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Sunday, 23 August 2015

How to Make a Miniature Delphinium Plant

As promised, here is the delphinium tutorial. I chose to go with a particular variety, a purple one with a dark purple heart and lighter areas on the petals, called "Michael Ayres"; this variety can grow up to 6 ft or nearly 2 metres tall. The open book is my sample picture.

Below is what you will need:

I used a corner punch with 3 different sizes of 5-petal flowers, and 3 sizes of maple leaves, made with painted paper. Punch out 5 each of the flowers and leaves; you may not need them all, but you can save them for use in another project.You will also need painted mustard seeds (or poppy seeds) for your buds, wire, glue, colouring materials, a ball stylus with a small ball, and tweezers and a foam pad.

The variety I decided to make has a deep purple centre; to do this, I made a dot with the Copic pen. Then I used a white pencil (the gel pen in the photo made too obvious a white line) to make the five tiny white lines that go upwards on each blossom. You can simply do a coloured centre and not do the lines.

My apologies for the lack of  progress photos for this tutorial, but I can't get the photo function to work for me today.( Please scroll down to the photo of the finished plant for a picture of the next step.) Put glue on about 3/8" (1 cm) of the top of the flower stem, and glue on your painted seeds for buds. Set aside to dry. In the meantime, shape your flowers by cupping them using a ball stylus and a soft foam mat. Optionally, you can push them into a foam tray from the grocery store; they will cup more deeply, but may have to be pushed out through the bottom of the tray!

Shape your leaves by "drawing" a line using a ball stylus, blunt tapestry needle, or corsage pin down the centre; on the larger leaves, add 2 V-lines, but on the small leaf you can likely only draw 1 V-line.
Dip the back of your small blossoms in glue, and place below the painted seed buds; then do the same with your medium blossoms, and finally with your large ones. I used 8 of the small and medium, and 5 of the large sizes. Now do the same with your leaves; I used 3-5 of each of the sizes, again starting with the smallest, then the medium, and then the largest.

Here is the finished purple delphinium, next to the blue one I made as a demonstration flower for last Tuesday's class. You can see that adding the dark centres and white lines adds definition to the flowers. The blue ones here were made with paper coloured with marker pens. The blossoms were then punched out, moistened by laying them on a damp paper towel, and then pressed into a foam supermarket tray, and allowed to dry. The moistening made the marker ink "run" in interesting ways, deepening it in places and making it look lighter in others. The very top blossom in the purple delphinium was coloured with the white gel pen; you can see that the lines are too noticeable, unlike the pencil lines in the remaining flowers, which are more subtle. Flower making is really a matter of trial and error!
Delphiniums are coloured from white through blue, pink, and mauve, with a variety of centre colours. The leaves tend to be a bright, light green. The book I used is a garden flowers book I borrowed from the library; seed and flower catalogues are also good for flower photos, and the internet's Image file will give you good close-ups of the blossom colours and varieties.

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