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Entirely Hand-Made Garland 2 comments

November 19, 2017, posted by Gina – We had a client who was hosting an Open House in their beautiful store and wanted a garland made for a particular spot. Time was short and ordering a pre-made garland was not possible so we decided we could make one ourselves. Here are a few photos of our efforts…

We cut all the greens to the same length and laid them out for easy access.


Here is our garland complete and ready for the flowers. You don’t have to add flowers but it does make it so pretty.


The finished product is in the back of my car ready for delivery!

And finally, a close-up photo so you can get a better look at the assortment of green as well as the roses.

The next time we make one of these, we will do a tutorial in the event you ever find yourself wanting a garland. They are very beautiful and have so many uses.

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Fun Stuff for Friday: Looking Ahead to the Holidays 2 comments

November 17, 2017, posted by Gina – So, what is fun this Friday? We have lots of Christmas items going out and at the same time we are awaiting Thanksgiving and all its glory. Still, the fact is that people are preparing for the season ahead. So just what are we working on?

|  COTTON  BOLL  WREATH   |

It seems that cotton is very popular this year and we are incorporating it into wreaths and other arrangements. We embellished this wreath with some beautiful ribbons, greenery and red berries for a festive touch.

 

|  TRADITIONAL  CENTERPIECE   |

We were asked to create a centerpiece for a table that would last throughout the season. Our client prefers using traditional colors of red, white and green and this piece will be a nice compliment.

 

|   REFINED  RUSTIC  |

This rustic toolbox is destined to adorn an outside porch, so we used more natural elements for an outdoorsy look. We added a bit of cotton and berries for a festive feel.

 

|  SMALL TOOLBOX  ARRANGEMENT   |

This cute little toolbox is the perfect pick-me-up. We added a plaid bow as it just seemed to be the perfect compliment to the box.

 

|   MAILBOX  SWAG  |

Christmas greens provided the backdrop for this mailbox swag while ribbons, a bit of shimmer and a few cotton bolls provided the finishing touches.

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Tips on Keeping Houseplants Healthy and Happy

November 8, 2017, posted by Gina – Occasionally, I take a long, hard look at my houseplants and conclude they have seen better days. I try to make them last as long as possible but replacing them at a certain point becomes inevitable. Several of mine had reached the point of no return this week and I bought some replacements. I am very happy with the plants I found.

This Lemon Button Fern is one of the easiest ferns to keep looking fresh. I water it about once per week and I occasionally run the spray water on it.

Neon Pothos is very reliable and easy to keep looking just as the day you purchased it. I water once per week.

This ivy topiary was so cute that I could not pass it up. Ivy seems to be prey for spider mites but one way to keep these pests at bay is to keep the ivy evenly watered. Don’t let it dry out but, conversely, don’t let it stay too wet.

Kalanchoe is my favorite house plant because of the beautiful, colorful blooms and it is the easiest plant to maintain. It requires very little water and its waxy leaves always look fresh. The blooms will fade and when that happens I clip them off and am left with a pretty green plant. These will bloom again but it takes a bit of time.

Asparagus fern is an easy fern to keep alive. This one is on my screened in porch to protect it from frost. Keep it evenly watered and it will become like a family member.

While proper watering is the key to having healthy plants, there are a few products that can help them along…


I use houseplant food, which is a fertilizer, every couple of months and follow the directions on the bottle. Triple Action Plus keeps insects and fungus from killing your plants. Spray this on every other month and you will have longer lasting plants. I suggest you take your plants outside for this spray as it is very strong. And finally, Leaf Shine makes most any plant look fresher and so beautiful.

I hope these tips help you keep your houseplants happy and hanging around for a while. Let us know any tips you have for keeping houseplants alive.

