Diy: Country French

Our Country French style harvest design is one of my all time favorites.  A harvest of grasses and lavender are accented by a pave of fruits and vegetables.  Natural dried materials add texture and beauty to any design, but especially one with a harvest feel that cannot be obtained with artificial.  The warm hues of the arrangement compliment any decor.

The Foundation
The Foundation

Place foam in a liner.

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The Foundation
The Foundation

Place foam in a liner.

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Spanish moss to cover the mechanics
Spanish moss to cover the mechanics

Use Spanish moss to cover the mechanics.jpg

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Spanish moss to cover the mechanics
Spanish moss to cover the mechanics

Use Spanish moss to cover the mechanics.jpg

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Foam the Container

Use a mache’ pot, terracotta pot, plastic or metal container as a liner for the basket.  Completely fill with dry flower foam.  If the liner is shorter than the height of the basket place foam in the bottom of the basket to bring the liner level with the rim of the basket.  Use a filler of honeycomb cut paper, Spanish or sphagnum moss to fill around the liner.  When using a basket or lightweight container, place rocks in the bottom for ballast, otherwise the design will be top heavy and unstable.   

Cover the Mechanics

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Place Spanish moss loosely over the top to hide all the mechanics.  Sphagnum moss may be used for this as well.  The moss needs to be opened up /pulled apart, leaving spaces in it to insert the stems of the materials through it, without getting stuck in the moss.   

 

Wire the foamed liner in the basket
Wire the foamed liner in the basket

Cover foam with spanish moss and wire the liner into basket.

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Wire the foamed liner in the basket
Wire the foamed liner in the basket

Cover foam with spanish moss and wire the liner into basket.

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Wire the Liner in Place

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Wire the Liner in Place

Secure the foam in the liner, and the liner in the basket with a wire attached to either side of the basket.  Pull the wire over the top of both and twist together in the middle. 

Bunch the grasses,
Bunch the grasses,

Bunch the grasses, lavender & other drieds.

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Bunch the grasses,
Bunch the grasses,

Bunch the grasses, lavender & other drieds.

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Bundle Dried Materials

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Dried materials are much easier to use when bundled, so they can be inserted as a unit rather than one stem at a time.  Make various size bundles and then clutch wire them together.  Bundle some with the wire at the bottom of the stem, adding a wood pick to make insertion in the foam easier.  Make some with the wire in the middle of the bunch to be used in a horizontal position.

Wire in two places
Wire in two places

To use both ends of a bunch separately, wire a bundle of grass in two places.

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Wire in two places
Wire in two places

To use both ends of a bunch separately, wire a bundle of grass in two places.

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Bundle Dried Grasses 2

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To make different length bundles and use both ends, wire the bundle in the middle in two separate places, leaving approximately two inches between.  Tighten the wire with pliers if necessary to prevent the stems from slipping.   

Cut the Ends of Bunches
Cut the Ends of Bunches

Cut the bunch in half and put pan glue on the ends copy.j

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Cut the Ends of Bunches
Cut the Ends of Bunches

Cut the bunch in half and put pan glue on the ends copy.j

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Bundle Dried Grasses 3

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Cut the bundle in half between the wires.  Hot glue the bottom of the bundle to prevent the stems from slipping out of the wire

Add bunches of grass and rice.
Add bunches of grass and rice.

Begin by adding bunches of grass and rice in a radiating pattern.

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Add bunches of grass and rice.
Add bunches of grass and rice.

Begin by adding bunches of grass and rice in a radiating pattern.

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Placing Dried Materials

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Begin the design by placing the bundled materials.  This design has a ‘valley’ in the middle, so insert the bundles on either side of the valley in a radiating pattern.  The Country French design has a rather ‘thrown’ together feel, as if one had been in the garden and tossed the materials in the basket.

Add more bunches
Add more bunches

Add more bunches of grass and lavender.j

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Add more bunches
Add more bunches

Add more bunches of grass and lavender.j

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Placing Dried Materials 2

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Continue filling in the shape of the design with grasses, keeping a loose, wild aspect to the materials.

Add bunches of preserved Amaranth.
Add bunches of preserved Amaranth.

Add bunches of preserved Amaranth.

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Add bunches of preserved Amaranth.
Add bunches of preserved Amaranth.

Add bunches of preserved Amaranth.

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Amaranth Added

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Place Amaranth towards the outside perimeter of the design, where it can drape without being impeded by other materials.

Amaranth placement on reverse side
Amaranth placement on reverse side

The reverse side shown in a different placement of the same materials.

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Amaranth placement on reverse side
Amaranth placement on reverse side

The reverse side shown in a different placement of the same materials.

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Lavender Added

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This is the reverse side of the design.  Placing the materials in a different pattern creates interest.  Add bundled lavender, placing it in groups, which will place more emphasis on the materials and eliminate a polka-dot effect.

Add flowers and fruit.
Add flowers and fruit.

Add flowers and fruit.

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Add flowers and fruit.
Add flowers and fruit.

Add flowers and fruit.

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Add Flowers and Fruit

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Add artificial flowers and fruit through the valley.   To attach the fruit, insert a wood pick or piece of 16 gauge wire.  Attach with hot glue.   For materials, such as the dried quince, hot glue a piece of wire to one side.  

Focal Area Materials
Focal Area Materials

Choosing different materials to finsh the focal area lends variety to the design

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Focal Area Materials
Focal Area Materials

Choosing different materials to finsh the focal area lends variety to the design

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Creating a Focal Area

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Place the largest materials near the rim of the container to create a focal point on either side. 

Mass Materials
Mass Materials

Massing materials with the heaviest structure, through the center adds visual interest.

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Mass Materials
Mass Materials

Massing materials with the heaviest structure, through the center adds visual interest.

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Group the Materials

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Group materials by placing like items together.  It will add emphasis to them, as well as a cohesive look to the design.

 

Side 2 Completed
Side 2 Completed

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Side 2 Completed
Side 2 Completed

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Side Two Completed

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This design is so large both sides cannot be seen together.  This allows the use of a little different mix of materials on either side, without losing the unity of the design.

Overview of Center Mass
Overview of Center Mass

Overview of Center Mass

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Overview of Center Mass
Overview of Center Mass

Overview of Center Mass

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Overview of Center Mass

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The valley through the design adds to its thrown together look, and creates wonderful depth in the design.  Layer the materials over each other, weaving negative space into the design.