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Father’s Day Flowers? A Stunning, No Frills Arrangement for Dad

12 Jun

Dad’s Can Appreciate Floral Art Too!

Father's Day FlowersGood Afternoon, Bloomies! This weekend is Father’s Day. Are you ready? If not, I have created a super simple many arrangement that you can do yourself. Enjoy!

Ikebana influenced Father’s Day Arrangement

When it comes to men’s flowers, I tend to choose big, bold blooms, or potted plants, but not this time. Instead of going for tropical flowers, sunflowers, or succulents, I’ve chosen an minimalist arranging style. Ikebana is a Japanese style of arranging that is simple, with three main components standing for Earth, Heaven, and Man.

I took this idea and used each item in multiples of three (for the most part). I used what I had on hand: Blues and greens in neat textures (Thistle, Ergynium, Galax, Larkspur, poppy pods, artichoke, and Bells of Ireland).

How to Craft a Father’s Day Floral Arrangement

Ikebana: Earth, Heaven, and Man in Three Simple Stages

Start with a container that is streamlined, sleek and low. Mine required foam to hold the flowers, but you can get “pin frogs” (little pin covered disks you can stick the stems into) at a craft or floral store if you prefer.

I put the two biggest items, my thistle and the artichoke, low in the front of the container for focus. I added a few galax leaves to cover some of the foam base, and started building out with ergynium and poppy pods.

Then, add three TALL items. I used the bells of Ireland for my tallest feature. These can angle to the sides slightly, a bit like a W.

Repeat the W/three with another type of flower, in front of and slightly shorter than the tallest.

I repeated this process one last time with the Veronica, echoing the original W and allowing for the negative space between the stems to become part of the arrangement. Cover any open foam with extra low flowers, galax, other leaves, or moss. That’s it. You just did Ikebana!

Have a fantastic dad filled weekend, and remember to tell him Thanks.

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Creating the Perfect Bouquet for Mother’s Day

8 May

Mother’s Day is Right Around the Corner!

Seriously–it’s this Sunday. Don’t despair; I am here to help you make a memorable bouquet for mom that you did all by yourself. It’s like when you were little and made her ceramic doodads that she ultimately hid in the attic. This bouquet won’t be hidden though!

Creating your Bouquet: Choosing Your Setting

Pick your Flowers

Does your mom have a favorite color or favorite type of flower? Try to incorporate the things she already loves for automatic bonus points. Get at least 10 stems. Mixed flowers are great, but you can use all one type if you prefer.

Select a Container

Do you want to use a vase? Do you want to use a container with floral foam? Or do you want to make a hand-tied arrangement so she can put it into a vase she already has (like the one from 3rd grade that’s been hiding in the attic)? Fill the container with warm water and floral food (most flowers sold at the store come with a packet).

The container you selected will determine the shape and steps of the arranging process. For this article, I am going to use a vase arrangement, with no foam. The steps for a hand tied bouquet are almost identical, except you use  a table to create it rather than a vase.Vase

Building your Bouquet

When you select your flowers,  pick out some greens for structure and stability, and to fill in any bare spots. Fern, eucalyptus, and lemon leaf (salal) are common and readily available. I recommend at least two, but preferably 3 types of greens for visual interest.

Start with your Greens

Cut them to the level of the neck of the container, crossing the stems to create a framework for the flowers. Then add 3-4 more stems of greens, varying in height. The tallest should follow the “golden rule”: 1 1/2 to 2 times the height of your vase. The greens should mimic the total shape you are looking for, similar to a cone.

Add greens

Adding in Flowers

My flower school recommended starting from the tallest stem down, but I think it’s easier to start at the bottom and go up. This makes your arrangement straighter and holds that tall flower more securely. General rule of shape is the biggest, fattest flowers at the bottom, and smaller at the top.

