Week Twenty Four: Three Small Bouquets

The Bouquet-a-Week Project: Week Twenty-Four

My sweet husband brought home the Week Twenty-Four bouquet and it was a bounteous beauty, bursting with several different types of blossoms that I hadn’t worked with much before. These included a vivid blue hydrangea, one huge scarlet dahlia, and three daisies with fuzzy faces that seemed to smile at me from the perimeters of the bouquet. Here are the fresh flowers from the Pike Place Market for the Bouquet-a-Week Project, Week Twenty-Four, which cost $15.

Week Twenty-Four: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers
Week Twenty-Four: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers

And here are the fresh Pike Place Market flowers “painted” using the amazing Waterlogue app.

Week Twenty-Four: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue
Week Twenty-Four: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue

The gorgeous glob of pink Stargazer lilies caught my eye first, and I knew they would pair dramatically with a single sprig of kangaroo paw.

Week Twenty-Four: Pink Lilies and Kangaroo Paw
Week Twenty-Four: Pink Lilies and Kangaroo Paw

Next I made a grab for all the purple-and-yellow irises and the single crimson lily. I like the way the lacy shapes of the irises contrast with the strong horizontal lines of the vase.

Week Twenty-Four: Purple Irises and Single Crimson Lily in Striped Vase
Week Twenty-Four: Purple Irises and Single Crimson Lily in Striped Vase

What to do with the single hydrangea? I thought my Asian-inspired celadon vase would form the perfect foil for such a singular bloom, especially when paired with pink sweet peas, two of the pink petunias, purple flowers, and a single spear of bear grass.

Week Twenty-Four: Dramatic Blossoms in Celadon Asian Vase
Week Twenty-Four: Dramatic Blossoms in Celadon Asian Vase

Here’s another design using a pink lily and a huge sunflower (left over from a prior bouquet) in my swooping robin’s-egg-blue vase, my ode to Vincent Van Gogh.

Week Twenty Four: Single Lily and Sunflower Ode to Van Gogh
Week Twenty Four: Single Lily and Sunflower Ode to Van Gogh

Sweet peas, that single crimson dahlia, and more purple flowers for contrast look fetching in a pink Buddha vase backlighted in fuchsia.

Week Twenty Four: Pretty in Pink Flowers and Vase
Week Twenty Four: Pretty in Pink Flowers and Vase

There rather droopy snapdragons and lively purple flowers look jaunty in a squatty, clear-emerald vase backlighted in green.

Week Twenty Four: Purple Snapdragons in a Green Glass Vase
Week Twenty Four: Purple Snapdragons in a Green Glass Vase

Those ruffly daisies look happy in the Week Twenty-Four three-small-bouquets Waterlogue “painting.”

Week Twenty Four: Three Small Bouquets
Week Twenty Four: Three Small Bouquets
Week Twenty-Three: Two Small Bouquets

The Bouquet-a-Week Project: Week Twenty-Three

The Week Twenty-Three Bouquet was a lively mix that included a gorgeous sunflower, purple irises, kangaroo paws, and even a pink iris or two. Here are the flowers fresh from the Pike Place Market.

Week Twenty-Three: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers
Week Twenty-Three: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers

And here is the same bouquet “painted” using the Waterlogue app.

Week Twenty-Three: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in Waterlogue
Week Twenty-Three: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in Waterlogue

As I always do, I released the blossoms from their white butcher-paper wrapper, unwound the bouquet’s rubberband-bound plastic bags and moist newspaper, and placed the flowers back on the stretched-out butcher paper. I made sure the stems were cleared of small leaves and recut the ends, then stuck all the flowers in this shiny black vase so I could figure out exactly what I had.

I snapped a photo because I was so taken with the result of this impromptu bouquet. Glorious!

Week Twenty-Three: Major Bouquet in Dramatic Black Glossy Vase
Week Twenty-Three: Major Bouquet in Dramatic Black Glossy Vase

But I knew that I didn’t want to use all of the Week Twenty-Three flowers in one arrangement. So (rather sadly) began to design individual bouquets. Here is the first one of those.

Week Twenty-Three: Kangaroo Paw and Sweet Peas in Clear Vase
Week Twenty-Three: Kangaroo Paw and Sweet Peas in Clear Vase

The second one is an ode to the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh. BRIGHT COLORS!

Week Twenty-Three: Vincent Van Gogh Tribute
Week Twenty-Three: Vincent Van Gogh Tribute

My favorite colors came into play in the arrangement below, which includes a single intoxicatingly fragrant Stargazer Lily (rife with blossoms that I could hardly wait to watch bloom over the coming days), and selected greenery to create a fluffy frame.

