Saturday, May 31, 2008

So, the other day I went to Trader Joe's with Aidan and they have their fresh flowers lined up outside the store and I thought to myself, "I should just see what they have and buy some fresh flowers and take the time to appreciate what they look like in real life and also to help me get better at making them out of clay." So I came upon a small bouquet of PEONIES! I didn't realize how LARGE they really are! They are SO BEAUTIFUL! Now I know why they are so popular.

Anyway, I decided to take out my camera and take some shots of the flowers so I have them for my files and so I can try to recreate them at some point since I've been too busy the last few days to try and make them out of clay and improve my technique. I was quite surprised to see the very inside of the flower and see what it looks like. Now I want to grow peonies in my yard!
Examples of Tropical Leis - for the Tropical Flower Course
So in between all my orders, I have homework too. Before I can start teaching my students the new Tropical Flower Course via the Deco Clay Craft Academy, I have to finish my projects too! So I finally finished my leis. Here are a couple that I finished. The very popular plumeria lei and a 2 strand pikake/1 strand lokelani rose leis twisted together. Don't they look real! :) I don't make leis too often because they are so time consuming, but once they are done, they look amazingly real and beautiful!

My students are looking forward to the new 10 classes of everything tropical and I'm looking forward to teaching it! I don't think you can ever take the Hawaii out of me as the tropical flowers have always been my favorite.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Former UH Football Coach Honored at HCCNC Five Star Aloha Award
Every year, the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce of Northern California Chapter asks DK Designs to donate leis for their award recipients. My leis have gone to prestigious indviduals in the Hawaiian community who bridge Hawaii with the mainland US. My lei awards have gone to renound Hawaii Chef, Sam Choy, sports figure, Wally Yonemine, who was the first Asian-American to play for a professional football team in 1947 for the San Francisco 49ers.

This year's recipient of the Kulia I Ka Nu'u ("Strive for the Summit") went to June Jones, former head coach of the UH Warrior Football Team! June Jones did amazing things not only for the Warriors Football team, but also for the athletic department as a whole. Those with Hawaii ties love seeing UH play against SJSU and Fresno State.

I've never gotten a chance to meet any of these individuals because for some reason I'm always out of town. The wonderful part about it is how honored the recipients are when they receive the award. I remember 3 years ago when Sam Choy was playing golf with the HCCNC board members the day after the black tie fundraiser event, he had told Kurt Osaki (one of the HCCNC board members), that it was truly the nicest award he had ever received! That really meant a lot to me because he has so many awards that he receives in the food industry!

The Five Star of Aloha raises money for students who are either attending UH from Northern California or a Hawaii native moving to Northern California to pursue their education at the universities here. Obviously there is a selection committee, but I really think it's great to see associations who give back to the community and keep the ties between Hawaii and California going strong! For more information on HCCNC, visit:

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Wrapping up the "Magnolia" Bride Order
I've been busy trying to wrap up the order for my "Magnolia" bride, Kristy! Here are a few pictures of her program fans and signature cocktail sign I worked on. I also did these cute candy jar signs. I will have to wait until Mimi Gubser of Luci Lyn Photography gets me the photos after the wedding because i can't wait to see the Candy Bar station at this wedding. Kristy's colors are a rich chocolate brown and pink. The magnolia theme was carried out through all that we did for her, except her hair flowers for the bridal party which were gardenias.

