Sunday, March 30, 2014
Just My Cup of Tea Tree
I've made many plans for flower plantings along the picket fence set piece, spent a lot of time thinking of how to make the greenery and flowers. Then I noticed a specific plant in our neighbor's yard and took a little snip to test (lower left). It looked right, right away. The right scale, the right feel. But how would they be made stable to last over time?
As it would happen, the very next day I saw the gardeners had trimmed back that very shrub (They kindly told me it was called Australian Tea Tree) and welcomed me to grab as much from the bin as I'd like. I stripped off the best looking tips, with the most pink blooms, and happily brought them back to the set.
Today I filled a ziplock bag with my trusty Nova Color matte medium, dropped in the stems one by one, smooshed around to coat, and then tapped off excess inside a cardboard box, and hung all over the studio to dry (center).
I really coated each stock heavily, some twice after each coat dried. The result so far is perfect, with all little leaves strongly attached and even the flower petals withstood the treatments (lower right) and look unaltered after two coats have dried.
The other half of the armful I clipped and crushed their stems to absorb a mixture of hot water, glycerine, and vinegar. Ideally the solution will be drawn up into the stocks and preserve the whole branch longer term. That batch will take several weeks to fully process, so this matte medium technique, by contrast, is super fast and easy.
I used nearly the same method back in September with a batch of myrtle greenery with mixed results. They looked good at first too but the larger leaves curled and don't look lively enough for the use anymore. Might have them in a blurry background.
Crossing fingers that the Tea Tree branch tips will look like this long term. Planning to add other quick (QUICK!) paper blossoms to the greenery at the fence as well. Yellow Sweetpeas (center bottom).