Art As Inspiration

After introducing you to Florescence, I cannot resist showing you more of the incredible floral arrangements interpreting the show’s challenges.  Before going on I should tell you that Florescence is one of the largest competitive national flower shows sanctioned by the Garden Club of America in the U.S.  

It is impossible not to be awed by these creations

and seeing them displayed with the art that inspired them makes them even more dramatic.

I was blown away by creations inspired by  couture dresses from the Museum of Fine Art’s collection.

As I look again at this photo, I notice that the arrangement mimics the flow of the dress…..absolutely stunning!

Here a styrofoam head wears an elaborate headdress made primarily of natural plant material.  What sea goddess wouldn’t love to be so adorned?

Many times I see wooden boxes used on tables as centerpieces. Unique here is the mix of succulents, roses, lilies and tropicals that demonstrate how anything can work together provided the choices are selected with a critical eye.

Particularly interesting were arrangements incorporating abstract qualities inspired by pieces in the Museum’s contemporary art collection.

The varied materials used with flowers and plant materials was wonderful,

and I will be keeping my eyes open for elements that add interest.

 Though I marveled over over the elaborate creations, I could not see such in my future.  I was attracted to the ikebana technique because it seems a little more doable,

 and I like the simplicity both of the containers and the flower design.

If I were to step a little out of my comfort zone, however, it would be to do something like this, so full of color and whimsey.

Oh, there is so much more I could show you, but hopefully, there is enough here to encourage your own creativity.  It would be wonderful to see the results.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Flowers As Art

Beautiful floral arrangements are works of art, particularly when they are created to meet a challenge such as that demanded by Florescence, an annual themed flower show in Houston. For two days the entries are displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts where huge crowds marvel at the astonishing creativity. 

 With so many of you interested in tablescapes, how could I not share these with you!  The arrangements  were to depict a dining experience at an exotic destination on a functional table for two. You may not find every element of the tablescape to be practical, but there is inspiration on each for our at home tables.

This is a very formal table with layers of textiles complementing the gold accents on the stemware and china.

Unique features are the unexpected use of orchids on the candlestickand the fish jumping into bowls filled with iridescent baubles.

As with the first table, a tall arrangement is the focal point.   I couldn’t help but think of sitting at either and wanting to move the arrangement to the side.

Two things, the teacup as a containerand a natural leaf secureing the napkin, are features  worth remembering.

This table is all about fun and thanks to the clever arrangement I could almost forgive its size as a centerpiece.  The use of pattern and color is consistent in every detail

right down to the elephants suspended at the layered corners.  What sets this table apart is its touches of whimsey.

Here pattern is key,and the layered textiles define the color palette used in both the flower selection and tableware.  

Overall, this is a simple table made warm and inviting by color and texture.  Did you notice that the floral arrangement is on the side?

So, there you have it, four different looks.  Keep in mind that in each case the table is secondary to the floral design. As beautiful as they are, the arrangements are a bit overstated for an at home table, but there are wonderful ideas for presentation and flower selection. Hopefully, there is something on each table that would translate to your personal style be it flower selection, color combination, the layering of cloth, the mixed textures or touches of whimsey.   I’d love to know your take away.

  i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Old Familiar Things

With the holidays over and Christmas decorations back in storage for another year, it is comfortable getting back to all those old familiar things that are part of everyday life.

img_8456The breakfast room table is void of trees and snow globes that are replaced with what is left of the flowers the hubby gave me for our anniversary.  They are arranged in an assortment of bottles which make for a simple  and colorful centerpiece.

img_8457The table runner is one I made from a scrap of my handwoven fabric bordered with another remnant.  Sometimes it pays not to throw anything away, but when I go into my studio I wonder how it will be possible to use all that is on the shelves!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith the runner and flowers in place, it was easy to pick everything else.  The dishes are one of my favorites, Tuscany Rose from 222 Fifth.  They’ve been around for a long time, and a few pieces now have chips in them.  I’ll keep using them though until they are no longer presentable.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdd glasses and flatware,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand in just a few minutes the table is done.  I wish that preparing dinner were that quick and easy!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Tablescape Thursday

