Hey Ma . . . It’s Me

Hey Ma . . . it’s me, Cheryl Ann.  With Mother’s Day coming up, not our usual chat this time.  It’s got me thinking of all sorts of things.  Remember the way you would let me lay my head in your lap on Sundays, when the sermon got too long?  Both Pastor Braun and “Rev” M. had their  talents, but we both know that public speaking wasn’t top on the list, right.  I always loved the way you would smooth my hair as I laid there. Artzzle Mother's Day Featur

I liked to play with those cardboard fans on the sticks too.  And then we had our secret “Church” language. One of us would silently tap to the other . . . 3 taps was “I-Love-You”; 4 taps back was “I-Love-You-Too” . . . then a squeeze or rub, to say . . . “So Much”.  A shared smile or quite giggle ended the conversation.  So, of course, I had to do that with my kids too.  My step daughter, Cindra, still signs off cards with a “Tap Tap Tap”.

Artzzle Mother's Day Feature

Ooh, an old B&W of us when your Donnelley friends came to visit.

The weather is finally  warming up here in Minnesota.  Of course, in Iowa, all those beautiful peony bushes are already bursting with giant blooms.  Mine are only about two feet tall, so far.  That long row of peonies you planted at the front of the garden was so beautiful in full bloom. Artzzle Mother's Day Feature PHOTO SOURCE:  Barb Rosen . . . Our Fairfield Home and Garden

And your glads in the summer.  I still have the picture of you standing among them; that year they were taller than you, remember?  And you didn’t want me to take the picture because you had shorts on!  Of course, I did anyway and we laughed and laughed.   Peonies and gladiolus are still your favorite flowers right?  Mine too . . . always. Artzzle Mother's Day Feature PHOTO SOURCE:  SL . . . Stephanie Lynn . . . under the table & dreaming

And I so enjoy, making flower arrangements just like you.  Remember when I worked for Bachman’s at the airport?  Then too, at the small floral shop here, in our local store.  You were there, I know

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One of my Autumn dried arrangements.  Recognize the watercolor in the background?  It’s the one I did for you in college. ARTZZLE.COM

What about all those summer nights when we’d sit on the front step, playing Simon Says and Captain May I ?  Oh, and then after dark, we’d go hand-in-hand, for long walks around the neighborhood, just the two of us.  Well, Brownie went along sometimes too, though, didn’t he?  Crazy old dog.  Remember how he’d run away for days, sometimes weeks at a time and then sure enough, one day, you’d see him running home, across German’s field into our yard.  Our Gracie is definitely a house dog, but no one allows pets to run anymore.  Long time ago in small towns.

Gracie on Artzzle Website scan041

GRACIE  MAE                          &         BROWNIE So many memories, and even the “not so good” ones can be funny.  Like the time you got the new pressure cooker, and we were going to stew tomatoes! Good thing we went outside to take that break.  Those were some hot tomatoes flyin’ around when that thing blew up all over the kitchen.  Weird how the madder Dad got about it, the harder it was for us to keep from laughing.  Hhmm, Dad and my ex were a lot alike.  We were the ones who cleaned it up, so don’t know why Dad was so angry!

Artzzle Mother's Day Feature

Us when baby Brad & I stayed with you while his dad was overseas. Do you recall this photo.  Wish I had more of us together. Well, we could talk forever, but I’ll save the rest of this remembering for another night. Hey Ma, can you believe it’s been thirty two years, already?  I was going to say it doesn’t seem possible that so much time and memories have gone by so quickly; I know you haven’t missed too much though, because you’re always with me. And then, we always have our little talks. But for tonight . . . it’s me, signing off. Luv ya, Mom . . . Always. ALWAYS ALWAYS by artzzle-com  2014

Artzzle Mothers Day Featur

My Mom, Marguerite 1920 – 1983
Rest in peace, Ma

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Easy, Quick Floral Projects

SAY IT AIN’T SO. It can’t be Labor Day already!

Autumn isn’t fast approaching … it’s here … well, in just a couple days. And in Minnesota it entered early with a little help from the extremely dry summer. Lot’s of yellows and browns on the scene now, so we’re all anxious to capture as much living color as possible, before it’s gone.

