See you next year, Christmas!

moody interiors with a larch wreath
moody interiors with a larch wreath

I hope all of you had a magical Christmas!

moody interiors with a larch wreath
moody interiors with a larch wreath

Now it’s time to say bye-bye…

seasonal winter decoration with a wreath made of dried grass
seasonal winter decoration with a wreath made of dried grass

See you next year, Christmas!
A. XO

seasonal winter decoration with a wreath made of dried grass
seasonal winter decoration with a wreath made of dried grass
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Tone on Tone Chiristmas decoration

wreath made with dried clematis seeds
wreath made with dried clematis seeds

Last Tuesday I was able to share this DIY over at my favorite interior community SoLebIch. And tell me, who doesn’t want to create an easy Christmas decoration, especially as all of the festive holiday chores can turn into the biggest stress ever? If you are a little like me, you would not want to neglect your table and this is why I came up with this fast & easy DIY for our Christmas table.

Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis - tone on tone Christmas interior decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis – tone on tone Christmas interior decoration

You can probably tell, that I love chalky colors in my interiors, and this is why I didn’t need a lot of additional things for this festive decoration. I gathered a few dried grasses and clematis from the garden and it also comes handy, when your friend owns an interiors shop: I got some gorgeous table ware from her over at DECORETTE and was ready to go.

All you need for this simple DIY is:

a wreath body made of straw

fine wire

dried grasses and flowers

scissors

candleholders & candles

simple wreath DIY - a wreath made of dried flowers
simple wreath DIY – a wreath made of dried flowers
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis - tone on tone Christmas interior decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis – tone on tone Christmas interior decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis - tone on tone Christmas interior decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis – tone on tone Christmas interior decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis - tone on tone Christmas interior decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis – tone on tone Christmas interior decoration

Dried grasses are easy to bend and because the straw body of the wreath has the same color, you don’t need to work very neat. It is ok, when the grasses bend irregularly, it creates a natural look and this is what I love most about creating seasonal wreaths. Simply add the dried grasses to your wreath by curling the wire around the wreath until you are satisfied with the volume of the wreath. When you add the candles, make sure that not one part of dried grasses or flowers gets close to the candles! The rest of the table decoration was easy, as I added a single twig of a dried clematis in the middle of the table and was ready to add the table ware. Et Voila – my festive table was ready fort the big day.

Warm Season’s greetings, A. XO

Broste Copenhagen table ware - festive Christmas table decoration
Broste Copenhagen table ware – festive Christmas table decoration
Broste Copenhagen table ware - festive Christmas table decoration
Broste Copenhagen table ware – festive Christmas table decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis - tone on tone Christmas interior decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis – tone on tone Christmas interior decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis - tone on tone Christmas interior decoration Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis - tone on tone Christmas interior decoration
Easy Christmas DIY with dried Clematis – tone on tone Christmas interior decoration

Wie gegensätzlich jeder von uns auch Weihnachten feiert, bei den ganzen Unterschieden bleibt ein gemeinsamer Nenner – wir alle feiern sehr individuell und heute möchte ich mein ganz persönliches und blitzschnelles Advents DIY vorstellen. Ich liebe es regionale Blumen und Pflanzen für meine Dekoration zu nutzen. Jedes Jahr aufs Neue bin ich von der Vielfalt saisonaler Schönheiten überrascht, die der Winter zu bieten hat. Nachdem die letzten Blumen des Jahres verblüht sind, findet man draußen immer noch wunderschön getrocknete Gräser oder pastellig verblasste Blüten. Um Zeit und Ressourcen zu sparen werde ich genau diese für meine diesjährige Deko benutzen.

Ich glaube, jeder möchte, dass die Feiertage ruhig und entspannt ablaufen. Wären da nicht die vielen Dingen wie Geschenke verpacken, Familienbesuche und Vorbereitungen des Festmahls… Da bleibt oft wenig Zeit für die Tischdekoration. Deswegen möchte ich ein schnelles und schönes DIY vorstellen, denn so kommt man auch mit minimalem Einsatz zu wunderbaren Ergebnissen.

