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PAT K asked how I made the Star Gazer lilies in the ALMOST Thanksgiving setting.

The arrangement is much smaller than it appears here, but it is intended to be a large floor arrangement in the roombox! Actual Star Gazers have at least one more petal, but for this tiny scale I decided this would do, and I was in a hurry to complete my NAME Event setting.

The materials I used were a star punch, fine beading wire, painted artist's tracing paper, fine tip colored marker and acrylic paint.

I keep my flower making tools in a small drawer unit - foam pads, ball styluses, picks, fine point tweezers, and a stash of prepared papers for punching, along with pre-made stamens. In addition, I have a spray bottle that I use, as well.

Some years ago I bought a pad of artist's tracing paper, which has a slight crinkly translucent quality. I spent an entire Sunday afternoon once using a sponge brush to smear water over a page, then swirled paint around on it, then went on to another piece of paper and did the same with more water and another color, deliberately not covering the page in a solid coat. I went through about every color in my stash, including lots of shades of green. I had pieces of paper spread all over the back room while they dried. Then I flipped the pages over and repeated the process on the back of each. Then when the paper was thoroughly dry I gathered them up and inserted them back into the original cover and keep it with the flower stuff.

I have been punching petals and leaves from that paper for YEARS. Its translucence gives petals a much more realistic look, in my opinion, and if I want them darker or more opaque I can always paint over them.

I also made stamens on another day, using whatever wire I had on hand; some plain, some fabric coated, some paper coated. I cut the wires into about 3 inch sections (most of my flowers are twelfth scale, remember), and I dipped one end in paint then poked it into a piece of styrofoam to dry, making a bunch of red, yellow, orange, green, brown and black stamens (maybe even other colors; don't recall at this moment). I also dipped some paint or glue wire tips into various things - colored sand, finest foam, even instant coffee, whatever I could find that day.

I do not trim the wire until I am ready to make the actual arrangement because it gives you a handle to hold onto. Whenever I want to make a flower I look through my stash to see if any stamen there resembles what I want; most of the time something does.

I have a tiny star punch that you push down with your thumb and that's what I used for the lilies. The prepared tracing paper page I punched from was a pale yellowish white. I used my pick to hold one tip of the star on my work tray and then used an orange fine point pen to draw a line from the center toward the tip of each point.

Years ago I took a class with Laura Settles of OKC and she gave us little foam pads. She told us to sprinkle our punch shapes onto the pad, spritz with a fine mist of water, then use our ball stylus to indent the punch to shape it. The deeper you poke the punch into the foam the more it cups. When they dry, they hold their shape more readily.  You can even leave them to dry but sometimes it's hard to get them back out if you punched REALLY hard. lol

Since my paper was already somewhat variegated, when I spritzed the petals the color may have run a bit more, too. For these tiny blooms I used the very thinnest beading wire stamens with the smallest pale orange paint dots.


I use my Third Hand magnifying glass to check things periodically; sometimes I use it to hold the wire while I work on the bloom.

For this scale, my ball stylus was too big, so I used a fine dental pick with a more rounded tip to shape the blossom. I poked the unpainted end of the beading wire stamen entirely through the center of each damp shaped star and down into the foam, then used my needle nosed tweezers to push the petal up to cup around the stamen, and put a tiny dot of Elmer's at the base to hold it in place. Normally I would have painted a tiny green dot to suggest the sepals, but I knew the back of the flowers would not show (and I was in a hurry! lol).

This same process and star shape makes all kinds of blooms, depending on the color of your paper, the number of layers, your stamen, any additional painting and the kind of leaves you use.

If I were to do these again, I would probably add another petal, since the actual Star Gazer has at least six.

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