Most people consider “flower arrangements” strictly as something that someone else does and you buy it commercially. Well, I’m here to say “that ain’t so!” You don’t have to be a trained, professional florist [like me 🙂 ] to bring beauty into your home, and you don’t have to pay a fortune either.

All you really need are containers, water and flowers.
But here are some EASY and INEXPENSIVE TOOLS to help polish your look.
* Floral Tape
* Floral Wire
* Clear Glass Containers

Pictured is green floral tape. I also use a clear, top coated floral tape (sorry didn’t have any today). Both can be purchased at big box or craft stores, usually no more than $1-2, as can the wire.

Floral wire comes in several widths, strengths (gauges). I usually keep on hand one light weight and 1 heavier gauge. Pictured is 26 gauge (a light wire).

Also shown, are clear glass containers. These are use when you want to set your flowers inside another container. I use clear, unornamented glass when my display containers are see-through, such as two of the three in the featured arrangements. I have a set of 5 small, clear glass bowls (with orange flowers here) that are handy. I got mine at DISCOVERY THRIFT in Milaca, MN, for $3. They have black lids and I’ve seen them commercially as well, just can’t recall the name. I also use several sizes of tube vases, which I pick up at garage sales and thrift shops. You can buy them at the store, but for a lot more moola.

TIPS: STEM WRAPS are a great technique to help give your flowers more form (instead of just setting loose in the vase of water). You can use tape or wire.

1. Here, I’ve used the green tape to wrap my stems, because while the seedum stem is wide, it is a SOFT stem, and the tape or wire might damage the flower(s). EXAMPLE: In the supply photo earlier, notice that I’ve done a wrap to demonstrate.

2. The clear tape is used to criss-cross over the top of your container, making an open grid that you can use to help place and support your flowers, in a wide-mouthed vase. I didn’t need that technique here. This tape is double-duty, as it is strong and nearly invisible. You can also use it to do a small stem wrap when using heavy, wooded stems in your arrangements.

Finally, for the fun part, FLOWERS and FILLERS. Here I used what was available in my garden and yard.

Flowers
* Seedum (brown vase)
* Marigolds & seedum Leaves (low bowl)
* Wild flowers (orange vase)
[I don’t know the name here; these were plantings from a friend that took over a large space in my garden JOIN MEon HOUZZ Discussions tomorrow, as I submit a question, to see if anyone can tell me what they are.]

Fillers
2 kinds of wild grasses

TIPS:

1. Don’t always think you have to do big, tall or wide arrangements. Get creative. The marigolds here are mini’s from my garden, but I cut them clear down to the end of the bud and just floated them in the water. Also, remember with ANY kind of flowers, silk or live, I keep everything until the project is done to my liking. Today, I wanted more colorful, taller seedums with bare stems because they would show. Their leaves are pretty too, so I stripped the stems and surrounded my marigolds with the indiviual leaves.

2. STORE BOUGHT FLOWERS Don’t have a garden available (yours or anyone else’s)? Buy one of the $4.99 tub bouquets available at stores and markets everywhere. Then get creative! Often these have lime green, mini button mums, which would work instead of my marigolds here, as would mini carnations.

For taller flowers, vary your heights (3 different heights, remember). Hold them in the arrangement you like, then do your stem wrap to keep them there in your vase.

Containers
Aw, come on. You’ve got this by now. Use your imagination here: cans, baskets, pretty glasses and bowls. What about a pretty box (using your separate inside containers). If you have a see-through metal basket, float two or three kinds of small blooms in random little bowls. Very rustic look there.

The key with loose, casual arrangements like these, is to keep it simple. If they look too bare and empty sitting alone, put them together as the 3 here. Hey, my old magic number. 3 objects, 3 heights, 3 different kinds of flowers; the unifier is the use of the similar type containers (decorative, colored glass).

That’s it. Quick, easy decor projects to brighten up your place when those holiday guests stop over.

Remember, don’t stress, just start.
Later – Cheryl

Thanks for visiting. You’ve just read “Easy, Quick Floral Projects” my original article, first seen on Artzzle.com. I love comments and questions so send “em” my way. And be sure to spread the word about Artzzle to your friends. The more the merrier!

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