show piece-1With the official beginning of Spring only a few days away, I was itching for some inspirations befitting the anticipated season with some of my favorite flowers. And what better way to scratch that itch than with a Spring floral design show. So, a couple weeks ago a florist friend & I toodled off to a show in the city that was jam packed with fresh ideas & loads of eye candy – European style!  Master florists, Aija & Riona from Latvia, entertained us with demonstrations of their designing skills & innovative creativity. Aija’s laid back sense of humour also added to the enjoyment. Their compositions featured armatures which are frameworks or structures that can be created from a variety of materials to enhance & and support floral arrangements.

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Test tubes make wonderful little receptacles for fresh blooms & the birds chirp Spring!

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Yarn stiffened with crafting glue is used as the backing to this armature along with a grid of wheat.

wheat

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An armature of midelino sticks adds stability & interest to this free flowing arrangement of pretty blooms.

green

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Guest designers

Guest designers Riona (L) and Aija (R) working their magic.

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Butterflies & a floral ‘Faberge’ egg.

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A contemporary bridal piece held like a muff (hands slipped inside the wire cuff) or worn as a bracelet. A lot of detail!

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Similar to paper mache, tissue is the base of this pretty heart for a bride to carry instead of a traditional bouquet.

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design-1

Here’s another very non-traditional bouquet – yes, bouquet!  The armature is made from birch bark. And for that ‘gamey’ look, pheasant feathers & an antler for the bride who’s a little more on the ‘wild side’.

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Here Aija used plastic heart picks for the armature. How romantic!

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This bouquet really struck my fancy for it’s simplistic elegance and twist in unique design. Riona has used a neutral colored yarn stiffened with crafting glue for this armature holding only baby’s breath & callas. This would be so easy breezy for a country wedding.

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design-8

For this composition, millett, grasses, feathers & other interesting elements provide the framework for a loose, airy affect.

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Going green! Artificial meets fresh for this eye catching & unusual bouquet.

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A small country in the Baltic region of Europe, Latvia is not considered wealthy and florists there don’t have many of the hands on design tools available to us here in North America. So they’re pretty crafty & resourceful, quite often repurposing things that left us saying, “Who knew?” The armatures are literally the more labor intensive & detailed elements of Riona & Aija’s designs. They use less flowers or foliage and the compositions are more free flowing, open & natural which is a refreshing change from the roundy moundy bouquets that many brides still grip so tightly.

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An armature of heavy twine (or thin rope) that’s wired to shape provides an interesting twist to this drop style bouquet. Minimal flowers & greens have been used, but very effectively for an elegant, yet whimsical appeal.  My personal bq favorite of the day!

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A gorgeous flowing armature for hanging. I can visualize these at an outdoor woodsy themed event.

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A pair with flair! Armatures can also be used as embellishments. Here, it’s the silver wire balls that create interest to these compositions & become part of the art.

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This piece is art in motion with it’s asymmetric lines and more complex nature. I love the various points of interest, the whimsical quality & the colors. A peaceful oasis comes to mind. Bravo, Riona!

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design-13

Simply fresh & pretty! Love it!

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the show

Mmm, floral eye candy! At the show hosted by Florist’s Supply in Burnaby.  I’m 2nd from the left & my friend, Fern, is to my left.

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This has beautiful movement with the hyacinths & butterflies!

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I’ve saved another favorite & the epitome of Spring for the last. This armature constructed with pieces of bamboo and sticks provides a natural ‘habitat’ for birds & blooms.

So, was I inspired? You bet your boots. And now I’m itching to try out some of the things I learned & create like crazy!!