Everyday Flowers: Simple, Stunning Arrangements for Any Occasion | Spencer Falls | Skillshare

Everyday Flowers: Simple, Stunning Arrangements for Any Occasion

Spencer Falls, The Unlikely Florist

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13 Lessons (53m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:32
    • 2. The Art of Flowers

      3:10
    • 3. Tools and Materials

      1:16
    • 4. Choosing Your Flowers

      8:53
    • 5. Preparing Your Flowers

      3:28
    • 6. Creating a Bouquet

      5:05
    • 7. Finishing Your Bouquet

      3:43
    • 8. Choosing Your Vase

      2:46
    • 9. Building an Arrangement

      8:36
    • 10. Working with Dried Flowers

      3:53
    • 11. Creating Permanent Art

      7:40
    • 12. Expanding Your Creativity

      1:51
    • 13. Final Thoughts

      0:40
102 students are watching this class

About This Class

Looking for fresh inspiration or a creative escape? Discover nature’s most abundant and accessible medium—flowers!

As a self-taught florist who started selling bouquets out of his Volkswagen van, Spencer Falls believes that flowers are for absolutely everyone. Now a celebrated florist, Spencer shares a simple, flexible framework that will bring the beauty of nature indoors as your new favorite hobby!

Whether you’re working with a garden or a grocery store, this hands-on class will guide you through every step of creating lush, colorful arrangements that spark creativity and calm.

Working with Spencer, you’ll learn how to:

  • Pick and prepare flowers that won’t break the bank
  • Build bouquets around color, texture, and composition
  • Unlock the meditative power of working with your hands
  • Create permanent art pieces using dried flowers

Plus, ignite your imagination in Spencer’s Venice, CA studio, where he opens up about his personal process, winding path to success, and the tips and tricks he’s learned along the way. 

Designed for the curious and the creative, in just under an hour this class will have you working with flowers as comfortably as you work with your pencils, paints, or tablet. Get started with a brand new way to expand your skills, brighten your home, and express your creativity like never before!

