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Through the looking glass
“Have I gone mad?” the Mad Hatter said. “I’m afraid so, said Alice, You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are”
Over the past few years I had toyed with the idea of creating an Alice in Wonderland Bouquet. I loved the idea of making something whimsical that people could become lost in discovering all of the details. Over time I had slowly collected little trinkets handmade buttons and other odds and ends that I kept stashing away, waiting for the time to be “right”.
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there” Cheshire Cat
Then one day this year I was feeling a bit inspired, overwhelmed and to be honest in dire need of a holiday. Unable to find a way to get focused on orders and not being able to take a holiday I decided that I needed to pull out a side project to get myself re-inspired. So I pulled out my Alice trinket stash and considered the options of what type of bouquet she would become. I had originally toyed with the idea of a softly coloured and whimsical brooch bouquet, but then I remembered I had a stash of rainbow roses that were actually an experiment gone wrong and I realised they in fact were PERFECT for the base of my Alice bouquet.
“I knew who I was in the morning, but I changed a few times since then” Alice
I turned the flowers in a bouquet shape, and carefully started wiring all of the special trinkets, brooches, buttons and crystals that I had been collecting, just for this day. The bouquet slowly started to take shape, and as it did I became more and more excited. A key brooch leftover from another order was added, tiny viles of glitter were added, little buttons featuring text like “drink me” and “try me” were added. I had some special mirror buttons made locally to add and even included a little rhinestone watch face. Brooches were placed and then removed as I searched through my stash looking for those perfect pieces. I got to a point with this bouquet where there was no more I could add but I knew it was not quite finished and needed something, I just wasn’t sure what that “something” was. Time to put it away and think on it for a while.
“If i had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would what it isn’t” Alice
After thinking about it for a while I came up with the idea of rainbow beaded flowers. However being insanely busy with bridal orders, this task was put aside, until I decided to ask my assistant Crispy to help. We both thought the rainbow flowers were a fabulous idea – until it came to creating them. Now we create beaded flowers all the time, but they are normally single colours. We decided to make these rainbow and have the beads all in a particular order. It was a case of realising how much work this particular task was when it was already too late to turn around and go back. I am quite sure if I ask Crispy to make these again, she may quit. However we both agreed that when these were added to the bouquet they were EXACTLY what it needed to finish the top. The effort was 100% worth it.
“We’re all mad here” The Mad Hatter
With the top of the bouquet complete I then had to come up with an idea to make sure the underneath was beautiful, but didn’t detract from the top. I must of toyed with 100 different ideas when I decided to go with a grey satin collar that wouldn’t clash with the rainbow colours. We then decided the faux rhinestone wrap was the perfect finish. Simple, yet still offering wow factor. The handle end was a beautiful Alice in Wonderland Button that I had previously had made, specifically for this bouquet.
“How strange it is to be anything at all”
The creation of this bouquet was so much fun. I love working with brides, every day I am honoured to be asked to play a small part of such an important day in someone’s life. But it’s important as an artist that sometimes you get out there and create for fun too. It’s special projects like this, the few and far between that keep us motivated, inspired and working at our best.
In love with this bouquet and want it for yourself? Sadly as much as it broke my heart, this bouquet was sold earlier this year after a bride fell in love with it an expo. She assures me though it she will take good care of it and love it as much I do. However we would love an opportunity to create another Alice inspired piece like this. Please email us using the contact tab for more details.
A special thanks to Andrew Sharpe Photography for assisting us with the amazing photos throughout this post, the white background really allows the bouquet to take centre stage. The photos in the gallery section below are some ones I took myself.