Monday, January 30, 2012

Sweetheart Rose Pave Valentine Arrangement Tutorial

It's the most romantic time of year, and I wanted to give you a pretty, inexpensive and easy floral arrangement  to make for Valentines Day.

You will need
1- bunch of miniature roses, also called sweetheart roses or spray roses. I picked an antique pink color ($10, you will have some left over)
1- heart shaped shallow dish, I bought this at the dollar store, don't you love it? ($1.00)
1/4 block of wet floral foam or 3 medium floral frogs (wet floral foam is for fresh flowers and is different than floral foam used for silk flowers)
1 block of floral foam retail for around $4.00, you will only need about 1/8th of one block
1 medium frog retails for between 3-4 dollars at the hobby store

This is a floral frog, the teeth hold the stems of your flowers in place, it can be used over and over again, you can buy them in different sizes in the floral department of your hobby store.  For this arrangement you would use three medium. Make sure you wash them with soap & warm water after each use (so you don't spread any bacteria).
Here is a one inch slice of wet floral foam. It will absorb a lot of water. Which ever method you use, you don't want the frog or the foam to go to the edge of the heart bowl. You will actually be placing a row of roses around the edge of your mechanics  so that they don't show through the glass.  Floral foam cuts and slices very easily with a knife.
If you need to, remove any outer petals (called guard petals) from the roses. Do this until you've removed all torn, stained, or bruised petals.  Don't worry a rose has a lot of petals and this will make all the difference in how pretty your finished arrangement looks.
Starting at the outside edge cut rose stems to 1 1/2 inches long and place them so they lay as evenly in the bowl as possible. You will need to play with them a little (that's OK). I found a cute red glitter pick that I put in my arrangement. Make sure to keep your arrangement watered.

This is such a great arrangement for a Valentine dinner because it's low and it won't block the view into your sweetie's eyes :)   Another great thing about this arrangement is that the short stems allow water to go directly to the rose and the roses will last longer than long stem roses.

From this view, you can see why we didn't want the foam or the frog to show.  If you don't want to worry about this you can always use double sided tape and wrap ribbon around the edge.  I hope you try this, and please feel free to ask any questions. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Vintage Valentines

I love Vintage images, and I love romantic vintage images even more :)  I wanted to share some vintage Valentine images with you. There are so many ways to use these. Consider making a Valentines garland for your mantel, or use them as gift tags for Valentine treats.

Here a vintage Valentine image is tied with silk ribbon and used as a place card setting. It really gives this Valentine table a special touch of romance.

How adorable are these Edwardian Children surrounded by pansies and a heart?

Vintage images can make just about anything seem more romantic, even a drinking straw :)

Consider embellishing your images with ribbon, glitter, or lace.

A sweet little cupid :)

Click on each image for a larger and crisper look at the image

Even if your image isn't a pop up card like this one, you could easily make a stand for it, or place it in a small easel.  A display of several vintage Valentines in dollar store frames would make a pretty vignette

I hope you enjoy these vintage Valentine images and find lot's of creative ways to use them. Wouldn't these be so sweet for your kids to give to their teachers, or for you to give to your sweetie?  Please let me know if you find any unique ways to use these, I would love to post your artwork :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Philadelphia's New Chocolate Indulgence

As many of you know, I'm the proud member of an online group call RWOP, Real Women of Philadelphia
 Our group was recently offered free samples to the first 200 persons who requested the new Philadelphia Chocolate Indulgence.  As many of you also know, I'm a HUGE chocoholic, so I set my alarm clock early and was one of the lucky 200 to receive not one, not two, but six tubs of Philadelphia's New Chocolate Indulgence. So I thought I would share my views on this new product. I was not paid or compensated for this review.

I have to admit, I'm also a bit of a chocolate snob, so I tried not to set my expectations too high for this product.  I just didn't want to set myself up for a big chocolate thud. Boy was I surprised. The Indulgence comes in three flavors.  Milk Chocolate (pictured above) Dark Chocolate, and White Chocolate.  Let me tell you, it was love at first bite!

Very few people do White Chocolate well, but Philadelphia just plain knocked this one out of the park.  This creamy confection is so delicious it could be considered dangerous.  I see this at a lot of my future parties being served with fresh fruit and also being a huge success. Dipping a strawberry in this, is about as close to heaven as you may get.
The Dark Chocolate is rich, flavorful and creamy. It reminds me of a really good ganache. It's not too sweet, so the chocolate flavor really shines through.  If you're not a dark chocolate fan, and you prefer Milk Chocolate, then you will love the Milk Chocolate flavor. I actually enjoyed combining the two for a killer frosting and a great hot chocolate.
I made this dessert in 15 minutes, it was easy and it was delicious. The contrast of the Angel Food Cake with the dark chocolate was wonderful.

Black, White, Red and Delicious All Over Cake

1- Angel Food Cake Loaf (found in your grocery bakery section, or in the produce, next to the berries)
1- pound ripe strawberries
1 -8 ounce Container of Philadelphia Dark Chocolate Indulgence
1/2 Container (4 ounces) of Philadelphia White Chocolate Indulgence

1). Microwave Dark Chocolate Indulgence for 30 seconds. Spread over Angel Food Cake loaf the same as you would a ganache (like a thick glaze)
2). Dip Strawberries in White Chocolate Indulgence and place on top and around cake.
Serves 6-8
Yes, it really was that simple. I microwaved the Indulgence to make it softer and easier to frost the Angel Food Cake, it worked out really well.
Now for the fun stuff :) These delicious 8 ounce tubs will be available in your grocery stores at the end of January ( just in time for a Valentines day treat :) and I have 5 one dollar off coupons. 
I'm going to  give these away to the first five readers who leave a comment telling me they want one ( one per reader) and what flavor you think you'll like best.  I'd also love to hear how you would like to indulge with your New Philadelphia Chocolate Indulgence.
Happy Indulging :)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Freshwater Pearl Give-Away

Happy 2012!  I hope you all had a joyful, loving holiday season :) I thought it would be fun to start the new year off with a great give-away, so I'm giving away one of my favorite things. Pearls, yes, beautiful freshwater pearls.
One lucky reader will win this 34 inch strand of freshwater pearls and this pair of pierced freshwater pearl stud earrings.

Nothing says romantic, feminine charm like pearls.  Queen Elizabeth the first wore hundreds of them, dripping from everywhere,  Jacqueline Kennedy wore hers everywhere, Princess Diana's favorite tiarra had pearls, so now it's your turn :)

To Enter this fun give-away

1). Make sure you follow Shannons Shanonigins on Google friend connect ( in right column)
2). Like Shannon's Shanonigins facebook page http://www.facebook.com/messages/?action=read&tid=id.287718491276346#!/pages/Shannons-Shanonigins/135210736536443

For Extra Entries

3). Post this give-away on your facebook page
4). Twitter about this give-away
5).  Post about this give-away on your blog

Most importantly, make sure you leave me a comment and let me know which of these you have done so I count your entries.  I would love to hear where you'd wear your pearls and with what.  Best of luck, I will be drawing 1/12

The winner of this give-away is Sandi Sheppard, Congratulations Sandi, and thank you for following Shannon's Shanonigins :)