How To:

The design it yourself Tropical Sunset floral arrangement has Helicona Caribea, Heliconia Psittacorum, red ginger, Song of India, ti leaf, maraca ginger, echevaria succulents, and palm leaf. Using florist foam, you can easily create an intricate, beautiful design.

I usually do my tropical arrangements in florist foam, the blooms tend to be heavy and this will give a better control over the design and shape. Soak the flower foam completely in water that has had flower food added to the water. Let soak for 20 -30 minutes before starting.

I like using a solid colored vase or ceramic container, this way you can hide the floral foam. Using a sharp long knife cut your floral foam to fit your container, flush to the top of the container.

Tropical flowers tend to be large , bright vertical blooms that last for a couple of weeks. Prep you stems by cleaning off all excess leaves that may be under water so all you have left is the blooms on top of the big thick stems.

The best way to approach your design is to think architecturally. You will want to create an “L” shape by starting with a backdrop of a couple of ti leafs and palms and a few leaves around the top of the container. Then start at the highest point you want to make your arrangement, cutting your first stem to that height and insert into the foam. You should put your stems deep enough in the foam, a few inches so that stems stay in place.

Continue putting in your other flowers by grouping them in staggered heights so you can see each bloom from several sides.

Put a few blooms at a horizontal angle as well, like I’ve done with the red gingers, this will create some width to the look.

Then finish with a large headed bloom cut down low and tucked in the base, like I’ve done with the succulent head. This will carry your eyes from the top, down to the base of the arragnment.

Once you’ve put finished , wipe the leaves and blooms with leaf shine, this will clean up any water marks and help the blooms retain water.

Private and group classes are available.

History of Mother’s Day

The History of Mother’s Day

In the United States, we celebrate Mother’s Day as a special holiday dedicated to honoring moms for everything they do.  Although there might be a variation of customs associated with different religions and customs, most people choose to pay homage to dear old mum by a show of gifts, cards and of course-flowers.  It wasn’t always this way, since Mother’s Day has an interesting history that most aren’t aware of. While there is evidence that the holiday was recognized as far back to ancient Greek and Roman times, the progression of the event in the States holds a fascinating story compelled by determination and regret.  For founder, Anna Jarvis, daughter of Anne Reeves Jarvis, she never expected the outcome of all of her efforts to be disappointing in the end…

june cleaver
As stated before, the celebration of moms has been a long tradition but officially, the holiday was not added to the calendar until the year of 1914.  Originally inspired by the idea after her mother’s passing, Ms. Jarvis decided it would be her mission to initiate a movement to make it a nationwide observance.  Little did she know she would spend half of her life completing this mission until President Woodrow Wilson agreed to sign documents and decree Mother’s Day would occur every second Sunday in May.  Jarvis was thrilled with the effectiveness of her campaign but eventually grew to rue the day when she saw the outcome of commercialism taking over.

md1-1
With total surprise, Mother’s Day took off much stronger than expected, appealing to a broader scope of supporters than she ever expected.  Even though she was at first pleased by the reaction, Anna soon became enraged by the pure sentiment of loving your mother being replaced by the purchasing of expensive and lavish gifts.  She pointed the finger at businesses attempting to capitalize profits off of the new holiday, proclaiming they were all pigs just after more money. Ironically, the founder had initially reached out to local enterprises (specifically flower shops) to help support her cause within advertising and marketing efforts.  Never did she dream that the public would react the way they did by making Mother’s Day one of the highest shopping holidays of the year. Anna was so angry that she denounced the holiday all together and made it the last half of her life’s mission to have the date stricken from the calendar. Poor Anna died in 1948, unsuccessful with un-popularizing Mother’s Day.

Trending Hue is Lavender

Long before Pantone chose Ultra Violet for its 2018 Color of the Year, there was the unmistakable aroma of lavender in the air. We noticed this soothing pale shade popping up everywhere, from fashion runways to cookware, contemporary products and interior schemes, a refreshing change from modern design’s preoccupation with primary colors. It may be easy to label lavender a seasonal hue, its arrival timed in tandem with the emergence of crocuses and hyacinths, Easter baskets and pastel eggs, but we think 2018’s lavender trend is season-averse, imbued with enough staying power to outlast the coming seasons, and, possibly, the years ahead. Here, we highlight elegant contemporary design pieces rendered all the more beguiling by having been dipped in lovely lavender.

