Archive | November, 2012

Bring Flowers to Work: They’ll Make Everyone Smile!

29 Nov

Set The Tone with Flowers

We know that flowers can make us happy, and set the mood in a room, or at an event. That’s why we always think of flowers for weddings, birthdays, holidays and other celebrations. But we don’t have to wait for big occasions to get a little floral happiness! What about flowers at work?

There are plenty of reasons to bring flowers into the workplace, for customers and for employees. Happy employees make for happy customers, and flowers work the same for both.

Flowers in Professional Offices Can Reduce Anxiety

If you work in a professional setting, like a doctor’s or dentist’s office (or any other type of service that can make people anxious), flowers can be a great way to add a calming feeling to the waiting room. No one likes going to the doctor, but along with some calm lighting and soothing colors on the walls, flowers in the waiting room (and elsewhere around the office), can really make the experience much nicer. We know that flowers make people smile- wouldn’t it be nice to have a reason to smile while you wait for your appointment? Subtle, traditional, and composed flower arrangements will help you get this effect.

Flowers Can Reflect Your Creativity at Work

Do you work someplace creative, like a hair salon, web design company, or even a tattoo parlor? If your workplace is a creative place, bring in some bright, colorful, or unusual flower arrangements that reflect what you can do for your client’s hair, website (or skin!).  You can really go to town here, and let your flower choice reflect your work style.

Flowers Behind the Scenes

Not all workplaces are open to the public. Do you work at an administrative office that doesn’t see customers or clients? What better way to boost office morale? A beautiful bunch of flowers takes the sting out of Monday mornings (well, some of it at least- you do still have to face your email inbox). Put them in a common area like the reception area or kitchen where everyone can get a glimpse and smile.

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Happy Thanksgiving Bloomies!

22 Nov

I just had to share this shot of the Thanksgiving arrangements I did for my own holiday table. It’s so much fun arranging flowers that I actually get to enjoy. Jewel tones for the win. I hope you all have a wonderful Turkey Day!

Last Minute Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas

21 Nov

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, Bloomies. Are you ready? All of a sudden, the holiday is here.  If you didn’t remember to buy flowers, don’t worry. There are back ups.

I’m getting my holiday table ready. I’ve put together some flowers of course, but fruits, gourds, and candles will make an appearance too!

Start in the Produce Aisle

You know you’ll have to pop into the supermarket for some last minute items anyhow, so while you’re there, think about the seasonal fruits that might double as decor. Fruit and nuts (and even spices) do double duty- they’re beautiful and tasty.

Pair cranberries with floating candles in a clear container. Try a vase, or a wine glass, or even a goldfish bowl. Whatever glass container you have on hand will work. Cranberries are so festive, and so cheap and easy to turn into a glowing holiday centerpiece.

Pomegranates and persimmons are both classic fall fruits, and both add really great color and shape to an arrangement. Try them in odd numbered groupings (three or five is best), which makes a better composition than even numbers.

Nuts, in the shell, can work in a similar fashion to cranberries. Use them to fill the void in clear containers, or otherwise bring some rustic character to the table. Then guests can dig into the centerpiece if they’re still feeling nibbly after dinner (doubtful !)

You can even find Indian corn, gourds, and mini pumpkins at most supermarkets and produce markets right now. Pick up a few while you’re getting that last stick of butter (because of course those mashed potatoes need another stick). I have all of this sitting around from my fall decorations so I’m just going to do a combination of all the above and make my table ecclectic and warm.

Inside and Outside

Chances are, you already have the makings of a quick and easy table setting if you just look around you, in and out of the house.

Run outside (after finishing reading this blog, of course!) and grab up some pretty leaves. The fresher the better. If they’re wet, just sandwich them in between paper towels and weigh down with a magazine. Before your guests arrive, write each one’s name on a leaf in marker, and place in a place card holder, on their napkin, or on their plate.

You probably have some plain pillar candles (unscented, preferably) around the house. Dress them up with with cinnamon sticks or  twigs lined up around them and tied with twine or ribbon. Again, groups of three make a great statement and feel most balanced to the eye.

If you didn’t pick up a bunch of whole nuts at the store, check outside for acorns. They can be used to the same effect, but collecting them might take some time, It is a good way to get the kids out from under foot in the kitchen though. Send them out with a pail on an acorn hunt!

Above all, remember what you’re thankful for. And if its someone in the room, tell them. It makes it a better Holiday for everyone.

Cheers!

Jess

Thanksgiving Floral Ideas and Tips

15 Nov

Ideas for Your Table

Is it REALLY Thanksgiving ALREADY?! Time has certainly flown. While my favorite decorating holiday is Halloween, Thanksgiving has it’s fun fall charms! Now’s the time to really let those fall colors and themes shine, before winter, and its holiday colors reign. Here are some tips to help you put those finishing touches on your Thanksgiving table.

Decorating Tips for Your Thanksgiving Table

We’ve got a few ideas and tips to help you create a stunning Thanksgiving table. What ever seasonal decorations you choose, make sure it suits your home’s feel, and how formal you will make your table.

