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Christmas Tree Decorating that Breaks the Internet

If you, like me, like a good ‘theme’ to things, then Christmas is probably no different. I must confess though, in my current stage of life (3 kids under 5) over the last few years I have stuck with the same theme out of a combination of laziness and practicality. Despite the burning desire to change the colours, I have resisted, telling myself that this year is probably the last year that I will have to decorate a non traditional tree.

Over the last five years I have done what most families do; that is, either choose to have a non traditional Christmas tree decoration, OR, for the traditionalists, erect a fence-like structure around the parameter of your Christmas tree.

I have created a hanging wooden tree, made from various lengths of wooden slats, hung together to create a triangular Christmas tree silhouette and this has appeased me both practically as well as aesthetically. This  hangs in an alcove at the entrance of our home, away from little hands that seem absolutely determined to pull everything out and down, only to throw it all on the floor….for me to stand on.

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Like many other cash savvy mums out there I keep my eye on decorator ideas from many of the big retailers. And I have to say, non rival what Kmart have on offer.

Mums from all over the country post pictures of their trees sourcing wisdom from the crowd for their decorating dilemmas. Others post pictures for others to take inspiration from, and of course to garner the envy and appreciation that only social media ‘likes’ and comments can give you.

The one that really seemed to impress  this year was Tammy Sims’ black Christmas tree dressed head to toe in a slowly changing rainbow. Using a combination of store bought decorations as well as D.I.Y baubles that she glued and glittered herself, she was able to create a truly eye catching, creative tree.

Tammy Sims' Rainbow Christmas Tree

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Images via Kmart Mums of Australia Facebook Page

The South Australia mum of three has scored over 6.1K ‘likes’ on the Kmart Mums of Australia’s Facebook page with her creation inspired by the ‘Yes’ vote.

“It seemed appropriate in celebration of the yes vote,” she explained.

Not everyone puts as much thought and consideration into the theme they will use to decorate their Christmas tree. Depending on your family, perhaps you have a box of precious baubles that have special memories attached to them, and they are lovingly hung each and every year.

Or perhaps you prefer less of the clutter that tends to comes with Christmas? If that sounds like you, then Kmart has another option that might fit the bill.

It’s not a fresh Christmas tree. It’s not even green. But Kmart’s stacking Christmas tree is both space saving and chic.

Part of the appeal of the Stacking tree is it’s neutral colour palette and simple Scandi style, however many creative people out there have used the shelf style tree pieces to create colourful compositions to suit their themes for the year.

Jacqueline Bertucci's metallic tree hack
Jacqueline Bertucci’s metallic tree hack
Sam Dawson decided to steer clear of glitzy baubles and instead created a neutral colour palette with light and texture
Sam Dawson decided to steer clear of glitzy baubles and instead created a neutral colour palette with light and texture
Louise Martin's take- with and without the lights illuminated.
Louise Martin’s take- with and without the lights illuminated.

So whether you choose to decorate a fresh or artificial tree, fill a vase with dried branches, or can decorate your home with festive fresh flowers you have endless opportunities to extend yourself creatively….and, if all else fails, know that we do it for you! Check out our Christmas range for inspiration!

Fwf x

Featured image; by Sofia Katariina 

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NEWS IN: Christmas Decorating Believed to Make You Happier

Did you know there are LESS than 5 weeks til Christmas? If you are anything like me, hearing that fact gives you a little pang in your belly, aware of all the things you need to do and organise.  Despite knowing that I am so far completely unprepared, even coming up with a list seems to premature. How could it be almost the end of another year???!!

I’ve always grown up in a house that does not begin Christmas decorating until December 1st. My mother’s birthday is in the last week of November, so she feels incredibly put out if there are any reference to Christmas before we have celebrated her day. Much to her annoyance, the shopping centres begin Christmas decorating usually sometime in October. Is it just me, or does it seem to be happening earlier every year?

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Image; Decoist

WELL, according to new research by psychologist Steve McKeown, people who begin decorating for Christmas earlier are happier. McKeown says; “In a world full of stress and anxiety people like to associate to things that make them happy and Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of the childhood,”

Ever heard that saying ‘like a kid on Christmas’? Well, according to McKeown, decorating for Christmas stirs up all those warm and fuzzy feelings we felt as children….all those wonderful feelings of anticipation and excitement. Christmas decorations work as visual cues, creating a nostalgic pathway back to those feelings.