French cookware manufacturer, Le Creuset, released an irresistibly pretty colorway to its existing palette range—Provence, inspired, they say, not by Pantone’s Ultra Violet, but by the South of France’s famous fields of lavender.

Interior architect and designer India Mahdavi is known for her daring color schemes, and the Ladurée restaurant and tea room in Geneva is no exception. Dominating the dining room of velvet furnishings is the inspired color combination of bottle green and pale purple.

Taking femininity to new athletic heights, Puma’s collaboration with the singer Rihanna has produced the Puma Bow Sneaker collection, footwear that features satin ribbons and a selection of girly colors—including Sweet Lavender.

Proof that lavender is not just for kids’ rooms is this sophisticated modern space, styled by Danish interiors brand Bloomingville, in which a pale purple sofa is arranged against a wall painted in a elegant lavender.

Last September, New York Fashion Week exhibited its spring 2018 collection, and a major color trend emerged. Victoria Beckham, Michael Kors and Ulla Johnson were amongst designers who unveiled clothes, both formal and casual, that showcased various shades of lavender, lilac, mauve.

 

Flowers too come in this wonderful hue from Lily of the Nile to Anemones, Lilacs, Wild Indigo, Hyacinths, Cyclamen, Columbine, Tulips, Orchids, Fuschia and so much more.

 

Some Easter Symbols and Meanings

Easter eggs & baby chicks– Eggs and chicks symbolize new life. Eggs have been a symbol of spring since ancient times. An egg also is a symbol of the rock tomb out of which Christ emerged when he arose again. The chick, hatching out of the egg, symbolizes new life or re-birth.

Chicks

Easter bunny – The rabbit, or hare, was a symbol of abundant new life in ancient times, and reminds us of spring and new life.

 

Bunny

Easter Lilies- The white blossoms symbolize the purity of Jesus. Lilies, emerging from the earth in the spring, also symbolize new life and the resurrection of Christ. All About Easter Lilies.

 

Lilies

The lamb – Represents Jesus, “the Lamb of God”.

 

Lamb

The cross – Symbolizes Jesus’ victory over death.

 

The Cross

Palm branches- Represents when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday and people waved palm branches, welcoming him.

 

Palm Branches

Easter hats & wearing new clothes for Easter- Symbolizes new life offered through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

 

Easter Hats

Hot Cross Buns- Hot cross buns have a cross of icing on the top to remind people of Christ.

 

Hot Cross Buns

Candles – Symbolize Jesus, “the light of the world”.

 

Candle

Pretzels – A food eaten during Lent- the twisted shaped symbolizes arms crossed in prayer.

 

Pretzels

Easter & Spring flowers- Daffodils and tulips bloom in the spring, and symbolize spring and new life.

 

Daffodils

Baby animals– Baby animals born in the spring also represent spring and new life.

 

New Life

The Butterfly is one of the significant symbols of Easter. Its whole life cycle is meant to symbolize the life of Jesus Christ. The first stage, is the caterpillar, which stands for His life on Earth. Second phase begins from the cocoon stage, portraying the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. The third and final stage is the butterfly, representing His raising from the dead in a glorified body and peace.

 

Butterfly

 

Shamrocks, Leprechaun and the Blarney’s Stone

History of Shamrock, Leprechaun, and the Blarney’s Stone

Welcome to the tidbits page of Patty’s day. Here you will find interesting notes on Shamrock, Blarney’s Stone, and of course, the Leprechaun. Happy Patty’s Day!

In written English, the first reference to the Shamrock dates from 1571, andin written Irish, as seamrog, from 1707. As a badge to be worn on the lapel on the Saint’s feast day, it is referred to for the first time as late as 1681. The
Shamrock was used as an emblem by the Irish Volunteers in the era of Grattan’s Parliament in the 1770’s, before ’98 and The Act of Union. So rebellious did the wearing of the Shamrock eventually appear, that in Queen
Victoria’s time Irish regiments were forbidden to display it. At that time it became the custom for civilians to wear a little paper cross colored red and green.

