Sunday, November 29, 2009

Red and White Bouquets

My client Sally had requested white gardenias for her bridal bouquet. She wanted the ones with the elongated petals. Her maid of honor and flower girl she decided on red hydrangeas. This is how her bouquets turned out.
I'm still working on her corsages and boutonnieres which are about 15 in total. Almost done. Makes me get excited for Christmas. Sally's wedding is not until January, but she has her bridal shoot photos before Christmas so she asked me to ship them early.
Sorry for the delay in my blog posts, but on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, my maternal grandma passed away. She was 94 years old. She was such a strong and loving woman and I realize now that she is gone how much of an affect she had on our lives. She leaves behind a wonderful legacy and will miss her dearly.

Don't forget 16 more days before my 10% discount sale ends on my Etsy site so if you've been tempted to purchase one of my items on my site, now is the time! I don't offer sales too often so take advantage!
Click on the below logo to go to my Etsy site.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

First Ever Sale/Discount Offered on My Etsy Shop!

So, in keeping with Black Friday or just because it's a good time for a sale, I'm offering my first ever, discount on my DK Designs Etsy shop! From 11/26 - 12/15, I will be offering a 10% discount on anything in my shop. This does not apply to custom orders, but will apply to anything new that I add to my shop between now and 12/15.
This is my way of showing my appreciation for all the wonderful business I have received since I joined Etsy!
So if you've been dying to buy a DK Designs original clay flower arrangement for yourself or someone you love, here's your chance to save. The discounts will be given through a partial refund via PayPal.

Happy Shopping! Hopefully I'll be able to offer more discounts and sales in 2010! Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Black Flowers???

Earlier this week I got an unusual request from a dear woman who is an integral part for Spirit Jump and helps Meaghan in her endeavors to help others. She is going to a company holiday party in conjunction with Ann Taylor. She said she was wearing a black velvet dress. So I asked her what flower she'd like and she said, "something in black." WHAT??? So, I put my creative thinking cap on and showed her a picture of a purple anemone I recently made and told her maybe we could do it in black. Since black can be a drab color (even though it's seen as a very elegant color as well), I decided to add a little sparkle and some fun things like feathers!

So this is the work in progress. I decided to put it on a hair comb due to it's size. I'm excited to finish it and who knows, maybe I'll be offering this on Etsy. It is quite dramatic. :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Guess what arrived in the mail today?!!! Southern Weddings Magazine!

I've been waiting for the postman to deliver my copy of Southern Weddings Magazine all week. I was hoping that I'd get it earlier in the week, but after seeing the blog post from the gals at Southern Weddings, they did a big post office shipment on Thursday! So, when I got home yesterday from my show, there it was waiting for me on the kitchen table! I ripped it open (very carefully mind you) and oohed and awed over how gorgeous the magazine is. It's definitely got it's own unique look and does not look like any other weddings magazines I've seen on the market. The gals at Southern Weddings Magazine have a wonderful and unique style all their own.
They even gave me a complimentary copy even though I ordered one online as well and it came complete with a really sweet thank you for my contribution to their magazine. I should be the one thanking them profusely for asking me to be part of the Fab Finds section!

Like I said, this team of talented women and the resources and people who help them create this magazine all have wonderful Southern charm. They truly are top notch, sincere and appreciative of all who participate in their wonderful journey of creating a niche bridal magazine. I love their groom's section as well. FABULOUS LADIES! :) Can't wait to get my hands on the next issue. Much continued success with the magazine and your blog. I'm definitely hooked!

Click on the pictures or the hyperlinks to order your copy today before they are all sold out. I have no question that they will sell out fast. I asked my local Barnes & Noble if they will carry it in California and they said, "no", so if you want to ensure that you get your own personal copy, order it direct from the gals at Southern Weddings Magazine!

If you'd like to purchase the hair flowers featured in the magazine, visit:!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A couple more pieces for Renew & Beautify

Early this morning, I had to make a judgement call as to whether I would be able to participate at Renew & Beautify because my son came down with a cold. We had a sitter lined up, but because she takes care of her nieces, we didn't want to expose her to any germs. So I had called Susan Davis to tell her the bad news. She called me back and graciously offered to man my booth. But my dad came to the rescue and said he would come by at 9 a.m. so I could get to the show and still man my own booth. What a relief.
Here are a few more pieces I finished today and a display piece I plan to show I love the canvas art piece. This was another C3 workshop project we had to complete. This one was a little challenging because I had to puncture through foam core, canvas and styrofoam! Not an easy task. Looks pretty amazing and I am excited to make more of these pieces. Yukiko always comes up with some really creative mediums for us to work with and I'm forever grateful to what she shares with us so that we can make it our own.Look forward to seeing some of you if you can make it tomorrow!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Another Beautiful Piece....

