Being a grandparent is the best excuse to be a kid again! At least one afternoon a week I plan some type of creative activity to do with my granddaughter Juliette – watercolor painting, calligraphy, planting a fairy garden, and one of my all time favorites – coloring! According to Digital Trends website, adult coloring books are the latest, and definitely least techy, method that people are choosing to help relax! In the past few weeks anywhere from four to eight of the top 20 best selling books on Amazon are coloring books!
Beach Inspired Decor for a Summer Soiree
To design in a large shell simply place a piece of saturated floral foam in the opening of the shell, cut the floral stems short and insert into the floral foam until the entire opening is filled with flowers.
Coastal Table Placecards That Are as Easy as a Summer Breeze
Do the same thing with other containers such as the white ceramic pedestal bowl filled with bronze dendrobium orchids. Buy full stems of orchids and cut each flower off of the main stem and insert into the wet foam that you have placed in the container. If the container isn’t waterproof simply add a plastic liner first before placing the foam and making the arrangement.
Sand dollars make the perfect place cards. Tucking a single cymbidium under the sand dollar brings it altogether for a customized look that’s sure to impress!
The History of Labor Day
While Labor Day signals the end of summer for many—and the weekend is often filled with beach parties, barbecues and picnics—I’m guessing that most people don’t think about the historical and lasting significance of Labor Day.
Celebrated since 1882, Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894 to honor the contributions of the working men and women who built this country. Indeed, laborers are the backbone of this nation, and Labor Day is a time to recognize the dignity of work and the belief that honest, fairly-compensated labor gives meaning and structure to our lives. This is, and always will be, a core American value.
Celebrating the American Worker
This Labor Day, I want to honor Mary Doyle Keefe. As the model for Norman Rockwell’s “Rosie the Riveter,” Mary Doyle Keefe became the symbol of American women working on the home front during World War II. Ms. Keefe died recently at her home in Simsbury, Connecticut at age 92.
There was another image, similar to that of Rosie, at the same time that was part of a nationwide campaign to sell war bonds. While not the same character, the message was the same: “We Can Do It.”
I created this beautiful bouquet for Mother’s Day one year using an old galvanized toolbox as the container and filled it with a variety of garden flowers. There are many versions of the original “We Can Do It” image. I loved this version with the baby being held in the strong arm of the working woman. To me, it says so much about the many roles a woman plays.
This Sunday—August 2nd—is both Sister’s Day and Friendship Day. Peggy is my sister, and she’s also my best friend… and I can’t imagine my life without her. One of the things that I love most about Peggy is her laughter and how much we laugh when we are together. She’s just like our mom was in that way.
This post is in honor of my sister. The photo was taken on a recent road trip along the California coast. Our husbands are the two men in the picture who are oblivious to the fact that Peggy has fallen! Peggy and I were laughing so hard we could hardly breathe, but I did manage to capture the moment! The fresh cut flowers in a vintage blue mason jar and the Sandra Magsamen artisan plaque are the perfect way for me to send a smile to Peggy this Sister’s Day!
Let your sister(s) and your very best girlfriends know how important they are to you.
1-800 Flowers.com makes it easy with a collection of gifts starting at as little as $10 including delivery! Here are a few of my favorites. Go to our Sister’s Day or Friendship Day Collections to see these products and more!
Flowers for Summer Entertaining
Are you planning a summer celebration or simple get together? Whether it’s a backyard barbecue, picnic in the park, or pool party, flowers can make it an event to remember. Here are some examples of my favorite summer styles and themes from French Country to Coastal Living and Poolside Cabana with a little American Farmer’s Market and Tropical Paradise thrown in for good measure!
Add a Touch of French Country Décor to your Table
The French Country style of decorating, with its warm and casual feel, will easily fool your guests into thinking that they’re dining al fresco in the fields of Provence. The easiest way to create this look is to use rustic, Old World style containers brimming with fresh cut flowers. The most iconic French flowers that I would recommend using are sunflowers and, if available, fresh lavender. French Country style incorporates the full spectrum of the color wheel: sunny yellow and soft gold, fiery red and burnt rust, bright grass green and dark hunter green, cobalt blue soft ocean tones—all of these shades are found in this wonderful decorating style.
