May 17

Floral Design 101

One of the perks of being married to a GRCC employee is being able to take classes for free.  Did you know that Grand Rapids Community College offers a Floral Design class?  This useful tidbit of information had been passed my way so I thought sure, why not?  What have I got to lose?

3 hours of flowers for 5 days.  That’s all the class entails.  I thought I could be a college student for a measly 5 days.  Oh boy, there are reasons why people wait until after schooling to have kids, who was I kidding?  It wasn’t even a stressful or demanding class but let me say, I am so happy my sister was able to come and spend a few days with me.  What a Godsend!  It was like having a nanny this week. A-MAZ-ING.

So anyway, the downside of the class was that it’s all artificial flowers.  The school just isn’t equipped for fresh – no coolers, sinks or other necessities for fresh.  But design basics are pretty interchangeable so not all was lost.  The curriculum itself is very basic.  I mean, extremely basic.  But I’ve never had any formal training whatsoever, so I actually found it pretty entertaining.  And then there’s the fact that I always look at arrangements and say “Oh, I can do that” but I never actually push myself to do it.  This forced me to take that step and really prove that I can do it.  Some tasked ended up being a touch more difficult than anticipated, I was given rules and couldn’t just grab and create whatever I wanted.  This idea of boundaries threw me for a loop, but I conquered something in myself and it made me very happy.

Traditional Peony Centerpiece | The Day's Design

I’ve never thought of myself as completely traditional. While I like balance, I don’t always like symmetry.  My first task was to create a traditional floral arrangement – rounded, with one central flower and equal flowers all the way around.  I managed to make something lovely.  Mission accomplished.

Peony and Twigs| Contemporary Arrangement | The Day's Design

Next was the contemporary arrangement. Less is more was the motto here.  That’s not always an easy motto for me to live up to.  My instructor said that the contemporary arrangement is usually something that would be described as “interesting” and leave one wondering how they could make that, where as a traditional the reaction would be comments on how pretty it is.  I personally have always thought of contemporary arrangements as slightly on the strange side, extremely clean and angular and definitely not my style.  But I was able to create something that brought my earthy, natural style in and paired it with a more modern shape, placing it in an industrial textured pot.   And yes, I was the student picking up sticks along my walk on the way to class.  Mission #2 accomplished.

Yellow Centerpiece | The Day's Design

Task 3 was architectural.  This was a concept that I was completely unfamiliar with.  Arrangements that fit into this category might include the pyramid, topiaries, pomanders, the “s” shape or horizontal arrangements.  I chose the “s” shape, which seems to be something that I already did, just didn’t realize it.  I always created arrangements in this shape to create balance and movement – I love finding out why things look good to me!

It’s funny the things you learn even in the most basic environments.  I seldom pass up a chance to educate myself, even if I did find myself surrounded by a group of college students using this as an “easy A” to satisfy a necessary elective.  I was able to practice and experiment and it was fun – sometimes you just need to get out of the house to get inspired!

Speaking of getting out of the house – I leave tomorrow for North Carolina!  I cannot wait to meet some new flower friends at Kelly Perry’s workshop.  I need to pack – Team Flower, here I come!!



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