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This class is open to students of all levels, and designed to be taken year round. All you need is access to plants, scissors, and a vase or twine to hold your arrangement.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Flowers in plants may well be the most accessible pellet that you can find. They don't cost a lot or they cost nothing. My name is Spenser Falls, and I'm a florist here in Venice Beach. Today's class is going to be about expressing creativity through flowers. I think that floristry isn't often considered enough from, and that's just because it's often considered a profession. But the reality behind creative work and art work, is that it is about a creative intention and expression. Just as there is color and composition, and texture in a painting, there are also those elements in flower arranging in floristry. Then it actually has the added elements of fragrance. It's a very sensible experience and a very creative experience. Today's class, we are going to make a trip to the flower market, we're going to do a little bit foraging. We're going to make bouquet, an arrangement, and then ultimately we're going to go into bigger, grander ideas using natural materials as our pellet. This class is really for the creative as much as it is about flowers. You also have the added element of twisting and stretching your creativity, and your ability to apply that creativity into multiple [inaudible]. My hope is that you'll become a little more in-tune with nature, with the plants in the natural world around you, and the way that they can be creative in your life. I'm so happy to have you here. Let's make some art. 2. The Art of Flowers: All right. Welcome back. Thank you guys so much for joining me here at my Skillshare class. I'm so stoked to have you here and I'm stoked to be sharing with you what I think is the ultimate creative expression, natural materials, flowers, forestry. To give you a bit of the background as to how I managed to find myself in this position. I grew up in New Zealand, I grew up on an orchard. My dad cultivated apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, and my mum was actually a art history teacher. Being a creative individual myself and also more into sport, I found myself trying all these different options, all these different ideas from snowboarding all around the world, to playing rugby, to wakeboarding, to all sorts of things. It's quite funny that I ultimately found myself slinging flowers out of the side of my van, on side of the road. Using my tools and using my lessons that I learned out on the orchard with my dad, cutting stems, and then also applying ideas and the experience that I took from my mom. It's a coincidence, but it's a coincidence that feels like it was always meant to be. I've learned so much about the natural world since coming into contact with flowers. I think that they are the most positive entity that the world has to offer. It has taught me so much about creativity. I always used to struggle with color, I was always stuck trying to take things too literally and trying to make an arrangement or make art perfect. You can't have everything your way when it comes to flowers because they have a mind of their own. You really have to give in to the expression, give in to the experience, and give in to what they want out of situation just as what you want. I've designed this class considering multiple elements of what it is to work with natural materials. We're going to go to the flower market, we're going to forage, we're going to have a look around the neighborhood here and see what we can come up with and see what we can add to an arrangement or a bouquet. We're also going to talk about making a bouquet, and about making an arrangement. Separate the differences, different techniques that we can use to make those successful. Then we're even going to go all the way into making arrangements beyond the fresh stems, into dried arrangements, making work and making creations with natural material that actually can stand the test of time and last forever. This class is literally for anyone. This class is for someone who is a budding florist or wants to get into floristry. This class is also for someone who just likes to do it as hobby. This class is also for someone who's never worked with flowers before, never worked in floristry before and just has a spare couple hours on their hand. This class is for the curious. I'm super excited to be seeing what you guys put down there in the project gallery. Please, when you do create it, snap a little pic on your smartphone and toss it on the project gallery so that I can check it out, and you can inspire the other people that are taking this class. I'm excited to have you here. I'm excited to get creative with you. So come along, it's going to be great. 3. Tools and Materials: You don't need a lot in terms of being a florist. You don't need a lot of materials and it's actually really inexpensive stuff, but you do need a few key items. You need some scissors in order to cut the plants up. I've got these trustee guys right here, great for cutting stems, great for little details. You also may need something of this nature, great for cutting burlap, something else that I think is good to have. I like to wrap my bouquets up with burlap. It's just a nice, easy way to apply to a bouquet. You're also going to need a vase, perhaps, at some point you certainly will, so a vase is good. Then when you're making your bouquets, you're going to need some twine. I got this big-old roll, you can get smaller ones. This is quite thin, you can snap this, which is nice and easy, or you might get something that's a little thicker and a little more robust, you're not going to snap. There's all sorts of stuff but not too much and it's all pretty inexpensive. Cool, cool, cool. So now that we have all of these items, we're going to get stuck into it. Come join me as I take a trip down to the flower market. 