Dieses Weihnachten habe ich mich für eine saisonale Dekoration entschieden, die auch Ton in Ton zu der Einrichtung passt. Helle Wände, eine helle Tischdecke und sandfarbene Gräser zaubern eine feierliche Stimmung herbei.

Ich hatte fast alle Zutaten zuhause, gefehlt haben nur noch die getrockneten Gräser und die fluffige Clematis. Auch wenn man nicht alles griffbereit zuhause liegen hat, die Liste der Zutaten für diese Tischdeko ist minimal:

-Für die Tischgirlande habe ich einfach eine längere Ranke einer getrockneten Clematis gewählt (falls man keine Clematis finden kann, kann man bei einem Waldspaziergang auch ein paar wunderschöne, abgefallene Zweige und Äste einsammeln und diese locker in der Mitte des Tische platzieren)

Für den Kranz braucht ihr: 

-einen Kranzrohling aus Stroh

-getrocknetes Gras und getrocknete Blüten aus dem Garten ( abgeblühte Hortensien eignen sich auch sehr gut für diese Deko und wenn man keinen Garten hat, kann man auf Feldwegen getrocknetes Gras finden)

-Draht ( dabei bleibt die Farbe jedem selbst überlassen )

-Schere

-Kerzenhalter

-Kerzen

1: zuerst habe ich den goldenen Draht am Kranzrohling befestigt

2: ich habe etwa 6 längere Gräser genommen und diese schon mal in Form gebogen. Gräser lassen sich leicht biegen und die etwas festeren Halme knicken ein, so entstehen ganz nebenbei schöne geometrische Formen. Den ersten Teil der Gräser habe ich gleichmäßig um den Kranz drapiert, damit das Binden am Kranz einfacher wird. Sobald der Rohling von dem Gras umschlossen war, habe ich angefangen die Gräser mit dem Draht am Kranzrohling zu befestigen, indem man den Draht einfach immer wieder um den Kranz führt. Dabei kann man bewusst grob arbeiten, denn das verstärkt den natürlichen und rustikalen Charakter.

3: nach der ersten Bindung habe ich den ersten Vorgang wiederholt und ein paar zusätzliche Gräser um den Kranz gebunden. Dabei habe ich darauf geachtet, dass der Draht locker sitzt und nicht alle Gräser zerquetscht. Dort, wo schöne Blätter waren, habe ich versucht den Draht unter dem Blatt herzuführen, damit die schönsten Blätter nicht eingequetscht werden. Diesen Vorgang kann man so lange wiederholen, bis man mit der Fülle des Kranzes zufrieden ist.

4: sobald genug Gras auf dem Kranz war, habe ich den Draht unter dem Kranz fixiert.

5: dadurch, dass der Kranz so locker gebunden ist, kann man nun ganz einfach die Kerzenhalter befestigen.

6: erst, wenn man sieht, wo die Kerzen sein werden, kann man noch als letzten Schritt ein paar zusätzliche getrocknete Blüten reinstecken. Denn dann kann man auch besser einschätzen, wo die Kerzen abbrennen werden und die vertrockneten Blüten nicht zu nah an die Kerzen stecken. Ich habe ein paar der getrockneten Blüten von meiner Tischgirlande abgeschnitten. Falls man keine getrocknete Clematis finden kann, kann man auch auf verblühte Hortensien oder andere getrocknete Blumen zurückgreifen.

Der Arbeitsaufwand beträgt ungefähr 20 Minuten und man hat im Handumdrehen eine unaufgeregte, aber elegante Tischdeko, die zudem auch sehr preisgünstig und saisonal ist!

Ich wünsche Euch eine wundervolle und gesegnete Weihnachtszeit!

NOTE!!! because of the dried grasses and flowers, it is important to add longer candles and watch the wreath at all times, do not leave the wreath unattended, as it can catch fire very easily! 

