A dapper Armani-wearing functional sociopath haunting the streets of London, perhaps, in the style of Benedict Cumberbatch of BBC’s “Sherlock.” How about a slightly unhinged and punky intellectual slacker British transplant living in New York City ala Jonny Lee Miller of CBS’s “Elementary.” A little of both?
Either one would be a welcome sight on Mother’s Day, and a clever way to class-up supermarket flower bouquets through some homemade “Sherlock” arrangements.
Both Sherlock series have their own distinct looks, complete with images, items and quirks that fans will pick up on fast. The trick is to find the images and props you want for the exceptionally lucky recipient of the British version (I will hereon refer to as the “BBC” version) or the CBS version (I’ll call the US version from now on because it sounds cooler than CBS).
There isn’t too much preparation to this, but if you use your creativity, a few “inside jokes” and mutual affection for both your mom and Sherlock, you can put together a nice little gift.
What You Need
Small bouquet of cut flowers
Glass jar (a long peanut or instant tea jar works great)
White school glue or decoupage mix
Pipe cleaners or floral wire
Scrapbook paper, magazine clips, computer prints out or other images
Assorted small charms or other trinkets
Blue (or red) felt
Miniature photo frame
Step One: Cover the jar with the images you want to represent your sleuth, and lightly coat them with a decoupage paste or a simple 1:1 mix of white school glue and water.
My favorite image for the BBC version it the iconic black and white Victorian flowered pattern with the yellow graffiti smiley face and bullet holes. I found several computer wallpapers of the pattern off BBC fan sites, plus similar wallpaper patterns are available on scrapbook pages. Once you glue on the wallpaper, take a small craft brush and yellow acrylic paint to graffiti on the face. If you want bullet holes, use a straight in to gently scrape a few on.
The US wallpaper may take a little longer to do, but is still pretty simple. Since this version of Sherlock’s home bears no distinct wallpaper pattern, this Sherlock loves (and uses) his multimedia. Find catalogs, circulars and computer images of various sizes and shaped television screens with different images and simply collage them on the jar. Once you decoupage these on, that’s pretty much it for that version.
Step Two: Make a nice Sherlock scarf for the rim, since this is only thing both “Sherlocks” seem to agree on in their regular outerwear. Cut a slim piece of felt (about 1” in thickness) long enough to fit around the rim of the vase with room to hang. You might need to tack together two or three strips to get it long enough. The BBC Sherlock gets a plain Navy or dark blue scarf, and the NY version a nice red, plaid number. Use craft paint or a Sharpie to get the plaid design. Tie it around the top of the jar, and make a simple knot or loop as you would for a scarf. Clip the ends to the length you want and gently cut slits the ends so it resembles a knit scarf.
Step Three: Fill the jar about two-thirds with water and place your bouquet in (for those of you who have forgotten to put flowers in a vase). I think roses are in order here, don’t you? I’ll let you determine the color (s), but I went with a classic deep red-heavy scheme for the BBC vase and some brighter yellow for the apiculture-loving NY vase.
Now embellish with a few “trinkets” you feel represent the shows. Charms, small toys, buttons, novelty badges or scrapbook stickers are just a few of the small items that will work here. I chose teacups and crown icons to represent a couple of my favorite BBC episodes and little bees and key locks that seem to occupy a reference in most of the US episodes. Attach these items on to each end of a pipe cleaner (yes, I still use that un-PC reference) or easy-to-manipulate floral wire and bend it in a V-shape in the center. Once you have made about four of five of these, gently place them down inside the bouquet so as little of the wire shows as possible.
Step Four: Now that the actual bouquet is complete, create a little “card” to place at the base by penning a simple note in a cheap miniature “dollar store” frame. I used a more ornate frame with a violin scrapbook sticker for the BBC vase and a starker modern frame with some tattoo designs for the US vase.
Don’t be afraid to get funky and clever. No reference is “too obscure” as long as your or mom — or intended recipient — is in on the same joke.
Now, place this on mom’s nightstand before she gets up, with a hot cup of tea and (if she doesn’t already have these), a Sherlock Holmes DVD or book. If your mom is a big a fan of these shows as I am (and by Jove who wouldn’t be?) you’ll be exempt from chores for a month.
Happy Mother’s Day, from your ihogeek mom.
Lisa Kay Tate