February 14, 2015

7 Valentine Arrangements a la Supermarket bouquets

Valentine's Day is one of those holidays that's either one of the cheeriest, or dreariest, depending on your relationship status. Right now, I'm so tired of hearing about the "Big Hunk of Love" Teddy Bear, the "Open Heart" necklace, the "Hoody Footy" pajamas and the "I Hate Steven Singer" gold dipped roses. But if they make your heart sing, then I'm happy for you!!

This year, I'm alone (and prepping for yet more snow!) because my husband's driving to Florida to work on a boat. I can't tell you how many times a year I say that. So, I figured I would challenge myself and go to the supermarket and see what types of flowers they had for sale and make arrangements. All of these are SUPER easy! You can whip them up in no time for an intimate dinner or just yourself, and that's the point! This day is about the celebration of love, whether you're in a relationship, single, or your significant other is a puppy. 

Flowers ALWAYS make me happy, and since I was alone, I wanted to add some cheer to my empty house. And after listening to country music all day, and all these sad songs(!), I needed some cheering up. I've never listened to as much country music as I have today. Quite the revelation!!
 I was kind of horrified at the price of these flowers, many of them in stinky condition! I guess by having access to the flower market in Boston, I'm spoiled because I'm used to healthy and cheaper(!) flowers than what I found at my local grocery store. But times being what they are, and with a snowstorm bearing down, I was ready for the challenge.
I grabbed a bunch of containers, not sure which ones I'd use. I ended up using some of these and some others. That's the beauty of flower arranging. It just kind of comes to you as you go along. I guess kind of like how a painter paints. (I'm a terrible painter so I'm only going on what I hear :)

Arrangement #1
First up, an arrangement that uses a "frog" or "kenzan" or a "pin". So many names, so little time.
I put my frog in the center of my new Mariposa Nantucket bowl that my husband kindly left me as a Valentine gift before he left. Such a thoughtful guy!
 Since these spray roses were such a pretty classic shade of pink, I thought they deserved a special container all by themselves.
Knowing that they were too long, I trimmed the entire bunch first to start…
 …and then placed the first stem straight on top of the pins to establish the height of the arrangement.
From this height, I'll base the rest of the stems.

Rotating the bowl, I evenly placed a total of five stems. 
 Then I trimmed a little more to make the next bunch a little shorter with the goal being a rounded arrangement when it was all said and done.

 REALLY easy, but no less pretty!
Arrangement #2
It couldn't be more easy to create an arrangement using floating flowers and candles. By far, it's the easiest way to set a mood, if that's your plan!
I started with my favorite Mackenzie-Childs bowl...

…added some water…
 ...grabbed the bunch of gerbera daisies I bought...
 snipped their little heads off (sounds so awful, doesn't it?)
And if the bloom wasn't all the way open, I smushed it open a little more.
Then I plopped the flower heads in the water. See? They float!
 Then I added the floating candles...
…lit them, and voila! Instant glam!!
Arrangement #3
Okay, this is a cheater's container, but I have to say that I LOVE it!
All these multi-height vases are part of the tray on which they sit. Pretty genius if you ask me. No thought needed, but the outcome is so fab! If you can't find one of these multi-vase things (highfalutin words here, ha ha), its easy enough to make. Find some small bud vases, and a little wooden tray that you can find at a craft store. Then glue the vases onto the tray and spray paint the entire thing in glossy white, or whatever color floats your boat! Easy!
 I used wax flowers for this arrangement. I love wax flowers and they're pretty easy to find. Not only do these little flowers last a long time due to their woody stems, but they also have a really sweet fragrance. And what looks like a small bunch can be extended to lots of flowers if you cut the stems at various points making sure to get all the little pieces.
 I was having fun placing the stems into the various vases.
A simple little arrangement, surrounded by candy - yum!
Arrangement #4
I'm realizing as I write this, that I must have been in a monochromatic, or single blossom mood. Who knew? 
Anyway, I chose tulips for the next arrangement and wanted to have fun using a container most often used for air plants. The best sources for these are the stores, West Elm and Terrain.
 To get the tulip to drink the small amount of water that would be in the container, I trimmed the stem...
 …and then carefully bent the tulip so it would curve.
Then ever so carefully, I curved just three tulips into the container. I cut each stem at a different length so the blooms would be at different points in the vase.
Sadly, the snowbank beyond my pretty little arrangement with be about a foot and a half taller by tomorrow. I'm kind of tired of shoveling at this point :(
Now that I've used many of the flowers I bought, I just took the rest and laid them out to see which ones spoke to me for the next arrangement.
Arrangement #5
This was one of my favorites because it's in a giant martini glass.
You can find these at Michael's and other craft stores.
Analyzing the big pile of flowers on my counter, I started with this green puffy stuff, otherwise known as Green Trick Dianthus. What amazes me is that it's actually a carnation and I usually hate carnations, but this one I LOVE!
With the glass half full (sorry, couldn't resist), I plopped a head of the dianthus in the water….
…then added a white hydrangea... 
 …a pretty coral rose...
 …and then a glammy red rose...
 …then snipped some alstromeria.
Don't the blooms look sort of look orchid-like when separated from their stems?
I added a bunch in and around the other flowers,
filled my mermaid martini vase with pink cosmos, of course,

and dreamed about a tropical Valentine's Day, with a husband :)
Arrangement #6
This is so easy, it's silly, but really cute, nonetheless. 
It starts with this little burlap bag I found at a craft store.
Then I used a small plastic bag, like the size you'd use for birthday party favors, and filled it up a quarter of the way with water.
I carefully stuck the plastic bag inside the burlap bag, grabbed the rest of the tulips that I still had and trimmed their stems pretty short to fit inside. I also peeled away the tired outside tulip leaves.
I pulled the drawstring tight and tied it into a bow. 
So easy and yet so cute!
Arrangement #7
 After that big pile of flowers I started with, this is what I had left.
 So, I used one of my favorite vases. I love the wobbly edge this one has.
 Then I took the greens that always come with grocery store bouquets that I knew I wouldn't use and ...
…shoved them into the vase to use as a kind of "oasis" or "frog" or basically support for the flowers in the arrangement and as a way to hide the flower stems.
I started with the greenish-white hydrangeas and added them in the center of the vase.
For filler flowers, I used white and pink alstromeria. I just cut the stems shorter than the hydrangeas to fill in around the base.
Don't worry, it'll look better soon!
Mini chartreuse poms add a little zip!
Then, nestled in and among the other flowers, I placed the straggling roses; a couple purpley ones, a coral bud and a few red. I like that they peek out, rather than dominate the arrangement.
I added the rest of the wax flower for a little textural fun!
One thing I've learned in my years of hosting meetings for various local groups, is that you should always have a dish filled with nuts, chocolate, and here a few candy hearts. It seems so simple, but I can't tell you how quickly these little dishes get gobbled up!
 I even found nautically themed Valentine's Day cards!
I hope this day brings you cheer of whatever sort you want!
Happy Valentine's Day!!!