Over a week ago now, I bought myself bright flowers and displayed them in tinted jars. I enjoyed them every single day. Today, when I glanced over at my kitchen table, the flowers looked a little tired. But there was still a little perkiness in the petals.
How often to we glance at a simple flower without truly appreciating the complex wonder contained in each one? I was challenged to do this very thing by photographer Qi Wei Fong and his exploded flowers series. So, before I disposed of the gerberas, I thought: why don’t I take a few moments to examine them with the kids? The activity took less than 10 minutes and gave me opportunity to reinforce the wonder all around us, if only we take the time to look.
Exploded Flowers by Qi Wei Fong
It’s best to work out of the wind, so we found out very quickly!
Cut the stem off.
Pluck the petals and arrange of a white piece of paper, cardboard or directly on a table.
I love these unforced times, when anyone can join in if they like.
I said, “Hey, I’m going to pull apart these flowers to see all the bits. Anyone want to do it with me?”
The two little ones hovered for a bit, interjecting, chatting and taking turns at pulling petals, and then they left to continue their game. Then, my 9-year-old daughter and I were left, and we sat together plucking petals and arranging them. It was a truly lovely experience.
When we finished, I called out to no one in particular, “We’re done if you want to have a look! I’ll leave it on the table for the rest of the afternoon, so if you’re interested, come and look at all the amazing pieces of just one flower!”
It didn’t really matter if they got messed up. I left them there until dinner. Everyone looked, and loved it. I watched the children pause, every time they walked past the table.
The petals are in the bin now. I wonder, was that a waste of time? To sit and pluck the petals off flowers? I mean, who has time to do that, right? Well, I do, I guess. I’ve learned the value of just doing stuff. Capturing the moment. Acting on an idea and threading it into our life…because I have more time than I think. Time woven, not caught.
Next time I look at a flower, I will have a little more wonder than before. And I hope the kids do too. Yes, time well spent.
SheriAugust 21, 2012 at 11:11 am
Wow Kelly what a beautiful idea! I’m glad you were inspired (challenged) to do this–as I never would have thought to do it. Now I want to go hunt some flowers just so I can tear them apart! 🙂 Will be adding this to Pinterest and sharing on FB.
You ALWAYS inspire me!
Kelly Be A Fun MumAugust 21, 2012 at 12:19 pm
Thanks Sheri. This comment rocks my socks! x
NicoleAugust 21, 2012 at 2:02 pm
That is not a waste of time, we rush so much & our kids are now wrapped up in this hectic world we live. How nice to sit, pull apart flowers, re-arrange & then admire the beauty of all the flower parts. I’m inspired to do this with my kids when I next have flowers in the house. Thanks for the tip!:)
Kelly Be A Fun MumAugust 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm
Squiggly RainbowAugust 23, 2012 at 6:38 am
Love this, just gorgeous!
Kelly Be A Fun MumAugust 23, 2012 at 7:08 am
Thanks Rach x
GabyAugust 25, 2012 at 2:42 am
This is totally awesome! I just found your blog, and loved this project so much that my little girl and I already picked and deconstructed one flower and turned it into a pretty cool collage :). And we will go out to pick some more once the baby wakes up! Thanks so much for sharing.
Kelly Be A Fun MumAugust 26, 2012 at 6:48 pm
So glad you found your way here. xx
Kirsty@BowerbirdBlueAugust 26, 2012 at 9:53 pm
That’s a totally new idea and the result is really beautiful. Look out flowers I think some plucking is headed your way!
Kelly Be A Fun MumAugust 31, 2012 at 11:25 am
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Renee VeldmanJanuary 11, 2013 at 8:01 pm
I absolutely love the incredible ideas you share – so simple but so effective! Can’t wait to try this with my girls.
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Kristin AliciaJuly 25, 2018 at 9:32 am
What a creative idea, Kelly. I would have never thought of that. These are really beautiful. By the way, gerberas are one of my favorite flowers.
Kelly - Be A Fun MumJuly 25, 2018 at 9:57 am
They are just so happy, aren’t they?