient route.
    This is roughly how I did it.
  • Because I started later than I should have, and I procrastinated in the beginning, I did not put a leaf on the back of the flower, like I was suppose to do, and they still looked fine.  I must say though, that I think they would have looked better with the leaf on the back.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, look at the two pictures above.
  • I also did not bend the flowers' necks, as you can see from the picture.
  • For some reason, the book says to trim the stem so that it's seven inches from the bottom of the bloom to the end of the wire.  I didn't see a reason for that so I didn't do it!  The wire was originally nine inches.

Things I Could've Done Differently
  • Not cut out 3" by 20" strips, and traced around the petal template as many times as possible on a whole sheet of tissue paper.  That would have been even more paper efficient.
  • I definitely should have started earlier.
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