4. Choosing Your Flowers: It's funny how early mornings don't even feel like a thing. We jump on the ten and we rip all the away downtown, and then back before sun rises if any luck. The market opens at 2 AM on Sundays, and back when I first got going, I used to go down at 2:30 AM. That was because I never had any refrigeration for my flowers, and I never had anytime on my side, and I didn't have any space or anything. Spring's about to part so there should be some beautiful colors at the market. First ones here. We are here downtown LA at the flower market. If you don't have a flower market where you live, you can use these same ideas, the same principles where your going, whether your foraging or just going to your local supermarket. Come along with me. Let's take a look. It's just so good to be here now instead of later. I hate lines. I'm from a small part in New Zealand like rural town. I think, innately, I just like to have space. Okay. How are you? Good. So these flowers are for me? Yeah. You say if we don't have the other one, you say this is cool. Yeah, that's great. Amazing. For the blush one that's why we have. These are used in the blush? Yeah. It's supposed to be the crystal washed. Yeah, okay. That one's wild. One of the things that I'm looking at, when choosing these flowers, is the bottom of the stems. These are pretty good. But I don't have any clippers on me, but sometimes they can be black. If they're black then they'd been on the bottom of the bucket for awhile. They'd been cut a long time ago. They're not taking a lot of water. The chances of them staying fresh is probably not as likely as maybe a stem like this. That's one element of a stem that I'm looking at to make sure that it's nice and fresh. Otherwise, maybe the leaves, they can start to turn like this. So you can see the difference in color. Obviously, not probably the bunch I want to choose. That can happen from importing flowers. When they're in the bottom of an airplane for eight hours, they get pretty frozen. They can just turn the leaves pretty bad. Carnations, I used to not love carnations, and maybe I still don't love carnations, but they are pretty great tool as a florist to get colors you don't always have because they actually take color a lot. These have been dyed, and they're pretty wild. If I need blue for a client or just fern arrangement because blue and orange might go well together then I can achieve that even if there's nothing blue that's actually blooming or nothing orange or something. These are wild though. These have been dyed too, I think. They must have been. That's not natural but it's cool. This is natural. These are natural colors in a eucalyptus which are insane. Natural leucadendron. These aussie bells are beautiful. I create orders with a spreadsheet, and I try to calculate how many stems I need and what stems I want, and I'm thinking about arrangements, and I'm thinking about where each stem is going to go, and I'm thinking about how the balances between greens and foliage to flowers and all that stuff, but just like anything with art, you can plan all you want but then you get in the moment, and you start creating, and you start seeing things that you want and your just like, "Oh" or you start to see how things evolve and you have to roll with it. All right. We have come to the foraging phase of our class. We're going to take trustee, old Untho here for a drive around the neighborhood. We're going to scope some plants, scope some flowers, and see what we can find. There is a bit of a misconception that flowers need to be bright and bold, and colorful. That's not always the case, and when foraging, I think that it's a really good way to find some beautiful plant materials, to not expect that you're going to find everything that you might find in the flower shop. Driving up and down these streets, I know that there's olive here. I know that there's pampas here. There's some citrus here if I wanted to get citrus. The medians between the sidewalk and the road is public property. So plants on these streets, in these medians is fair game. The last thing we want to do is take advantage of that. It is about finding a balance and noting where there's an abundance of a certain plant rather than just a stem or two. Wow. They cut down a whole bunch of leucadendron that I love from that property. Here, we'll grab some husk because this is public property, and look at these stuff. You definitely want to be considerate of the plant. You don't want to just go like taking out this whole center point or anything like that. You want to be considerate. I see this stem as this one that's kind of coming off to the side. Its flower's right on the end. If I came in here, and took it from here, the plant, itself, doesn't really know it's gone, and we have this beautiful stem. We've got one popper kelly here with this pink and red, and this is going to be beautiful along with it. These flacks, this white is going to be a nice tonal difference, and it looks like we're pulling up on an agonis bush that I've never come across before. Sick. I'm going to grab some of these stuff. We're looking at the plant, and making sure that we're not doing anything bad to it. This must be through its growing process, but you can see some of these new, fresh leaves and how it has this really vibrant burgundy color. It's kind of pulping off in these little spots whereas these are a little more matte and a little darker. Midway through summer, this thing's probably rich and red. We're going to take it forward to this right now. Know that plants and flowers are always going to be different depending on the time of the year. I think that cutting on an angle, considering the shape of the tree, and finding yourself with a stem like that, which is ultimately going to be a great, sort of, composition for an arrangement, and let's grab some of this flowering rosemary while were at it. Part of the fun to me, honestly, is looking at it and going, "Which one do I want? Which one's going to make the arrangement better?" hoping to get a stem that might work like that. So maybe this guy. You can see how that might end up in the arrangement. I feel as though I just came up on a great plant. I'm probably going to jump on my smartphone, drop a little pin, save that pin so that when I'm like, "I need some agonis. I really need some agonis." I'm going to be like, "I know exactly where to go and get it." That could be a great way when you're just driving around and you're not foraging to