All that's left to finish are her favors and the order will be complete!
I wish Kristy and Hector a beautiful wedding day with lots of happy and fun memories on their wedding day! xoxo, Diane

Friday, May 23, 2008

Passionate about Peonies
So I am hooked on peonies. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them! I guess that's why of late, my arrangements I've been creating are all peonies. :) Here are a couple new arrangements I made this morning that I just posted on One uses those beautiful reddish pink ones and I mixed them with a new favorite flower of mine - Yaezakura Cherry Blossoms. They are beautiful double petal cherry blossoms I learned from my instructor, Yukiko Miyai during my trip to Hawaii a few weeks back. I think these two flowers go really well together. Cherry blossoms are so delicate and wilt so easily so having them in clay allows you to have them year long and then some! :)

The second arrangement is also peonies, but in the creamy white (almost a pale yellow) with blue hydrangeas. I love the colors. Plus, brides are into that little "something blue"! :)

I'm still frantically catching up on all my invitation orders and then it's off to the races with FLOWER MAKING MADNESS! I literally have brides lined up from now until October! It's truly amazing how many brides are really taking hold of the clay flower bouquet idea!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New Pictures of Flowers
As many of you know, wedding season has kicked into HIGH gear! Although since last summer, I think it's been that way for me! I wanted to just share a few photos of some things I've been working on for my clients and There will be more to follow in the coming weeks as I knock out all my orders! I'm excited though at all the bouquet orders I have coming up! It's amazing how many brides are SERIOUSLY considering clay bouquets! Keep them coming!

This first picture is of an arrangement I did for I love the light pastel colors... It screams English Country garden! These flowers were ones I made for a client's samples and they were extras because the colors didn't work for what I was wanting for her bouquet so I used them in this nice little arrangement!

My new FAVORITE flower is the peony! I feel like I'm getting much better at making them look REALISTIC! This one arrangement was inspired by a Martha Stewart Show segment where they did these beautiful reddish pink peonies and viburnum. The one thing I didn't recreate were the pom pom mums they used to decorate the vase... I don't have that much FREE TIME! :) This one sells at

The last picture I want to share are corsages I did for a client who found me via She wanted corsages from her mom and her mother-in-law to be. She wanted greens, pinks and oranges. I love this color combination! Just so bold and vibrant, but the flowers are delicate. I hope Amanda likes them! These flowers are also my favorites to make these days - dahlia, ranunculus and viburnum!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sample Flowers for Miss Pineapple of
Since I've been back, I've been working on samples and orders like crazy even with the HOT HOT temperatures we've been experiencing in San Jose. Anyway, I promised Miss Pineapple of that I would provide her with some sample pictures of possible flowers for her bouquet and her bridesmaid bouquets. I'm still working on the bridesmaid bouquet sample flowers, but this is what I came up with for her bouquet flowers.

To recap, Miss Pineapple's colors are copper, creams, champagne, and muted tones. Kind of a vintage, but modern elegance. So I decided on gardenias or peonies as the main flower and then muted copper toned and champagne roses with some tuberose and stephanotis flowers and of course, creamy white ranunculus. I actually really like the way these came out. I hope she does too! :) I decided to arrange them so she could see what they look like all put together instead of just individual flowers.

I'm looking forward to what she has to say! Hopefully it's good.... :)

Okay, so I finished the bridesmaid flower sample as well. I think they come together quite nicely. I love the addition of the purple, it really adds a vintage feel to the whole arrangement. On this one, I opted for the peach peony with the a goldish copper center, the copper tone roses, peach ranunculus, mauvish purple roses, some copper filler flower clusters and of course the stephanotis and tuberose flowers.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

DK Designs Clay Flower Favors Featured in Summer 2008 Issue of For the Bride Magazine!
I finally was able to pick up the Summer 2008 Issue of For the Bride Magazine. I couldn't find it anywhere in Hawaii. I was so bummed because the editor of the magazine told me my clay flowers were featured in the magazine. I went to Barnes & Nobles today and found my copy! My favor boxes were featured in the Table of Contents and on Page 78 of the magazine. The article was more about special touches, but my clay flower favors were the featured photograph and there are credits inside the binding.