Building your bouquet

Creating the Shape

Measure your flowers to the vase, and trim stems at an angle. Four to five should be about the height of the neck of the vase, three to four stems staggered a little taller , and then one stem (pick the tallest, straightest flower before you start cutting!) for the very top. Think of  a dozen roses and the shape they come in.

Continue to add flowers

The Finishing Touches

Give the vase a few rotations, looking for clumps/gaps and adjust accordingly. Remember: you can always make them shorter, but once they are cut, you can’t make them any taller.

Now you have a beautiful hand-made bouquet that your mom will love, and she will appreciate the fact that YOU made it. Of course, if this all seems a bit overwhelming, you can still call me for a beautiful arrangement handmade by me!

Good Luck!Your finished product

Great Green Blooms for St. Patrick’s Day

13 Mar

Fun Blooms in Shades of Green to Celebrate St. Patty’s Day

Bright Green Mums Close Up

Is it REALLY St Patty’s day already? For a holiday that celebrates by turning everything green — beer, bagels, even entire rivers — it seems only natural to talk about monochromatic flower arrangements.

Below are few of my favorite flowers that come in really fantastic shades of green. Tell your florist which ones you like and he or she can create a stunning monochromatic arrangement, like the one at the bottom of this post.

If you’re going the DIY route, consider the vase you want to use, the place you will use it, and texture when selecting your items. Mix three types of flowers for visual interest, or you can go with whatever suits the situation.

Have fun flowering!

Flowers Varieties that Come in Great Green Hues for Your St. Patrick’s Day Flower Arrangement

  • Spider mumsgreen arrangement for st patricks day
  • Kermit mums
  • Daisies
  • Bells of ireland
  • Calla lilies
  • Hydrangea
  • Carnations
  • Roses
  • Hypericum
  • ‘Green Trick’ Dianthus
  • Kale-
  • Antherium
  • Tulips
  • Gladiolus
  • Orchids

Valentines Flower Ideas that Don’t Suck

13 Feb

Leave the Wilting Red Roses at the Gas Station PleaseValentines Flowers: Pretty in pink and purple

Bloomies- It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow. Do I have your order? If not, it’s not too late to make your own! If you use the tips I gave you two weeks ago in my blog on basic composition, you can totally do this and get yourself out of the dog house. I know, it feels like a quiz, but look: There’s the link to it –> step-by-step.

Here are three out of the box, non yawn-inducing Valentine’s Day arrangements… and NONE of them involve a single red rose. Ready?

Easy Valentine’s Color Combinations

Start with a winning color palate.  I know that red is the standard color for valentines day, but we’re trying to get beyond “standard” here. Besides, good luck finding a nice bunch of red flowers at 4:00 pm on Valentines Day. Open up your color options and you’ll open up your flower options. Stick with this color scheme and you can’t go wrong: lavender, pink, purple, white, and green. Use any flowers in any of those colors. They will all work together, in pairs, or in monochromatic bunches. Bonus points for anything that is unusual or fragrant.  Negative points for babies breath.


ARRANGEMENT #1: Monochromatic, Monotype BouquetWhite tulips

Grab ONE color of ONE type of flower (example: Tulips). Get at least 15 stems. Some places have flowers in bunches of 10 and others only have 5, so COUNT! Select a vase that will allow the flowers fan out: something larger on the top than the bottom achieves this. Remove one or two layers of leaves, trim the ends and place in water.

ARRANGEMENT #2: Mixed Garden Vase Bouquet

Pink, purple, white, and not a single red rose to be seen. Absolutely adorable.

Pink, purple, white, and not a single red rose to be seen. Absolutely adorable.

If you can only find random stock that’s been picked over? Grab a bunch of stuff that looks good together (stick to the colors I gave you, if possible) to make up one mixed bouquet that still looks cohesive. Again, make sure the stem count in the bag matches what you want so you have enough.

ARRANGEMENT #3: Big Impact, Tiny Budget

A single lily sets the stage for a lovely dinner.

A single lily sets the stage for a lovely dinner.

