Changing & Arranging

For the past few weeks I really believed there was a confused flock of birds in our neighborhood that somehow escaped from the tropics.  I kid you not.  Every day I hear outrageous squaws; I literally thought there were toucans gallivanting in the trees outside and I have been waiting for a spider monkey to show up on my back patio looking for peanut butter.

It turns out that our neighbor owns some kind of parrot; the colorful kind that says “Polly wants a cracker.”  But here’s the thing… it’s just one parrot.  This is not a family of gallivanting toucans, it’s just one boisterous bird stuck in someone’s bedroom with an open window.

This completely obnoxious bird makes me want to lose my mind.  It makes me think about Hawaii then I get depressed because we aren’t going there anytime soon so I cope with the impending fall weather by buying bright, fresh flowers because they are cheaper than a plane ticket…

I often purchase a few small bouquets so I can arrange my own vases at home.  I started doing this when we had our house on the market and I wanted to use one bouquet to fill vases in multiple rooms.  Arranging flowers in a vase is easy to do yourself but it takes a little more effort.

Start out by choosing your stems.  You can sometimes find great flowers at farmer’s markets but today’s picks came from the grocery store.  I picked up a small bouquet of carnations (always a favorite because they last so long) and an arrangement of sustainably grown vase filler that consists of eucalyptus and various leaves with small white and purple flowers.

To make your own arrangements, pull out all of the vases you would like to fill and set them near your work space.  Take the flowers out of their cello wrap and place them either in a pitcher of water or flat on your workspace.

Fill each vase with a little bit of flower food and water.

Start cutting your flowers one-by-one based on the height and size of your vase; be careful to cut the stems at an angle and to keep some leaves on each stem so the flowers last.  It’s always better to leave the stems too long and trim them carefully; if you cut the stems too short you will either have to find another vase or you have ruined the flower.

I like to start by arranging the base flower in each vase; in this case, the green filler.   I only use about half of the base flowers initially because after I add the “pop of color” flowers I usually want to add more greenery.  Symmetry is always wonderful in flower arrangements but it is not always possible.

Step back and take a look at the flowers; in the photo above I noticed some unbalance between the bright purple carnations and the other flowers so I tried to even it out and this is when I used the rest of my vase filler.  I also found a few bare spots and used some filler in those places.  Be sure to examine the flowers from all angles!

Here is my final product:

So, it’s not exactly like Hawaii but I think it makes a cheery centerpiece.

I love using this technique to stretch one or two small bouquets to give pops of color throughout the entire house!

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