Thursday, July 31, 2008

DK Designs' Passionate about Peonies made the Handpicked Items on the Etsy Home Page!

On's home page, there's a handpicked section that's pretty much the focal point of their site. I often wondered who selects these items and how different Etsy vendors get their beautiful creations on the home page. I thought maybe it was the Etsy staff. Well come to find out there are things called Treasuries. It's an opportunity for an Etsy seller to showcase other artisans on the site. You cannot select your own pieces to showcase. A couple of times, other Etsy vendors have told me they put me on their treasury. I found a site that captures the screen shots of all the treasuries that end up on the Etsy home page. I perused through because I read on someone else's blog that she found me via the Etsy home page. Well, this is the treasury I believe she was referring to.
Treasuries are hard to nab and even more so to get posted to the home page, but I was fortunate and I appreciate the other artisans who find my clay flowers unique and beautiful and worthy of being part of their treasury. I also perused through the Gift Guide section of the Etsy site and these are items picked by the Etsy staff. Again I found my Passionate about Peonies Goes Tropical arrangement in the Wedding Gift Guide! SWEET! :)
The more and more I sell on Etsy the more I feel it was the best decision I made. It's such a great way to sell your handcrafted items at reasonable rates. Plus you're among some really wonderful artisans in the world! The other great thing is you can advertise for very little on a daily basis if you want! Very affordable.
DK Designs Mentioned on!
Today I started checking where I end up on the search engines. Normally I just look at the Yahoo search engine, but today I started really looking into Google to see where my website/name/products show up. Well, much to my surprise, I came upon a PDF file from As in the MiGi girls!!! So the little Modern Bistro Cup I used was from their storefront. Inexpensive, but very versatile for the flower arrangement I did for Martha's show! So anyway, when I went to purchase more the customer service manager had emailed me to say they were coming in in about a week and if I wanted to wait for the order. I of course said "yes". I had mentioned to her what I use them for because I knew that the MiGi girls are former stylists for Martha Stewart. She said she would definitely pass it along to Michelle and Gia because they worked for Martha and would love to hear news like that. So if you go the's press page, and click on the Martha Stewart Show logo, this is what you'll find!

DK Designs' Martha Stewart Show Appearance on YouTube...
Without further ado... Okay it's been what 4 months since my appearance. Sorry for the delay, but my brother-in-law just sent me the DVD of my clip in a format I could use to upload to YouTube. So now you can watch it whenever you want! Day and night! So many people have told me who cannot come to take classes that they watch my video over and over again. I actually don't like to watch myself so I think I've only seen it once or twice.

It's hard to believe that it's been 4 months since my show appearance, but it's definitely been CRAZY BUSY since that time and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to share this wonderful art/craft with the rest of the world!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Check out DK Designs on The Flirty Guide!!!
Today, Stacie Tamaki of The Flirty Guide sent me my ad pages on her website! They look incredible. She was so nice to put in me in 3 categories (who else would do that!) - accessories, favors and flowers! She helped rewrite some of my ad copy and I told her that she wrote it so well I want to go and read more about DK Designs and see what she does! LOL! Stacie has a great concept for The Flirty Guide and she really focuses on providing an informative local resource guide of high quality vendors that she personally would stand behind. I've advertised a fair amount and we'll see how it goes, but I really believe that partnering with people like Stacie will go a long way! I needed a way to get into the Northern California market and I'm so fortunate that Stacie agreed to meet with me and allow me to advertise on her site! I told her she has a possible new company to do Public Relations! She is a woman of MANY hidden talents!

So here's the flowers ad. She's so innovative. I can't wait for her to come and take a class with me to learn to make flowers, maybe she'll have another part time job as I'm sure she'd be great at it!

Anyway, back to the ad...I love the flirty bride picture she picked for my ad page - it's so me... the bride with the flower in her hair. :) She even goes beyond what most resource guides do - she puts links not only to your website but wherever you might be on the Internet (Facebook, Flickr, Etsy, etc).

