November 13, 2014

Snow flowers

I LOVE snow! And because of my love of winter, (even if I am crazy for beaches) I know that I am clearly, genetically from some northern climate because when it gets hot out, I need to jump in the water. Pronto!

So when the first real forecast of snow makes it to the airwaves, I'm always mixed with excitement and sadness. Excited because of skiing and playing in all that white stuff. Sad, because it means that another summer and fall are almost over and I always wonder what I did with that time. Hopefully SOMETHING productive and fun!
So to celebrate what's coming, I decided to make a pretty WHITE arrangement to sit alongside an (almost all) white dinner. Off to see my guy Fernando at the flower market.
Okay so I'm not ready for what I saw at the market today. And in fact, I'm sure that my amazing Grandma rolled over in her grave 12 billion times just because I put these pictures up. She used to make me tape a bumper sticker in her car every year that read, "Don't pull out your (picture of a Christmas tree) until you eat your (picture of a turkey). Thanksgiving in our house is a high holy celebration, but that's a story for another day.
They really do an incredible job merchandising their goodies at Chester Brown. And I have to admit, a few goodies may have landed in my box going home. But I cannot, will not, contemplate Christmas until after the big turkey day. I am my Grandma's granddaughter after all!
Okay one last look. Look away now! Its just so hard because its all so pretty!
So this is what I came home with - flower-wise :) Scabiosa - love!
 Ranunculus - a fave!
 Ruffle-edged cyclamen! Can you stand it?
 "Patience" David Austin roses. Is someone trying to tell me something?
 Weird stuff called silver brunia, but I really wanted grey in the arrangement
 KALE! Maybe I can make kale chips with it after I'm done? But I'm not sure I even like kale chips!
 Tiny little sedums - actually they are called echeveria...
...and even more unusual varieties
 I found these great birch containers at the market. But you could make your own pretty easily. Just get a round cylindrical container and white paint. Then glue some birch bark on in bits and pieces. If you don't have any birch bark around, just play around with a sharpie and draw lines like you'll see on the ribbon I found that I used for napkin rings
 First, I soaked a block of oasis and filled the container with a plastic liner so water wouldn't leak all over when I watered the arrangement. Then I smushed (love the the technical talk) the foam over the circumference so I could figure out how much to cut to fit
 Pretty easy - just cut the block where the lines are!
Tada! Ready for flowers!
 First up - kale and roses
The stems on the kale were really long so I trimmed them quite a bit
 And I got a GREAT deal on these David Austin roses because they were getting rotten
 All I had to do was carefully pull the guard petals (the outermost petals on a rose) off and the rose looked as good as new
 David Austin roses are my favorites for their fragrance and their kind of bloom-within-a-bloom look
I even saved the guard petals and put them on a pretty plate for my guest bath
Because the kale was so big, I used only two in the arrangement. I usually try to stay away from an even amount of flowers, (funny old rule about wanting asymmetry) but here I knew I was going to be adding a lot more fun stuff.
 Next up - scabiosa and ranunculus (I won't even tell you what the computer keeps autocorrecting scabiosa to, its gross, even if the flowers aren't) :)
First, I placed the scabiosa in the center and used its height, color contrast and delicacy next to the kale
Don't forget to use ALL the parts of the flower. These little buds, even if they never open, add so much to the arrangement being all twisty and a little spiky.
See? They add a little glam factor!
Nestling in the ranunculus adds another layer of sophistication to the arrangement 
(even if I'm not sophisticated) ha ha!
Come on down, sliver brunia! Kind like the odd relative to billy balls aka craspedia, but such a great color!
I used the silvery grey to flow through the arrangement. I didn't want it to dominate.
omg! Aren't these cyclamen stems amazing? All frilly and ruffly (is that a word?)
And when used in the arrangement, they look like butterflies that have just landed to rest
pretty is…
now come the succulents
Because they are so fragile and the arrangement isn't going anywhere, I just placed the succulent amongst the flowers and gave it a nice little bed
See how tiny this is?
All snuggled in for a snowy night
This was one of the weirder ones, but I just had to take it home. 
It looked lonely…
It sort of mimics the ruffles on the cyclamen - pretty cool
 And there you have it! A little snowy bouquet to get in the spirit!
Don't you love the mix of colors? Wish I could take credit, but its not me who creates these amazing things…I just put them together!
To stay in the mood, I made a yummy, boozy cheese fondue - the recipe will appear shortly - hiccup! :)
And for the dinner napkin rings I even found this great birch ribbon to match my container!
 Its so nice by the fire - bring it on, Frosty!
Even the dragon andiron that once sat in the sunny Palm Beach home of my husband's grandmother is ready! 

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