Ivonne

This project is 392 hand rolled paper flowers on two pieces of reinforced foam core board.

This project was for someone very dear to me. She was redoing her room and wanted me to paint something special on her wall. Unfortunately it was at the beginning of the coronavirus stay-at-home order so going over to her house was not an option.  I had just purchased a Cricut cutting machine, knowing I was going to have some time on my hands, and I was itching to use my new toy.  Hey, why not make wall art!!!  Famous last words….I had no idea it would take 45 hours to make.  Although looking back now it was time well spent.  I learned a lot.  I got familiar with my Cricut and all it’s possibilies.  One of the best purchases ever!

Concept and Foundation

The image I had in my mind was a flower encrusted piece with her name on it.  It kind of evolved from there.  She told me her room was blue, which she loved, and there should not be any red or orange (I think there may have been an ’yuck’ somewhere in the description).  From that to go on I figured it had to be large enough to hang over her bed and not get lost on the wall.  I guess I was feeling ambitious or naive.  I figured somewhere in the range of 40” x 30”.  Two foam core boards together were the perfect size so I used painters tape to hold them together.  Then I glued two thin strips of wood across the seam on the upper and lower back to strengthen it.   My Cricut cut the template for her name which I used as a guide to trim flower foam.  Hot glue gun worked well for connecting the flower foam to the board.  Using a clay scraper, I then carved out her name.  I cut pieces of wire and pierced the foam board from the back, through the flower foam, to allow me to glue the paper flowers to the flower foam.  I glued them in place from the back.  Again using the Cricut, I began cutting the white flowers out of plain 24 bright white printer paper.  I dry brushed dark pink paint on each flower before rolling it.  You can see it in the bottom pictures.  There are many terrific YouTube videos on how to create and roll flowers so I will not cover that here.  I wanted to follow the shape of the font so I created different sized flowers.  Once I was done with the flowers in her name I  covered the exposed flower foam with antler moss.  To give additional strength to the overall piece,  I used green wire ribbon wrapped around the edges of the foam board, gluing it to the front and the back.  I painted the background so the white would not show through as much in the gaps between the flowers.

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

Now that I had made nearly 100 flowers for her name I wanted to try something new so I moved on to making different types of flowers. I knew I wanted the rolled roses to be the bulk of the pieces but I wanted to break it up a bit.  I got a ream of different blue paper to roll the majority of the flowers.  I laid them out before I glued them to give a balanced feel.  Hot glue time!  You can see in the picture above the finished background.  I felt at that point the moss was to prominent so yes more rolling to create a boarder around her name.  The final step was to add some special details a few of which you can see below.

If you look carefully you will see in the center of the flowered Ivonne is a much smaller wire Ivonne.  I was playing with some wire and an acrylic rod and managed to make her name.  I them dipped in in Elmers glue and glitter adding a bit more interest to the collage.

Learnings

So what did I learn. Well a lesson I am still learning, sometimes your eyes (in this case ideas) are bigger than your stomach. I completely underestimated the time it would take to do this project. Had I know in the beginning I would not have started and what a shame that would have been. It turned out so beautiful! Often times things in this life can be overwhelming when you look at them and when you calculate the effort they don’t seem like they are worth doing. However, with the privilege of hindsight, you can see that it was worth it all along.

Using the same technique as above  I made several other little details including a few copper wire flowers.

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