“The time has come, the Walrus said,
To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing wax–
Of cabbages–and kings”
When I saw the long-stemmed cabbages at the flower mart a few weeks back, I knew exactly what I wasgoing to create for our Alice in Wonderland/Queen of Hearts centerpiece. Cabbages and kings would be a major part of my table décor. I didn’t know exactly how it would figure as part of the party, just that it would be perfect for the event. I think that’s how Laurie and I often play off each other: We have used many hours of cell phone minutes working out the details of an event. This one proved no exception.
Weeks before the party, I set about creating the elements. I made a trip to Lowe’s, where I purchased a sampler can of bright red high-gloss paint and a couple very inexpensive wooden-handled paintbrushes. When I got home, I spread plastic wrap on my kitchen countertop, opened my can of freshly mixed paint and dribbled it onto the plastic wrap. Then I placed a 20-inch wire in my dribbles and laid my paintbrush at the end. I did this with both brushes and let them dry.
But it wasn’t quite the look I wanted, so a few days later, after my paintbrushes and dribbles were sufficiently dry, I went back, dipped another brush into my paint can and re-dribbled over my old dribbles (bummer, I actually had to clean that paintbrush). At last, I had what looked like paint spatters, now attached to a wire and a paintbrush. I thought that the plastic wrap would slide right off the back of my paintspatters–but no such luck. Instead I had to trim it off with a fresh single-edged razorblade. I now had perfect, almost cartoonlike paintbrushes, ready to paint my white roses red before the crabby Queen of Hearts discovers the error.
Since they were just short regular brushes and I needed them to stand out in the large centerpiece I planned to build, I got out my trusty hot-glue gun and glued them onto rose stems, where they would blend in with greenery of my arrangement. Only the paint brushes–and, of course, my artful paint spatters–would show at the top.
I also taped (with green floral tape) card picks to longer stems so they, too, would stand out. (Card picks are those plastic holders you get when a floral arrangement is delivered, along with a note from your honey.) I took all of the kings out of several decks of old cards, so I could put them in arrangements throughout the house. After all, Alice’s Wonderland does feature playing cards as characters. Yep, I buy my cards at Costco, so I had plenty of cards available!
Next I’ll show you how I assembled it.