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Flower Blog - Floral Ideas and Arrangements

Tuesday July 17th 2018

History of Emojis on Emoji Day

In this time of ever-evolving technology, the use of emojis has become second nature to many of us. Through texts and email, tiny pictures of faces and symbols are a key form of communication. While emojis and emoticons are often confused, emojis are their own separate entity and have been around since 1998. We have Shigetaka Kurita to thank for the creation of emojis.

During Kurita’s time working for a Japanese phone company, he wanted to create a quicker form of communication for customers. This is where the origins of emojis come in. “E” in Japanese translates to 'picture' and “Moji” translates to 'character'. Kurita felt that, in some cases, little photos conveyed more emotion than select words.

We have evolved from 176 emojis to well over 1,000. Kurita got the idea of creating emojis from things such as bathroom signs, reading different manga and characters from the Chinese language. What’s great about emojis is that there are so many options that not only portray emotion but also the fun display of food or random house items.

Despite Kurita being an economics major, he put his creativity to the test in helping to create emoji images. These pictures were originally created by hand with intentions of having emojis be 12 pixels by 12 pixels in size. While many Japanese phone carriers originally rejected Kurita’s emoji idea, they wanted in once they saw his images. This concept eventually blew up to the point where it grew beyond carriers in Japan and became an international obsession.

Now we have emojis for almost every occasion. We have faces that can portray pretty much any emotion, from happiness to being sick; food items like burritos and yams; clothing items; flags and eight different flowers. I personally like to use emojis whenever possible. If I’m short on time and can’t fully express my point through a text message, I know that there’s usually an emoji that I can count on.

When it comes to flower emojis, the hibiscus is my favorite. It reminds me of Hawai'i and brings back many great memories. And you can't go wrong with any of the food emojis. Shigetaka Kurita probably had no idea that his concept to expand customer communication would eventually turn into such an important part of everyday life and conversation.

Posted by Yvette Irvin, Regalix in Special Occasion
Monday July 9th 2018

The Psychology of Flowers and our Happiness

Can you remember a moment when someone gave you flowers? Or else a moment when you’d given someone else flowers? Do you remember how this made you feel? I personally have never met anyone who isn’t instantly cheered up by a gift of flowers. The sight and smell of flowers bring us instant happiness. The impact of giving or receiving flowers is worth some thought.

Our emotions are so important, and sometimes it’s hard to be in tune with them when we lead such busy lives. Flowers can be an instant mood lifter. Brain chemicals such as oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin are released when you have a positive reaction to flowers. These happy brain chemicals trigger feelings of bonding, excitement and genuine happiness.

There are many ways in which flowers can bring us joy. I like to bring my mother flowers on random occasions. This spontaneous act makes me feel happy because of how she reacts when I give them to her. It’s a great sign of appreciation for someone who is important to you. I even think it’s great to get yourself flowers. Whether you’re buying flowers for your home, or just to treat yourself, this is a wonderful form of self-care.

The act of giving and receiving isn’t the only way flowers bring us a sense of pleasure. The smell of particular flowers can have quite the euphoric effect on us. Gardenias and jasmine are my personal favorites, specifically because of their aromas. If I’m walking around I’ll instantly stop if I get a whiff of these two scents. What’s great about flowers is that each flower has a distinct fragrance. The fragrance alone can be so likeable that we often find perfumes to wear that reflect our prized favorites. We essentially walk around smelling like our favorite flowers.

I think the best thing about flowers is that you don’t always have to buy them. They grow in nature all around us. We can truly enjoy them almost anywhere. The delight that comes with flowers can easily be achieved for free. Wildflowers can be found on a morning hike or an afternoon walk. Either way, if you asked a random person if flowers make them happy, the answer will most likely be yes.

(We’d love to see how you use #AvasFlowers to make your special moment extra-special. Share your pictures on social using “#AvasFlowers” for a chance to be featured on our social channels!)

Posted by Yvette Irvin, Regalix in Special Occasion
Monday July 2nd 2018

Backyard BBQ Decorating Essentials

Since Wednesday is the 4th of July, what better time to have a backyard barbecue? Having a bbq is just one great way to celebrate Independence Day and an even better excuse to decorate. There are many ways you can spice up your backyard for a festive bbq and even throw some flowers into the mix. We feel that any celebration is incomplete without some flowers or greenery dispersed around your home. No matter the size of your backyard, you have multiple options for getting creative for your guests.

