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Thursday, December 9, 2010


As I mentioned last week, Thursday is usually reserved for our fashion, beauty, and travel editors, but with Christmas fast approaching, they’ve stepped aside to let decorating editor Jeanie Sims offer up some quick and easy holiday decorating ideas. Today Jeanie discusses floral arrangements. -- AP

Thanks, Anastasia! Many people love to decorate their homes with poinsettias this time of year. But what if you have small children or pets? Poinsettias are poisonous. Even if you don’t have to worry about toddlers who put everything in their mouths or nibbling kitties and puppies, poinsettias can be very temperamental. To keep them alive and colorful for more than a few days often takes far more time than most busy women can afford.

Of course, you can always shell out for a realistic-looking silk arrangement, available at many craft centers and various shops this time of year. However, they’ll take a huge bite out of your budget, and even though you can use them year after year, they tend to fade and look weary after a couple of years.

One simple and inexpensive solution is to use a combination of evergreens and branches from your own yard, adding a few decorative stems from the craft store. Use the branches as is or spray paint them white, silver or gold. Try some Snow-in-a-Can on the evergreen needles. No evergreens in your yard? No problem. You can purchase artificial ones at the craft store. The evergreen and berry stems shown in the photo were purchased for 50 cents a piece.

Place the branches and stems in clear glass vases or jars such as Mason jars or empty pickle or mayonnaise jars. Fill the bottom of the jar with floral marbles or stones for arranging the branches and stems. For larger and wide-mouthed vases and jars you can even use small ornament balls. Or fill the vases and jars with colored excelsior or red and green satin ribbon. Use your imagination.

Scatter the vases and jars around your house solo or in groups of varying sizes and heights. No one will notice you don’t have any poinsettias.

Great idea, Jeanie, especially for those of us who can kill a poinsettia with a look! Readers, how do you decorate for the holidays? Let’s hear from you. Post a comment, and you’re entered in the drawing for a free book from our Book Club Friday guest author this week. -- AP

1 comment:

Kathy said...

If you use real evergreen branches, the house will smell nice too.