Did you blow all your cash on dinner and wine instead? That’s not such a bad thing, but even a single bloom will go a long way to make the evening special. Small arrangements can still speak volumes if done correctly. A single large bloom floating in a pretty bowl, a bud vase with a couple flowers or a tiny handful of flowers can mean a ton.

If you choose to go with a tiny handful of blooms, go for some real flowers, not yard weeds. Roots with dirt still attached will probably ruin the gesture. Unless she likes roots, in which case I recommend skipping flowers and buying her a bunch of carrots with pretty green tops. It’d dinner and florals!

Good Luck, Bloomies. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Turn Supermarket Flowers into A Stunning Arrangement

30 Jan

Create Unique Arrangements From Store-Bought Bunches

These flowers practically beg to be arranged. Take some home!

These flowers practically beg to be arranged. Take some home!

Greetings Bloomies!

This week I want to focus on giving you all some pointers on how to make your own beautiful arrangements (you know- just in case you can’t get to me for an order.)

“Not-Quite-Scratch-Made” Florals

We’re going to take a page out of many a home cook’s playbook. If  you’re trying to serve a big spaghetti dinner, you probably don’t start with fresh tomatoes that must be skinned, diced, and stewed. At the very least, you start with canned tomatoes, and maybe even jarred sauce. You can still doctor it up with herbs, spices, veggies and meat to make it your own, and it will be delicious.

Home made floral arrangements can be done this way too. It’s simple to dress up even the most basic of store bought bouquets and make them look like a masterpiece. Here’s how.

Start with The Right Ingredients

Choose a variety of flowers and greens for a great home-made arrangement.

Choose a variety of flowers and greens for a great home-made arrangement.

Where to Buy Flowers for Semi-Home Made Arrangements

Most grocery stores have a small floral section. If yours doesn’t, you can try Costco, a Farmer’s Market, or look for a roadside stand. Depending on the season, pre ‘arranged’ bouquets are easy to come by and there are often multiple choices. In some metro areas, small corner groceries are a great bet. Each source will offer something unique. If you have the time, it might be worth combining pieces from a few shops.

Choose Your Flowers

Avoid anything with discolored foliage, wilted, or soft looking petals, mold, or crushed blooms. Sometimes a flower can get a little wrinkled or creased- especially lilies. Therefore, finding the PERFECT bouquet might seem impossible. Just find the least damaged of the ones you like. One bunch generally fits one regular sized vase. Keep this in mind if you are thinking of doing more than one arrangement.

Choose a Container

Do you have a cupboard stuffed with vases from old arrangements you’ve been given? Start digging and see what you find. The best size should be 8″ or so high, the size a dozen roses would come in. If you’re doing something smaller, or several arrangements, that’s ok too. Just make sure you have sufficient flowers for what you are wanting to do. I don’t recommend a vase larger than the standard 8″ vase, only because pre-made bunches are generally cut shorter than what you’d need for a taller vase. If, somehow, you don’t have a collection of vases stashed away, get creative with your container choices. Do you have larger mason jars, or cute buckets of some sort? Unusual containers can add to the over all effect of your arrangement too.

Step-By-Step Recipe for Home Made Flower Arrangements

Prepare Your Flowers

Just like cooking, a bit of prep work makes it easy to pull everything together. Instead of chopping vegetables though, we’re prepping our flowers and vase.

  • Remove foliage from the stem, most importantly what will be under the water line. This reduces the chance of the water getting slimy, or the flowers rotting.
  • Separate out your types of greens and flowers in your bunch. It makes it easier to see what you have.
  • Fill your vase with warm water (above tepid but below bathtub temps) and floral preservative packet, if one was provided. Stir to dissolve all the preservative.

Arrange Your Flowers

Now that you have everything you need, set up in your workspace, (um, kitchen table), let’s talk about how to assemble the greens and flowers into something gorgeous.

