Sunday, November 27, 2011

Simple flowers

I like getting flowers on a regular basis, and I've come up with a few ways to dress them up simply.

Recently, I got a bouquet of pink carnations from my husband.  They were simple, fresh and lovely.  I decided to arrange them nicely using a milk glass vase leftover from my wedding.  A single type of slower is often quite striking when arranged in this manner.

Simple flower arrangement instructions:

  • a good sharp pair of scissors, kitchen shears or a knife and cutting board
  • floral or other sturdy wire
  • mushroom bird, brooch, butterfly or bird's nest
  • ribbons or lace
  • Pretty vase or other vessel

1) Place the flowers in water while you work with them to keep them fresh.
2) Cut your first stem so that it peaks over the edge of your vessel by a fair bit.  Cut other stems to match until you have a ring around the outside of your vessel.
3) Cut other stems just a bit taller to put in the center and give your arrangement a rounded shape.
4) Take your bird, nest or other ornament and secure it to the wire.  I threaded the wire through the bottom of my bird's nest.  Hot glue may also be helpful to secure it, if you don't mind getting glue on your ornament.  Cut the wire so that the ornament sits neatly on the surface of your flowers.
5) Add ribbon or lace streamers as desired.  I chose to tie a bow with mine.  Place the ornament in your arrangement and trim.

  • When dealing with more shallow vessels, it is sometimes helpful to use floral foam so that your flowers don't fly out.
  • Your flowers will keep longer with a homemade or store-bought flower preservative.  Some recipes for homemade flower preservatives can be found here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I have returned

Sorry for my long absence.  I've been busy with family, having a wedding and making discoveries about things like what the heck mooncakes are.  The dear husband and I are somewhat settled in again and I shall attempt to return to blogging like a good girl.  I have been making a lot of discoveries in the kitchen lately and have big plans for recycling my wedding crafts and making more useful, everyday objects of them.

Friday, July 1, 2011

wedding hair

I've been wrapping up some of my wedding crafts (including some awesome handmade cake stands) and getting details like hair attended to.  These are some pictures my dear little mama snapped of my intended wedding hairstyle.  It will have a white orchid and black feathers in it on my wedding day.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

summer lovelies

I've been quite busy again with the impeding wedding and the impending  move.  However, I take time to walk along the trail near my house now and then to see what I might discover.  There are lots of lovely, tiny  things hidden in the grass.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Moving and marrying

My love and I are having a wedding and then moving to the other side of the country entirely.  I have not only been busy with the impeding move, but with sightseeing.

It may seem odd to go sightseeing so close to home, but it occurred to me that in my 15 years in Colorado, there have been a lot of things I've missed.  I think most people probably go on vacations away from home and take far less time to look at what is actually around them.  We've discovered a lot of loveliness on our recent adventures.  I hope we can fit in a few more before the wedding.

This is a lovely dried seedpod we discovered while exploring.  I wanted to take it home with me, but it was park land, so that would be naughty.  My love photographed it for me instead.

I get dancey sometimes.  (I think I'd just done a pirouette.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


This postcard was used in 1908.  It appears Mr. Earl Fulk had a friend who liked to write upside down.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ancient Mariner

I made a larger version of this to print for my wall after my recent re-reading of Coleridge's poem. I thought it would serve as a reminder to be gentle and kind in my dealings with others and the world around me.  (Bird image from The Graphics Fairy.)

Coleridge's poem Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner has always been one of my favorites.  My father recited bits and pieces of it to me throughout my childhood.  When I got older and finally sat down and read it through, I was impressed by its beauty as well as the thoughts and values expressed by it.

The Romantic movement in literature and art, with its emphasis on nature, appeals to me greatly.  Coleridge's poem ties the idea of the sacredness of nature to an almost medieval version of Christianity with saints and hermits and prayers to the Virgin Mary.  Harmony with nature and respect for it are equated with goodness.  It is also a tale of redemption in a way.  Through his experiences and the penance that follows them, the mariner not only redeems himself, but comes to have a greater understanding and love of nature.

The poem at Project Gutenberg

Monday, May 9, 2011

Shy lady

This image was taken from a turn of the century postcard in my collection.  I chose this one for the color of the lady's dress and her elaborate hair comb.  She looks to me as if she is not quite sure what to make of her suitor.  Note the sweet little bird couple in the nearby tree.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sweet Spring

When I was a young girl, I hated spring. It was cold and damp, the flowers were slow to bloom, and the world was gray with a haze of green creeping over it far too slowly. Somehow I find that has changed now that I am a little older.

Spring is gray and cold in my part of the world, but it symbolizes so many things for me. Rebirth, new life and the power of nature and beauty shine through even the damp drear of springtime. Persistent, brave little flowers manage to peep out of the earth, although the temperature is discouragingly cold.

Life has many endings and many days without sunlight or cheer. New beginnings are difficult and the world is harsh and cold, yet beauty always manages to find its way.

Monday, May 2, 2011

details: tea and kisses

This little scene from my home includes a rather tiny thrifted Lenox china frame, a vintage teacup and a red votive holder.  An assortment of antique medicine bottles form the backdrop.  This shelf is constantly being re-arranged as we gather new objects and find new uses for the old ones, but I think the combination of gold and red here was very pretty.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A joyful May

May Day is coming soon.  I have fond childhood memories of leaving baskets of flowers on doorsteps and dancing around the maypole with my pretty ribbon.   I still love May Day.  Spring following winter is a wonderful and joyous thing.

I found this lovely little illustration from a 1911 children's book entitled Fun and Thought for Little Folk.  It reminded me of my childhood observance of May Day.  While there are many wonderful traditions surrounding May Day involving flowers, song and dance, it does not seem to commonly be observed anymore.  I think our modern May Days ought to involve a few more flowers and ribbons, at the very least.

May Song
(It is traditional, and comes in many versions, but this is how I sing it.)

We have been rambling all of the night
And the best part of this day,
And we are returning here back again,
And we've brought you a garland gay.

A bunch of May we bear about
And here at the door it stands.
It is nothing but a sprout, but it's well budded out.
It's the work of God's own hand.

For the life of a man is but a span
He's cut down like the grass
For he's like unto the green leaf of a tree
For as long as life shall last.

And now our song is almost done
We can no longer stay.
God bless us all, both great and small
And we wish you a joyful May.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Quite busy

I've been quite busy recently with finishing school, falling in love with a sweet, gorgeous foreign boy, getting engaged and setting up housekeeping with my dear.  I intend to revisit this blog as I have time.

I'd initially intended to keep a wedding blog but I really want to attempt to pat attention to this one again, if I can help it.  There may be occasional future posts about wedding related things.

My wedding will be vintage themed, with black and various shades of white and cream as the colors.  Vintage milk glass and postcards will be involved, as well as well as generous amounts of lace.  Oh, and lots of mushroom doves nested here there and everywhere.