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The Flower Recipe Book + Floral How-To from Studio Choo

by Grace Bonney

I have no doubt that the single greatest thing about my job is getting to work with people who inspire and continually impress me with their dedication, talent and creativity. Two of those people are Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo of Studio Choo. For two years they wrote “We Like It Wild” for Design*Sponge and overwhelmed us (in a good way) with incredibly lush images of trees, plants, flowers and gorgeous events that use natural materials as a focal point. I’ve anxiously awaited their next project, The Flower Recipe Book, for over a year now and I’m so excited to finally have a copy and to share a peek inside its pages today. It’s a pitch-perfect combination of beautiful and functional.

Showcasing over 100 floral creations, The Flower Recipe Book breaks down flower arrangements as if they were recipes: including ingredients, how-to steps and ideas for altering arrangements to suit your style. The book also includes floral toolbox basics, flower history, facts and tips for pronouncing floral names and caring for them. It’s rare to see something so incredibly functional and practical combined with such gorgeous photos and styling, so I’m really happy that these two incredible women are the people behind this project. I can’t wait to pick up another copy when it hits stands on April 16th and check out their book tour in person. It’s definitely not to be missed.

Today Jill and Alethea are sharing two how-tos from the book- I hope you’ll enjoy them! If you’re a peony fan like I am, you’ll definitely want to check them out. Thanks, Jill and Alethea! xo, grace

All images and how-to text are excerpted from THE FLOWER RECIPE BOOK by Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2013. Photographs by Paige

The full floral how-tos continue after the jump…

Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo of Studio Choo

Arrangement: Peonies on their own
Flowers: 9 Peonies (the same variety at different stages of openness)
Vessels: 2 Blue Mason Jars

1. Trim and add three stems to the first jar so that the blooms rest 2 inches above the rim.
2. Trim and add 4 stems to the same jar so that the bottoms of the blooms sit just above the first 3 flowers, creating a tight mass of blooms.
3. Trim and add the last two stems to the second jar so the blooms sit at slightly different heights, a few inches above the rim.

Arrangement: Peonies “with company”
Flowers: 7 branches of viburnum berries, 5 peonies, 7 poppies (a mix of buds and flowers), 9 stems of flowering oregano.
Vessels: Low wooden box

1. Choose a large low box to create a centerpiece that won’t block conversation. Place a watertight liner in the box so that it is not visible above the rim. Create a tape grid on the box with 1-inch-square openings.

2. Trim the viburnum berry branches and place them in a grid so that the berries drape over the sides, hiding the tape.

3. Trim and add the peonies through the grid so that the bottoms of the blooms rest on either the base layer or the rim of the box. Create a cluster of three on one side and two on the other.

4. Trim and burn the stems of the poppies (hold the cut ends over a lighter for a few seconds) and add the poppies to the box, filling the empty spaces around the peonies. Finish by trimming and adding in the oregano, letting the stems arc out several inches from the composition.

More previews from The Flower Recipe Book below….

Dahlia arrangement “recipe”

Orchid wreath “recipe”

Ranunculus arrangement “recipe”

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