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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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.

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

Wedding in the Woods

Moss fashions, faux antlers, and paper animals? Oh my!

Oh yes. We (Lola Event Floral & Design) recently participated in Weddings in Woodinville, an exclusive wedding show in which vendors are hand picked for awesomeness and asked to transform a space as if jaws dragging on floors were the main objective.

We were selected by Kelli at Shindig Events which is excellent since we go together like charred crust on a roasted sh’mallow. We were teamed up with Matthews Estate Winery, an expansive site with tons of options for amazing events, and Shane Macomber with Shane Macomber Photography.

Good thing we handed out napkins… to wipe the dirt off the jaws…. from the dragging, you know. And the drool off the leaves… and the tears of joy… and the anticipatory perspiration… and the… nevermind.

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Spanish moss, a cord of wood, and airy forest greenery! Um,I should mention that we rent these things.

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the Spanish moss from below. Magical.

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Rustic furniture, big ole clear tent, warmth, plates and glass by ABC rentals by Cort, linens by Creative Coverings, table design by Shindig, paper by Paper Fling, Flowers by Lola

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faux antler chandelier, yo. That’s actually what the bride is saying with her eyes… that and “Thanks for the warm shrug, yo.”

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Sometimes when there is so much awesome, you need some simplicity to balance it out.   WIW_ShaneMacomber_0054

Pinecone garland

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Smore deliciousery by Lady Yum. (and they were)

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I’m glad we pulled off this shrug just before the event started. Dresses here and below by Dress Theory, hair and makeup by Off White, and headpieces by Off White and Madprops.

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Fine, fine suit by Trillium

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Garden Rose, bouvardia, and freesia bouquet by Lola Event Floral & Design

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Our fine, fine, elk man made of papier mache,sticks, and paper products, in a fine, fine suit by Trillium tailor. Elk suits were out of stock so we had to squeeze him into a human suit.

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jackelope

This photo is by Soper Photography

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Paper by Paper Fling.

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Eats provided by Foodz Catering.

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Super awesome lights provided by the Bunch Store.

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Sh’mallows roasting over a chalkboard fire.

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More yummies by lady yum. The red ones were mango Habanero. They blew my mind.

Scottish Moorland Themed Arrangement at the UW Botanic Gardens

Open and airy heathlands, lush textures, and a deep earthy feel. These are the elements we at Lola Event Floral & Design portrayed through our Scottish Moorland inspired centerpiece displayed at this July’s UW Botanic Garden Vendor Showcase.

Every texture and color conveyed richness and movement. Since we were located at the Botanic Garden, what a great opportunity to display landscape plants that are uncommonly used in floral design.

These photos were taken by the talented Tracie Howe over at Tracie Howe Photography. You will have seen hers (and our work) in May’s travel themed post in Wedding Chicks.

Here we show local physocarpus, willow, Mexican feather grass, and Blue Star Juniper in a copper trumpet vase. Also shown are orange coffeebreak roses, green hydrangea, spanish moss, faux pheasant feathers, and grapewood. Table, runner, and furnishings beyond are by Vintage Ambiance– Vintage and Antique rentals.

This arrangement began (as they all do) with a sketch.

More yummy, rich, fall colors were displayed on Vintage Ambiance’s display. They featured their new farm tables, gold toned vintage vases, and amber glass vessels.

Place settings by Vintage Ambiance, elegant invites by Izzy Girl.

I just love those ruffly Coffeebreak roses.

The Spirit of Autumn, Florified

I’m writing this blog with a big ol’ Darth Vadar-esque respirator on my face. Not because it’s almost Halloween and I need to practice obtrusive breathing, but because my house is making me miserable. My house has revolted against us and sixty some years of homeowners who neglected some much needed home improvements. We’ve basically spent the last two months rebuilding a good chunk of our house. And today is clean up day. The day my dear house’s tears of construction muck are wiped away, her newly insulated surfaces polished up, and given the big “Your gonna be okay” pat on the… wall.

The last month’s house challenges have sent me and my house into a state of depression. The kind that can only be comforted with episodes of Glee in bed (the only room that is unaffected) and bad food choices (specifically flour tortillas fried in butter until they are 30% black). Yum but not so healthy. But big changes that shake up routine in some areas, seem to shake up other areas. And out of this period of chaos has come… well, more chaos of the good kind. In desperation to get away from my house, I’ve finally moved my biz to a bona-fide workshop. It’s still not open to the public, but dedicated and outfitted for making some event magic. It’s in Lake City and I couldn’t be more excited about it. With some publicity from Floral Design Magazine and more in the works, we’re finally ready to give Lola Floral a loving kick in the ass it needs to make our moving and shaking less like spastic gyrations and more like a funky new groove. An updated business vision, a comfy new ‘thinking chair’, and some exciting new projects are all building up the excitement. AND my sister had a baby girl. So hooray! Wahoo for happy changes and wahoo for fall because isn’t that what fall is all about? Or was it about the hokie pokie? hmmmm….

And what better day for rebuilding/ restarting/ new beginnings than a crisp, sunny fall day. It is perfect here in Seattle. My favorite kind of day that would only be made better if I weren’t hacking drywall out of my lungs. And really, what better flower arrangement to celebrate all this than this one here. Local and organic through and through. So textural and welcoming you could scoop it up and give it a nose nudge…. or strap a collar on it and take it for a walk….. or dab some silky, frothy, steamed milk foam on top and slurp it off…. Maybe my respirator is also restricting oxygen intake.

Purple kale, by the way, is a rockstar for floral arranging. I also used it in wedding flowers last night. Of course, before using, trials were run. After leaving a leaf out in my warm workshop for 24 hours – no water, the kale was still as turgid as ever. No wiring needed.

This hanging amaranth is so amazing. Thank you to the local flower farmer’s coop for bringing us such wonderful, unusual plants. And for the asian pears. I swear I ate two! And for the brownies on Wednesday.

That is pink snowberry back there… (eeeeeee!) I love it. I also love it in your yard so you should plant it. Then you can invite me over and we can admire it together. I will bring warm cornbread….

All right, time to spiff this place up. This fantastic arrangement is available for groping at Brown’s Coffee. The coffee will inspire you too.

 

 


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