Today I switched gears a little and did a special DIY project with a business friend of mine. It was a bit of a learning curve,but it was successful. Can't share now, but will when it's out..... I know... I'm a big tease when it comes to giving you an update but not really! LOL.After my big DIY project ended I vegged out for a bit since I needed to recharge that creative energy. I finally had a chance to work on a couple more arrangements for Renew & Beautify. This is that white and green in an aqua blue mason jar concept I was alluding to in a previous post. It came out pretty much like what I had envisioned in my head. I LOVE this one... I feel like the pieces that really speak to me and catch my eye are the ones I have a hard time giving up. They are my little babies so-to speak, my creations that come from my heart and soul and countless hours making flowers with my two little hands. I love the simplicity of the colors and fullness from the peonies and hydrangeas. I love the lines and playfulness from the vines made out of clay. These flowers were what I learned last week during my C3 instructor's workshop classes I told you about, and I'm happy that I practiced them and ended up with a beautiful arrangement. I love these antique aqua blue Ball mason jars! They were the perfect touch. Initially when I got them, I thought they were too big, but now I have found the perfect flowers to place in them. I have 3 more jars to create new arrangements with and I'm excited to see what the next one of a kind creation unfolds.
If you like this piece, please stop by Renew & Beautify this Saturday, 11/21 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at DACOR in South San Francisco!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More Items for Renew & Beautify and a Sneak Peek at the Raffle Prize!

Still cranking out the flowers for this Saturday's Renew & Beautify event at DACOR, from 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Here are a couple more pieces that I finished and I also wanted to share what the raffle prize is.

This first piece I had made the wrong color roses for my other piece so I had extras and thought the combination of these garden roses worked well with the fuchsia pink plumeria and vibrant orange ranunculus.The next piece is all about plumerias. One of my favorites of all time. All delicately arranged with green grasses in a cobalt blue vase. Remind you of Hawaii?The last piece is the raffle donation. Last year I donated a large vase arrangement since I could not participate as a vendor due to my busy schedule. Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner (literally), I decided to make my fall arrangement again with some minor changes. Hmm... maybe I'll add some fruit. We'll see... Still have a lot to get done. By the way, all proceeds from the raffle will go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. I hope to have 4-5 more pieces completed by tomorrow and then it's back to switching gears and focusing on my upcoming wedding orders.We hope you'll make the trip to South San Francisco this Saturday and see what wonderful gifts you might find for friends and family for the holidays.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What's in Store for Renew & Beautify Attendees...

I've been extremely busy trying to pump out the flowers the last couple of days preparing for Renew & Beautify at DACOR's showroom in South San Francisco. It's always hard to come up with something new and innovative each time I do a special event or show. Granted I don't do many of them because they require so much work on my part. But I have this one and then another Garden Ar t Party with zenatona on 12/12. More on that later...

The above piece is my spin on the Christmas colors green and red. Well, you probably think something completely different than burgundy peonies and green cymbidiums right? I think they go together perfectly. The deep dark merlot colored flowers contrasted by the vibrant green of the cymbidiums and the detail of the mouth & throat tie the deep colors from the peonies. Not to mention the grasses match perfectly

This piece includes green double center English roses and two colors of pinball mums. Talk about citrus-infused, clean and crisp. That's what I feel when I see this piece. Makes me smile when I see it.
This piece I call "Passionate about Purple". It's been done a couple of times in different forms and slightly different shades, but it's one of my favorites. I played around with the petals after I learned some new techniques last week from my head instructor, Yukiko. I think this will always be one of my favorites because of the contrast between the blush purple and the deep, dark purple in the anemones. :)This is my new favorite. Let's just say, "Tropical Delight". It's whimsical with the loops of green grasses, the playful nature of the monkey tail ferns and the vibrant colors of fuchsia pinks, coral oranges, yellows and greens. I really fell in love with this piece. It's so hard to give these pieces up, but hopefully those who attend Renew & Beautify will love them as much as I do and purchase one for their home or as a gift to give to a special someone in their life. :)

I wanted to share a few of the pieces I've made for the Renew & Beautify event. I love how all of these pieces came out. I'm excited about another one that I'm currently working on which will be all white and green flowers in an aqua blue vintage mason jar. Hopefully it looks as good as it looks in my head. :)

So for details on Renew & Beautify, please visit: and we hope to see you at this wonderful FREE to attend event!

Ranunculus Hydrangea Arrangement Finds its Way on Etsy Storque!

