Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Make Mine Pink

We have opened comments for a little while!

Upon the arrival of our daughter's first little girl, (after 3 boys) born at home with excellent midwives who have attended her before, we set about trying to find the perfect floral gift for her and this special little doll! I remembered the porcelin bassinett filled with flowers

that I received when my daughter was born. I searched far and wide for a florist that would supply this for her. My husband ordered one from a local florist to have sent to our daughter in the town she lived in. We were dismayed to see the results at the other end. Instead of a pink ceramic baby carriage that he had picked from the display that they showed him, she was delivered a tacky orange duck with some (in my opinion) cheap looking flowers.

My opinion now is this: if you want someone to have the kind of flowers that you really picked, buy them yourself and have someone deliver them for you or take them to the recipient. I've had several disappointments from the wired flower services, but I won't go into the atrocities they have committed over the years. Suffice it to say that when they know the buyer will not see the display, they seem to be careless in what they deliver.

I promptly returned the vase and explained to the florist that after having three boys and plenty of the orange and yellow duck-type toys and things, our daughter needed some kind of keepsake container for her little girl. I chose the porcelin buggy you see here, in pink, from another store, and put the flowers in it. I took the old vase back and exchanged it for a lovely pink porcelin baby shoe, which the florists were quite happy to trade. As I was arranging the flowers in the new containers for my daughter, she suggested that I become my own florist. I will share some of my ideas.

The grocery store provides very fresh flowers and in some stores you can buy one single rose and put it in your own vase. The bouquets are quite inexpensive compared to the florists. You can be your own florist, and the choices are limitless as to the flowers and the container. Vases can go inside of all kinds of things that the mother will want to keep: chenille covered hat boxes, little luggage sets, tea cups, and even small trunks painted white or pink or the color of your choice. You can paint just about anything with craft paints, which are non-toxic and odorless.
One of these pictures shows a clever gift of baby necessities made to look like a bouquet of flowers.

Gift bags these days, even from the dollar store, are beautiful enough to serve as a vase. Just put a jar inside the bag and fill with flowers. Most people re-use the gift bags, passing them back and forth several times before they need to be discarded. For a dollar, gift bags are a wise buy.

If you feel awkward about arranging a bouquet of flowers, try the new "frog" vases, such as the pink glass ones you see at the top. They provide little wires where you can stick individual stems. Lacking that, all you need is some masking tape which you criss-cross over your container, and insert your flowers. Nothing is more precious, however, than a bunch of flowers tied in a ribbon and put in a simple jar, so one need not be overly concerned about matching the arrangements of professional florists.

You can even make your own little boxes. Check out some of these, which you can print out on card stock. Hide a tiny little vase inside the box or use an empty bottle from your spice cabinet and buy one rose and some filler, or pick a flower from your garden.

At the top of this article is a sample of the rose bag-box that you can print out on cardstock, from the following sites. Check out the other printables here. They are very uplifting. Remember that sometimes new mothers need flowers and gifts several weeks after birth, when that down-feeling can really set in!!

Don't you think it is nice to make the floral gift a little more lasting by putting it in a useful or beautiful container that will be kept? You might even find something that could be used as a toybox or a baby keepsake box, that you can put a vase in. Small picnic baskets make great containers. Gift boxes with lids, that are already wrapped and have a bow on them, are good, reusable containers.

Decorative birdcages are good flower containers, as well as pretty enamelware buckets and tubs. The container is really the thing that is the most appealing, because it can be kept and used to improve the home. I grew tired of the plain glass vases years ago and look for unusual containers that can be used for something else. If you don't want to arrange flowers, try an ivy or small flowering indoor plant inside a little wheelbarrow or sleigh. Many of these things can be purchased at your Dollar Tree.

If you want to send something, try some artifical flowers and arrange them in a styrofoam piece in an attractive box and mail them yourself. The key to arranging flowers is balance. Check out this sit and click on all the 7 pages at the end of the article here to see how to arrange your own flowers. But be that as it is, do not be overly concerned about correct arrangements. Just gather up the beautiful flowers and put them in a container!! The flowers speak for themselves and stand on their own, without special arrangements and techinques.

By the way, the baby was born on Christmas Day, and her name is Lillian Elinor. I found a song that used to be popular, called "Daddy's Little Girl."

