Friday, November 14, 2008

Variation on a Theme

I've been thinking about making these for a while and just haven't gotten around to doing it. Well, tonight was the night I did it - I finally (!) put them all together. Tomorrow we will see my parents in the morning for an investment club meeting that will be held in their home, and then in the evening, we'll be heading over to my mother in law's home to have dinner and celebrate her birthday. Since I wanted to make one for each of them, I figured this would be the perfect time.

I'd seen a version of these last year in the December issue of Better Homes and Gardens, and thought they were so cute and clever...and EASY! Then, just before we left for winter break last year, I received this one from our PTA president as a Christmas gift. When I started thinking about them, I knew the possibilities were endless and I began thinking of all of the different things I could do when making them. Well, here's the first round:

I bought a ton of Christmas ornaments last year at Michael's after Christmas, so I already had these in my stash. Then, last weekend I went to my favorite thrift store to see what I could find. Jackpot! (I just love that store - I can find nearly anything I'm looking for there...and lots of things I'm not looking for, too!) I found these wonderful Chinese lacquered trays - the perfect shade of rust for a fall arrangement - for just fifty cents each. Then, I spied the tiny little Chinese tea cups on another counter and went to check them out. Score! They, too, were just fifty cents each. One set of the tea cups was the perfect size for a pair of tapers, while the other set was just right to hold a pair of tea lights. The fall flowers and (unusual) hibiscus pods I picked up at Trader Joe's this afternoon.

They're phenomenally easy to put together: remove the cap and hanging wire from the ornament; hot glue the ornament to your chosen surface. Fill the ornament three-quarters full of water and add your flowers, arranging as you wish. When finished, hot glue candle holders as desired. Add candles.

I think they turned out well. One thing I can say, though, is buy more flowers for the arrangement than you think you'll need. Why? Because you're trying to force a fair amount of flowers into the very small opening at the top of the bulb, the flowers heads tend to break off as you push the stems in.

Go ahead. Ask me how I know.

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