Host J Schwanke shows you that you don’t need to wait for that fancy event—there are many simple ways to make, wear, and share flowers. Wearing a flower improves your mood—and it’s easy to do with items you already have on hand in your home and garden.
Flowers to Wear and Share
There is nothing quite like wearing a flower... I grew up in a florist family so wearing flowers was tradition- as well as part of our daily PR for being florists… it started with my Grandpa Carnation Joe Green- so named because he always wore a Red Carnation every single day… it started in high school for him- and he kept it up his entire life… my Dad kept the tradition alive- wearing a Red Carnation every day himself- that is why the Red Carnation is part of my history, collectibles and lifestyle… there was always a glass at the kitchen sink with a Red Carnation sitting in it… at my Mom’s House and my Grandma’s House… and today I keep that Flower at the sink as a reminder of my history and a living symbol of my love for flowers!
Today on Life in Bloom- I’ll be sharing my favorite ways to Wear and Share flowers… let’s get started!
How to make a Boutonniere – History of the Boutonniere
The Carnation Boutonniere is truly my family history- but it goes much deeper than that… The French invented the button hole- while it was technically- a way to shut the front of the waistcoat- on a blustery day- it soon became part of fashion and remains a part of most formal wear and suit coats. Typically the button hole is sewn into the lapel- but it’s not open- so you do have go with a sharp utensil (I use a knife) like a razor blade or delicate scissors to actually create the opening… then you are able to place flowers directly through the button hole…
My Dad- had a collection of sports coats- (he loved ultra-suede and had on in almost every color- JUST NO BLUE- my Dad hated the color blue for some reason… ) each coat had a button hole and he would slip that red carnation into the button hole every day. The button holes were all stretched out… but they were his coats- and he loved wearing his Red Carnation- there are no pictures of him without it…
In this segment- I also show how to pin a boutonniere on your sports coat- for many this seems a tricky process- but when you know the secret- its actually quite simple and easy. You simply place the flower/bout on the lapel where you want it to be worn- and turn the lapel over- and run a boutonniere pin through from the back- from one side to the lapel to the other- grasping the bout on the other side… watch the video here… it’s harder to describe- but once you see it… you’ll see how simple it is!
Since I’m a 4th generation florist- I demonstrate how we would create a wired and taped Carnation Boutonniere- many professional florists- support the stems of the flowers with wire- and then add flower tape- a specialty tape that is coated with wax- when it’s stretched it adheres to itself- and it was the preferred mechanic for creating flowers to wear and even bridal bouquets for many decades.
Today it’s much more popular to gather a boutonniere – with a few flowers and secure it in place with a decorative wire and pin it to the lapel. The Tradition of the boutonniere came about- from a bride selecting a few tiny blooms from her bridal bouquet and slipping them into the button hole of the grooms formal jacket… so the boutonniere was actually created by the bride- and placed on the groom before they went down the aisle… interesting fact.
There are other historical notations- including the superstition that the boutonniere would ward off disease, evil spirits or the tradition- to overcome unpleasant odors… more interesting history!
For many years- during the Glory Days of Hollywood- gentlemen always wore boutonnieres- and folks like Cary Grant – perfered a White Carnation- or Red Carnation- depending on the event, time of day or occasion.
Vessels you can wear
My wonderful friend and mentor- Richard Seaboldt- left me his collection of Sterling Flower Vessels- these little vases- actually have a locking pin on the back (Like a brooch) and you can pin the vase to your lapel- (or women can pin to their dress, scarf or hat)… you fill the vase with water- and then add flowers. This simple Victorian tradition is wonderful- and I love sharing this little delicate collection with you… it would make Richard very proud to see his Wearable Flower Vases on National Television.
Flower Crowns have become a tradition for “Life in Bloom” and I make them at all my Live Events- it’s become a little ‘trademark’ for me- and I also enjoy teaching “Flower Crown” classes – I’ve done these for 100′s of people all across the USA… my favorite remark was a woman that sent me text- saying that she was a little down and decided to have a Flower Crown Day… she made a Flower Crown -out of flowers from her garden- and then sent me picture of her- Walking her dog- with the flower crown on… reading the paper- with the flower crown- washing the dishes with her flower crown- and even mowing the lawn- on her riding lawn mower with the flower crown. That’s Definitely a way to lift your spirits- and have some flower fun!
