Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chinese New Year: a floral centrepiece

As Chinese New Year is upon us and Bonsai originated in China, this little Chinese farmer and his cattle seem very appropriate for the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit.

It is traditional for parents and adults to give children red envelopes filled with money (sometimes thousands) on Chinese New Year.  The amount has to add up to 6 or 8 (for good luck), so my kids will be receiving 80 cents each.  Aren't they lucky little munchkins (I can see them rolling their eyes now)!

The gold fish represents wealth and prosperity.

I found this beautiful silver 1950s-retro dish at our local op shop and I thought it would work perfectly for a little miniature scene on the table.

Chinese New Year Floral Centrepiece Recipe
  • 9 pixi (pom-pom) carnations or any other flowers/small foliage of your choice for the perimeter
  • moss
  • floral foam (available at discount stores, craft retailers and floristry suppliers) 
  • bowl, plate or saucer
  • very small pebbles (optional)
  • miniature figurines of your choice to create the desired theme - the ones I've used are from a bonsai store
Fill the dish with floral foam cut to size for your receptacle.  It doesn't matter if the foam is in bits and pieces around the corners.  Fill with water to soak the foam.

I had some green pixie (pom-pom) carnations left-over and thought they would create a really cute perimeter for the subjects inside.  Cut carnation stems to two inches (5cm) and poke them into the foam around the perimeter.

Then simply cover the middle with clumps of moss (if you can't get hold of any moss, very small pepples would look just as good) and add miniature figurines of your choice.

The characters I chose here are from our local Bonsai nursery - however it could be any theme you like e.g. fairy, fish, animal.  Whatever takes your fancy and brings your little make believe world to life!

I chose this exercise as it is so quick & easy and makes a cute interest piece for your table if you have guests.

You could even use a dinner plate or pot plant saucer as the receptacle - cut the stems really short if you choose to use either of these.

If you don't have any floral foam available just fill your bowl with pebbles as the filler and then place the trimmed stems of your flowers in the pepples around the perimeter and add everything else on top in the centre.  Poke your finger down inside the rim of the receptacle whilst filling so you know when a desired water level has been reached and voila - micro village.

Kung Hei Fat Choy: Happy Chinese New Year!

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