Week Twenty-Three: Single Pink Lily in Lilac Ceramic Vase
Week Twenty-Three: Single Pink Lily in Lilac Ceramic Vase

The “Bold” setting of the Waterlogue app created this dramatic version of the same vase with only the greenery from the Week Twenty-Three bouquet.

Week Twenty-Three: Greenery Alone in a Lilac Ceramic Vase
Week Twenty-Three: Greenery Alone in a Lilac Ceramic Vase

My favorite small blue-glass vase forms a fitting contrast when planted with red sweet peas and purple flowers.

Week Twenty-Three: Red Sweet Peas in a Blue Vase
Week Twenty-Three: Red Sweet Peas in a Blue Vase

I love the romantic way the red and purple flowers drape in the two small bouquets below.

Week Twenty-Three: Two Small Bouquets
Week Twenty-Three: Two Small Bouquets

And here are the small bouquets from Week Twenty-Three. These miniature arrangements decorate the twin vanities in our bathroom and one sits next to the television in the bedroom.

Week Twenty-Three: Three Small Bouquets
Week Twenty-Three: Three Small Bouquets
Week Twenty: Pink Peonies and Snapdragons

The Bouquet-a-Week Project: Week Twenty

I bought my Week Twenty bouquet for the Bouquet-a-Week Project from Erlinda, one of the long-time and most talented designers in the entire Pike Place Market. Here she is proudly displaying the flowers I chose.

Week Twenty: Erlinda at Flower Garden Holding My Beautiful Bouquet
Week Twenty: Erlinda at Flower Garden Holding My Beautiful Bouquet

I’ve known Erlinda for years and always appreciate the fresh and clean bouquets she crafts at Flower Garden in the Pike Place Market’s Main Arcade. You can find Flower Garden under the Market clock, just a few steps away from Pike Place Fish (which tourists often refer to as “the place where they throw the fish”).

I was drawn to this lush bouquet, rife with vibrant contrasting colors, because of several “new” varieties of flowers. I use the word “new” loosely here, simply because the names of the “new” flowers were hitherto unbeknownst to me. More on the “new” varieties that I discovered thanks to the PlantSnap app later on in this post.

Here is the fresh bouquet of Pike Place Market flowers that cost $15.

Week Twenty: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers
Week Twenty: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers

And here is the same bouquet “painted” in “Natural” mode using the Waterlogue app.

Week Twenty: Pike Place Market Flowers in Waterlogue
Week Twenty: Pike Place Market Flowers in Waterlogue

This was not only a visually opulent bouquet, but it smelled great, thanks to the peonies and one of the “new” flowers I discovered on PlantSnap called Golden Arrow (Plumeria Pudica).

Here is the first major bouquet I created using the single orange Asian lily and two of the graceful Kangaroo Paws (Anigozanthos) positioned so perfectly in an Asian-leaning vase lined with smooth black rocks. Although I had worked with the lacy red flowers for years, I never bothered to learn their name until now. Good to know!

Week Twenty: Ikebana Red Lily and Kangaroo Paws in Natural Light
Week Twenty: Ikebana Red Lily and Kangaroo Paws in Natural Light

Here is the same arrangement shot at night with ivory backlights. Magical!

Week Twenty: Ikebana Red Lily and Kangaroo Paws at Night
Week Twenty: Red Lily and Kangaroo Paws at Night

I knew that the dark-pink peonies and snapdragons would look pretty in a Waterford cut-glass vase. I love using this vessel because it was a wedding gift when my husband and I married 36 years ago.

Week Twenty: Pink Peonies and Snapdragons
Week Twenty: Pink Peonies and Snapdragons

I really wanted to use this interesting art-glass vase in a muted burgundy color. Orange canna lilies and purple flowers and greenery are so dramatic.

Week Twenty: Orange Canna Lilies in Mottled Burgundy Vase
Week Twenty: Orange Canna Lilies in Mottled Burgundy Vase

My favorite blue Buddha vase backlighted in blue looks royal with the addition of White Golden Arrow and purple flowers.

Week Twenty: Golden Arrow and Purple Flowers in Blue Buddha Vase
Week Twenty: Golden Arrow and Purple Flowers in Blue Buddha Vase

A single Kangaroo Paw in an Asian celadon vase is the spirit of ikebana.

Week Twenty: Single Kangaroo Paw in Celadon Vase
Week Twenty: Single Kangaroo Paw in Celadon Vase

The three small vases for Week Twenty of the Bouquet-a-Week Project made use of a single pink peony, Golden arrow, purple flower, and a couple of lilies left over from Week Nineteen. Week Twenty: Three Small Vases

Week Twenty: Three Small Vases

Week Eighteen: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in Waterlogue

Week Eighteen: The Bouquet-a-Week Project

Week Eighteen of the Bouquet-a-Week Project began under a cloud since it also marked the date for my five-year routine colonoscopy procedure.

