Sandy Bailey – ‘Threads of Gold’

Well, What a night! We had wanted something very special to celebrate the Golden Anniversary of our club, and we certainly got it! Sandy pulled out all the stops with a brand new demonstration entitled ‘Threads of Gold’ which she had created especially for us and everyone enjoyed watching her create some beautiful arrangements whilst reminiscing about her childhood in Bedford and the people and places she remembered. Sandy and her helper had arrived at the Addison centre just after lunchtime to prepare for the evening, and for every arrangement that was produced as we watched, another matching or complimentary one was brought out from behind the scenes so that by 9pm the stage was literally full of flowers. All of the arrangements went into the raffle and so lots of ladies were lucky enough to take home an arrangement. Mulled wine and festive food was also available and we all had a truly memorable evening. Some photos are below…….

Jane Fox ~ ‘Bright and Beautiful’

Last Tuesday we were joined by Jane Fox from Rugby who created some lovely arrangements under the title of ‘Bright and Beautiful’.  Jane was aware that our Club is celebrating our 50th Anniversary and so included one arrangement inspired by Constance Spry in the style of flower arranging that was popular in the 1960’s and one incorporating a big golden sun for today.  Her efforts were much appreciated by our members and her flowers truly were ‘Bright and Beautiful’!

50 years young and still counting!

In November 1960, the inaugural meeting of Bedford Flower Arranging Society was held in Newnham School, Bedford. The ladies present on that first evening would have been delighted to know that the club (now Bedford Floral Art Society) would be thriving 50 years later and that on Tuesday the current members and friends celebrated the anniversary in style. The Addison Centre in Kempston was awash with ‘gold’ decorations, accessories, raffle prizes and of course, flowers. There were 50 gold, flower-shaped candles too – not on the cake but on a leaf covered block of florists’ foam! After a delicious meal, the evening finished with a flower arranging demonstration, when local florist Pat Davies produced stunning arrangements on the theme ‘Ancient and Modern Revised’.  It was a lovely evening and a few photos from the evening are below.  If you would like a printed copy of any of our photographs, just let me know.

Julie Woods ~ ‘Let’s Pop Corn’

We had a lovely eveing on tuesday when one of our own members – who is also an Area Demonstrator – entertained us with a dem called ‘Let’s Pop Corn’.  Julie – who lives in Cambridgeshire – used the title to intorduce a Film theme to the evening – and instead of telling us which film she was thinking about with each arrangement, she just provided clues in the form of snippets of information about each film, its stars or its era and left the audience to guess the film title!  Two ladies sitting directly in front of me were clearly film buffs and managed to guess each one correctly before Julie revealed the answers.  Julie finished each arrangemnent by playing us a well known piece of music from each film.  The films were:

South Pacific – yellow and blue arrangement

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – white flowers in glasses

Pretty Woman – red roses in a curvaceous vase

The Last Geisha – Pink lillies and snake grass shapes

Moulin Rouge – tall arrangement with feathers and red gerbera

It was a very entertaining evening with some beautifully arranged flowers.  Thank you Julie.

Contemporary Workshop led by Laura Leong

A message from our Chairman about the Workshop yesterday:

“I just wanted to thank Penny for suggesting that we invite Laura Leong to lead a Contemporary workshop.  What a good idea that was.
I think it is safe to say that we all learned something new during the day and Laura’s friendly manner and relaxed style put everyone at ease.  Linda’s photos show the results of our efforts.  We are hoping Laura will be able to return in November 2011 for a Christmas workshop.
There were 24 participants in Saturday’s workshop, 9 of whom were non-members (including Wendy who travelled down from Birmingham).
It was a ‘snug’ fit in the hall but the hire of the hall and Laura’s fee for attending for the day were sizable commitments and as a club we can’t run at a loss but do always try to offer value for money and keep costs as low as possible so that people aren’t priced out of attending events.  It is worth saying that without the support of non-members we wouldn’t have been able to go ahead.
It is written in our Constitution that ‘The object of the Society shall be to stimulate and encourage the interest in the art of flower arrangement.’   Workshops are fun way of doing that.  Another good reason for offering workshops is that Adult education budgets are being cut and consequently there are fewer flower arranging classes.
As with all events a lot of hardwork and time was involved and I would like to thank Linda P. and Penny for making the day run so smoothly.”