Seriously though, please check out her websites:
  • - Northern California wedding professionals resource guide and lots of fun & flirty ideas. She even has monthly drawings for giveaways!
  • - This is Stacie's bridal accessories website. She makes veils, hair accessories, cake toppers, tiny cranes (seriously the size of a penny) and more!
  • - a directory of wedding blogs all on one site - ingenious!
  • - newly released, a directory of brides who have their own blogs on one site. So if you have a great personal wedding blog, definitely let Stacie know! :)
You can spot Stacie's signature fun and flirty artwork wherever it is. She's got a signature look and it's definitely FUN and FLIRTY!
Wrist Corsages
Recently I've been getting more inquiries for wrist corsages. They are making wrist corsages a lot prettier these days with the decorative bands instead of the traditional elastic band. A client of mine found me via the Martha Stewart Show and asked me if I would do her corsages for her mother and the groom's mother.

I found these pearl corsage bands which I think are a nice touch to the corsage. Makes it much more elegant and more like a bracelet. Maureen wanted initially peonies, but I think if we did peonies, we'd only get one big one and that's it. She emailed me a couple of weeks ago and changed her mind to creamy white roses. She wanted some hints of green so I added tuberose buds, some green leaves, the celadon/sage green ribbon and for some hints of white and ivory I added mini stephanotis and some tuberose.

It's been a busy weekend and it's hard to believe the week is almost halfway done... Where did the time go? So much to do.... cake flowers, wedding bouquets, invitations, save-the-dates and finished products for the Made in Hawaii festival....

Monday, July 28, 2008

Style Your Dream Wedding... A Great Resource for Brides!

In a previous post, I had mentioned about a great resource and book for brides. It served as the inspiration for Alyssa's wedding invitations. The book per my previous post was called Style your Dream Wedding, by lifestyle expert, Susie Coelho. Her hard cover masterpiece goes through everything from A to Z on what you need to style your dream wedding. It's a great book even if you're on a budget because it just may inspire you to create things on your own just from the beautiful pictures and fold-out photo spreads she has throughout the book. Whether you're having a beach wedding or a classic, more traditional wedding day, she covers it all!

This morning, I received a very surprising email from Susie's staff. He said that Susie wanted to personally thank me for mentioning her book in my blog! I know as any business owner on the Internet, you look to see who's talking about you on the search engines. What blew me away is that she is a top lifestyle expert who has her own TV show on HGTV, she is a regular contributor to many lifestyle shows and she took the time to have her staff thank me for my blog post! It's refreshing to see that. I view myself as just a little entrepreneur starting a business and for someone famous to take time out of their busy schedule to thank me for a small mention of her book is really wonderful!

Seriously though, I am pretty picky when it comes to wedding resource books, but Style Your Dream Wedding one is definitely worth the money. Even as a wedding professional, it's a great resource for inspiration and ideas. You can read more about Susie at

Sunday, July 27, 2008

New Items on Etsy...
I'm happy to say that I finally made it through 190 cymbidium orchid favors. Phew! Thank goodness my aunt helps me assemble them. I even taught her how to paint them and she did an amazing job (she actually used to paint a log time ago, so I knew she would be good at it).

I've been teaching class all week too so I haven't had much energy to work on new things and I've also been trying to get samples done for potential clients as well. I decided that I wanted to try posting some bouquets on my Etsy site to sell and see how they do. Until now, I've really just focused on centerpieces and hair flowers. So today, I posted 1 stephanotis bouquet with crystal centers instead of the traditional pearl centers. But not to worry, I have one of those in the works as well (see below). Tiffany blue still seems to be a favorite so I decided to cover the stems in Tiffany blue colored satin ribbon with a rhinestone buckle. I think it came out rather nicely. It is definitely a great bouquet for a tropical destination wedding. I love stephanotis flowers because they are so fragrant, simple, clean and elegant.

I also posted more of the gardenia hair flowers that have been very popular. I hope to add more items in the coming weeks before my private/accelerated classes start on 8/11. Plus I have a slew of orders I need to complete over the next several weeks before we go on a much deserved vacation! Can't wait to just relax on the beach!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Because Love Should Be Celebrated...

One of my clients fell in love with this saying and wanted to somehow incorporate it into her wedding invitations. Alyssa and Daniel came to me by way of Real Weddings Feature where my items were part of the photo gallery. Alyssa fell in love with my work and asked if I would do her wedding invitations and other printed items. I was reluctant at first just because my plate is pretty full, but after talking to her, I agreed to do the wedding.

