Monday, December 18, 2017

Christmas Home Tour 2017


The Christmas Home Tour 2017 at Kopy Kat Kottage starts
as you come down the street. Festive and bright big lollipops
and other types of candy greet you in the front yard. Normally
we don't have snow at Christmas time but we did get a little 
dusting last week here in Alabama. Since it does look more
Christmas-y, we'll look those pictures. 

If you want to know how to make your own big candy for Christmas, birthday parties,
 Candy Crush events or just for fun here is the link "How To Make Big Candy".


Want to know how to make a curly deco mesh topper for your



Each of the six windows across the front of the house has
a deco mesh wreath in the same colors as the candy. 



The front door is surrounded by a deco mesh garland
embellished with more big candy. 

A Christmas tree made of painted burlap adorns the front door. 

Come on inside to get out of the cold!
There is not much of a foyer at the kottage...you are
practically stepping into the dining room from the front door. 

While the theme outside is colorful, child-like and playful,
 inside this year is mostly whites and greenery. 

Honestly, I am not entertaining much this Christmas so I'm 
not going to pretend to put out a table setting. Two white
boxes are pushed together to make one long greenery 
arrangement on the dining room table. 


The (now) white hutch behind the dining room table also
 has  Christmas greenery in (now) white vessels.

The glare from the old wavy glass in the hutch makes it 
hard to see in pictures what is behind the glass. 
I'll open the doors so you can see what is behind the
glass more clearly. 



Also in the dining room is a buffet.

It holds a large greenery arrangement made of various
stems of holly, magnolia, cedar and boxwood. 



As we leave the dining room...

...a statue on a pedestal also is adorned with greenery.



The largest greenery arrangements are in the living 
room on the mantel. 


We rarely have to use the fireplace. I made this firebox cover with faux log slices. 

I recently got this faux window frame to put in my 
bathroom actually but I am using it on the mantel for now.

The holly and magnolia stems seem to hold up the best.
Artificial stems of red berries were also added to the real.

A single bookcase is to the left of the mantel.

This terra cotta Mother and Child was my mother's.



There is a double bookcase on the other side of the mantel.








Across the room from the large window is a sideboard.

Christmas cards are displayed on framed chicken wire. 

At night when the battery operated candles come on the
room is especially cozy. 



Just a little decorating in the kitchen...





...and at the backdoor.




Thank you for taking time to join my Christmas home tour!

I'm sharing this post at these blog parties...
Amaze Me Monday @ Dwellings
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Show and Share @ Coastal Charm

Thursday, November 16, 2017

New (To Me) Floral Design Trend


I really enjoy making flower arrangements so I was happy
that one of the workshops at the recent Country Living Fair
in Atlanta was titled "Vintage Vessels and Seasonal Blooms:
Ingredients for a Remarkable Centerpiece". 

The speaker was Emily Kennedy. She is a floral designer
with her own company, Kennedy Occasions, based in
Nashville, Tennessee. It is a wedding planning and floral
design studio. I believe she said that she started out as a
wedding planner and began to get interested in the floral
design aspect of weddings also. 
I did not get a good picture of Emily at the workshop so I am borrowing this from her website.

My expectation for the workshop would be how to use
vintage items as the base for flower arrangements shaped
in a traditional rounded or fan shape but I was in for a 
surprise. In workshops Emily has attended to learn floral
design, a different type of arrangements and even bridal
bouquets seems to be emerging. 

The look is looser, airier with more of a "gathered from
the garden" look. Instead of the flowers being very close
together, the trend is for each flower to have some space.
Also, instead of spreading a certain flower or color of
flower equally through the design like confetti, the design
has a "palette" of color that goes from one shade to 
another or even light to dark. Most shocking to me, this
type of arrangement usually does not use floral foam!


Emily brought several different types of vintage vessels
and she let the audience pick which one we wanted her to
demonstrate the arrangement in. We picked a milk glass one.

The following photos are not good quality because they
are literally "screen shots" as in, I took pictures of the
screen in the class tent. The screen showed the images of
an overhead camera so we could better see how Emily
was constructing the arrangement. 

First she affixed some floral clay to the bottom of a 
floral pin frog. Then she carefully put pressure on the
pin frog to make sure the clay would hold the frog 
securely on the inside bottom of the vessel. 

