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Decorating Christmas Wreaths

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Dec 09, 2017

As you’ve probably noticed, streets are slowly being filled with lit up homes dressed in garland and other festive décor that lets everyone know it’s their favorite time of year.  For decorators and floral designers, it’s the busiest time of the year where they put their creative thinking to the test to manifest stunning holiday pieces that will encourage the holiday spirit.  From trees to pine roping, experts are hard at work accommodating their customers tastes and needs to produce beautiful reminders that Christmas has indeed arrived.  One area of particular interest is the demand for personalized hanging door wreaths which are an increase of demand.  In past years, trends have shown an absence of interest in this item but in 2017, wreaths look to be making a gigantic comeback.

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One reason why they are returning to so many Christmas lists is the fact that this symbol encompasses the true meaning of the season, which embraces unity, love and the centrality of togetherness.  The circular shape of the ornament is the expression of eternity where there is no end, just the continuation of interwoven branches that signify the bonds between family.  The significance of the wreath dates back to centuries ago where people made their own decorations using material they had available and replicated formations of icons they found of importance. The circular shape being one that held the most importance during celebrations-particularly Christmas.


Although you see many wreaths made out of pine, there are many different types sold in tree lots, flower shops or ones you can whip up on your own.  You can use a variety of materials to create breathtaking décor to be placed on your door and several can be found for little to no cost at all.  Here are some of my favorite branches and foliage which are fabulous for this type of project:

Leather Leaf

Eucalyptus

Pussy Willow

Grape Vine

Privet Berries

Ruscus

Boxwood

Evergreen

Dried Flowers and Herbs


Depending on what you have chosen for greenery, you can add ornaments to the piece by using a hot glue gun to secure the items.  Ribbons, pine cones and small charms make wonderful additions to holiday wreathes or you can forgo further design to allow a natural style for you to enjoy.

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas Wreaths, Holiday Roping, Christmas

Christmas Bulbs Make Great Presents

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Dec 07, 2017

The holiday season can bring a lot of anxiety and stress to shoppers who are constantly in search for the perfect gifts.  Finding that special something for someone you love can be tricky when sledging through the endless racks and bins of department stores of meaningless nick nacks.  Then of course, there’s the strict budget we put in place that every year becomes more and more expanded due to inflated cost increases and seasonal demand.  It’s enough to make a person CRAZY went they find themselves a drift in this typical December situation so it’s high time we started thinking of better options that will make wonderful sentimental gestures but won’t empty our wallets in the process.  Luckily, it just so happens that Boston florists have the precise suggestion to end this yuletide disaster and per usual- they’re answering with flowers.

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While there are loads of flora and fauna that make wonderful gifts, experts are heavily pushing the idea of bulbs that are incredibly affordable and fun to watch growing.  Weeks after the Christmas tree comes down, those who have received a stunning bulb will get to enjoy the memento and keep the holiday mood with them as they watch the bud open.  There are many ways to share these interesting blossoms such as wrapping them up in cellophane or starting the bulb on your own by placing the bottom in a vase filled with an inch of water.  Depending on how savvy the person you’re thinking of is in the garden, you can decide which way will work best in order to evade premature rotting.  If this idea sounds like one that may just solve this year’s conundrum of problems, check out these different species that are all swell examples of flowers to give this Christmas.


Amaryllis

Amaryllis still remains the #1 flower to gift during the holiday season and the reason lies within noticing the plant’s beautiful shades of red, white, pink, peach or stripe that coats each petal.

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Hyacinth

Hyacinth are fabulous varieties to give to someone special because of their cheerful structure, pleasant aroma and symbolic representation of the spring season ahead.


Paper Whites

If you enjoy a strong, sweet scent, these pretty little blooms make amazing presents that will fill fresh scent in every room of any home.   


Allium

Alliums are fun to watch sprout because they lay on the exotic side and promise to be different for that person who seems to have everything.  

Tags: Amaryllis Bulbs, Paper White Bulbs, Christmas, Christmas Flowers

Fresh Cut  #ChristmasTrees for 2017

Posted by Suzie Canale on Tue, Dec 05, 2017

It’s time to hang those wreaths, plug in some lights and get that wrapping paper ready because the holiday season is finally here!  If you are already writing down your list of to-do’s, you might want to make sure choosing a Christmas tree is one of your top priorities.  What would the holiday season be without the fresh scent of pine wafting through the house and the sparkling of ornaments draped on each bough?  You simply cannot do Christmas without the “piece de resistance”!  Now, not every tree is the same in the lot so you’re going to want to go shopping with a bit of insight on the varieties available and the differences between them as well.  A tree is never just a tree in this business and you’ll need to bring your holiday savviness when you set off on this mission.  Here are a few facts to consider as you browse the selection.

