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An Italian affair

June 9, 2013

The Jaybirds went on a European excursion wedding last week with a trip to the beautiful Lake Maggiore in Italy.

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How to… put some fizz bang into your flowers!

October 29, 2012

No sooner have we bobbed for the last apple on Halloween when Fireworks Night will go off with a bang!

Display of flowers for fireworks night

To make sure your home is as beautiful as the night sky on the 5th November this, try your hand at this week’s Do It Yourself centrepiece: How to put some fizz bang into your flowers.

And if you’re too busy setting off sparklers to make your explosion of flowers, just contact us and we’ll do all the hard work for you.

You’ll need:

  • Three dried teasels (you can find these along the river bank if you want to pick rather than buy).
  • One1 spray of red berries
  • A few sprays of gold ‘berries’ and some red sparkle ‘fern’ which I borrowed from the Christmas decorations
  • A spray of rosehips
  • Five orange Germini (small Gerberas which can be easily purchased from a supermarket)
  • Three  pink Germini
  • Two red Germini (you could use any brightly coloured daisy-type flowers or chrysanths)
  • One green Carnation

Method:

I used a jam jar, with a narrower top than bottom, to balance the weight of the arrangement, which I sotod inside a black shiny gift bag. I packed tissue paper around the jar to, again, help stability. If you have a black vase, the you can use that.

What you'll need for your Firework flowers

My aim was to use the flowers, teasels and berries to represent the myriad of colours of fireworks exploding in the night sky. So, firstly I added the gold berries to the left of the vase, the sparkly fern and red berries to the right and the spray of yellow mini chrysanths down the middle.

I then placed the three teasels to the left, right and centre of the vase to represent rockets shooting into the sky. Make sure you cut the teasels to different lengths before placing them. In fact, all your flowers need to be at different lengths for the arrangement, Never be worried about cutting stems of flowers down to suit your vase.

Place your flowers to resemble rockets shooting into the sky

Now put in the germini in groups of colour. I put the orange to the left, the pink more to the middle and the red to the left, at all different lengths. These represent the the colours from Roman Candles etc.

Finish with the green carnation and spray of rosehips in the centre. You then nhave an effect of all the colours high in the sky and gradually falling to earth.

Place your arrangement against a dark wall or a mirror for full effect.

You’ve done it! A firework flower finale fit for the 5th November.

If you tried our pumpkin tale centrepiece two weeks, please give us a sneaky peek – we’re just DYING to see them!

How to use free and foraged resources for a seasonal display

October 19, 2012

This week we’re showing you how to create something stunning completely free, just by making the most of the natural resources in your local area.Jam jar seasonal floral display

Firstly, go foraging!

There aren’t many flowers around now that are suitable for picking but there is still lots of foliage and some of it is in the process of making the spectular transformation into its autumn colours. Berries, leaves and foliage create a dazzling display at this time of year so get out and about and see what you can find.

From the garden and surrounding area we picked up:

  • Cuttings from a lime green fir tree
  • Variagated laurel
  • Mint
  • Oak leaves,
  • Ivy
  • Red maple leaves.

To go with the foliage, we also sourced hypericum berries, orange berries from a shrub and some berried ivy.

We made the most of the last of the garden flowers, picking one yellow rose, two sprays of small white roses, two sprays of fuchsia, one green carnation and a few japanese anemones and some feverfew (small white daisy-type flowers).

You can use whatever you find during your foraging.

Method

Step one:

Collect three jam jars. Mine are marmalade jars which are longer and narrower than many jars and look lovely filled with foliage, but you can use any glass jars that you have. I’ve left the labels on mine as I think they are attractive but if you prefer clear glass, then the labels can be soaked off.

Fill the jars with water and tie a piece of raffia around the neck of the jar, finishing with a bow. You may prefer to use narrow ribbon to match or contrast with the arrangements or your room. You could also use five jars if you want a bigger display. An uneven number of jars looks better.

Step two:

Divide the flowers and foliage evenly into three bunches so that you have flowers, berries and foliage in each bunch.

Step three:

From one of your bunches begin with some foliage in one hand and using flowers, berries and foliage alternately, gradually work around the bunch in one direction, until all your material is used up.

Tie the bunch with some raffia or twine. Cut the stems so that they are even and place in the jam jar. Ensure that none of the foliage is below the water line as this will make the water rank.

