Archive for the ‘Floral Happenings’ Category

The Flowers of Christmas

December 18, 2008

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Now that I’ve arrived to visit my parents, the Christmas decorating has begun in earnest! One of my favourite traditions is going to the flower shops with my mom and stocking up on flowers and foliage to fill the house. Don’t you just love fresh flowers around the holidays? It’s that extra special touch that brings the decor to life. These tiny boxwood trees have such personality…and planting them in teacups is just too charming!

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Paperwhites are a classic this time of year, made even more stunning here in
these tall glass cylinders. And I don’t usually go for red and green decorations—
but two dozen white tulips might convince me otherwise!

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Winterberry branches have an imposing presence when massed in footed glass urns, while
similarly hued amaryllis adorn the table below. If I had a dining room like this, I’d hold Dickens
inspired Christmas costume parties…we’d sing carols, play charades and dine on hot spiced
rum and figgy pudding.

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The poor poinsettia has gotten such a bad reputation over the years. Indeed they’re overused,
but I admit to having a soft spot for them anyway—especially when applied simply and sparingly
to brighten an otherwise neutral interior.

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Here’s that tiny tree idea again, this time in a more rustic take on the theme with paper wrapping and cut-out snowflake trim. Isn’t it nice to see the same idea reinterpreted for different styles?

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I’ve always been fascinated with topiaries. This arrangement seems like it would be spectacularly easy, too! Just a cone of floral foam, a big armful of carnations, and some strategically placed glass balls. I may just have to give this a try…

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Tell me: do you decorate with fresh flowers around the holidays?

Image Credits: Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart, House Beautiful, Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart, Inside Out Magazine Christmas 2008, Martha Stewart (okay, so I basically just mined Martha’s treasure trove for this post…but can you blame me?)

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Project: Rough and Romantic Centerpiece

October 14, 2008

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I just found this spectacular centerpiece project on the Southern Accents website, of all places! I love the combination of raw textures with soft, pink and grey hues. And I really love that it doesn't require a vase of any kind; sometimes it seems like the floral container detracts from the flowers themselves.

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The website features a really detailed step-by-step for the arrangement–which the frequently frustrated amateur florist in me appreciates! I could even see scaling this project back and doing a smaller version on the console table in my entryway. 

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The project is from this book by London flower artist Jane Packer–and if the rest of the ideas are this lovely and clearly explained, I might have to track down a copy. Is it too early to start practicing my florals for Thanksgiving?

Project: Rough and Romantic Centerpiece

October 14, 2008

Jane-packer-6_m

I just found this spectacular centerpiece project on the Southern Accents website, of all places! I love the combination of raw textures with soft, pink and grey hues. And I really love that it doesn't require a vase of any kind; sometimes it seems like the floral container detracts from the flowers themselves.

Jane-packer-3_m-1

The website features a really detailed step-by-step for the arrangement–which the frequently frustrated amateur florist in me appreciates! I could even see scaling this project back and doing a smaller version on the console table in my entryway. 

Jane-packer-book_m

The project is from this book by London flower artist Jane Packer–and if the rest of the ideas are this lovely and clearly explained, I might have to track down a copy. Is it too early to start practicing my florals for Thanksgiving?

Project: Food + Flower + Style

September 22, 2008

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I’ve had this little floral project
on my to-do list for quite some time, and I finally got my act in gear to
put it together. It was first posted over the summer on one of my
favourite blogs, Food + Flower + Style.
The arrangement is easy to assemble but the result is so
elegant—and versatile, too. You can use any blossom you choose and
can even change them up with new flowers as the old ones get tired.

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The process is simple. Just buy some kitty grass and poke it into
the container of your choice. Of course if you want the grass to last
for any length of time, it’s best to leave it in its plastic drainage
pot and just slip that pot into a prettier one (I picked the above pots
up at Ikea for $2 each). Then trim down the stem of your chosen
flower—Dahlias in this instance—and gently lodge it in the bed of
grass. Such a budget-friendly centerpiece for dinner parties, or even a
shower or DIY wedding!

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If you’re not familiar with the Food + Flower + Style
blog, you’ve got to go visit. The posts are gorgeous to look at and a
pleasure to read: dreamy and contemplative yet instructive too. And it
seems like they have some exciting plans in the works for fall, so
check it out!

