Honeysuckle and Hilda

Journal

Pretty in Pink

 Flat lay by: Honeysuckle and Hilda  Photo by : Claire Bowen

Flat lay by: Honeysuckle and Hilda

Photo by : Claire Bowen

It's been a busy few weeks of visiting relatives and receiving guests, and last month I tried really hard to post as many festive florals onto my Instagram as I reasonably could. It has finally caught up with me today, and suddenly I am tired beyond measure. I started running a hot bath, and surveyed my new box of Aromatherapy Associates oils. Each year, their Christmas boxes get a little bigger in their selection of choices "Light relax", "Deep relax" "Revive morning" "Revive evening" "Support breathe" " Support Equilibrium"... and so on. Today I searched in vain for "Holy Crap, I'm actually dying", but it appears that one hasn't yet reached the production stages. Too bad, as that is definitely the one I needed at that moment. Perhaps when the next online survey pops up, I'll recommend that they consider it.

Anyway. Having lowered myself into the tub, I looked on the bright side, insofar as I had made good use of my recent flower acquisitions and created not one, but five different pieces from the same set of blooms. As has been well documented - some might say to the point of being boring - I really do try to use British grown flowers where possible, but recent circumstances had seen me acquiring all manner of flowers from various provenances. A pang of conscience, combined with Scottish thriftiness, meant that I had undertaken to use the materials more than once, so that I could build up a set of images to post over the next few days. This meant the pressure was off for a little at least. Or so I thought. Because no sooner had I thought this than a comment under my last IG post popped up, badgering me about writing blog posts more often, or some such nonsense. And just a few minutes later, a text from someone else saying the same thing. Pft. 

I hadn't even begun to imagine what another post would look like. What on earth could I reasonably write about, given that the only thing I had done was to create several pieces from the same set of (predominantly) pink flowers? When I think of anything pink, more often than not I think of the term "Pretty in Pink" which, in itself, points back to my taste in cheesy 80s films and clothes. After all, it's not that long since I referenced Ally Sheedy emptying out her handbag in The Breakfast Club, and to progress to Molly Ringwald just because the flowers I used were pink seemed a bit lazy. 

I lay back, I submerged myself a little further in the water and drifted off into a land of Andrew McCarthy and James Spader, a land of fingerless lace gloves and other 80s fashion accessories and then it came to me. To be really honest, it's still a bit tenuous, but for now it's all I've got. 

First of all, I need to start with the unfinished arrangement I had tried to pull together, but hadn't quite finished, earlier in the week, together with the bouquet of flowers brought down from Yorkshire by Katie of Ponderosa and Thyme. 

As discussed earlier, I had come to the realisation that, in order to make one really good piece, I was going to have to do as Katie told me, and take apart her flowers in order to use them in my own work. And this is where Molly Ringwald comes into her own. Some people will be as familiar as I am with classic 80s cult teen movies, others won't, but there is a great scene where Andie (played by Molly) pulls apart a dress from the thrift store and an old dress of Iona's to create something entirely new. I am secretly rather pleased that the first time I decided to (ok, worked out how to) incorporate a Youtube video into my blog, it happens to incorporate an excellent 80s soundtrack:

And so it happened with my flower arrangement, by taking apart one of them and adding its components to the other, I ended up with exactly what I had in mind after all. As with so much of the 1980s, more was definitely more. In retrospect, though, I wish I had had the foresight to get Charles to film me pulling bouquets apart and making them into a new arrangement, complete with a synthpop tune in the background. Next time...

 Flowers by: Honeysuckle and Hilda  Photo by: Claire Bowen

Flowers by: Honeysuckle and Hilda

Photo by: Claire Bowen

And, really, that should have been that. Except that, as mentioned earlier, I am a canny Scot and one that was suffering from a tinge of guilt about the non British provenance of several of my flowers. So I took another deep breath and took this arrangement apart too. I could have lived very happily with it for many days, but if, to quote Emma of A Quiet Style, I was "to get more for my money" I realised I should really reinvent these flowers once or twice more. And so I did. There was another, smaller arrangement, below:

 Flowers by: Honeysuckle and Hilda  Photo by: Claire Bowen

Flowers by: Honeysuckle and Hilda

Photo by: Claire Bowen

And then, an even smaller one still:

 Flowers by: Honeysuckle and Hilda  Photo by: Claire Bowen

Flowers by: Honeysuckle and Hilda

Photo by: Claire Bowen

And, then, a second flat lay. By now, as everyone entered Blue Monday, my Instagram feed was looking decidedly pink. But, fear nor, the ubiquitous bun tin, beloved of so many Instagrammers, was put to good use, so I was at least channelling the right devices. 

 Flat lay by: Honeysuckle and Hilda  Photo by: Claire Bowen

Flat lay by: Honeysuckle and Hilda

Photo by: Claire Bowen

And, lastly, for those of you holding your hands in despair, thinking that I don't know that Rose Quartz was Pantone Colour of the Year in 2016, and that this year we are all about Greenery - here is a foliage only bouquet that I inadvertently made whilst tidying up from the flat lay. I am considering the "man bouquet" as a natural progression from other Metrosexual accoutrements such as the "man bag". This one was reluctantly modelled by my poor husband who was only prepared to show a little bit of lower arm, still smarting as he is from a 4 year old child enquiring of him at the weekend whether he had accidentally swallowed a pumpkin. I guess that's the problem with four year old children occasionally saying the wrong thing. When this one grows up a little more, he will discover the the world of social media is such that no self-respecting floral designer would have a pumpkin or any other kind of gourd in her home beyond November. But he is still young, and has much to learn!

 Man Bouquet by: Honeysuckle and Hilda  Ribbon by: Susanna Luck  Photo by: Claire Bowen

Man Bouquet by: Honeysuckle and Hilda

Ribbon by: Susanna Luck

Photo by: Claire Bowen

And lastly, a postscript, which is a reference to my other favourite Molly. I haven't even met her yet. but just before Christmas, there was another girl from the wrong side of the tracks who tugged on the heart strings of someone rather classy. I am pretty sure that if she gets dressed up in anything at all, it won't be pink polka dots and lace. And whatever pack she orginally came from, it wasn't the Brat Pack. So, instead I give you Molly Statham, looking pretty with her little pink nose. Her entry into the world flower fettling is one I am very excited about, and as such, unlike much of this post that precedes this paragraph, she deserves to have attention lavished upon her. I have seen evidence on Instagram she is already being taught to dance by her mistress, so perhaps she too will be at her Prom before long. In a brown velvet gown. You know what I'm saying.

 Molly Statham, pretty with her pink patches  Photo by: Simply by Arrangement

Molly Statham, pretty with her pink patches

Photo by: Simply by Arrangement

Claire BowenComment