Have all those images of the Royal Family’s celebrations—like Princess Charlotte’s recent christening—got you wishing you had a reason to wear a pretty straw hat and a flowing floral dress? Don’t sit around waiting for an invitation to Kensington Palace—throw a Victorian-style tea party of your own! You don’t need any reason other than getting a few girlfriends together to sip tea and eat cucumber sandwiches. But “tea party” is also a great theme for a shower, a little girl’s birthday party or a pre-wedding luncheon!
The sunflower has been adopted as a symbol of happiness, strength, a love of the sun and sunlight. Because the sunflower always turns its face to the sun, it has also come to symbolize faith and the constant search for light, or enlightenment. Everybody loves sunflowers!
Here are a few ways to incorporate the irresistible beauty and warmth of the sunflower into your next summer get-together.
Vintage Sunflower Tabletop
Use Antique Single Flower Vases
For an updated twist on a traditional centerpiece, an assortment of vintage-style green and yellow bottles, each holding a single sunflower, are lined down the center of the table creating a garden of sunflowers with their faces looking up to the sun!
How to Make Sunflower Placemats
Sunflowers come in many different colors and sizes—from mini to giant. Our super-size sunflower placemats make a big impact and are easy to make!
What You’ll Need:
• Cardboard circle – approximately 10″ in diameter
• Salal leaves – 20-25 leaves in various sizes (fake leaves can work too for a longer lasting placemat)
• Yellow spray paint
• Brown paint
Cut one cardboard circle for each placemat. (This is a good use for old cardboard boxes!) Each circle should be about 10″. I used a dinner plate as a template to trace a circle onto the cardboard, which worked perfectly. Use the sponge to add brown paint to your circle, leaving a bit of the original cardboard color showing through to create a textured look for your sunflower center.
Cut all of the salal leaves from the stem and spray paint them yellow. Once they have dried, glue the wider end of the larger sized leaves to the edge of the cardboard circle.
Glue the smaller leaves between each of the larger leaves.
With fresh salal leaves, the sunflower placemats can be made a day or two before you plan to use them. Keep them flat and in a cool place.
STEM DYED ROSES
Painted flowers of all sorts have become extremely popular over the last year or two. There are basically two different methods for painting flowers—stem dyed and surface painting. One of the most popular by far is the stem dyed multi-colored rose. You may hear them referred to as rainbow, tie dyed, or kaleidoscope roses. This method, used to achieve a multi-colored rose, is one of the more complicated processes, but the results are stunning! While the flower growers that we work with at 1-800-Flowers.com have this process down to a science, it’s also a fun project to try on your own. This was actually the first time I tried it myself, and it was so interesting to see how the petals on each rose accepted the various dyes a little bit differently, creating a bouquet of roses that is as unique as it is beautiful!
Fourth of July celebrations (and decorations) are the best! Whether you’re celebrating America’s birthday with friends and family on the beach or in your backyard, here are some easy ways to add little patriotic touches of red, white and blue with these fun DIY floral 4th of July decoration ideas!
DIY Mason Jar American Flag Vase
Seriously, is there anything you can’t do with a few mason jars? I took three small, clear mason jars and painted them in a stars and stripes tribute to Old Glory. One stem of blue hydrangea in each and you have a beautiful, fun, inexpensive centerpiece. You could paint a couple more while you’re at it and use them to hold cutlery or straws, or even tea lights, creating a festive look for evening festivities.
Celebrate Dad with a Father’s Day Beer Tasting
We received such great feedback on our Wine Tasting for Mom event that I thought, why not plan something similar for Dad? This time we’re going with a beer tasting event in dad’s honor!
Thanks to an increasing appreciation for quality beer production, there are new breweries popping up all over the country. There’s a good chance that there’s one right in your neighborhood or close by. If possible, hosting your Father’s Day event right at the brewery can add a unique feel and make it more fun for everyone. Leaving the beer to the experts gives you more time to focus on the decorations and the fun details that make Dad feel loved and honored for all he does!
I reached out to Gretchen Schmidhausier, a friend of my sister, who recently fulfilled a lifelong dream and opened a microbrewery in her hometown of Neptune City, New Jersey, on the Jersey Shore. The Little Dog Brewing Company was named after Gretchen’s dog Quincy, a basenji, who is also the face of the brand!