Monday, December 24, 2012

DECEMBER ROSES

Short winter days seldom see bright sun here.
We get lots of frosty, foggy overcast days.

This year winter hasn't really come yet.Temperatures seem to be holding in 40's but dipping now and again near or just below freezing. Some days are much warmer too. Can one snow and a bit of icy rain really be called Winter?


Each winter mists swirl up from the lake to engage Jack Frost in creative art using every available surface as a wonderland canvas.

car trunk 2010 - notice the sun on the top left is melting it as it hits 

window on car


planter chains


a frost crusted twig against a gloved hand

Sometimes we have biting frosts early in the season but hardy flowers, including roses, survive late into November and even December many years.



Mother Nature routinely offers me lush bouquets.


David also presents me with bouquets of roses.

When they begin to 'droop', if hung upside down before the petals drop, the climate permits them to naturally air dry.


I keep a few dry bouquets around to remind me of his generous love of roses and me. When they get a bit tattered or break apart I toss them but the nicer ones I can't bear to part with so I lay them away in a box. He is worth more than flowers so I keep him too: hopefully not in a box.

 frosted mums 2012

Winter 2012 began with delicate frosts on the flowers still in bloom.

frosted coneflower 2012

We were on our way to church but grabbed the camera and shot a few pictures.

one of our mini roses frosted 


same rose from side

We know the frost is delicate and as the day warms only our memories and such pictures remain to witness the majesty of Mother Nature. We almost made ourselves late.

I brought that tough little rose in to see if it would dry.
It dried quite well in spite of having had some frost. I put it with the others.

My roses inspired me this year.


I wanted that beauty for the Christmas tree.


I watched each frost and planned.


Did I ever tell you how much I love paint?
Paint can work miracles.
I selected all but the darker dried flowers.
They used 2 cans of 98 cent white paint.

a light spray of white paint helped color to be more uniform and 'frosty'
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I sprayed them (outside) on one of the last few 'warm' days. It was about 40 degrees F so they were a bit tacky to the touch when I brought them into the house to dry. I sprayed them each individually for uniform coverage and stood them in old garden pots. I put the pots in the only logical place in the house: the bathtub - where else? It is a roomy area for several bouquets to live for a few hours. And with the exhaust fan running at maximum, the paint smell did not permeate the rest of the house ... well at least not too much or for too long.


The hard part was getting the glitter on them. We sprinkled super fine glitter (like salting dinner) on them outside while the paint was wet. That gave all the outside a crusty shine. It also kept us from looking like we had been rolling in glitter too.


After thinning white tacky glue by about half, just enough to spread easily with a small brush, I began to imitate Mr. Frost's handiwork by swiping the edges with the glue and then dipping them in a mug about a third full of glitter.


For this work I used the least expensive larger glitter flakes from the local department store. I wanted it to form a more distinct 'crust' along those edges (than the super fine would). Yes, I had to tip the mug and roll it about a bit and yes sometimes a fatter rose did not fit so I used a spoon to 'sprinkle' the glitter.


Although bits of plant material and drips of glue would fall into the glitter I could flick out the larger ones and I kept adding glitter to refill the mug as needed. After the project was complete I soaked the mug and spoon for a few minutes in cool water and then used a scrubber to remove the mess from their edges and surfaces.


Sometimes petals would come loose.


I just reattached them with a bit of glue.

Much variation on edges occurs.

The glitter frosted roses needed to 'stand' overnight for the glue to dry before arranging. I wired some sheer ribbon and located other decorations from storage.


I snapped off the stems, a few at a time as I went along, to suitable lengths (randomly) and began to group some of the flowers in 3's.



top view
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First I composed a bouquet of frosted roses for the table.


I re-made a wreath, braided some beads to add color, and swagged the top of the piano.


After filling garland along the valance, where stockings hang, I 'dripped icicles' along it and 'dropped' snowflakes in front of the window and blinds (with threads).


Some of my favorite ornaments are inscribed with 'peace', 'hope', 'joy'.


The tree itself took much longer than anticipated but it was an enjoyable creative process to select the greens, pinks, whites and clear acrylics and to fill in pine cones, ribbons, berries and baby's breath.


I added a bit of fruit (small glittered pears) and some crystal.


I have a few 'word' ornaments. They seemed to belong to this tree.


When my first child was an infant, I bought a small acrylic nativity set against a mirror. It is still a favorite. I use it often.


Merry Christmas 2012.