I needed a bit of a refresher on how to make these orchids and Amber's birthday provided a perfect opportunity. Now that I've actually given it to her, I can put the picture up on the blog. I really need to lighten this picture, it's a little dark.
I must admit, starting to make this again was a little interesting. The notes I took made sense at the time, but looking back, I had to decipher them a bit. And there were some parts of the assembly that I did forget to write down...oh well. It was a good dry run for the pattern writing!
Materials and other techincal details for the beaders
I had bought these really amazing looking 2 cut beads in New York in January and I thought they looked perfect for an orchid. Amber, Patricia and Helena who were all with me at the time also loved those beads. So perfect, I had my main beads. The lesson learned from Anne's orchid was to use a bead for the sepals whose shade or finish is slightly different from the actual petals. I found some in Tohos at Bead Obsessions. Then I added in some yellow to accent. Once I had the flower colors settled, it was time to look towards the greenery portion of this plant. Well I have something like 3 master hanks of these size 10/0 olivine iris 3 cut beads that are just beautiful and I thought they would go very well with this plant. I strung them up and made the first leaf and it looked wonderful.
In all of this time, I was also thinking about the final presentation of the orchid. I was initially going to plant it in a pot, like a regular potted plant but at some point, I realized that Amber has very little surface space left in her place. While an potted orchid is pretty, there are more important things surface space can be used for. Then I realized that I had a couple of shadow box frames that I had bought at Michael's a few years before when I was experimenting with beaded flowers in shadowboxes. That experiment didn't work too well because of the glass piece. But looking at the orchid, I realized that if I mounted it in and left the glass out, this turns more into a sculptural piece of artwork than I had originally intended. The whole shadowbox idea definitely worked because I know she has wall space. I also verified this by sneakily checking out the whole place while I was over watching Grey's Anatomy on Thursday nights, so I knew this would fit.
So, how did I mount the thing in? First I cut a stake that would fit diagonally across the back. Orchids are held up by stakes and this one, even if it's fake and framed, isn't going to be any different. Then, I made 3 pairs of holes on each side of the stake in the backing using a hammer and a small nail. Then, I used 30 gauge green floral paddle wire to wire the stem and leaves together, and into the back. Yes it stays. I didn't put another backing on to the frame to hide the twisted wires in case she ever wanted to take the flowers out of the frame to dust or wash.