Next she crumpled up a piece of chicken wire and put it 
over the pin frog. She secured the chicken wire with 
waterproof floral tape (this is different than stem wrap tape).

It is kind of hard to see on the white turntable but 
the milk glass vessel is an octagon shape

With the floral mechanics secured she started the
centerpiece by adding stems of a bush called "ninebark".

She pushed these stems securely into the pins of the frog
so they would stay at the angle she wanted them to.
Small leafed eucalyptus (parvifolia?) was added too. 


After she had established some lines of the centerpiece with
greenery she started adding her focal flowers.

The extra vintage vessels kept me from having a clear view but I thought it would be pushy to ask to move them.

As she put more flowers in she was mostly grouping them
from light tones to dark tones.


As she neared the end of placing flowers, she put small
chocolate cosmos in to "dance" or "float" over the center-
piece on their delicate stems. 

Here is the lovely finished centerpiece...

Here is a not so glamorous shot but shows the centerpiece
from a different angle. 

Because it was hard to see close up what she used for 
mechanics to hold the stems up and in place, I got the
four main things at JoAnn's and Michael's to show you.


I already had the chicken wire so it is not in a package like
it would be on the floral aisle but you would recognize it.
The green rectangle with white label is what I used to call
floral putty but this package says "clay brick" at Joann's.
Michael's has the same thing but in a roll like a fat tape.
Both places had the waterproof tape; Joann's is clear,
Emily used green so I got that. The pin frog was a little
cheaper at Joann's...it was less than $5. The other three 
items were about $3.50 each so not a big investment.

Emily told us to practice making these type arrangements
to get better at it so here is my attempt...

The container I want to put the arrangement in is not made to
 hold water (although you can see I have put wet floral foam 
in it in the past) so I am using a clear glass bowl inside of it.

Pinch off a wad of the floral clay and squish it with your 
fingers to get it pliable and in a round disk shape about 
the size of the bottom of the pin frog. Push it on the frog.

Without sticking your fingers on the brass pins, push the clay
and the frog firmly on the bottom of your vessel.

Cut a generous portion of chicken wire. You want to have
 enough to be able to crumple it up into almost a ball shape.
Like my "all weather" wire cutters?

Fold, crumple, wad the chicken wire. You are trying to get
a lot of spaces for the stems to be supported.

Tape down the chicken wire with the waterproof tape to
 keep it from moving around.

My tape did not stick well. I googled and found that the 
object you are attaching the tape to and your fingers have
 to be totally dry for it to adhere. Live and learn.

I put some water in the glass bowl...I don't remember Emily
saying when to add that...maybe it not a big deal. 

This shows me trying to fix my bad tape job by adding more tape.

I put my glass bowl into the prettier container.

Too much visual clutter on the patio...going inside to
be able to see the shape of the greenery and flowers better.

"Foraging" for interesting greenery and branches
is a term I heard several times while researching
more about this type of flower arranging. 

I've never used a pin frog before but the stems do seem
secure when they are pushed down on to it.

"Loose", "organic", "spreading" are other terms used to
 describe this floral style. Most of the arrangements I have
seen done like Emily's are asymmetrical.

Be sure to fill your container with water so the flowers
can drink and stay fresh. Recheck water level daily.


Some floral designers don't use the pin frog for this style.
 However they do use more chicken wire to make the ball.
 So if you want to try this type arrangement without purchasing
the pin frog and clay, here is a tiny version of that technique.

Cut enough chicken wire so that when you crumple it into
a ball shape, you have almost like layers. Tape it securely
with the waterproof tape.  

Like Emily, start with some greenery.

Add flowers by pushing the stems through the spaces
in the chicken wire to hold them in place. Add more
greenery at the end if needed. 

If you want to follow Emily and her company on social
media, here is that information.

To see more of Emily's work here is a link to her Pinterest.

One of Emily's mentors is Ashley Beyer of Tinge Floral.
She designs in a similar style to Emily. Here is a link 
to Tinge Floral on Pinterest to see more floral examples.

To watch Ashley make a centerpiece from start to 
finish and comment along the way, there is a free
video to watch on "If I Made" website.

This style of floral design may not be that "new" but
it certainly is "new to me"...what about you?

I am sharing this post over at this blog party...
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home
Flaunt It Friday @ Chic On A Shoestring

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