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Possible Species You May See in New England:


Blue Spruce Green Spruce


Balsam Fir Fraser Fir


White Pine Noble Fir


Listed above are probable species you might catch site of when selecting your tree.  With careful study, you’ll notice that these trees all vary in size, width, shade and texture.  It all depends on the family’s (or decorators) preference when it comes to opting for one or the other.  Be on the lookout for these specific features which will help you to navigate the path to your dream tree!


Blue Spruce-Pretty tree with an oblong shape that has a pointy top which is perfect for hanging a glowing star.


Balsam Fir- The number 1 choice for Bostonians is the balsam because it has a long-lasting lifespan and a pungent aroma that holds for the season.


White Pine- One of the largest species to grow in the forest; for those who like a “showy” Christmas display, this one’s for you!


Green Spruce-Although these are beauties, they possess wicked sharp needles and the branches are loaded with them… Be careful if you have little ones at home.

Fraser Fir- This tree has a great shape for Christmas decorating because the body is a uniform pyramid and the branches twist upwards to prevent ornaments from sliding down.

 

Noble Fir- These guys can come in a variety of different shapes and sizes but they are stunning for the holiday occasion due to their soft leafage and strong branches.  They are rare around these parts since they thrive on warmer Washington and California temperatures.



 

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas Trees, Christmas, Trees

Champagne is In for Christmas Heavy Metal

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Dec 01, 2017


When we think of Christmas, often shades traditionally associated with the season come to mind.  Red, green and white are the go-to palette for most florists and interior decorators who are given the job to transform homes into a festive place to have warm gatherings with friends and families.  While it’s safe to say that these three shades have no plans of ever going anywhere, I was pleasantly surprised to find that metal tints are making their way to center stage to close out 2017 and WOW do they bring a wonderful sense of style!  Gold, silver and bronze may have always been applied in small doses throughout holiday decorating but this year, they become more than just your basic accessory...  

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Refreshingly, one color that top designers are convinced will be a hit during December celebrations is champagne.  Most people might wonder what this exactly means since there is sometimes a controversy over what the exact tint champagne actually is.  According to the dictionary, the metallic sheen is referred to as, “a name given for various very pale tints of yellowish-orange that are close to beige. The color's name is derived from the typical color of the beverage Champagne.” If you’re still confused, one way to navigate these tricky waters is to rely heavily on blossoms of peach, blush pink and cream.  Excellent species that will work to your favor are soft garden roses (which grow in both of these colors), as well as stock, ranunculus and even certain types of Asiatic lilies.  You can mix any combination of these together or use one specific variety to feature in your arrangements.    


Another idea to keep in mind is to create the effect by using props such as holiday baubles, jewelry, ornaments, lights and other trinkets luminescent of the champagne color.  By using props, you can add to the theme by placing white or cream blossoms in the center or incorporate pretty tea lights to set off the right glow.  In this picture, we can see that the designers relied heavily on this notion by arranging faux stems of spray painted gold poinsettias and silver/pink balls to the side of the container.  This makes a gorgeous centerpiece and will live long past New Year’s if you’re planning a second holiday party.  If you think you can pull it off, combine these two theories by mixing together stems of blush and cream roses with glittered ornaments surrounded by a bed of pine.  This piece won’t only impress people with the champagne effect but will also show how much effort you’ve put in to following the latest yuletide seasonal trends.

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas, Christmas Flowers, Trends

Holiday Amaryllis Trends

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Nov 29, 2017


The holidays are a busy season for florists all over the city who are looking to improve past floral themes with fresh new designs each year.  While red and white roses are pretty much a staple through the month of December, certain varieties often pop up in popularity which freshen a traditional presentation into a contemporary arrangement.  In recent years, species such as freesia, phalaenopsis, privet berries and green frilly gerbera have graced the pages of industry magazines focusing on promoting a serene, effortless style.  Luckily, 2017 promises not to disappoint.  Instead of previous mixes of compact arrangements most commonly associated with the “globe” shape, technique is switching to a more architecture look using branches, berries and other lengthier stems that will bring more dynamic to the table.  One variety which is said to be the true highlight in most holiday centerpieces this year is the amaryllis.