In this episode- I show how to create a FOLIAGE Crown- very same concept- only I used Foliage from the garden to create the crown. I selected the following foliage from my garden:
Snowball Viburnum, Mock Orange, Blue African Basil, Nine Bark, Crocosmia Pods, Hosta Leaves and Forget Me Not Foliage…
The process is simple and involves Aluminum Wire and Craft Covered Bind wire- I show you how to do it step by step in this segment of the show- watch Episode 212 – Flowers to Wear and Share here!
Recipe in Bloom- Cream Cheese and Chive Sandwiches with Edible Flowers
This is a wonderful way to include Flowers in your Hors d’ oeurves – and these edible pansies are colorful and delicious!
Flower Cocktail Hour- The Aviation Gin Cocktail
This classic cocktail includes a Flower Infused Gin- and Creme de Violette- to create this truly Lavender-colored martini coctail!
Flower Crafts- with Angela Cunningham- Creating Flower Rings, Bracelets and More
My friend and Newscaster Angela Cunningham joins me in the studio to create flowers to wear- that are not your basic corsage or boutonniere- You can learn more about my friend Angela Cunningham here. As Angela so eloquently suggests – “flowers make her feel pretty”- at the same time Angela concluded the flowers gave her Confidence… made her Stand Taller- and Walk with a different step”… that’s great motivation to include wearable flowers in our lives.
Of course there are health and wellness benefits to including flowers in our lives- and wearing them- allows us to bring those health and wellness benefits ‘on the road’… My Grandpa Carnation Joe- knew that flowers made him feel special – and that it also added to his well being- and confidence.
Angela and I show how easy it is to create flowers to wear- using Aluminum wire- (the same wire I used for the Foliage Crown) Today – jewelry crafting is popular- and you can purchase simple jewelry making tools at the craft store- along with decorative wire- to create bracelets, necklaces and other flower fashion jewelry- Angela and I touch on a few ideas in this segment- (Honestly- we had so much fun- that there will be a “BEHIND THE BLOOM- with Angela and more Flowers to wear- coming soon – to the website)…
I loved Angela’s observation and connection to the Great Billie Holiday – and Gardenias- (*one of my favorite flowers)… and I couldn’t resist having Gardenias for one of the projects- and simply tying the Gardenia (or two) to a simple headband- for Angela to wear… there’s nothing like the fragrance of Gardenias… and love how Wonderful she looked with the Gardenia in her beautiful hair.
Of course I continue with my “Life in Bloom” Tradition of a Flower Crown for my Special Guest- and Angela wore it well- it’s always wonderful to see how placing a flower on someones’ head- creates an amazing smile and shares the love! Watch this “Flowers To Wear” segment with my Wonderful Friend Angela Cunningham in Episode 212 – right here now!
Featured Flower- Mokara Orchid
The featured flower this week is the Mokara Orchid. The Mokara orchids is a genetically modified orchid that does not appear naturally in nature. The Mokara Orchid was introduced by hybrid experts in 1969 in Singapore. The Mokara orchid bloom is starfish shaped with 5 petals surrounding the center of the flower. Typically the flower blooms atop a stem from the top of the plant… rather than the base. The bloom stem is covered with 7-15 blooms.
The Mokara orchid is hardy and a good orchid plant for the beginner. The Mokara Orchid (like other orchids) is an Epiphyte – meaning that it clings to other plants for support in growing- however it is not parasitic- meaning that the Mokara simply lives upon other plants- and does not draw nutrients or nutrition way from the ‘host’ plant.
Flower Tip: Gluing a Corsage- with Garden Flowers
This simple flower craft- teaches you how to create a Corsage from flowers you have in the garden- using a bow as the base- and gluing the flowers into place with rubber cement- this is a simple craft that is fast and easy- and provides wonderful results.
I hope that you enjoy this Episode of “J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom”- that shares the joy of Flowers- and that you’ll be inspired to wear a flower or share one with a friend…