It is finally spring! At least, it is if you look at the calendar. Outside on any given day, this March has looked more like winter. I can't wait to begin planting pansies, but that will have to wait until Mother Nature gives me the OK. Until then, I have been decorating indoors and have loved adding spring, whimsical pieces to our decor. Take a look.
Once again, I've used what I have, which I admit is quite a lot. I've been collecting favorite pieces and florals for several years. I reuse them, until they reach the tacky stage and then they go in the dust bin. Wire snippers are one of my favorite tools. I often take a floral bunch and trim bits and pieces off of it and use the pieces to enhance another vignette, wreath, or arrangement.
The large mason jar candle is the same one that has been on our dry sink all year long. Each season I change out the the "fillers" in the wreath surrounding the jar. For spring and Easter, I added a few eggs and some pip berry sprigs.
Often times, it's the little things that really tickle my fancy. In this case, I placed two rose colored candle holders in a white tray. I arranged green lentils from the grocery store around the candle holders and then added bits of purple status and baby's breath around the candles. I added the foil bunny and this is one of my favorite pieces. It is by our front door. I feel like it gives guest a nice welcome when the rose candles and mason jar candle are lit.
This vignette is another example of enhancing an established vignette to renew it. In this case, the vintage books and Bob's Van Gogh teapot were already in place. All I did was to add a few spring pip berry sprigs and place the ceramic baby chicks next to it.
I bought a few of these baskets at JoAnn Fabrics last fall when they were greatly reduced. They are so versatile. Here, I took a length of burlap and folded it over to conceal the raw edges. Then, I lined the sides of the basket. Next, I added a couple of bricks to the bottom for a little extra weight. Lastly, I filled the basket with faux forsythia and pussy willows. The burlap liner adds a nice texture to the overall piece and hides all the stems of the forsythia and pussy willows.
I purchased this little rabbit and wagon combination at TJ Maxx last year. I added a few sprigs of baby's breath to the wagon for an added little detail. I am a big fan of E.B. White and I like to use every opportunity to use books: children's, vintage, art, travel, etc. in our decor. Most of the books I use in our decor do have some meaning to Bob and me. In this case, don't you just love how the colors of the book covers compliment the vignette?
I know that many a punch bowl can be found at thrift stores. I have made it a goal of mine to use these cherished pieces from days gone by in our home decor. This beautiful punch bowl was my husband's grandmothers. It is quite grand and has a beautiful pedestal. It had been collecting dust on a shelf and then I decided it was so beautiful, that I wanted to display it in our home. I tried it on our dining room table and it felt too, large. Instead, I moved it to the top of an armoire in the living room. I took apart three mixed bouquets from Pier One, trailing vines from Michael's, floral foam, and moss to create this arrangement.
A favorite children's book: The Velveteen Rabbit and some foil rabbits add a special touch.
More favorite children's books add height to this display. The candlesticks are not my Grandma Marshall's, but she had a collection of American Fostoria crystal. I have picked up a few pieces here and there. They always make me think of her. I like to think of this arrangement as a nod to our wonderful grandmothers.
How sweet is this little orchid in a teacup with moss to hide the orchid pot and a few foil eggs? I often purchase my orchids at Home Depot or even the grocery store floral department. I try to buy ones with a few buds on them. Those will usually last longer and I get the pleasure of seeing the buds bloom!
Our fireplace mantel comes with its own challenges: narrow mantel, audio sound bar, and wall mounted television. I think I've finally found a design plan that works for function and beauty. This is essentially the last arrangement using vintage books as the main staple of the decor. (See post for more.) I kept most of the vintage books, candlesticks, and seeded eucalyptus. I added a few sprigs of pip berries, miniature eggs, and snipped more forsythia sprigs from an existing faux garland to add to the mantel decor.
My mantel is too, narrow for most pre-made garlands. Clipping small pieces of seeded eucalyptus, pip berries, and forsythia was key in achieving a decorative garland-like piece.
I purchased these E-A-S-T-E-R eggs in thread egg holders from TJ Maxx last year. As someone who is always sewing, these beauties make me smile. I'm thinking of turning them around and lettering
"S-P-R-I-N-G" on the back sides so I can keep these up longer.
The little lost sheep was purchased from Pier One. I scooped up a few of the wire baskets in the after Easter sale at JoAnn's last year. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them, until I returned to my "roots": pip berries and moss. The basket is another example of clipping sprigs from pip berry stems and using them to enhance a basket. The basket didn't need a full bush of pip berries--just a few.