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Image via Crave Online

It is not all happy news though- according to McKeown, hanging up the decorations early can be to relive happy memories from your past, BUT it can also be to over compensate for past neglect. Decorating the house early is also a tool that people use to appear more friendly or social. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, suggests there is a link between decorating your home for the festive season and seeming more open and social to your neighbours.

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Image via Little Lewes
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Image; Country Cupboard Cookies

So what kind of festive activities does your family undertake? Do you bake gingerbread houses or shortbread? Do you create your own wreaths for the door or table? Do you create interesting advent calendars for the family? There is tonnes of inspiration on Facebook craft pages, Instagram and Pinterest if you fancy trying something new. And family favourite Kmart brings the goods at affordable prices if you fancy getting creative.

As always, Florist with Flowers offer a gorgeous array of Christmas themed decorative items for your home-check them out here. Fresh floral wreath arrangements can be ordered for your door or table. Poinsettia plants and miniature Christmas trees are sure to make an appearance in store in the coming weeks.

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Christmas tends to be a very busy time socially and it is often difficult to choose gifts for people who you only know professionally, or perhaps for people who really seem to have everything they need. Fresh flowers or plants are always well received, and we can create an arrangement to suit any colour scheme or styling.

So on that note, I encourage you to start decorating now even if it goes against your whole being…after all, apparently it is good for you!

Fwf x

 

 

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10 Christmas displays you can create in 10 minutes or Less!

We are all time poor these days but never  more so than at this time of year when there are countless social engagements, family celebrations and workplace functions filling our calendar, as well as heavier traffic and longer lines in the stores.

It is totally acceptable and expected then, that the less important tasks are left to the very end, and for many that will mean the decorating.

Creating a talking piece is easy. Don’t believe me? In less than ten minutes, you could create one of these fun displays that you could use in a foyer area, side table or servery or something you can add to your table. For those of you who have left decorating to the last minute, I have found some eye catching pieces from all over, which are effective and also quick and easy to get together.

These super cute Christmas Tree Napkins from Publix are surprisingly easy to make. For the tutorial head here.

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Image; Publix

Or if you fancy a cute Elf hat instead, you can find the tutorial here. I’d alternate the colour of the elf hats or christmas tree napkins to add more colour to the table but stick to one block colour if you have other accessories on your table.

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Image: Good Housekeeping

Table top designs like these tinsel trees, and super easy to make. Pick up styrofoam trees from the craft or dollar store, and cover them in card; this way you are using the styrfoam as a mould. Then hot glue tinsel to the surface by winding it round and round. (If you use the hot glue directly on the foam, you will find it melts). Remove the card from the styrofoam tree, and place on your table.

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Image: A Lion’s Nest

My craft cupboard has an assortment of household junk, old wrapping papers, scrap-booking papers and lots of old thick card. Whether you purchase thick quality card, or recycle cardboard boxes, these two piece tree ornaments are super cheap and super easy to make. You can cover your recycled card with old wrapping paper, paint your designs or cover them in glitter to match your theme, then, when they are dry slot them together. Voila!

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Image: HGTV

Hurricane Lamps or other vases can be used to create a display within, like a life sized snow dome of sorts. You can even turn over your stemware and create a slimlined display down the centre of the table.

A display can be very quickly put together using a handful of Christmas ornaments that match your theme and a large vase, and it will take you less than a couple of minutes. Alternatively you may use Christmas themed figurines and carefully craft a scene that your guests may admire. The more intricate the scene, the longer it will take you to make, but it will also keep your guests amused discovering all the details to your design!

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Image: Take Time for Style
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Image: Cuecas na Cozinha via Pinterest

Candles are an amazing way to add ambiance to a room. Obviously though, they are best reserved for night settings where the candles glow can truly be utilised.

I love these candle holders that have been accented with some evergreen flat pine. Nothing says Christmas like a touch of pine, right? With the help of your trusty hot glue gun and a few sprigs of flat leafed pine, you will quickly be on your way!

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Image: Better Homes and Gardens

And check out this AWESOME alternative to traditional votive holders by removing the centre of a pine cone. Think about how easily this idea can be altered to tie in with your colour theme;you can either change the colour of the candles, or spray paint the cones and sprinkle them with chunky glitter while the paint is still wet.

