Hello out there, blogland! It’s been sooooo long since I last posted, you may have wondered where I’ve been. Sorry for the long absence. I’m still crafting, but a lot of my free time has been spent with another forgotten hobby of mine – reading. I just rediscovered my love of books. Fiction books, to be exact. I took a hiatus from reading fiction a few years ago and had been reading mostly nonfiction, but recently, I got this great urge to start reading novels again. I’ve been in a storytelling mood for the last couple of months, and novels (and films) have been fueling my imagination.
Anyhow, I hope you all had a great Halloween and Thanksgiving and are getting ready for Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, or whatever you celebrate. Usually at this point in the holiday season, I would be feeling quite frazzled, but this year, I have been really working on balancing my life during this hectic season. Between my online businesses on eBay, Amazon, and Etsy, meeting up with friends, and preparing for the holidays, it’s been busier than ever, but I don’t feel nearly as worn down as I usually do. Hey, I’m learning.
Okay, back to crafting. A few months ago – like in August – I took a class at Handcraft Studio School – yet another new place for me to take classes – with Tiffanie Turner, crepe paper floral artist. We learned to make a tea rose. Since I’ve learned to make crepe paper flowers mostly from Lynn Dolan, it was interesting to get another perspective on this vintage craft.
The first thing that stood out to me about Tiffanie’s method was her choice of adhesive – at least for the class. She had us use a low temp glue gun to glue on our petals. I didn’t think it was going to work well, but surprisingly, it did. Tiffanie also provided us with templates for the petals and leaves, plus a map of the petal placement. I can’t show any of this here because it is copyrighted material, as Tiffanie just published a crepe paper flower book. We were kind of her guinea pigs.
She let us pick the type and color of crepe we would use for our flowers. I made the mistake of choosing an ombre florist crepe. The ombre is on one side while the back is all the same shade. This complicated matters as I soon found out when it came to gluing on the petals. Some of the petals had the ombre side facing out, while others had it facing in. Don’t ask me which petals had which side facing where, as I couldn’t get it straight even then.
We started by creating the bud by wrapping green floral tape around one end of stem wire.
Then we cut out our petals and cupped and curled them.
For some of the petals, we trimmed the top edge like so:
We glued four of the petals around the center, forming the bud.
The petal-gluing was interesting, as glue was applied to the tops and sides of the first few petals in order to get the right effect. The remaining petals were glued at their bases.
We continued gluing on the petals until we got a full rose.
Here’s a close up of the petals with a closer look at the center bud:
Here’s what the base of the petals looked like:
You can see a few strings of the hot glue, but overall the glue did not bulk up the rose because we used small dabs of glue, which was enough to adhere the petals securely. This is in contrast to how much glue you need to secure the petals in place when you use wet craft glue, resulting in a thick base.
Next we cut out our calyx and curled the individual sepals.
Then we glued it onto the base of the bundle of petals.
Next we wrapped the stem of the rose. As you can see, I didn’t do such a great job wrapping the stem near the calyx:
I also didn’t cover up all the bases of my petals, exposing a few of them so that they looked to be miraculously floating.
For the leaves, Tiffanie had made up a bunch for us ahead of time and described how she made them. Like Lynn, she cut each half of each leaf against the bias of the crepe paper and then glued the two halves together so that the grain formed a chevron shape to resemble the veins of a leaf. Unlike what Lynn does, Tiffanie slightly overlapped the edges of her leaf halves when she glued them together. She then glued green stem wire to the back of each leaf. Unlike Lynn, she left the stems of the leaf unwrapped.
Interestingly according to Tiffanie, the leaf at the top of the sprig should be slightly larger than the leaves shooting off from the sides. I made sure to stack the leaves with this in mind.
As you can see in the photos, I wrapped the exposed parts of the stems of the leaves.
We then wrapped the leaf sprig to the rose stem.
My crepe paper tea rose, all completed:
It was very interesting taking a class from someone other than Lynn. While my favorite instructor is still Lynn, I picked up some new tips and techniques from Tiffanie that will only help improve my crepe paper flower making. The only down side to this class was that at three hours (and with fifteen students), it was way too short for me to finish my flower. I had to finish it at home.
What parts of Tiffanie’s method did you like and want to incorporate into your flower-making? Please share in the comments.