Happy Thursday, hope you had a wonderful July 4th to my American friends, it was quite the washout here, which was disappointing we often enjoy the parade (it was cancelled.) It literally rained all day. Last week Mr L and I celebrated our wedding anniversary, eight fun filled years, Mr L informed me that it was pottery, he did this while surprising me with the most beautiful porcelain bowl. As I begin to share my home with you, you will learn about my passion for china and the colors blue and white. Mr L hit the jackpot with this present. I knew the bowl would take pride of place on my dining table and although it looked beautiful I knew it was goading me to try my hand at making my own floral centerpiece.
A Pattern Close Up
Firstly I knew that the easy option would be to take it to the florists and ask them to plant something stunning in it, I also knew if my idea went tits up then I could fall back on that plan. Secondly I had considered buying a fake arrangement but that would have to be online and although I am not against faux flowers they have to be the most exquisite quality otherwise they can look cheap and I hate not being able to see or touch them. Thirdly both options are bloody expensive and I felt I could have a go. So for Queen and Country I jumped in and I share with you what I did.
What I Used
An extra large beach towel, so not to dirty the floor. (You will see why later.)
Potting Mix for Orchids. I used the coarse blend.
A black bin liner/ trash bag to line your bowl of choice.
Clips to help keep liner in place
A bowl to collect old soil.
Orchids (the amount is dependent on your bowl size.)
Moss to cover top of bowl (not in picture.)
The centerpiece bowl (not in picture.)
A sixteen month Goldendoodle puppy (not necessary at all, wanted to be involved she was a total pain in the butt, but God she is cute.)
Take the bin liner/ trash bag and with one of the bottom corners place it in the bottom of the bowl, making sure the corner is centered.
Then pull the bag taut over the sides and clip. (You will have plenty of excess.)
Next use scissors to cut and remove the excess. Leave a few inches below the clips on the outside you can tuck this in later.
You now take the Orchids out of their packaging (this is where the bowl comes in.) Orchids tend to be packed in mossy/damp soil which needs to be removed carefully to expose the roots.
I then semi lined the bowl with the potting soil about half full.
Next I positioned the Orchids where I thought they would look best, juggling the roots is quite complex as they are shallow and bulky and alter placement.
It is important to view the Orchid placements from all angles.
Carefully fill the rest of the bowl with the potting soil, I did this by hand to ensure all roots are covered.
It is quite fiddly because you have to make sure the Orchid leaves are not trapped.
The leaves get dirty/dusty from the soil so I used a paintbrush to clean them up.
I then used plant twine to pull the Orchid close to the rod so it is upright and looks neater. Orchids can drop with the weight of the bloom.
I prefer to use twine and then cover with florists tape in the color of the stem, looks better.
The Orchid clips I find are not as effective at holding the plant straight.
Then you remove the clips, you can either cut the remaining excess or tuck it in as I did (neater edge.)
Finally you add the florists moss on top to give a professional look (who am I kidding?!)
I then placed the arrangement on the table and admired my amateur work.
I am actually quite pleased with the result and certainly doesn’t look bad when in situe and your not looking too close. Plus it saved me several $100.
Happy Monday. I hope your weekend was great, mine was interesting as Mr L is away on business and I have been flying solo with Little L for the last week, she has been pretty good except for night waking. I have to tell you this mama does not do well on little sleep. I did try my first hip-hop class this weekend, yes you read this right and Beyoncé I am not although I had great fun. On Sunday evening my friend and I took our daughters to see Daniel Tigers Neighborhood which was performing in Houston and that inspired me for todays post. It was wonderful to see so many parents appreciating the value in taking their preschoolers to the theatre. I secretly hope Little L shares my passion for theatre, it is one of the things I miss most about my British life, I was spoilt with the West End on my doorstep. I was blessed with the variety of theatre I saw in my formative years, so whenever their is anything suitable for Little L I pounce. I was touched to see her actively participating in the audience, she was so upset when we left as she wanted more “Dan Dan.”
