Curious Lola

Make a Floral Centerpiece with a Vine Foliage Cage

Spring is just around the corner and seriously, who doesn’t love having some flowers to brighten up the house? Learn this quick and eco-friendly way to create a beautiful floral arrangement with a vine foliage cage. You know we don’t use flower foam so it’s our go-to, tried and true way of keeping stems in place. Reference our video version of this tutorial if you’re wanting some more tips on creating this!

If this is your first time making a centerpiece, fear not! We have another video that covers our common-sense method on flower placement. It’s right here: centerpiece demonstration It goes a bit more in depth.

Supplies needed:

  • vase
  • floral tape
  • chicken wire
  • bind wire, cut into 1″ pieces
  • floral clippers
  • wire cutters
  • water
  • flowers, of course! We go to our local wholesale floral market, but you can find some goodies at your local store or garden.

First, use your wire cutters to snip a piece of chicken wire from the roll. For this size of pot, I cut a piece about 6 inches wide. Bend the chicken wire into a ball shape and tie the ends around one another to secure it. Then, place it in your vase.

Tear off strips of floral tape and place them like a grid over your ball. This will ensure the chicken wire won’t fall out. Once it feels sturdy, add the water.

Strip the bottom of your vines of leaves and little sprouts. Begin weaving them through the wire structure.

Once you have a few stems in the base, choose two vines and attach them with a piece of bind wire in a place they might naturally grow together. Continue to add in vines and sprigs of Jasmine until your foliage cage feels full and strong.

Just let it get wild…

Now it’s just about full enough to support some flowers. Add in them flowers!

Taa-daa! You have made a glorious, foam-free floral arrangement! Snap a picture and show off, be sure to tag us so we can enjoy your work too!

We’ll be featuring this arrangement and others in a moody photoshoot we did about a Subterranean Moth-Fairy who is waiting in her underground den for spring to come. Oh and she’s a hoarder… Ha! To hear more about our hoarder fairy and the next DIYs from that shoot. You’ll want to SUBSCRIBE!

 

Here’s a sneak peak:)

Ugh. I just love those moody blooms.

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Floral Eye Candy by Lola Creative- Spring Flower Recipe

floral eye candy

Mmmkay. Local and West coast flowers right now have me smacking my chops. Sometimes you don’t have much to say, don’t have an event, just want to get your hands into some of those scrumptious blooms. So, without a whole lot from me, here’s some floral eye candy made with 100% local flowers all grown on the glorious, tide-licked, west side of the country. This spring flower arrangement recipe below.

floral eye candy floral eye candy floral eye candy DSC_0410 DSC_0404Recipe

5 Sahara Rose (grown in CA)

6 ‘Belle Epoque’ Tulips (grown in WA)

5 stems double Waxflower (grown in CA)

7 Lilacs (grown in WA)

10 stems Heuchera ‘Creme Brulee’ (grown uh… outside my door)

12 tendrils of Ivy (not the bad stuff. Also grown outside my door)

1 hunk of Carex grass roots bagged and staked(pulled out of my containers to make way for annual flowers)

 

 

How to Make a Wintery Holiday Centerpiece with Easy-to-Find Evergreens.

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Short on holiday decor but have a lots of greenery?
For a lot of the materials here, you won’t need to look much further than your backyard. Follow these steps to turn your in season greenery into a holiday crowd pleaser. For more of these sort of tutorials and info on local workshops make sure you subscribe in the top right of the page!

01I picked up my greens from the Seattle Wholesale Grower’s Market– which to Seattleites, may as well be their backyard. They’ve got a wide variety of greens available that have all been grown locally. AND you don’t need a wholesale account to purchase on Fridays. It’s not important that you have the same greens, so long as you’ve got something in the same categories. Categories that I, ehem, have concocted after much experience, observation, and research….

  • Fluffy stuff: any foliage with a full, voluminous look, really a space filler but I don’t want to hurt its feelings. You’ll need 3-5 stems depending on the size of your dish. I am using an 8″ wide gold compote with elk heads (!!!:) !!!:)!!!) You can use all the same variety or multiple but I wouldn’t go more than 2. Here, I’m using some sort of Korean fir (or something), and Bay Leaf.
  • Armature Stuff: This can or doesn’t have to be pretty, since we don’t use foam, it’s a functional component to ensure all this heavy foliage has a nice tight structure to keep it in place. An armature is a term used in sculpture to give shape and support to a piece. You can think of them as bones. For my armature I’m using about 3 twigs cut down into smaller twigs of red huckleberry. You could use any small branch or even cut offs ends of the rest of the foliage.
  • Sprouty things: These can be graceful or spiky and are used in small quantities to give the arrangement a punch. It’s like a cherry on top. Too many sprouties and your arrangement can look muppet-like which is totally good in many instances but we’re going for something a little more traditional here. Here I’m using just one lovely ivy vine with a nice curvy shape to it, and one curvey branch of Pine. The ilex is the red berry, and while it is spikey, it’s acting more as an eye catcher.
  • Eye-catchers: These are bold elements that stand contrast more than anything else. You will want to severely limit these. I’ve used Ilex berry for my eye-catchers and though one branch has several twiggies, they are clumped in the same spot so the eye-catching is still only happening in one place. Just one ilex shown here.
  • Drapey stuff: Not always necessary but nice in this instance to cover the edge of the bowl. This is helpful especially to help camouflage my chicken wire cage. Drapey stuff is just that, something that is heavy enough to hang down or something with a graceful bend. I am using about 5 sprigs of cedar.
  • Other ingredients:
    • wide mouth container
    • chicken wire: approximately 10″X5″
    • wire cutters or tin snips
    • pruners or floral scissors
    • floral tape, waterproof tape, or if  your container has heads, you can use twine like me.
  • Time: I’d give it 45 minutes once you’ve got all your materials if this is new to you.

