“European Christmas Design” with Gudrun Cottenier

While I was in Atlanta a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to spend a full day studying “Christmas Design” under the instruction of Gudrun Cottenier at Faith Flowers Studio and School. I first introduced you to the Belgian designer Gudrun Cottenier a few weeks ago. If you missed it, you can read about her here. Gudrun just oozes creativity and she uses materials that most of us would consider “everyday” or “common” and turns them into extraordinary arrangements. Talk about re-purposing. She is the Van Gohn of re-purposing! I will never be able to look at materials, nature, and flowers the same way anymore. Everything has potential now.

To start off the day, we created our containers from scratch. Our materials included: insulation board, a plastic floral base, bark, hot glue, and pins. Who would have ever thought?!! This was the finished product.411

I’ll deconstruct this arrangement for you and show our behind the scenes work…I’m still amazed how pretty these turned out!

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We pinned and glued the bark to the insulation board to create the structure you see above. Next, we used spray adhesive glue to add pine needles to the top of the structure. You can buy the spray glue at your local hardware store.

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Add a few flowers …353

And a few more…until you get this!364

We created a second arrangment using the same process and achieved a completely different look.

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Here are a few more “behind the scenes” pictures as we filled in the container. We used a combination of eucalyptus, cranberries, gumballs, and some sea foam moss in this arrangement.331

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Below is Gudrun’s finished centerpiece. She added a sprinkling of faux snow.

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And here is my finished Centerpiece with a little holiday candlelight._MG_5585

Gudrun created a beautiful table setting to display all of her beautiful ideas for us.

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I wish all of you could have met Gudrun. I think each one of you would have just loved her!! I have to admit, I have never been a “crafty” person and I tend to be a perfectionist. I can’t even scrapbook! In the past, I have stayed away from trying a lot of crafty things because I’m not “artsy” like so & so. But this class really helped me get over that. Now I see different materials (like bark & gumballs & cranberries) and think, “Oh, I could do this and this and this with them”. I’m not afraid to try new things. I even went to Home Depot (without the man!!) and bought and entire sheet of insulation board to make more of these containers. The male employees were humored and very curious as to what on earth I was going to do with a massive sheet of insulation! If they only knew…

Thank you again Gudrun for sharing your beautiful ideas & time with us!!

~Anna

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