Painted Paper Rose-Tutorial

As discussed in my previous post Celebrate Life, this is the time of year where I remember my father.
Yellow roses are symbolic of his life. They were the flower he often gave to my mother for Valentine’s Day, Easter, etc. We had a floral arrangement around his casket in which we pulled from and singularly used as our last physical good bye. For years we noticed single yellow roses growing in my mother’s garden. On tough days, like the anniversary of his death, I would often buy my mom yellow roses, and sign the card in my father's name. This year, I decided to craft my own lasting roses from computer paper. This was fitting since many of the memories I have of my dad involve computers and office supplies.  Anyway, here's how I did it.

Start with a single piece of plain white computer paper

Crumple it into a ball

Open up your paper and flatten it out

Fold in half and then fold in half again.

With scissors cut an oval shape 

Roll one of your cut ovals to form a center

Wrap petals one by one around the center. Bend shape and form the petals evenly. 

Use floral wire to wrap your base

Extend the wire past the base to form a stem. Using floral tape wrap the wire.

Mix acrylic paint of your liking and paint your flower being sure to cover all traces of white.

Let dry and stiffen.

Note: When applying the paint, the paper petals will become very fragile and may tear easily. Apply your paint carefully! You can paint the outermost petals separately before applying to the rose center but its best to shape and wrap them while wet.

Celebrating Life

The end of summer and beginning of fall always seem to be a time of remembrance for me. My dad passed in August of 2006. One year later (in October) my family and I had a Memorial party in his honor. It was a chance for me to find a constructive way to deal with the mourning process.  Designing a visual memorial allowed me to become completely absorbed in his life, personality, and accomplishments. For months I gathered images from every stage of his life to display along with symbolic d├ęcor such as stars and yellow roses.

The installation was setup on the back porch of his log home. I made a projection screen from white sheets and added grommets to secure them to the columns. The video projected was an hour-long photo tribute that I had previously edited over two sleepless nights prior to his wake.

The ceiling of the porch was covered in white lights, twigs, stars, and custom ornaments for our guests to take home. This was perhaps the most stressful of all the projects. As with many things in life it took WAY longer than I had planned for.

It was really important that this event be about sharing stories and remembering the laughter that my dad brought to our lives. A signature book, with pictures to help jog memories, was available for guests to jot down stories and thoughts.

We also shared our thoughts verbally in a candle lighting ceremony. The candleholders where made by drilling holes into freshly stained wood, some of which I had acquired from my dad’s workshop.  The circular board was trimmed with birch wood picked from the ground of the wooded acreage he owned and loved. 

Becoming so enthralled with this massive design project really opened my eyes to who I am as a person. I am someone with a great need to create, it is the way I think, operate and survive. In this way I am so much like my father, and I am so thankful for that.