Thursday, 31 May 2012

More Blush Roses - Quicksand

Vintage lovers prepare to swoon. How gorgeous are these roses? This variety called Quicksand are the most amazing fleshy blush pink shade. Check out the subtle variations within this one wrap of roses. 

At one glance they appear to be putty pink, look again and they're coffee cream. Beige would be an insult ( I mean who wants to be beige after all? ) but think natural, neutral, nude and you're definitely on the right track.

This batch came in with quite a small slightly cone shaped head. Quite a similar shape to Amnesia. I haven't yet put them together but I'd be interested to see how they work because they're both very much dusky antique shades. 

Look at those amazing tints of raspberry pink on the outer petals. They are just begging to be paired with fruity deep pinks and incredibly subtle silver foliage.

Mmmm. How would you have yours?

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Etsy picks - White Hot Wedding

Its hot hot hot in the UK at the moment and has been for the last week.  This unseasonably good weather got me thinking that whilst its lovely if the sun shines on your wedding day, nobody wants to be hot and bothered when they're supposed to be looking their best.

How do you stay cool as a cucumber when the suns beating down? I had a little mooch around Etsy and gathered some fab vintage finds for a stylish summer wedding....

Keep the sun off your head with a pretty parasol or a cute straw hat, shade your eyes with vintage sunnies and protect delicate shoulders with a light capelet or silk shawl. They'd make great props for photo ops too. 

For details of all the suppliers included follow the link to my Etsy treasury

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Historic Ludlow

One of my favourite things to do is to go where I've never been before, so last week I took a trip to Ludlow in Shropshire, somewhere I'd been meaning to visit for a long time. After a drive up through spectacular countryside, I reached my destination and headed into town for a mosey around and a catch up with an old friend.

The rest of the afternoon was spent chatting in a shady cobbled courtyard with cool refreshments and nibbles, before heading out for the night to gorge at the French Pantry where I feasted on duck and sauteed potato's, followed by apricot tart and ice cream. Yum.

Next morning we started the day with breakfast at De Greys Cafe, where I was encouraged by the staff to try a local speciality, a butter bun which is every bit as sinful as it looks and sounds.  Still, it soaked up some of the previous nights tipples.

Then we were off round town for a spot of shopping. I was charmed by all the cuteness in Goosey Goosey Gander a childrens gift shop, and in awe of the fabulous victorian shop fittings in Pickards Hardware. Black Bough had the most wonderful edit of design led gifts - I could have seriously taken home every item in the shop, but had already spent up so vowed to stop by their website in future.

Next up was more awe inspiring history and a trip round Ludlow castle. This Norman wonder is incredibly well preserved and had me gushing and cooing in amazement. Wow was very much the word of the day. Especially when we braved the climb to the roof and took in the views of the surrounding town and countryside.

After all that excitement, we took a picnic lunch down to the riverside to cool off. And no thats not me and my friend! I spotted these ladies in their blue outfits and sunhats and thought they so perfectly matched the masses of wild blue forget-me-nots growing on the hillside that I asked for a photo. Think they thought I was a little crazy.  

Good company, indulgent treats and a well timed heatwave made a few days feel like a proper holiday. If you fancy a short break I would recommend Ludlow for its beautiful architecture, shopping, walking and definitely eating.  

Monday, 28 May 2012

Simple Vases - Vintage Tins & Painted Cans

More simple vases, and this week I thought I'd have a look at some different ways to use tins. I have a bit of a thing for vintage tins and could easily fill shelves and cupboards with old biscuit tins and tea caddy's.

You can often find decorative tins in charity shops, car boots and antiques fairs, but if you're not the thrifting type, you can still get hold of classic british brands in the supermarket (think Colmans, Lyle and Tate and Brasso).  Don't forget to check the world food aisle too and look out for eye catching designs when you're on holiday.

I like to fill mine with buttons and beads and assorted habadashery bumpf, but they also make great containers for flowers and plants. A row of herbs planted in tins makes a pretty and practical display on  a kitchen window sill or shelf.

Not to worry if you can't find tins with pretty designs on them. Make do with good old baked bean cans, remove the paper labels and paint in matte pastel shades and you still have rather fetching simple vases. 

Or you could enhance their metallic sheen with a spritz of spray paint. The copper and bronze shades used here look great. Make sure to spray in a well ventilated area, hold canister about 10-15cm from the tin, taking care to move both tin and spray to achieve an even finish. Leave plenty of time to dry.