Project: Food + Flower + Style

September 22, 2008

Dsc_0041

I’ve had this little floral project
on my to-do list for quite some time, and I finally got my act in gear to
put it together. It was first posted over the summer on one of my
favourite blogs, Food + Flower + Style.
The arrangement is easy to assemble but the result is so
elegant—and versatile, too. You can use any blossom you choose and
can even change them up with new flowers as the old ones get tired.

Dsc_0017

The process is simple. Just buy some kitty grass and poke it into
the container of your choice. Of course if you want the grass to last
for any length of time, it’s best to leave it in its plastic drainage
pot and just slip that pot into a prettier one (I picked the above pots
up at Ikea for $2 each). Then trim down the stem of your chosen
flower—Dahlias in this instance—and gently lodge it in the bed of
grass. Such a budget-friendly centerpiece for dinner parties, or even a
shower or DIY wedding!

Dsc_0004

If you’re not familiar with the Food + Flower + Style
blog, you’ve got to go visit. The posts are gorgeous to look at and a
pleasure to read: dreamy and contemplative yet instructive too. And it
seems like they have some exciting plans in the works for fall, so
check it out!

Smells Like Green Spirit

June 30, 2008

Presenting my new favourite ‘Why didn’t they think of this before?’ product.

One of the world’s most distinctive smells is the one that hits you
when you walk into a flower shop. I love that heady blend of moist
greenery and ripe blossoms, with its subtle undertones of refrigerant.
But why should I have to go flower shopping to enjoy it?

Enter ‘Smells Like A Flower Shop’ Body and Room Spray. It’s like
someone’s distilled all those pails of woody-stemmed peonies and
hydrangeas, airy-leaved baby’s breath and maidenhair fern,
silky-petalled roses, mums, and orchids. You won’t smell like a flower
shop all day, because that first convincing whiff fades into a
delicate, barely-there floral blend. And because the ingredients are
all-natural, you can spray them on your skin or in the air.

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The best part? All the proceeds go to the Toronto Wildlife Center, which rescues and rehabilitates wildlife in distress.  Buy it online or in store at Teatro Verde or Mythical Matters.
If you’re not into the spray, check out the lotion and bath salts…And
prepare yourself for that first ‘OMG Why Didn’t They Think of This
Before’ sniff!

Other garden-inspired musings today:

– Housemartin makes magic with June’s loveliest offering, the peony.

– sfgirlbybay persuades us to ‘bring the outdoors in‘.

– All centerpieces all the time at Toast and Tables!

– Droolworthy outdoor spaces from Garden Rooms.

– Amazing cherry blossoms blooming, right in my very own backyard!

Flower Power

June 18, 2008

It’s been a long day at work; I’ve spent all week venturing into
complete strangers’ homes to conduct consumer research interviews. It’s
fascinating but exhausting and nerve wracking too.

So for now I’ll leave you with the inspiration boards I’ve assembled
in preparation for my conversation with the florist who will
(hopefully!) be doing my wedding. I’m gravitating towards monochromatic
arrangements that create a sense of bounty and abundance through the
massing and repetition of the same or similar flowers.

I plan on having mostly white at the wedding…

Whiteboard

…though just for fun here’s a color board too. I’m not as pleased
with how this one’s turned out–from a design point of view the image
collage doesn’t seem balanced—but it’s all a learning process. So
I’ll choose to be pleased with myself and leave it at that.

Colorboard

Oh, and photo sources include Martha Stewart Weddings, Tapestry Flowers, Style Me Pretty, and The Knot.

Flower Power

June 18, 2008

It’s been a long day at work; I’ve spent all week venturing into
complete strangers’ homes to conduct consumer research interviews. It’s
fascinating but exhausting and nerve wracking too.

So for now I’ll leave you with the inspiration boards I’ve assembled
in preparation for my conversation with the florist who will
(hopefully!) be doing my wedding. I’m gravitating towards monochromatic
arrangements that create a sense of bounty and abundance through the
massing and repetition of the same or similar flowers.

I plan on having mostly white at the wedding…

Whiteboard

…though just for fun here’s a color board too. I’m not as pleased
with how this one’s turned out–from a design point of view the image
collage doesn’t seem balanced—but it’s all a learning process. So
I’ll choose to be pleased with myself and leave it at that.

Colorboard

Oh, and photo sources include Martha Stewart Weddings, Tapestry Flowers, Style Me Pretty, and The Knot.

