Eleven Gables Kitchen as featured in Design Oklahoma Magazine

Over the summer, an Instagram follower reached out to me and asked me if I happened to live in Oklahoma.  When I replied that I did, what happened next literally gave me goosebumps.  She explained that she was the editor for Design Oklahoma, a premier design magazine and an off shoot of Slice Magazine (THE magazine of central Oklahoma).  She wanted to shoot my kitchen for their fall issue of Design Oklahoma.  Could she swing by the next week to check it out and schedule the photoshoot for two weeks following that?  Um... let me think about it?  YES!  It was perfect timing.  My three oldest boys would be at camp all week, so the house would be clean and (almost) kid-free for the shoot.  

The day before the shoot was beautiful.  I ran around town picking up last minute props (i.e. flowers, bread, cheese, salami).
My friend Jennifer, from DimplesandTangles blog, who happens to be the QUEEN of table settings, came and helped me style the shoot.  It is always nice to have an extra set of eyes when moving furniture, styling, or just decorating in general.  This is how I learned to decorate... I was my mother's extra set of eyes!

On the day of the shoot, it was gray and raining.  Not a ray of sunshine whatsoever.  This actually turned out to be perfect because the morning sun in the kitchen can be glaring at times.  The stylist/editor showed up with flowers and props, but guess what... she didn't use any of her things and loved everything just as it was!  YAY!  It was so much fun to follow and watch the editors, the photographer, and the graphic artist from behind the scenes.  I learned to look at my kitchen with a new perspective.  

After the shoot, the sun came out and I went around with my iPhone (my camera quit working that morning! maddening!!) and recreated some of the photographs that were shot.  A few days later, on the day that the boys returned home from camp (i.e. stuff everywhere!), the sweet writer dropped by and interviewed me for the article.  

New friendships were formed and so much was learned in the process.  I hope you will hop over and read the article for yourself after perusing my iPhotos (insert frowny face). I will include a link to the stunning photography and article at the end of this post!

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Reviving a Wilted Hydrangea

I had NO IDEA Hydrangeas could be revived from their droopy, sad state.  Did you?

When my kitchen was recently photographed for a local Design magazine, I splurged and purchased many gorgeous hydrangeas for the photoshoot (photos from the shoot will be revealed soon!).  After spending quite a few hours styling the flowers and the kitchen, I woke the next morning to find the hydrangea in a devastating droopy state.  Lucky for me, I had a few hydrangea bushes in the landscape so I quickly grabbed some clippings and replaced the droopy blooms.  The editor of the magazine saw my distress and asked if I had soaked the blooms overnight.  I obviously had no idea what she was talking about.  She shared her secret with me and now I'm sharing that secret with you!

Step One:  Snip off about 1 inch of the stem, at an angle

Step 2:  Completely immerse the bloom in cool water (can be a large dish, sink, or even a bathtub) I added a scoop of ice to my water to get it cool.

Step 3:  Wait several hours or overnight and your bloom will miraculously be lush and gorgeous!

Voila!!  Your hydrangea is full and beautiful again!

I've read about Alum spice being used to keep Hydrangea fresh and dipping the stem into boiling water, but haven't tried either of these techniques.  I typically just change the water every few days and snip the ends for hydrangeas that last quite a long time.

Do you have a secret for keeping Hydrangeas, or any other flowers for that matter, lasting longer?  I'd love to hear your tips and tricks!!