Summer Flower Bouquets

I love summer flowers, especially the free-flowing wildness of perennials. Coneflowers, hydrangeas, phlox and black-eyed susans are all blooming in my yard right now.

I like to bring that same look into my house with loose floral arrangements full of perennials this time of year.  I dream of having a flower cutting garden in my backyard with rows and rows of flowers where I can go cut them to bring them inside.  My grandma had this type of garden and there is something so wonderful about having a garden grown purely for beauty, rather than for practicality.

I have not yet started that garden in my yard (probably due to my comment above about being a lazy gardener) so I like to treat myself occasionally to fresh flowers at the grocery store.  It is such a simple treat and really not that expensive.  This past week I was thrilled when I saw my grocery store had bouquets of  what they called “Farmers Market” flowers.  They had some arrangements already made up in Mason jars, but were also just selling unarranged bouquets.  Because I have a million Mason jars at home (my mom moved a few years ago and she had accumulated Mason jars from canning) I bought the unarranged bouquet and decided to make my own arrangements.

You can buy Mason jars anywhere now.  I have seen them at Target, the grocery store and JoAnn’s.  The wide mouth ones work best for flower arranging.  Also, you should buy the metal rings to go over the top to give the jar more of a finished look.

I am not an expert flower arranger so I simply trimmed the ends and pulled off some of the extraneous leaves.  You definitely do not want the leaves in the water because it makes the water slimey and after a few days incredibly smelly.

Out of the bouquet I bought at the store I got two arrangements, a big one and a smaller one.  On the arrangements at the store they had put raffia ribbon around the metal ring to give it a little extra polish.  I did not have any raffia ribbon but I did have some other miscellaneous ribbons and string (I have a lot of craft supplies just because).

For the big jar, I had a piece of yarn with pom poms on the ends that I had saved, that had held together a packet of dishtowels I bought at Anthropologie.  I wrapped it around the top of the jar a couple of times and then loosely tied it.

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For the smaller jar I used some baker’s twine.  I cut six strands to a length of roughly 24 inches (if I don’t know how much length I am going to need I try and cut it too long because I can always trim).  I wrapped the strands around the top of the jar and then knotted it.  I trimmed the ends to roughly the same length and then let them hang.

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And out of that one bouquet at the grocery store I made two arrangements that I can enjoy in my house.  When I plant my cutting garden I hope to have arrangements all summer for me to enjoy and to share with my friends.

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I hope you are finding ways to bring summer into your house.  -June

 

Easy Artwork

This is such an easy project to create simple artwork that I am almost embarrassed to post it.  However, I am sure that I saw this idea somewhere else so I thought I would share.

I needed some artwork for my guest room and frankly did not want to spend any money on it.  The room does not get used that often.  Also, I tend to buy art and other decorative items for the home organically.  I cannot go out with the mission of finding artwork for a specific space.  If I see something I may buy it and then figure out where to put it.  So knowing those factors, I decided to make my own artwork for the guest room.  I was at Paper Source  (this is a Chicago-based company with retail locations many places now and online as well) and I found this lovely single sheet wrapping paper.

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I love hydrangeas.  They were on my wedding invitations, in my bouquet and centerpieces and we have several of them in our backyard so this was an easy choice.  I bought two sheets of the paper for $3.50 a piece.  I then picked up some inexpensive frames (these are the Ribba from IKEA and the opening is 11×14).

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Then I got out my scissors and cut the paper to fit in the frame.  The paper should be cut a little wider than the mat opening so that you don’t have any gaps.  And voila some inexpensive artwork created in around 15 minutes or less.

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I often get compliments on my artwork and when I tell people it is simply wrapping paper they do not believe me.  I think the trick is to use a heavier paper with a beautiful design.  Have fun picking out some new artwork for your home.  -June