Step by step guide to making a cushion funeral tribute, with a foliage edge and based in Roses.
In other workshops Ive shown you the ribbon edge method and thought this time Id make a cushion using foliage as the edge decoration, also instead of basing the cushion in the usual double chrysanthemums I thought Id show you a Rose Based item. This is a quite expensive way to make a tribute but occasionally you may get a group who have collected money for a tribute, say for example, for a work collegue, and instead of cramming lots of flowers together to make the tribute to the value, which can sometimes mean a large tribute, its nice to offer a smaller but 'full value' alternative. This is especially important if the tribute is not to look too ostentatious and risk overshadowing other tributes given by family members.
Always remember funeral flower etiquette, when neighbours or colleagues want to give a joint item - try not to make it very large to use up the value of the contribution as relatives of the deceased may not have such funds available and the tribute might make theirs look insubstantial, this is bad etiquette. By making something smaller but still suing the value of the contribution the tribute will then be a sign of the respect the contibutors had for the deceased but not risk any offense. In this type of situation the Rose Based Cushion or similar, is a perfect choice.
The requirements to make this cushion are as follows:
1 Oasis Cushion 12inch
1 Half an oasis sphere for the spray
Foliage I used Hard Ruscus for the edging and spray
I also used Blupleurum (the lime coloured foliage) for contrast.
50 Rose heads, not buds but half full bloom
2 stems of Alstromeria in white for the spray
Please note that where the basing is all roses, the spray is kept low key, there is no need to go overboard with the flower content of the spray as there are so many roses used in the base. In fact, just foliages of contrasting colour and texture can be quite enough.
Do not wet the oasis at this point!!
First of all, as always, bevel the edges of the cushion at an angle so that we dont have any angular edges. After that smooth down the shape with your hands to create a rounded 3D smooth edged shape.
Now cut your oasis wet sphere in half, bevel the edges, smooth down again and attach to the top right hand corner of the cushion using thin pot tape - make sure the tape is tight and adheres to itself, ie bring the reel over and make sure it sticks to itself before cutting. dont cover the central point of the oasis as this area will be needed to place the spray material.
Wet the oasis foam with water, a garden hose or jug is best, dont over weigh it with water, about 2 pints will be enough.
Take the foliage for the edging, in this case Im using Hard Ruscus, cut into 2inch lengths and insert along the edge close to the base in an upward direction so that the tips of the foliage reach down to the surface you are working on, this allows the finished design to look 'grounded'. Keep the leaves close together but not bunched and try to be correct the first time as you dont want the edge too holey, you want the foliage to stay put and not be loose. If you find your foliage is a bit long then trim with scissors following the natural shape of the leaf, this is the reason I use Hard Ruscus - it can be cut like material to suit your needs.
Once you have gone around the edge of the whole cushion give the foliage a light spray of Leaf Shine. This gives a lovely glossy look but also seals in the moisture. See how glossy the leaves look in the picture? It really is one of the most important floristry tools to give a professional finish.
I might add at this time that all floristry sundries can be bought from me at my ebay store, my ebay ID is Parvifolia and the store is called E-Jay Trading. There will be a link to the store at the end of this workshop.
The roses can be added by starting at a corner with the least open of the roses for the corners, place them neatly next to each other so no foam can be seen between, they will open a bit more so dont panic if a very small gap is evident, but do try and place them close. The stems should be very short so that they avoid colliding in the foam with those placed upright but long enough for stability, I cut the stems at an angle 45' so they have a sharp insertion into the foam which also adds stability as the hole is a better fit around the stem if a sharp rather than blunt stem end is inserted. Removing the sepals, the green redundant bud protectors which hang down the stem of an open rose, (they look like green hard petals), is recommended as these will hinder a clean insertion into the foam.
Once the edges are complete, fill the rest of the oasis with roses in lines around the cushion, close together and facing directly upward. Continue until the whole surface is covered. The roses I have used here are called 'Aqua'.
Next thing to do is to start making the spray. the half sphere will now be slightly protruding from the mass of roses and we want to make the spray no more than a third of the cushion size. Running diagonally across from the 'bump' of oasis, allow a long small leafed stem of foliage to be the longest placement, then continue in 'steps' grading the length and keeping the stems touching down on the roses - once again - this will make the item look 'grounded' and 'together'.
Ive then continued to construct the spray using pieces of Blupleurum (the lime coloured foliage) and stems of white Alstromaria. Keep the spray within the boundaries of the design and keep the longest piece of foliage you placed in a diagonal across from the bump corner as the longest point of the spray. Sometimes less is more, so dont overcrowd the spray but if you have any gaps, cut small pieces of foliage and insert them deep into the foam, this adds 'recession' which means it adds depth so that some material is low to the foam and its adds interest and of course, helps cover the foam.
So, there you have it. Next time you are asked to make a high value item without going overboard on size, you might consider the Rose Based Cushion as a suitable tribute.
As promised here is the link to go to my ebay store: If you cant find an item you need just ask on the site using the 'ask member a question' option, because I cant list all the items I have, if its not listed it doesnt mean I dont have it, please just ask.
Here is that link:
CLICK FOR MY STORE
You'll know you've arrived when you see my logo!! Thankyou.