So I was going to quit blogging. Forever.
As much as I love doing the stuff I blog about, I had discovered that I don’t like the actual blogging part. Sitting at a computer for hours, typing, loading photos, re-loading photos that didn’t work, editing, more typing, more photos, more editing. . . I’ve never been a HUGE fan of computer stuff, and honestly, I always feel like I’m being a bit lazy when I’m just sitting on my butt at a computer.
I was also unhappy with how my blog looked (very amateurish, in my opinion), so I hadn’t told anyone about my blog, aside from two people whose help I needed in figuring out the computer stuff. Since no one knew about my blog, no one was reading it, and I just felt like the whole thing was a pointless waste of time. I decided to quit, and then I realized that my hosting had JUST renewed for another year. May as well get my money’s worth, right? So I told my friends and family on Facebook, thinking that at the very least, my Mom would want to see what I’d made. I was pleasantly surprised! I got a lot of positive feedback, and the general consensus was that I should keep blogging.
So here I am, writing! My camera is dying, so for now I’ll just write all of the posts that I already have pictures for. And I’m sick again, which seems to be good for the blog. . .
Spring is just around the corner, and with Easter coming up in early April, I thought I’d share a tutorial for an Easter basket centrepiece that I made last year.
For this craft, you will need:
• A suitable basket (bigger is better)
• Faux florals of your choice, but my advice is to stick with springy ones like tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, etc. You should have a variety of heights (small, medium, tall), and colour combinations that are pleasing to you.
• Foam blocks (not oasis, since we’re using faux florals that do not need to drink water)
Step 1: Fill the bottom of your basket with foam blocks, trimming them to fit as needed. Make sure that the foam stays a good inch under the top edge of the basket all the way around. I used my handy-dandy OLFA knife to trim my foam, and I wore gloves because the feel of the foam on my bare hands gave me the heebie-jeebies. I also lined my basket with a piece of poly (like the kind you use between your drywall and your insulation) to stop any bits of foam from falling out.
Step 2: Start inserting your faux florals into the foam. For a centrepiece that will be seen from all sides, it’s best to have your tallest florals in the centre. You may also place them slightly off-centre, as I have done.
Continue adding the floral stems, packing things together for a nice full effect. These tulips were my medium-height florals.
See that tool in front of the basket? That is a pair of sidecutters that I borrowed from my electrician husband (Thanks, Honey!). You may need to trim some of your stems to a better height, and they have some thick wires inside those plastic stems. Regular scissors are NOT going to cut it!
Getting close to being finished now! I have a serious love for ferns, but it’s hard to find good faux ones that look real. I’ve been keeping my eyes open for years, and when I saw these ones at Michaels, I knew I had to grab them while I could! They acted as my shortest-height “florals,” and just to keep things more visually interesting, I added a different type of fern to the other side of the basket, as well as some short pink flowers (pictured below).
Step 3: Finish your centrepiece by covering any exposed foam with moss. I used sheet moss, but you could also use reindeer moss, Spanish moss, or whatever else you like.
Ta-Da! My lovely centrepiece, displayed on my coffee table. And yes, I did purposely choose peach, blue, and lime green florals so that my arrangement would coordinate with my spring pillows. It’s just what I do!
Also, when I first placed my basket on the table, I noticed right away that it looked too small and insignificant. So I added three mats of faux boxwood under it, and voila! The eye reads it as a cohesive whole, and the centrepiece looks bigger. You can achieve the same effect with a fabric table runner or placemat.
As you can see, I also added a few faux butterflies to give the centrepiece a bit more life and interest.
And here’s the back view. Just as nice as the front, because the arrangement is seen from all angles!
I didn’t actually used to like faux florals, you know. I looked down on them because they were fake, and not as nice as the real thing. Faux does have a few advantages that I’ve come to appreciate though. . . For one thing, I can pay for these flowers just once, and then use them again and again, year after year. The only way you can do that with real flowers is by planting them in your garden, which I do, but nothing is alive yet at Easter time in zone 3a! Other advantages include price (faux is cheaper than real, especially on sale), ease of use (no green thumb required), cleanliness (for the neat-freaks out there), and child- and cat-proof qualities (my kids know not to touch my plants, but one of my cats will eat almost any live plant I bring into the house!). One final advantage for me is that my Mother-in-Law is highly allergic to most fragrances, so I can invite her over without fear of killing her when I use faux florals.
For those of you who are die-hard real-or-nothing types, here are a few ideas for simple floral arrangements that I’ve done in the past:
All of these were very inexpensive, and very fast and easy to put together.
My favourite places to buy potted bulbs are grocery stores and Home Depot, though HD always has the healthiest ones. When buying potted plants, look for ones that are still in the bud stage, and haven’t started blooming yet (or only just started). This will give you the most enjoyment of the flowers in your home. Healthy bulbs have short stems and compact growth, and the leaves should be a nice, deep green. Stay away from fully open flowers, pale green leaves and stems, and growth that is long and floppy.
This final picture that I’m sharing with you today is of an arrangement I made using all real plants. The steps I followed were nearly identical to the steps I took to make my faux floral centrepiece, though obviously I used potting soil instead of foam to fill the basket. I made it years ago, and I’m surprised at how similar it is to the faux one I just made! Nearly identical colours and plants. I guess that’s just the way I like my spring arrangements to look. =)