“You should write a book!”
That sentence took me by surprise when it was spoken to me by an industry friend that I admire very much in the fall of 2019. Although I enjoy writing immensely, it had never occurred to me to do it. That one sentence was all it took to plant the seed in the back of my mind. That seed laid dormant for a few months, growing bit-by-bit when I would think of it every few weeks, but mostly I didn’t have the time to even consider it, let alone buckle down and actually get it done.
Springing forward in time to March of 2020 and the great calendar-clearing event that turned the world upside-down. I, like everyone else, took a few days to get my head around the fact that life was going to be very different for a few weeks (which turned into months). With little on my to-do list, I revisited that seed that I had been part-time nurturing and decided that it may just be now or never!
After chatting with Schiffer Publishing, who was experienced in bringing Floral Design books to market, I decided to embrace the niche I had been carving for myself and to dive head-first into composing an educational tool to be used by beginning and intermediate floral designers. After ruling out some other types of design books, the educational focus felt like the perfect fit, since I had been honing my teaching skills since 2013. What started as ladies-night classes for customers at a local retail shop, turned into the opportunity to become a member of the prestigious Teleflora Education Specialist Team, and a core instructor at an American Institute of Floral Designers® (AIFD®) Education Partner school in Bucks County PA. After leaving the retail world in July of 2019 to focus on my teaching, it seemed that adding this book to my training toolbox was the next logical step.
As a member of AIFD® since 2016, I have proudly taught from The AIFD Guide to Floral Design: Terms, Techniques, and Traditions that the Institute has produced. It is a 372-page book full of every aspect of floristry. Anything you need to know you can learn from this guidebook. However, aside from some sketches and beautiful chapter lead photographs, it is a written book, not a visual book. I knew that I wanted to create a visual representation to offer along with the guidebook to my students. This way, they could read about the terms and techniques in the guidebook, then they could be inspired by the projects that I created featuring the techniques.
What resulted is Framing Floral Techniques! It is a how-to, step-by-step guide, featuring 42 projects with each step written out and photographed. The subtitle: Floral Design Skill Building Inspirations and Explorations is a description of what I hope readers will get from the pages.
Each project focuses on the main design technique, and how it can be developed and showcased. Within each project you’ll find two repeating elements:
Tech Talk: These text boxes discuss the other techniques found in the projects, along with the strong Principles and Elements that are present in the design. It helps the reader pull together a full understanding of why the different parts of the design work so well collectively.
Tech Tips: These text boxes touch on some tips for success, pitfalls to avoid, and ways to expand upon the projects.
Knowing how important technology is to our culture, and specifically, how important virtual learning has become in our world, I decided to include one bonus element in the pages. Throughout the book, you’ll find a QR code. When you scan this code, it takes you to an exclusive Framing Floral Techniques YouTube playlist. In this playlist, you’ll find an expansion and further explanation of some of the techniques used in the book. It’s a 21st century way to connect my teachings to the book, and ultimately to the reader.
Writing this book has been far more work than I anticipated, but I couldn’t be more proud of it. I spent hours and hours planning, producing, and editing each word on each page so that the teachings are as succinct as possible. I hope that you are inspired by the explorations you find on the pages, and I hope that you’ll connect with me in real life, or, on a virtual/social platform to let me know! I want to see your #framingfloraltechniques discoveries!
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