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Fun Stuff for Friday

November 3, 2017, posted by Gina with special thoughts from Michelle – Happy Friday! We had tons of Trick-or-Treaters at our house decked out in some great costumes. It made our Halloween so much fun. The very next evening we attended a Christmas Gala. It is crazy how fast things move from Fall inspired decorating and activities to holiday splendor. We love Thanksgiving and, in fact, it may be our favorite holiday. Even with this, we feel it is a good thing to at least begin planning for Christmas, so we will be sharing some ideas and projects and recipes in the next few weeks.

|   H A L L O W E E N    |

Every year my neighborhood passes out these “Boo’d” signs. After you put the sign in a prominent window or door in front of your house you follow a set of instructions. You are instructed to prepare two goody bags/pumpkins filled with treats and other fun items like cocktail napkins, spider rings, pumpkin pencils, etc. Once those are done, you make two copies of each of the Boo’d signs and instruction sheets which you place inside your goodie bag. You then sneak these to two neighbor’s homes in the dark of the night. It spreads like wildfire and is such a fun game for everyone to enjoy.

 

|    L I N E N   A D D I C T    |


With the holidays on our heels, I decided it was way past time for me to clean out my table linen closet. As you can see from this photo I may be addicted to napkins. While these piles covered my whole island, there were many more that are not shown here. What can I say, I love entertaining and I need a lot of napkins. I can quit any time I want.

 

|     C O M E   &   G E T   I T    C O O K B O O K   by   R E E   D R U M M O N D    |


The Pioneer Woman’s (aka Ree Drummond) new cookbook is here. It is called Come & Get It and is sure to be as helpful and inspiring as her prior cookbooks. In true Ree form, each recipe has easy to follow, step by step photos of how to prepare each recipe. I just purchased my copy, so I’ll let you know how I like it. If you have already tried some recipes, please share them with us.

 

|   D A R L I N G   D O L L S   |


I have been working on a design project for a little girl’s room and ran across Cuddle & Kind. These precious, hand knit dolls are so cute and no doubt very soft and cuddly. Part of the proceeds from the sale of these dolls goes to help children in need. How great is that? I have had such a great time working on a little girl’s room. I usually work on the main areas of a home but this time I have the opportunity to step outside of my normal box.

 

|   I have no idea why Gina thought it would be a good idea to taunt the person who is in total control of this website. I guess first born children aren’t good at thinking things through to their logical conclusion.   🙄|


I could not resist this. I am sure Michelle is not happy with me but still it makes me laugh. I am the oldest and she is the second born. Look out! I am sure she will get me back. It’s a sister thing.

Enjoy your weekend! Set your clocks one hour back on Saturday night and enjoy that extra hour of sleep.

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Peach, Plaid & Pumpkins

October 30, 2017, posted by Gina – This past weekend we celebrated a big milestone birthday and a Halloween birthday all in one meal with family members. In planning for this birthday meal, I wanted to capture the fun of the season and create a memorable table.

I saw these plaid plates online and went to the store (Pier 1) later that day and purchased them. They are so cute and the colors are wonderful. I guess you could say these plates were the inspiration for the table.

And speaking of the table, here is a full view…

Deep yellow placemats anchored each place setting. White dinner plates served as the backdrop and each one was topped with the plaid plates. Pumpkins napkin rings around black and white script print napkins finished off the look.

I chose pastel flowers in chartreuse, peach and cream which coordinated very well with all the other elements.

I wanted candles on the table and set out to find something unique. I did just that with this tree candelabra which, once all the candles were lit, truly cast a beautiful glow on the table.

We had a wonderful time and a great meal. Speaking of the meal, I thought I would share the menu with you in case you are looking for ideas for a Fall gathering.

Brie and Crab Soup
Greek Salad
Beef Tenderloin
Baked Corn
Green Beans with New Potatoes
Caramel Cake (from Sugaree’s Bakery)

I am sad to say that I was so busy in the kitchen I did not have a minute to take a few photos of the food. It was a fun evening and I had a great time putting everything together.

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The Great Pumpkin Tablescape 2 comments

October 9, 2017, posted by Gina – We absolutely LOVE Fall! From the rich colors to the cooler temperatures to the comfort foods. We try to celebrate this beautiful season every chance we get and we did just that last week. Gina hosted a luncheon and we are here to share all the details. We’ll begin with this tablescape that is an explosion of all things Fall. In the coming days we’ll also share some recipes from this luncheon.