ACHTUNG!!! Da der Kranz aus getrockneten Materialien besteht, bitte keine Teelichter, sonder längere Kerzen verwenden und die brennenden Kerzen nie unbeaufsichtigt lassen!

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Pastel summer arrangement

The most wonderful part of my job as a stylist is to play with flowers. On a daily basis! Especially, when a commissioned job asks for a variety of more than 5 flowers. Imagine my excitement, as I could run wild with this floral arrangement I made for tollwasblumenmachen.de. Pure joy! Pure pastel joy!

pastel summer flower arrangement with white hydrangea, roses, Queen Anne's lace, foxgloves, heuchera // stylist Anastasia Benko
pastel summer flower arrangement with white hydrangea, roses, Queen Anne’s lace, foxgloves, heuchera // stylist Anastasia Benko

As long as I can remember, elegant and official flower arrangements, especially wedding bouquets required noble roses and fancy grown flowers. A while back I noticed, that elegant flower shops started to sell more and more wild flowers, like yarrow and Queen Anne’s lace.

pastel summer flower arrangement with white hydrangea, roses, Queen Anne's lace, foxgloves, heuchera // stylist Anastasia Benko
pastel summer flower arrangement with white hydrangea, roses, Queen Anne’s lace, foxgloves, heuchera // stylist Anastasia Benko
pastel summer flower arrangement with white hydrangea, roses, Queen Anne's lace, foxgloves, heuchera // stylist Anastasia Benko
pastel summer flower arrangement with white hydrangea, roses, Queen Anne’s lace, foxgloves, heuchera // stylist Anastasia Benko

I have the most wonderful flower shop in my neighborhood and I have been a faithful customer for over 25 years! They have always been ahead of time when I look back on their designs. But as a small business {especially in a suburban neighborhood} you cannot be as experimental as you might want to be. Of course florists cannot reinvent the wheel, as the flowers we all use for our arrangements have been there for centuries. BUT – and here is the interesting part – I had a long chat with the owner of this favorite shop of mine: she said, that it’s only in the past few years she was able to offer wild grown flowers to her customers! Finally, they realized, that those wild growing beauties like yarrow and cornflowers are not the ugly ducklings that accidentally grow on the roadside. Their customers even ask for different varieties of Queen Anne’s lace now! How wonderful is that? I bet, you think it’s pretty fantastic too! To get you imagination going I made a gorgeous Pinterest board with all of my favorite wild flowers. I believe, that wild flowers and field-grown roses are the most delicate thing you can use for a flower arrangement, especially for a summer arrangement like this! I really love the shift from formal looking arrangements to more wilder, natural looking bouquets! Looking at these arrangements makes you feel, like you have the entire summer in a bowl!

pastel summer flower arrangement with white hydrangea, roses, Queen Anne's lace, foxgloves, heuchera and everlasting pea // stylist Anastasia Benko
pastel summer flower arrangement with white hydrangea, roses, Queen Anne’s lace, foxgloves, heuchera and everlasting pea // stylist Anastasia Benko
pastel summer flower arrangement with white hydrangea, roses, Queen Anne's lace, foxgloves, heuchera and everlasting pea // stylist Anastasia Benko
pastel summer flower arrangement with white hydrangea, roses, Queen Anne’s lace, foxgloves, heuchera and everlasting pea // stylist Anastasia Benko

If you would like to know, how I put this flower arrangement plucked from my pastel dreams – here is a little recipe:

my basis, cut from the garden:

white goatsbeard
yellow heuchera leaves
slightly purple blooms of another heuchera

flowers bought on the market or in the flower shop:

white and pink Queen Anne’s lace
field-grown roses from the market in white, pale yellow and dusty pink & pastel lavender
pale yellow foxgloves
white hydrangea
everlasting pea
pink cornflowers
purple verbena bonariensis
deep purple salvia

pastel summer flower wreath with white roses, pale roses, cornflowers, bellflowers, yarrow and  Queen Anne's lace, foxgloves, heuchera // stylist Anastasia Benko
pastel summer flower wreath with white roses, pale roses, cornflowers, bellflowers, yarrow and Queen Anne’s lace, foxgloves, heuchera // stylist Anastasia Benko
pastel summer flower arrangement with white hydrangea, roses, Queen Anne's lace, foxgloves, heuchera and everlasting pea // stylist Anastasia Benko
pastel summer flower arrangement with white hydrangea, roses, Queen Anne’s lace, foxgloves, heuchera and everlasting pea // stylist Anastasia Benko