As a symbol of Ireland it has long been integrated into the symbol of the United Kingdom, along with the Rose, the Thistle and the Leek of England, Scotland and Wales. So today, on St. Patrick’s Day, a member of the British Royal Family presents Shamrock to the Irish Guards regiment of the British Army.

THE MAGIC SHAMROCK
Three is Ireland’s magic number. Hence the Shamrock. Crone, Mother and Virgin. Love, Valour and Wit.. Faith, Hope and Charity. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Numbers played an important role in Celtic symbolism. Three was the most sacred and magical number. It multiplies to nine, which is sacred to Brigit. Three may have signified totality: past, present and future OR behind, before and here OR sky, earth and underworld.  Everything good in Ireland comes in threes. The rhythm of story telling in the Irish tradition is based on threefold repetition. This achieves both intensification and exaggeration. Even today in quality pub talk, a raconteur can rarely resist a third adjective, especially if it means stretching a point. “Three accomplishments well regarded in Ireland: a clever verse, music on the harp, the art of shaving faces.”

THE LEPRECHAUN

The Leprechaun is an Irish fairy. He looks like a small, old man (about 2 feet tall), often dressed like a shoemaker, with a cocked hat and a leather apron. According to legend, leprechauns are aloof and unfriendly, live alone, and pass the time making shoes. They also possess a hidden pot of gold.  Treasure hunters can often track down a leprechaun by the sound of his shoemaker’s hammer. If caught, he can be forced (with the threat of bodily violence) to reveal the whereabouts of his treasure, but the captor must keep their eyes on him every second. If the captor’s eyes leave the leprechaun (and he often tricks them into looking away), he vanishes and all hopes of finding the treasure are lost.

Near a misty stream in Ireland in the hollow of a tree
Live mystical, magical leprechauns
who are clever as can be
With their pointed ears, and turned up toes and little coats of green
The leprechauns busily make their shoes and try hard not to be seen.
Only those who really believe have seen these little elves
And if we are all believers
We can surely see for ourselves.
(Irish Blessing)

 

THE BLARNEY STONE

The Blarney Stone is a stone set in the wall of the Blarney Castle tower in the Irish village of Blarney. Kissing the stone is supposed to bring the kisser the gift of persuasive eloquence (blarney). The castle was built in 1446 by Cormac Laidhiv McCarthy (Lord of Muskerry) — its walls are 18 feet thick (necessary to thwart attacks by Cromwellians and William III’s troops). Thousands of tourists a year still visit the castle.  The origins of the Blarney Stone’s magical properties aren’t clear, but one legend says that an old woman cast a spell on the stone to reward a king who had saved her from drowning. Kissing the stone while under the spell gave the king the ability to speak sweetly and convincingly.  It’s tough to reach the stone — it’s between the main castle wall and the parapet. Kissers have to stretch to their back and bend backward (and downward), holding iron bars for support.

St Patrick’s Day

While St. Patrick’s Day may not make the list of major holidays, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a fun chance for your kids to experience a little extra magic. Think back to your own childhood– don’t you remember trying to catch leprechauns?

Kids love the chance to make believe and a day filled with leprechauns, rainbows, and pots of gold is no exception. Give them something to look forward to by adding your own family traditions to the mix.

Whether you choose to make crafts or to chase magical miniature people, your kids will love the chance to have a day out of the ordinary.

Start the Day with green pancakes

or do an experiment:

 

Rainbow Jar

Science for kids ages 2 and up.

We love fun kids’ science and this easy activity is one of our favorites. With just a few common household ingredients like dish soap and honey, little scientists can actually pour a rainbow in a jar. There’s no need for any leprechaun magic – just 100% kid-friendly science.

P.S. Looking for some easy ways to add super cool, hands-on science to your classroom or home? Hop over and grab our super cool science kit!

Science for kids, kids science, rainbow jar, make a rainbow in a jar

Getting Ready

This project requires quite a few supplies but most of them are probably things you already have in your pantry.

To get ready for the science activity, I grabbed my materials:

  • A tall, see-through container (I used a clean mason jar.)
  • Honey
  • Light corn syrup
  • Dish soap (either blue like Dawn or green like Palmolive)
  • Olive oil
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • A dropper

I also grabbed two identical containers and some marbles so that I could give my son a brief explanation about density.

