Have you ever made a flower and/or figurine and you decided you would like to make it again? I don’t know about you, but I usually learn something new with each project I tackle. That is why I try to always write down notes about the things I learn as I make my different flowers, leafs, molded objects, figurines, etc. because I find having these notes to turn to real handy if I decide to repeat a project or make pieces I have made before. I cannot tell you how much I have wanted to kick myself over those times I was too busy and forgot to do this because it is just like having to start anew. I compare it to when I try a new food recipe and decide to make improvements along the way and when I do, I like to notate the changes. That way the next time I decide to make it I am ready to go and the results should be the same. For me this is just as important when making my various items during my gumpasting projects. I love having ample notes handy because inevitably I might suffer from a case of amnesia (okay a senior moment) which probably means I will have forgotten half the things I did right the first time. So, these instructions are invaluable.
Recording details of real flowers, leaves, buds, etc. is another way to document information for your floral creation and is strictly optional. I suspect that many beginners will find that these types of records are not really necessary, however I would still like to briefly touch bases on the benefits in case in the future you want a more realistic look for your gumpasting flowers, etc. After all, you may not always have the luxury of having the genuine article right in front of you for reference, especially in the winter. For me nothing is more inspiring than seeing the Real McCoy up close and personal whether it be a live flower, leaf, bud or branch. I get so excited just looking at every minute detail of the various parts of flowers, etc. I have no intention of competing with Mother Nature, but studying closely what she has created gives me a better chance of duplicating her living works of art like I did with my wisteria (see picture above). I also find it useful to have several small vases to hold my live models (floral specimens) so that I can inspect and admire them as I create. I take pictures of them for future reference as well since, alas, their journey does not last forever. If I am particularly smitten with a certain subject my photo shoot will incorporate shots from several different angles.