My Day of the Dead shrine is taking shape, and so is the Crafty Chica Challenge! Please submit photos of your personal and crafty shrines for a chance to win some really great prizes. My take on the celebration is far from traditional, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I started with gathering supplies and prepping the space. Then yesterday I made some glitter clothepins to hang photographs of my friends and family. Today I’m sharing the fresh and colorful flowers. I used roses gladiolas, zinnias, mums, amaranth and other wildflowers from the Occidental Farmer’s Market. Working with the flowers is one of my favorite parts of building this shrine. To prepare the flowers, I removed all the leaves from any part of the stems that would be under water and gave each flower a fresh cut. I will re-cut the stems of each arrangement every few days and change out their water to give the flowers the longest vase life. The set up for the shrine includes some glass vases, but I also put flowers in a gravy boat, my grandmother’s Bauer juice pitcher, and a tiny teacup. To get the zinnias to fill the wide mouthed gravy boat, I used a cage frog. It has wide spaces for holding the stems at any angle. The holder stands the flowers up so that it takes fewer blooms to create a dramatic look. I also took a tiny zinnia and two little flowers from my yard and put them in a very small container. I cut the stems to less than 1 inch so that they wouldn’t throw off the balance of the ity bity vase. This little treasure is actually from Iran, but its shape and color fit right in with my chaotic theme and colorful theme. All that’s left to complete the vision is the addition of my nostalgic mementos, offerings and candles!