Monday, 28 November 2011

Simple vases - Fishbowls

Another instalment of simple vases...This week its all about fishbowls. As a florist, I have to admit these are a very useful little vase. A great curvy shape, simple and clean, they've become a modern classic.

They're so versatile too. When brides are on a budget, the ubiquitous Gerberas in a goldfish bowl is often the go-to choice du jour for table arrangements. Its something that your local florist can either do cheaply for you, or you could hire the vases, buy the cut flowers and pop the flowers in yourself on the day.

Another simple option is Calla Lily twisted round the inside of the vase, with a few grasses. Its so simple, your florist will really make it look its best, but it is one you could attempt to DIY. Just mind you don't snap the stems, as those Calla Lily's can be quite expensive.  In spring, Tulips would be a cheaper alternative to the Calla Lily's, and work in the same way, spiralled around the inside of the vase.     

I love this shot of Tulips. Crisp white tulips, a few stems of grass and simple table settings keeps this clean and fuss free.

For something a little different and dare I say, rustic, you could try vines, or branches inside the vase.  In this case, the use of a couple of Lily heads tucked into the arrangement, gives the finished vase a slightly Ikebana feel.  Simple, modern and minimal, and very effective.

I love succulents, and they look great planted in a fishbowl. Some wood-chippings, pebbles, or stones that co-ordinate with your theme, are all you need to complete the look. Love the little flag - it could double as a nifty table number for wedding tables.

And lastly, why have one fishbowl when you can have three. Groups of fishbowls look great.

For a wedding, make the top table table stand out by having a group of three bowls of different sizes, with different arrangements of themed colours and flowers in each.

Or stick to the same flowers (in this case, Cymbidium Orchids) but use different sized vases and stack them one on top of the other for a very striking centrepiece.

Failing that, goldfish centrepieces anyone?

Piccies from here, here, here, here & here

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Pretty gift wrapping

I'm at that stage in my life where everyone around me seems to be having babies. Cute new baby presents have been bought (more of that later) and I've been meaning to pop them in the post but not before I'd gift wrapped them in suitably pretty paper.

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love gift wrapping. I'll often spend as much time on the presentation and little finishing touches as on the actual choosing and buying of gifts.

A closet hoarder, I had a rummage through salvaged wrapping papers, and settled on this sweet polka dot tissue paper in baby pink with white spots, and found pretty satin ribbons to match (these are off cuts from the annoying hanging hoops that you find on nearly all clothes nowadays - again the hoarder in me can't bear to throw them away)

A rescued old paper bag, which I covered in cute vintage floral wrapping paper with pansies and african violets, makes for pretty packaging. I'm happy to say that the long overdue pressies are now on their way to happy new mums and their bundles of fun.  

Friday, 25 November 2011

Christmas in the shop

I've been easing myself into the Christmas spirit this week, having a reshuffle in the shop, revamping the windows, pulling different ranges together and mostly sprinkling pine cones of all sizes everywhere.

And my favourite Christmassy touch - snow kissed pine cones, garden twine and brown paper. Rustic gift wrapping.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Date for your Diary - Christmas Wreath Workshop

The date has now been set for the Christmas door wreath workshop I'm running. The first of a series of  floristry workshops I shall be holding with Make and Do, at their creative hub in Caversham, will take place at 7pm on Monday the 19th of December.

During the 2 hour long workshop you'll learn how to make a fresh spruce wreath from scratch. I'll teach you the skills and techniques needed to create your own stunning fresh foliage wreath to decorate your door, hang over your mantlepiece or give as a gift that will last right through the festive season.

The course costs £55 which covers 2 hours floristry tuition, and all the materials you'll need. You'll pick up lots of tips and ideas on decorating your home with flowers and foliage at Christmas time, and leave with your very own Christmas Wreath, and the skills and know-how to be able to create your own fresh foliage Christmas decorations.

Should be good fun, and who knows there may even be mulled wine, that is if I have anything to do with it! To book your place and to check out other crafty classes pop over to the Make and Do website.

Simple festive vases

As the festive season approaches I've been thinking about Christmas decorations, and how I might decorate the table this year. Always fun. Continuing with the theme of simple vases, I was wondering how best to wrap vases to give them a festive feel.

I love the idea of of wrapping a vase with red and white striped candy canes to give your Christmas table setting a quirky touch. Really sweet, literally. And you get to eat them after, or pack them away and hang from your tree next year.

And if you're on a budget (cos who isn't this year?) you could gather twigs, cut to similar sizes and tie with raffia around a straight sided vase. For added festive spice, try cinnamon sticks. They smell so gorgeous and Christmassy too.

