Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Second college class and I could be a pro already! Ha!

Second college class tonight and the above is the result. I am SO pleased with it! The tutor said to the lady next to me and to me "if that was made in my shop I'd let it go out the door" - I'm absolutely gobsmacked that she said that and could have cried with happiness! Maybe it was just a confidence boost from her to us, but I like to think she was telling the truth (she seems the honest sort ;-) ) and am really chuffed!!!

Inside this basket are lilies, crysanthemums, carnations, gypsophila and foliage including eucalyptus and skimmia. There's also some really lovely purple foliage I found that I don't know the name of but it's beautiful and smells divine.

I just need to gain confidence that what I am doing is right - I am still very tentative and I need to be more bold with my flower placement (or stuffing as our wonderful tutor calls it hehe) decisions.

Next week we're doing a hand tied bouquet - that's going to be very tough but I am looking forward to it a lot!

I am loving this challenge and just want more more MORE!

Saturday, 25 September 2010


Today, I shopped.

I love to shop. A lot.

Usually, shoes and clothes are my money magnet... but today it was the flower arranging section in Hobbycraft (in Eye, Peterborough).

Oh my goodness, I could have spent the entire day (and an awful lot of money) in there.

As it was, I had a budget of £50 and managed to get floristry scissors, knife, trays, tape, a vase, stones to go in the vase (I've got an idea of something to try - hopefully it will look as good as my imagination thinks it will!) and lots of oasis for just £40!

I also got a book of flower arrangement ideas for £2.99 in the shop next door - I do love a bargain!

When I got home my neighbour came out for a natter (she's lovely - gave my daughter a birthday gift even though we barely know her, aww) and we got chatting about the flower arranging - she told me that when I'm a bit more accomplished she'd like me to make her an arrangement and that she'll tell her friends about me too! How lovely and kind of her!

I'm going shopping tomorrow for flowers to take to college but might buy a few extra to practice on at home!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

The background, the decision and the first creation.

Floristry is something I've dreamed of exploring for many years, however I've never even pushed myself to try arranging flowers.

I was always preoccupied with something else - mostly something "sensible" and "mature" and "the done thing", and my dream laid dormant at the back of my mind. At 18 I met a man, got engaged and moved in with him, married at 22 and had a beautiful baby girl at the age of 25. We later split up and divorced, and I am now a single parent who works full time in administration. I don't have time for anything else, right? I can't possibly be selfish and do something I love to do - I need to remain in a steady job and wait until my daughter is older and independant before I make drastic changes. Right?

This attitude all changed recently when, as my 32nd birthday came and went, after years of working in an office setting, I decided once and for all that I was well and truly fed up with it and that I needed to embark on following my dream. Why at 32? I have no idea. One "normally" has this kind of epiphany when they hit a "milestone" birthday, but at 30 my life, not to mention my mindset, was quite different - the past has, however, made me the person I am today. Clich├ęd perhaps, but the absolute truth. At 32, I am finally realising that I need to make the most of my life  - why do we realise these things when we are so many years into adulthood? It makes no sense to me. I should have learned from others - oh but we humans never do this do we? We always have to learn the hard way, and waste precious time in the process.

Ah, I digress. Back on topic.

I had no idea how or where to start. I telephoned all the local florists asking if they would consider allowing me to volunteer in their shop. One sounded like a hopeful prospect and I sent in my CV, only to hear absolutely nothing from her. One of the florists I spoke with was a total delight and I found myself being incredibly disappointed that she couldn't accommodate me for some volunteer work. Back to the drawing board I went.

Over the space of a few weeks, I researched flower arranging and floristry courses. Most were full time courses therefore not an option for me. I absolutely want this to be my new life, but I still need to cling onto a slight amount of sensibility and remain employed elsewhere - there are bills to pay after all. I almost enrolled on a one day course with a local florist but the fact it cost £250 unfortunately swayed my decision towards the negative - it was not a payment I could justify - yet another disappointment.

I was about to give up, when a prospectus for Stamford College magically appeared on my doormat. I'm certain it was the Flower Fairies who placed it there. There it was. A course that is spread over five consecutive Tuesday evenings - Flower Arranging For Beginners. Twenty five whole UK Pounds was the cost. I excitedly enrolled, and my lovely Mum agreed to babysit for the whole five weeks. I will continue for a further five Tuesdays after this as I have also enrolled on the Intermediate Flower Arranging Course.

On Tuesday night, it was finally time for my first evening at college. On arrival, I realised that the tutor was none other than the delight of a florist I had spoken to on the 'phone only a few weeks prior. Does anyone else believe in fate, or is this coincidence?

It was a fabulous evening - our tutor demonstrated a simple small tray arrangement, and then we were let loose with actual flowers of our very own. 15 ladies all using their individual creativity - we were given the exact same amount of flowers and foliage, and we each produced something different to the next.

I looked at my creation and could have cried right there and then out of happiness and pride in myself. I could not stop smiling, and immediately after the class I wanted to go back and do more. I have brought my arrangement home, and every time I walk past I give it a little smile and look forward to the next time...

Tuesday evenings are the new "Me Time"!