To introduce pattern, wrap the cans in clashing or co-ordinating giftwrap or wallpaper. The uniform shape and size of the tins used here brings a bit of harmony to this cheerful mix of colours and designs.

A cheap, fun and (perhaps with the exception of the spray paint) environmentally friendly way to decorate your tables.   

Sunday, 27 May 2012

DIY - Embroidery Hoop Display

Does this even need words? Ok, just a few.

You will need
  • Embroidery hoops 
  • Co-ordinating/contrasting fabrics
  • Scissors
  • String

  • Cut to size 
  • Tuck in edges, or tape to frame for neater finish
  • Hang in your preferred arrangement

Ridiculously peasy DIY. Perfect for the craftily challenged.

Jubilee Tea Party

The sun finally came out this week and it felt warm for the first time in ages (posting this, now with a pink glow, warm seems a bit of an understatement) It was a perfect day for a spot of afternoon tea, shame I was just installing the Jubilee window display.

All the elements came together - garlands made, embroidery hoops filled with chintzy fabric, tables and tablecloths in situ, and red white and blue flowers in china teacups.

The teacups are part of a range that we hire out for weddings and events, and I found the lovely green tablecloth with red, white and blue poppies in one of the local charity shops. We are spoilt for choice with charity shops round here - I often pop out for a rummage in my lunch break.

The white cloth was borrowed for the display and we're still undecided whether the lacey edge is crochet or tatting. Any ideas?

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Classic Wedding Flowers - Orchids

For a cool contemporary take on classic wedding flowers Orchids really are the epitomy of elegance. To me, they reek of class and sophistication. 

Phalaenopsis orchids come in a beautiful pure white, which along with their flat petals and simple shape  means they are the perfect fit for brides wanting to achieve a very clean, minimal decorating scheme or a neat bouquet.  

White Phalaenopsis tend to come with either pink or yellow throats. These provide an interesting little hint of colour that you can use to accent the cerise or hot pinks of bridesmaids dresses/ or yellow/orange/gold touches of your colour scheme.  (Please note - Orchids do come in lots of other colours and shades but I'm sticking mostly to whites for these "classic" posts so I won't go into all the other colours  available here)

Individually wired heads of Phalaenopsis or Cymbidium Orchids make exquisite hand tied bouquets.  Use them on their own, or nestled in with groups of other exotic or classic blooms. I personally like to emphasise their beautiful simplicity.

If you have a very sleek wedding dress you might like to carry these, but at the same time, if you have a vintage lace dress or a gown that has a lot of beading or detail it could be a good idea to keep your bouquet simple and let your dress do all the talking.

For more of a statement, an orchid shower bouquet can be stunning.  Wired or kept on the stem as they would naturally grow, the large heads create the trail for the bouquet. Use alone or with trailing foliage, or opt for a combination by having of a hand-tie with a trail.

A natural choice for buttonholes, the back of the flower head sits flat against the body and they are incredibly light. This lightness makes them perfect for wrist corsages, and to be worn in the hair - pinned to one side or tucked into a relaxed chignon.

On your tables they can be as understated or extravagant as you want. Single potted plants are a budget option and double up as great gifts for select guests. They look lovely in zinc tins, or glass cubes filled with moss or pebbles.

In vases, shiny silver is a great match for this classic flower. Several cut branches will give you a nice display. But be warned this opulent look does not come cheap. Priced by the head, any arrangement using multiple stems can quickly add up.

Those who are being more careful on costings might want to ask a florist to suggest economical ways of incorporating a few heads with other flowers. These all white low vases fit the bill. Love how the black and white theme has been worked in here. The horizontal bands pull everything together and create a very polished look.

For dream wedding decor use masses of cascasing orchids in tall vases and you'll have a truly opulent backdrop to your big day. Be canny and move vases from one room or venue to another. Ask the groomsmen for help, or if it involves transport get the professionals to do it for you. Although you'll pay a little extra for this you will save on arrangements.

Are there any other classic wedding flowers you'd like to see featured? I have a few more posts up my sleeve but am thinking about covering different types of classic floral arrangements for weddings in the coming weeks, so get any requests in soon.

I'm off to Shropshire for a few days, so entries here might be a bit scant unless I can figure out how to post from my mobile! Looks like summer has finally arrived. Have a fab weekend everyone x


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