You're the end of the rainbow, my pot of gold

You're daddy's little girl to have and hold

A precious gem is what you are

You're mommy's bright, and shining star
You're the spirit of Christmas, my star on the tree

You're the Easter Bunny, to mommy and me

You're sugar, you're spice, you're everything nice

And you're daddy's little girl
(Repeat all)
You're the treasure I cherish, so sparkling and bright

You were touched by the holy and beautiful light

Like angels that sing, a heavenly thing

And you're daddy's little girl


Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia, how wonderful! I am so happy for you and your family. I hope your daughter had an easy delivery and that she is able to get the rest she needs!

Your flower ideas are just beautiful. Did you teach yourself or did you take a class or read a book? I love flowers but am hopeless at arranging them and have yet to meet a plant I can keep alive for more than a few weeks.

in His peace,

Anonymous said...

WONDERFUL NEWS!! We had 2 boys and then a girl, and our daughter is such a blessing to us and her brothers. GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU. We appreciate all the work you do on this blog and for your great encouragement of homemakers everywhere. much love, Marie

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your new baby granddaughter, Lady Lydia! What a precious gift of God children are!

~Miss C.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
Congratulations on the birth of your Grand daughter! How lovely that she was born on Christmas day!
I loved this post with all the pretty pink pictures!
I know what you mean too about ordering flowers for someone and the flowers turned out to be nothing like what you thought you were paying for. I too had this problem a few times so now I do it myself from the grocoery store too! And its so easy and I must admit I do love my own ideas and arrangements =)

All the best to your daughter & family,

Candy from Canada

Terri said...

Congratulations, Lady Lydia! I am so happy for you and your family!

LadySnow said...

Congratulations on the birth of your grand-daughter. I love your ideas and the pictures you have posted. Another wonderful and uplifting post.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Congratulations! I'm certain your daughter will love all things pink.

I, too, have been unhappy with delivered flower arrangements in the past few years.

I have been collecting cute "new baby" floral containers at Goodwill and planting a small plant from the store in one of them for gifts. Often for only a couple of dollars, the new mom gets a very pretty arrangement.

Lucy said...

Oh dear Lydia, many many congratulations to the family, especially Lillibeth and Aidan. Please pass on my love to her. What a wonderful "treat" from the Lord to have a splash of pink after all the boys (who are, of course huge blessings in themselves - as I know being a mummy of a sweet boy myself!) Love, Lucy

clevsea said...

I hadn't realised those were frogs until you mentioned it--they look really good!

A thousand congratulations to you, how very happy you must be!

I have a couple of grandchildren and I am hoping for many, many more.

clevsea said...

I hadn't noticed those vases were frogs until you mentioned it--they look really nice.

A thousand congratulations, you must be very happy!!


Lydia said...

If you double click on the printable pink box above, you can get the size and print it out from here, I think. It comes from the site listed below. Those boxes are beautiful!

I had my share of fouled up florist orders. Once my husband was on a trip and wanted to send flowers in a nice container. He ordered what he knew I would like, and it translated to brown daisies in a cheap brown basket plant holder. I am sorry to say he paide $30.00 for it. So now, we have given up florists and just do our own. Safeway has flowers from 6.99 a bouquet and upwards to $12.00 for a bunch of roses. One rose may cost $2.00. You can get a bud vase at the dollar store, and you end up paying a little over $3.00 for the greeting if you add a little ribbon. At the top grocery store and dollar store prices combined, you spend under $15.00.

Lydia said...

I'd like to add that you get much, much more when you do the bouquet yourself.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the newest blessing! I am expecting my 2nd daughter after three rambunctious boys, so I am enjoying all things pink myself again. This baby's big sister has been so excited to help me pick out little pink outfits, and she's hoping the baby will come on Feb. 14th, not that we need another excuse to buy an outfit with pink hearts all over it.

Rennae said...

Congratulations on your new arrival. I had often thought it would be unfoutunate to have a child around Christmas. This changed recently when I stopped to think of how precious this could be. What a wonderful gift.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Lady Lydia and family! I've been reading Elizabeth Prentiss' "The Home at Greylock" lately, and have decided that you are much like Mrs. Grey, always thinking of others and not of yourself. Thanks for all you do!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and blessings to you and your family. Just wanted to comment that I believe the song you posted is the one that was traditionally played at every wedding in my town when it was time for the father of the bride to dance with his daughter.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Lady Lydia to you and your family! Thank you for the encouraging article and the great links!


