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Pumpkins One, Two, and Three (and Me)

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Entries in flowers (5)


Summer weddings.

Nancy bouq closeup

I had the good fortune to do two floral design gigs recently (I wear many hats you see).  I love summer weddings--especially when a bride embraces color.  Here are some favorites from the two events.  They were on the same day but so different—one was soft and romantic.  The other, bright and fun.  I loved both palettes and the resulting designs.  But most importantly, so did the brides.

Nancys bouquet

Nancys bouq wrapping Grooms bout IMG_3894

The key to pretty flower arrangements?  Er…start with pretty flowers.  And don’t stress about the colors.  They all “go”…

Lisa and Rick reception flowers

Ricks boutL n R sweetheart table L n R reception close up

Caryn and I have slowed down a bit taking on events—life and kids and real jobs and all that.  But every time I get to work with flowers, I must say, I fall in love all over again.



More flowers.

I got to play with flowers over the weekend.

It was for a wedding we attended and we had a lovely time.  To be clear, the lovely time was had after the flooding and power outages were resolved.  Am I dwelling on the natural disasters?  I think I might be.  I know I've already mentioned themTwice.  But honestly!  It was a bit much.

Because as you might imagine, having lights, a working refrigerator and, I don't know, air conditioning when it's 90 degrees out, are all fairly important when designing flowers.  Especially wedding flowers, as one likes to manipulate them to peak as if on cue.  And I really would have liked having my basement space  per usual for flower gigs.  But after the flooding, I decided I'd better just work out of the kitchen.  Luckily, everything turned out fine.  I should really try to remember that things usually do have a way of working out.  It would save myself quite a bit of stress.

The bride requested a color scheme of white and blue, which can be a challenge because very few true blue flowers exist--most lean towards violet or lavender.  I decided to work with hydrangea, agapanthus, delphinium, and thistle for the blue.  For the white, roses, freesia, lilies, and more hydrangea. 

I adored how the arrangements turned out.  You really cannot go wrong with white and blue; it will always feel fresh.  And most importantly, the bride loved them.


Especially her bouquet...she asked for an organic looking bouquet, not round.  This seems to be a trend and I'm a fan.  A past bride said it best--flowers shouldn't look stressed out.  But I find it amusing (and by amusing I mean curse worthy) how hard it is to make something look "natural" but still refined.  Maybe I just need more practice.  Or maybe I struggle because perfectionism has no place there.    



Let's do flowers.

I've mentioned that I do special event flower design on the side.  It started about six years ago when my good friend Caryn and I did the flowers for a family wedding.  More friends followed...then referrals...and now, we get a manageable stream of clients from various forum postings and word of mouth. 

I love flowers and always have.  Even back when I had a grocery budget of only $20 a week, I would spend $5 of it on flowers.  One might think that a "floral designer" would only fill her home with the most exotic flowers.  Think again.  I don't have time (or the funds) to go to the flower market and make up an elaborate arrangement every week--but I do try to always have fresh flowers in our home.

So I thought I'd start a fairly regular post on how you can take even the most pedestrian of blooms--straight from your grocer--and turn them into something special.  I didn't think of this until after I put this week's arrangement together, but from now on I'll take pictures of the process so I can give pointers and how tos.

This week, I resisted the temptation to do an overly fall-themed I'll be doing that for our Thanksgiving centerpiece.  Instead, I chose cushion poms in a fresh green and paired them with white alstromeria.  This way, the arrangement will transition nicely when I begin hanging Christmas decorations this weekend.  I cut the blooms fairly short to make the arrangement appear quite full and just nestled the poms here and there--it couldn't be simpler.  The best advice I can give you if you're unsure of how to arrange flowers is don't fight nature!  As one bride put it, "the flowers should not look stressed." 

It really only takes a few extra minutes to set out and maintain a fresh bouquet of flowers--but the instant impact it makes on your space is immeasurable.  And as for cost, this arrangement came in at $9 and the hardy blooms I've chosen will last 10-14 days with proper care...and set out on my foyer table, it reclaims my entryway and asserts "do not pile mail/hats/or any decapitated toy parts here"--can't beat that.

Be sure to check back for a regular series on flowers. 


Back home.

We are back.  And I cannot believe how tired I am.  Five nights, six days of Disney.  I will no doubt put together a post of some highlights.  But not yet.  Because right now I need a day or two of just being back home in a Disney-free space.