The first way to tackle any backyard decor is to find your lighting decorations. String lights work perfectly for backyard decorations because you can leave them up for general adornment. Once you’ve found the perfect set of fairy lights to go with your backyard bbq theme, you could even look into candlelight. Candles can be put into simple glass holders and placed strategically on picnic tables or anywhere that needs some extra light. These decorations are definitely great to have ready once the sun sets and your party is still going.

Once you’ve set up your lighting the next step would be to have themed tableware, including plates, utensils and even creative jars for beverages. You can easily find affordable decor at craft stores or dollar sections of general merchandise stores. Bundling silverware ahead of time for your guests with some fun napkins would also be a great way to embellish your space.

One thing that cannot be forgotten for your party is the food. You can get creative with your menu and have it written down on a chalkboard to greet guests as they walk in. If you have a big enough table, as shown in the photo above, you can have a casual layout of food, family-style. If you want something a little more organized and artistic, a separate table specifically for food would also be a great idea. With this set-up, you can label all food items and have them in cute picnic-style trays. This is also the ideal place to put the jars you got for beverages. You can separate your snacks, main course items and desserts into different sections by using subtly different layouts. This can be accomplished with various colors or designs.

Last, but certainly not least, are the flowers. Flowers complete any party and add all of the cheer. Vibrant Summer flowers are always great for a 4th of July bbq bash. You can check out a list of assorted Summer flowers in our previous post about date nights for some great ideas. There are so many ways to arrange flowers at your party. One way would be to put a couple of alstroemerias, hydrangeas or sunflowers in some mason jars. This can be a simple arrangement and won’t involve too many flowers. These jars can be put on display at any table or anywhere you feel could add to the relaxed atmosphere. It would even be fun to have flowers scattered around or as parting gifts for your friends and family for when they leave.

All of these essentials ensure a festive environment to celebrate the 4th of July with all of your loved ones.

(We’d love to see how you use #AvasFlowers to make your special moment extra-special. Share your pictures on social using “#AvasFlowers” for a chance to be featured on our social channels!)

Posted by Yvette Irvin, Regalix in Party Ideas and Tips
Monday June 25th 2018

Summer Flowers for Date Night

While date night is not exclusive to just the Summertime, it can be the perfect excuse to take time away from your busy schedule to spend some quality time with your significant other. Date night can always include giving flowers to your special someone. Being Summer, why not give them flowers that thrive during the Summer months? Roses tend to be a common go-to date flower, but there are many options during this time of year that will allow your date to cherish their gift for a longer period of time.

Some flowers that thrive in the Summer include daisies, dahlias, marigolds, peonies, zinnias, shrub roses and hydrangeas. All of these flowers could easily be incorporated into your date night. Not only are they flowers that flourish in the Summer but they could also help nurture the romance during your date.

If your date night is a simple night in with your long-time significant other, why not cook her a creative meal and set the table with some zinnias? Zinnias come in vibrant colors and can add the bright Summer mood to your dinner table. You could even give a bouquet of zinnias to your sweetie and have a nice vase prepared once you’ve surprised your significant other with them.

If you’re about to go on a first date with someone and you aren’t sure what flowers would be just right for the occasion, you could always give your date some daisies. There are various types of daisies like black-eyed susans, shasta daisies or gerberas. Gerberas are a popular purchase and can easily be picked up right before your first date. Either way, any type of daisy would be a nice way to help impress your date and ease those first date jitters.

If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous to go with your even more adventurous date night idea why not try hydrangeas, marigolds or peonies. These flowers have a more distinct look to them and can really help you stand out during date night. All three of these blooms are very full-looking flowers with voluminous clusters to them and would be sure to thrill your date.

These Summer flower options are just a few of many ideas to start you off on a great Summer date night. So step away from the roses and give these bunches a try. Who knows, you could have an entire Summer of date nights and try them all!

(We’d love to see how you use #AvasFlowers to make your special moment extra-special. Share your pictures on social using “#AvasFlowers” for a chance to be featured on our social channels!)

Posted by Yvette Irvin, Regalix in Special Occasion
Monday June 18th 2018

Pride Month: Flag History and Rainbow Roses DIY

Pride Month is well underway with celebrations scheduled all over the world. Many major cities in the U.S., including San Francisco and New York City, have their main Pride celebrations on the weekend of June 23- 24th. Pride is a time to for everyone to come together and support equality. A key symbol that represents Pride and the LGBT movement is the rainbow flag.