Seasonal Accents

Food as Flowers

Cranberries are not just for your dinner plate! Whether you like them canned or the home made for eating, try some fresh cranberries as table decor. You can use them in the bouquet container (or floating candle votive). If you have a clear vase and don’t want to see the flower stems, add cranberries! They float, and if they’re fresh and unblemished, they don’t bleed into the water. Artichokes are a great floral piece, as are prickly cucumbers. Herbs always look nice in an arrangement. Thanksgiving is such a food centered holiday, it’s natural to incorporate food into your decorations.

Rustic Containers

One of the easiest ways to dress up an arrangement is to use a unique container. A Thanksgiving classic, the cornucopia, makes a great base for a fall flower arrangement. A hollowed log container makes it easy to do a low slung, long arrangement. Even ordinary containers can be dressed up with raffia or birch bark. Do you remember my post about BlumeBox? They make it so easy to get crafty with your containers.

Natural Bits and Pieces

Some of the best parts of the season are the naturally occurring seasonal beauties like acorns, leaves, gourdes, and pine cones. Take the kids on a scavenger hunt to find nature’s fall decor, then use them in containers, in arrangements, or just directly on the table. Get creative with it!

Candles

Don’t forget a bit of mood lighting. Small votive candles and tall tapers are equally good candle choices. Whichever you choose, make sure it suits your overall theme, mood, or formality.

Tips on Placing Thanksgiving Table Decor

Scattered Seasonal Accents

When you’re trying to set the scene for a lovely meal, sometimes simpler is better. Let the delicious spread of food take center stage, and use decor as an accent. Think small, scattered arrangements alternated with votives, and seasonal trinkets, like leaves, acorns and pinecones. If you have those smaller “scatter” items on the table, rather than a huge arrangement, it allows your guest to scootch things aside to allow room for another glass, plate, etc, without feeling blocked in by the arrangements.

Centerpieces

Depending on the length of your table, you can do one or two centerpieces. If you’ve pulled every leaf out of the basement and extened the table practically into the next room, consider two medium sized arrangements, evenly spaced on the table. This will make the table look balanced, and give everyone a prime seat.  If you’re expecting a smaller crowd, and want to tie the whole table together, try a long and low arrangement.

The standard for centerpiece height is no taller than 14 inches. That allows you to TALK to Aunt Verna, rather than talk to the bouquet in front of her. Unless you’re trying to avoid the two sides of the table being able to converse. (Are the Hatfield’s having the Mccoy’s over?!)

If you are serving the meal at the table, rather than buffet style, make sure the centerpiece is easy to move. One piece can be far less complicated than several smaller arrangements in this case.

November Birth Flower: Chrysanthemums

7 Nov

Mums the Word

Happy Birthday November Bloomies! You lucky things, your birth month flower is the chrysanthemum. Mums are a symbol of cheer, optimism and long life. What could be more appropriate for a birthday gift?

I love working with mums because there are just so many colors and types to choose from, and they last a long time. Mums are a classic fall bloom. Their appearance so late in the season makes them really memorable. They really are a great boost of color just as everything else starts to go grey, especially here in Portland.

Varieties of Mums

The word “chrysanthemum” translates literally as golden flower, because the original variety was yellow, but since we’ve been cultivating them for about 700 years, there are now hundreds of distinct varieties of mums. They also come in just about every color imaginable.

I know that when most people think mums, they think of the potted plants you see outside of the supermarket every fall. While these are great potted plants, and are perfect on your front porch, they’re not exactly what you think of when it comes to a beautiful birthday arrangement. There are two classes of mums though- hardy and show. Essentially, hardy mums are the front porch kind and show mums are the celebration kind.

There are some really impressive mums that make great floral arrangements like Button, Spider, Japanese, Roman and Spoon Mums.

Button Mums

Pompon Mums are really perfect for bouquets because their compact burst of color really adds a lot of cheer to an arrangement. They are small and round, and come in great colors. Kermit button mums are a popular choice. It’s hard to match the energy of that bright lime green.

Spider Mums

Spider Mums get their name from their leggy petals. They’ve been cultivated for super long petals that reach out from the center. They add great texture to an arrangement. Some have longer, curlier petals, and others are almost downy. Like all mums, they come in a lot of different colors.

Japanese Mums

These mums are among the rarer varieties, and take a lot of work to bring out a truly great bloom. They’re grown one bloom to a stem, are sort of goblet shaped, and have loosely layered petals that scoop up, or dangle down depending on the type. They are  quite beautiful, but can be hard to find. They’re often seen at flower shows.

Roman Mums

This is one of my favorite type of mums to work with. They have the big bold impact of a sunflower, but they’re available later in the season, and come in more colors. Like the one in the arrangement just above, it really only takes one or two to make a statement!

Spoon Mums

These mums have a really unique petal shape, that resembles a spoon. The petals are long and slender, and open up at the end in a bowl shape. The long part is often a different color than the end part, and the center of the flower, which makes a really dramatic three colored flower.