For anyone who has ever undergone this experience, you know that the preparation is worse than the actual procedure, which takes just half an hour and is performed under “twilight sedation,” which essentially means strong knock-out drugs.

Preparation begins about a week before you go into the hospital, when you are strongly advised to go off any vitamins or supplements that contain Vitamin E, fish oil, or anything else that keeps your blood from clotting. Alive and Ibuprofen are also verboten for the same reason; Tylenol is okay if needed.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Three days before the procedure, you have to stop eating nuts, seeds, and popcorn. Fiber supplements are also off the table (or, more correctly, out of your system). Going off fiber supplements certainly wasn’t a problem, but the other three forbidden items were more problematic, especially since I practically live on nuts and nut butters.

Twenty-four hours before the big procedure, I had to stop eating solid foods entirely. So on Wednesday morning, the 13th of June (aptly named, since it was definitely not my lucky day) I ate my last bite of Dannon Oui Vanilla Yogurt. I had chosen this particular brand of yogurt since it comes in an old-timey glass cup (civilized!) and is especially thick and pleasant-tasting.

I ate the cool, creamy yogurt with a small spoon in tiny bites over 1 1/2 hours. I wanted to make my final tastes of solid food last as long as possible.

From then on, until 7:30 on Thursday morning (two hours before the procedure), I was allowed to consume only a clear liquid diet, things like bouillon, Popsicles, Jell-o, and fruit juices. Caveats included no milk or dairy products and no red or blue-hued liquids, since those colors could mimic blood, confuse the doctor, and negate the test results.

From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., I had to drink two (yes, two!) liters of what I rather derisively refer to as “the solution.”

Said “solution” is officially called Golytely or GaviLyte–a polyethylene glycol and sodium solution. You mix the fine white powder with four liters of water plus a packet of Crystal Light drink mix, shake well, and refrigerate.

“The solution” tastes strongly, and strangely, of salt, rather like diluted Thai fish sauce. The packet of Crystal Light is supposed to mask the bad taste. Trust me, it doesn’t.

From the first cup of “the solution,” the stomach begins to roil and rumble, rife with cramps and spasms. And then the bowel movements begin.

The more you drink, the more you go to the bathroom. And go, and go, and go.

I went to bed that night around 11:30, after my daily dose of the Trevor Noah show. But sleep came slowly as I focused on my turbulent tummy, deciding whether I needed to jump up and run to the bathroom one more time, or whether I could catch a few hours of shut-eye.

My alarm clock was set for 4:15 so I could stumble out of bed and begin drinking the final two liters of “the solution.” Strangely, although I was sleep-deprived and starving, I was almost looking forward to drinking the last two liters of “the solution,” more than ready to finish cleaning out my bowels and head to the hospital to undergo the actual procedure.

I wrote this blog while drinking the final two liters of “the solution.” My writing flowed quickly, as if an invisible hand was guiding my fingers over the keyboard. I stopped briefly every fifteen minutes to drink a cup of  “the solution” until finally. . .mercifully. . .thankfully. . .the giant jug was empty and I could place it in the recycling bin. Victory!

My dear husband drove me to the hospital. I felt dizzy and had a splitting headache, a combination of low blood sugar and dehydration. I felt as though I had been reduced to a bag of blood and bones, a mind and body that  just wanted to get “the procedure” over and done with.

I checked in without incident–thankfully all the paperwork was in order–and the receptionist encircled my left wrist with my patient ID. My husband got his marching orders as well, told to stay in the waiting room and monitor my progress on a color-coded overhead monitor using my secret patient number.

A male nurse prepped me for the procedure. I stripped down to my bra, put a cotton robe over my head, and arranged myself over the sheet-draped gurney with a warm blanket over my body.

The nurse inserted an IV drip into my arm and taped it down. My husband and I waited an hour, making small talk and gazing out the window, before I was wheeled into the operating room.

The doctor introduced herself and we discussed the impending procedure. The nurse attached the monitors and the anesthesiologist began the job of sending me off to dreamland.

The next thing I knew, I was being gently shaken awake by a nurse. I had survived. I was awake. I was alive.

My husband looked as relieved outwardly as I felt inwardly. Soon, the doctor arrived and informed us that my bowels looked normal and I didn’t have to have another colonoscopy for five more years. In addition to that most welcome news, she said I could go home and eat a simple meal.

The point of all of this way-too-graphic reporting on my colonoscopy is that the one bright spot during that otherwise horrible week was when my dear husband brought home a fresh Pike Place Market bouquet for me to play with.

The beautiful blossoms filled my senses and brightened my outlook. For at least a few hours, while arranging the beautiful blossoms, my mind was happy and free.