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One of the reasons that keeps this flower around during the Christmas season is because of the multitude of styles you can use to create beautiful bouquets and arrangements.  Featured in this photo is an excellent example of how the amaryllis can be cleverly positioned as a stunning centerpiece.  Choose a tall, slender glass vase for the container and simply place the bunch inside with two inches of water at the bottom.  You’ll only need about five to seven stems to replicate this design and you’ll be pleased to see how long it lasts!


 

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas, Christmas Flowers, Amaryllis

Easy to Make Floral Gifts for Christmas

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 27, 2017

Christmas is a wonderful time of year when we rejoice with others to spend time caroling, feasting and swapping gifts to express how much we care for one another.  For some, this season is a joyous time when the spirit invokes an ease of generosity towards family and friends while others have a hard time keeping inline within budget and cost restraints.  It can be stressful to say the least but the truth is, there are other ways to wrap our presents without succumbing to stress and guilt over our leftover credit card receipts.  Christmas means more than how much money we spend and it is high time we manifest options where we won’t have to break the bank to please those on our list.  One area that is beginning to look promising is the expansion of ideas coming from Boston florists who say “they know how to impress at a price much less”.  Here are some of the clever gift giving notions designers are pushing for customers who are seeking reasonable expenditures for this year’s December festivities.

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Personalized bud vases

This is a really neat idea, particularly for those who like to collect mason jars or other small bud vases to save for later use.  Well, here’s your chance!  With a touch of art, these tiny vessels can be transformed into wonderful gifts just by adding a little personalized touch along with a few sprigs of beautiful blooms.  First, you’ll want to check the containers to make sure there are no cracks or holes which will dribble water once they are filled.  Next, it’s important to clean the inside and outside of the lids until the material is sparkling.  After you are sure they are dry, use a permanent marker to write a cheerful message or print their initials on the side to make it special.  Don’t forget to insert a date on the bottom of the base that will remind friends and families of your thoughtful gesture years later.  If your vases are now ready to be filled, visit your local flower shop and purchase sweet blooms of roses, freesia, ranunculus or aster.  You want them to look airy and natural but if you prefer a more festive appeal, mix in a sprig or two of pine to spruce of the seasonal theme.


Pressed Flower Bookmarks

This is another fabulous trick for flower fans to gift to loved ones and you’ll be thrilled to know it won’t cost a whole lot from beginning to end.  All you need are some stems of blossoms that prefer to be dried such as lavender, violets, pansies, daisies or heather that will have no problem being easily flattened.  You also want to make sure they have small centers and petals with minimal bulk because these are the species which usually are troublesome for this type of project due to water retention.  Once you’ve chosen your selection, lay them in between two pieces of wax paper and press using a hot iron.  After sealing the ends, cut the paper into attractive strips similar in sizing to a bookmark and slide it in between a favorite book you already own.  Gift the entire present to someone special and watch them adore the time you’ve taken to make them feel special.

Tags: Christmas, Christmas Flowers, Gifts, Christmas Ornaments

How to Deck the Halls “Bad Moms 2” Style

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Nov 24, 2017

 bad moms 2 christmas.jpg

If you’re a mom, you might have already seen the movie, “Bad Moms 2” where our favorite off tilt mommies are at in again with their shenanigans.  It’s definitely a decent sequel to the first which continues the storyline to include their mothers on the train wreck to parenthood.  Yes, the film is pretty funny but being a previous florist and decorator, I couldn’t help not to notice the beautiful staging used to create Christmas displays within the homes.  Throughout the flick, there is a constant battle between mother and daughter to solve the question of who does it better when sprucing up for a Christmas holiday-the root of the plot’s conflict.  While one depends on a traditional look of a simple lights, homemade cookies and a stolen tree from Foot Locker, the style is vehemently opposed by dear mom who prefers to kick things way up into an affluent ordeal.  Think crystal, matching wrapping paper, blue tinsel and a musical display of “Twelve Days of Christmas”.  Yep-this one was a little over the top for even me but it was really interesting how the set designers contrasted the two different styles while keeping them both stunning for visual appeal.  Which Bad Mom are you?   Take a look at the trends to see which yuletide decorating fashion suits you!

