Sunday, 25 March 2018

Flower basket

My recent post in which I reflected over the amount of time and energy required for miniature-making has had a record number of views, but to my surprise also led to many indignant comments on Facebook. Apparently some people had not read the blog, just the title, thinking that I was outraged by pricing. Some comments said: "If you ask this question you will not understand the answer", or "Try for yourself and you'll see" (which is exactly what I did in the blog). When I asked one of the critics whether they had read my blog, they replied: "I don't read blogs". To be fair, I also got some praise from people who had read the blog.

Anyway, I decided to repeat the experiment today, without asking rhetorical questions in the blog title. For my florist shop, I want some hanging baskets because they will look nice in the foreground, and I had never made a hanging basket, so it's about time.

I found a good tutorial, but almost from start I adjusted it to my materials and methods. I had previously made topiaries, and I thought I could use the same technique for a ball-shaped basket arrangement. So I painted three felt balls green.

I abandoned my principle of making just one item to test because I wanted to clock my work, and also because I had three thingies I thought would make good baskets. (They didn't - more below).

The tutorial prescribes moss for the basket, but I don't have moss and I like recycling so I used a green fruit net I had been saving for the occasion.

Then it was just a matter of covering the balls with glue and dipping into a bowl of "moss". People always ask what kind of glue - ordinary all-purpose PVA. Up to this point, it took me an hour.

While the balls were drying I started making flowers. The tutorial does not show how to make flowers, and I won't show it either, because I have already shown some techniques in a previous post.

In a hanging basket, you have a mix of flowers so I made a little of everything, and I also cheated and used an old plant I am no longer happy with, made from grated hard foam. It looks like a generic flower and is easy to just glue on.

Meanwhile, I tried several constructions for baskets. I took pictures, but since none of my ideas worked there is no point in sharing. This was learning time, a lot of it, as I tried this and that, painted, decorated with stencils, even considered making real baskets from string, and I cut chains and found chain links, and then as I was looking for something I suddenly saw perfect hanging baskets, all ready to use. This is what happens when you have your miniature glasses on.

After that, it was just patience, and patience takes time. Gluing on flowers, making leaves. And I only finished one of the three baskets. I believe it took at least two more hours. Bit it was worth the trouble. Don't you think?


  1. So pretty! I love the tulips especially.

  2. Great flowers and baskets! I have seen many folks open Etsy type stores selling handmade miniatures, and then close them a short time later. I suspect that it is because the time it takes to make a quality miniature is profit prohibitive. And if you spend all that time making things to sell, when do you have time to make minis as your hobby? I just made 16 arrangements of three different flower types, and the stems themselves took three 10 hour days to complete. A partial 4th day was spent putting them in their vases with "water". For me it was an exercise in getting an immersion lesson in flower making. I hope the folks who do sell things like that can make them a heck of a lot faster than I did! :O)

  3. Sometimes when I share a project that takes time, I get comments such as: "You can do XX to make it quicker". But the point is that I don't want to make it quicker. It's like physical exercise - the more you do the better you feel. Since I am not making anything for sale I can afford spending ten hours on one flower arrangement or ten evenings on elaborate parquet floor. I guess if you make things for sale you rationalise the process, prepare things in advance and generally become skillful in making this particular item.

  4. It's my opinion that your question was perfectly legitimate. I've asked myself that Very Same question too, so there was no good reason for the more negative FB responses.
    In any case, your assorted floral arrangements are very pretty! Making flower arrangements is a time consuming and fiddly job but seeing your Spectacular results has been well worth your efforts :D