The rainbow flag became a symbol for LGBT in 1978 by artist Gilbert Baker. The San Francisco resident intended for each color in the flag to represent something specific. Red, which is generally at the top, represents life. Orange represents healing, yellow represents sunlight, green represents nature, blue represents peace and harmony, and purple represents spirit. When the flag was first created it also included pink for sexuality and turquoise for art, but those colors were later removed  for design purposes. Now the six-colored rainbow flag is a recognizable symbol of the LGBT movement.

Since the rainbow flag is such a huge symbol, rainbow flowers have become very relevant during this time of year. The dye process of creating rainbow roses is really interesting and involves coloring through the stems as opposed to the petals. The best way to create a rainbow effect with roses is to use white roses. With white petals, the different colors of the dye will transfer strongly and can be more clearly distinguished.

All you need to create a DIY rainbow rose are the following items:

  1. 1. White roses

  2. 2. Four different colors of water-soluble dyes
    (preferably those of different contrasts and not colors that easily blend together).

  3. 3. A knife

  4. 4. Four cups

  5. 5. Water

  6. 6. Tape

The steps involved to make rainbow roses are quite simple:

First, take a white rose and cut the stem into four equal parts. Second, set the rose aside while you fill four separate cups with water. Fill each cup of water with a different colored dye until the liquid is opaque. Once you have all the cups set up, gather them together so that you can put each section of the stem in a different cup. Since the rose stem is split into four equal sections, balancing them into four cups should help the rose stand upright. Then all you need to do is let the rose sit and you will see the petals transform from white to a rainbow effect. Once the rose has changed colors (usually after 24 hours), you can piece the end of the stem back together with a little bit of tape. These roses are a great way to share your pride with others, and they put a colorful twist on roses.

(We’d love to see how you use #AvasFlowers to make your special moment extra-special. Share your pictures on social using “#AvasFlowers” for a chance to be featured on our social channels!)

Posted by Yvette Irvin, Regalix in DIY Flower Crafts
Monday June 11th 2018

Father's Day: Red and White Roses

With Father’s Day quickly approaching on Sunday, June 17th we can’t forget that flowers are a great option to show Dad our appreciation. Did you know that the official flowers for this day are both the red and white rose?

A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington first initiated Father’s Day in 1909 to celebrate her own father, William Smart. Sonora decided to set Father’s Day in June because that was her father’s birth month. Years later, Calvin Coolidge conveyed his support to make Father’s Day a national holiday. In 1972, the tradition of celebrating Father’s Day every third Sunday of June was established, thanks to Richard Nixon. Father’s Day isn’t only acknowledged in the United States; it is often celebrated in other countries, such as Asia and Canada. Other countries recognize Father’s Day during different times of the year. Belgium and Spain celebrate in March, New Zealand in September and Sweden in November.

Red roses are often worn to honor your father if he is still alive and white roses are worn if your father has passed away. While wearing either rose is a great way to recognize Dad, there are also other ways to incorporate roses while gift-giving for Father’s Day.

Adding a single rose to your father’s gift wrapping would be a simple but meaningful way to make use of roses for this particular holiday. Another way to to show your dad appreciation with roses is to add some petals to breakfast. If you want to go down a home-cooked breakfast route, rose petals are actually edible and would be the perfect decoration to have in his pancakes or morning coffee cake. If your dad is into art why not get him a piece with roses in it? It would be great decor for his office or somewhere around the house.

A final option is simply giving your dad some roses. It doesn’t have to be a full bouquet, but giving your dad flowers would be a choice that he could appreciate, even if it’s not as common as giving your mom flowers for Mother’s Day.

Red and white roses are popular for many occasions. Red roses can represent anything from love to passion. White roses can represent anything from respect to sympathy. Either way, why not include flowers as a way to show your dad that you appreciate him?

(We’d love to see how you use #AvasFlowers to make your special moment extra-special. Share your pictures on social using “#AvasFlowers” for a chance to be featured on our social channels!)

Posted by Yvette Irvin, Regalix in Holiday Flowers
Monday June 4th 2018

Graduation Lei DIY

With most of May and June being graduation season, a really popular way to show your grad how proud you are is to gift them with a lei. Lei-giving is a Hawai’ian tradition that has also become popular for special occasions such as graduations.

The history of handing out leis goes back to when voyagers traveled from Tahiti to Hawai’i in canoes. These voyagers sailed day and night with the stars as their map. When they arrived at the Hawai’ian Islands, these settlers began their tradition of making and giving out leis.

While you can often purchase a pre-made lei from florists, it is also quite simple to make them yourself. If you do not have access to the more exotic flowers used for leis in Hawai’i (such as plumerias or hibiscus), popular flower options for graduation leis include carnations, orchids, daisies or even roses.