This is huge for DK Designs. The last time I got featured in the magazine for my invitations, I got a 330 wedding invitation order! So it goes to show you that people do read the magazines and even when the credits are in the binding, brides will search you out! I'm hoping that I'll get new inquiries once more brides see the favor boxes! :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

DK Designs To Offer New Deco Clay Craft Academy Tropical Course - End of June '08
One of the reasons why I went back to Hawaii for two and a half weeks was to take some workshops for the upcoming new Tropical Flower Course being offered through the Deco Clay Craft Academy. This is a 10 class course focused on everything tropical! Lots of new techniques were taught on flowers I already know, but we also learned new flowers (anthuriums, rose pikake, tuberose, lokelani rose, ilima, etc). I really enjoyed this class and there are some really great applications.

I'm still in the process of completing all my projects and hope to be ready to teach by end of June or worst case early July '08. I'm excited to teach my current students and hopefully gain some interest with new students who might only be interested in learning tropical flowers! This is just one of the wonderful projects we learned and it's one of my favorites! :)
Now that I'm back in San Jose, I'm busy catching up on all my orders and taking on new orders! It will definitely be a BUSY summer to say the very least!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Miss Pineapple of Adds a New Dimension to the Popularity of Clay Flower Bouquets for Weddings!
In early May, Miss Pineapple, a blog writer for, contacted me after she found my creations on She asked me if I would be interested in creating her wedding bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages. She's got a fun, eclectic and stylish wedding planned. The cool thing is that she doesn't necessarily want the same flowers for each bridesmaid or groomsmen so it can be fun and flirty, or as she said, "variety is the spice of life!" Her colors are ivories, bronze, copper, light mauvish purple, etc. Really muted tones, but really elegant and vintage!
On May 6, 2008, after I agreed to take her wedding, she shared with the readers about DK Designs and clay flower bouquets! She was smart, she made sure she booked me before posting about me so as to secure my time before other brides came knocking on my door. After her post, I seriously got about 15 serious inquiries into clay flower bouquets, hair flowers and more! I think that day my page views on the website shot up to 1800! Emily has been great to work with. Her wedding is in October and she has decided not to use fresh flowers for her wedding decor.

The article she wrote can be found at:
Thank you Miss Pineapple for the added exposure! I'm excited to work on her flowers for her wedding!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Photos from Sayaka & Jeff's Wedding
I received these photos from Cheryl Shoemaker's Wedding Assistant, Ruth Powell, of Orchid Isle Weddings & Events. These wonderful images are from Sayaka and Jeff's wedding on May 2, 2008 at the Kona Plantation! Thank you Ruth for sharing these wonderful images with me. :) To recap, I did the OOT bag tags, OOT itineraries, wedding menu/program, and wedding favors.
Sayaka also expressed interest in replicating her bouquet since she was not able to preserve it after her wedding.

Things have been rather hectic while I have been away from the studio. This trip to Oahu was jam packed with classes, but at the same time it was a good chance to get away! Believe it or not, I didn't even make it to the beach this trip! How sad is that! Oh well, the good news is that I am now officially 100% focused on DK Designs!!! I decided that my part-time job was becoming too much to handle with all the increased business I've been receiving. I don't think I will ultimately feel the effects until I get back to the studio and start on all my wedding orders for the balance of May-July! It feels like though that a weight has been lifted and I am pursuing my life-long dream of clay flowers and wedding invitations/details!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Spending Time with Deco Clay Craft Academy Instructors
Today, I had an opportunity to have dinner with my fellow instructors of the Deco Clay Craft Academy. It was a great time catching up with everyone and learning about what everyone is doing. The last time we all got together was the Macy's Show in November. There are some really great things on the horizon for those who take the member courses.
We have a new instructor who just got certified and she will be teaching in Atlanta, Georgia late this year (we're hoping in November). So all you Eastern seaboard crafters who are interested in classes and can't travel to CA or Hawaii, here's your chance to learn from someone closer to you!
In between all the clay classes and my work, I'm getting a little time to relax and enjoy. Aidan, my son had a blast with one of the other instructor's son. At least he had someone to play with so he wasn't bored hearing about clay flowers!