Afterwards, as I admired the resulting bouquets, I was relieved from the ugliness of sitting in the bathroom, drinking copious amounts of a gag-inducing liquid, and worrying about going to the hospital.

In short–flowers saved me.

Here is that beautiful bouquet–a medley of oranges and purples–that cost my husband all of $15.

Week Eighteen: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers
Week Eighteen: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers

And here is the bouquet “painted” in Waterlogue.

Week Eighteen: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in Waterlogue
Week Eighteen: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in Waterlogue

I knew that a handful of deep-pink peonies, and a single white one, would look scrumptious in one of my favorite vases.

Week Eighteen: White and Deep Pink Peonies in a Purple Terracotta Vase
Week Eighteen: White and Deep Pink Peonies in a Purple Ceramic Vase

I have never used this rustic clay vase, but orange Asiatic lilies and purple-and-yellow irises fit it perfectly.

Week Eighteen: White and Deep-Pink Peonies in a Terracotta Vase
Week Eighteen: White and Deep-Pink Peonies in a Terracotta Vase

This may be my favorite creation from Week Eighteen–pale-pink sweet peas, a single purple sweet pea, and a Perennial Cornflower. I have to admit I was unfamiliar with the latter, but figured out its correct name thanks to the amazing SnapPlant app. If you’re not familiar with this useful tool, you should be. Simply snap a photo of the plant in question and several possibilities pop up on your iPhone or iPad. Choose the correct one, then archive it in your Recent Snaps gallery for future reference.

Week Eighteen: Sweet Peas in a Clear Green Vase
Week Eighteen: Sweet Peas in a Clear Green Vase

An ikebana-inspired design using my favorite “jelly-bean” vase features deep-pink peonies and the above-mentioned Perennial Cornflowers.

Week Eighteen: Deep Pink Peonies and Perennial Cornflowers in the Jelly-Bean Vase
Week Eighteen: Deep Pink Peonies and Perennial Cornflowers in the Jelly-Bean Vase

More of the spiky blue cornflowers look gorgeous in a clear cylindrical vase with gray-glass decorative filler. The vase is lighted from behind with blue candle lights.

Week Eighteen: Spindly Periwinkle-Blue Flowers in a Back-Lighted Clear Vase
Week Eighteen: Spindly Periwinkle-Blue Cornflowers in a Back-Lighted Clear Vase

Here are three small bouquets I made using Shrubby Yellow Crest and irises. I love the color play between the yellow and deep purple flowers.

Week Eighteen: Three Small Bouquets
Week Eighteen: Three Small Bouquets
Week Seventeen: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in Waterlogue

The Bouquet-a-Week Project: Week Seventeen

In Week Seventeen of the Bouquet-a-Week Project, I returned to my tried-and-true formula of buying a prearranged Pike Place Market bouquet, then rearranging it using my own vases and decorative fillers.

This was a very special week since we had just returned from 21 days  out of the office, during which we enjoyed a cruise from Dover, England, to Reykjavik, Iceland. It was an amazing journey during which I took hundreds of photos. I can’t wait to start editing and posting the best images on this website for you to enjoy!

We returned from our trip with renewed energy and vigor–refreshed, relaxed, and rarin’ to go.

I bought the Week Seventeen bouquet from one of my long-time favorite farmers who sells in the first section of the Market’s Main Arcade. I was drawn to this lush bouquet, rife with white, plus several different shades of pink peonies; sweet-pea sprigs vibrant purple-and-yellow irises; shrubbery yellow crest; fresh mint; and pretty greenery.

Here is the fresh bouquet of Pike Place Market flowers that cost $15.

Week Seventeen: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers
Week Seventeen: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers

And here is the same bouquet “painted” using the Waterlogue app in “Natural” mode.

Week Seventeen: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in Waterlogue
Week Seventeen: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in Waterlogue

This was not only a visually opulent bouquet, but it smelled great, too! The frilly peonies oozed a rich aroma, while the scent from the sweet peas was milder and less complex. The fresh mint sprigs provided a sharp top note. I didn’t know whether to arrange this bouquet or simply smell it!

But I knew that the irises and the shrubby yellow crest would look fabulous in my ikebana vase. I was unfamiliar with the yellow crest, but figured out what it was thanks to the wonderful PlantSnap plant identifier application).

Week Seventeen: Purple Irises and Shrubby Yellow Crest in My Ikebana Vase
Week Seventeen: Purple Irises and Shrubby Yellow Crest in My Ikebana Vase

Here is the same arrangement shot from a different angle.

Week Seventeen: Purple Irises and Shrubby Yellow Crest in My Ikebana Vase Version Two
Week Seventeen: Purple Irises and Shrubby Yellow Crest in My Ikebana Vase Version Two

Three of the peonies formed a fluffy contrast to the stark lines of this black lacquer vase.

