I hope you all had a fabulous holiday and are gearing up for some fun for tomorrow night –  New Year’s Eve! We’re off for a quiet(ish) night of drinks and games at a friend’s and looking forward to ringing in 2012!

With Christmas having just passed, I’d like to share a few of the touches that made our Christmas day dinner extra special. We hosted this year and Chef Kev took care of our amazing meal while I got busy making sure the house was festive and beautiful.

Here is the table centrepiece that I designed… and how I did it!

First I started with a bunch of grocery store bouquets. I really like designing my own arrangements and find these bouquets fit the ‘bill’ as they are cheaper then nursery or florist cut flowers. Plus by doing the arrangement myself I get to do something fun and creative!

The best part about this year was that my little ‘punch card’ at the supermarket was full (where they punch your card every time you buy some flowers and when your card is full you get some free) so this whole arrangement cost me $6! $26 if I didn’t have a full punch card.

My table setting was going to feature red and white so I wanted to reflect that in my arrangement. I came home with some red carnations, white dahlias, baby’s breath and some green tiger grass.

Then I chose my vase style (low and long for this project) and added my floral preserve. I like keeping my centrepieces low so that when dining it doesn’t distract from, or impede seeing and conversing with my guests!

Next I added in some cranberries since they are so Christmasey and look so pretty ;)… plus they actually do have an added benefit when designing your arrangement. The cranberries hold your flowers in place so there is no need for foam, frogs or a tape grid (sounds like a bad 80’s band name – “the foam frogs and tape grids”) but I digress…

And then I started adding in the flowers and designing. I cut the stems low so that they just extended above the edge of the vase. Starting first with the carnations…
And then adding in the dahlias. Oh, and side note – the bouquet came with a light spray of glitter on these, adding some sparkle to the bouquet. Another bonus of the grocery store arrangement!
I felt it needed a bit more texture at this point so went digging through my bins of ‘stuff’ and resurfaced with these great cotton branches (left over from an old arrangement).
So I tucked those in for some variety. Don’t they look like little snow puffs!? Love them.
From there I started adding in some baby’s breath. I tried a few ideas.
On the ends… Nope. No go. Didn’t like it.
Tucked throughout? Nope. Didn’t like that either. Too ‘fussy’. So out the baby’s breath (BB from now on) came. Sorry BB. But, for any diehard BB fans out there, fear not. Here is an arrangement I did back in the summer staring your BFF, BB.
So, with BB out, the tiger grass came in. I simply tucked an end into the water/cranberries, bent it over the arrangement and tucked it back in on the other side. And repeated.
After this step I decided to add another little twist. I came across these little felt trees in my ‘bin’ while getting the cotton branches. They were decoration on my Christmas crackers last year.
But wouldn’t they look cute tucked in to the carnations!? Yes, I think they would.
Now I was on a roll and watned to see what other ‘found objects’ I could add to spice up the arrangement. I wanted to add a bit of sparkle so went and grabbed a few jewellery items – an old silver ring, some barrettes, a broken necklace…
And after trying a bunch of options (tucking in the ring and barrettes, draping the chain etc.) I decided the barrettes themselves offered enough sparkle. Just a little touch seemed to do the trick.
At this point I was happy and considered it ‘done’ so stood back to take an ‘after’ shot. And then I noticed something…
Does anyone else see bag handles?
So out came the distracting tiger grass and it got rearranged in to a much more pleasing variation.
Phew. Simpler. Better.
And there you have it! Here are a few more angles of the finished arrangement 🙂
And here she is on our Christmas table. More to come on that tomorrow!