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Traditional Daughter

You’re probably low key in nature and like to reuse ornaments from previous years over and over again to memorialize past Christmas’s ago.  Red, green and white are your go-to colors for palette and multi- hued lights with the big bulbs are favorites to load onto the tree and outside the home.  Other designer preferences that you adore are homemade crafts from the kids, fresh pine roping to hang in every corner of each room, newspaper for wrapping and cut-out white snowflakes you also cut out on your own.

 

Contemporary Grandma

You’re in this holiday season to make a big bang and to let every neighbor out there know- you own this holiday thing! There’s no way you’ll rely on the same ho-hum trinkets you’ve used in previous years because whatever is the hot trend seen in Times Square is what you’ll be replicating for family and friends.  Silver, gold and blue turn you on since red and white have been done to death and there will be no strings of tinsel that will make your tree appear unkept. You’ll also like roping made of faux material because those needles will make a mess when they drop and untidy the presentation you’ve worked so hard to propel.   Clear crystal glassware will be a necessity for dining as well as for lighting which will be strung in perfect ringlets across tree(s) and living space.  

White bulbs are all you’ll tolerate to keep things looking crisp and immaculate so don’t even think about flashing rainbow lights!

 

Best Case Scenario- The Compromise

Truth be told, both of these styles are really beautiful but when put together, the result will be even more gorgeous than expected.  Compromise by allowing some homemade personal touches accompanied with fashionable baubles that modernize the look.  Remember, the holidays are meant to be spent with family and friends so don’t waste every moment trying to perfect decorations that will only be taken down in the end.  

Tags: Movies, Holiday Movies, Holiday Decor, Christmas

The Old is New this Christmas

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Nov 20, 2017

Each yuletide season, trends continue to change from everything to lighting, tree decorating and even celebratory cuisine.  As we prepare to take on the 2017 holiday whirlwinds, it’s fun to invest a little time in learning what’s hot on the menu for designers.  While many of us are not partial to hiring personal chefs and decorators to whisk are homes into a cheerful state, there’s no reason why we can’t take a peek to find out how to copy their taste on an affordable budget.  There’s no rule saying hosts must break the bank to recreate looks seen in magazines and lucky for us, this year’s theme relies heavily on the recycling of already owned items.


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Experts say that acclaimed designers are heavily relying on the idea that “Old” is the “New” when mapping out their selections for décor this Christmas and Hanukah.  Instead of purchasing contemporary lines of modernized props, they are hunting yard sales and online auctions for previously owned memorabilia which dates back to more than a few decades ago.  Trunks, basements and attics are also busy places where professional decorators are scavenging to find old boxes, milk containers and other reminders of years past.  Remember that ancient train set you stashed in the closet years ago?  Or maybe you just couldn’t let go of a teddy bear from your childhood?  Well, now’s the time to pull them out of retirement because these are the exact props designers are looking for!  Think small trucks, wooden toys, antique dolls and wool hats for possible accessories to place amongst poinsettia plants, Christmas trees (used as ornaments) and outdoor urns where they will turn a plain arrangement into a real conversational piece!  Don’t worry if they have chipped paint or missing parts since this will only add to their authentic appeal.  We’re going for a “traditional” appearance this year so make sure to select pieces that you have warm memories associated with.  


Once you’ve collected your things, now what do you do with them?  That’s a very good question…  Creating your own displays can be as easy as investing in some seasonal roping and strategically placing the trinkets within the beautiful the pine.  Hang on banisters and lay across the hearth to make a merry presentation for family and friends or attach to wreaths on the outside of your door.  If you are interested in applying this technique to your floral arrangements, you can use the same application process as long as the items are small enough not to distract from the blooms in the vase.  A little goes a long way with this style so don’t cramp containers which will make them look junky and less professionally done.

Tags: Holiday Decor, Christmas, Holiday Memories, Christmas Flowers

Does Your Kid Turn into a Monster During the Holidays?

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Dec 19, 2016

You may have laughed out loud when you read the title of this blog but I bet it wasn’t because the idea was out totally of the park!  How many of you secretly parent a child who is otherwise perfectly well mannered until the dreaded Christmas season rears its ugly head?

“I want this!  

“I better get that!”

“But you said Santa would give it to me!”  

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photo credit via http://702mag.com/

Sound familiar?

 

I don’t know what happens but many kids suffer this incredible personality change when Christmas closes in and many of us have a hard time figuring out why this occurs?

 

We use Santa as bait for good behavior, but even the guy in the red suit is no match for the whiles of overly excited, out of control little pills.