like do some little homework for when you do want to go foraging. All right, now that we have all these plant material, and we have these flowers. We going to head on back to the studio, and see if we can make something flower-like. 5. Preparing Your Flowers: So now, the point we get to make a flower arrangement or a bouquet, in fact. We have what we foraged right here on my right and a little stuff that we got from the flower market here. A few of the elements that we're working with when creating a bouquet is texture, composition, fragrance, and color. We'll play with those ideas today. We'll start off by processing some of the stuff. As I cut it from the plant, it has all of this stuff right here. Obviously, what we really want to highlight from the stem is the flower, so we're going to lose a lot of this greenery. I don't like to make it look naked and just the flower because it almost doesn't look natural. There's a bit of a composition with each stem with this green to flower. So we'll do that to each one of these. You can utilize all these little bits for another arrangement, maybe down the road. So it's not like, you're not wanting to throw away each and every piece that you're ripping off because it could be useful down the road. So that stem might be ready. You can see how it's starting to take shape the way I'll grab this bouquet is going to be here, and along with this and it will all starts to work itself out. Something to also think about when making arrangements is not to judge the process, or not to be too harsh like, "Oh, this looks like crap. I need to rethink it all." It's like, roll with it, don't judge it, don't expect to have a beautiful bouquet while you're in the process of just getting the stem ready to go into an arrangement. Part of the reason why we are taking all of these flowers off or all these leaves off at the the bottom, is because when we do group it together, we want this part, which is going to go into the water to be as clean as possible. Because ultimately, the more delicate the plant is in the water, the more likely it is to decay, and then the water is going to get also the bacteria in it, and then it's going to affect the life of the flowers and the life of the arrangement. You might think that this is a boring part of the job or like, "Oh, this is really fun." But honestly, it's a pretty calming and relaxing moment in the whole process of making a bouquet. To me, it's just as enjoyable to be just working through the flowers in this way as it is to be arranging them. Sometimes you don't want to be just ripping them off with your hand and sometimes there's different techniques that you want to use based on the flower itself. A lot of these flowers, unlike wax flowers, have this very strong quality to them so you can just rip off the plant material, but some of them also don't and they're a little softer. So when you tear a stem off like this, you might find that you make this ripping shape all the way down it. I wanted sometimes take these clippers and just cut on an angle that tends to the stem and just take that, cut it right off like that. This brings me to our last stem, which is the protea stem. We got this at the flower market. This would be imported, I'm not sure where from. Again, we're just looking at composition, so I'm just going to take off a few more leaves here, so that it gets balanced and that's us. So you see how in this stem it wasn't a problem just tearing them off because they just pop right off and don't leave too much of a scar. Cool. So now we're ready to make our bouquet. 6. Creating a Bouquet: A bouquet is a composition and a compilation of flowers ultimately held in the hand. I like to start with a leading stem and I also like to start with your greens. We'll start with the stem of Agonis and then accompany it with this guy, which is your Aussie bells. As you can see, they compliment each other by way of shape. This is going to end up being quite a big bouquet, just so you know. Then we'll take our stem of Grevillea that we foraged for earlier. Notice where I'm lining them up is where we clean them from. Then honestly, I like to consider just as much how the stems are feeling in my hand as I am considering how the flowers are looking as they all get combined together because there truly is this correlation between just the way it feels and ultimately the way it all looks. So we'll grab this guy and go here. Now that I have the stem in my hand, I'm like, "I don't want this guy. I don't known why. I just don't." So rolling with it and not judging it, taking a look at it from all angles. Using both hands, I'm spinning it around because these stems feel really good together as they are. I don't want them to change even as I look and move it around and take another look at it from a different angle. It really is a feeling process. There is such a sense of how does this feel, how does it look? Not how does it sound, but how does it feel. I'll add the silver bush coming in here. I think that this Grevillea is also great. You might notice that I'm not giving too much thought to color. I'm just all over the place with palette. That's a great thing to be okay with, it's like you're not expecting all of these colors to be combined or to be complimentary. We'll get this peach stem of spray rose. I'm starting to work with tiers in a way. With a vase, I'm often thinking it's one part vase to two parts arrangement. When working with a bouquet, it's almost the same. We're going to hopefully create one part stem and bouquet and then two parts arrangement. But when we are thinking of the composition of the arrangement itself from here on up, we're still thinking in threes. So I have my top tier that are my leaders, then we're going to work and assemble these more statementy flowers that are in this space, and then ultimately we'll have something around the bottom that creates a level that is a base to everything else. So it's also going to be more dense and more grounded at the bottom, and it's going to travel up to something that's a little more airy and a little more spacious at the top. So we'll just keep ripping through here. I think this guy looks nice there. Notice how it's coming down, finding these negative spaces. I'm just popping