Week Seventeen: White and Pink Peonies in a Black Lacquer Vase
Week Seventeen: White and Pink Peonies in a Black Lacquer Vase

This is the another side of the same arrangement.

Week Seventeen: Pale Pink and Dark Pink Peonies in a Black Lacquer Vase
Week Seventeen: Pale Pink and Dark Pink Peonies in a Black Lacquer Vase

And here is one more view. I can’t decide which one I prefer!

Week Seventeen: Dark Pink, Light Pink, and White Peonies in a Black Lacquer Vase
Week Seventeen: Dark Pink, Light Pink, and White Peonies in a Black Lacquer Vase

A neon-pink peony and an stark white one, plus a stalk of fresh mint, looks stunning in this celadon vase, which started life in an Asian grocery as a vessel for a funky Chinese wine.

Week Seventeen: A Single White and Pink Peony in Celadon Asian Vase
Week Seventeen: A Single White and Pink Peony in Celadon Asian Vase

Two medium-pink peonies and a mint stalk look jaunty in this turquoise Buddha vase.

Week Seventeen: Pink Peonies in a Clear Turquoise Vase
Week Seventeen: Pink Peonies in a Clear Turquoise Vase

Here are the three small vases that decorate the double vanities in our bathroom and the TV shelf in our bedroom. They are composed of sweet peas, shrubby yellow crest, and mint stalks.

Week Seventeen: Three Small Vases With Mint, Sweet Peas, and Shrubby Yellow Crest
Week Seventeen: Three Small Vases With Mint, Sweet Peas, and Shrubby Yellow Crest

A second collection of small-vase arrangements.

Week Seventeen: Three Small Vases With Mint, Sweet Peas, and Shrubby Yellow Crest Version Two
Week Seventeen: Three Small Vases With Mint, Sweet Peas, and Shrubby Yellow Crest Version Two

A single sweet-pea stalk and gorgeous greenery look stunning in this simple clear-green vase.

Week Seventeen: Single White Sweet Pea and Leaves in a Clear Green Vase
Week Seventeen: Single White Sweet Pea and Leaves in a Clear Green Vase

This is my new favorite vase, purchased during our cruise at The Jetty Gallery in Oban, Scotland, from the gallery’s knowledgeable owner, Annie Mackenzie.

The vase is tiny–just 1 7/8 inches tall–and exquisitely painted in pale gray. It looks stunning on this stand I bought at this spring’s Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival at Seattle Center.

Week Seventeen: Tiny Flowers and Leaves in Miniature Porcelain Vase
Week Seventeen: Tiny Flowers and Leaves in Miniature Porcelain Vase

Here is the same shot in the “Bold” mode of Waterlogue. I love how the flowers painted on the stand “pop” so beautifully.

Week Seventeen: Tiny Flowers and Leaves in Miniature Porcelain Vase Version Two
Week Seventeen: Tiny Flowers and Leaves in Miniature Porcelain Vase Version Two
Week Fourteen: Yellow Tulips and Bear Grass

The Bouquet-a-Week Project: Week Fourteen

Believe it or not, I do not post all the bouquets I create for the Bouquet-a-Week Project on this website.

So for the next three weeks, while we take some time out of the office to refresh and rejuvenate (and take more photos!), I will post some of my favorite “leftovers” for you to enjoy.

This week, all the arrangements feature tulips I purchased at the Pike Place Market, then “painted” in the Waterlogue app. Because of their spare design, they display the concept of ikebana.

Here are three jaunty red lipstick-red tulips,  a pussy-willow branch, and bear grass in one of my favorite Asian-inspired vases.

Week Fourteen: Three Red Tulips in a Black Vase
Week Fourteen: Three Red Tulips in a Black Vase

Another favorite vase and two red tulips.

Week Fourteen: Two Red Tulips, Pussy Willow Branch, and Blue Curved Vase
Week Fourteen: Two Red Tulips, Pussy Willow Branch, and Blue Curved Vase

A single spiky pink tulip and a trio of pussy-willow branches look stunning in my purple jelly-bean vase.

Week Fourteen: Single Red Tulip, Pussy Willows, and Purple Jelly Bean Vase
Week Fourteen: Single Red Tulip, Pussy Willows, and Purple Jelly Bean Vase

This “vase” is actually a pencil holder, but I love its simple lines. It makes a simple contrast to a big purple tulip, calla lilies, pussy willows, and greenery.

Week Fourteen: Spiky Red Tulip, Calla Lilies, Pussy Willows, and White Vase
Week Fourteen: Spiky Red Tulip, Calla Lilies, Pussy Willows, and White Vase

These yellow tulips almost look like a big pom-pom. Sis-boom-bah!

