Sunday, November 19, 2006

Gift and Flower Baskets (By 4Ernesto)

Creating baskets for gifts or for decoration purposes will give you joy and satisfaction. This hobby can make your friends wonder why all your gifts to them are so unique!

Gift Basket

1. You will need a sheet of paper 20 cm square. Fold the square in half diagonally, then diagonally again. Place the triangle with the single fold running vertically. Bring the upper of the two free points up to meet the single point, opening the flap out as you do so to form a square. Crease the folds and repeat on the other side.

2. Position the newly formed square with the free edges pointing away from you. Fold the top free corner down to meet the opposite corner, and then fold it back on itself to the horizontal centre line. Fold in half once more. Repeat on the other side, as shown. Turn the top left flap over to the right side, and then fold it back on itself to meet the vertical centre line.

3. Fold the left hand corner in towards the vertical line also. Turn the basket over and repeat on the other side. Open out the shape slightly and fold the top two flaps down inside the basket. Flatten the base of the basket. Cut a thin strip of paper for a handle and slip the ends into the slots on each side of the basket rim. Staple in place and decorate with ribbons or lace.

Flower Basket

1. These pretty baskets make a delightful centrepiece. First line the basket with a piece of plastic, using black for a dark basket or white for a light-coloured basket. Add a layer of damp sphagnum moss. This will prevent the roots of the plants from drying out.

2. You can leave the basket plain or add a paper doily for a pretty trim. Cut two doilies in half and fold the edge of each half around the rim of the basket before inserting the flower pots.

3. Arrange the plants on top of the layer of moss, adjusting them if necessary so that they will relate well to each other. Then tie ribbons around the handle of each basket to provide the finishing touch.

In general baskets filled with flowering plants make attractive centrepieces. Choose the flowers according to the occasion.

Flowers in a Hat

You can revive a straw hat by using it as a base for a flower arrangement.

1. To start, tape some soaked florists' foam to a saucer and place it in an old straw bonnet. Create a soft and spidery outline with stems of sprengeri fern. Next, take three or four stems of white stock and insert them into the heart of the display, bringing just one stem forward over the brim of the hat.

2. Use white chrysanthemums to fill in the outline and give substance to the design. Generally, chrysanthemums are good survivors when cut, but they will last even longer if the stems are placed into boiling water before being inserted in deep water for a long drink.

3. In among the white chrysanthemums recess some lilac hyacinth heads to create depth and a contrasting texture. Finally, complete the display with deep purple anemones. These are the main flowers, so use plenty, spreading them evenly throughout the whole arrangement.

Spring Sunshine

1. Prop open the lid of a yellow case with a small stick, and insert a brick of soaked florists' foam wrapped in cling film (plastic wrap). Begin by grouping some closely cut, white iris to the right of the case, standing them upright at the back. Next to them, insert a bunched piece of white net.

2. In front of the iris, group eight to ten yellow Persian buttercups and a touch of foliage. Six or seven white double tulips fill virtually the rest of the case. Retain their leaves, as these add an attractive contrast of colour to the display.

3. On the far left of the case, and in among the tulips, slot three or four purple hyacinths. For the finishing touch, add a little piece of lilac net, bunched on some wire, in the top right hand corner to balance the colour scheme.

Tip: sunny yellow provides a perfect backdrop for bright flowers.

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