How to create a pastel summer arrangement:

1. I used an eggshell vessel with a large opening to make sure it could fit as many flowers as I wanted. To support the flowers I put chicken-wire inside the vessel to give the arrangement a proper foundation. Naturally I payed attention to the color of the vessel, as also this underlines the beautiful pastel color palette of the floral arrangement.

2. As a basis for the bouquet I started with the larges blooms – I used white goatsbeard, that I got from my garden. With the feathery white blooms, it’s certainly a statement flower! Another gorgeous and big headed flower I used for the basis, is the white hydrangea. The yellow heuchera leaves, underneath the hydrangea, finalized the basis and after that I could start to arrange the rest of the pastel colored flowers.

3. If a flower had green leaves, I tried to remove all the leaves from the stems, as I wanted to focus on the soft tones of the blossoms.

4. To make sure, that the soft and dreamy combination of pastel colors would create a delicate summer arrangement, I added all these white, soft yellow, pale pink, blush colored flowers by turns. I created little islands by alternating layers of white, soft yellow and pale pink to achieve the most airy summer look.

5. In the end, I added the lavender and purple colored flowers to set a few accents to the arrangement – in the end the deep purple accents make the other colors shine more!

6. Additionally to the soft color palette, I made sure to use flowers with a lace-like texture and a more natural look. For example, the goatsbeard and Queen Anne’s lace with their ruffled blooms are a perfect example for romantic textures. The untamed growing blooms of the everlasting pea create a more wild and natural look. What I love most about the field-grown roses, is their remarkable beauty, underlined by little unperfections. They are far from perfect and in my eyes this give the bouquet a very charming look.

pastel summer flower arrangement with white hydrangea, roses, Queen Anne's lace, foxgloves, heuchera and everlasting pea // stylist Anastasia Benko
pastel summer flower arrangement with white hydrangea, roses, Queen Anne’s lace, foxgloves, heuchera and everlasting pea // stylist Anastasia Benko

If you have been a faithful reader of this blog, you know that I am a big big forager of all things botanical. But not everyone has the time or the opportunity to go for a long walk to collect wild flowers. Just like me in this exact case: I came back from a gorgeous vacation from Denmark, wanted to have fresh flowers in my home right away but I didn’t have the time to go for a long walk to collect flowers. So this is why I am bubbling over with happiness, that my favorite yarrow and Queen Anne’s lace can now be found in flower shops around the corner…{I can only speak for the german shops, as I have not enough experience on flower shops in other countries, so please let me know how your experience was/is on access to flowers that usually grow wild}

pastel summer flower arrangement with white hydrangea, roses, Queen Anne's lace, foxgloves, heuchera and everlasting pea // stylist Anastasia Benko
pastel summer flower arrangement with white hydrangea, roses, Queen Anne’s lace, foxgloves, heuchera and everlasting pea // stylist Anastasia Benko

Please let me add that those wild summer flowers do last a week in a vase! Those pastel summer beauties are definitely worth picking up when you spot them at your local florist!
This post is brought to you in cooperation with tollwasblumenmachen.de

OUR COUNTRYSIDE GETAWAY TO DENMARK – PT. 2

Welcome back to the 2nd part of our countryside getaway! You might know from the 1st part that we went to beautiful Denmark this summer! What a wild flower paradise!

fog over meadow, Denmark
fog over meadow, Denmark
wild meadow, Denmark
wild meadow, Denmark

