Happy Valentine’s Day! Bitter cold in New England means it is a good time to snuggle up with loved ones.
For the holiday, I finally got my act together to work on a design inspired by the work of Hitomi Gilliam, seen in Tacoma WA last September. Her structure was much larger and more neutral. This whole magnificent design went beyond the 6′ of the table.
My design is a much more domestic affair. Using a solid board found in the milk house for the base, I also collected some plastic floral tubes and bamboo skewers from the grocery store. Hitomi used a second board underneath to raise the base up some. See how it improved the whole thing.
Raffia comes in many colcors. The red and olive green were bought from Michael’s Crafts and the purple in the center from Paper Trail in Rhinebeck NY. Rust-oleum 2X spray paint is nice and dense for one coat action and comes in a great variety of colors. I had on hand claret red which is a deep rich color, so I chose the purple raffia.
I sprayed the board and the skewers in one swoop. Not the brightest idea I’ve had as some of them were loathe to come out of their holes to be attached to the tubes. Better to put the skewers in old Oasis or styrofoam to stand up for spray painting.
The next step is to wrap the tubes and skewers together. I used glue dots to hold the skewer as well as an anchor for the wrapped raffia which can be slippery on the tubes without the glue dots. Elmer’s Glue could be used too but it takes time to dry. Make a small coil at the end of the tube to hide it.
I chose different lengths for the tubes to give some variety. The glossy paint gives a lovely smooth appearance and won’t spot if water drops on it.
A squeeze water bottle is the best way to fill the tubes. I fill the tubes about half way before the stems go in, and then top it off after. Designs with tubes are high maintenance as they have to be filled every day.
Gloriosa lillies are expensive and delightful. In a design like this, it is easy to see their distinctive coloring and silhouette. Also known as Rothschild lilies, they are climbers in tropical and southern Asia and Africa.
Be Mine, Valentine!