Step four:

When all the bunches have been made and your jars are filled, place them along a fireplace or windowsill.

Give it a go! Jam jar displays are are a cheap and quick way to add a bit of shabby chic style to your room.

Remember to visit again next week when we’ll show you how to create an explosion of floral fireworks to help your bonfire night celebrations go off with a bang!

How to… Make the most of a mixed bunch

October 12, 2012

It’s always lovely to receive flowers but sometimes you get left with a mixed that just don’t look, well quite ‘right’ together.

Maybe you’ve got leftovers from lots of bouquets, or perhaps you’ve picked up a bargain bunch from the market at the end of the day.

Here’s how to easily divide your mismatched blooms to make two lovely arrangements.

We used:

  • A mixed bunch of flowers
  • A block of oasis cut to fit two small plastic trays (can be bought very cheaply from a hobby craft shop)
  • Mixed foliage (we used ivy leaves, some berried ivy and some hebe leaves, all from the garden but you can use any leaves that you find locally).

Divide the bunches, considering the colour, shape and size of the flowers. We had deep pink roses, pale pink roses, small yellow roses, eryngium (blue/grey thistles) and mauve spray chrysanths.

Divided into two bunches they became five small yellow roses with the blue/grey thistles in one bunch and two colours of pink roses and the mauve chrysanths in the other. You can pick different colour themes and adjust the instructions below accordingly.

Sort your flowers into colour schemes

Our first arrangement was for a side-table and we used the small roses and thistles. This arrangement is to be viewed just from the front.

1. Put a block of soaked oasis to fit snugly into the tray. Cut off the four corners so the top is rounded (a top tip for slicing through the oasis is to keep the knife in the oasis and move the oasis rather than putting the knife in and out – a bit like slicing a sponge cake through the middle.

2. Place some large ivy leaves around the bottom of the oasis, overlapping each one slightly and pushing them firmly in. Push a branch of feathery-type leaves (like the hebe) straight down the middle and a shorter one each side of the Oasis. This has now become your outline.

Now build width and height with foliage

3. Remove leaves from the roses as rose leaves wilt very quickly. Take three yellow roses and place them at varying lengths straight down the centre of the arrangement. Place another yellow rose to each side, following the line of the leaves.

Start adding the first flower colour

4. Place the thistles around the roses to complement them and fill in any spaces with ivy leaves and some berried ivy if you can find some in the garden or in the woods. It seems to be very plentiful this year, maybe due to our wet summer!

There you have it! A simple, low-cost arrangement which will look great on a side table.

Remember that the display will be seen from all sides

Now for something a little different, using flowers from the same original bunch – the different colour pink roses together with the mauve chrysanths and the rest of the hebe leaves

1. Prepare the oasis and tray as before. Place the shortened hebe sprays around the bottom of the oasis, starting with the four corners and then filling in around. Place a spray of the leaves in the middle of the oasis and then put smaller sprays of the leaves all over the oasis. We also used a few mauve pebbles around the bottom of the container to match the flowers and add a little more interest. You can use any stones or pebbles you have that match or contrast with the flowers.

Start your arrangement with a foliage foundation

2. Using the deeper pink roses, place one down the middle of the oasis to make the finished height of your arrangement and the other four equal distant around the middle.

Create a base for your arrangement

3.Fill in firstly with the paler pink roses around your arrangement and then the spray chrysanths. Make sure that the chrysanths are pushed well into the oasis to give depth to the arrangement. Fill in any gaps with more leaves ensuring that the oasis doesn’t show. Remember that this is an all-round arrangement as it is going to sit in the middle of a table. We also added a few more pebbles around the bottom of the tray.

Build your arrangement up

You now have a lovely little arrangement to place on a coffee table or in the middle of your dining room table and it’s all your own handiwork!