A Birthday Arrangement

June 11, 2008

When I was a kid my mom made a really big deal about birthdays. Pancake breakfasts, piles of handsomely wrapped gifts, and of course decorations throughout the house. As my sister and I grew older and more able to appreciate the finer things in life, this meant flowers everywhere. My mother has a gift for making things beautiful–I flatter myself to think that I’ve inherited at least some of that gift–and her flower arrangements are no exception.

Another thing I’ve definitely inherited is my love of making birthdays special. And–joy!–my husband turns twenty-six tomorrow. So I stopped at the flower shop on the way home to splurge on their biggest, brightest blossoms. My modus operandi is to get whatever looks best, the way a chef finds inspiration for his menu from the market’s freshest offerings. If you go into it with a preconceived idea of what you’d like to do, you’ll often find yourself disappointed.

In the end, I came home with a sunset color palette of fuchsia and gradient orange-to-yellow roses (24 for $10!) and a bunch of yellow and fuchsia gerbera daisies. I love gerbera daisies–to me they are the Platonic ideal of ‘flowerness’–but usually they are so expensive. These were only $5 for three stems, so I stocked up and got a dozen.

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I also picked up some tiny mums for filler, as well as these weird spiny things in mesh protective covering. I’ve often seen these guys before but have never been brave enough to take a chance on what lurks beneath the mesh.
I was brave enough tonight.

Sl701365

I started by deciding to make the roses and gerberas my ‘main attraction’ flowers. I stripped them off all their leaves…

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…and went to town poking them into my one-and-only vase (picked up on sale at Anthropologie a while back and less than ideal, but it does its job). After some false starts, I had a display that looked…well…awkward. Like a preschool project of tissue paper blossoms on pipe cleaner stems. And I was all out of roses and gerberas.

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Spiny things to the rescue! I removed the mesh to reveal lovely, full, fingery yellow creatures that have the personality of sea anemones waving in the current. They perfectly filled the empty space beneath the other blooms and added some really interesting texture, too.

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After a few small tweaks and some tiny mums to cover any gaps, I had an arrangement fit for the king of my castle. Brilliant and happy, just like his birthday should be.

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Happy Birthday, Subber! I’m so proud of you!

A Birthday Arrangement

June 11, 2008

When I was a kid my mom made a really big deal about birthdays. Pancake breakfasts, piles of handsomely wrapped gifts, and of course decorations throughout the house. As my sister and I grew older and more able to appreciate the finer things in life, this meant flowers everywhere. My mother has a gift for making things beautiful–I flatter myself to think that I’ve inherited at least some of that gift–and her flower arrangements are no exception.

Another thing I’ve definitely inherited is my love of making birthdays special. And–joy!–my husband turns twenty-six tomorrow. So I stopped at the flower shop on the way home to splurge on their biggest, brightest blossoms. My modus operandi is to get whatever looks best, the way a chef finds inspiration for his menu from the market’s freshest offerings. If you go into it with a preconceived idea of what you’d like to do, you’ll often find yourself disappointed.

In the end, I came home with a sunset color palette of fuchsia and gradient orange-to-yellow roses (24 for $10!) and a bunch of yellow and fuchsia gerbera daisies. I love gerbera daisies–to me they are the Platonic ideal of ‘flowerness’–but usually they are so expensive. These were only $5 for three stems, so I stocked up and got a dozen.

Sl701380_2

I also picked up some tiny mums for filler, as well as these weird spiny things in mesh protective covering. I’ve often seen these guys before but have never been brave enough to take a chance on what lurks beneath the mesh.
I was brave enough tonight.

Sl701365

I started by deciding to make the roses and gerberas my ‘main attraction’ flowers. I stripped them off all their leaves…

Sl701383

…and went to town poking them into my one-and-only vase (picked up on sale at Anthropologie a while back and less than ideal, but it does its job). After some false starts, I had a display that looked…well…awkward. Like a preschool project of tissue paper blossoms on pipe cleaner stems. And I was all out of roses and gerberas.

Sl701385_2

Spiny things to the rescue! I removed the mesh to reveal lovely, full, fingery yellow creatures that have the personality of sea anemones waving in the current. They perfectly filled the empty space beneath the other blooms and added some really interesting texture, too.

Sl701388

After a few small tweaks and some tiny mums to cover any gaps, I had an arrangement fit for the king of my castle. Brilliant and happy, just like his birthday should be.

Sl701392

Happy Birthday, Subber! I’m so proud of you!