Monthly Archives

September 2008

How-To's

Make Your Own Asparagus Vase!

September 29, 2008

The asparagus vase is always a hit! Everybody loves it and it’s so easy to make. Simply take the rubber band from around a bunch of asparagus and put it around a clear beverage glass. Take a stalk of asparagus and place it between the rubber band and the glass. Continue until the glass is totally covered – this usually takes about one bunch of asparagus. Cover the rubber band with a ribbon, raffia, bandana, napkin or whatever you may have around the house.

Asparagus Vase
Fill the glass half way with water and arrange with flowers of your choice. In this image I used Black-Eyed Susan’s right out of my garden.

Can you guess which veggie I’ll use next?

Fall Decor

Autumn’s Bounty – Fall Decor

September 24, 2008

I love the fall – as a stand-alone season! I hate the fact that it means the summer is over and that winter comes next, but fall is a nature’s bounty of beauty. A farmer’s market, green market, or fruit and veggie stand offers as many fresh decorating elements as a flower shop! The best way to celebrate all that nature has to offer is to incorporate all aspects into your home decorating, party décor and gift giving.

I have many ideas to share and will start with using fruits and vegetables as containers for flower arrangements. One of my favorites is the butternut squash. The shape and texture of the squash makes it hard to tell at first that it’s real and not a ceramic container.

Butternut Squash
 

How to:

  • Choose a squash that stands up nice and straight in a size that works for you.
  • Cut off the top of the squash.
  • Scrape out as much of the squash as you can, being careful not to get too close to the outer skin. This is a little hard to do, so just be patient.
  • You can either fill the hole with water and arrange the flowers or use a small piece of floral foam cut to fit the opening. Foam works best with flowers that have firm stems, such as roses, carnations, and poms.

I will feature a new idea every couple of days, so check back and be inspired!

How-To's

How To Choose Fresh Flowers

September 17, 2008

Look for flowers that are not yet fully developed. Most cut flowers, with the exception of some tropical flowers and fresh orchids, will continue to open after they’ve been put into the vase. A flower bud should be just slightly open–this is a general rule of thumb. There are some new rose varieties that have that full-blown look right from the beginning and stay like that for over a week, but these are an exception. If you’re not sure if a rose is fresh, lightly squeeze the rose with your finger tips and see if there is some substance there. If it feels full, and not to soft, it should last for over a week.

Blooms

Blooms should be firm and blemish free (unlike the “bruised pedals” below!)
Bruised Pedals

Foliage should be crisp and green, not yellowing or becoming mushy (shown below)
Yellow Foliage

Check the bottom of the stem. If the bottom of the stem is discolored, it usually is an indication that the flower is old or has been out of water for too long.

Flower Care & Handling

Flower Care

September 16, 2008

I believe that having flowers in your life on a regular basis, no matter how simple, makes your life a little nicer and a little more special. I will be sharing many ideas and tips on creative ways to bring flowers into all aspects of your life. Hopefully you’ll also be the recipient of many gifts of flowers. With that said, I thought it would be helpful to give you a few tips on the care and handling of fresh cut flowers. The more of these tips you follow, the longer your flowers will last. We’ll start with the basics and I will add helpful tips and information on seasonal flowers, tools of the trade, and design techniques as we go along, so remember to check back and see what’s new.

Entertainment

Hosting an Emmy Viewing Party

September 10, 2008

Watching the Emmy’s can be fun but watching it with your friends is even better. Not only do you get to dish immediately but you can feel so much more a part of all the excitement. Decide how much planning and preparing you feel like doing and take it from there. You can go all out or keep it simple, hire professionals to do it all, or assign tasks to your friends and share the fun! Here are a few ideas to get you inspired. Do them all, pick a few or come up with your own ideas – just remember to have fun with it. I’d love to hear your ideas too so if you get a chance send them to me and I will share with everybody!

Emmy Party Buffet Table

INVITATIONS
Set the tone right from the beginning with the invitations. You can design them yourself, send an e-vite, e-mail, text, or just call everyone. Besides letting your guests know the time and date an invitation is a good way to get the party started. Why not suggest that your guests come dressed to honor one of the nominated shows, for example:

THEMES
Grey’s Anatomy – Scrubs
The Office – A Dunder Miflin t-shirt
Ugly Betty – Lots of colors and patterns
Lost – Tattered clothes
Two & a Half Men – a Nate Nast style shirt (the kind Charlie Sheen wears)
Friday Nights Lights – A football or cheerleader uniform
Mad Men – a vintage style dress or pencil skirt, pearls, an up-do, or suit with thin tie and slicked down hair

Or make it a glam nights and tell your guests to be “red-carpet” ready. Put down a red carpet leading to your front door and have a “camera-man” and microphone ready (either a fake one or real one using a karaoke machine – I can’t imagine a home without one!) and interview your guests as they arrive. If you are recording this you can either play back later in the night or you already have an excuse for your next party – the “after show” or recap. You should film throughout the night – asking for predictions, critiquing the stars outfits as well as the ensembles worn by your friends at your Emmy Party, etc.

