Real flowers

I braved it yesterday and tried arrangements with real flowers!

Have so far been scared of wasting my time, money and killing the poor things in the process but had to bite the bullet and just try it. Wandered round the wholesalers this morning trying to decide which blooms to use and gave up and just bought two huge bouquets which I could then break down and be creative with….

Am actually quite surprised at the results….

I like the restriction that a rectangle container gave me, keeps things neater. The pink basket below I struggled more with, and changed the centre flowers many times…the gerberas and the roses are fighting a little for centre stage and I think more greenery is needed like the white arrangement…..

#pinks #flowers #arrangements #tabledecor #newbaby #weddingdecor #displays #floristry #realflowers #roses #gerberas #whites #flowersbynicolajane


The flowers I have been drying all week were finally ready today to be used and put into a display. Yay!

Finally I have an example of the service/products I want to be offering….

I can preserve flowers from those special occasions, memorable times and make them into a keepsake for you. Dried flowers last up to 10 years, possibly more if kept in secure containers, such as frames and left undisturbed.

I can use flowers from your wedding bouquet, flowers from those you received on your engagement or on the birth of your child, from their christening, flowers from a big birthday, retirement or that remembrance flower from your grandparent’s funeral.

They are dried and arranged and displayed with your choice of wording. Being in a box frame, other items can be added too, such as photos, poems, orders of service, ribbon and so on. Totally bespoke to you.

#keepsake #display #pictures #driedflowers #funeral #wedding #bouquet #remembrance #christening #birthday #bespoke #gifts #flowersbynicolajane #flowers

Birthdays months

Every family has a time of year when they are bombarded with birthdays right?! Well in my family it’s this time of year…..October, November, December and then it goes quiet until April.

So this weekend was the start of the celebrations (bank account draining) with my mum and my stepdad both on the same day (what are the odds?!) and their anniversary too – well if your birthday is on the same day of course you have to get married on that day! Their house looks like Clinton Cards at the moment…..

Next week it is my son’s and then November it is my brother’s, my step mum’s and oh mine, but since I had a big one last year I’ll be keeping quiet about mine this year….

My son is counting the hours now and digging for hints as to whether his father and I have forked out for the much anticipated X Box he is after, I think he’s struggling to sleep too for excitement, as I can hear him upstairs even now when he should be sparko.

I feel for him having to spend his birthday amongst boxes for our move though. I had wanted to be moved by now so he could have his birthday in the new house but it never goes as planned does it.

In between wrapping presents, packing boxes, writing cards and eating lots of cake I have still been practising flower stuff. The silica gel drying process is going great, the roses look like roses still and have dried well, the carnations are being stubborn and taking longer.

I tried out a tiny hand tied bouquet of the ready carnations today too….

#carnations #driedflowers #handtied #bouquet #birthdays #movinghouse #celebrations #birthdaycake

A box a day….

I’m packing a box a day in the hope it will be done in the two and a half weeks we have left. I’m also cleaning the odd wall here and there as I go past them and look at them with a more critical eye (more critical being, “would that smudge mean I don’t get my deposit back?”)

Packed the microwave today amongst various other kitchen things. Had to think about this for a while though….can we actually live without a microwave for just over two weeks?! Well, yes, given it is only used to re heat stuff that can be re heated in the hob just as well. The only thing that might be sacrificed is porridge….but we only ever have porridge if it’s snowing or if sore throats have struck or if everything else has run out. So fingers crossed winter waits two weeks yet.

I am a third of the way through my floristry course now and whilst still enjoying it , I am also enjoying the trial and error of practising…putting the theory into practice.

I have a decent stock of fake flowers and greenery now to try in different ways and have vowed to buy supermarket flowers more often so I can use real flowers to practice with too.

Today’s products include a wedding table idea or a bridesmaid bouquet, a Christmas table display and a Christmas wedding bouquet. They are a mix of real and silk or paper flowers.