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Image via Sortra

Too advanced for you? This idea with recycled bottles, candles and a touch of pine simply tied on, is easy enough for ANYONE! No excuses- Get crafting!

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Well, that rounds out our Christmas themed blogs for another year- it’s hard to believe 2016 will soon be coming to a close. From all of us here at Florist with Flowers, we thank you for your continued support here, in store and online, and wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas.

Fwf x

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Poinsettia- A True Christmas Star

So the carols are on, the decorations and tinsel are adorning the big shopping centres; put simply, the countdown is ON. We all know Christmas is on it’s way, and we all know that before you know it, it will be upon us. So while you are decorating your home, if you find you want to bring some of the outdoors inside, there are few plants that can give you that Christmas feeling as well, or as easily as the Poinsettia.

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The gorgeous plant, which is also known as “Christmas Star” with it’s brightly coloured star like display, is indigenous to Mexico and flowers throughout the Christmas period in the Northern Hemisphere; the Winter months. Here, it naturally flowers throughout the colder months as well, and you will notice the bright red, white, lemon, marbled and stunning pink flowers in many gardens throughout June- August. Poinsettias are forced to flower for Christmas here too by growing them in a controlled environment. Like many Winter and Autumn blooming plants, when the night temperatures start to drop, the days become shorter and the plants have access to less light, the plant begins to bloom. These factors are simulated in order to produce flowering poinsettias all year round.

The Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) belongs to a family of plants that produces a white sticky sap when the plant is cut or broken. This sap is poisonous and can cause allergic reactions to sensitive skin. All plants in the Euphorbia family produce this sap, so you must be mindful when pruning your plant and remember to ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS.

A closeup of a poinsettia flower cluster from the side. Many people confuse the bracts (red leaves) with the actual flowers; they're quite different. This macro shot shows multiple pseudanthia surrounded by a sea of red bracts (colored leaves associated with a flower). The flowers themselves are called cyanthia; the green tissue surrounding each flower is an involucre, a cluster of bracts (leaves) fused into a cup-shaped structure that contains multiple male flowers and one female flower within it. Emerging from the involucre you can see red filaments supporting yellow anthers on the male flowers, and you can even see some of the pollen grains. Also emerging from each involucre you can see a number of dark-purple structures supported by short stalks (that are about a tenth of the height of the filaments; I'm not sure what these are - they may be stigmas and styles, but I doubt it). The bright yellow, liquid-filled structures attached to the involucre are nectar glands filled with nectar to attract pollinators.
Image by Marc Perkins of actual flower. Many people confuse the coloured bracts as the flower of the Poinsettia plant.

Certainly the bright red Poinsettia is the most common and popular variety at Christmas time, however there are many more varieties today thanks to modern cultivation. The red star shaped ‘flower’ is not actually part of the flower at all; the flowers are the white/yellow insignificant clusters in the centre. These coloured ‘bracts’ are simply modified leaves. Knowing that after giving a Poinsettia it is likely to die back and re-flower during Winter, you can choose other coloured varieties to plant throughout your garden to add the desired colour, or give as gifts. Poinsettias make fabulous gifts as they are long lasting, and are available ina variety of sizes so they can fit almost any budget.

New varieties are constantly being created and experiemtned with. Currently, other varieties include, but are not limited to;

Euphorbia ‘Cortex White’ – Large creamy white bracts

Euphorbia ‘Silver Star Red’- Variegated cream and green leaves.

Euphorbia ‘Cortex Candy’ – Pale apricot blushed bracts

Euphorbia‘Cortex Pink’ – Velvet textured pale pink bracts

Euphorbia‘Cortex Lemon Snow’- Pale yellow bracts

Euphorbia ‘Galaxy’ has intense velvety red bracts.

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Poinsettias can grow right throughout NSW and QLD, in some cases as far as Cairns, throughout parts of South Australia and even in Northern coastal areas of Western Australia. The do not grow well in frost prone areas. Poinsettias are often left to their own devices, and as a result many specimens you see have grown tall and spindley. The way to get around this is to give the plant a hard prune after it has finished flowering and watch it re-shoot, become dense and flourish again when it becomes cold.

Keep you eye out over the coming weeks on our Christmas gift range but also our offerings in store.

Fwf x

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