Sunday, May 29, 2011

365 Days of Flowers, Day 2...Moss

In my backyard and between the wild plum trees, this lovely, luscious moss grows on the ground.  It gets trampled, and sometimes driven over, but still maintains my path with a beautiful green living carpet.

I peeled up a layer of moss for today's project.  I suppose some kind of sharp edged, flat tool, like a drywall spackling knife would have been helpful to loosen the moss, but I was in such a big-fat hurry, that I dug under the edge of the moss with my fingers and pulled.  The moss lifted in sheets...big ones if you are lucky.

Here are the materials I used for today's project.  A bucket of warm water with floral preservative added, moss, a block of maxlife OASIS foam, 22 gauge florist wire, floral cutting shears, and wire cutters.  Not pictured is the knife I used to cut the foam.

First, I soaked my OASIS foam in warm water, with the lettering face up, until fully saturated.  Be careful not to push down on the foam, because then it will not saturate properly resulting in dry pockets in the foam.  I have been kind of anxious to try out the new maxlife here goes.

I cut my saturated foam in half, then used one of the wires to impress a diagonal on top of the two foam halfs that were next to each other.  This is an easy measuring technique to make a square of foam.

I think I enjoyed the next part a bit too much, kind of like soap carving when I was little, except easier because the foam just melts away.  I placed two rubber bands around my foam block, and carved the edges off to form a sphere of foam.  OASIS makes pre-made wet soak spheres, but I didn't have any on hand, so I decided to make my own.  The pre-made spheres can come with netting on it, to help retain your stem insertions.

Next, I added more rubber bands to hold my two pieces of foam together.  I used rubber bands because they are durable and can shrink and expand with the wetness of the foam.  Like the netting of the pre-made spheres, the rubber bands will also aid in retaining insertions.

I made my own greening pins with 2 - 3 inch pieces of 22 gauge florist wire that I bent in half, making a hairpin.

The piece of leftover OASIS foam came in handy for catching the wires as I cut them. 

I laid the moss on my prepared foam sphere then pinned it in place, pushing my homemade pins in as far as possible.

The picture below shows the pin insertion, then I pushed it down all the way, so it was no longer visible.

The pieces went together easily, kind of like a puzzle, then I added more pins to make sure the moss fit snuggly on the foam.

I gave the sphere to my neighbor as a hostess gift for having us over for a block picnic today.  Don't you think the moss sphere looks terrific in her garden?

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