We got in late last night.  And before we left, I offered to help out a friend's brother with their wedding flowers.  Their wedding is tomorrow, so I put together some bouquets and other personal flowers this morning. 

The friend is Max's former kindergarten teacher.  We have really lucked out with teachers at Max's school.  His current 1st grade teacher is amazing.  She has a blog for the parents and posts regularly on everything that the kids do--she even includes short video clips and pictures.  It's really incredible.  And Max happens to have made good friends with a lovely girl whose mother is also a first grade teacher at their school.  They have benevolently taken him under their wing several times for outings and other fun activities (like staying and playing in her empty classroom after school which Max thinks is the coolest thing).  And of course, Max's first crush, his kindergarten teacher.  We are extremely lucky that she still treats him like one of "her kids" even though he's moved on from kindergarten and she has a new batch of students. 

Last year, Max's kindergarten teacher really helped him develop a love for school.  So how does one go about repaying someone for such a gift?  Well, you can't.  But you can at least try, say, with a bridal bouquet for her soon-to-be sister-in-law.

The couple chose a palette that is more typical in spring and summer weddings--cool blue, lavender and purple, with touches of magenta.  The picture they showed me had spring foliage, such as hyacinth and  fiddlehead ferns, so I had to adapt their dream flowers to a fall interpretation.  I went with hydrangea, delphinium, privet berry, veronica, and freesia. 

For bridesmaid bouquets, I added in Peruvian lilies (alstromeria) and switched the magenta freesia to white.  I used coordinating flowers for the boutonnieres and corsages.  To make the groom's boutonniere stand out, I added a sprig of hydrangea.

After this gig on the heels of our trip, it's safe to say you could poke me with a fork.  But "done" is relative as I have two suitcases of laundry and an empty fridge calling my name.  And since I've been out of the kitchen for a week, I also have dough proofing and a ton of cooking to catch up on.  Then there's the three Halloween costumes to finish.  But at least I don't have to stand in line to tackle any of these.  It's good to be home.  Happy Friday!

p.s.  I was super excited to return to find that my post on the Switch Witch was featured on Tip Junkie.  I love that site!!

p.p.s.  I was not excited to return to find that none of my auto posts posted.  I suppose turning them on would've helped.  A second craft along give away as well as more Halloween crafts were supposed to post--I'll get them up asap so be sure to check back.


Flowers and marriage.

My good friend Caryn and I sometimes design flowers for special events.  We work mainly through referrals so are often amazed when anyone contacts us cold.  But thanks to several lovely comments on boards like Indiebride, we get a regular stream of interest--it's quite honestly as much as we can handle considering our other commitments.

Today we did the flowers for a wonderful bride named Holly.  We love fall weddings and the palettes that they inspire.  I'm also more than a bit biased because nine years ago, on a beautiful Columbus Day weekend, I married my wonderful husband.  I didn't do flowers then so it pains me a bit to look back at our photographs and see what our florist designed.  I went classic with all red roses and touches of pepperberry.  I do still love that look--and the bouquets photographed beautifully--but now that I know so much more about flowers, I would have added more variety and texture.  And although I'm not usually the biggest fan of yellow (I think it has something to do with my mother's obsession with yellow.  And the ruffled, floral, yellow canopy I stared at for untold hours as a child), today's palette is a favorite.  It reminds me of a sunset.

I'm headed, as a guest this time, to another wedding tomorrow.  I know some may not want to spend their anniversary weekend at another's wedding.  But I actually like it.  I love thinking back on our special day and there's no better place to do that then when I'm sitting in a pew, squeezing my sweetie's hand, and watching others take their vows.

As my mind wanders over the details of our wedding, it's funny what comes back so vividly.  I've always been crafty and so I think most everyone was braced for what I'd pull out for our wedding--programs, name cards, embellishing my own shoes with silk roses, etc., you know how it is.  But I think that even my parents--who have witnessed my craft frenzy first hand longer than anyone else--thought I'd overshot  it when they found me in my kitchen one morning resurfacing my table with a tile mosaic.  I hated the finish on that table.  And it didn't concern me at all that it was three days before our wedding and just two days before our open house bbq that all guests were invited to.  (BTW, I got it done.  It was gorgeous and made me smile instead of wince and it's now the table I sew on in my craft space). 

Happy Columbus Day!