Here we see an overhead view of the centerpiece. Filled with roses, tulips, hydrangeas and safflower it brings that Fall feeling to the table with intense color.

Below is a view of the centerpiece as the guests were able to enjoy it. It is low and long allowing for an unobstructed vis-à-vis.

Our place settings were composed of navy placemats, napkins by Kim Duease Designs,  wooden Rootworks chargers, Spode brown and white china, Wedgwood Majolica cabbage plates, Annieglass bowls, silver-plate, green crystal and Lenox crystal.

What says ‘Fall’ more than anything? Pumpkins, for sure! Beyond our mini pumpkins at each place setting, we placed a few odd shaped pumpkins and squash on either side of the floral arrangement.

We hope this table inspires you to create your own Fall tablescape for your guests.

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Fun Stuff on Friday 2 comments

October 6, 2017, posted by Gina – Happy Friday! We hope your week has been as nice as ours. We are here to share a few of the fun, memorable items from the past few days. We are in the process of getting things together for a tailgate this weekend. Our tailgates are a lot of fun but we always return home exhausted. Make sure to check back with us next week as we have some nice things to share including tablescapes, recipes and flowers. Until then, Happy Weekend!

|  ANNIE GLASS  |

This past week we noticed that Annieglass Inc. reposted our Fall tablescape on their Instagram profile. We were so thrilled that they shared our tablescape. We used the Annieglass ruffle bowls that added the bling our table needed. Annie Morhauser is the founder of Annie Glass and is a true artisan. She had a passion for working with glass and showed her first piece in 1983 and she was seemingly an instant success. As you can see from our table, the pieces are truly works of art that add class and sparkle. Click HERE find out more about Annie Glass.

 

|  WALKING ON THE WILD SIDE  |

I am just giddy about the nicer weather. My walks have gone from oppressive heat filled events to pleasurable walks in nature. This past week Emma, my black lab, we out for a walk. We came upon a beautiful fountain and suddenly found ourselves about 2 feet from a family of ducks. We both froze, although I am sure for different reasons. Emma was trained as a hunting dog and, sadly, her owner died and that’s how we ended up welcoming her into our family. She has not seen ducks in many years but judging from her body language she certainly remembered them. To her credit she stayed by my side as I instructed her. The ducks floated farther into the water and we all went about our day. Take time to enjoy the Fall weather and soak up every bit of the sun’s rays we have remaining because the dark dreary days will be here before we know it.

 

|  DINING ON THE LAKE  |

This past week Mr. GDFC and I attended a fundraiser dinner. We were among hundreds of people and enjoyed socializing. Upon taking our seats at our 20-foot-long table that was dressed beautifully, we found ourselves literally 1 foot from the water’s edge. It was a very beautiful setting and the meal was outstanding. We found this particularly impressive considering the large crowd. The home where the meal was staged was breathtaking. It was a very enjoyable evening.

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Fun Stuff for Friday

September 29, 2017, posted by Gina – This week has been a busy one and next week is going to move at high speed as my calendar is full. Before things get crazy, I am sharing a few fun things to take you through the weekend and I’m sure you can relate to some of them. We should have lots to share after next week so make sure to check back. Have a great weekend!

|    PUMPKINS    |
This week I went to the farmer’s market close to my house and found more pumpkins and gourds than I could imagine. There is nothing like a robust pumpkin to usher in Fall. I purchased some mini pumpkins and can’t wait to share a recipe with you. I hope to prepare them this weekend, so make sure to check in often next week because you won’t want to miss it.

 

|   WORKOUT CLOTHES   |  

I guess I did not wash as frequently as I normally do this week. I have a strange habit of using our bed for a clothes line and this assortment of workout clothes that includes 5 pants and 5 tops gave me such a sense of accomplishment. Not on washing them but actually working out every day this week.

 

|   HIGH STAKES HORSEPLAY   |
Son 1 is getting married!!! He stumbled on a dilemma when trying to decide whether his Dad or brother should be the Best Man. He finally decided they could both be the Best Man but that in the end one had to be a Co-Best Man. So, the only Diamond Family way to solve the debate was to play a game of HORSE to determine the Co-Best Man. I know, sports are a sickness at my house but they sure had fun playing this game and I had fun filming them. By the way, Dad won! A tough pill to swallow for Son 2 but he took it like a champ.