DECORATIONS
This is an area where you can really be creative and have some fun. I suggest having a buffet table set up so that guests can help themselves. You can have everything set up in advance and this way you can be a part of the party and watch the Emmy’s on TV too. Here are some ideas (along with how to’s) that are inspired by some of this year’s nominated shows:

PUSHING DAISIES

  • A gerbera daisies and wheat grass centerpiece

THE OFFICE

  • Pencil and rubber band vases

LOST

  • Mini palm trees each with one of the numbers on the container

GREY’S ANATOMY

  • Glasses, a pitcher of Bloody Mary mix, and syringes filled with vodka for a “make your own” drink station

UGLY BETTY

  • A bright tray of Columbian foods in a splashes of various colors:
  • Arepas
  • Electric Chimichurri Sauce
  • Empanadas Paisas

Obviously if you are hosting an Emmy viewing party then a TV is a must. Make sure that you have lots of seating available where the TV is and I suggest setting up the buffet table in a separate area. Some other ideas are to put together a play list of TV themes songs on your i-pod and have some TV trivia games planned.

Take a look at the tips I shared with Better TV viewers on how to create the perfect Emmy Party.

How-To's

Fun Finger Foods

September 9, 2008

Ugly Betty - Fun Finger Foods

A bright tray of Columbian and Mexican foods in a splashes of various colors:

  • Arepas
  • Electric Chimichurri Sauce
  • Empanadas Paisas
  • Tortilla chips

All of these are fun finger foods. Garnish with fresh cilantro, peppers and sliced limes. You can get all of these recipes from www.recipezaar.com or pick up from a local take out place.

How-To's

“Lost” Viewing Party Mini Palm Trees

September 7, 2008

Lost - 6 Mini palm trees

These came in plain white plastic pots. I sprayed painted them gold as a nod to the Emmy Statue and painted one of the six significant numbers (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42) on each. It will be interesting to see how many of your guests know what these numbers mean.

The mini palms work nicely because they can easily be moved around the table as you add and take away various dishes.

How-To's

Daisies and Wheat Grass Centerpiece

September 6, 2008

Pushing Daisies - Daisies and wheat grass center piece

What you’ll need:

  • A tray that is a least 1” in height.
  • A tray of fresh or faux (that’s what I used) wheat grass.
  • Oasis – if using faux wheat grass
  • Daisy poms

Step x Step:

  1. I bought a wooden storage box at Michael’s Crafts that was the perfect size for my centerpiece and used just the top. To honor the golden Emmy statue I spray painted it gold. After the party I can use the storage box for another project and just repaint it.
  2. Because the tray is made from wood and not waterproof I lined it with a plastic garbage bag that I cut to size.
  3. Using one brick of floral foam I cut three ½” think pieces and still had left over oasis!
  4. Thoroughly soak the pieces of oasis and line the tray.
  5. I found terrific artificial wheat grass in the flower market on 28th St. in NYC and bought 4 pieces @ $10 each. I love the real wheat grass and it is inexpensive (about $12-15 for a xx by xx tray). I use it for a lot of different projects and thought it would be easier to have the artificial on hand to work with. If you are using the real stuff you don’t need the floral foam – just cut to size and place directly into the tray.
  6. Cut individual flowers from a stem of daisy poms, on an angle, and insert thru the blades of grass and into the foam. If you are using real wheat grass insert the daisy directly into the soil.
How-To's

“The Office” Pencil Vases

September 5, 2008

The Office - Pencil and rubber band vases

What you’ll need:

  • A tall cylindrical beverage glass
  • 25-20 pencils for each glass
  • 5 rubber bands
  • flowers

Step x Step:

  1. Put at least 1 rubber band around the middle of the glass.
  2. Insert the unsharpened pencils between the rubber band and the glass until you have gone all the way around the glass.
  3. Fill the glass about half way with warm water and flower food.
  4. Give each stem of flowers a fresh cut on an angle and place in glass.