If you want a little more colour, add a band of pretty wrapping paper or wallpaper to co-ordinate with your scheme and trim with ribbons, beads or tiny bells. I love the simple colour combination here - it looks very fresh and clean and a tad scandinavian.

Images found here, here and here

Friday, 18 November 2011

Sunny Flowers

Sunflowers scream summer to me, their big golden faces following the sun like night follows day. Along with Gerbera, and maybe daffodils they have got to be one of the most cheerful flowers around. They remind me of summer holidays as a child, when my folks still braved the long drive down to the South of France.

Summer's over, and Autumn's well and truly here and yet we still have these big beauties in the shop. All around me are people hurtling towards Christmas - shopping, baking, planning, crafting - and I'm still holding on to the last days of Summer.

Its been amazingly mild over here. Mid November and today was officially a no coat day - yay! I have to admit I'm dreading donning the usual trillion layers to stay warm in the shop. But such is life, time doesn't stand still, and neither should it. I remind myself that winter is only spring resting.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Christmas Door Wreaths

In December I will be holding another floristry workshop, this time at Make and Do in Caversham, showing the local green fingered and crafty types how to make Christmas Door Wreaths.  

One beautiful sunny weekend, I headed over to Crystal Palace (oh the glamour!) and with the help of the lovely and talented photographer Corin Brown, set about styling some shots to promote the workshop.

I think we got some nice shots, what do you think? More photos and details to follow next week.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Autumn leaves

Photos from a sunny sunday stroll around the park. Crunchy carpet of leaves underfoot. Foraging for cones, and lichen branches. Looking for Autumn colours and inspiration, I found plenty. 

Monday, 14 November 2011

Simple wrapped vases

Want to give new life to an old vase, or create unusual table centres? Try wrapping. There are so many ways to decorate or cover a plain vase. Here are just a few for starters:

Have a rifle through the cupboards and experiment with fruit, and vegetables. For best results use a straight sided vase (jam jars would be perfect) and either tie with raffia or ribbon or glue your materials to a piece of fabric or twine, and secure discreetly. 

Asparagus tips tied with raffia look fab. Savoy cabbage leaves would look great too, but don't prepare too early otherwise they could smell, well,... a bit cabbagey! 

Dried food stuffs would obviously work well - think herbs like rosemary, and sage leaves. Combined with hessian or linen these would look really sweet and rustic - I do love a bit of a rustic!

Other than fabric and food, another simple and effective way to wrap a vase is using yarn, wool, or garden twine. Secure with a small knot to start with and leave a long thread to tie off later. Then just wind away until you've covered a little or a lot.

Oh, did I mention how partial I am to a bit of rustic? Well these birch covered vases are totally up my street, what do you think? Although not widely available in the shops as such, Birch bark does come in flat pliable sheets. Just wrap around your vases to give your table a beautiful woodland feel. Simple.

photos from Pintrest - here, here, and here 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Lost and found

Lost my heart to this sad little fox. One of many recent finds.

Found these gorgeous little heart shaped stones... washed up on a greek island shore. A gift from the sea to me. How kind x 

Friday, 11 November 2011

Village Fete Wedding Rock n'rolls on and on

The table centres and bridal flowers I put together for this village fete wedding appeared on Rock My Wedding this week, twice! 

I may have harped on about it previously here and here, but now you can see more pics and steal plenty of ideas for your summer wedding here and here. Such a lovely couple and a great day, be inspired by all their nifty, thrifty ideas.  

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Location, location

Before I went off on my holidays I spent a couple days in Notting Hill shooting this year's range of  Christmas Hampers for Selfridges. Stuffed full of indulgent treats, I had to be on my best behaviour not to give in to temptation and crack open the champagne and choccies.

When all the hard work was done, goodies and props packed away, I snuck upstairs to grab a few pics of the fire damaged attic. Bone-like branches and a collage of white photos and frames greeted me at the top of the stairs. In the other two rooms, the owner had given the walls a whitewash in parts and left them charred and crumbling in others. Very effective don't cha think? Of course, a nice chair never goes amiss!       

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Walpole appartments

Back in September I got to have a sneaky look around some smart new apartments in Mayfair. Based within a grand georgian building, tucked just around the corner from The Ritz, property developers Oliver Burns have created 5 opulent State apartments in what was once the home of Britain's first and longest serving Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole.  

I was on hand to help set up the rooms for publicity shots, and to get them styled and ready for the Press launch.  Fabulous props were brought in to complete the luxury lifestyle look and beautiful flowers dressed every room.  My favourites the dusky antique pink hued Amnesia Rose, and below the seasonal burnt orange of the Physalis (Chinese lanterns) added to the warmth of the rich gold tones.


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