Sad fact: I have never seen real cherry blossoms.
You don’t find them so much here in the Midwest and I have never been out east mid-spring when they are blossoming.
But one day we will time it right.
Actually, years ago, I dragged a friend into lunch at the famous Pool Room at the Four Seasons just so I could brag about eating a meal underneath a spectacular canopy of cherry blossoms. How grand would that be? It was to be a highlight of trip, but, lo, apparently they don’t have cherry blossoms in July. Apparently they store them somewhere in Yonkers for ten months a year and make you eat hot buttered shrimp under indoor palm trees.
So when I was taking suggestions for Friday Flowers, and Ann mentioned cherry blossoms, I thought the timing would be perfect. Next week would normally be the start of cherry blossom season, although, little did I know there would be a heat wave and the cherry blossoms would come early this year. I'm already behind the curve! So let’s not delay any further – let’s get started...
I’m not going to do a full tutorial on this one because I took 90% of my directions from this amazing paper dogwood tutorial from the team at Martha Stewart. I highly recommend you take a gander at the video.
As much as I like the dogwood shapes made from construction paper, I wanted something a little more delicate and colorful. So I swapped the construction paper for coffee filters (as if you didn’t already know how much I love me some coffee filters).
I dyed the filters by dipping the bottoms into a dye solution of one cup water + 20 drops red food coloring. If you don’t have food coloring you can use red water color paint. Your pick. I purposely used little liquid and LOTS of coffee filters so the tops of the filters would remain white, giving a more realistic, ombre pink and white appearance. There are probably 200 coffee filters here, but I only used ten to cover the whole cherry blossom tree. The rest will be used to make some other flowers down the road.
After the coffee filters dry overnight, cut them in half and then into simple four-leaf clover shapes.
Just for kicks, I dotted the outer edges with a red magic marker, but that looked a little harsh, so I blended them out with water.
Martha's tutorial attaches the flowers to the tree with hot glue, but that seemed too clunky for the coffee filters, so I chose to cut 1cm slits in each blossom and slipped them onto the tips of a barren branch. The branch is held in an old ice bucket anchored by sand. Please forgive the tarnished silver -- if you had seen that bucket when I found it at the thrift store, black as a skillet, you would appreciate the recent improvement!
Speaking of thrift stores -- did I ever show you the treasure Kelly found at a thrift store last fall?
Behold, it is Miss Piggy! Isn't she wonderful?
Original art. And the framing is so nice, too. It warms my heart to think of someone treating Miss Piggy's picture the same as a formal portrait. How she ended up in a thrift store, I will never know, but thank goodness she came my way. Thanks again, Kelly!
I like the idea of having a couple of these cherry blossom trees on a formal dining table. Maybe for a Seder. Or Easter. With eggs. Or not. Oh, I don't know, but if you try it, send pictures, por favor!
Are you anywhere near Washington DC in the next month? It's the 100th annual National Cherry Blossom Festival.
If you have two minutes today, watch this short documentary, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom. It is truly remarkable to think what beauty can survive the most horrific of disasters. Makes me that much more anxious to see a real cherry blossom one day :)