Wednesday, February 22, 2012

In the air

white pitcher as vase

Hey there! Have you seen all the closet posts from earlier this week? You MUST check out those links! I’m truly inspired!

I took the dog out this morning (without a coat!) and couldn’t help but notice all of the buds on the trees and plants!! Uhh, am I wrong or is it still February? It has been the mildest winter for us, and I although I thought for sure we’d get a nasty dose of not-so-fast by now, so far so good.

It’s been so nice lately, I can’t help but get excited about spring. Normally that would be just cruel, but this year, it seems more acceptable. ;)

I love adding fresh flowers where I can in the house, but it’s usually in the kitchen, where we can enjoy them best. I have a couple places I love to keep flowers in there, no matter what time of the year. They just make me HAPPY.

I’ve shopped a few places over the years, and our local florist has an incredible selection, but they are not cheap. I always end up going back to Trader Joes – their prices can’t be beat! They make it easy to add some fresh around here.

For years I wasn’t great at arranging flowers, but over time I’ve figured out tricks that work. I started with a simple bouquet for only $4:

My first step is always to use the floral “food” they put in with the flowers. Although I’ve heard if you just crush up regular aspirin -- it inhibits the growth of bacteria and keeps them pretty longer.

I can usually keep flowers for about two weeks, and even then they are still looking OK, they just kind of start falling apart.

And 90 percent of the time, I’m a all one flower kind of girl – I think an arrangement of one type and color makes a BIG impact.

I used to just take them out of the package and plop them in:

But really, they don’t look too happy that way. ;)

So I start snipping (I hear cutting them at an angle under water is best) until they are the height I want. And I separate each stem so I can put each one individually:

tips for arranging flowers

I like to cut the ones in the middle a bit taller than those on the sides, so they make a nice mound of flowers. :)

I also pull off most leaves, at least those that will be under the water:

how to arrange flowers

I heard once that it helps the water from getting mucky and it works well for me.

A few minutes of cutting and fluffing, and you’ve got a perfectly lovely little arrangement:ball jar vase

But this time, I had some green mums I was going to use elsewhere, and decided they would look pretty perfect combined with the purple (say that three times fast):

green and purple flowersNow it’s even MORE lovely!

Obviously I changed out the vase to my white Target pitcher. (You can see how I started with a different DIY pitcher here and how that one eventually failed here.)

The $13 Target version has held up great:

butcher block island counter

I also picked up some forsythia at TJ’s, which I’ve never tried. I wanted a tall skinny vase for that one and remembered a cheapy one I’ve had in my stash:

floral vase redo

I think it came with Valentine’s flowers (thanks dear!) and I’ve always loved the lines of it. It just needed some updating.

I primed it once, and then used my gold Valspar spray paint from Lowes to give it a little makeover:

gold spray paint

I think the design is just the coolest!

I’m not sure how long it will take the buds to open, but you can already see the yellow peeking out a bit:

forcing forsythia

I’m hoping in a couple weeks it will look something like this:

for (source)

Have you ever tried forcing forsythia?

When it’s in the budget, a few flowers go a long way to making me and our space happier. ;)

It also helps when I clean off the MASSIVE PILE on the island too:

butcher block island

Just sayin’. And that’s totally free. Gah.

Another little trick I sometimes use is to put a plastic grocery bag down in the vase if the flowers are too short. It gives them something to “stand” on and makes them even fluffier. :) And I love me some fluffy flowers.

Do you treat you and your house to flowers every so often? Do you have a favorite?Any floral arranging tips? Do tell!!

And now let us all send good vibes to Mother Nature so she continues to be oh-so-kind. ;)

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