We finally met today for the first time as her mom is here helping her with wedding planning items (turns out Alyssa lives 6 minutes away!). It was such a pleasure to meet them and they were so sweet and so friendly. Open to ideas, but at the same time they know what they want. So I had hoped to come up with more samples for them, but with my schedule this week and trying to make sure I got my orders completed on time, I had to work on Alyssa's samples between 1:30 and 4:00. I got a lot done, but was hoping to provide her with all of what she wanted to see.

Anyway, during a previous phone conversation with her and her mom, Linda, we talked about other ideas. She wanted the colors to be navy blue, light blue and just a hint of orange. We discussed the pineapple, palm fronds, cymbidiums, plumerias and even phaleonopsis orchids. I think personally I'm a little tired of doing cymbidiums even though I LOVE them! I think the 190 cymbidium orchid favors did me in. LOL!

For some reason during the design phase today, I was really drawn to the subtle nature of the palm fronds. The fully justified block font with the "Because Love Should Be Celebrate" was something she saw in a bridal book and fell in love with it. So I found a copy of "Style Your Wedding" by Susie Coelho and figured out what she wanted. Initially I had put it in a script font. This saying now becomes the theme or motif and it's actually quite nice! The navy blue when it sparkles in the light reminds me of how water glistens as the sun hits it. Very appropriate since they are getting married overlooking Molokini Lookout on Maui! Who wouldn't want to go to this wedding just to celebrate the love of to people becoming husband and wife. What better way to celebrate than a wedding in paradise!

The other wonderful thing is that Alyssa, Linda and I hit it off, which is a good thing because Cheryl of Orchid Isle Weddings asked if I would help coordinate her wedding for the rehearsal and the day of! I'm really excited. They are a fun bunch and I hope to meet Daniel soon too. It's going to be a beautiful wedding I can already tell. They're talking about a malasada station as the midnight snack! YUMMY! :) An island favorite - hot off the oil vat, rolled in sugar... zero calories (ok.. that is if you dance it off)! Even my husband was saying how really nice Alyssa and Linda were.

Anyway, these are some shots of the comps I did for Alyssa and they instantly fell in love with these. They are pictures of her invitation, table card and OOT tag and itinerary. She wanted to keep with the theme of their save the dates, but I think they're finding that they want to maybe just start a whole new theme which will carry through from the invitations to the wedding day! This'll be the first time that I get to help coordinate a wedding where I did a lot of the wedding details myself so what a treat it will be!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Samples of Program Fans, Favors, and Table Cards
One of my possible destination brides asked for blacks, whites and pinks. So I created some samples which I just shipped today to the coordinator for her meeting. Only to find out that she decided to change her colors. Which is fine because I wasn't all that keen on the black/white motif. She's going for more natural - white/ivory with mocha browns. So, even though the items she eventually might order will not look like these, there are some interesting ideas here that might appeal to other brides.... So I thought I'd share them here:

Program Fan:

OOT Bag Tag and Itinerary for Welcome Bags:

Favor & Table Card:

Check Out The Wedding Planning Audiocast Website!!
So this morning I got a very wonderful email from Ralph Mucci telling me that they are going to put my clay florals on their home page in the Special Features section of They also discussed with their PR and marketing teams that it didn't make sense for me to be under the Wedding Planning Special Features section, but rather create a new section not yet tapped into called "Florals". Makes sense, right? Florals are a big part of a wedding ceremony and reception so it only makes sense to have a category focused on florals and have the top floral designers on the audiocasts. I get to be the fortunate first interviewee/expert for that section! We are scheduled to tape in a couple of weeks and it should be available online and on iTunes shortly thereafter. I'll keep you posted.

Thank you Ralph and thank you Stacie. If it wasn't for Stacie (, Ralph would have never heard of me and I really sincerely appreciate that. She could have talked about so many other wonderful vendors and their products/services, but she mentioned me! Even Ralph said that in the over 20 years of wedding industry experience he's NEVER seen anything like it!
Here's a picture of their home page with my peony arrangement highlighted in the red box!