Linda R

PS.  As Editor, I would like to add that without the enthusiasm and drive of our chairman, Linda R, there wouldn’t have been a workshop at all and it is therefore Linda that we should all be thanking.

Visit to Beth Chatto’s Garden

On Saturday 31 July, a group of us gathered together to go on a coach trip to visit Beth Chatto’s gardens just outside Colchester.  After weeks of dry and fine weather it was dull and drizzling with rain and by the time we reached the M11 an hour later it was really raining!

However, once we arrived at the Garden, the sun was making an effort to shine and after lunch in the cafe we set off to admire Beth’s extensive and varied garden.  It was very peaceful and easy to while away a couple of hours before going to the Plant Nursery where there were hundreds of different plants available to buy.  I think nearly everyone on the trip returned home with a plant or two (or more!) as the luggage compartment of the coach was full of plants! I just wish my garden was more like Beth’s ………!

NAFAS National Show, Harrogate 9th & 10 July

Well what a lovely day I had at the National Show on Friday.  It was a hot and sunny day and I’d almost gone off the idea by thinking about how hot the halls were going to be and how crowded.  But in fact the Harrogate International Centre is very spacious and although there were a lot of people there it didn’t seem too crowded.  I was glad I made the effort, some of the arrangements were truly stunning.  After wandering around for an hour or so, I decided to give my feet a break and went into the NAFAS Education section where a learning session was just about to start on using sticks in Continental designs.  It was very interesting and I picked up some useful tips.  I also bumped into Penny from our Committee in there! (Many of you will know her from the Book Stall!) Later, as I was in Harrogate town centre on a break for lunch, I bumped into Pearl also from our Committee (Raffle table supremeo!)  What a small world it is.

In the afternoon, I went to see a demonstration by Michael Bowyer entitled “Hallelujah”.  A really spectacular show. 2 hours of Music, Dance and Singing accompanied by some wonderful flower arrangements.  There were dancers from Pakistan, songs from famous shows and all types of music.  It ended with a comedy sketch based on The Full Monty which saw Michael ripping off his trousers while his team of helpers hid behind large umbrellas!

I took so many photos during the day but have chosen just a few to give you a small flavour of the day.  If you really want to find out what it’s like, you should make a date in your diary for next year when it will be held in Torquay on  22 – 24 September.  It sounds like a good place for a weekend away!

This first set of photos are some the class entries in the show ranging from traditional pedestals and country gardens to a really bright and bold class called ‘Pandemonium’

The final photos are just a few from Michael Bowyers show.

Jane Ellis – “The Seeing Eye”

On Tuesday 6th July we were joined by Jane Ellis, a recently qualified area demonstrator.  Jane created 6 colourful arrangements along the theme of “The Seeing Eye” and in one of them she used some Florigene Genetically modified carnations in ‘Moonlite’ – a lovely shade of strong mauve.  She also showed us some interesting manipulative techniques with Snake Grass and included a variety of interesting other techniques including one that caused gasps from the audience when Jane removed all the petals off some bright yellow sunflowers before placing them in her arrangement!  The results of her endeavours can be seen below.

Lisa Howarth ~ ‘We’re going on a Summer Holiday’

Lisa Howarth came to Bedford to visit our club on Tuesday 1st June to present a demonstration called ‘We’re going on a Summer Holiday’.  Unfortunately I wasn’t there to see her as I really was on my Summer Holiday but from what I’ve been told she created some lovely arrangements and everyone not only enjoyed watching her but also learned a lot about the care of flowers.  One of our members took some photos of her creations that you can see below.

Barbara Collins – ‘Spring into Summer’

After a particularly cold day, we all needed cheering up with thoughts of summer – and that is exactly what Barbara gave us – 6 lovely arrangements of bright and cheery flowers accompanied by humerous chatter.  The results of her endeavours are shown below:

We also held one in our series of ‘Your turn’.  This month the title was ‘Recycled’ and we had some lovely floral entries as well as a photograph section.  Some of the arrangements made by our talented members are shown below.  We have another ‘Your Turn’ event next month (June 1st) – why not have a go yourself?

(I should just point out that I moved 2 of the smaller exhibits to fit them into the photo and they had got coins placed beside them in their original position!  The coins are put down by other members to show their appreciation and favourite, last week the tall one with the catherine wheel on the top was the most preferred.)