One of my personal favorite categories on the Braiden Blossoms website is one I call Floral Color Blocks, for lack of a more imaginative term. Floral Color Blocks are masses of flowers in rectangular shapes “painted” in the Waterlogue app. To me, they could almost be printed on paper and/or fabric and made into notecards and/or pillowcases. Hey, a girl can dream!
Sometimes I sit and stare at a Floral Color Block, allowing myself to fall into the colors and textures as though they were a soothing visual pillow.
So this week, Week Twenty-Two of the Bouquet-a-Week Project, instead of following my usual formula of purchasing a bouquet at the Pike Place Market and rearranging it using new combinations of flowers, vases, and decorative fillers, I present some of my favorite Floral Color Blocks.
I hope you enjoy these “visual pillows” as much as I do!
This week, instead of posting Pike Place Market flowers “painted” using the Waterlogue app, we are taking a bit of a diversion to display what I refer to as “Color Blocks.” Color Blocks are portions of formal flower arrangements that I photograph, then “paint” in Waterlogue.
I find these formal flower arrangements at my health club, where I work out twice a week. But you can find similar formal flower arrangements in office and hotel lobbies, flower shops, and perhaps even in your own home (if you’re lucky!).
If the half-dozen images that follow resonate with you, you can find more in the Color Blocks section of this website.
Last week I announced that I would be taking a couple of weeks out of the office to refresh and rejuvenate. And, since I wouldn’t be around to buy fresh Pike Place Market flowers, I began to post some of my favorite “leftovers” (bouquets that didn’t make it into earlier posts) for you to enjoy.
So during Week Fifteen we’ll continue along that path with seven “leftover” bouquets featuring flowers I purchased at the Market, then “painted” in the Waterlogue app. I hope you enjoy them!
Here are several lively yellow and red tulips in a multi-stripe vase.
These draping pink and white tulips look ethereal in a clear curved vase.
This arrangement, with its dramatic lighting and black and white colors, reminds me of a Spanish flamenco dancer!
The big, bright faces of these peach tulips make me smile.
These ruffly pale daffodils look gorgeous framed in greenery and positioned in a green glass vase with a few sprigs of draping bear grass.
Two tulips and red “feathers” in a clear glass vase are fetching.
Here is a sparse, but eye-catching arrangement, in a contemporary glass vase I bought at a Christmas Market in Germany.
Week Thirteen was full of firsts–the first time I had worked with Asian lilies during this spring season and the first time I had used two new vases to create my floral bouquets.
It was also the first time I had blown my normal $20-a-week budget. But I couldn’t resist four Asian lilies that cost $4 apiece for a total of $16.
Then I needed a half dozen tulips for additional smaller bouquets. The hand-lettered paper sign above the flower farmer’s stand said that a dozen tulips cost $10, so I figured that if I got half a dozen, I’d just be $1 over budget.
But naughty me. I chose six “double” tulips. So when I handed the farmer a ten-spot, she thanked me and turned her attention back to a bouquet she had been arranging.
When questioned, she explained that the “double” tulips cost twice as much as “regular” tulips. In any case, I knew I would enjoy them and that they would photograph beautifully, then “Waterlogue” well.
Here are the ten stems I purchased that day.
And here are the fresh flowers “painted” in Waterlogue.
I got greedy and used all four Asian lilies in the first of two major bouquets I created during Week Thirteen. You’ll note that this is one of the new vases. . .an extremely tall bamboo rectangle with a clear glass cone hidden inside to keep the flowers watered. It worked perfectly with the four long-stemmed orange and pink Asian lilies that I set in opposing corners. Some tall red branches created a dramatic finishing touch.
Here is the other new vase that I admired in a Target advertisement and bought for $9.99. Hand-painted in China, each container is a bit different. I like the way the navy paint drips down through the white stripes. With the addition of three tulips, it almost has a Dutch-painterly, Vermeer-like vibe.
Here are the three smaller bouquets I designed during Week Thirteen using the remaining three “double” tulips in reddish-orange and bright yellow colors.
A few days later, after the Asian lilies had opened into their full glory, I reshot them in the bamboo vase.
Then I removed the bamboo exterior and pulled out the glass conical vase inside and rearranged three of the blossoms.
I positioned the remaining pale-pink lily, which was positively bursting with blooms, in my favorite robin’s-egg blue curving vase along with a trio of pussy willows and greenery. Here’s that gorgeous shot in Waterlogue.
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.
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.
Here are the raw flowers from that celebratory Tuesday afternoon.
And here is that same jaw-dropping bouquet “painted” 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!
The “parrot” tulips didn’t need much to highlight them, so I chose a clear glass vase and smooth black stones.
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.
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!
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.
And here are those same tulips “painted” 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (!).
And here is a bouquet in my pink Buddha vase.
Another favorite vase, which curves so gracefully and makes any flower look sexy.
To finish off Week Eleven with a bang, here is a trio of smaller bouquets to enjoy.
Just before I went to the Pike Place Market on a Thursday afternoon, I read an article on flower arranging that really got me thinking. The article said that monochromatic flower bouquets are quite the rage, so I went to the Market with thoughts of choosing flowers all of the same color.
It was the first day the cruise ships were in port and the Market was packed with tourists ooh-ing and aah-ing the colorful displays of fruits and vegetables as well as the intrepid fishmongers tossing salmon skyward at Pike Place Fish under the Market clock.
I muscled my way through the mass of humanity, intent on purchasing flowers in a single color.
But, once I arrived, there were SO many gorgeous pre-made flower bouquets that I decided to shift course and choose one of those.
It was a very tough decision as the colors and variety were almost overwhelming. It was not only the beginning of the summer tourist season, but the beginning of the height of the flower season as well.
Here is the original $20 bouquet with raw flowers.
Here are the major bouquets I designed during Week Ten. This is a gorgeous vase that we received as a gift—it almost looks like something by Lalique with sculptured front and back panels and an embossed silver band around the base. It is also quite heavy and the tulips seemed to love their new home!
In the second major bouquet from Week Ten, I used a simple glass vase filled about a quarter of the way with clear glass marbles in the base. Ruffly daffodils and parrot tulips stand at attention, their stems interwoven in a graceful V.
The final major bouquet is a stunning contrast in black and deep pink with a single magnolia branch left over from Week Nine. The branch adds a graceful ikebana touch.
Here are photos of the smaller bouquets. The pink and blue Buddha vases on either side are among my favorite vessels!
The small red-and-clear-glass vase with the single tulip is so dramatic.
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.
And here are the flowers “painted” using the Waterlogue app.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
On a Thursday morning during Week Eight, I asked my darling husband to bring home a dozen tulips of his choosing from the Pike Place Market. This is always a dicey prospect as I have no idea what varieties and colors he’ll choose. But since we usually agree on similar aesthetics, I was ever hopeful.
As usual, he did a great job. When he rang the doorbell and thrust a butcher-paper-wrapped bouquet into my hands, I discovered 12 tightly closed tulips in six primary and pastel colors: pale-pink, orange-red, orange-red with a black center, purple “parrot” tulips (those with alluring ruffly petals), plain yellow, and plain-yellow “parrot” tulips. Here are the raw tulips from Week Eight:
And here are the tulips “painted” using the Waterlogue app.
For one of my major flower arrangements, I chose sea-glass decorative filler and an apple-blossom stalk left over from Week Seven.
Another major arrangement, made using my favorite Asian celadon vase, employed two of the left-over apple blossoms and two beguiling yellow tulips. I love how the flowers curve perfectly. Thanks, tulips!
In addition to the two major bouquets I created that week, I was able to design six smaller arrangements. I place these smaller bouquets on my desk, beside the double vanities in our bathroom, in our bedroom, and in our foyer.
Here are those “baby” bouquets, starting with a gorgeous purple tulip, greenery, and a single pussy-willow branch. Mea culpa: the greenery and pussy willow were left over from bouquets purchased two or three weeks ago. But the waxy leaves and branches seem to stay alive forever, so why not make use of them?
Here’s another simple, clear vase, but with one of the orange-red tulips and greenery.
The third variation features another orange-red tulip, but in an Asian-inspired black vase.
To finish with a bang, here are several of the smaller vases shot in groupings of three.