Do It Like A Florist – Ariella Chezar

When we were preparing for our flower arrangement workshop a couple of months ago, I went to Amazon and found “The Flower Workshop” book by Ariella Chezar, and I went nuts. It looked divine. (I know divine is a cheesy word, but there is only so many times you can you use words like amazing, awesome, great, and wonderful in a blog before you start to sound brainless).

I pressed the BUY IMMEDIATELY button, and then proceeded to wait next to my door for the flower bible to arrive… but days went by and nothing happened. I started to freak out and signed in to Amazon again only to find that the book was available for PRE ORDERS ONLY!! Can you believe it? Has this ever happened to you???? I felt deceived and angry, so I closed the computer, ate some candy and went on with my life.

The flower arrangement workshop we did for our friends came and went, and days later, without trumpets nor drums, a box from Amazon arrived. I opened it (…be still my heart… ) and found the best book about flower arrangements that I have ever seen in my whole entire existence. Here are a couple of pictures because this is so cute!

Every page of this book is amazing, awesome, great, wonderful and divine!!! The only problem is that now I HAVE to replicate every single one of these arrangements, and talent is not on my side.

With this in mind, and a lot of wishful thinking, I went to the flower market in DTLA last Saturday. I took Víctor with me. Big mistake. Children and flower shopping don’t go together without a high dose of stress, so I had to hurry and buy whatever flowers looked good with the hope that I could make them work later.

Once at my place, I got some vases, a pair of clippers, and sat in our outdoor room to do arrangements all afternoon while listening to music. Dream. (This also happens to be my father’s favorite activity, so I thought a lot about him while doing this.)

The results looked nothing like what Ariella did in her book. I did not try to replicate any of her arrangements, but went with the flow and did what looked good to me. Also, I wasn’t thinking about doing a post about this, so I didn’t take photos of the whole process. If you are a blogger, you know it is nice not have to capture photos of everything you do sometimes.

At the end of the day I had three flower arrangements. The first arrangement was the one that took me the longest. Here it is:

It turned out kind of cute. Organic, with flow, and nice colors.

Flower ingredients:

  • 4 yellow and pink dahlias.
  • 5 white and pink alstroemeria
  • 8 short yellow acacia tree
  • 1 pink snapdragon flower
  • 30 purple Astrantia flower
  • 2 White wax flower branches

Here is the second arrangement: of unusual, but I really liked it.

For this arrangement I used:

  • 10 Cherry blossoms branches
  • 40 pink carnations

And here is the third arrangement, or, what I like to call the “leftover” arrangement, where you use any flowers you have left, and don’t worry about the consequences:

For this arrangement I used:

  • 7 pink Snapdragons
  • 4 white wax flowers branches

Lessons learned:

-To do a full arrangement you need a LOT of flowers. Don’t underestimate the number of flowers you will need if you want to go big.

-It is very important to look at the shape of the flowers when you are buying them. Make sure you don’t only get flowers that go straight up. You need flowers or branches that fall too.

– Start with the bigger flowers that are the center of your piece.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It gives great tips, it has beautiful pictures and it is a pleasure to look at. Also, it inspired me to do all these arrangements. In little words, it made me very, very happy. The only thing I wish it had is more step by step instructions for the arrangements.

(This post is not sponsored, though I wish it were. :))


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That Flower Arrangement Workshop As I mentioned before in this post, I decided to start doing DIY workshops for friends. The wreath-making party we did last December was so much fun that I wanted to repeat it, so my friend Charlene and I decided to do a flower arrangement workshop and it was perfect. We met the weekend before to go to the flower market in DTLA to see what was in season. We bought a lot of flowers and created this arrangement:, don’t you think?

The idea was to try and copy it, while giving tips in the process.

We invited 10 friends to the workshop and got the flowers, clippers, vases, and wet foam blocks. At the end of the day, each one of us took their own arrangement home.

Everybody contributed some money and brought food to the gathering. I went to the flower market the day before to get all the flower supplies. On Sunday we set up and everybody came over at 11 am for brunch and DIY fun. It was amazing! galore! two rascals getting into those foam blocks before the workshop My beautiful friend Charlene taught the workshop. She has a special gift for finding beauty in everything she does: We wanted to use edibles in the arrangement, so we bought kumquats. For flowers, we got pincushions ranunculus and anemones. We found that 2-3 pincushions, 5 ranunculus and 2 anemones was enough for a frontal arrangement. Everybody ended up using more flowers because they decided to do centerpieces that could be viewed from all sides, this meant that a lot of people ended up cutting greens and flowers from my garden to be able to fill up the whole vase! That was probably the best part: foraging for beauty. Here are more is unusual to have these kind of meetings for friends. I think that is the reason why everybody was so happy to participate in this workshop. It is nice to do something different that is DIY related, don’t you think?

Originally, we wanted everybody to do asymmetrical and organic arrangements, but, in the end, everybody took their own creative path and followed their own vision. Here are the end.