I got a google alert this morning that there was a mention about my work. I clicked on the link and it was a feature on Home Decor (Etsy's take on HGTV's expert advice) ideas via Etsy Storque yesterday. Obviously my work is mostly seen to my clients as wedding related and although that's a big portion of my business, I also hope to get more into the interior design side of the industry. So seeing this article and the fact that this particular Etsy writer thought my Ranunculus & Hydrangea flower arrangement was worthy of the article and their Etsy Finds for home decor is very wonderful and continues to motivate me to work harder towards having more of a presence in the interior design community!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Renew & Beautify - Please Join Us Saturday, 11/21 at DACOR!

I'm catching up on my blog posts. I've been meaning to do a blog post on an upcoming event I'm participating in this Saturday at DACOR showroom in South San Francisco. So if you want to get a jump start on the holiday shopping before the mad rush of after Thanksgiving shopping commences, join us! Best of all, it's FREE to attend.

Renew & Beautify was created by Susan Davis of Spectrum Fine Homes. She herself once made handmade dolls and sculptures and felt a need for an event for small business owners, artists and crafters to be able to sell their items at an affordable price. Many of us cannot afford to pay for booth space at a fair or show as they are quite costly. We are fortunate this time around to have it at the DACOR showroom in South San Francisco. I'm so excited to be part of this event as last April/May I couldn't participate due to my busy wedding season.

There are some great artists and designers participating and some food demonstrations as well. There will be a raffle of some great prizes and all proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. This one was requested by me when Susan asked me last time to pick a foundation to donate towards. Because many of us are affected by breast cancer I felt most passionately about this one. I still have to decide what my donation piece will be. Better get back to the flower making so I have lots to show and sell on Saturday.

Hope to see you there!
Renew & Beautify
Saturday, November 21, 2009
11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
DACOR Showroom
871 Dubuque Ave.
South San Francisco, CA 94080

Kazuko and Yukiko Miyai Teach at DK Designs Studio!

Last Wednesday, I was very fortunate to have Kazuko and Yukiko Miyai at my DK Designs Studio to teach my students who are not yet instructors. I had 10 students come to take the special workshop class. Yukiko and Kazuko were very exhausted, jet lagged from their traveling from Japan and long days of teaching. To take class from these two amazing women is a REAL treat so it was one class I didn't want my students to miss.
They have not been back in the Bay Area for probably 6-7 years (around the time when I first started teaching in the Bay Area). It was very special for me that they see my studio done and to see how much the DECO Clay Craft Academy family has grown and continues to grow.
The class was made up of C1, C2 students and a couple of my instructors. The class focused on making tigers out of the CLAYCRAFT by DECO soft clay and the Elite clay. It was amazing how quickly Kazuko created this amazing tiger. I think in less than 10 minutes start to finish she had one done. TRULY AMAZING!!! My students were in awe, but they all got their chance to make 2 tigers. As you know 2010 is the year of the tiger and we always do Christmas and New Year's related projects around this time of year. Kazuko said she was VERY impressed at how well everyone did given their skill level. After we finished the tigers, they quickly demonstrated how to make a pinball mum. I love this new technique and flower and it looks so real!
I wanted to share some photos of the class. I hope that Yukiko and Kazuko will visit again next year and share their talents and knowledge with my students. We had some desserts and refreshments and I think everyone enjoyed the fellowship and some of my students commented that they would like to get together with more of the other students again. So maybe a Christmas party is in order (maybe not this year, but who knows)... It was a nice time. Myrna and I were exhausted because we did homework until 2:30 that night after that class.Thank you again to Kazuko and Yukiko and we look forward to having you teach again at the DK Designs studio in the not so distant future!

Where have I been lately? - C3 Clay Flower Workshops

My all-time favorite -peonies. I love the new techniques that we learned. They make the peonies look so much more realistic!

You all have probably been wondering why my blog posts have been so few and far between. I've been in taking intensive DECO Clay Craft Academy C3 Instructor workshop classes all last week. I'm thankful that my friend and student now turned instructor, Myrna of Petal Chic was staying with me so that we could encourage each other all those late nights of doing homework to be able to complete the next day's worth of projects. Let me tell you, Commuting an hour and a half each day, 5 hours of clay class with only 20 minutes to break for lunch and then working from 8 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. every night was brutal. I think we were starting to wonder if making flowers was fun anymore. LOL. Now I realize a little how intense it must be for my students who come for accelerated classes. Granted the homework level cannot compare to what we pumped out in 5 short days. I am grateful for the fact that I can do things very quickly after years of experience. That's probably the only reason why I was able to keep up. We didn't get a chance to finish everything, but it was nice to see my student instructors there and the other instructors I've come to know over the years.
Kazuko Miyai - helping the instructors paint the faces on their pear project.

Yukiko and Kazuko have really outdone themselves with the new C3 Instructor's course. Ranunculus and viburnum flower girl purse design - always amazed at Yukiko and Kazuko's creativity!