A freshwater lei is simple to make and requires these items:

  1. 1. A long needle (embroidery needles work perfectly)

  2. 2. Thin string (i.e., dental floss, ribbon, fishing line, etc.)

  3. 3. Your flower of choice

How to make your own freshwater lei:

First you gather around 40 to 50 flowers of your choice. Since the petals can be delicate you should have them resting in a cooler area on top of a plastic bag. Next, take your thin string and cut off around 30 to 40 inches depending on the preferred length for your grad. Once you’ve cut your string, make sure to knot one end a few times to act as a stopper for when you thread your flowers onto the lei. You will also need to leave some extra string below the knot to connect both ends of your lei. On the other end, tie your string to the needle you have picked out.

Now it’s almost time to start adding flowers to your lei! Before you start to string your flowers, make sure you cut the stems off. Once you’ve done this, you can start stringing each flower onto the lei. Be delicate with your flowers and slowly move them down one by one. Once you’ve added all your flowers, leave a little extra string before your needle and cut off the needle from your lei. Tie together both ends and you have yourself a grad lei!

You can make your grad multiple leis and even mix it up using different colored flowers. It’s really up to you. If you aren’t giving your homemade lei to your grad right away, you can store them loosely in a plastic bag in the vegetable crisper drawer of your fridge.

And there you go! The perfect DIY idea for graduation season. This idea is a great way to incorporate flowers into your grad’s life. This is a time for celebration and gift-giving.

(We’d love to see how you use #AvasFlowers to make your special moment extra-special. Share your pictures on social using “#AvasFlowers” for a chance to be featured on our social channels!)

Posted by Yvette Irvin, Regalix in DIY Flower Crafts
Monday May 28th 2018

Poppies and Memorial Day

The poppy is more than just an annual, biennial, or part time perennial. The red poppy plays a significant role for both Remembrance Day and Memorial Day. The history behind the meaning of the red poppy is rich and dates back to World War I.

While the key importance is often drawn to remembering those who have fought and died during World War I, it is also a time to recognize not only those who fought, but also those who supported the fallen soldiers during such a destructive time.

During World War l, a soldier by the name of John McCrae was influenced by how tenacious the red poppies of Western Europe were. Because of his inspiration, John wrote the recognized poem, ‘In Flanders Fields’. John’s poem reflected that, despite the devastation around him caused by the war, these red poppies could still survive.

Poppies are now symbolically worn by many, especially in the UK, Scotland and Canada. This tradition started thanks to a woman named Moina Michael. John’s poem inspired Moina to create silk red poppies for others to wear in remembrance of fallen soldiers.

Currently, wearing the red poppy is a great way to show appreciation to those who serve in the military, veterans and all family members. This year there is a poppy wall in the National Mall of Washington D.C. to show appreciation and respect during this Memorial Day weekend. This wall is a memorial that is filled with 645,000 synthetic poppy flowers. The exact number of flowers is suppose to represent every single fallen American during the time of World War l. These flowers that were donated by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion are a great reminder for those in the United States, where red poppies aren’t shown as much compared to the U.K., Scotland or Canada.

So when celebrating Memorial Day today, remember that if you see a red poppy, the history behind it is an abundant and respectable one.

Posted by Yvette Irvin, Regalix in Holiday Flowers
Monday May 21st 2018

Creative Ways to Preserve your Flowers

It’s a busy time for flower deliveries. With Mother’s Day just past and graduations and Memorial Day coming up, a lot of people still have bouquets on-hand. Most people just end up tossing their flowers once they start to wither, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are many creative options when it comes to preserving these floral gifts.

One of the most common ways to preserve your wilting flowers is to spritz them with hairspray. The trick with this option is to not spray your flowers too much. You’ll want to make sure that you spray your flowers from a few inches away so that they aren’t soaked. Once you’ve coated your flowers in hairspray, you should hang them upside-down to dry out. Hang them near an entrance for a perfect greeting when you come home.

Another popular option for keeping your flowers around once they’ve met their life expectancy is to press them. Pressing flowers is a pretty simple process that involves a heavy book, parchment or waxed paper, and some time. Press your flowers while they’re at their most vibrant to preserve the color. All you need to do is press them between your paper and book for about a week. After a week has passed, check to see if they’re dried out. If not, you can leave them in your book for another week. The great thing about having your flowers pressed is that there are many innovative ways to display them once they’re dried. Once they’re all set and pressed, your flowers can be kept in a clear frame or made into bookmarks.You could even leave them in a book for sentimental reasons and surprise a loved one.

