forsythia2

One last photo from the concert flowers. These look almost like yellow butterflies! In the background are the empty risers after the concert.

When preparing for making these flowers I did a little research as I had never looked closely at how forsythia actually grow. I went out into the yard and took a look at how the bush was structured; each branch extended from the ground, rather than a ‘tree’ shape. I cut a couple branches and noticed that the buds for the flowers and leaves were in twos, opposite each other on the branches. At that point I wasn’t sure which buds were flowers and which were leaves…but I did note that there were at least three at the tip of each branch.

In Google image search I found lots of photos that helped: both closeup and distant photos. Wikipedia had a nice description of how the flower petals were shaped and attached. Since I wasn’t going for total accuracy, but planned to make GIANT forsythia, I proceeded to test a few blossoms on an empty branch that I’d stuck into the water fountain we have on the kitchen table this winter. This gave me plenty of meal time to think through the sizes and shapes and ways to attach the flowers. –grin–

The first few blossoms took quite a while to make. I carefully cut curved edges and covered the green wires with brown florist tape to match the wood. That ended quickly when I realized how many of them I’d need. I soon developed a way to cut ripstop multiples with just a few slashes of my scissors! And a way to put the layers together to simply the next step so I could eventually make each flower in less than 15 seconds. (And that’s ME doing it, a person who tends to be slower than average with physical tasks like this.) The main thing I learned was to never work more than 30 minutes at a time on this or I’d end up with painful wrists/hands. Cold packs helped when I’d overdo things, and I treated myself to some candied ginger at bedtime to help reduce the inflammation a little.

In any case, the project was fun to develop and luckily had to be done in a fairly short time so I wasn’t tempted to turn it into a huge ‘perfect’ production. I’m glad I had the opportunity to give my sister-in-law a hand when she needed it!

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