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Astar's craft - Autumn flowers, glass painting, glass rings - 21 May

Autumn floral designing

As I write up these notes, looking outside into the early morning day, there is the most amazing colour vista of every shade of green, gold, orange, red and yellow, and my heart sings. I love autumn and don't really think I've given the season much appreciation. Most of my friends are full of the flu and bemoaning the fact that winter is here, but that isn't really what my eyes see. Yes, it is cold, but you can't say there isn't much colour around, because there is!

I've therefore given the seasonal change a jolly good thinking and have decided that my self challenge is to come up with as many floral ideas utilizing all that nature provides at this time of the year.

Today's design involves the use of dark green camellia leaves, lime green and yellow tinted autumn leaves, a few rose hips, five white happy gerberas interspersed with a few pieces of cauliflower florets - all displayed informally into a classic urn.

Things to gather:

  • I found at the Warehouse a wonderful stone-colour paint-finished urn. It's only about 16cm high x 16cm wide.
  • A good handful of lime green yellow blended large autumn leaves - I used grape ivy leaves. Grape leaves would work just as well if you can find them.
  • A good handful of camellia branches.
  • A couple of stems of large rose hips.
  • 5 medium sized cauliflower florets.
  • 5 white gerberas with black centre.
  • Wire or kebab sticks.
  • Wet green floral foam to fill container.


As indicated above this is informal designing at its best, the old hard and fast rules of balance can almost be set aside.

  • Cut all camellia branches to around the same height as your container and insert these to completely fill container.
  • Take several leaves and wire to make a clump. Insert these in amongst the camellia leaves.
  • Take the rose hip branches and insert these slightly off centre and to protrude above camellia leaves by about 4 or 5", graduating down to base leaves.
  • Insert gerberas to rest in a stepping down fashion from just beside clumped rosehips down towards bottom centre of display.
  • Extend stem ends of cauliflower with the use of the kebab sticks.  Push to almost hide amongst camellia leaves.

Glass painting

My friend Fiona asked if I could find a solution to identifying or personalizing drinking glasses. Seems she and I have the same problem. I've asked the men I live with a million times to reuse their drinking glasses throughout the day. Some days my entire dish washer is filled to overflowing with all the glasses from the cupboard.

Very trivial matter I know, but they all fear catching someone else's germs. So to fix the problem, I'm going to paint them, name them and colour code with glass paints. It's wonderful stuff, once embellishment is complete the glasses are then oven baked, becoming permanent and dishwasher proof.

One hopes that glass identification issues are now fully resolved!

Things to gather:

  • From Spotlight you will find a large selection of paints specifically designed for glass. The range is called Pebeo.
  • Relief outline tubes in a range of colours. These are great and can be used to outline a design. (If you don't want a relief design, the range also contains a fine nib marker pens.)
  • You will also need fine paint brushes for application of paint.
  • Cleaning rags and spirit cleaner.


  • It is important that all grease and dust is completely removed from surface to be painted, if not the paint doesn't stick.
  • Decide on a design, then use the relief outline paint or marker pen and transfer directly onto the glass exterior.
  • Allow 24 hours to dry, before layering in colours.
  • Allow to dry another 24 hours before heat setting or oven baking at 160c for 40 minutes in a domestic oven.
  • Paints become fast after the above process.

Jewelled glass rings

If you are looking for another form of glass identification, these pretty jewel rings are great things to make.

Things to gather:

  • All available from Spotlight
  • Medium sized hoop earrings
  • Metal jewel pins
  • O rings
  • Selection of jewels, bead, pearls etc
  • Craft wire cutters and pliers


  • Open up loop earrings, then simply thread jewels onto either metal pins which can be fastened off by twisting closed back onto itself, or closing off the O rings.