I’ve also been researching into different ways of drying flowers and currently have a batch of carnations wilting in the cupboard under the stairs as well as silica gel on order. I have high hopes for the silica gel method as apparently the flowers retain their colour better than the “hanging upside down in a dark cupboard” method. Hopefully the order will turn up before my latest supermarket finds die away…

#floristry #weddings #tabledecor #tabledisplay #christmas #movinghouse #dryingflowers #supermarkets #practising #packingboxes #silicagel #bridesmaids

Weekend in London

Spending this weekend in London, exploring a little with the kids and the dog, giving them new experiences such as tube trains and big red buses.

Visited Kew Gardens for the first time yesterday (I grew up in London myself but of course never visited any of the actual sites apart from the odd school trip to the Tower of London) and took millions of pictures of flowers and leaves to help my learning. And bought an A-Z of flowers book to give me some ideas of what to do with my new garden next year.

My children proved how “countrified” they are by opening the curtains last night and saying “wow look at the view Mummy!” The view being two high rise flats, a crane, an office building and aeroplanes overhead every 1.5minutes…..

Today we went by bus (the dog’s first time on a bus….at the top… the front….on the window ledge…..) to the Princess Diana Memorial Playground (who even knew there was such a place?!) built in 2000 dedicated to children. Kids loved the huge pirate ship and the teepees as well as the sensory area. All followed by hot chocolate and croissants in the autumn sunshine and a run for the dog.

Bus travel has certainly moved on since I left London 14 years ago…..electronic screens at each stop, contactless payments, Oyster cards, apps to track your bus…..I must visit London more often to keep up with all this technology!

Saying goodbye to summer


I exchanged on my house buy today, finally I have a place to call mine, where I can do whatever I like to it, where I am responsible for every part of it (even the roof and gutters which tbh is a daunting responsibility but hopefully won’t cause me issues). This freedom has been a long time coming.

I had a little shopping spree at my local floristry wholesalers for dried flower products but their selection was limited, unless you wanted a lifetime supply of pine cones. Think they’re in this year. I found a few useful things I have plans for though.

Now the stress of the house has lifted I have a new lease of life and I completed my second assignment and started my third, followed by using my newfound creativity on the £4 bunch of carnations I bought at the supermarket a few days ago……will put off packing boxes for a week or so……

#floristry #learner #carnations #summer #goodbye #housebuying

House buying

So I am in the middle of buying a house at the moment and the stress is phenomenal. This is the third house I have tried to buy in a year, the other two fell through for various reasons, and I am all of a week away from exchange. It feels like it will just never happen. Now a week in the real world is nothing I know but when you’re waiting on something you’ve been waiting two years for, and twice already been let down, it’s a bloody long time!

Childbirth twice, a divorce, raising two puppies…..all a breeze compared to this. Whoever invented the house buying system in this country…what were they thinking?! And why has no one ever changed it……no wonder more people choose to rent these days.

I have lists all over the place, lists of address changes, lists of things needed to buy, lists of all the lists and at the same time am trying to keep the kids’ routines as normal as possible and not lose my mind. No wonder I can’t keep a job down!

And of course I choose this time to start a new venture in my life, possibly a new business….

All this sitting around waiting though has given me time to think about a ‘niche’ to my new venture. As a newbie to floristry I will struggle to compete with the established experienced businesses so I need a USP…..something a bit different.

It came to me on the way back from the school run today, walking off track with the dog, looking at the wildflowers struggling in the first frost of autumn this year, as I dodged the mud patches and other dogs’ offerings that lazy owners don’t bother picking up (there are whole Facebook threads and pages devoted to people complaining about this issue so I won’t go down that route).

Once home I scoured Pinterest for examples of my new idea and there are some fantastic examples out there it seems…..I must now learn to re create them and add my own touches.

So I am going to try drying flowers and making arrangements/keepsakes from them. This can then be used for brides wishing to preserve their wedding bouquets, for loves ones wishing to preserve flowers from funerals, for new parents preserving flowers received on the birth of their babies and so on. As for the arrangement/display ideas I’ll work on that, for now I’ve to learn about which flowers dry well and how to dry them in the cupboard under the stairs (which at the moment is empty due to being packed up ready to move so that’s quite handy!) I’ll record my attempts on here so you can all have a giggle!

As well today I had a play with fake flowers I recently bought……

#driedflowers #weddings #funerals #floristry #fakeflowers #arrangements #displays #housebuying #movinghouse #stressful