‘Sunny’ group creates unique floral designs

January 29, 2017

“I got sunshine on a cloudy dayyyyy,” was how that 1970s pop song went.

Well, I think one of the best ways to conjure up sunshine from within is to be creative. And, it doesn’t have to be creating like Picasso did. e

Read the following:

Gulf Islands Driftwood – Penders Edition
Wednesday, March 29, 2000
‘Sunny’ group creates unique floral designs
by Tanya Lester

As I head up to Peter and Margaret Adamson’s second-floor garden room where the Floral Art Design Group meets once a week, I am told that the room is sunny even when the weather is miserable outside.

After spending some time with the women who are creating designs for the covers of cards out of a wide range of pressed flowers, grasses and even weeds, I realize that the “sunshine” exuding from each group member rivals the beams streaming through the room’s many windows.

The group has been creating this light since 1980 when it was launched with a New Horizonz grant.

The half-dozen or so group members seem to enjoy socializing with each other as much as they enjoy working with flowers.

“The magpies are back,” Annabel Cowie said as she made her way up the stairs to meet with her friends last Friday morning.

At times, the noise created by the chatter makes it difficult to be heard as I head around the circle of tables to ask the women how and why they do what some have been doing for many years.

Eunice Schmidt said that she creates floral designs because it is easy to do.

“For someone who never did anything artistic, if I can do it, anyone can do it,” she said.

The first step, according to Verlia Shannon, is to get the flowers. They can be gleaned from the garden or where they grow in the wild but should be picked in the afternoon of a dry day.

The “flowers” can include anything that is growing. “The things you see if you keep your nose on the ground,” said Celia Pemberton, her eyes glinting with delighted enthusiasm.

(Cowie is the resource person who always goes home to refer to her guide books when a flower no one in the group cam identify appears at the meeting.)

Once the flowers are gathered, group members say, the next step is to fold them in tissue paper and sandwich them between telephone books. There might be as many as four books pressing down on the harvested petals.

In a minimum of three weeks, the flowers are ready for pasting on cards in designs that are always unique from one another — as unique as the imagination of each woman who busily sifts through the blue, green, yellow, purple, pink and brown petals they carry to the meeting in Tupperware-style containers.

Pemberton is an avid proponent of using the imagination to ferret out pictures in the petals and leaves. Some turn out to be ducks in one of her cards. Tulip petals make up a girl’s doll buggy in another. A tree is designed from parsley. Little fairytale-like animals have Queen Anne’s lace for eyes. Here and there she draws in details, such as birds flying in the background.

Sharon Fox said she started out using bigger flowers and now finds she is more often drawn to island weeds that create a delicate, lacy effect on paper backing.

Group members often use the cards to extend birthday greetings to family and friends.

Bev Ostrom is busy on one for her granddaughter Jeanette’s first birthday.

“The price of cards is out of this world so it sure helps if you make them,” said Ostrom, pointing out a practical side to the art they enjoy so much.

At an annual membership fee of $10, the price it costs to be part of the group is also right.

Cowie works on her designs week after week, from September to June, simply because she loves flowers so much.

Her friends reap the benefits. “They save them or they frame them,” said Cowie. “Getting something handmade today means a lot to people.”

With Easter coming up, some of the group, which totals 19, according to president Lily Miles, are concentrating on cards for the Christian spring celebration.

They even learned to make the paper on which the flower designs are mounted. For this, paper is recycled along with many of their materials.

Everyone swaps materials and ideas before breaking for their bagged lunches somewhere around noon and then heading for home at about 1:30 pm.

“So wee all have our own talents and we share everything,” said Pemberton, “except our husbands and our wallets.”


Tanya does psychic readings — tea leaf reading and tarot, etc. She is also a reiki master which she infuses into her readings and a fulltime house sitter.
To access these services go to teareading.wordpress.com or her pages at Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google. Or contact her directly at tealeaf.56@gmail.com or at 250-538-0086 cell.

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