03

 

First make a chicken wire cage, or floral frog by bending your chicken wire into a bubble. Loop the sharp ends over the connection points so the wire doesn’t slip. Shape cage into container.

 

04Since this is a low dish, you will want to secure the cage in place from above. Typically I would use tape but since it can remove finishes, and I’ve got these great heads, I’m going to use twine. It’s not so important that the tape holds up during the entire process. It’s only there to get you started. As you go on, the stems themselves will hold everything up. 05

Next it’s time to make an armature. As mentioned before, this is a crucial step to ensure your heavy arrangement is supported. Don’t think too much about what the arrangement will look like at this point. This part will likely disappear into the arrangement. It’s got more functional value than aesthetic. Clip or pull off any little twiglets that will interfere with inserting your twig into the cage. Remove twiglets and cut the bottom so that the stem end touches the bottom of the container, and the first twiglet ‘Y’ rests right inside the opening for the chicken wire.

 

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Remember, the point is to get a bunch of stems in place so your next step has a more secure support cage to be inserted into. More stems with less top growth are better than less stems with bushier top growth. So goodbye twiglets. We’re trying to jam up that base.

 

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Go nuts with twigs. The friction of stem on container, and twig on twig will make your arrangement secure.

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Next is the drapey stuff to cover the rim. Remove all the excess twiglets so what you are left with is clean and has its own clear shape. Cut the end and insert so the stem touches the bottom of the container.

 

 

 

06.e

 

This is the part when I got really into singing Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas’ and forgot that I was supposed to photograph the steps. Basically I am adding the fluffy stuff and playing with placement on the sprouty bits. I know where I want my eyecatcher to sit so I’m leaving that open.

 

 

 

 

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Tuck in the eye- catcher. I left a spot for a fluffy piece of bay branch, too.

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And finally my sprouty ivy is the cherry o top of this pile of twiggy goodness.

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This bay is super yummy.

00Where you goin’ berry? Don’t you know it’s cold outside?

Stay tuned for upcoming how to’s. Be sure to subscribe to learn about upcoming events and workshops around the Seattle, Eastside, and Puget Sound. And do comment if there is something in particular you’d like to know more about. And have a very happy happy holiday.

Sustainable Flower Arranging, Part One: Frogs

frog arrangement

We successfully weaned ourselves off of flower foam over at Lola Event Floral & Design. It’s not been easy. The green yuck (floral foam) is just so efficient and when you’re in a bind, it’s easy to revert back to what’s easy. (Isn’t this addict talk?) You can hear more of my whining about it in this previous post. I discovered (though I hate to admit it) that my short term anxiety over time restraints during event production, delivery, and setups trumps my noble desire to run a more sustainable operation. But thanks to the waggling fingers and stoney resolve of some of my employees, the interwebs, and some colleagues, I’ve been kept on the straight and narrow. Hopefully I can be that motivation for you.  If I can build some new greener neural pathways, you can too. It’s definitely a different way of approaching arranging, but we’ve developed some new processes that we can be proud of. So proud, in fact, that we’d like to share them with you.

(And by the way, I documented this tutorial with On-Site Reporter, an app that facilitates this sort of thing. Read more on that at the end. And as a bonus, it just happens to be created by the most wonderful man in the world (hubby)).

We’ll start with what’s easy. Flower pin frogs. Little metal pucks with pointy ends to grip your stems. They are great for securing a few stems as you make a stem cage support for the rest of the arrangement, or for use in a low dish where there isn’t much room for support. frog arrangement9I make sure my frog and bowl are dry and secure the frog to the bowl with some floral clay.

frog arrangement8Next I start adding in my base foliage. Agrostis and Begonia leaves. I use river rocks to add more support for the frogs, disguise a bit, and add more structure for plants to be nestled into.

frog arrangement7pink rhododendron sustainable flower arrangementI’ve got a potted azalea that doesn’t have a home so I cut off a piece of the mini shrub and secured it to the frog. Woodier stems like this will have to be jammed in. Careful you don’t impale yourself! I also want to add some pussy willow but the stem’s too thick for me to jam it on with all these other plants in the way so I go ahead and add some clay to the end to give it a bit more adhesion. This stem is dried so I’m not concerned with it actually being under water- just in there enough to stay in place.

stem

sustainable flower arranging.

Next I’ve got some monstrous ranunculus, a hellebore plucked from my yard, and a few more bits of foliage. And that about does it. Don’t need much.

frog arrangement4

So cute… so healthy… Loooove. If you deliver this you’ll just have to remember to water again when you get there.

Now for some glamour shots.

frog arrangement3frog arrangement2That’s it for now.

We’ll be going over a bunch of different methods for getting interesting foam free looks, so follow us to keep up to date. And if  you’re thinking about going foam-free, do it. Hesitant? Of course, but do it anyway. You’re a freagin’ MacGyver, you’ll figure it out.

AND if you want to know more about On-Site Reporter, check it out. It basically allows you to document any site visit or process with steps by matching photos with dictated or typed in notes. Chronological photos and notes are then sent to you. No more confusion wondering what you did when- BOOM. It practically puts your tutorial together for you. At the time of this article, we’re (ehem, I mean) THEY are still working on some quirks with the android version. But i-phone is good to go. Let us, er… they know what you think.

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