Maya Ibrahim returned home one night this month bearing an abstract painting on canvas that she had created at a friend’s house.
“We’re waiting for that to dry, and we’ll hang it up,” said her mother, Deanna.
It’s not Maya’s only work of distinction this summer, however.
Maya, a fifth-grader at Riverside Elementary School in Dublin, is the winner of this year’s Connells Maple Lee birthday card contest.
Her design, featuring presents, stars, party hats and a hand-lettered “Happy Birthday!,” will adorn the electronic card that kids club members receive on their birthdays in the coming year. Her prize is a free flower delivery on her next birthday.
The kids club is free to ages 5 to 12. With parental permission, children may register for the kids club at any Connells Maple Lee store or online at cmlflowers.com/kidsclub. Membership benefits include a membership card, website activities, an e-mail newsletter, contests and in-store events.
They say that it’s better to give than to receive.
But you could do both if you win this year’s Connells Maple Lee Kids Club birthday card design contest.
The winning design will adorn the email birthday card that every kids club member receives on his or her special day. The winning artist will receive a free flower delivery on his or her birthday.
The contest is open to kids club members, ages 5 to 12. If you aren’t a kids club member yet, you can register for free at cmlflowers.com/kidsclub.
To enter the contest, simply download the entry form here, create your design and drop it off at your nearest Connells Maple Lee store: 3014 E. Broad St., Bexley; 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City; and 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell.
The Connells Maple Lee Kids Club has offered coloring pages since its earliest days.
But we’ve never had one quite as poignant as the new one you see above. We created it in response to the fear and anxiety that children and even a lot of adults are experiencing in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
This new design shows a strong, vibrant iris rising out of a crack in a sidewalk and the powerful words of Corita Kent (1918-1986), an artist, educator and advocate for social justice.
Those words come from a longer quote: “Love the moment,” Kent said. “Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each is to succeed.”
For many of us, these are dark moments because of the harm the pandemic has done to people’s health and to the economy. We are fearful for the safety and well-being of ourselves, of our family and friends, of our fellow human beings.
In another quote, Kent noted that there’s a “huge danger” in pretending that awful things don’t happen.
“But you need enough hope to keep going. Flowers grow out of darkness.”
The blue iris, for instance, is sometimes described as symbolizing “faith and hope.” And those are two qualities that will serve us well in the days, weeks and months to come as each of us plays a part in the fight against the pandemic.
In 2019, according to aboutflowers.com, 28 percent of American adults (37 percent men, 19 percent women) purchased flowers for Valentine’s Day. Roses led the way, accounting for 84 percent of those purchases.
If you favor tradition, we have you covered with lots of rose options available for delivery or in-store pickup. But if you’re looking for a new twist, we can help with that, too.
Here are 10 unique ways to incorporate flowers into Valentine’s Day:
1. Try different colors: Red roses are No. 1 in popularity, but other colors such as yellow and pink and mixed colors are terrific options, too.
2. Experiment with other flowers: Consider carnations, tulips, orchids, lilies, which will give you even more color and cost options.
3. Send to your kids: Everyone loves getting flowers, and certainly your children will be excited when the flower delivery is for them. Our Sweet Hugs Bud Vase features two roses, Hershey’s Kisses and a six-inch white plush bear.
4. Go on a flower-shopping date: Unsure which flowers to give your significant other? Turn it into a positive by making a date out of stopping at your local Connells Maple Lee before dinner or a movie. Our staff is eager to help.
5. Thank a friend: How about a loving gesture of flowers for that loyal friend; you know, the one who stood by you through all of the ups and downs in your love life?
6. Reward great service: Every day, our lives are positively affected by others, from mail carriers to plumbers, waitstaff to dry cleaners. A single stem will let them know that you value the hard work they perform.
7. Make a candy heart rose bouquet: Place a clear glass vase containing roses inside a larger glass vase and fill the gap with candy conversation hearts.
8. Include a heart-felt note: Add oomph to your flowers when you craft a loving message to your significant other. You can bring it with you when you come to any of our stores. We’ll gladly include it with your delivery.
9. Give a gift to your hosts: Are you attending any parties around the holiday? If so, a bouquet of flowers is a thoughtful way to thank your hosts.
10. Commit a random act of flowers: Hand a dozen roses to someone with instructions for them to keep one flower and pass the rest of the bouquet to someone else, and on and on until you’ve touched 12 lives in a positive, loving way.
Maybe one or more of these suggestions will catch your fancy, or perhaps it will inspire you to come up with your own creative way to use flowers this Valentine’s Day.
The bottom line is that flowers are a time-honored way to show your love. And remember that options abound and our staff is always here to assist you.
There are places called Tulip in seven states, but you can send 15 boxed tulips anywhere in the continental United States for $59.99 as part of our direct-ship program.
New Vintage Tulips collection
Our new Vintage Tulips arrangements are available in four sizes and come with three (pink or purple vase), 10, 20or 40 mixed color tulips (colors will vary). New this year, each arrangement features accents of dusty miller and wax flower for a more vintage/Victorian feel compared with the country look of previous years.
Emily Mallis, Connells Maple Lee’s marketing manager, noted that dusty miller “is soft and slightly fuzzy and is a lighter green with some silver tones or maybe a white dusting.” Wax flower, she said, “has a beautiful fragrance when cut or touched.”
The Vintage Tulips line ranges from $16.99 to $89.99 and can be picked up at our stores in Bexley, Grove City or Powell or delivered within our market area.
As a hardy, affordable symbol of perfect love, tulips also are a popular option for Valentine’s Day.
A new year, a new Connells Maple Lee Kids Club event.
On Jan. 11, children ages 5 to 12 will have an opportunity to choose from a selection of flowers to create their own bouquets.
Time slots are available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Registration is required by calling your nearest Connells Maple Lee store: 3014 E. Broad St., Bexley, 614-237-8653; 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City, 614-539-4000; and 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell, 740-548-4082.