Saturday, January 25, 2014

Winter Bouquets

Flowers in a Poecelin Vase With a Candlestick and Silver Vessels
These paintings are by Ferdinand Georg Waldmuller, Austrian, 1793-1865


Bunch of Roses

I always look forward to blogging after I catch up on housework and various things like correspondence, grocery shopping and unfinished projects. There seems to be so much to do at home, and if I must go out for some reason, half the day is gone. When I do not post in awhile, people start asking if everything is okay and my phone rings with overseas calls, checking up on me with encouraging words.

It is still quite cold outside and there is not a flower in sight.

Today I was looking at a catalog that came in the mail that had pictures of beautiful artificial flower bouquets in the Victorian style. I do not like to spend money on things that I do not need and are not necessary, but I do like pretty things, so I try to make them if I can, with inexpensive or free materials. I decided it might be fun to scrounge around in that yard-sale of mine that has never taken place, and see if I could imitate the bouquets that I liked in this catalog.


Here is the first one. The floral piece came from an old Home Interior bouquet that I kept for decades - I do not want to tell you how long - and the candlestick was from a thrift store. The rose vine piece is attached with two-sided sticky foam floral tape. I would estimate the cost would be about $3.00 if using dollar store or Goodwill purchases.

The silver coated vase in the next bouquet I used was from one of my grandmothers but there are some just like it in Goodwill. The vine was broken off one I got many years ago.

I must digress and tell you that I did not want to go to the dollar store just to get some of this special tape, so my husband hunted around in his office and found some. He has everything so orderly in his office and his paper clips, tape, pens, and every office thing you can think of, is there. The family members have always gone to him to get something they can't find, and he comes up with a rulers, pencils, erasers, chalk, and even ink cartridges for old fashion fountain pens.

We have, over the years, borrowed paper and blank notebooks and felt markers from him, so, when his birthday comes around, we gather up all those borrowed items, wrap them up and make a huge pile if gifts on the table for his birthday party. He enjoys saying things like, " I wondered where that thing disappeared to" or " I have not seen that black marker in a year" and when he unwraps something like a three hole puncher or a postal scale he always acts surprised.


The bouquet on a candlestick that I created had three main ingredients: a latex vine pressed into some floral oasis foam, and a candlestick. If using Dollar Tree products, this would cost about three dollars. If your husband does not have the double sided sticky foam tape in his office, it will cost an extra dollar at the dollar store. Most ladies today have a glass or a jar and something they can use for flowers, even floral package toppers saved from presents, that can be used to create things without having to spend.


This is the one in the catolog. It costs $200.00! (I am hoping they really meant $20.00.). I have seen these at weddings cleverly made with candlesticks from Goodwill, all painted the same color and topped with exquisite silk bouquets. The cost is minimal when you use items you may already own.

Next is a bouquet made from some old silk foral vine that I had painted white glitter on. Since the vine has no stem, a clothespin is attached to it and pushed into the vase. It is a home-made copy of the catalog item below:

The one in the catalog, above, has a price tag is $400.00! I am hoping it is a typographical error and they really meant $40.00.

This one, above is also listed in the catalog as $400.00. The bouquet rests in a wrought iron piece that looks a little like a carriage.


Using the wrought-iron candleabra from my yard sale-to-be, and an old vine also in the yard sale pile, I tried to imitate the catalog bouquet. Since these two items were from a yard sale in the first place, the cost was less than a dollar, total. I did spray-paint the candleabra. You should not hesitate to paint your wrought iron. If it is black, it is just painted. Beneath black paint, wrought iron is just rust. Of course black is nice, to, and black paint works especially well on wrought iron.
When we were growing up in the 1950s, we liked to freshen up old furniture and shelves and just anything, with white paint to make it look shiny, bright and new.


I noticed when I was peeking at a home dec magazine at the grocery store, a few pages of centerpiece ideas. They were quite beautiful and very simple, much like women used to make a long time ago. The centerpieces consisted of a bowl with a candle in a cup, surrounded by fresh or fake florals. I have made one using Grandma 's bowl, above, with a led tea-light.
Here is one more floral piece I tried today, using tissue paper carnations in a blue canning jar. I really do intend to get rid of all these garage sale and yard sale items I have piled in a corner. I just wanted to play with them one more time.


I noticed some glittery tin vases in the floral department at the grocery store in several colors. You could easily imitate these by using a large plastic cup and covering it with glitter paper or metallic paper. I have put the tissue paper flowers in mine. Hunts spaghetti sauce cans have a nice white interior and can be covered in papers or painted to make pretty vases. I don't really need a vase but I needed to have creative time, and Put something on the blog.

