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November 1999 Issue
Creating a Focal Point
by Jenny Wojcik
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But now here are my favorites. I hope you’ll try at least one of them.

  1. Peel labels from tin cans and tie an odd number of them together with a large bunch of raffia. Trim your flowers just slightly taller than the can, so that they’ll fit snuggly inside. Casual, comfortable, homey and sweet.

  2. Group several types of clear glassware together. (Cruets are great for this too.) Make sure you have some shorter, some taller, small fatter or smaller, and add a single floral stem to each. Using either soft ribbon, or perhaps cording, tie a small bow around the rim and you’ll have a clear and simple display of flower power.

  3. Out of ideas and time? Need something easy and quick? Grab a juice glass from the cupboard. Cut a single flower, like a fully opened carnation or a gerbera daisy and add it to the glass. Tie a small twist of raffia around the glass, make a bow. It’s a wow look that’s elegant and easy.

  4. Loan your tea kettle or enamel coffeepot to your décor. Remove the lid, add a few spiny flowers like lilac or Cox-combs and you’ll be showing some country charm.

  5. On the same theme as my # 4 favorite is the white ceramic pitcher that most of us have, filled with bountiful, colorful eucalyptus. Fragrant and fabulous!

  6. One of my favorite arrangements is oh so chic now. It’s easily accomplished by placing a group of small flowers together in your hand. Hold the stems closely together, turning it slowly and adding flowers until you have a very full look. Then secure them with a green pipe cleaner or covered rubber band, and clip the green stems very close to the blossom. Add this to a small bowl or even a fancy teacup.

  7. Love those dark blue water bottles that many people just toss out? Scrub a few of them, add some water and some long-stemmed flowers for a casual but colorful look.

  8. Want your stems displayed in a vase but hate the way the vase looks? Wrong color, chipped or just ugly vase? Disguise it by placing it in a small paper bag! Add a ribbon to cinch the bag securely to the vase, and add your favorite wildflowers. Beautiful.

  9. Take a few of your favorite blooms, tie them together with a ribbon, and place them in a wine glass lined with glass marbles. The marbles will hold the blooms securely in place. You can add ribbon around the stem of the glass and up to the flowers for more support if necessary. Just tie the ends in a bow. Cheers!

  10. Using a plain file folder, cut off half at the score line. Roll the remaining half until it is cone shaped. Tape or hot glue it in place to maintain its shape. Next, cover it with wrapping paper, wallpaper, or my favorite, burlap cloth! Hot glue or tape your decorative covering to the cone. You now have a fabulous “container” for a flower arrangement. Your florist or floral supply store will have “votives” (not candles, but little bubble picks that you can fill with water) which will hold a few live stems, or use eucalyptus in contemporary colors along with some silk stems. It’s a wonderful look and extremely creative. If you want a fun look, use newspaper and a red bow. For a whimsical gift, wrap the cone in color comics and add a solid color ribbon. Great laying on a hearth or as a thoughtful hostess gift.

  11. Cover a hat box with fabric, paper or simply paint it. Line the inside of the box with Spanish moss. Add one, three or more live plants to the center. Prop the top of the hat box to one side. Lovely.

  12. At Christmas, I’m guilty of being repetitious. I have a large lowboy coffee table that’s rectangular, and the perfect spot for a grouping of poinsettias and candles scattered among them. It’s dazzling when the candles are lit. Just be careful and don’t let the candles burn down to the leaves. I like to splurge and buy the dripless candles for my candlesticks, and add pillars and the oversize 3 wick candles to the arrangement. Simple, flamboyant and timely.

I could go on and on. Just remember that simplicity is often the most sincere kind of elegance. We can enhance our tables, our mantels, our bathrooms, or our bedrooms with flowers in interesting and unique containers. As soon as you think of some other decorative ways to display your floral arrangements, write me and let me know about it.

Try one or two arrangements with some inexpensive flowers and then keep going. Whether you like all fresh flowers or a combination of fresh and silk, your décor will have an instant pick me up from our floral friends. If you’re working on a budget, which most of us are, then remember to buy fewer flowers and more greenery and filler to maximize your design dollar. And, as I’ve suggested before, if you see a photo or an ad of a flower arrangement that you really like, clip it and keep it. Chances are you can figure out what gives that arrangement the look that you love. Notice too that floral designers use a lot of greenery – both variegated and solid green – in amassing the flower designs that make us stop and catch our breath. Be creative, be imaginative – I think you’ll like the result.

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