I have been meaning to share this post for a long while, but better late than never -right? Now Little L has started pre-school I find myself nostalgic about where the last (almost 3 years have gone -wth?) A wise person said “the days are long but the years short.” They definitely had toddlers. She turned two in the latter part of last year and Mr L and I decided to celebrate this milestone with a party at Gymboree. If you are not familiar with this establishment it is a program of classes for children from 0-5 available across the world. Little L had been attending our local classes since she was 8 weeks old and I have never underestimated how much she has benefited from attending. Like so many of the children’s facilities they offer parties, after all who wants to entertain a group of toddlers?
Gymboree do offer an excellent range of themes for their parties, at that time she had one great love and he came in the form of an animated tiger called Daniel or as she calls him Dan Dan. This is based on Mister Rogers Neighborhood. I appreciate my European readers will not be familiar with this cartoon but if you see it on Netflix or Amazon Prime and you have a toddler, download. If you need further convincing I was reading over the summer of some research by Texas Tech on preschoolers who watch Daniel Tiger and its affect on social skills development. (I link article here.) Little did I know when I purchased some very cute electronic invites of Daniel Tiger on Etsy, how little party merchandise there was. Disney and Nick Jnr seem to have all their characters covered but the PBS characters have a less commercial presence.(Although I think this is improving.) So this means that TLL had to spring into Pintrestmom and make and create things that would fit the theme. Below I wanted to share with you some of the photos of things that I made to give it the Daniel Tiger party it’s feel and make it a party for Little L to remember.
The majority of the party was a class of fun games and activities on the equipment and I knew that it was during snack time and home time is where I could create the theme feel.
The birthday girl. I purchased her adorable t-shirt from etsy.
Getting stuck into playtime
As I was serving a simple tea, I wanted the food to be light, relatively healthy and easy to transport. I made these pizza bites which I found through Pinterest. The kids loved them. I kept them veggie as I had vegetarian, they all went. I also made fruit salad and portioned them into small pots, similar to this, they were perfect to transport and the right size for toddler tummies whose eyes were on cupcakes. I also served raisins and veggie sticks. I was pleased as I was left with very little food and all the kids seemed to eat and enjoy. They sat for 20 mins eating and chatting which was super.
Favor Boxes/ Party Bags
You can see the favor boxes above, they did take a while to make but once you have made a few you can speed up. I think they look pretty effective and the kids loved them. Inside was a face mask as you can see. I also included a Daniel tiger crayon pack which I made, I bought sets of crayons placed them in a clear gift bag very similar to this. I added some coloring pages, a ball and a free pass to try a Gymboree class (thanks Gymboree.) Honestly it is a while since I packed them and I had none spare after delivering to some guests who couldn’t make it. I think there might have been one or two extra items.
I will be honest and say I would have been “up a creek without a paddle” if I did not have access to this PBS site, they helped with printouts and inspiration. I did adapt and change some of the ideas but generally a super resource. Little L’s party invites came from NineLivesNotEnough via Etsy. They were perfect and set the tone. I also bought her thank you cards at the same time which matched. Looked super. The same shop provided many of the printouts I used to decorate everything. I urge you to take a look. Little L’s T-shirt came from littlemacboutique via Etsy, again this was great for the party gal.
We really had a super time and it created many happy memories. I was very impressed with Gymboree and how professional and fun they made the whole event (I am fussy.) In conclusion I want to thank my brother who helped me prepare some of the decorations when he was over visiting (who knew you needed to be an Engineer to make trolleys?!) TLL knows how to treat her guests well. I would urge you to check out dollar/pound shops for party supplies (I never thought I would write that!!) I was impressed with what was available and you don’t mind trashing after the event. The party also reinforced to me that the party is for the kids and not the adults who attend. Little L’s first birthday we had lots of adults and we catered more for them, this time we made the right decision with a Gymboree style option. We had a great time, lets hope we can make some new friends in this new location before November so I can plan another party, but Little L if you are reading this lets have a more commercial theme next time? Princess’ Frozen, Sophia the First, Thomas, any of those would be great!