Roses and Burlap

Enjoy your weekend!  Just posting another handheld bouquet I made this week!

I love the color and texture of these roses :)

The Making of a Late Summer Bouquet

When I found this selection of flowers at the market, I thought the colors were pretty and would look nice in a hand-held bouquet.  Although I love sunflowers, their arrival in the market, sadly, meant the near end of summer to me.  However, they are beautiful none-the-less and I just had to use them in a floral arrangement! 

Follow the process these flowers took to become a hand-held bouquet...

 The first thing to do when doing anything with fresh flowers is to cut the ends of the stems at a 45 degree angle with sharp scissors or a knife.  Then, place them into a bucket of water enhanced with some flower preservative.
 Next, to make a hand-held bouquet remove all the greenery (leaves) running down the stems of the flowers, leaving the stems pretty bare.  This will make the bouquet less bulky and give it a cleaner look.
 I was working alone so, I wasn't able to take many photos to show you my process but, here I have arranged the flowers in a round bouquet and bound the stems together with floral tape.

At first, I thought I would use purple ribbon to cover the floral tape and decorate the bouquet but, I didn't like the look of the purple ribbon.  I thought it was too "purple-y".
I decided to use burlap ribbon instead.
Not totally liking that look, I decided to wrap a small amount of purple ribbon over the burlap wrap.  I tied it in a bow too!

Here is a top view of the bouquet.

I had also added a burlap "collar" to cover the stems at the base of the head of the bouquet.

 The flowers I used were sunflowers, purple stock, purple statice, yellow mums and yellow alstromeria.

I just love these colors!
The sunflowers and stock are beautiful.

Here it is...a lovely late summer bouquet, ready to be given to someone to brighten their day!

Linking In With:
Stone Gable Blog

Paper Lanterns and the Joy of a Screen Porch

Alas, it is getting closer to the end of summer but, I still wanted to share my screened-in porch with you before fall sets in.  Many years ago my husband and I purchased a screen porch that attaches to the side of our house.  It was a compromise since our home did not accommodate a proper screen porch easily.  Since bugs are something to be reckoned with at dinnertime, a screened-in porch has been a wonderful thing to have.

However, it isn't the most beautiful thing you've ever seen.  Creative decorating was necessary to bring the porch to its full potential!
As "ugly duckling" as the porch is, I have to tell you, I spend every possible morning eating my breakfast in this spot.  It is simply lovely.  The sun gently beams in and, if I am lucky, a hummingbird will serenade me with its hum while getting nectar from one  of my window box flowers.  It really is so serene and amazing at the same time.  It is probably my favorite place in the house during the summer.  We also enjoy most of our suppertime meals out here, as well.

Now back to design. The screen porch is divided into two sections; the eating section and the sitting and visiting section.  Here we see the sitting section.  My old rattan set has served me well for many years.  It was a gift from my sister-in-law.  My husband painted it white and we had the cushions re-upholstered.  (They could probably be re-upholstered again but that project is well down the line.  I will just have to make do with what I have for now :).  
This is the view from the dining side of the porch.  On the left you can see my indoor plants.  I place them in the porch for a summer "vacation". They always flourish out there.  I even got a gardenia that was close to death to blossom with the help of the porch environment.
Here you can see some of the paper lanterns.  I tried to keep them in the general palette of the seat  cushions.

In years past, I had tried to take photos of the screen porch with little success.  It just didn't photograph well and I thought the ceiling had something to do with that.  I found this pink and white chevron print at JoAnn Fabrics and decided to use it to camouflage the ceiling.  I liked how it broke up all that beige.
I couldn't seem to stop with the paper lanterns.  I ended up finding more of them in the bargain bin at the craft store.

The liked how well the metal lantern worked with the paper ones.
It's a festive look without being too overwhelming.
So, I guess in the end, it isn't really about the paper lanterns, although they are AWESOME.  It's about making a place where you are going to spend a lot of  your time as pretty as you can. For me, this year, it was the use of lanterns and fabric.  Next summer it will probably be something else but, hopefully, the feeling I get from sitting in my screen porch won't change.  And, hopefully, the hummingbirds will continue to visit!

Linking In With:
Finding Silver Pennies
Love of Home
Thoughts From Alice

Garden Themed Bridal Shower

I was asked a while ago to help out with an intimate bridal shower.  The hostesses wanted me to make a few floral arrangements for the outdoor occasion.  Of course, I said, "Yes!"   A garden theme was chosen for the shower and off we went!   It was a fun collaboration with the exchange of ideas through phone calls and Pinterest Pins.  We, then, chose flowers that would convey the theme and fit into their budget.  We had a great time planning!

Well, the event finally arrived this past Saturday.  I had created the arrangements on Friday and on Saturday morning my husband helped me pack them into my car.  Here is what they looked like before being placed in the car for their journey.

We used large cardboard boxes with holes cut in them to hold the vases in place for the trip.  That system seemed to work very well.  Nothing fell least not in my car.  We had a small wind mishap at the venue but, we quickly fixed that problem :).
Originally, I was simply going to drop off the flowers but, I ended up helping out a little bit, which was a ton of fun.  There are always so many last minute things to do!!

Unfortunately, I only have pre-refreshment photos because right after I took these pictures, the skies opened up and poured rain all over everything!  Everything had to be wiped down and a few of the hanging decorations had to be fixed.  All was well in the end and the hostesses have promised me some post-refreshment photos in the future.  Hopefully, I will be sharing them with you soon.
Some of the flowers I used were Queen Anne's Lace, pink spray roses, pink carnations and in the larger arrangement I used pink hydrangeas also.  Mason jars were used for the smaller arrangements.  A birch vase and a trumpet vase were used for the other two arrangements.

I wrapped the top of some of the mason jars with ruffled cream-colored lace to add to the Victorian feel of the arrangements. I used leftover flowers to fill these mini vases that were a last minute addition to the tables.  Each table had a mason jar arrangement and two mini vases.  I like the addition of burlap on the tables.  I thought it was a very nice touch.
 I used  Lady's Mantle, burgundy astilbe and eucalyptus as "filler" flowers.

Here is the gift table...just in case you hadn't already guessed :).
  The Queen Anne's Lace look like firecrackers, don't you think?
This, of course, was the refreshment table (pre-refreshments).  We ended up placing the large arrangement, the medium arrangement and a mason jar arrangement on this table.  Something to consider when thinking about flowers or any decorations for your special events.  Often times, you need more flowers, and/or decorations, than you think!!  The green milk glass cake plate was a nice touch also, very rustic, garden party.
Don't you just love the lace banner?  That was made by one of the hostesses...very pretty and Victorian looking.
The portable tent ended up saving the day.  With the surprise of rain, it was smart to have planned for any misfortune.  Such a shame that it rained so hard!!  I hear everything worked out well, however.  I'm so glad since so much work went into the event.
You will have to stay tuned because I am doing the flowers for the wedding too!

Linking in with: Finding Silver Pennies
Thoughts from Alice
Love of Home
Stone Gable Blog
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