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Pine Needle Tassels

No, I’m not kidding, I’m actually going to talk to you about pine needle tassels. You may ask, why? With all the cool craft projects in all the world, what’s up with the pine needle thing? Well, two reasons actually –

  1. I have a ton of pine needles and acorns in my yard so the endless raking/leaf blowing tasks have been at the forefront of my mind as of late. I thought that there had to be something you can do with these things besides bag them up and throw them on the curb for trash pickup. Oh, did I mention you can use acorns? Ok, I just did.
    acorn tassel
  2. It’s easy. Super easy! It doesn’t require a degree or a lengthy set of instructions to do it.

*Correction, there’s three reasons….

3. It’s free. Costs nothing but time and it’s fun so time not wasted.

Tassel 2

Alright, what can you do with pine needle tassels? A few things actually, the most popular use for these guys according to Pinterest is a package embellishment. I now direct your attention to exhibit A – Pine needle Tassle.jpg

Pretty slick huh? If you want to channel your inner Martha Stewart or if you’re giving someone a crappy gift but want to make it look special – dress up your package with these babies! Your friends will really think they have their hands on something awesome and their expectations will rise significantly just by looking at the wrappings. Then you can delight in watching their expressions go from pure happiness straight to disappointment as they pull the contents from the box. Winning!!!!

Just kidding, we all know you don’t give crappy gifts *ahem* handmade love…

The other thing you can use them for and I’m just guessing here, is draping them from candle sticks, chandeliers (if you are lucky enough to have a chandelier), ornaments for a tree, adding to wreaths, decorating mantles, stockings….and the list goes on and on….basically wherever you feel like hanging a pine needle tassel!

Try one today, I guarantee you will feel like an accomplished crafter once complete. And by the by, there are literally tons of crafts on Pinterest using pine needles! I had no idea it was such a big thing until I started a search. Follow me on Pinterest where I have created a board dedicated to those pesky litter-bug pine trees and their discarded outer wear for more neat crafts!

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Natural Arranging

Having a dinner party and forgot to pick up flowers? Well never fear, just head out to your garden and pick some fresh (and free!) flora from the yard. You can even shop in your refrigerator for a few delictibles to add to your piece.  This design is simple, natural and flowing.  I used things on hand to create this which include plants native to my yard –

Bradford pear tree branches

Mums

Creeping Jenny

Crepe Myrtle Branches

Succulents

Verbena

I also used some grapes and a plum I had in the fridge. First step was to soak some oasis fresh foam and cut to size in one of my favorite vases. img_2569

Then I added the greens – Crepe Myrtle and Bradford Pear. I let the natural shape of the stems dictate the placement.img_2571

Then I started filling in the middle using the mums, verbena, and plums. Some of the items used had no stems or small stubby ones so I used some green wired picks to give them height.

I finished it off with the Creeping Jenny, grapes and succulents..img_2576img_2582

Delightful!

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Home Grown Goodness!

Although I am no longer a practicing florist, my love of flowers and arranging them has never faded. I also love gardening and harvesting the bounty of mother nature. Some of my favorite flora to plant and work with are roses, peonies and variegated greens of all types. Any ornamental foliage you can name I love! Typically I leave the flowers in my garden alone, save for the occasional pruning for health and beauty, but every now and again I can’t resist taking a few of the really showy ones indoors.

If you want to create arrangements from your garden grown beauties, keep in mind they will only be beautiful for a day or two. Is it really worth chopping into your rose bush for blooms that will be short lived? Some varieties are bred for larger blooms with longer life on the stem, but even those will wilt after 5 days. Now, if your willpower runs dry, (like mine does), cut them from the plant with as little damage as possible and only choose the blooms that have already begun opening.

Here is an example of a gorgeous all natural, backyard grown arrangement I created for the young lady who had bought our previous home. I wanted to welcome her home and show her just how beautiful her new garden is, but also secretly hoped it would encourage her to continue caring for my blooming babies.

I used pink Peonies, yellow roses, variegated sedum, and lemon thyme to add some scent and create a cascade effect. When cutting the peonies, I took blooms that had lots of leaves on them to use as filler in the vase. The leaves also served the purpose of lacing, which held the bouquet together without using a tape grid, florist frog, or wire. I personally do not use tape grids and never have, I let the natural leaves of flowers to do the work for me.

If you want to grow plants that you can cut and bring indoors with ease here is a list of easy grow, easy cut blooms –

Roses

Peonies

Sedum

Lavender

Thyme

Rosemary

Heather

Stock

In a future post, I will do a video tutorial on how to arrange flowers in a vase without using grids or other mechanics so stay tuned!