Taking care of ourselves often means making our spaces pretty, and I love a woman that exercises her artistic muscles to make things around her pretty! I had the privelidge of sharing a year in South Africa with Kirsten. She lived with us, loved us, and we walked through thick and thin together! Her creativity blows me away. Always with a knack for putting the unexpected together in a delightful way, I love what she brings us today on arranging flowers. It’s kind of a lost art isn’t it?
– bethany xo
Convenient Centerpieces – by Kirsten Graves
” I, as much as the next girl, love a well-set table, and I, as much as the next girl, don’t always have the time in my schedule or the money in my budget to decorate as elaborately as Pinterest tells me I aught to. I can however, get my hands on the most basic floral tools, and I can pick up some flowers while I’m out grocery shopping or cut some from the yard and throw them together nicely. I think with the busy-ness of life today, most homemakers don’t have time to make three extra stops looking for flowers, and vessels, and tools, and we don’t always have time to learn the intricacies of a craft.Today, we need the ability to find most of our needs in one place. We need affordable decorations that are easily thrown together, and we need to be able to use them more than once. We need the confidence to tackle an easy project with simple tools and plenty of inspiration. Homemakers today need simplicity and ease, even though we may feel constant pressure from the world around us for more complexities, and extravagancies. As we try to pare down unnecessary waste in our lives, we learn that the basics are always abundantly enough.
Most of us these days, have access to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods; both stores keep a great selection of fresh cut flowers that go beyond carnations and dyed daisies. If you don’t live near one of these stores, farmers’ markets, floral shops, and garden centers will usually carry a great selection of fresh, local flowers. Don’t rule out fresh cut either, keep an eye out for wild flowers, and the neighbors who meticulously care for their gardens may not mind sharing a head of hydrangea if you ask nicely. For my arrangements, I was able to pick up three different types of flowers, from one local grocery store, and they even threw in a roll of floral tape from their garden center!
I didn’t want to spend money on vases, so I looked around the house. Thankfully my sister got married last year, so there is no shortage of cute mason jar or old milk glass vases lying around. Not everyone has that luxury, so I looked in the cupboards for something more accessible; I came across a recently inherited loaf pan, and a 4-pack beer caddy that is really appealing aesthetically (two thumbs up for good product design). I had some old scissors lying around, and a new roll of floral tape, but that’s where my supply list stopped.
I made an arrangement in the Loaf Pan:
I have a basic knowledge of floral arrangement, so here’s a bit of what I know. Starting with my loaf pan, taping a grid on top with floral tape (though, scotch tape really does work just fine if you don’t have floral tape). This is an easy way to hold looser arrangements in place, or to keep flowers in place when using broader vessels. After my grid was complete, I added a filler, for me it was a variety of Goldenrod, then placed my hydrangea as an anchor (this flower will draw the eye in the arrangement, usually a larger flower), and added some thistles for accents. Seriously easy, three steps. Filler, anchor accent.
Then I made an arrangement in the Beer Caddy:
For the beer caddy, I placed small juice glasses in the four compartments. Then I worked my way around the caddy filling glasses on each side according to the same steps as the loaf pan; goldenrod for filler, hydrangea for anchor, and thistles for accents.
Both of these arrangements will last for about a week, especially with the help of the included plant food most flower retailers give you. However, you can also take apart these arrangements before they start to wilt, hang the flowers to dry, then rearrange the dry flowers for a continually usable arrangement.