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July News

Welcome to the Flower Thoughts July Edition.

Read on for:

  • Memories of the Singapore Garden Festival
  • Sustainable Designing with Test Tubes
  • Design Directions
  • Floral Fundamentals
  • Design of the Month
  • Designing to Win
  • Floriade

Flower Memories

This month’s Flower Memories takes us back to the amazing Singapore Garden Festival in 2012. It was the last time the event was staged indoors at the Suntec Convention Centre, before moving to its current home at the extraordinary Gardens by the Bay precinct.

Fountain of Life, Anson Low, Singapore Flower and Garden Show, 2012

One of the highlights of the 2012 event was the Windows to the World displays, created by a field of around 20 international designers, each especially invited to stage a spectacular floral vision  - a window into their own flower world.

Darkness in Flames, Brigitte Heinrichs, Singapore Flower and Garden Show, 2012

I was lucky enough to be included amongst the participants, and July’s Flower Memories features just a few of the many outstanding displays - each was created to a title and assembled with the support of teams and the generosity of the Singapore Government.

Realising Beauty, Mark Pampling, Singapore Flower and Garden Show, 2012

Botanical Mysticism, Max van de Sluis, Singapore Flower and Garden Show, 2012

I Can Fly, Alex Choi, Singapore Flower and Garden Show, 2012

Your Flower Memories

If you'd like to share a Flower Memory, please let us know - ideally you will have a few words and accompanying photos to share - another source of inspiration to boost our creative souls and lead us to new floral adventures. We will curate a selection of shared memories through future newsletters.

Email us with Your Flower Memory

Sustainable Designing with Test Tubes

Test tubes (or water phials) have long been an environmentally conscious choice, long before sustainability came strongly into focus.
Of course, the measure of their sustainability also depends on what they are made of and how they are handled throughout the design process (creation, presentation, disposal).

I have been a long time fan of test tubes and the creative freedom they offer - especially in contemporary work and in more structured designing. As I share my design process through workshops and courses, I frequently encounter questions about how to use test tubes. Here’s a few tips and notes on how to successfully incorporate test tubes into your floral designs.
Read the rest of the blog here...

One Week to Design Directions

Above: Task examples I created for discussion and guidance in past Design Directions courses.

Design Directions, our comprehensive foundation course, starts again in just over one week. The program allows you to explore a variety of design styles while working with techniques you already know, materials you have easy access to, and the level of knowledge you already possess - it’s all about empowering you to be better at what you do by increasing your understanding of design.

Through five practical tasks we investigate systems for organising your materials, possibilities with visual balance, considerations for presenting individual materials, and especially the directions that proportions can take. This latter aspect, bundled with other specifications, provides guidelines for the arrangements you will make and submit as assigned exercises.

Below are some examples of design from our last Design Directions course - in this case each designer created their submission to present the materials decoratively, within parallel systems and vertically with the proportions directed upwards.

Above: Task submissions for Design Directions by (L-R) Annita Bokobli, Hannah Beckley, Laura Leong, Eden Barr and Kathryn Simmonds.

We have a special offer for our newsletter readers - a 10% discount on the course fee. Simply use the following code at the checkout to activate the discount:
If you use PayPal, you can now use PayPal Pay-in-4 to pay in four equal instalments.

Design Directions runs over a 4 month period with 5 compositions to make and submit - roughly one task per month August to December - with the Introductory meeting on 24 July.

The following link will take you to the site and apply the discount automatically at the checkout:
Join Design Directions Now

Floral Fundamentals

Can’t get enough floral inspiration? You can find more with Floral Fundamentals, via their free website and newsletter.

Floral Fundamentals was founded as a way of reconnecting Florists with Flower Growers so their separate practices could be more directly influenced by each other. The Growers learnt what the Florists found useful and viable in their everyday work, building this information into the planning for future crops and breeding. The Florists learnt the backstories of the materials they were working with, to gain valuable insights into the unique selling points offered by specialist growers flowers and foliages. It’s been a win-win situation for both parties that continues to this day - one that has strengthened both in the tide of economic challenges and cultural changes.

Joining Floral Fundamentals (free membership) gives you access to their newsletter and digital magazine. You can join here:

Join Floral Fundmentals

Design of the Month

If you were asked to imagine a floral design that combines delicate lines, dried Cricket Ball Hakea pods (Hakea platysperma), Grass flowers and cloud-like Hydrangea - all elevated above a shallow pond-like tray of water - it might be a challenging task.  All the more so when the colour scheme is natural, browns and soft pinks.

However, Annita Bokobli orchestrated all of these disparate materials and more into a confection of calming lines. The design was made for the horizontal task in our Design Directions course and clearly demonstrates Annita’s unique perspective on harmonising strong contrast.

Annita Bokobli - Instagram

And check out the retail side of Annita’s creative energies at Floral Army, the business she co-owns in Fremantle, Western Australia:

Floral Army
Floral Army - Website

Designing to Win

If you want more competing success, I can help you. In Designing to Win. I take you through my approach to competing, especially how I approach the schedule and find ways to use it to my advantage.

Join as a part of the audience and get first hand insights into what judges look for when marking to a schedule. Listen in and gain insights from the kind of feedback that is normally only heard by competitors in an actual competition.

Sit in on the online Design Forums live or catch up on the recording later. Listen in and gain insights from the kind of feedback that is normally only heard by competitors in an actual competition.. for the full list of all the inclusions see Designing to Win.

We've expanded the program to add more Audience places and there's still 3 days left to book your place.

For more information or to register to be part of the Designing to Win Audience, click below:

Find Out More Here - Designing to Win

Elevate Your Work with Flowers

Our main course offerings for 2023 are all open for registration - all with a common aim - to make you a better designer or artist.

Each of our programs has a strong focus on building upon your skills through a concentration on the application of the principles of design. It is the most sure way that I have found to improve one's abilities and to grow.

You can learn from anywhere, and in your own time - the content and delivery are created to be undertaken at your convenience.  Each program has some live online elements, which are also recorded to be accessed as catch up sessions - to learn when you can. Participating in a course also gives you access to support throughout the program and the opportunity to have any content or issues clarified via email and chat.

Design Directions - starts 24 July, with 6 online discussions & 5 practical tasks
One Container, Five Elements - starts 31 August, with 6 online discussions & 5 practical tasks
Design Solutions - starts 18 October, with 5 online discussions & 4 practical tasks
Advanced Directions - started 26 June, with 5 online discussions & 4 practical tasks 

Links to Design Directions, One Container Five Elements and Design Solutions are included at the end of this email.

We continue to receive great feedback and questions from our readers. Thank you. We love learning your floral design thoughts and about the areas that interest you. We'd love to hear from you.

Share Your Questions & Comments With Me

Thank you for reading our June Flower Thoughts



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