Hi Everyone! Happy June!
Here's what I've been up to recently. On the first of June I completed a PFDE Mock test...not actually affiliated with AIFD, but just for practicing sake. PFDE stands for AIFD’s Professional Floral Design Evaluation (PFDE). The mock test was SO helpful. If any one reading this is preparing to test this year, or in the coming years, I recommend doing this or trying to have someone set it up for you. Here's what I was given, it was quite similar to what is possible to be given at the actual test. But nobody will really know what they'll get so sometimes you have to get creative/use some McGyver skillz and make what you HAVE work for you, and not worry about what you don't have...cause well, it's not there and it's not going to magically appear. So deal with it.
Special Thanks to Washington Floral and Jon Robert Throne AIFD in making this possible!!!
3 buckets of fresh material- lilacs, gladiolias, spirea, lilies, green trick dianthus, limonium, snap dragons, liatris, spider mums, stock....I'm trying to remember off of memory.
There were a variety of greens- aspidistra, bleuperum, kale, lily grass, galax, millet and others.
For hard goods and supplies- There were about 4 blocks of floral foam, 2 caged foams, a wreath form, a birch lined vase, a glass bowl, a few tin gardeny looking containers, glass tubes, a hanging bud vase, a section of flat wire, beaded wire, corsage tape, a corsage bracelet, a tube of cold glue, moss, midelino sticks (pink), a bird nest, shells, purple sisal, and that was about it.
So advice here...save your wrappers and rubber bands, and packaging off of the flowers! I ended up using the twist ties that came off of some of the bunches for bind wire. Since I wasn't given any. *Again, work with whatcha got!*
For the Categories:
Wedding- bridal bouquet
Sympathy- an easel arrangement
Duplicate- a table arrangement (forgot to take a picture of it)
Everyday- a grand opening arrangement
Flowers to wear- a corsage
Here's what I came up with for each plus my critiques I got:
Sympathy- My wreath form was hard to cover! I used nearly a whole bunch of aspidistra...I don't know how to avoid this. Also, my coverage was a bit lacking, I had a couple of spots where you could see the foam...BAD. Double and triple check this guys! I was scared of the wreath and there was a lot of talk about it in the facebook group. So I decided to challenge it. It took me way way to much time! My groupings could have been stronger. The bird nest would have been a bit more pleasing upright not facing out flat. The white on the top, stock, was not really necessary, and having that meet the snapdragon made a crescent shape. I could have made this line stronger or just made it go one direction. Adding in more of the pink snapdragon could add a bit too.
Wedding- Curly willow was well liked! I threw this one together quick! I am actually really liking how it turned out. I wanted to add some of the pearled moss balls I made to it, but time was short. I ended up putting those in my corsage. I think it would have added so much character to the bouquet, but oh well. I needed to add a bit more bleuperum to the space on the left, and I did have a bit of coverage missing in the back of the bouquet. the spirea was my space filler and I missed a little bit of a spot. The handle was glued on moss then wrapped tightly with the beaded wire, that's what I wanted to repeat in the moss balls.
Arrangement- The curly willow would do better straight. I loved the little glued on bits of dianthus. That is where I bound the curly willow together with the twist ties. I needed a bit more on the back side of this, another kale possibly. My gladiolus line could've extended further.
Duplicate- Did well. Not much to critique here since it's just a copy.
Flowers to wear- I wasn't going for a girly corsage. I feel this could be worn by anyone. The bracelet wire work is a bit messy, but intentionally so. So that was ok. If you have a pattern there repeat it. Or just don't have one. I needed more color, and a carry through with the pearls. I was told the leaves on the millet would probably die. The bud next to the moss ball is a cut up lily bud. I think I could have added another. There is a bit of a space where the bits of dianthus are at. It was a sturdy piece. The bracelet felt good to wear, mechanically balanced well.
These are sort of combined critiques I have gotten on the work from the pictures I sent out and from the actual session. Please comment if you have any other suggestions :-) Critiques help growth.
My helpful hints from this whole experience:
1. Do a mock test!- I feel a little (just a tiny bit even helps) less nervous!
2. Time management- Get to know what takes you longer. I have what I like to call design A.D.D. ...I can't even paint a wall in a focused manner. I was going to fight it and try to be organized, but I started to scatter again...and I am sort of glad I just went with it instead of fighting it. I probably would not have finished my bridal bouquet and corsage had I fought my design instincts. I got them started and then moved on and came back.
3. Embrace critiques and grow- Everyone has their own opinion. It's the judges you are designing for. Begin to look at your own designs the way the judges may, make it easy for them to score. If there is something there that doesn't add to your design, take it out. Keep It Simple Stupid..KISS (not that anyone is stupid, just an easy thing to remember and repeat in your head) LOL.
4. Be creative- Like I mentioned above. Just go with it.
5. Have a routine- Do something that calms you before hand. De-stress. Focus your mind and rise to the challenge ahead of you!
of course I could go on for a long time, but if you need more I have a few helpful places.
My Pinterest board- tips and tricks
Floral.today blog Garrett shares his mock test here.