September 26, 2011

camille from the vintique object

Today I'm very excited to welcome one of my favorite bloggers, Camille from The Vintique Object, who's sharing her gorgeous autumn arrangements and helpful tips for creating, displaying, and maintaining your own. If you love this post like I do, click the image below to check out her blog for more inspiration and information like this every day!

Hello, Loft & Cottage readers. I am thrilled that Casey asked me here today—her blog is one of my very favorites!
Plus, I couldn't be more pleased to show you a few floral design
tips and ideas for arranging beautiful fall foliage!

Here are five different arrangements I made using clippings from just a few trees and plants.

This tall arrangement has not a single flower in it, and might have looked a bit boring if I had used only one type of foliage. As in interior design, focus on using light/dark contrast, texture, color, shape, and varying size when arranging flowers and foliage. I added a grape vine leaf or two inside the vase for added color and pattern.

These mums were the few left alive from an arrangement I made last week. I grouped them together in a dome shape in my hand and used floral tape to secure the stems—but any kind of tape would work. After putting the domed mums in a mint julep cup, I tucked in leaves around the arrangement. (You could use a glass votive for this purpose as well.) Perfect for the bedside table, bathroom, or other small space.

Even though the leaves from this branch haven't begun to change, the just-ripening figs have an autumn harvest feel. I had to trim away a lot of fig leaves in order for the fruit to show, so don't be afraid to prune your branches a bit when you get them into a vase. Using branches with berries, fruit, or seeds adds interest.

I make this "arrangement" every year. Simply put unripened pairs on a tray or in a bowl and tuck in autumn leaves. Unshelled nuts add a nice touch too. When the pears ripen, eat them, and then buy more the next time you are at the store for a display that will last the entire season.

Arrange autumn leaves in a vase, the way you would flowers, making sure to let some hang over the edge of the vase. To add interest, tuck a group of different colored fruit, berries, or flowers off-center near the lip of the vase. Kind of like tucking a fresh bloom behind your ear. Here I used foliage from a liquid amber tree. The spiky fruit is also from that tree, and unripened figs are still attached to their branches, which help keep them in place.

Below are some tips for bringing branches indoors, arranging them, and keeping them alive.

Unless the temperatures have dipped pretty low at night, I'd spray the branches with a hose to remove insects and spiders. If the leaves have changed color, tug at a few of them first to determine whether they can withstand a good spray.

Smash the end of woody material with a hammer so that the branch can more easily take up water.

If you want your display to last longer, use a clean vase and one drop of bleach to keep bacteria growth in the water at bay. This is true for arrangements made with flowers too. Don't worry, it won't harm the plants at all.

Using your non-dominant hand as a kind of vase, arrange branches in a way that pleases you and then use floral wire, or even scotch tape, to secure your branches together. Then plop them in the vase. Heavy branches can be unwieldy otherwise! (Don't expect your manicure to last while you are doing this!)

This is the fig branch I used in the third arrangement above. Even though the opening to the vase is narrow, I couldn't get the branch to face the direction I wanted it to go. So, I used scotch tape to tape it to the vase. No one will notice.

To keep the grape vine leaf in the first arrangement in place while adding branches, I sandwiched it between a larger and smaller cylindrical vase. The branches went into the smaller of the two vases.

You can read more tips and tricks for arranging flowers on my blog here.

Thank you for having me, Casey. I hope you have a wonderful time in Italy. I look forward to reading posts by other guest bloggers—and to seeing what your designing eye took note of while you were there!


My Little Bungalow said...

I love these arrangements, especially the fig branch with little fruits still attached! I also love the pears and leaves in the wooden bowl. So pretty!

Rene said...

I love this post! Camille, you are the arrangement master! Wishing I had a fig tree now.

Fran said...

Great post, Camille! I love the pear and autumn leaves arrangement - so simple yet beautiful!! You got a talent, girl!!

Ashley said...

Camille, you are so talented! I'm inspired to cut some branches and gather some fall fruits for a seasonal arrangement. Beautiful!

flwrjane said...

I'm a new visitor to your blog, I came for the beautiful arrangements but will rturn to get to know you a little bit better.

happy travels.

My Many Moments said...

I want in your brain for a day!! I love the use of leaves in fall arrangements. Cheap and easy to find!

Splendid Willow said...

How lovely! I might steal that pear and leaves "recipe"!

Warm hugs to you both!

And Casey, Italy is one of my favorite countries in the world. Enjoy every second! I am not jealous at all... (:


Carrie @ Hazardous Design said...

You are like a magician who just gave away the secret to all her tricks. Thanks so much for sharing all these great tips! Who knew about the bleach and the scotch tape???

Carol@TheDesignPages said...

Amazing as always Camille! Who knew that bleach was helpful and not harmful. Thanks for the great tips.

The Vintique Object said...

Thanks for having me, Casey. I imagine you somewhere in piazza sipping wine right about now...

Ispirato Design said...

That was great Camille- a lot of good advice! I love the simple fig branch.

Kelle Dame said...

I love how your arrangements look modern and unique. Love them all!! The elegant simplicity of the fig branch is stunning! Great job Camille!

designchic said...

These are beautiful arrangements, Camille. There is nothing I love more than a simple green in a vase - the fig leaf...perfection!!

nancy @ {COZAMIA} said...

So much great advice! I am seriously going to look for some fig branches, I love all of these (so much better than the tacky fake stuff) but that one is my fave for sure :)


Talent out the the fig branch and really I just love everything! Inspiration......

Barbara@HausDesign said...

So many great tips! The fig leaf is awesome - definitely my fave.

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