that guy right in there. We'll add in this rosemary right here. You might notice that sometimes your stems don't feel like they want to meet, they don't want to be a part of the arrangement. Be patient. Take a look, see if it goes well there. It does. Notice how it becomes a nice base for all of this? You can see how it's coming together as a bouquet, starting to be pretty well-composed. We'll keep going. So I forgot about our flax stem, and I think that we do want it in there. It's going to be beautiful. All of these stems are cylindrical. They all fit nicely together. They work with work with one another. Maybe we could have put the flax in as it is if we had done it at the beginning and worked with it form there. But what we're going to do is slide it down and from up here. I don't want two take the risk that it's going to screw everything up that we've done down here. So I'm going to use a technique where I'm going to cut it on a little bit of an angle like so, and then I'm literally just going to pull it down like that. So now it just becomes this thin little stem. Then by loosening up my grip a little bit on the bouquet, I'm going to found a spot right here and I'm just going to fit it in and you can see it coming in right down here. Cool. That to me is a pretty sweet bouquet filled with all sorts of flowers. We're going to wrap it up into some twine and then we'll be ready to hand it off. 7. Finishing Your Bouquet: So I have the bouquet in my left hand as it has always been. I'm going to tilt it to the right. I'm going to take this tail of twine and tuck it under my thumb, creating that little tail right there, and then I'm just going to proceed to wrap over and over. I want to make sure that that tail is long enough. So if we don't create this band and we just wrap over and over on top of itself, it's going to create this pressure that applies to one portion of the stem, and then potentially it's going to buckle that the stem or break it. So by doing this, we're distributing that pressure over a section of the stem making the stem nice and snug. Now you can take these by each side and just tie a bow like so. Now that we have them here, we can just slide that right up nice and tight, nice and snug so that the composition that you've created doesn't go messing up, and you're pretty in good shape. We'll cut these tails right here and then we will cut the stems. Now when you're cutting the stems, you want to make sure you're always cutting on a diagonal. If you cut them flat, they're going to hit the bottom of the vase, the whole stem is going to be on the bottom of the vase, and it's just going to block any opportunity for water to come through. So cutting the stems diagonally at all times, and ultimately being left with something that looks like so. Lastly, we'll wrap it in a piece of burlap. A beautiful bouquet is a beautiful bouquet. But a beautiful bouquet presented just right, that's the one. So we're going to lay it down right here and we're going to pretty much make a burrito. We're going to tie the bottom over it like so. It's not really tying, is it? It's more like a wrap. Honestly, I like to do this on my thigh. Cover up the bottom, come over the top, make sure your bows are all tacked in like so. Then you're going to turn it to the side again, get rid of a couple more of those. Keep wrapping. Then lastly, just hold on to that like so, get a bit more twine. So again, we're working with a tail. You'll use your thumb to hold that down. On the edge of that burlap is always good. So we're going to diagonally roll down the bouquet, wrap around, and then travel back up until we get to the same place with these two tails. On the thigh, tying this into a nice bud. There you have a bouquet, both foraged and sourced from our local flower market. Now that we've finished ours or I've finished mine, I highly suggest you go out there, forage a little, have a look around, visit your local flower market, make a stop at your local supermarket, and put something together. In our next lesson, I'll teach you how to make an arrangement, a vased arrangement. 8. Choosing Your Vase: So now that you have seen me make a bouquet, I am now going to introduce you to the idea of making an arrangement. You might see that we have a few vessels here from glass vases with narrow necks to mason jars, which I think we all have at home, these set of tin vases that I can found at the market. This guy is a vase that I make personally. So reclaimed wood, copper piping to create an elevated neck with a little brass touch here. Then lastly, this ceramic vase that a friend of mine makes. See you later. So back to vase arrangements. Ceramic vase is filled with water. Your vessel is going to dictate the type of arrangement, the style of arrangement that you end up making. Based on what you want from your arrangement, you're going to want to choose the vase that is going to help you achieve that. A vase like this guy right here is going to A, mean that you're going to have very few stems because it's such an narrow opening, and B, those stems are probably you're going to want to be really large and long because that's going to balance out your one to two parts arrangement. This guy is going to be a little more diverse where your stems are going to be yeey, your arrangement might come up to here. You've got a lot of space, but you also are going to be consider of the fact that this is a pretty small vessel, so putting too many flowers in it, you might get a top-heavy arrangement and then the cat wonders by on the table, boom, and your leg looks like mine. A vase like this guy right here, which is something that I use a lot for my gift deliveries, is great because it's tin and so it's not going to break and there's no chance of it breaking on its way to the recipient. But it also doesn't have much of a lip. So if you're trying to have stems and you're trying to create a composition up here, you're going to have a tough time. So you're going to use chicken wire, which is a really nice sustainable way, you fold it all up, and that creates a little bundle that you can put inside there and creates a mesh for the stem to sit in and stay in. But today we're not going to make an arrangement in here and we're not going to use this. What we are going to do is come back to our trusted ceramic vase right hear and create something that has a very vertical composition to it and really does mirror our bouquet that we made earlier by using a vase as the vessel. I have some stems already set aside for us, so we'll grab those. 