Week Fourteen: Yellow Tulips and Bear Grass
Week Fourteen: Yellow Tulips and Bear Grass

It’s intriguing to me that even arrangements made without flowers can look stunning. Here, a few sprigs of greenery and red “feathers” create two beautiful bouquets.

Week Fourteen: Red Feathers and Greenery Duo
Week Fourteen: Red Feathers and Greenery Duo

Here’s another non-flower bouquet that looks surprisingly lush and inviting.

Week Fourteen: Red Feathers, Greenery, and Pussy Willows in Burgundy and Black Vase
Week Fourteen: Red Feathers, Greenery, and Pussy Willows in Burgundy and Black Vase
Week Twelve: Four Small Bouquets

The Bouquet-a-Week Project: Week Twelve

It was May Day, which also happened to be the official launch date of this website! My labor of love, which I had been working on since January, had finally come to fruition and I was ready to share it with the world.

At nine o’clock that morning, I had sent out a Constant Contact newsletter to my subscriber list that resulted in many congratulatory emails and positive feedback. Hooray!

To celebrate, I headed to the Pike Place Market for my weekly flower haul. Still under the spell of the monochromatic bouquets I had created during Week Eleven, I decided to try that concept again, but with darker-colored blossoms.

Once inside the Main Arcade, at the very first farmer’s stand, I spotted some deep-pink, almost purple peonies at the very first stall. The fluffy heads appealed not only because of their dense, lush petals, but because I hadn’t yet worked with peonies this spring.

I asked the flower farmer, a congenial man who aimed to please, for four of those blossoms, which cost $2.50 apiece. Next I spotted some dark-burgundy tulips with spiky petals that I knew would coordinate with the peonies and asked for six of those. Finally, some “parrot” tulips with red petals and green stripes caught my eye.

The tulips cost $10 a dozen, so I had reached the $20 maximum for my weekly flower budget.

Week Twelve: Santos Farm Stand
Week Twelve: Santos Farm Stand

The affable farmer, Eric Santos, insisted on creating a bouquet, even though I explained that I was heading right home to create my own designs. He wanted to trim the stems of the blossoms, but I told him to just leave them like they were. Here is the lovely bouquet he offered to me.

Week Twelve: Eric Santos, Co-Owner of Santos Farm Stand in the Pike Place Market
Week Twelve: Eric Santos, Co-Owner of Santos Farm Stand in the Pike Place Market

Here are the raw flowers from that celebratory Tuesday afternoon.

Week Twelve: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers
Week Twelve: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers

And here is that same jaw-dropping bouquet “painted” in Waterlogue.

Week Twelve: Fresh Pike Place Market Tulips in Waterlogue
Week Twelve: Fresh Pike Place Market Tulips in Waterlogue

The moment I saw it among my collection of vases, I knew I had found the perfect vessel to display the spiky burgundy tulips and greenery. Talk about color-coordinated!

Week Twelve: Spiky Burgundy Tulips in a Burgundy and Black Vase
Week Twelve: Spiky Burgundy Tulips in a Burgundy and Black Vase

The “parrot” tulips didn’t need much to highlight them, so I chose a clear glass vase and smooth black stones.

Week Twelve: Six Burgundy and Green Parrot Tulips in a Clear Glass Vase
Week Twelve: Six Burgundy and Green Parrot Tulips in a Clear Glass Vase

I saved the four peonies for Week Twelve’s smaller bouquets. Here is a dashing trio with a clear glass cylinder flanked by my beloved Buddha vases.

Week Twelve: Three Small Bouquets
Week Twelve: Three Small Bouquets

And here is the same photo with the addition of the fourth small bouquet (green vase). There was hardly enough room on the etagere to make them all fit!

Week Twelve: Four Small Bouquets
Week Twelve: Four Small Bouquets

The Bouquet-a-Week Project: Week Eleven

I followed my now-predictable pattern of buying Pike Place Market flowers late on a Thursday afternoon. But this week I decided to follow the previous week’s initial idea of a monochromatic bouquet.

Bound and determined, I headed to the Market and spotted some gorgeous “parrot” tulips that were mainly white, but with green markings. On the other side of the flower farmer’s stand stood tall, pristine white tulips that I knew would pair perfectly with the parrot tulips.

Here are the raw tulips from Week Eleven.

Week Eleven: Fresh Pike Place Market Tulips
Week Eleven: Fresh Pike Place Market Tulips

And here are those same tulips “painted” in Waterlogue.

Week Eleven: Fresh Pike Place Market Tulips in Waterlogue
Week Eleven: Fresh Pike Place Market Tulips in Waterlogue

I busily set about figuring out the best vases for such pure and majestic blossoms and decided that stark black would form a fitting contrast.

Here is the first major bouquet I created during Week Eleven.

