Saturday, May 29, 2010

Destination Wedding - Orange, Green and Brown Color Palette

I did invitations several months back for a Southern California bride getting married in Mau'i. She asked me if I could do her place cards and matching table cards.
Her invitations had a beautiful set of orange and pink plumerias and was mounted on a citrus metallic green and bronze card stock. We carried the theme into her place cards and table cards. Best Wishes to Rebecca and Jim as the tie the knot on the beautiful island of Maui in a couple weeks!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

75 Rose & Hydrangea Clusters for Wedding Reception Napkin Rings

Fellow Etsy artisan Dorana contacted me last week to ask if I could help her with her sister's wedding. If you recall, I did the wedding flowers for Dorana's wedding last December. Dorana is the creator of

Granted her sister has said, "NO" to every little thing Dorana is trying to help her with. You know how it goes, you don't want your family to spend money on your wedding and you'll figure it out on your own. Dorana is so excited for her sister's wedding that she wants to help make it perfect so she's enlisted the help of many Etsy wedding artisans to make it happen.She asked if I could make napkin rings. She wanted mini roses with 2 hydrangea blossoms, all white with yellow centers for the hydrangeas. Due to the short lead time I told her I could make the flowers if she could do the ring. So it's a team effort and I'm excited to see how it turns out. :) She said if her sister doesn't like it she intends to use these lovely napkin ring flowers for other special occasions down the road as there will be many.

These are just a few photos of the 75 clusters of flowers I created in a total of 6 hours if that.

Custom Cake Flower Topper - Pink Peonies and Antique Hydrangeas

Is it me or does May seem to drag on? I guess in a way it's good I have a few days left as I have several orders to complete and ship by June 1st!I just completed 75 flower clusters (total time to make them was 6 hours) for another client for her sister's wedding (more on that later). I also have several custom cake topper/flower orders to contend with. Here's one I wanted to share with you today as I just finished it not too long ago.
This particular client wanted a freestanding cake topper to put on top of her tiered cake. She requested light pink peonies that had more of a closed or bud like center and antique green and pink hydrangeas.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Destination Wedding Ring Pillow

I'm so fortunate to work with a wonderful pillow designer who is willing to work with me to create this lauhala or pandan style ring pillow. I used this type of ring pillow for my own wedding. It's a great piece to add to your wedding ceremony and give a tropical or island feel!

I can't sew worth beans so I asked if my pillow designer could recreate the lauhala pillow for me. A little bit of trial and error on their part since they were not used to this material, but they did an awesome job. This was my first specific request as this bride saw one of my previous pillows and asked me to recreate it. I hope to be offering these through Estilo Weddings once I get through my very busy month of June orders!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Custom Color Lily Bridal Bouquet for a Maui Vow Renewal

I received an email from a client who is planning to have a vow renewal ceremony in Maui next month and she asked if I could make her bouquet. She fell in love with the purple anemone and blue hydrangea bouquet I made for a past client, but it wasn't in her budget. So we worked together to determine what she wanted. She finally decided upon a lily bouquet with purple roses and blue hydrangeas. She wanted the center of the lilies to be similar in color to the wisteria purple sash on her gown.
I often try not to do things that don't exist in nature, but when the client requests it, I follow through. I tried to make it as natural as possible and I think it came out very pretty. I think it will look stunning against her wedding gown.
Lots of things to work on in the next 2 weeks so I will have to update you but for now, I must get back to the studio and make a lot more flowers..

Friday, May 21, 2010

My "EPIC" Project Makes its Debut - Nesting Newbies Latest Issue

I've been alluding to an "EPIC" project that I was working on but was very hush hush until it launched. Well, without further ado, I can finally talk about it! The creators and editor-in-chief (Lea McIntosh and Jodi Murphy) of Nesting Newbies had a fabulous idea, what about making a lampshade pendant out of clay flowers. I jumped at the chance to work with these two fabulous and creative women. Jodi emailed me and said she got the lampshade/pendant and I couldn't meet her so I told her to drop it off and I would contact her when I received it. Well, little did I know how big this pendant lampshade was going to be. It was HUGE! I think literally it was 18-20" tall and the mouth was about 13-14" in diameter at the biggest part. She envisioned all white flowers with accents of yellow and green. I flipped out when I got the lampshade. This was no small task that lay before me.
I had to reorganize my schedule and fit this into my already busy wedding season, but Jodi and Lea are such great colleagues, I wouldn't let them down. I literally worked on this for 5-6 days straight. It was over 200 flowers - a mixture of poppies. peonies, cattleya orchids, English roses, ranunculus and hydrangeas. It took over 30 packages of white clay to create this piece. I had no idea what I was doing, but in the end, it looked fabulous. Lea told me after the photo shoot not 3 minutes into them putting it up a woman walked into the Room & Board showroom and asked to buy it! LOL.