9. Building an Arrangement: A little bit different from our bouquet where we had all sorts of colors, this time we're going to go with a bit of a blush pallet. We only have one idea that we're going to implement which we didn't use in our bouquet making, and that is literally because we're using a vase. So what we're going to do is use our greens to create a little bit of a web for our stems and our flowers. So that's going to be our base. By using a stem like so, and then using another stem on this other side, so you've got leucadendron here, eucalyptus here, you may even do another one, these eucalyptus. We are creating a bit of a cross-section of stems that we ultimately mean that we can put a flower in here and another flower in here, and they stay in places we want them to. I'm going to take this stem of sumac right here, super leafy, it's very dense in here, which is cool but once we get all this other stuff in, I think we're going to want some of that room to put our flowers into. So I'm just going to pull it back a little bit. We'll add this sumac in just to create a balance. There is a bit of a hole right here that I want to fill, and then we can arrange in and around it. I've cleaned it up so there is a nice balance of leaves to some of these flowers that it has. But this to me is still considered a green. I'll cut it here. You see how it's starting to take shape. This arrangement, just really starting to get that shape really. These are going to be great leaders. You can just see by their height, their rigidity, because they're going to stand tall nicely without too much work. I'm just going to make a cut above this knuckle right here, so that it has a nice fresh cut and it has a nice amount of ability to get the water in there. We'll do the same with this brumelia. We now have a really nice set of structure to the arrangement. You can see how it's starting to take that two parts arrangement to one pot vase. We've got a nice shape with the greens, and we also have our height and our leaders through the kangaroo pot here and the brumelia here. Were going to keep adding some statement flowers, so the king protea. Maybe the biggest statement a flower might be able to make. We are going to set off high up where we wanted to land in the arrangement. I am thinking out here in front or it could maybe go in here. To me that's too high, we're looking to bring the real guts of the arrangement, a little bit lower. So I am going again. That brings up a super good point, and an important point. You can always cut off more of the stem but you cannot put any back on, being cautious is better than being bold, and then having to deal with it later. You see how that's a lot better, of a spot for it. Still a little bit funky. I feel like there's a better spot. That's it. That leaves a bit of space for some accent flowers around the bottom, brings it down a little. Let's add another protea onto this side. Again, we want to eye that stem, taking off a bit, see how we go. I think we got it right the first time on this one. Let's play with some of these garden roses. Notice how these are all on this like pallet of blush, there's red, there's white, there's pink. Slot that guy in. It might look like he's all on his own. Don't think about it too much, just keep going with it because there's a lot more to add, and then we can find some stuff to fill in this space and give it some support. We will do another cut here on the [inaudible] , slide it in here. Notice how it's starting to come down lower and lower with these flowers? As much as I am following some of these techniques, I'm also free styling with it. So I come across this [inaudible] stem, I want to get it in or give it a fresh cut. I want to keep its height because I think its a nice height element, and I'm just going to find a spot for it. That's now our highest stem, which is cool because it is like a green, and it just like comes up above these statement flowers. Get another garden rose. I am going to start to consider where else I can put these. I don't want to put it right in here with these garden rose where we will obviously going to have to fill in some of the space, and probably going to end up putting it in here, say at this spot, so it's going to be a little lower. I will cut it, I will see if i got it right. You need a color in there. You will see what I'm doing here in a moment. I want to grab this amaranthus because it's a nice long set of stem, and I'm going to use it right in here. We can even go back to another green, leucadendron, great green dries beautifully. I have a couple of spray roses here. Flowers don't always have to hit the bottom of the vase, sometimes they can live in a space where compositionally up here. They're making a difference. You know that there's x amount of water in the vase, so if they living around here, they are sweet. I can't stress enough not to judge the process. It's tried and true listen in creating any art till like just keep going down the road, just keep working because right now I'm like, is there enough space for me to fit all the rest of these stems in. Is this on the color pallet? It's easy to overthink it, just keep going. So that's what I am going to do. I'm experiencing the fact that there's a lot of stems in there, so getting stems in can be quite difficult. If you grab the arrangement and give it a little shake can create space and loosen things up. So you might be able to find an opportunity to get that stem in. So we are almost there. Just filling up some of these spaces, again like lifting the arrangement to make some space. Getting that guy in there, dropping it down. See how it creates a little bit of complexity that stops you from just seeing these abrupt stems. Can even take the flowers even lower by trimming them. That stem of wax flower just hit the bottom, so I couldn't get it lower but I don't mind it, i like it like that. My tendency is to create a composition that is abundant as natural as wild and organic but that's just my tendency. I think that guy is finished. We could just as easily take a vase like this, and take three stems of this silver bush, and be like that's beautiful. We've got two different styles here, obviously one is very simple, one is wild and extravagant and takes time to create. Just styles. You'll have your own style. Your style does not have to look like this, your arrangements do not have to look like this, and in fact, I encourage you to find your own style, to search for it, to see what speaks to you. In our next lesson, we're going to look at finding beauty out of flowers beyond their fresh state. Come on back and lets play with some dried flowers. 