Week Eleven: Tall Black Vase With Five White Tulips
Week Eleven: Tall Black Vase With Five White Tulips

As an experiment, I took the same shot in the late afternoon on a sunny day, known to photographers as the “golden hour.” I was really pleased with the moody shadows that led to such a dramatic result.

Week Eleven: Five White Tulips in a Black Vase With Shadows
Week Eleven: Five White Tulips in a Black Vase With Shadows

Returning to brighter lighting, here is another major Week Eleven bouquet in an all-time favorite vase. The small stand is something new that I picked up for $1 (!) a few weekends ago at the annual Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival at Seattle Center. I’m sure you’ll be seeing the stand in many upcoming photos.

Week Eleven: Tall Black Asian Vase With Two White Tulips and Magnolia Branch
Week Eleven: Tall Black Asian Vase With Two White Tulips and Magnolia Branch

As an interesting contrast, here is the same bouquet, but with the two white tulips after the blooms were fully opened. I love this “fluffy” look (in which the tulips look more like magnolias) almost as much as the more austere tulips above. Both bouquets display the Japanese concept of minimalist flower arranging, called Ikebana.

Week Eleven: Two White Tulips and Magnolia Branch in a Tall Black Vase
Week Eleven: Two White Tulips and Magnolia Branch in a Tall Black Vase

But this was only the beginning. With so many beautiful blossoms at my disposal, it was now time to begin working on the smaller bouquets, starting with my lovely blue Buddha vase, a former sake bottle (!).

Week Eleven: Blue Buddha Vase, Single White Tulip, and Pussy Willow
Week Eleven: Blue Buddha Vase, Single White Tulip, and Pussy Willow

And here is a bouquet in my pink Buddha vase.

Week Eleven: Pink Buddha Vase with a Single White Tulip and Pussy Willow Branch
Week Eleven: Pink Buddha Vase with a Single White Tulip and Pussy Willow Branch

Another favorite vase, which curves so gracefully and makes any flower look sexy.

Week Eleven: Tall Curving Blue Vase, Single White Tulip, and Pussy Willow
Week Eleven: Tall Curving Blue Vase, Single White Tulip, and Pussy Willow

To finish off Week Eleven with a bang, here is a trio of smaller bouquets to enjoy.

Week Eleven: Trio of Vases with White Tulips
Week Eleven: Trio of Vases with White Tulips

The Bouquet-a-Week Project: Week Nine

I went a bit wild in Week Nine, deciding to buy flowers early in the day and hoping to get to the Pike Place Market earlier than usual.

But the work gods didn’t cooperate, and I didn’t make it to the Market until close to 5 p.m. on a chilly Thursday afternoon when I wasn’t even sure many flower farmers would still be there.

But thank heavens, several hearty farmers were still creating bouquets and happily hawking their wares under the Market Clock.

I walked up and down the aisle in the Main Arcade, comparing and contrasting the pre-made bouquets. But, unlike in weeks past, nothing   really caught my eye.

Instead, I spotted a white-plastic bucket jam-packed with spiky purple tulips and another that contained ruffly daffodils with tiny heads.

Upon closer inspection, I realized that the there were two or three small daffodils on each stem. Quickly, I asked for 10 of them, along with six of the purple tulips.

The rather unfriendly farmer (I think she wanted to go home–and who could blame her, it was cold and late, after all) handed me my flowers and asked for $11.

Right next to that farmer, I saw another woman with a bucket full of beautiful branches that I thought might be from a dogwood tree. But the delicate flowers were pale yellow, and I’d never seen a yellow dogwood. When I inquired, the farmer said they were branches from a magnolia tree, my late mother’s favorite. I asked for one branch, which cost all of $3.

I felt like a queen as I walked along First Avenue to our condo with two bouquets in hand that cost a grand total of $14. When I got home, I realized that, consciously or subconsciously, I had chosen blossoms in my husband’s and my favorite colors (yellow and purple, respectively).

Here are the raw flowers from that wild Week Nine.

Week Nine: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers
Week Nine: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers

And here are the flowers “painted” using the Waterlogue app.

Week Nine: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in Waterlogue
Week Nine: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in Waterlogue

Here is one of the major bouquets I created that week using only three of the spiky purple tulips and the magnolia blossom. To me, this bouquet is the essence of the principal of ikebana.

Week Nine: Three Tulips and Magnolia Branch
Week Nine: Three Tulips and Magnolia Branch

Here is the same bouquet, after one of the tulips had broken in the middle and (oh, so sadly) had to be pulled out and reused in a smaller bouquet. Since the base photo was taken at night, the background became all dark and moody, with intriguing shadows at the top.