Simple but spectacular Halloween centrepieces

October 5, 2012
In the first of our weekly ‘How to’ feature, we’re going to show you how to make a stunning centrepiece for your Halloween festivities, perfect for parties that the grown-ups will be wowed by too.
Add a terrifying twist with some ghostly glitter
You’ll find everything you from the supermarket, local street market or hobby craft store. We even picked our own foliage and berries from the garden and woods – it’s amazing what you can find when you start looking!
You’ll need:
  • A pumpkin – any size is fine but the bigger it is, the more flowers you’ll need.
  • A piece of oasis
  • Clingfilm
  • 7 bright orange roses. Choose flowers that have bloomed, rather than tight buds.
  • Yellow spray chrysanthemums
  • 2 large orange gerberas (you could also use large orange chrysanths)
  • Purple clematis flowers. (you could use any purple flowers – lisianthis which are available from supermarkets and can be dark purple, would also look great)
  • Hypericum berries that have turned black
  • Berried ivy
  • Dried orange berries (you could cheat by using artificial ones which you’ll get hold of from local markets)
  • Some spikey foliage – cut some from a fir tree if you like
Optional:
Halloween themed accessories

Step 1:

Cut the top off your pumpkin and keep the ‘lid’.  Remove the seeds and discard. Scoop out the flesh using a sharp knife and large spoon. A good idea to keep this in a bowl and use for pumpkin soup (really simple to make and yummy!) or pumpkin pie if you’re feeling more adventurous.

Step 2:

Line the inside of the pumpkin with a doubled piece of clingfilm. Insert a soaked piece of oasis to fit securely in the pumpkin and to reach just under the top.
 First, scoop out a pumpkin

Step 3:

Take the pieces of spikey foliage, remove the greenery from the bottom part of the stem and cut to a point. Insert into the oasis to make the outline of your arrangement, remembering to work all the way round the arrangement. Add two larger-leafed pieces to the side-middle. You now have the basis of your arrangement.
Add spikey foilage to your pumpkin base

Step 4:

Now take your 7 orange roses. These will be the main feature of the arrangement. Place the first one in the middle so that it is a little shorter than the middle leaves. Work around the arrangement evenly pacing the roses.

Step 5:

Add your 2 orange gerberas (or large chrysanthemums) one each side of the centre, one towards front and the other towards back of the arrangement. Add black hypericum berries and orange dried berries evenly amongst the flowers and foliage all around the arrangement.
Now add oranges roses and other flowers

Step 6:

Now for some purple! Take several clematis flower heads (or other purple flowers (lisianthus or asters can be found in purple) and place them around the lower part of the arrangement.

Step 7:

Continue to add more small pieces of foliage where you see spaces. If you can pick some berried ivy, which seems plentiful on the wild ivy this year, it will create excellent contrast.

Step 8:

Lastly, add some pale yellow spray chrysanths to ‘lift’ your arrangement as orange, purple and black are intense colours. Place the chrysanths further into the oasis to create depth in your arrangement. If you can still see the oasis use more foliage to fill in.

Step 9:

Optionally you can sprinkle on a handful of Halloween magic with some spooky accessories such as spiders, bats or ghouls. I showered mine with witches dust (silver glitter) and finished off with a string of skull and crossbones tinsel.
 Add purple contrasting flowers

Step 10:

Place the lid of the pumpkin on the side for a final florish.
Of course, if you’re up to your fangs in treats and apple bobbing you could always contact us for some help on 07922 422 416 or 07922 422 616.
Happy Halloween!

Glamour and glitz

September 25, 2012

Our latest beautiful bride wanted to make sure her wedding captured Hollywood in its heyday, with a black and white colour scheme and plenty of glitter and glitz.

Glamorous Hazel was open to new ideas – a fantastic opportunity for the Jaybirds to show off a little and bring in some twists to the usual floral decorations!

We sourced high-impact ostrich feathers to create jaw-dropping table centrepieces for a real wow factor as guests entered the reception. White roses sat in bejewelled pots at each table and a smattering of table crystals completed the transformation from mundane to movie star amazing.

Good ole fashioned fun

September 26, 2011

The Jaybirds ventured out of the studio on Sunday to take part in the Isle of Wight Vintage Fair.

We went for a mixed vintage theme with a 1940s wedding, 1950s tea party and 1960s cocktail evening display. Something for everyone!

As well as selling our own services, we met a whole host of amazing suppliers, all with fabulous collections of vintage products for sale or hire, who we’ll be keeping in contact with so that we can provide you with everything you need for a vintage wedding or party.

Many thanks to the organisers for a wonderful day and we’re looking forward to next year already!

A wave to some of the fantastic vintage suppliers we met at the Isle Wight Vintage Fair:

Isle of Wight Pearl

Oh So Vintage!

Vintage Vacations

Vintage Hair Lounge

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