10. Working with Dried Flowers: We've made a bouquet, we've made an arrangement, we've worked a lot with fresh flowers, now we're going to start to look at dried flowers. Working with dried flowers, there's a lasting forever that we as florists or you as a florist, or the florist that you may become, will ultimately yearn for. You want your work to stand the test of time, I want my work to stand the test of time. I love working with fresh flowers because they smell great, they're beautiful, their color is amazing, but I also love to work with dried flowers because there is a permanence to them. I've got few protea here. This is a queen protea, it's a beautiful protea. You can see that the color is vibrant, the leaves are fresh, this is a fresh flower. From here it's going to start to turn. You can see that the vibrance here is a little bit dim. This is a King protea, pretty similar. The color is starting to dim, the petals, if you will, are starting to twist and turn. You can see even the veins of the leaves here as they turn and it's starting to brown-out. Then ultimately, this is what the king will turn into. So you can see there's quite a drastic difference, certainly in color. However, the structure and the framework and just the sculptural quality of the flower maintains. If you want to research what flowers are going to dry well versus what aren't, look up like desert flowers, look up drought-tolerant plants and that will likely find you a whole plethora of material for you to work with when wanting to take arrangements, take flowers that were fresh and make them into dried arrangements. Often I actually even buy flowers just with the intention of drying them and turning them into a dried arrangement. This is a [inaudible]. This is also a very dense, branchy plant material. You can barely even like break it. So it's strong, it's not filled with water and these little yellow blooms are going to hold their color. That's something that I know from experience. I didn't know that initially, but as you go through time and you get a bit of experience working with these plants, you're going to start to learn some of these things. Amaranthus here. This amaranthus is going to dry really well. I think you can see it, you can feel it, you can hear it even. As I move that through my hand, I can hear the way that it rustles against my hand and I know that it's almost dried, even in its fresh state. Billy Balls are going to dry really well, they're going to keep their color. I have them all over my walls here. They last forever and they don't cost that much either. One of the things that you're going to want to consider when drying flowers is just the way that it ultimately is going to stay in your arrangement. If I was to dry a flower like this, these are going to be the shapes that I have. If I was to turn this upside-down, gravity works in my favor and I start getting this long look about it. That ultimately, when it's dried out and it takes that shape, is going to mean that instead of it having this droopy look to it, I'm going to have a very vertical looking stem and it's going to look cool. My technique for drying flowers is hanging them from above, using gravity to help create that length and create that vertical quality to the stem, which is ultimately what I like to create when creating an arrangement. But art is subjective, so your preference might be to have like a weird twist or weird look about the stem. It's totally up to you. Now that we know what makes a stem great when drying, we know what makes a great dried arrangement, let's make one. How about that? 11. Creating Permanent Art: The intention behind this is that ultimately we'll hang it up on the wall and it will be a work of art. So we are going to be building out one side of it, and the other side is going to be pretty minimum. Having a table for this is going to be good, obviously you're not working so much in your hand maybe, you're also not working in a vase so much. Because it's going to go against the wall, we can use the table as our horizontal wall for the time being. Similar principles as to what we were making with our bouquets using statement flowers, using greens, using accent flowers, using wet flower or little delicate dainty elements. We're going to do the same set of technique here. Let's see what we got. This is a palm frond that I dried a while ago. Just compositionally looking, seeing which side works. This guy has this little knob here, so he doesn't want to sit in there, so I'm going to try the other way around, and that seems pretty good to me. Again, locks in, feels good. I'm going to take this little knob out right hear because I known it's going to be the bane of my existence, just momentarily. I'll lay it down. So that is giving us a little bit of vertical, that's going to be probably the longest that our arrangement gets so that our piece skits. Now let's try and add this acacia stem to it and see how we feel. We're starting to integrate a little bit of color, I think we can also get in this silverbush right here down the middle. We're not losing the palm entirely, but we are going to lose some of it for sure. I'm going to lay it down at this point just to see how it looks. This is a really nice stem of dried macrocarpa, a eucalyptus. Again a really cool and somewhat rare stem. Notice how these two stems are the same. I think I want a little bit difference out of them, I think I want some level change. I'm going to pull off a few of these leaves, and that's compositional. We consider to apply