Very complex, detailed and over the top beautiful things to learn. I haven't taken classes in 2 years so a lot has changed even for me and I thoroughly enjoyed all the new developments that have transpired since then.These are absolutely amazing - large form hydrangeas with the "blaumeise" style hydrangeas
with the little buds in the center with vines made out of clay!

We even made birds and baskets out of clay! These were super fun and so creative.

Here are some photos of the workshops and the projects I completed. There is still more that I have to complete, but I only have 3 more things to work on and then I will have completed the first 4 courses. The next 6 won't take place until a year from now, but I'm so excited to start them when they are developed and ready to be taught. I'm always amazed at what Yukiko and Kazuko Miyai create out of clay. The possibilities are TRULY endless!

Only those students who become certified instructors are allowed to take these wonderful classes, but I have to say, I am so honored that Yukiko and her mother traveled from Hawaii and Japan to teach us for a week. They are extremely busy and we certainly appreciated them taking the time to teach us all these wonderful projects to share with new instructors moving forward. I'm also very proud of my instructors who I taught because they worked very hard to keep up and I think they all did a fabulous job.

DK Designs Clay Hair Flowers make the issue of Southern Weddings Magazine

(Image Courtesy of Southern Weddings Magazine)

Sorry I have not been blogging the last 2 weeks, but I've been away all last week taking some awesome clay flower classes with my instructors, Yukiko and Kazuko Miyai. More on that in another blog post..... I wanted to share some fabulous news! My gardenia and blush pink anemone hair flower made it into the 2nd issue of Southern Weddings Magazine!!!! I was so honored when I received an Etsy convo from Emily Ayer one of the art directors on the Southern Weddings Magazine team. I have to say, I have never met a more wonderful and downright sweet group of women who work for a STELLAR bridal magazine. It's true what they say about the South and their "Southern charm"!

(Image Courtesy of Southern Weddings Magazine)

I know that there's always a possibility that when asked by a magazine you may not make the final cut. So I was a little skeptical going in, but the week of the magazine's launch party I got a sneak peek of my spread! I made it into the Fab Finds section of the magazine along with Tiffany, Palomas Nest and many other talented wedding professionals!

I can't wait to get my hands on this magazine and see all the amazing photos and editorial. I missed my chance to get the 1st issue so I'm definitely excited to see what these talented women have created for the 2nd issue. I haven't yet seen the issue on newsstands here in California, but I hope it will make it's way down this way. Most of the distribution is in the South and Southeast. If you are dying to get a copy of it, you can order it online directly from Southern Weddings! Thank you again to the fabulous women of Southern Weddings Magazine, you truly are the BEST of the BEST!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Creative Theme Projects from My Students

I wanted to share a couple of creative theme projects that have been finished by my students. This first one is from my student, Jennifer who has been taking classes with me for almost 2 years. She decided to create her theme project as a gift to her grandmother who is turning 90 and they are all going back in November to celebrate. Her idea came from spending vacations on the beach with her cousins (all the grandchildren) playing cards, eating bento (box lunch), and having fun on the beach. The plumeria tree represents the tree in her grandmother's yard. The monkey in the tree has significance to her grandmother and grandfather who shared a love for monkeys and she explained that every birthday they would find each other cards with a monkey on them. She even has Diamond Head and a ship in the ocean in the background. Her base is a bamboo steamer! When she brought it in last night I was floored. Each of the grandchildren has a symbol on their shirt to represent what they do as a profession (football, veterinarian, dentist, pediatrician, and anesthesiologist). Jennifer is close to finishing. She isn't sure if she wants to teach, but seeing her creativity, I hope she'll teach others as I think she would be fabulous. Her techniques with her flowers continually improves and she puts a lot of thought into her projects. :) Needless to say, her grandmother is going to be so touched when she opens this one of a kind, handmade gift!
My other student Tracey recently got certified and is now an instructor. She is in Ontario, Canada. She got her inspiration from my other student's theme project (remember the oh so creative wine basket with the french bread and grapes made out of clay?). Tracey had originally decided to do an Easter theme project, but after seeing Irene's wine basket project she decided to rethink her project. She decided to do a cornucopia of all things fall and with Thanksgiving coming up she thought it would be festive.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Water Lily, Lily Pad and Dragonfly

One of my past brides recently contacted me and asked if I could help her out. A dear friend of the family passe away and she wanted to know if I could create a special sympathy gift. She asked for a water lily, floating on a lily pad with a purple dragonfly. So I knew how to do the water lily and dragonfly, but the lily pad??? Well, I figured it couldn't be that hard so I created what I thought looked like one since it would be hard to find a silk one since it's heading into winter.
I think the whole piece came out beautifully! Makes me feel calm and at peace when I see this and I'm sure that this is what is meant for the person who receives it. To know they are loved and that it may help bring peace, serenity and comfort.