Isabella in the 21st Century said...

Congratulations Lady Lydia! How lovely to have a lttle girl in the family!

Isabella in the 21st Century said...

Congratulations Lady Lydia! How lovely to have a lttle girl in the family!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Lady Lydia,

Blessed, simply blessed! How wonderful your latest grand child was born on Christmas day! Lillian Elenore is such a sweet name. may God truly shine upon you all and His latest little one.

To flowers and gifts, my parents have for some time made lovely gift hampers for Christmases, birthdays and wedding presents choosing the 'ingredients' themselves, placing everything in attractive baskets, pottery bowls etc. It's so nice to have something of beauty and practical permanence after the top drawer marmalades and chocolates are long gone. We're big fans of gift bags and boxes in our household, making great use of such, passing them along as it were; similar can be said for hat boxes (two wedding presents ariving in these colourful conveyances). I can also sympathise with your not so favourable experience with commercial inter-city florests - more than once what I've chosen being far from what actually arrives. This autumn I'm going to actually get a wriggle on and plant flowers now the vegetables and herbs are more or less under control.

Congratulations once again!


Mrs. E.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting on how we can create our own beautiful floral arrangements! It is such a joy to receive fresh flowers; by creating our own for far less cost, we can bless more people with a gift of flowers.

Take Care,


Cherish the Home said...

How wonderful!

Congratulations Mrs. Sherman!

I agree with your assessment of florist shops. I've used and always been very happy with them. The flowers arrive so fresh and last *FOREVER*! They are quite expensive though and your methods of doing it yourself is best if you're able.


Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

Many congratulations on the birth of your granddaughter! And many thanks for your inspiring articles. I also enjoy the pictures you choose to accompany them. In particular, I love the photo of the teaset accompanying this article. Do you know where the lovely crockery came from?

Thanks again,


Anonymous said...

Oh, congratulations! We were out of town yesterday so I missed this post until now!

...Now you've made me paranoid about the floral arrangements we sent to a lady whose husband passed on, and to her son. I intend to ask whether they arrived nicely, since you mention it.

I haven't had much luck sending gifts and such. The post office charged me "priority" rates the Tuesday before Christmas to "get the things there before Saturday." One of them arrived the day after Christmas, and I still haven't seen a return receipt on the other. Great; they were baked goods and probably got stale before they were received. Rule #2, right after "Don't trust the mail-order florists": Don't trust the post office.

Meantime, congratulations again!

Mrs. Bartlett

Lydia said...

Believe me at a birth, the mother treasures that container. It is the most special thing. It is often the first gift she gets.

Lydia said...

Melody: I learned flower arranging from a little boy. He came running in from a field with a handful of blue and pink and orange and purple flowers--a combination and arrangement that I would not have picked, but the bundle was so beautiful because kids pick them without prejudice and without preconditioned ideas about arrangements. So though things stuck out here and there and the colors were not like a florists, they were so appealing and cheerful I thought that you cannot do better than a little child when choosing flowers. So just take a child and let him pick the flowers. It works every time. A boy especially will choose many interesting colors and will arrange them the way he finds interesting. Give it a try and see if I am right!

Lydia said...

As Willoby would say "..and obliging field."

Lydia said...

As for the crockery, I found it on ebay and was going to try to see if I could buy it but promptly lost the page. You might try some of these sites:

Lydia said...

or this

Lydia said...

Mrs. Bartlett: a person who uses the drugs to mask the cold does not know he still has the cold and is walking around spreading it. He doesn't feel sick anymore so he thinks he is cured.

Lydia said...

I had a grandmother who at the first sign of a sniffle or headache took to her bed. She lived a long time. When she was down, she was down, but when she was up, she was well, rather than the dragging about we do when we do not take care of our health. Rest is a major part of healing.

Mrs. Melody said...

Congratulations to your daughter on the birth of her precious baby girl. Congratulations Grandma and Grandpa as well. :) What a special Christmas gift for the family.

My father used to sing that song to me. Thank you for bringing back many happy memories.


Anonymous said...

I LOVED this article! Thanks so much! After having six boys and then our little girl, I had PINK EVERYWHERE!!!! :-)

Blessings, Susan