So, for those of you wondering what happened to the lampshade pendant, well... You have a chance to win it via Nesting Newbies' Inbe'Tweet contest that starts in July. Make sure you fan them on Facebook and visit their site often for more details.
The 3rd issue has SO MANY amazing articles from cooking, entertaining to decorating! They continually outdo themselves with each issue and I know they have some amazing things cooking for the 4th issue! You would think that based on an online digital magazine such as Nesting Newbies that they have a large staff to produce such amazing photography, editorial and more. Well, it's a handful of very talented individuals who spend countless hours on this baby! They continually raise the bar and do this because they love it and are driven by the response from readers to create amazing eye candy and useful and well written editorial designed to help the reader create a stylish home!
Don't forget to enter to win the "bluebirdbag" swag mag contest! Another lucky person will win over $1500 worth of FABULOUS items from various sponsors!

I can't wait to find some time to read all the articles and try the recipes!

What do you do when you can't get fresh gardenias?

So what do you do when you can't get fresh gardenias? Hmm. clay flowers is a good option! :) I have a client who lives on the East Coast but is getting married in Sweden in July. She really wanted gardenias but it's not possible for her bouquet or her hair in Sweden at the time of her wedding. So she asked if I could make gardenias for her and incorporate them into her fresh flower bouquet. I've only done this once before and it was when I first started doing clay flowers. I decided to use a matte varnish on the gardenias for the bouquet to help keep the moisture away from the clay flowers. The matte varnish ended up giving the flowers a much softer and more realistic feel than I had expected.I am looking forward to seeing how Alexandra's bouquet turns out with the combination of the clay flowers and fresh flowers.
Alexandra also fell in love with the hair flowers that I did for Kristy and Hector's Big Island wedding which was featured on The Bride's Cafe blog, and so I recreated those for her. This is my first client to get married in Sweden so now I can say my clay flowers will make it's way to Sweden!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

New Hair Flowers....

I've been experimenting with feathers and rhinestones of late and I finished 3 hair flowers that I think will be a great addition to any bride's wedding day attire! For those who like a little bling, but something that's tasteful, this might be for you. I love the rich look of these 3 hair flowers that I just listed on my Etsy site.
I was working on some samples for a possible client and that's when I realized I had the making of a great addition to my hair accessory line. Feathers and rhinestone embellishments seem to be all the rage so why not add it to clay flowers?
Whether you like color or you want a more traditional color (white/ivory), these would be stunning statements in your hair. They would make for great hair flowers for every day wear or a special night out. More to come I'm sure as I get more time to create....


Taking a Much Needed Break....

The last couple of months have been EXTREMELY busy and to top it off, my son got pneumonia. Needless to say being a full time mom and owning your own full-time business takes its toll. I often feel bad that most of my time is spent working rather than spending time with Aidan. He understands his mommy has to work. He just got over pneumonia and the long hours that I've been working trying to do everything I need to get done to meet my deadlines was making me a little crazy. To the point where i had to remake hydrangeas for my client's bouquet 3 times to get it right. Granted the hydrangeas were used for other things, but that's when I knew I needed a day off.
Rarely do I take any days off, every day is somehow a work day for me. My husband and I agreed, we should get away for even just a day or two. So we booked a hotel at Shell Beach near Pismo. We drove down on Wednesday and stopped off at a place called Hoagies in Pismo Beach! OMG, awesome California style cheese steaks. Not a cheap lunch and it's probably enough to share with 2 adults. We couldn't finish the full sandwiches. We then drove back to the hotel to check in. Even our Boston Terrier joined us on the trip. He was a little freaked out, had no clue what the heck was going on.We took a little rest and then headed to the beach just below the hotel. Not a kid's beach, but with both my son and husband being sick, we just thought it would be nice for our son to just play in the sand and water. These are some of the shots I took of that day.
It was nice to get away for even 1.5 days and spend quality time with my family! That was my early Mother's Day gift from my guys. :)

Having Fun with my New Macro Lens

I've been wanting to buy myself a new macro lens, but as you know they are not cheap. I finally bit the bullet and invested in one and I've been having fun the last few days playing with it. I have to say, it's my new favorite lens! :) These are some shots I took of clay flowers and fresh flowers. :) The colors are so vibrant and the detail is amazing. I love how it can make the picture look almost like a painting too. This was my Mother's Day gift to myself. :) Happy Mother's Day to all the mother's in the world who have touched our lives!

Tropical Inspired Bouquet for a Wedding in Taos, New Mexico?