 

Perhaps the “Twinkie Defense” (or in this case the “Candy Cane Defense”) is responsible since their intake of sugar extends well past what their small bodies can manage?   Or could it be the continuous visions we load their tiny minds with through holiday media of movies and books?  Are characters such as Ebenezer Scrooge impacting their little minds with thoughts of selfishness, annoyance and naughty behavior?

 

According to specialists, the “Christmas Crank for Children” diagnosis stems from an increase of stimulation, decreased amount of sleep and an influx of in-nutritious foods.  One of these off kilter may not seem like such a big deal but when you combine all three-SHAZZAM!  You’ve got yourself one unhappy, inflexible hooligan of a kid.  

 

That kind of stinks, right?

 

After all, this season is made merry and bright by a child’s faith in holiday magic.  Their inherent ability “to believe” is what makes the whole thing fun and memorable for all of us who will do anything to see smiling faces on Christmas Day.

 

Is there anything we can do to prevent this negative metamorphous from occurring?  

 

Of course there is!   

 

While we can’t compete with the impact of Christmas Crazy, we can attempt to manage certain areas of their care, which will benefit their health (most specifically their mood) during the holidays.

  1. Mandate a reasonable time for bed and just say no to “Can I have ten more minutes, pleeeaaaasssseee?”
  2. Make sure they are drinking lots and lots of water to wash their systems out from built up sugar.  You’re not going to get them to avoid all of the Christmas sweets but you can help to keep them hydrated.
  3. Lower their expectations of what they are going to “get” and ask them what they are going to “give”.  Not up scaling previous holiday shopping is one way to keep things under control and to evade some of the unwarranted “gimmees”.  
  4. While there are lots of invitations to get-togethers and parties, your child may not be able to attend all of them.  Seasonal burn-out is typical with younger children who really need a grounded schedule to go by.  While agreeing to a few dates is perfectly fine, having your family booked out every day of the Christmas month is going to undoubtedly overwhelm and exhaust them.
  5. Switch up their books and DVD’s with some topics that are not holiday related.  Keep the Christmas classics that you love and add material other than stuff solely wrapped around trees, wreaths and Santa.  It will help keep things in perspective and allow an easier transition when it’s time to get back to their regular routines.

Tags: Christmas, Holidays, Kids, Santa

When is a Christmas Tree JUST TOO BIG!

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Dec 17, 2016

So, I’m writing this blog topic because it seems to be a seasonal issue that comes up in my household a lot.  Whether you reside in an apartment, condo, cottage or mansion, the size of the tree you select for the holidays should really be suitable for the space that you live in.  Why am I bringing this up?  Because many people become a bit overly exuberant when the time of trimming comes upon us, which can sometimes affect our selection process.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the crisp clean scent of pine wafting through the house for a couple of weeks and hanging heirloom ornaments that have been cherished over the years but isn’t the height and diameter of our Christmas stage a factor to consider?  With minimal space, you’ve got to be realistic and opt for trees that will ACCENTUATE not ARROGATE your living space.  I get it-you love the yuletide season and finding the biggest, baddest tree in the lot has become an activity you look forward to but you’ve got get real.  That sucker is going to be in a living room, dining room, sitting room or wherever for a good chunk of the month and finding the right size is imperative to continuing the household’s routine functionality.  Dragging home a whopper that is seven times the build of the dinky corner you’re planning to set it up in can only lead to disorganization, tipping accidents, dry out and even fires.  You don’t have to be Clark Griswold to celebrate the holiday in style by mowing down a fir that a cathedral couldn’t even host!  Think about where you’re really putting the thing and then browse your options from there.  You should also be thinking about the comfort of both you and OTHERS who you’ll be sharing the holidays with since someone’s going to be cleaning up a whole lot of needles for the next month.  

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If you’re not sure what the right size tree is, ask one of the guys that are working the lot because they have a pretty good idea when it comes to Christmas tree etiquette.  If you want, print this out and take it along with you to help make your decision easier and wiser!


My first apartment wasn’t huge but I always had a perfectly trimmed tree that fit beautifully in my living room.  This ½ pint adorable pine is all you need to dress your place up for the holidays!



If you are lucky to live in a warm cottage, you might want to think about this size since it is completely reflective of the charm of your home.  Not to big, not too little but          just right!




If you live here- GO FOR IT!  Go check out the monster trees that could only probably fit in the entrance of a mall and light that sucker up!

Tags: Traditions, Holiday Decor, Christmas Trees, Christmas

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