  • Cut stems on an angle. This helps the flowers and greens to draw up more water and stay fresher longer. Don’t wait to long after cutting them to get them in water- the cut will dry out and “heal” not allowing water up the stems. You can re-cut if necessary.
  • Start with the greens. Whether it’s eucalyptus, or fern or salal or another green, cut them low so they rest in the neck of the vase, obscuring the edge and adding a structure for the other flowers.
  • Place flowers. The tallest should be smaller and shortest should be biggest. There should also be a rounded or triangular shape to the arrangement. Make sure it’s not top heavy. That is, more flowers should be short and full, with a few taller ones to fill out the design.
  • Use the Fibonacci sequence/golden rule. The tallest flower should be 1.5-2 times the total height of the vase. The best arrangements feel balanced.
  • Add or subtract things until it feels right and pretty to you. Trust your own eye and sense of aesthetics here. This is your creation after all!

Tips For Using Common Grocery Store Flower Types

Did you know, tulips continue to grow after they're cut?

Did you know, tulips continue to grow after they’re cut?

Congrats – You just did flower arranging! I told you it was simple. Here are a few more pointers to help you create truly beautiful bouquets, centerpieces, and more.

Tulips

If tulips are curved or arched, they will most likely be straight by tomorrow. Also, they continue to grow after they’re cut, so make them shorter than you’d think and you might need to trim them a couple times later on.

Roses

Roses should be cut under warm water and allowed to rest in water for an hour or so before arranging to make sure they last and don’t droop over immediately.

Gerberas

Gerbera Daisies can sag or have limp stems. I recommend floral straws or floral wire to keep the stems straight. Both are available at art and craft supply stores.

Happy Arranging, Bloomies!

DIY Centerpieces with Blumebox

8 Aug

Cute Containers for DIY Centerpieces And Other Floral Arrangements

It’s a DIY Centerpiece and a gift in one. This strawberry plant is ready to be planted in the garden after the festivities are over. From http://www.ideasinblume.com.

Today I wanted to talk about do-it-yourself floral projects and a really cool local company that can help you achieve those DIY dreams. Blumebox knows that not all floral (or creative) containers need to be glass, or plastic. They also show us that you can have affordable, re-usable containers that don’t look cheap. They can be square or rhomboid, and cardboard, and collapsible and still really classy. They’re recyclable/reusable, to boot. They are easy on your wallet, on the environment, and on your sanity as you try to pull off fantastic looking DIY centerpieces or other floral arrangements.

DIY Centerpieces In Blumebox Containers: Endless Possibilities

Simple craft paper boxes with added bows let your flowers take center stage. So simple and so chic at the same time. From http://www.ideasinblume.com.

I learned about Blumebox at my floral school and thought the concept was really cool. They come in a ton of colors, and four sizes. Technically 5 sizes, if you include the super tiny and sweet blumebud! Each comes with a plastic liner so you can add water to your floral arrangements, but the box is still collapsible.

There are accessories like patterned strips to add to the sides, or a marabou boa to ring the top. But, if you are even a little creative, there are a million combinations of amazing you can do right at home! Pick a blumebox color, find matching or contrasting paper, and make your ‘own’ blumebox style just with that paper, scissors, a pencil and glue.

Add bling. Some rhinestones come ready with adhesive, and are already in patterns. So do pearls, bows, buttons and a bunch of other cute things. Stickers, monograms, photos, sprinkles, crayons, glitter and ribbon all can go on them. Basically, anything you can scrapbook, you can “Blumebox”.

Think Outside the Blumebox: DIY Centerpieces Don’t Have to Be Floral Arrangements

Blumebox makes a great display container for these birthday wands. How Cute! From http://www.ideasinblume.com

You don’t have to just use them for flowers, either. I’ve seen them used as plate stands, cake pop holders, candy jars, placeholders, favor boxes, and pinwheel holders. Their blog, www.ideasinblume.com, has a ton of cute ideas to inspire you. Baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, at home parties, the options are endless!

Do you love to do DIY floral arrangements and other crafty things? Share with us!