Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

My Foray into Floral Design, and a new Website!

I told you all recently about my new obsession with flowers, and also that I’m making 2016 the year that I follow my dreams. At first I thought I’d incorporate more of these new changes into Sweetly Serendipity, but after some soul-searching, and a deeper consideration of what I want for the future, I decided I’m actually going to start a new venture entirely. It’s been a long time coming, but I think I’m ready to dive in, and the start of that will be a new website, a new blog, and a promise for much bigger things to come down the line.

For now, I’m going to share a bit of what you can expect to find over on Renew Home and Floral — my brand new web baby that I am head over heels over. The site will focus on all things home — floral design, DIY, antiques, and home decor. I’ve got my hands in a few new craft projects already, but flowers seemed the easiest place to start, so there we’ll begin!

Assorted Flowers from Trader Joe's - Sweetly Serendipity

To be totally transparent, I have no background in anything flower-related. I’ve always enjoyed flowers — having a fresh bouquet on the dining room table, exploring rose gardens on vacation, helping my mom in the garden — but to this point my enjoyment of them has been somewhat superficial.

My Foray into Floral Design - Sweetly Serendipity

In recent years, I’ve kept fresh flowers on hand almost constantly. Trader Joe’s has some pretty great flower deals, so when shopping there I’d always allow myself to buy a bouquet or two. Tulips and sunflowers were most present — two sunny, cheerful varieties that to me provide the best bang for your buck. But beyond giving the stems a quick trim and hurriedly placing them in a mason jar, I haven’t given much thought to them.

My Foray into Floral Design - Sweetly Serendipity

After Paint Night with Jackie from Central Square Florist, a flip switched. In the class, we were each given a handful of different flower varieties, and had to arrange them in a pleasing manner before we could paint. She gave us basic pointers for how to arrange the flowers, and I was completely transfixed with trying to make these mis-matched, random stems into something beautiful. And since then, I haven’t stopped.

My Foray into Floral Design - Sweetly Serendipity

My first arrangement post-epiphany are the photos you see here. I bought a couple different bunches at Trader Joe’s, and made two separate arrangements with my bounty. One of the arrangements — the one in the blue mason jar — I strongly preferred over the other, but on the whole I was pretty proud of what I came up with on my first try. Here’s what I bought:

  • 1 bunch magenta stock
  • 1 bunch soft pink tulips
  • 1 bunch misc cheap flowers — yellow and white mums, a single pastel yellow snapdragon, and a single stem of white alstroemeria

I also repurposed a couple of pretty pink roses I had at home, which I think was a saving grace for the arrangements.

As I would come to learn when reading my new book, “The Flower Recipe Book,” the basic recipe for arranging flowers is this: base, focal, bits. The roses ended up being the focal point, and without them both bouquets would’ve been all base and bits, with nothing compelling to draw the eye to


The second bouquet, arranged in this confetti and blue margarita glass, left a lot to be desired. The range of colors worked for me, but it had a totally novice look to it — a bunch of flowers shoved thoughtlessly into an inappropriately shaped vessel. You win some, you lose some, but I took away a couple of good lessons from this endeavor.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen a lot of improvement in the arrangements I’ve been putting together, and it makes my heart sing. Head on over to Renew Home and Floral to see more, and in the meantime, thanks for reading here! I’ll be back to regularly scheduled recipes and reviews shortly.

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