I was tempted to purchase a white, branched, decorative tree for an egg tree display. I stopped myself. I have a backyard full of trees with branches that need to be picked up. So-o-o--that is what I did. I put some floral foam in my little green pot and stuck my branches in it. (I couldn't wait for a warm day to spray paint them white, so I went with the natural look!) Tucked some moss in the base of the pot and hung some eggs and I had my egg tree.
I used moss very liberally throughout my spring arrangements. I wanted that natural, rustic look. Since, I didn't want moss directly on the books in the little house display, I placed the stone house on a plate and arranged the moss around the plate with a few stones. I used the log slab in the same manner around the larger bunny. The forsythia blossoms were ones that had fallen off a garland. I stuck them into the moss around the bunny instead of discarding them.
My collection of little houses, barn, school, and chicken coop are usually displayed on our bookshelves. I have lighted twig branches behind the barn and chicken coop. They look really pretty at night when they are plugged in. I added some forsythia sprigs to make it more spring-like, along with some moss and small rocks to enhance the chicken coop.
I enjoyed having my Christmas plates hung above the sliding glass door so much, that I wanted to find some spring plates to replace them. The plates were purchased at Pier One. Guess what? They are melamine! No one would really know it, since they are hung on the wall. I was delighted to find the bird motifs. I didn't want the display to just say "Happy Easter!" I wanted it to say "Happy Spring!' or just plain "Happy! Happy!"
I always hang a wreath in my kitchen window. It adds to the view as I am doing dishes. This year, I also added the blue glass candle holders and Beatrix Potter figurines.
Isn't this just the sweetest? The figurines were a gift from a student, who knew I loved books. (He loved animals!) I love the way the sun shines through the glass during the day.
I am an advocate of making functional items decorative as well as useful. I painted and distressed these mason jars last year. I use them on top of my refrigerator for easy access to spatulas, wooden spoons, and more. The basket houses some frequently used cookbooks. I wired three carrots together and attached them to the basket. Now, I have very useful spring decorations on top of the frig!
Not to be forgotten is the powder room. (I admit, the striped painting on the wall is a little loud. I have loved it for years, and now I am ready to repaint it. It will get done--all in good time.) I am particularly pleased with this vignette on top of a cabinet in our very small powder room. It has all the elements that please me: using what I have, using what I love, whimsical fun pieces, and a combination that pleases me.
Here's another one of those fun baskets that I purchased for all of a dollar. I simply filled it with moss, a few pip berry springs, and a few faux flowers with miniature eggs.
A favorite Willie Rae figurine on a scooter and vintage books completes the look.
I'll let you in on a little secret. The wreath featured in the opening and closing of this blog, didn't start out as pictured. I enhanced it. By now, I'm sure you know what I did. I added twigs of pip berries and forsythia and simply stuck them into the grapevine wreath.
This was the wreath as purchased from Michael's for a very reasonable price. I loved all the textures in this wreath and the white bunny is just so precious. But, when I got it home...I just knew it could be something more...
It really didn't take much to enhance this wreath. Just as, a few pip berries, forsythia, moss, and colored eggs can enhance your decor for spring. Open your cupboards and look for pieces you love in spring colors. Consider getting them out of storage, like Grandma's punch bowl, and make it something grand (or simple). Enjoy decorating with what you have and treasure, and yes, if you see something you love--you just might need to purchase it!
Wishing everyone a Happy Spring! Let your creativity shine!
Aren't these just the cutest? This is wheat grass planted in some spring pots I purchased at TJ Maxx. Wheat grass seeds or wheat grass berries as they are called can be found at some health food stores. I purchased mine from a local garden center that specializes in a wide variety of seed packets, but I just noticed that the local Giant Eagle grocery store is selling them too!
I'm calling these two photos: "Wheat Grass' First Haircut." My wheat grass sprouted within 3 days and in little over a week was twice this height and starting to flop down. Solution: Cut the grass!
Growing wheat grass is so easy. If you have little ones around, I recommend doing this with them. It's a great first little hands' gardener project. Plus, it is quite satisfying to give the grown grass a haircut.
small stones (I purchased mine at the Dollar Tree.)
Wheat grass seeds
Floral pot of your choice
Step 1: Place a layer of small rocks in the bottom of your floral pot. My containers do not have drainage holes. It is essential to have this layer of rocks to help with the drainage. Even still, I will be careful when I water the seeds/grass. Over watering or roots standing in water will kill the grass.
Step 2: Fill the pots to within an inch of the top of the pot with a good potting soil.