 

|    KRAFT PAPER BLOOMS    |
I am not sure why flowers wrapped up nicely in Kraft paper gives me such joy. They are so fresh and the possibilities are so fun to think about. For me, it is like opening up a present. Inspiration and beauty all in one!

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Cathead Distillery Tour

September 26, 2017, posted by Gina – A few weekends ago we had the opportunity to visit the Cathead Distillery in Jackson, Mississippi. Cathead started out making vodka but have branched out to making bourbon and other spirits. The tour was followed up with a tasting and one of the most interesting things I tasted was Pecan Vodka. Initially, I thought I would not like it but boy was I wrong. It turned out to be my favorite as it has a wonderful pecan taste and is very smooth. If you think you may like something a little different but delicious, you should give this a try. They also have a wonderful honeysuckle vodka which has been a favorite of mine for a while. If you have a chance to visit Cathead Distillery, it makes for a fun afternoon. You can schedule a tour online.

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Floral Workshop 2 comments

September 25, 2017, posted by Gina – Last week I had the opportunity to attend a very informative and inspiring floral design workshop at the wholesale florist in my city.  Florists from all around the area attended and I was the newest florist there. I even received a prize for that honor. It was a very humbling experience as florists with 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years of experience were there to learn right along with me. I was very impressed that after all of these years of creating floral designs they were still ready to learn. They were very welcoming and it made me feel really good.

A representative of Teleflora was the host of the presentation. We also discovered that he owns Surroundings Events & Floral in Wisconsin. He was very talented and I was amazed at how quickly he created the floral designs. I can only hope to be that fast one day. He presented Fall and Christmas creations and I am going to share them with you. Please know that the quality of these photos is not great. We were under fluorescent lighting and I was far away from the presenter.

This is a classic urn design with fall elements seems to flow so nicely.

Who says you can only use flowers? What a beautiful arrangement made with apples, cinnamon and pumpkin.

The presenter put this wonderful Fall door swag together so quickly it made my head spin. You could tell that he makes these in his sleep. I think this would be such a wonderful Fall welcome on a front door.


This is anice arrangement but what puts it over the top are the cob webs. He taught us how to create this look using glue. It’s quick, effective and perfect for goulish Halloween parties.


The rose you see in this arrangement was actually made from ribbon. I watched intently but am still not sure I can master this just yet. Practice makes perfect, right?

The presenter took a tinted cube vase and turned it into this! I’m not sure anything could say Fall better.
This is called a transitional design because the metallic pieces give you a hint of the coming holidays. It would be perfect for Thanksgiving.

And speaking of the holidays, we quickly moved from Fall to Christmas.


The cardinals in this arrangement give it a fun bit of interest.

Succulents are still BIG and I love this dark red one smack dab in the middle of this arrangement. Simple but high impact!

I LOVE this arrangement. These are fresh greens that have been sprayed gold and I love them. They are perfect for the shimmer of the holidays.

Here is another swag that he put together at warp speed. This is a monochromatic design that looks fabulous.

Hydrangeas and Roses. This would certainly brighten any spot and I love the combination of materials. The colors and textures give it that holiday feel.

74907 – These table toppers are new and so very pretty. They would take any event up a notch and I have the source. I am ready to order these but I really need an event before I go crazy!

This arrangement somehow makes me think of Dr. Seuss. Memorable and dramatic. I’m not sure he was thinking Dr. Seuss when he put this together.

Shiny, silver and simple. I love this design for high drama! This would be a fabulous welcome on an entry table.

This was one of my favorite designs. I love the antlers, cotton, berries, wood and greenery. It makes you feel like you are in the mountains.

This topiary would be a great companion to the mountain design. He lit it with a light box which truly made it shine.

This gold and green with a bit of frost invites winter in. This is a simple design with big impact.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of the latest in floral designs. Our presenter put together far more pieces than I have shown you. I hope one day to be able to work as fast. In the meantime, if anything has inspired you here or you would like something similar to these designs, I am your woman!

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