Towards the end of last year I was asked to do sympathy tributes for a very well loved man. As the first orders came in I knew it was going to involve what I call ‘epic’ tributes. Over the next two days the orders for epic tributes stacked up and with 24 hours until the collection time for the funeral we took drastic measures! We closed the shop to all walk-ins to allow the time to be dedicated to the tributes that needed to be done. As well as closing the shop for the day I also had to work deep into the night and have a very early start the final morning in order to make sure that all the tributes were finished in time and finished to a high standard.
The tributes filled the floor of the shop and so although I tried to get photos of each tribute I found I did not have enough space to move them to allow a clean photo to be taken. The photos I have taken are good enough bearing in mind I was tippy toeing around the tributes. Some tributes I did not get a chance to take a picture of completed, I only put the letters on to the stands just before they left the shop.
So below are the tributes for the most epic funeral I have ever done! It pushed me to my absolute limit time wise but the sense of achievement when I had finally finished was immense. I pride myself on being a floral designer and these tributes were just that…floral designs!
I was asked to do a replica of the gentleman’s flat bed truck and his caravan. It was the gentleman’s actual flat bed truck that parked outside the shop on the morning to collect all the tributes and the tributes filled the back!
A lying down white whippet x lurcher with tan patches on its eye and its back. Also a standing white lurcher with black markings. (and my foot!)
Lettered tributes of DAD, GRANDAD and SPECIAL HUSBAND. Some of the letters had red rose and white gypsophila sprigs on them. (In the photo not all of the letters are on their stands)
A David Brown 900 series tractor with a front loader and a black cob horse with black mane and tail and with a white star and white socks.
For the tractor design I brought in the expertise of my husband who knows his tractors! Where I was able to ask relevant questions regarding the horse design (horses are my hobby), I knew without being shown a photograph of the tractor I was clutching at straws. My husband joined the consultation and quickly established exactly which tractor design was required.
The mane and tail of the horse was made using black bear grass and, along with the other animal designs, had a googly eye!
A 3D push button accordion. I loved making this design but boy was it heavy when finished! I love the detail of the push buttons which appeared on the back of the design as well as the front
Closed hearts in white. One with a red rose sprig and blue ribbon outline and the other with a yellow rose sprig and a yellow ribbon outline.
A red rose heart and a yellow rose cross. The red rose heart was a whopper and along with the sash ribbon I used bear grass to give it some accents. The cross was outlined in yellow ribbon and featured smaller yellow roses going down the cross as well as being in the sprig.
A 3D chaffinch and a bird cage design with yellow roses and yellow freesias. The chaffinch was one of the most difficult tributes to do. I do think, however, that which ever tribute I was working on in the small hours when I was physically and mentally exhausted would have been tough to complete. I left the shop that night at silly o’clock and was not happy with the chaffinch design. Whilst I grabbed a few hours shuteye I planned how I would tweek the design to make it look like it should and reworked the design early the next morning. The 3D shape was difficult to work with and if I was to make this design again I would not bother ordering in a ready-made oasis base design, I would make one myself. I felt that the bird sat too close to the base it stood on and didn’t give me the room I needed for its tail to sit right in the design. When the chaffinch left the shop I was extremely happy with it but as a floral designer I constantly critique my own work and figure out what I would do in the future to make a design better. In this case making my own 3D bird base would have been better!
A large purple and white casket spray and individually wrapped red roses.
I want to thank the family for putting their trust in me for the second time last year and for not being afraid to show me a picture and ask ‘can you make this tribute for me?’
A big thank you must also go to my supplier who moved heaven and earth to get the flowers to me and who day in day out provide J’s Bouquets with top quality flowers.
Whenever I am busy, pushed for time and starting to think ‘I am never going to get it all done in time!’ I just look back on those crazy 24 hours and think ‘well if I managed to do all that I sure as hell can do this!’
Judith x x x