There’s also the choice of silica gel. Silica gel can be used in a more productive way than just sitting around in an old shoebox. This gel can be found online or at craft stores. All you have to do is fill an airtight container with silica gel, bury your flowers in it and let them sit for around a week. Once they’ve been immersed for a week, you can lighty remove the flowers and set them out any way you want.

The simplest way to preserve flowers is air-drying. All you have to do is flip your bouquet or bunch of flowers upside down somewhere in a relatively dark area. Let the flowers hang for a few weeks and they’ll be all set. After the flowers have been air-dried, you can decorate your house by scattering them around your tables or setting them in a clear, empty vase.

If you want to hold onto your bouquets a little longer, you have many options; these are just some of the most common techniques to help maintain them.

(We’d love to see how you use #AvasFlowers to make your special moment extra-special. Share your pictures on social using “#AvasFlowers” for a chance to be featured on our social channels!)

Posted by Yvette Irvin, Regalix in DIY Flower Crafts
Tuesday May 15th 2018

Birth Flowers for Mom

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

It may not be Mother’s Day anymore, but that doesn’t mean flowers aren’t still a great gift for your mom year ‘round. Birth flowers are always a thoughtful idea if you’re looking for a creative twist for flower-giving. We’ve mentioned birth flowers in previous posts in more detail but thought it would be great to share an overview of each month’s birth flower. Birth flowers are a more affordable alternative over birthstone jewelry.

January is the month for the carnation or snowdrop. While carnations are a common option at any florist, the meaning behind them are a sign of love and admiration. Snowdrops (or Galanthus nivalis) are not as popular as carnations but are another option for the January birth flower. These flowers are white, small in size and represent friendship in rougher times.

February is the month for the violet or primrose. The recognizable violet can represent faith and spiritual passion. Meanwhile, the primrose (or Primula vulgaris) can represent youth. Both flowers thrive in partial shade.

With March comes the daffodil. The bright daffodil (or Narcissus) represents regard and devotion. This pleasant flower was originally called an affodell but no one really knows why.

The April birth flowers are the daisy or sweetpea. The daisy represents innocence and is the epitome of spring. The sweetpea (or Lathyrus odoratus), tends to flourish more in cooler weather and should be kept away from heat.

The birth flowers for May are the lily of the valley or hawthorn. Our recent post on the lily of the valley sheds some light on what the lily of the valley is all about. The hawthorn comes in two different types the Crataegus or the Rhaphiolepis. The crataegus can be found in Northern Africa, Europe and North America. The rhaphiolepis is found in various parts of Asia.

June is the month for the most coveted of flowers, the rose. A rose represents love, passion and beauty. Did you know that the rose is the national flower for both England and North America? Roses are not only rich in color but rich in history.

July’s birth flower is larkspur (aka the delphinium). This fragrant flower can represent an open heart or a feeling lightness. You can find the larkspur in white, blue, red or yellow. Did you know that by mixing the larkspur seed with the chemical compound alum makes a blue ink?

The month of August brings the birth flower, poppy. Poppies have round petals and come in various colors. The meaning behind a poppy often symbolizes the remembrance of soldiers who fought in World War l. Many poppies have four petals and are delicate.

September brings to us the birth flowers of the aster or morning glory. Aster is Greek for “star” and is a suited name for these star shaped flowers. An aster is a talisman for love and patience. The morning glory also has a well-suited name. This flower blooms in the morning and withers by the time night has fallen. This means the flower blooms freshly each morning.

The October birth flowers are the calendula or cosmos. Calendulas are more commonly known as marigolds and can be used for various medicinal purposes. A calendula is great for topical ointments to help inflammation and skin irritations. You will usually find this flower in shades of yellow and orange. Cosmos are easy to grow annual flowers that represent joy or harmony.

The chrysanthemum, or “mum” for short, is November’s birth flower. The mum represents cheer and wealth. This flower is closely related to daisies and are native to Northeastern Europe and Asia.

The final month of the year is represented by the birth flowers narcissus and holly. The narcissus is trumpet-shaped in the center and surround by multiple petals. The holly is a more commonly-known flower that is related to December and represents good wishes. This festive flower is a common choice of decoration in Western societies during the holidays.

With so many options, why not give your mom some flowers year ‘round? Gifting your mom with birth flowers is not only thoughtful but more personalized. Show her you care all the time!

(We’d love to see how you use #AvasFlowers to make your special moment extra-special. Share your pictures on social using “#AvasFlowers” for a chance to be featured on our social channels!)

Posted by Yvette Irvin, Regalix in Birthday Flowers