I am sure the title of this blog post sounds quite intriguing! My client Kirby contacted me and asked if I could create a tussie mussie design using different shades of pink plumeria flowers with accents of purple. She is getting married in Taos, New Mexico in a week. This one was a little challenging since I needed to make the bouquet bigger than normal. It took a couple tries, but I finally got it to work. :) Lots of vibrant colors and plumeria flowers are my all-time favorite. They have such a wonderful fragrance.

Happy Wedding Day to Kirby and her fiance!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Special Request from Myra Callan of Twigs & Honey!

Back when I first started on Etsy and after I had been on the Martha Stewart Show I remember Myra Kim (now Callan) hearted me on Etsy. One of her clients also hired me for her wedding to do the bouquets. I had emailed Myra to tell her how much I love her work and she kindly responded to me about how much she had admired mine. Twigs & Honey since then has EXPLODED onto the wedding fashion scene. Myra definitely hasn't let that go to her head, she's still a sweet and delightful person and designer!
At any rate, last week I read one of her posts about what a beating her hands go through making thousands of fabric and feather hair accessories, boutonnieres and sashes. I read her blog post thinking how much it reminded me of what a beating my hands go through so I had commented on her blog. The next day she emailed me to thank me for my comment and asked if I would be able to do a last minute request for her. She asked me for some hydrangea blossoms for her hair for an upcoming trip to France. I agreed and also decided to make her a little gift for her home. She told me back in October of 2008 how much she loved my flowers and one day she'd like to buy an arrangement. Well, from one admiring designer to the next I decided to make her something as a gift.
Myra is so very talented and she was so very kind to me even being new to Etsy so I was honored to create something for her.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dahlias, Roses and Apple Blossoms = STUNNING!

Just finished my bride, Michaela's order. This one is shipping to Alberta, Canada. I'm always so honored that even across the world, people put their faith in me to create their wedding bouquets and flowers. I wasn't sure how this bouquet order would turn out, but this morning as I sat painting all the details I got all excited because I could see how amazing it turned out!
This is the first time I've made apple blossoms and I love how they turned out. While I could have just used my knowledge of how I make cherry blossoms, I decided to focus on the details and while more time consuming, I feel that I've tried to recreate the apple blossoms true characteristics. I love the hints of pink on the white apple blossom flower. It breaks up the otherwise all pink bouquet.
The boutonnieres are simple with just a pink rose bud and the apple blossom. The varying shades of pinks and yellows against the dark navy blue are stunning. This is another order where I did not use any fake fillers. In the past I've been so quick to use them but I'm finding more and more that I can do bouquets all in clay and that to me means I have more confidence in my flower making skills and that just the hints of green calyx add enough greenery to the bouquet.
I've got a couple more orders to work on before I take a couple days off. It's racing against the clock, but I will be so happy when we're on the road and away from the computer and the studio even if it's only for 2 days!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hydrangeas, Hydrangeas, Hydrangeas....

I've had made hydrangeas up to my eyeballs this past week and to boot, I made the wrong color blue about 2-3 times. You think I need a little vacation? After I screwed up the color 3 times, I realized, yes I need some time off even if it's only 2 days. Finally I got my focus back and got the right colors.

Heather's request was specific colors of hydrangeas and ribbon colors. Her bridesmaid dresses are a dark peri blue and a clover green. She wanted her bouquet to be shades of blue to match the dark peri dress from JCrew. We added hints of lighter blue with shades of pink. The tips are accented with some green which tie in the clover colored dress. Her fiance's boutonniere matches the color hydrangeas in her bouquet.
The bridesmaids have all white hydrangea bouquets, but ribbon wraps to match their dresses. The groomsmen will wear matching boutonnieres.
The flower girl will be carrying this cute little purse.The parents and grandmother all have specific color hydrangeas and this is how they turned out.
Hydrangeas are time consuming and lots to make to equal one bouquet, but I'm happy with the way they turned out. Happy to say however, that I'm done with hydrangeas for a little bit in terms of a big wedding order! My fingers are tired. :)

Best wishes to Heather and her fiance on their wedding day! Now I'm off to work on a few more orders before I take a much needed 2 day break from work and spend time with my family!

Dogwood Flower Order

I'm busy wrapping up several orders before we take a little break from work. I don't think I've had a break since September. I wanted to share with you one of the orders I just completed. This came to me via a bride in Georgia, Suzi. She had a very specific request, white dogwood flowers with a touch of pink. I guess in Georgia this is a very popular flower. I believe Suzi's whole theme is centered around the dogwood blossom. It was the first time I really made this flower and I'm quite happy with how they turned out. It was a bit of trial and error, but the end result is beautiful. So simple yet so detailed.
Suzi shared with me pictures of the jewelry, her dress, the shirts and ties and how everything should go together. I'm glad I got the opportunity to add another flower to my long list of new flowers I am creating out of clay! :)
Best wishes to Suzi and her fiance!