The Science Behind It

As always, my son was really excited when I told him we were going to do some kids’ science. Before we jumped into the project though, I wanted him to understand what was about to happen, so I decided to introduce him to the concept of density first.

I explained that different liquids have different weights.

“Everything is made up of teeny tiny things called molecules,” I said.  “Some of these liquids have a lot of molecules in them and some of them have only a few.”

I showed him two containers that were the same size.  One had a bunch of marbles in it, one only had six.

Science for Kids Rainbow Jar

I had my son hold the two containers and asked him which one was heavier.

“The one with more marbles,” he said.   I explained that it was the same with our liquids — the ones with more “marbles” {molecules} were heavier and would stay at the bottom of the jar.

St. Patrick's Day Science Experiment for Kids: Rainbow Jar.

Pour a Rainbow in a Jar

Now it was time to make our rainbow!!  First, my son poured in the honey, being sure to pour it into the middle of our container. He was careful not to let it touch the sides.

Next, he poured in the corn syrup. (We’d colored it purple using the food coloring.) Again, my son poured it into the middle of the container, not touching the sides.

The dish soap came next.

Make a Rainbow in a Jar

We poured in regular water that we colored blue. (If you’re using blue dish soap, obviously color your water something different. Again, in the middle, in the middle!)

The olive oil went in next. Do you know what I’m going to say? That’s right, we poured it in the middle! Also, I recommend pouring a fairly thick layer of oil – it will come in handy for the next step.

Last but not least was the rubbing alcohol.  We colored it red – that in itself is a cool peek at different densities because the food coloring just sits at the bottom of the alcohol when you first drop it in.

Rainbow Jar 3

BUT WAIT! DON’T POUR IT IN THE MIDDLE!

This is where the dropper comes in.  If you pour the alcohol straight in, it’ll probably pick up the blue food coloring you used in the water and your rainbow will be ruined.

We found the best way to add it was dropping the alcohol along the side of the container using a dropper.  The key was  not “breaking through” the oil layer into the blue water layer beneath it – that’s why I suggested putting a thick layer of oil.

How to Make a Rainbow in a Jar

Our rainbow was done!  We held it up carefully to the light, making sure not to shake it, and admired our beautiful creation.

Science for kids, kids science, rainbow jar, make a rainbow in a jar

 

Valentines Day Chocolate

So Why Do We Give Chocolate for Valentine’s Day?

 https://www.thewildorchidllc.com/valentines-day-flowers/

Every Valentine’s Day, chocolate becomes part of the romantic holiday. Why? Is it because of all the health benefits of chocolate? Is it because it is simply satisfying? Or, is it just the tradition of it all….

I think the tradition angle wins out. Chocolate has been referred to as “the food of the gods” since the time of the Aztec Indians. In fact the Aztec ruler, Montezuma believed chocolate was an aphrodisiac. Christopher Columbus enjoyed the chocolate he discovered in the Americas. So, he brought it back as a tribute to Queen Isabella of Spain along with other treasures like gold! This new luxury, chocolate, and its legend as an aphrodisiac quickly made its way across the aristocracy of Europe.

In time though, chocolate made its way to the masses. By the 1800s, the Cadbury Brothers had set up shop in England making and selling chocolate to average citizens. In 1861, Richard Cadbury created the first ever heart-shaped box for Valentine’s Day. Thus, began the common link between chocolate and Valentine’s Day. A new tradition had begun.

And a few fun supporting factoids:

1) Modern science has linked the chemical phenylethylamine in chocolate to feelings of excitement, attraction and even pleasure.  Maybe Montezuma was indeed onto something. You can decide on that one for yourself.

2)  A survey SuzySaid/Acton and The Happy Chocolatier conducted with local women indicated that most wanted the chocolate Valentine’s Day gifts delivered to the home (not work). And, that they would share the treats with their loved ones (great news for the buyer).

3) According to HolidayInsights, though women make most of the chocolate purchases during the year (75%), men make the most purchases for Valentine’s Day (75%).

So, my guess is that men buy chocolate because it IS part of the Valentine’s Day tradition. And, from what our recent survey found – part of that chocolate giving tradition is now to send the gifts home or to simply bring them home!