Week Nine: Two Tulips and Magnolia Branch at
Week Nine: Two Tulips and Magnolia Branch at Night

This bouquet (which really isn’t so much a bouquet as the positioning of two of the purple tulips in a vase!) is so sexy. I love it when my tulips behave just as I want them.

Week Nine: Two Purple Tulips in a Circular Vase
Week Nine: Two Purple Tulips in a Circular Vase

Here are the same two tulips in a tall “vase” that was originally a water bottle (!). It isn’t nearly as sexy, but fun to see how different it is than the arrangement above.

Week Nine: Two Purple Tulips in a Tall Vase
Week Nine: Two Purple Tulips in a Tall Vase

And here are some of the smaller bouquets from Week Nine that make use of the gorgeous multi-headed daffodils and pussy willows (left over from a prior week).

Week Nine: Three Small Vases--Green, Green, and Pink
Week Nine: Three Small Vases–Green, Green, and Pink
Week Nine: Three Small Vases--Green, Light Pink, and Dark Pink
Week Nine: Three Small Vases–Green, Light Pink, and Dark Pink

Here is the vase that I most often use in our bedroom since shelf space is limited. I am a new convert to these double- and triple-headed daffodils and plan to seek them out next time I’m at the Market.

Week Nine: Two Daffodils and Pussy Willow
Week Nine: Two Daffodils and Pussy Willow

Musing on My New Vase

Have you ever had that experience where you walk by a storefront and realize that something just caught your eye? You think about it for a moment, then just know that you have to go back and find out more about the object in question.

That happened to me on a recent Sunday-afternoon stroll down First Avenue in downtown Seattle. We walk there often since it is part of our neighborhood, which is known as the “West Edge” because it is on the western edge of the city adjacent to Elliott Bay.

The store in question was Design Within Reach, a long-time favorite. We have purchased everything from flatware to bath towels and even our living-room sofa there over the years!

The object that caught my eye was a vase with a clear-glass bottom and a brass circle rising from the center. Various dried flowers stuck up from the holes in the brass circle forming a pleasing pattern.

Once inside, the salesperson informed me it was Design Within Reach’s brand-new “Ikebana Vase.” Imagine my delight to learn that a principal I often use in my flower arranging (ikebana) was now incorporated into an actual vase sold by one of my favorite retailers.

I learned that the vase comes in a large size (like the one in the window) and a smaller one. Knowing I would want to photograph the vase on our metal etagere (where I take many of my flower photos for posting on the Braiden Blossoms blog), I chose the smaller version because I knew it would fit better and be a better scale for the space.

According to the Design Within Reach website, the vase was designed in 2016 by a young Spaniard, Jaime Hayon. Ikebana is Japanese for “making flowers live,” and Mr. Hayon designed the vase to “honor your flowers from top to bottom.”

In other words, unlike more conventional vessels, the Ikebana Vase honors the whole flower and not just the crown.

The two drilled plates are made of stainless steel covered with brass. They will scratch and age and develop a rich patina over time.

The brass plates are designed for exact positioning of each blossom (in order to create precise arrangements).

I was sad when the salesperson informed me that there was no small vase I could take home with me that day. Rather, as has become customary with many retailers in the modern world, my merchandise would have to be ordered from the Design Within Reach warehouse in Kentucky.

The salesperson said the delivery would take five to seven business days. Disappointed, but excited to see the Ikebana Vase whenever it arrived, I  put my new purchase out of my mind.

Several days later, on the Saturday before Easter, I got notice that a package had arrived at our condominium’s front desk. When I saw that the big box was from Design Within Reach, I got really excited and hurried to cut it open.

The Ikebana Vase itself came in a gorgeous robin’s-egg blue box, similar to those from Tiffany & Co. A good beginning!

The glass base was thick, well formed, and beautifully crystal clear. It reminded me of a giant camera lens. The brass circle insert where the flowers would stand was easy to put together and felt strong and solid as I carefully positioned it in the base of the vase.

Luckily, I had some fresh pink tulips on hand that I knew would work well in my new vase. Here is the photo of the fresh tulips in the new vase.

Ikebana Vase Raw Tulips
New Ikebana Vase with Raw Tulips

I could hardly wait to “paint” my original photo using my beloved Waterlogue app. Here is that image in Waterlogue’s Vibrant mode.

Ikebana Vase Waterlogue Tulips in Color Bloom Mode
Ikebana Vase Waterlogue Tulips in Vibrant Mode

And here is the raw photo “painted” in Bold mode.

Ikebana Vase Waterlogue Tulips in Bold Mode
Ikebana Vase Waterlogue Tulips in Bold Mode

This is Waterlogue’s Color Bloom mode.

Ikebana Vase Waterlogue Tulips in Color Bloom Mode
Ikebana Vase Waterlogue Tulips in Color Bloom Mode

All are gorgeous and I love my new vase!