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A Wreath-Making Party

Some friends and I decided to throw a DIY wreath-making party a couple of weekends ago. It all started when I instagrammed a picture of a wreath I saw at the Farmer’s Market in Mar Vista. It was a beautiful and colorful wreath (here it is). Read more

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A New Perspective On Your Gallery Wall

There are plenty of instructions on how to create a gallery wall on the web. Usually, these instructions involve a lot of buying, measuring, and planning. My problem is that, sometimes, I can’t plan or measure everything in advance when it comes to decorating. Most of the time, I don’t even have all the art I am going to use at the beginning of a project.  I like to collect my pieces slowly by going to thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets, and that can take months!
This is what happened in my bathroom. I knew I wanted a gallery wall that would cover all the wall, from top to bottom. I knew I wanted an eclectic collection, and I knew it was going to take me months to find the right pieces, so, when we moved into our house a couple of years ago,  I had to start the gallery with 7 pictures that I brought from my previous home. That was it. So I assembled them the best I could in the middle of the wall and moved on from there. 
Most of the advice on the Internet also tells you to keep a general motif and keep frames kind of similar. Well, that advice doesn’t always work. I feel it is OK to be creative and take risks, depending on the look you want to go for. I knew I didn’t want to have a clean look in my bathroom. I wanted and eclectic and vintage look. 
After two years of mellow search around vintage shops in LA, this is the result: My last two pieces were the motel photo and the palm drawing on the top right. Once I scored those, the wall gallery (and my heart) felt complete. What do you think? you can see on the pictures, I have lots of frame types. I even have gold and silver frames on the same wall (this is when an interior designer has a heart attack on the spot). There are also spaces that are not filled with art, but, for some reason, it works (for me). It is unorganized and unusual. It doesn’t follow designer rules like these ones, but I do get a lot of comments on this gallery wall. People seem to like it. It cozies up this corner, don’t you think? Usually bathrooms are so boring, but this gallery wall spices things My favorite picture on the wall is the one of my grandparents, dad and uncle (on the left below) That green glass head was a flea market find at the Rose

At times, it was tricky to find the right piece that would fit exactly into a certain space, but, for me, this unconventional way of creating a gallery wall worked. What about you? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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Thanksgiving Table Decoration – Some Beautiful Ideas’s talk about Thanksgiving table decoration, shall we? When I moved to America and learned about Thanksgiving, it instantly became one of my favorite holidays. Why? Because it is all about eating, drinking, and sharing with a LOT of family and friends, my favorite activities in the world. Any excuse to eat and drink is welcome in my Holiday world.

I host Thanksgiving every year. I call it the “orphans” Thanksgiving because we invite friends with no family in LA. George roasts a pig out in the garden, and he cooks the turkey in the oven. We tried doing fried turkey a couple of years ago, but, with small children running around, I get scared about doing that again. He also does the gravy, cranberry sauce, and other food items. As for me, well, even though I love eating, I don’t care a lot for cooking, but it doesn’t matter because my big contribution is decoration (my husband rolls his eyes at this)! The Thanksgiving table decoration is my thing! I love this aspect of Thanksgiving  so much that I had to do the 2015 Thanksgiving table decoration dry run this last weekend, and I wanted to share it with you, but, before we move on, here is a picture of our Thanksgiving table last year. I posted it to  my Instagram account: year, I knew I wanted to use black tablecloth because it is unusual and colors really show on a black background. I bought these tablecloths. Then, on my search for decorations, I came across this candleholder and table runner, all from the Nate’s Berkus Target collection.

I also wanted orange candles and I found just the right ones at Pier One. For the garland on the middle of the table, I wanted to use branches from olive and rosemary trees, because I have those trees in my backyard (free) and they are beautiful. Last year, I used branches from my magnolia tree on our front yard. They looked really good too, but you can’t use the same green decorations two years in a row, can you? In choosing branches for the garland, I have found that a lot of greeneries will work. You can be very creative about your choice. Finally, to add some extra color, I decided to include tangerines for an orange color touch that went together with the candles. Here is the first the result. is missing, right? Also, I didn’t know which color to use for the napkins. Initially, I wanted a color napkin (orange or gold maybe?), thinking that the black tablecloth was enough black for the table. I also bought these turkey napkin holders, and I tried them out. Take a look.

After this experiment I realized I DEFINITLEY needed black napkins. No other color would do, so I run to Target to get them. I got the last ones in the store, lucky me. I also decided to use gold decoration plates at the bottom of the plates, like last year; I added pumpkins and persimmons to the garland, a small flower arrangement, and here is the result: table decorationMuch better, don’t you think?

It would be better with gold silverware, I know, but I don’t have a set and I don’t want to spend money on it, plus, I have this gorgeous, silver silverware that my mom gave me and I want to put it to good use.

About the flower arrangement, I tried adding purple flowers to introduce another color to the scheme, but it didn’t work. Keeping the table with an orange color theme seemed to be the best, don’t you agree?

Now, for the actual Thanksgiving day, I will add tea candles and set up the table for 14 people. I am truly excited!

What are you doing to decorate your table? I would love to know. I would also love to hear about any amazing dishes you are going to prepare.

Here are more pictures of the final Thanksgiving table decoration. Hope you like them.

PS: This post was a lot of work! and my husband wasn’t here this weekend, so you can imagine how much I would appreciate some kind of encouragement. Ha! table decoration

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