Monday, October 25, 2010

Project Jack-O-Lantern

Ok my little Ghouls and Goblins; it’s time for your favorite holiday! Halloween!!!! Get out your knives, and start carving your Jack-O-Lanterns.

I have a little confession to make…I spent $50.00 on this week’s arrangements. I couldn’t help myself! IT’S HALLOWEEN!!!!! My favorite time of year!!!!! Surely you can understand?!?! 

So here is what $50.00 bought me at the SF Flower Mart: Three Medium Sized Pumpkins, a huge bunch of Red Robert, dried Reeds, two bunches of Rice Stalks, and a bag of dried Water Lily Seed Pods.

Utensils: Pumpkin, sharp knife, metal spoon, two yogurt tubs, and a bowl to hold all the goop that comes out the pumpkins.

How to make a pumpkin vase:
1-   1- Cut a circle around the stem of the pumpkin that is equal to the diameter of the top of the   yogurt tub. You can be very precise about this and measure it, but I just eye-balled it. What’s life without a bit of human trial and error, eh?

2-   2- Empty out the goop inside the pumpkins with the metal spoon, and be sure to scrape the insides well to ensure that your pumpkin lasts a while.

3-   3- Once the pumpkin is emptied out, slip the plastic yogurt tub inside so that the rim sits right at the opening of the pumpkin.

4-   4- Pour water into the tubs, and start to get creative with the flowers. A good way to gauge how you’d like your flowers to be placed in your vase is to know how and where you’re going to use the centerpiece. This will determine the shape of your arrangement; tall and columnar, spherical and short, or natural and sprawling. 

For those of you that haven’t carved a pumpkin into a Jack-O-Lantern before, here are some easy tips on how to carve one:

1-   1- first two steps are identical to the pumpkin vases
2-   2- Once you have your hollowed out pumpkin, using a sharpie pen, draw your design onto the pumpkin and with a sharp paring knife cut outside the drawn lines until the pieces pop out.
3-   3-  Place a tea light inside the pumpkin, and light it up! 

Once the arrangements were complete, I took them down to the courtyard and set them up beside the fountain to help accent the entry. Happy Halloween!  

Monday, October 18, 2010


Fall is truly here. Crisp weather, wind, rain, boots, jackets, scarves, and the turning of colors! Just the right atmosphere for a cup of tea, a blanket, and a lovely flower arrangement on your coffee table to help you day dream about far away places while it’s gloomy outside…

This weekend I took my soon-to-be-married Cousin to the Flower Mart. We bundled up, got in her comfy car, turned up the seat warmers, and with lovely warm bottoms made our way down 6th Street. The Flower Mart had picked up the Autumnal vibe, and everywhere we looked we saw pumpkins, corn husks, hay bales, and wheat stalks.

After much ooh-ing and ah-ing over pretty flowers we picked up a bunch of Milkweed (possibly one of the coolest looking plants out there), 2 bunches of Orange and Yellow Chili Peppers, and 2 bunches of a tall yellow grass that I don’t know the name of. (Any horticulturists out there that can help me out?)

I’d saved a few large jars that I wrapped up in some gold wrapping paper, and adorned with ribbon and twine to make my vases. Jars can prove to be better vases sometimes as they are not as malleable as plastic tubs, and don’t need reinforcement (rocks) in their base to weigh them down. 


Once the vases were ready, it was time to spice them up! 

Tip of the day: After touching Chili Peppers make sure you don’t touch your eyes. Been there, done that. Not fun! 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dreaming in Colors

I had a very strange yet beautiful dream a few nights ago. No, I won’t be giving details, and no it wasn’t a racy dream, so please get your minds out of the gutter! Thank you. Moving on… What I will tell you is that there were soft pink tones, yellows, and hues of orange involved, and this week’s flowers were inspired by them.

I hadn’t bought flowers from Whole Foods in a while, so I figured it’s a good time to see what my budget could buy me there. Whole Foods has quite a variety of flowers, however the prices are marked up by a lot, and the number of stems in each bunch are not that many. Therefore, I’d say it’s a good last resort/running late/must-have-flowers place to go to.

For $24.65 I was able to purchase a bunch of light pink Stock, some pink Rodanthe, and some orangey (is that a word?) pinkish Cosmos with yellow centers. 

I had kept a few terracotta pots from an arrangement a couple weeks ago, and since they had holes in the bottom, I filled Zip Lock bags with water and placed them inside the pots. Voila! Vase lining on the cheap! Now, THAT’S what I’m talking about! 

A few chops here, and couple plucks there and my flowers were ready to be placed on the dining table amidst some Gourds and Squashes I had kept from my dinner party a couple of weeks ago.  My visions of pink, orange and yellow were now a reality. Who says dreams can’t come true? 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Festival of Flowers

I got an email from the founder of Club Dine In! last week (a fantastic source for information on health, fitness, and fun in the SF Bay Area) in which she let me know that there would be a FREE festival of flowers happening right in my back yard! Super exciting!  

The setting; Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption , a 1970’s modern building designed by local architects John Michael Lee, Paul A. Ryan and Angus McSweeney. Concrete, marble, glass, and high ceilings made the inside of the building a whole lot more majestic than the outside. From the outside the building looks like a large washing machine agitator, and has been nicknamed by locals as "Our Lady of Maytag.”  Sorry, I’m not one for 1970’s Architecture… some of the stuff looks like it just fell out of the tornado that took Dorothy to Oz! (Ok, that’s it for my rant on Architecture….on to flowers….)

The festival celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, and welcomed “some of the most renowned floral artists from the Bay Area and beyond.”

Here are some of my favorites from the festival: