Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Five: White Dahlias and Eucalyptus in Shiny Black Vase

The Bouquet-a-Week Project: Week Thirty-Five

I have to confess, I “defected” during Week Thirty-Five of the Bouquet-a-Week Project and bought my flowers at a farmers market other than Pike Place.

I felt mildly guilty, but sometimes convenience and expediency are more important than political correctness. And my guilt was assuaged since the bouquet I purchased that sunny, yet cool, Saturday in early September was particularly spectacular.

The farmer who sold it to me was a lovely young Asian woman who explained that, even though it cost $15 (her most expensive bouquet), it was really a bargain since it contained purple statice, small globe thistle (a branch with five seed pods that looked like small balls), and several sprigs of eucalyptus. Since those parts of the bouquet were dried materials, they could be reused indefinitely.

I was especially drawn to the fresh blooms because they included my favorite color of deep purple along with pristine white. Three towering gladiolas, half a dozen dahlias (many with “babies” or smaller blossoms), purple flowers with yellow centers, and prickly greenery with small pink and white flowers formed the crux of the fresh portion of the bouquet.

Because of the plethora of both fresh and dried flowers, I was able to create three truly “major” bouquets and two smaller ones during Week Thirty-Five.

Here are the fresh flowers that I picked up at the Shoreline Farmers Market. You can get a good sense of the five balls and eucalyptus sprigs from this shot.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Five: Fresh Farmers Market Flowers
Week Thirty-Five: Fresh Farmers Market Flowers

And here is the bouquet painted in Waterlogue.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Five: Fresh Farmers Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue
Week Thirty-Five: Fresh Farmers Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue

I couldn’t decide which of the three “major” bouquets from Week Thirty-Five was my favorite, but finally chose this one since it was the most ikebana-like among them. The flowers are in one of my all-time favorite vases, an Asian-inspired, matte-black vase made by Paddy McNeely that I bought years ago at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Five: Purple Gladiolas and White Dahlia in Black Ceramic Vase
Week Thirty-Five: Purple Gladiolas and White Dahlia in Black Ceramic Vase

The second major bouquet from Week Thirty-Five is more conventional.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Five: White Dahlias and Eucalyptus in Shiny Black Vase
Week Thirty-Five: White Dahlias and Eucalyptus in Shiny Black Vase

The interesting thing about the third major bouquet from Week Thirty-Five is that is is mostly composed of dried blossoms including the small globe thistle. It was so tall parts of it touched the ceiling!

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Five: Dried Flowers in a Matte Black Asian Vase
Week Thirty-Five: Dried Flowers in a Matte Black Asian Vase

I rarely use this simple matte-white vase, but it did the trick this time to offset the pretty purple blossoms.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Five: Purple Flowers in a Simple White Vase
Week Thirty-Five: Purple Flowers in a Simple White Vase

Here are three of the smaller bouquets I created during Week Thirty-Five.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Five: Three Small Vases One Pink and Two Green
Week Thirty-Five: Three Small Vases One Pink and Two Green

And another grouping of smaller bouquets.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Five: Three Small Vases One Pink, Green, and Blue
Week Thirty-Five: Three Small Vases One Pink, Green, and Blue
Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Four: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue

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

I still had some “extra” flower arrangements left over from Week Thirty-Three of the Bouquet-a-Week Project, and I simply didn’t need as large and elaborate a bouquet as the prior week. So when I went to the Pike Place Market, I chose a $10 bouquet versus the more substantial and costly $20 from the prior week.

I think that after you take just one glance of the bouquet I finally settled on, you will understand the reason I chose it. I have no idea the variety of the fiery central dahlia, but I am in love with its intense orange color, yellow tips, and curly mane. It looks like a fireball or colorful sea creature!

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Four: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers
Week Thirty-Four: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers

The “raw” flowers look like a sunburst when “painted” in Waterlogue.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Four: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue
Week Thirty-Four: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue

I must have been thinking about the concept of Ikebana during Week Thirty-Four because both of my “major” bouquets had a definite Japanese vibe.

Here are three of the dahlias from the bouquet, with two orange ones centered around a deep-purple one. They are placed in one of my all-time favorite vases. It is called a Stems Vase and I purchased it years ago at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.

If you’ve never been to the show, you owe it to yourself to put it on your calendar now and check it out in person February 20-24, 2018. NFWG is the perfect antidote to gray, winter skies.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Four: Fresh Trio of Dahlias in Clear Glass Stand Vase Over Black Stones
Week Thirty-Four: Fresh Trio of Dahlias in Clear Glass Stand Vase Over Black Stones

The fiery orange dahlia and a single pussy-willow stem were all I needed when planted in my dramatic shiny-purple jelly-bean vase.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Four: Single Starburst Dahlia and Pussy Willow in Purple Jelly-Bean Vase
Week Thirty-Four: Single Starburst Dahlia and Pussy Willow in Purple Jelly-Bean Vase

For Week Thirty-Four’s first trio of small bouquets, I enjoyed using the single small sunflower and two more of the dahlias. The small yellow flowers looked like black-eyed daisies.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Four: Three Small Vases With Dahlias and a Single Sunflower
Week Thirty-Four: Three Small Vases With Dahlias and a Single Sunflower

Here’s a second trio using different small vases.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Four: Dahlias and a Single Sunflower in Three Small Vases in Red, Green, and Clear Glass
Week Thirty-Four: Dahlias and a Single Sunflower in Three Small Vases in Red, Green, and Clear Glass

Just for fun, I took a night-time photo of the first major bouquet of the week.

Braiden Blossoms Website Three Dahlias in Asian Vase at Night
Week Thirty-Four: Three Dahlias in Asian Vase at Night

And one final image–even more dramatic than the one above since it is “painted” in the Waterlogue Bold Mode–to enjoy before Week Thirty-Four’s flowers fade forever.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Four: Three Dahlias in Asian Vase at Night Dramatic View
Week Thirty-Four: Three Dahlias in Asian Vase at Night Dramatic View
Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Three: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in a Row Painted in Waterlogue

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

For Week Thirty-Three of the Bouquet-a-Week Project, I returned to the Pike Place Market and chose the bountiful bouquet myself, versus having my darling husband pick one out.

Because it had been several weeks, I went a bit crazy, spending my entire budget of $20 on a SPECTACULAR mosaic of periwinkle, deep purple, and pristine white flowers. Here is the big bouquet in all its raw glory.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Three: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers
Week Thirty-Three: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers

And here it is “painted” using the Natural Mode of the Waterlogue app.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Three: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue
Week Thirty-Three: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue

I couldn’t resist laying out the individual flowers, placed together by type and color, to see just how many I had to play with during Week Thirty-Three. Here they are!

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Three: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in a Row
Week Thirty-Three: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in a Row

And these are the same flowers “painted” in Waterlogue.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Three: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in a Row Painted in Waterlogue
Week Thirty-Three: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in a Row Painted in Waterlogue

Because of the sheer number of dramatic blossoms I had to work with, I was able to create four major bouquets for Week Thirty-Three. Here is the first one and interesting to note that the “greenery” this week is actually curly kale. You might say this is an edible arrangement–ha!

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Three: Periwinkle Blue and Purple Flowers Over Blue Stones in a Tall Rectangular Vase
Week Thirty-Three: Periwinkle Blue and Purple Flowers Over Blue Stones in a Tall Rectangular Vase

I fell in love with what I call pom-pom dahlias and felt they would look the most impressive in my Ikebana Vase from Design Within Reach. Backlighting in pink ups the drama.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Three: Pink Dahlias in an Ikebana Vase
Week Thirty-Three: Pink Dahlias in an Ikebana Vase

My mother’s beloved cranberry-glass vase, a family heirloom, deserved the biggest dahlia, a magnificent white beauty tinged with pink.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Three: A Half-Dozen Dahlias in a Tall Cranberry-Glass Vase
Week Thirty-Three: A Half-Dozen Dahlias in a Tall Cranberry-Glass Vase

More curly kale and the white dahlias, with just a touch of pink, fill this beautiful bulbous crystal vase to the max. I used a Perfect Arrangers stainless-steel “frog” in the bottom of the vase to hold the stems just how I wanted them to appear.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Three: White Dahlias and Curly Kale in a Bulbous Crystal Vase
Week Thirty-Three: White Dahlias and Curly Kale in a Bulbous Crystal Vase

Another big-boy dahlia and a single pom-pom dahlia, when paired with pussy-willow stems in my favorite Asian-inspired celadon vase, really “sing.”

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Three: Dahlias and Pussy Willows in Celadon Vase
Week Thirty-Three: Dahlias and Pussy Willows in Celadon Vase

A single pom-pom dahlia and pussy-willow stalk look stupendous in my pink Buddha vase.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Three: Single Pom-Pom Dahlia and Pussy Willow in Pink Buddha Vase
Week Thirty-Three: Single Pom-Pom Dahlia and Pussy Willow in Pink Buddha Vase

Shooting Week Thirty-Three’s trio of small bouquets becomes even more dramatic than usual when “painted” using the Waterlogue app’s Bold Mode.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Three: Dahlias and a Sunflower in Three Small Vases
Week Thirty-Three: Dahlias and a Sunflower in Three Small Vases

I thought it would be instructive during Week Thirty-Three to show just how much of this bouquet was made up of dried pink and purple flowers as filler. This is one clever way that the flower farmers at the Pike Place Market manage to make their bouquets appear so full and also sell them at such reasonable prices.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Three: Brown Bag and Dried Flowers
Week Thirty-Three: Brown Bag and Dried Flowers

As mentioned in Week Twenty-Five of the Bouquet-a-Week Project, I sometimes end up making “extra” bouquets mid-week when the blossoms begin to fade and I rearrange the surviving ones using new vases and decorative fillers.

Week Thirty-Three “extra” bouquets included three interesting bouquets. The first shows a bunch of the smaller dahlias (“babies”) clustered together in a pretty rose-embossed vase that I don’t use nearly enough. It originally held an FTD bouquet I sent to my mother-in-law and that I inherited when she passed away.

To help the flowers stay upright and not flop against the lip the vase, I used a round kenzan (a.k.a, a “spiky frog”) that is used in the Japanese art of ikebana. I bought the kenzan at the Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival but they are widely available online if you want to purchase one.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Three: Miscellaneous Leftover Blossoms in a Rose Vase
Week Thirty-Three: Miscellaneous Leftover Blossoms in a Rose Vase

A second “extra” arrangement is presented in my tall, baby-blue vase which makes any flower assortment look impressive.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Three: Extra Blue and Purple Flowers in Tall Blue Vase
Week Thirty-Three: Extra Blue and Purple Flowers in Tall Blue Vase

Finally, more “baby” dahlias and some of the dried purple flowers fill my pink Buddha vase to good effect.

Braiden Blossoms Website Week Thirty-Three: Leftover Purple Flowers in Pink Buddha Vase
Week Thirty-Three: Leftover Purple Flowers in Pink Buddha Vase
Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-Two: A Trio of Peonies in Glass Vases in Pink Light

The Bouquet-a-Week Project: Week Thirty-Two

I bought my Week Thirty-Two flowers of the Bouquet-a-Week Project from Erlinda, the talented floral designer at Flower Garden in the Pike Place Market.

Because I still had some leftover blossoms from Week Thirty-One, I chose my own flowers for Week Thirty-Two versus opting for a premade bouquet.

The chosen blossoms included six peonies ranging from white to pale pink to deep crimson. There were even four “babies” attached to the bigger flowers. “Babies” are what I call unopened, lolly-pop-sized peonies. They are so fun to watch unfurl.

I also got two BIG yellow dahlias. Once again, I was delighted to discover there was a “baby” attached to one of the stems.

Here are the beautiful blossoms fresh from the Pike Place Market.

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-Two: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers
Week Thirty-Two: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers

And here are the flowers “painted” in the amazing Waterlogue app.

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-Two: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue
Week Thirty-Two: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue

A deep-crimson and pale-pink peony partnered perfectly in my glossy purple jellybean vase.

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-Two: A Pair of Peonies in a Jellybean Vase
Week Thirty-Two: A Pair of Peonies in a Jellybean Vase

Later in the week, after the peonies had faded, I replaced them with one of the fuzzy yellow dahlias, bear grass, and a trio of pussy-willow stems.

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-Two: Single Yellow Dahlia, Bear Grass, and Pussy-Willow Trio
Week Thirty-Two: Single Yellow Dahlia, Bear Grass, and Pussy-Willow Trio

The single white peony looks starkly beautiful over multicolored marbles in a clear-glass vase.

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-Two: A Single Peony With Multicolor Marbles
Week Thirty-Two: A Single Peony With Multicolor Marbles

This is a new “vase,” which actually started life as a soap dispenser in our kitchen. You never know where an unusual and useful vessel will be found! A crimson peony and its “baby,” along with a few pieces of greenery, are stunning.

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-Two: Deep Pink Peonies in Silver Spiral Vase
Week Thirty-Two: Deep Pink Peonies in Silver Spiral Vase

The “baby” peonies look so happy in three small vases backlighted with natural-colored light.

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-Two: A Trio of Vases in Natural Light
Week Thirty-Two: A Trio of Vases in Natural Light

Just for fun, here is the same grouping backlighted in green. . .

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-Two: A Trio of Peonies in Glass Vases in Green Light
Week Thirty-Two: A Trio of Peonies in Glass Vases in Green Light

Then, pink. . .

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-Two: Trio of Small Vases in Pink Light
Week Thirty-Two: Trio of Small Vases in Pink Light

And finally, my favorite Buddha vases flank the same central vase with the pink backlight. Festive!

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-Two: A Trio of Peonies in Glass Vases in Pink Light
Week Thirty-Two: A Trio of Peonies in Glass Vases in Pink Light
Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-One: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in a Row

The Bouquet-a-Week Project: Week Thirty-One

Sweet Spencer brought home the fresh Pike Place Market flowers for Week Thirty-One of the Bouquet-a-Week Project and I marveled at their diversity of varieties and colors.

Pictured below in all their glory are deep-purple gladiolas, yellow and crimson dahlias, a single pale-yellow Asian lily, three giant sunflowers (!), and more than half a dozen zinnias, a flower that I hadn’t yet worked with during this summer season. And there were almost as many dried purple flowers as fresh ones.

Glorious, all!

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-One: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers
Week Thirty-One: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers

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

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-One: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue
Week Thirty-One: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue

There were so many gorgeous blossoms to play with during Week Thirty-One, I couldn’t resist laying them out in a long row along our granite dining-room counter.

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-One: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in a Row
Week Thirty-One: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in a Row

And then “painting” them in the Vibrant mode of Waterlogue.

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-One: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in a Row
Week Thirty-One: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers in a Row

What’s more dramatic than the color combo of dark purple and bright yellow, rather like a clergyman’s robe?

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-One: Two Sunflowers and Three Purple Gladiolas in a Clear Rectangular Vase
Week Thirty-One: Two Sunflowers and Three Purple Gladiolas in a Clear Rectangular Vase

The zinnias snapped to attention when I arranged them over colorful marbles in a clear round vase.

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-One: Petunias and Colorful Marbles
Week Thirty-One: Petunias and Colorful Marbles

The single yellow lily and some of the dried purple flowers look splendid in my favorite tall pale-blue vase.

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-One: Single Yellow Lily in a Tall Blue Vase
Week Thirty-One: Single Yellow Lily in a Tall Blue Vase

More dried purple flowers and one of the sunflowers play happily together in a bulbous white-and-blue-striped vase. I think I was channeling Vincent Van Gogh when I created this bouquet!

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-One: Single Yellow Sunflower and Purple Flowers in a Striped Vase à la Van Gogh
Week Thirty-One: Single Yellow Sunflower and Purple Flowers in a Striped Vase à la Van Gogh

A single yellow dahlia and dried purple flowers rise gracefully in a shapely blue-glass vase.

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-One: Single Yellow Dahlia and Dried Purple Flowers in a Blue Vase
Week Thirty-One: Single Yellow Dahlia and Dried Purple Flowers in a Blue Vase

One of the crimson dahlias and more dried purple flowers form an Ikebana-inspired design in my blue Buddha vase.

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-One: Single Red Dahlia and Dried Purple Flowers
Week Thirty-One: Single Red Dahlia and Dried Purple Flowers

This striking trio of dahlias and dried purple flowers are the perfect way to conclude the line-up for Week Thirty-One of the Bouquet-a-Week Project.

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-One: Three Small Bouquets
Week Thirty-One: Three Small Bouquets

By mid-week, several of the dahlias had died, so I rearranged two new bouquets. I call these “extras” and they bring me just as much joy as the original week’s bouquets.

Here is the first one and you may notice that the sunflower’s petals are drastically shortened from the original bloom. That’s because I went a little wild with the shears as I cut away the brown tips. Oh, well. The sunflower’s big eye looks even more dramatic this way!

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-One: Shaved Sunflower and Petunias
Week Thirty-One: Shaved Sunflower and Petunias

And here is a “normal” (unshaven) sunflower with a backdrop of deep-purple gladiolas and a single crimson petunia for a dramatic note.

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty One: Sunflower, Purple Gladiolas, and Single Red Petunia in Purple Ceramic Vase
Week Thirty One: Sunflower, Purple Gladiolas, and Single Red Petunia in Purple Ceramic Vase

Here is the same arrangement photographed in dramatic evening light.

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty-One: Dramatic Sunflower at Night
Week Thirty-One: Dramatic Sunflower at Night
Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue

The Bouquet-a-Week Project: Week Thirty

The Pike Place Market flowers for Week Thirty of the Bouquet-a-Week Project were more formal in feeling than past arrangements because I was expecting some important company that week and wanted to impress.

Nothing beats white Asian lilies and gladiolas along with an outlier–a single pink peony. Not sure how that got in there, but I was glad it did.

Here are the fresh Pike Place Market flowers in all their glory.

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers
Week Thirty: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers

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

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue
Week Thirty: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue

I took two of the white lilies and two of the gladiolas and arranged them corner-to-corner in a tall rectangular glass vase over smooth black-matte stones. A green backlight offered a dramatic touch.

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty: White Lilies and Gladiolas in a Clear Rectangular Vase
Week Thirty: White Lilies and Gladiolas in a Clear Rectangular Vase

This arrangement of blossoming lilies and a majestic gladiola was so tall, I had to photograph it in a different setting, which proved a fortuitous experiment!

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty: White Lilies and One Gladiola in a Black Vase
Week Thirty: White Lilies and One Gladiola in a Black Vase

The single pink peony really projects my favorite ikebana vibe when paired with bear grass and a trio of pussy willow stems in my favorite glossy purple jellybean vase.

Braiden Blossoms Week Thirty: Single Pink Peony, Pussy Willows, and Bear Grass in a Purple Vase
Week Thirty: Single Pink Peony, Pussy Willows, and Bear Grass in a Purple Vase

Our company enjoyed the imposing arrangements, which lasted for well over a week as I cut off the dying lily blooms one by one until they faded altogether.

Braiden Blossoms Week Twenty-Nine: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue

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

The Pike Place Market bouquet for Week Twenty-Nine of the Bouquet-a-Week Project came from one of my favorite long-time flower farmers called Flower Garden.

Erlinda is Flower Garden’s friendly floral designer. This week she created a beauty that included a half dozen pink peonies (several with “babies,” i.e., smaller blooms), white snap dragons, and white and pink golden arrow. A plethora of dried pink and purple flowers served as filler.

Here are the fresh Pike Place Market flowers still wrapped in white butcher paper.

Braiden Blossoms Week Twenty-Nine: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers
Week Twenty-Nine: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers

And here they are “painted” using the amazing Waterlogue app.

Braiden Blossoms Week Twenty-Nine: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue
Week Twenty-Nine: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue

Instead of creating a lot of smaller bouquets, I went for broke and arranged all of the fresh flowers, minus the dried flowers, in a bulbous black vase.

Braiden Blossoms Week Twenty-Nine: Bounteous Bouquet in Bulbous Vase
Week Twenty-Nine: Bounteous Bouquet in Bulbous Vase

And here are the dried flowers arranged on their own. They are mighty pretty as well!

Braiden Blossoms Week Twenty-Nine: Dried Pink and Purple Flowers in Black Lacquer Vase
Week Twenty-Nine: Dried Pink and Purple Flowers in Black Lacquer Vase
Braiden Blossoms Week Twenty-Eight: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue Bold Mode

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

It was a happy day when David, a dear friend from high school whom I hadn’t seen in 44 years (!), came to Seattle on business in early August. We agreed to meet for a glass of wine at our condo in downtown Seattle, followed by dinner at a popular restaurant nearby. Barbara, another friend from high-school days, and her husband, also happened to be in town. So with my hubby, Spencer, it was a lively party of five.

Those of you with an appreciation for good food and wine may know David from his luscious blog, Cocoa and Lavender, or from his wine posts at Provence WineZine.

He’s also active on Facebook and Instagram, places where we originally rekindled our friendship.

David was the first to arrive, and when I met him at the door, he surprised me with a Pike Place Market bouquet.

“This is like bringing coals to Newcastle,” he admitted as he presented his prize. We hugged, and it was as if 44 years melted away in an instant.

“They’re in water,” he explained, “so you don’t have to do anything with them right now.”

I nodded, found a pretty vase, and placed the bouquet in water for safekeeping.

After a lively dinner over rivers of Rosé that encouraged rambling reminisces of our high-school days, I returned to the beautiful bouquet. As I cleaned and recut the stems, I mulled over how best to arrange it since I wanted to make David proud.

I had already decorated the condo with a plethora of Pike Place Market flowers in honor of David’s and Barbara’s visit (“coals to Newcastle”), so horizontal space was at a premium. Instead of creating half a dozen smaller bouquets, I decided to opt for one large one. I realize this goes against the underlying principle of the Bouquet-a-Week Project, but every once and a while you can break the rules.

Here are David’s raw, rearranged Pike Place Market flowers from Week Twenty-Eight.

Braiden Blossoms Week Twenty-Eight: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers
Week Twenty-Eight: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers

And here are four different versions of the fresh flowers “painted” using the Waterlogue app.

This is Waterlogue’s “Natural” mode, which (as the name implies) does the least amount of manipulation to the image.

Braiden Blossoms Week Twenty-Eight: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue Natural Mode
Week Twenty-Eight: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue Natural Mode

“Vibrant” mode amps up the colors just a bit.

Braiden Blossoms Week Twenty-Eight Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue Vibrant Mode
Week Twenty-Eight Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue Vibrant Mode

Things get crazy in the “Bold” mode of Waterlogue. It is often among my favorite looks.

Braiden Blossoms Week Twenty-Eight: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue Bold Mode
Week Twenty-Eight: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue Bold Mode

“Color Bloom” adds subtle white highlights, which creates another interesting effect.

Braiden Blossoms Week Twenty-Eight: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue Color Bloom Mode
Week Twenty-Eight: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue Color Bloom Mode

I was curious to see what David would think about the way I had rearranged his bouquet and which of the Waterlogue versions he would like best.

He said it was a toss-up between the Bold and Color Bloom versions. But he particularly liked the Bold version because of the vivid green blossom in the back of the bouquet and the splashes of green from random leaves in the front.

Barbara was more decisive, with a solid vote for the Color Bloom version.

Which bouquet do you like the best? Which one speaks to your soul?

Week Twenty-Six: Three Small Bouquets in Dreamy Light

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

Week Twenty-Six in the Bouquet-a-Week Project brought a welcome change of pace because our long-time housekeepers surprised me with a dozen, deep-maroon dahlias. The flowers came freshly picked from the head housekeeper (and owner of the agency’s) garden near Fife.

The dahlias were delivered in a classic clear glass vase, the kind you get from the florist. I didn’t have the presence of mind to snap a photo, but here is the sort of vase I mean, painted using the Waterlogue app.

Bouquet-a-Week Project Week Twenty-Six: Classic Clear-Glass Vase
Week Twenty-Six: Classic Clear-Glass Vase

It was a pretty vase, but since I already had several like it, I let the housekeepers take theirs home and chose one from my collection instead.

Here is the first bouquet I created, which the way-too-kind ladies ooh-ed and aah-ed over. It reminds me of a nosegay and the kangaroo paw adds needed height.

Week Twenty-Six: Dark-Maroon Dahlias and Kangaroo Paw in Tall Clear Cylinder
Week Twenty-Six: Dark-Maroon Dahlias and Kangaroo Paw in Tall Clear Cylinder

Just for fun, after the housekeepers left, I transplanted the fistful of flowers into this antique cranberry-glass decanter. It looks beautiful backlighted in red and framed by a few sprigs of kangaroo paw and greenery.

Week Twenty-Six: Maroon Dahlias and Kangaroo Paw in Ruby Decanter
Week Twenty-Six: Maroon Dahlias and Kangaroo Paw in Ruby Decanter

The decanter used to sit proudly on the cocktail trolley in the dining room of our family home in suburban Philadelphia. During fancy dinner parties my parents used to throw, my father made a big deal about serving after-dinner Port (which he called “a nightcap”) from the heirloom decanter.

Here are the four small bouquets of Week Twenty-Six, which also included some left over flowers from the Bouquet-a-Week Project, Week Twenty-Five.

Week Twenty-Six: Four Small Bouquet Medley
Week Twenty-Six: Four Small Bouquet Medley

I love this threesome of small bouquets as well.

Week Twenty-Six: Three Small Bouquets in Dreamy Light
Week Twenty-Six: Three Small Bouquets in Dreamy Light

I also had some Asian lilies and a kangaroo-paw sprig left over from the prior week, and arranged them in a clear-glass cylinder over smooth, ebony stones to dramatic effect.

Week Twenty-Six: Yellow Lilies and Kangaroo Paw in Tall Clear Cylinder
Week Twenty-Six: Yellow Lilies and Kangaroo Paw in Tall Clear Cylinder

It’s amazing how a simple Champagne flute serves as the perfect vessel for a handful of Golden Arrow, stems carefully arranged in a criss-cross pattern.

Week Twenty-Six: Lacy White Flowers in Champagne Flute
Week Twenty-Six: Lacy White Flowers in Champagne Flute

A single cheerful sunflower and some purple dried flowers from Week Twenty-Five (more long-lived leftovers) take on the look of a Van Gogh painting when placed in my favorite blue Buddha vase. Warm summer sunlight!

Week Twenty-Six: Vincent Van Gogh Sunflower in Blue Vase
Week Twenty-Six: Vincent Van Gogh Sunflower in Blue Vase
Week Twenty-Five: Yellow Lilies, Gladiola, Sunflower, and Kangaroo Paw in Glossy Black Vase

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

The Bouquet-a-Week Project kicked off with a stupendous array of flowers in Week Twenty-Five. I was drawn to this beauty by the graceful lime gladiola, spiky kangaroo paws, single sunflower with its fuzzy brown eyeball, and yellow Asian lilies. Pale-pink peonies and white golden arrow formed a pleasing framework around the major blossoms.

Here is the bouquet fresh from the Pike Place Market.

Bouquet-a-Week Project Week Twenty-Five: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers
Week Twenty-Five: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers

And here is the Week Twenty-Five fresh bouquet “painted” using the Waterlogue app.

Bouquet-a-Week Project Week Twenty-Five: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue
Week Twenty-Five: Fresh Pike Place Market Flowers Painted in Waterlogue

As I always do, I unfurled the fresh flowers from their white wrapping paper and divided the flowers into a loose pile. Then I cut the stems and stripped them of any small leaves that remained. Next I “arranged” the flowers in a glossy-black, bell-shaped vase filled with water that would hydrate the blossoms until I could create the smaller individual bouquets.

Here is that shot “painted” in Waterlogue. I liked it so much, I was tempted to call it a day, but that would defeat the purpose of the Bouquet-a-Week Project, which is to buy a fresh Pike Place Market bouquet or single blossoms for less that $20 per week, then design smaller arrangements.

Bouquet-a-Week Project Week Twenty-Five: Yellow Lilies, Gladiola, Sunflower, and Kangaroo Paw in Glossy Black Vase
Week Twenty-Five: Yellow Lilies, Gladiola, Sunflower, and Kangaroo Paw in Glossy Black Vase

The first major bouquet of Week Twenty-Five means a lot because of the cranberry-colored, cut-glass vase, which is a family heirloom. There used to be two of them and the pair sat on either side of our mantel in the house where I grew up in suburban Philadelphia.

Unfortunately, one got crushed when my parents moved from the family home in Pennsylvania to their retirement house in Austin, Texas. After my parents died, I inherited it.

For years, it has sat in our bookshelves looking forlorn and, frankly, rather forgotten. But, thanks to the Bouquet-a-Week Project, I pulled it down (very carefully!), dusted it off, and graced it with the gladiola, peonies, and kangaroo paw.

I imagined my mother looking down and smiling at her industrious daughter’s clever re-use of her beloved mantle-piece “objet d’art,” as she used to call it. She was an amazing woman, and you can read more about her (specifically, the words I spoke at her memorial) on the Five More Minutes With website.

Bouquet-a-Week Project Week Twenty-Five: White Peonies, Lime Gladiola, and Kangaroo Paw in Tall Ruby Vase
Week Twenty-Five: White Peonies, Lime Gladiola, and Kangaroo Paw in Tall Ruby Vase

My favorite robin’s-egg-blue narrow vase is well suited to the yellow irises and another sprig of kangaroo paw. Majestic!

Bouquet-a-Week Project Week Twenty-Five: Yellow Lilies and Kangaroo Paw in Swooping Pale-Blue Vase
Week Twenty-Five: Yellow Lilies and Kangaroo Paw in Swooping Pale-Blue Vase

More yellow lilies and kangaroo paw form a fitting foil in an Asian-inspired vase with a double opening.

Bouquet-a-Week Project Week Twenty-Five: Yellow Lilies and Kangaroo Paw in Tall Matte-Black Vase
Week Twenty-Five: Yellow Lilies and Kangaroo Paw in Tall Matte-Black Vase

A few days later, the peonies had faded so I took the remaining blossoms and created two “extra” bouquets. Taking this shot at night under a neon-pink back light using the “Bold” setting in the Waterlogue app resulted in this dramatic shot.

Bouquet-a-Week Project Week Twenty-Five: Yellow Lilies and Kangaroo Paws in Violet Ceramic Vase
Week Twenty-Five: Yellow Lilies and Kangaroo Paws in Violet Ceramic Vase

A small arrangement looks winsome in my pink Buddha vase.

Bouquet-a-Week Project Week Twenty-Five: Tangled Flowers and Scarlet Iris in Pink Buddha Vase
Week Twenty-Five: Tangled Flowers and Scarlet Iris in Pink Buddha Vase