Once, Twice, Maybe Again

fall decor/flowers/tablescapeWhat better way to begin a table than with bunches of fall blooms arranged in bottles from the Dollar Tree and surrounded by a few pumpkins on a paisley runner from TJ Maxx? Together they become a centerpiece reflecting the warmth and texture of the season.

cioppinoWhatever centerpiece is on the table always influences how it is set as well as what will be served. This one makes me think of cioppino, a hearty seafood stew made with all local ingredients and perfect for a chilly night.  (You can find the recipe here.)

tablescapePlaying off the colors of the flowers, these are the dishes and accessories selected.

tablescapeThose of you familiar with my tablescapes know that mixing and matching to add a bit of whimsy and energy is one of my favorite way to dress a table.

tablescapeToo, I keep the setting pretty simple as suits most of the meals I serve and invites people to feel comfortable.

tablescapeNow, this doesn’t happen too often, but we had back to back dinner guests, and I saw no reason to reinvent the wheel.  Centerpiece, placemats, glasses and napkins (clean, of course!) stayed the same and worked perfectly with different dishes and flatware.

tablescapeThe textures and patterns in these pieces gave the table a totally different look to say nothing about how easy the transition was.  I’m thinking that if the flowers last long enough, there could be a third change to this table!

For this dinner, we had pasta topped with a tomato based sauce full of lobster and mussels.  I do love the bounty of Maine!

This is apple picking time, so a dessert made with apples plucked right from the tree is a must this time of year.  This one is an upside down pie made with apples cooked in chai tea.  The taste is delightfully different, one you might want to try.

apple pie1 c. pecans, chopped
1/3 c. butter, melted
1/2 c packed brown sugar
 
2 pie crusts (I use Pillsbury ones to save a little time)
Filling
3 c. peeled, cored and sliced apples
3 T. butter
 
2/3 c. chai tea latte concentrate
Dash each of ground cinnamon and ground cloves
2 T. packed brown sugar
  • Heat oven to 375°F.
  • In 9-inch pie plate, combine pecans, melted butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Place 1 pie crust on top of pecan mixture in pie plate.
  • In 10-inch skillet, cook apples with 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat 2 minutes; add the chai tea. Cover; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add cinnamon and cloves. Drain apples and place in the pie crust; sprinkle 2 tablespoons brown sugar on top.
  • Cover filling with second crust; seal edges and cut a few slits in top crust to allow for venting.
  • Place pie on middle oven rack; place sheet of foil on rack below pie in case of spillover. Bake at 375°F 35 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven; immediately turn pie upside down onto serving plate.

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Florentine Style

tablescapeTables in Florence are just my style: simple, set with no fuss.

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Occasionally, tables were covered with a cloth or table runner,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbut most had nothing more than a paper mat.

tablescapeAt home in the apartment, it was easy to follow that lead as there were no linens.  Adding simple arrangements of flowers from the market was about as fancy as it would get.

tablescapeThough I rarely use paper napkins (everyone has their little quirks), they became the norm for our dinners at home which more often than not were for 6 as friends and family joined us. Tied with a scrap of ribbon and with a sprig of rosemary cut from the balcony, paper was quite satisfactory.

tablescapeSometimes a napkin was simply folded on the plate on top of which was a small dipping bowl for olive oil.  The bowls also served as place holders, terra cotta for guys, blue flowers for the ladies.

tablescapeOnce I found wonderful napkin rings in the shape of various herbs, I couldn’t resist using them as a special touch.

tablescapeI rather enjoyed having just one set of dishes which took all the decision making out of setting a table.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd, there was never a time when even the simplest food didn’t look quite appetizing on a white background.

tablescapeAfter a month of experiencing Florentine style, I’ve found that I quite like its understated, comfortable simplicity that is quite a contrast to the city’s beautiful and ornate architecture.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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