that now and you can see that there's a little bit of a level change from these two pieces. Don't get lost, so don't get stuck trying to apply everything to the top. Now that we have our composition and we feel good about this, we may feel as though there's a gap here, which is tricky to get through coming from the top. So I'm going to take this stem of Brasilia, and I'm going to just lose a couple of these. Why? I don't know, because I feel like it. I'm going to come in from the backside and fill in that space, or so I think, it doesn't really want to be there, does it? So maybe I got to come in-between here, and now that works. Let's see what else we got here. As cool as it is to arrange with dried flowers, sometimes it's best to arrange with fresh flowers knowing that they're going to dry. This stem of king protea, it's not particularly malleable in its current state. I wanted to go in here, but you can see how the angle of the stem is pretty tricky, and it doesn't have a lot of give to it, and it's true of a few of these stems. So knowing that they're going to dry well and arranging them as a dried arrangement while they're still fresh, can be a super good technique for achieving the best out of your dried arrangement. That we're doing with the acacia, we're also doing that with the silverbush and these bilbuls, but some of these other stems were not. So I'm actually going to take this king protea, which is semi-dry, semi-fresh. You can see it has a bit of a bin to it, so it's just going to make it a little easier for me to get it in where I want to. I'm going to take this guy and I'm going to slot him in here, and I'm going to ultimately be able to bend this stem a little bit to get him right where I want him. I feel like I just want now something right here. We want to find something dried, we want to find something that's going to dry well, and we found the perfect stem. This is a Pincushion Protea, it's on its way to being dry, it's not the freshest, but it's a cool proper color. "Barron, you're kidding." We're done. We're going to wrap this up with some twine and we're just going to use that same technique as we used for the bouquet, tuck it under the thumb, wrap it round and round. Because some of these stems are a little fresh, and they're going to dry with many things that hold water, what happens when they lose water, they shrink. So tying them again on the bottom, giving them a second tie, is not going to be a bad idea. I'm now going to take a piece of burlap. I've chosen something that's got a little more character, a little less of the bland in like simple burlap here, something that's got some character, that's got some edge to it, because this is an art piece, this is a forever piece. Taking a piece of burlap, sitting it down on that diagonal, just like we did in the lesson about making a bouquet, and we're going to make a burrito. At this point, I'm just going to grab a little something, because we want to tie this up. So let's see. Grab this up, tighten it, get it nice and tight, and then I'm going to put this guy right here. So you see how that's going to create a loop, and you also see how I've got this long old tale right here. From here, I'm going to be able to wrap around, and I'm doing this as tight as I can. The last thing I want is for this to get loose at any point. I'm going to delicately put this right here, and I'm going to tie myself a nice bough. We're going to cut it nice and tight, triple knot, cut it tight, make sure that knot's in. We might be able to just turn the knot on itself, and that's going to make for a pretty clean little finish there. We've got our loop on the backside, and it's going to hang like so. I'm pretty happy with that. I hope you guys like it. Let's go take a look at my studio and some of the other stuff that I've created, maybe can inspire you. 12. Expanding Your Creativity: We made our dried flower arrangements, it's hanging on the wall over there. We're now out in my studio and I'm looking to show you guys a few pieces that I've made that only further those ideas of working with dried flowers and taking them out of the vase. Only further, potentially inspiring you to go fourth with all this information and create things far beyond your wildest dreams. So let me start with this floral layer right here. I added a lighting component to it. You can see the kind of wire going in there. Maybe down the road, I'll figure out a way to hide the wire but for now, it's a part of it. This right here is actually a little bit of an homage to that dried arrangement that we made in the last lesson. So you can see I framed it up in some reclaimed wood, sit it behind some museum glass with some brass fixings around the corner, and I actually added this peacock feather. So please don't be afraid to add different elements that aren't so floral into your arrangements, certainly your dried arrangements because they can be a really cool quality. Lastly, I want to show you guys this meditation nest that I made. This guy right here is made from birch wood that I sourced from Oregon. You can seen that I've used some burlap. We use some wood here, it's carpentry like. We've got some floral and some greenery, very arrangement like and it's hanging. So it's a cozy swing or it's a nice little spot to sit. If you're into meditation, it's a cool look, it's a cool feel. It's kind of crazy when you close your eyes and it starts to move and spin, you can hear all these things and it's kind of a trip. So look, it has been great having you guys along this little trip with me, and I'm super happy and I hope that I've inspired you. So go forth with all this information and get creative. 13. Final Thoughts: Right. Thank you guys so much for being here. We have made it to the end of our class. I'm pretty stoked on the way it all went. I hope you guys have been so inspired. One of the most incredible things about floristry for me, is just the sense of tangible accomplishment, taking a creative idea in your mind, realizing it into reality, and just being left at the end of the day with something to say, "I did that. I created that. That's me." I would love to see all the creations that you come up with in the project gallery. So that's it for me, until next time. Peace.