Step 3: Scatter seeds on top of the soil. Then cover the seeds with about 1/8 inch of soil
The packaging recommended to place the seeds 1/4 inch apart. I want my grass to be very lush and full. I wasn't too concerned about the seeds being 1/4 inch apart.
Step 4: Water the soil until damp. Place near a light source and wait for the grass to grow. Water as needed to keep the soil damp.
Right now, the two planters are flanking the orchid I received for Valentines Day. Yes, you read that correctly. I've had this orchid for more than a month. We just add 3 ice cubes to it each Saturday morning and it keeps on blooming. This orchid is even more beautiful than the day I received it because all of the buds are now in full bloom.
I have a long wooden box that I ordered from an Etsy artist. I plan to grow wheat grass in it, or maybe fill it with some 99 cent primroses from Home Depot. I'll post more photos, soon!
What happens when you spread out possible spring decor items, step back, and then select a favorite oldie, but goodie piece and decide to use it in a new, unexpected way? For me, it was the above very lush "Welcome Spring Bunny Centerpiece!" The lesson I learned in creating this arrangement was to respect the power of stepping back, playing with materials, and letting the pieces fall together.
When I did this, I gravitated to the Easter egg bedecked grapevine wreath. I have had this wreath for several years. It usually hangs in my kitchen window in the spring time. I love the way these eggs are painted. I often leave it hanging well after Easter, because it just makes me smile. I fully expected to hang it in its traditional place in the kitchen window. Then, I looked at it in a new way. What if, I used it as the base of my centerpiece for the dining room table centerpiece? I started choosing materials and playing around with them and "Welcome Spring Bunny" was born.
This centerpiece may look challenging, but it was quite simple to create. Let me walk you through the steps.
Step 1: I started with the full-sized, white, pearlized, cake stand. I made this cake stand from a candlestick purchased at Goodwill for $1.00, a plate I already had, and some spray paint. Click Here or on the image for the tutorial.
Step 2: Arrange green reindeer moss on the plate in the shape of a wreath.
Step 3: Place a small cassoulet bowl or any flat bottom bowl in the center. I found when I was playing around with this piece, that I needed to elevate the foil bunny figurine. Without this extra height, the foil mother rabbit would be dwarfed by the wreath.
Step 4: Center the wreath around the cassoulet dish and reindeer moss. At this point I thought the bottom sides of the wreath looked a little bare. After all, the original wreath was meant to be viewed head on. I pulled some of the wired pip berries and floral stems down.
Step 5: I thought the arrangement needed to be filled out to match the lushness of the rest of the wreath. I took apart one spring floral pick and used some of the pieces to enhance the wreath on the sides. Grapevine wreaths make it very easy to poke the wire pieces into the sides. Once again, I didn't use any glue or hot glue to attach the additional picks.
That's all there was to creating this lush, "Welcome Spring Mother Bunny" centerpiece.
I will be the first to admit that the wreath itself, makes this a stunning piece. I purchased it years ago from a small, local, gift shop. I love it and I haven't come across anything quite like it sense. I am sure another arrangement could be created by using a small spring wreath and perhaps adding a few more picks and it would be equally beautiful. I've put together a few more examples to show you what I mean.
This Peter Rabbit spring centerpiece was made from essentially the same materials as the "Welcome Spring Bunny". I used my Fostoria America glass cake plate, green moss, cassoulet flat-bottomed bowl, speckled eggs, and a woodsy rabbit. The "wreath" was made from a garland that I purchased last year. When the salesperson packaged it, she wound it into a circular form which made a very lush, wreath. I decided to keep it that way and used it as a wreath last year. I am using it here as an example of what you can do with a small, purchased wreath, or garland that has been doubled.
This is another variation using the same basic materials. This time, the small wreath is made of small white blossoms and pip berries. I like the contrast of the white wreath with the rustic, woodsy rabbit.
For this variation, I substituted a spring bunny vase for a rabbit figurine.
I purchased this vase/flowerpot at TJ Maxx. I liked that the front and back view are different and equally sweet. I figure I can use this piece all spring long. I have a choice of showcasing the spring bunny or spring flowers. I like pieces that give me options in how I display them. I also have plans to plant wheat grass in this pot. I'll post a photo when the grass is grown. I envision leaving the grass as it is, or adding a spring chick, bunny, or the like. Some speckled eggs might be in order, too. Like I said, I like to have lots of options when making these pieces.
Lastly, I wanted to share an example of a centerpiece that does not have a cake plate as a base. I chose to use a galvanize plate charger. The charger is hardly visible. Any large plate or platter could be used.
I hope this post inspires you to use what you have, what you like and love, and make something that truly makes you happy.
Have fun creating!