If you pay much attention to the creative things people are doing with fresh plants and flowers these days, you may have noticed the cute wooden boxes with drawer handles or rope handles at each end. Some of them are replicas of old sewing machine drawers, and like the other floral things, they are quite pricey. Since I have no way to make a wood box, I tried my hand at a cardboard one.


Tape the ends of the box. Cut open one long side and fold it down into into the box to create an opening.
Glue some scrapbook paper on the outside. Fold a little of the paper to the inside edges of the box.
Slice off a piece of florist foam (available at dollar stores, two in a package) to fit the box and tuck it inside.

I added moss, but found it was not necessary.

Place silk flower stems in the florist foam and add green leaves. Punch holes in the ends of the box and, using jute rope, ribbon, string or wired ribbon, tie little handles on each end.

You may think you have no talent to arrange a fake flower bouquet, but just look around the house and you will see containers like this. These held bath products at Walmart one Christmas. All I did was wrap a dollar store ivy vine together and and put it inside the container. Of course this will go back I to my yard sale collection...I think.



anonymous said...

Oh, thank you for sharing this. Your bouquets and floral arrangements are so pretty and cleaver. They certainly resemble the high dollar arrangements in the catalogs.

When I didn't have any floral foam or tape I decided to find a floral frog or two at yard sales. I put them down into a wider then candlestick vase and anchored the silk flower stems into them. I just use them over again the next time. They work great on a plate or a shallow bowl as well.

Before I had the floral frogs I used rocks from the driveway to anchor the stems in. You just have to be careful not to drop them into your glass vases.

Mrs. J.

anonymous said...

Before the frost hit, I brought all my warm weather plant indoors.
One of those plants paid me back this morning.
I found a single jasmine blossom opened and emitting a heady fragrance on my windowsill. What a blessing a small flower can be in the cold of winter.

Mrs. J.

Sharon said...

You are so clever. Thanks for all the inspiration.

April Jo said...

From a newbie ~ I think you did wonderful!!!

I am so glad I found your site. I am really enjoying it!


LadyLydia said...

Great tips Janet. Thank you.

Donna in CO said...

I so enjoy your creative posts. It is obvious that you have developed your creativity to a higher level by simply making time to create often over the years.

Donna in CO

Barbara said...

Very resourceful and lovely. We do need flowers at this time of year in cold country!

amulbunny's random thoughts said...

My BIL got married yesterday and his bride had no bouquet or flowers planned. My daughter and I were at Michaels at 9AM Saturday morning (wedding was at noon) and thank God all their floral was 50% off and ribbons were 40% off. We gathered the flowers for the bridge, maid of honor and flower girl and got the floral tape, checked out and came right home. We made the bouquets, changed clothes and drove to the wedding. The bouquets were wonderful and served their purpose. I am not a crafter. But yesterday I was.

LadyLydia said...

Yes,mthe florals today are often manufactured AS bouquets already, and can easily be used by non-florists for arrangements. The ribbons are also wired and many of them easy to use.

anonymous said...

My MIL showed me years ago how she puts color in her yard with seasonal silk flower stems poked in the ground around evergreen bushes and vines.

At the end of season sales the craft stores sell (at great discount) silk flowers, vines and greenery. I get and use them in my flowerbeds, rail and window boxes.

Example: In my rail boxes I have planted ivy at either end. In the center I stick red, orange and white silk mums. For Christmas and Valentines, I pull out the orange ones and leave the red and white.

They will last a few years if you rotate in season. Then clean,dry and store them. I try to get Spring, Summer and Autumn flowers.

Debbie Gnagey said...

All of your flower arrangements are lovely. God has gifted you with many talents including the gift of encouragement. I was a lonely homemaker for years, living in a neighborhood where I was the only one at home and it wasn't until I found your site that I found a like-minded "sister". I have spent hours hungrily reading your posts and continue to do so every day. I share them with my husband and our grown sons. They all loved having their Mother at home! I am so thankful for your ministry. May God Bless You and your family.

living from glory to glory said...

Dear Lydia, I would like to try to make an arrangement for my kitchen table for a Valentine Tea.
I need to start looking for more flowers as I have used most of mine up on other things. I need to hit the jackpot at a goodwill store!
I have been looking at tea pots on Ebay, it is fun, I have never bought anything from there before.
Blessings, Roxy
PS Modesty Matters Posts! Excellent!

Joluise said...

I love having flowers in the house and usually buy a bunch of flowers every week for the dinning room table (Aldi sells them very cheaply and they can last for 2 weeks if I am careful). It really does add something to the room - makes it look pretty.

I am also a fan of indoor plants too.

LadyLydia said...

JoLuise, I have been to Aldis

LadyLydia said...

I found putting fresh flowers in the fridge at night and getting thing out in the morning makes them last longer. Also during hot days it keeps them fresh.


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