No matter, how stressed I am before my travels, it ALWAYS brings me closer to my true self! It’s not that I don’t know who I am or that I forget it at times, no… Even though I try to live every day to the fullest, I am guilty of getting trapped in every day life. Sometimes there is so much to do, that I get stressed! By stressed I mean so exhausted that even the nicest appointments seem to be a burden.

fog over wild meadow, wild floral wreath
fog over wild meadow, wild floral wreath

As an artist I depend on my creativity. Sometimes, when times get busy and overwhelming, it is devastating to see I only perform half as well as I could. Traveling is one of my personal secrets to escape this daily routine. Duh! Nothing new, you’d say. Of course this is not new… It goes without saying that vacations are good to unwind and to reload our batteries.

vintage wire basket with wild flowers, foraged in Denmark
vintage wire basket with wild flowers, foraged in Denmark
moody floral photography, back vase with Silene, foraged in Denmark
moody floral photography, back vase with Silene, foraged in Denmark
wild lupine, moody floral photography, foraged in Denmark
wild lupine, moody floral photography, foraged in Denmark

The most surprising part of traveling is, that it always takes me to unexpected places – personally and professionally. It’s often afterwards I see the things that have had a huge impact on me. It could be a week after my vacation, also it could be half a year later when I apply something to my work or my personal life that I adapted on my travels.

wild roses foraged in Denmark, moody flower photography
wild roses foraged in Denmark, moody flower photography
moody floral photography
moody floral photography
wild roses foraged in Denmark, moody flower photography
wild roses foraged in Denmark, moody flower photography
wild roses foraged in Denmark, moody flower photography
wild roses foraged in Denmark, moody flower photography

This time I knew, that this vacation would have a significant impact on my life, as one of my dearest friends lives in Denmark and I was lucky enough to visit her in her gooooooooorgeous home. I am speaking of Mette from monsterscircus. We have been very good friends for a few years now & have been on many creative journeys together. Last year we met in person and I was more than happy to be able to see her again this summer! I was memorizing every second of the day we spend together!

moody wild flower arrangement with bachelor buttons, foxgloves, wild carrot, wild roses
moody wild flower arrangement with bachelor buttons, foxgloves, wild carrot, wild roses
moody wild flower arrangement with bachelor buttons, foxgloves, wild carrot, wild roses
moody wild flower arrangement with bachelor buttons, foxgloves, wild carrot, wild roses
moody wild flower arrangement with bachelor buttons, foxgloves, wild carrot, wild roses
moody wild flower arrangement with bachelor buttons, foxgloves, wild carrot, wild roses

To you this might look like a simple photo of a wild flower arrangement – to me it’s one of the most beautiful gifts I have ever recieved! All the bazillions of cornflowers are from Mette’s garden!

moody wild flower arrangement with bachelor buttons, foxgloves, wild carrot, wild roses
moody wild flower arrangement with bachelor buttons, foxgloves, wild carrot, wild roses

I knew, her home would be beautiful – but this day I spend with Mette left me in awe! Every corner, and I repeat, EVERY corner in her home is filled with beauty! Even better than this { you might say: is there a climax to these praises?! Yes, there is!}: Her home is filled with so much LOVE – as she is one of the kindest, most talented, funniest, loving & caring ladies I had the pleasure to meet! A woman, overflowing with beauty inside and out and A TRUE ARTIST AND A TRUE FRIEND! A TRUE FRIEND AND A TRUE ARTIST!

‘Her talent, grace and work ethic play in a league of their own!’

This is a quote I stole from Adele commenting on worshipping Beyonce, but I will take
this trip and especially this day with Mette as my inspiration! Knowing you, Mette,  makes me a better person! And I will grow more cornflowers next year! I do have a few cornflowers in my garden now, but I am afraid to cut those as they always remind me of this gorgeous trip to Denmark now… I I want these cornflowers and my memories last as long, as possible.

I hope you can bring inspiring stories back from your travels this summer!

A. XO