I found these beautiful blooms from the Pottery Barn Outlet and I cannot take credit for this great idea - but I noticed that on their display at the store, they had similar blooms with long stems all curled up at the bottom. I loved the idea of not covering or hiding the stems - but making them a part of the piece.
So with much toil and struggle to bend these very sturdy stems, here is my version.
(flowers at the outlet $.50 each, vase, $5.00 at a nearby store. Total cost: $11.00)