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Great Wedding Planning Resource for Brides
Stacie Tamaki of The Flirty Guide recently did a blog post about her upcoming interview on I had never heard of it until I read Stacie's blog. They have a great section called "Meet the Bloggers" where show host Ralph Mucci interviews all the top wedding bloggers in the news - What Junebug Loves, Bridal Bar, Style Me Pretty and now The Flirty Guide! They even asked Stacie to create a new graphic for their new show segment. Even interviews from the most famous and well-known wedding professionals - Colin Cowie, Mindy Weiss, etc! There are so many wonderful audiocasts on this one website all geared towards helping a bride with all her planning decisions!
Stacie and I met the afternoon before her interview/audiocast taping with Ralph Mucci and she started telling him about my meeting with her and how she was so impressed with my clay flowers. So Ralph told Stacie that he would look into it and he thought maybe there might be a fit for my clay flowers on their website. Not thinking that they would contact me, low and behold, I got a call from Ralph this morning asking me if I would be interested as he and his PR department thought it would be perfect material for an audiocast... So..... In a few weeks, you'll be able to hear me on one of their special features section in the Wedding Planning section of their website! I'm so honored and grateful to Stacie for even telling Ralph about my stuff Every opportunity that presents itself to me is like Christmas Day or like winning the lottery to me!

If you've never seen this website, you need to check it out. Stacie's interview was great and the funny thing is that she is exactly the way she is on the interview in person. I felt like I was sitting in my meeting with her talking to her one on one when listening to the interview.

You can also read about what The Flirty Guide has to say about DK Designs Clay Flowers and my husband's sandwich making skills! LOL...

I hope in future posts to not only give my readers an understanding of what I do (which I do regularly) but highlight more wedding resources for brides that I happen to stumble upon. Who would have ever thought that the wedding industry would become so big and tech savvy! But hey, for the wedding professionals out there, this is definitely a big thing. I wish these things existed or I knew about them when I got married. :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Aidan's First Obon Festival
Amidst working long hours, today my husband had the day off and we decided to do a family outing to the Mountain View Obon Festival. I haven't been to one in years and I thought it would be fun for Aidan - eat good food and play games. I remember every summer we'd go to the one in San Jose and do the same things. Love the corn on the cob, chicken teriyaki and strawberry shortcake. Mmm.....

Anyway, he did the duck pond and grab bag and then we ate some food and went to check out the taiko drummers. Aidan was entertained until he saw another kid eating shaved ice! He told Michael - " Daddy, I want that!" So of course, we told him he could have it after he ate something that more resembles dinner. So he reluctantly did. He finally got the shaved ice and ate about 8 spoonfuls, had a brain freeze and then said "I don't want anymore." At least it was only $2.00 and my dad was there to finish it off. Believe it or not, even though we lived on Oahu since 2005 and since we've had Aidan, we have never given him shaved ice... So this was his first time!

While we were waiting for my dad (ojiichan) to eat the rest of it, we told Aidan to go and stand next to ojiichan and do the "ojiichan face". It's a face my dad makes to Aidan all the time and Aidan mimics him so it was the perfect opportunity to catch them together with the face... Can you tell they are related.
The last exciting part of the Obon is the goldfish game. Aidan saw all the other kids with a goldfish and had to have one. So my friend who I haven't seen in years told me to come at 6:00 because they were working the booth. We bought probably $5.00 in ping-pong balls and she gave us probably $10.00 worth of balls. She was trying to help Aidan win without actually just handing him a fish. He tried and tried and I thought, he's never going to get one. After maybe a third of the way into the last tray of balls, he finally got one in. He was so proud. So we came home and realized we really didn't have a big enough glass fish bowl for him so we had to put him in a glass pyrex measuring bowl.... The 2 quart size! Boy, I hope this fish lasts a while because I don't want to explain the whole idea of death to my child.... He named his fish, "Mister"...
New Products on Etsy...
This morning I posted the new larger gardenia hair flowers with the elongated petals on the outer layer and 2 purple hydrangea flower arrangements on my Etsy site. I think brides will definitely like this newer version of my gardenia hair pin. It's a lot like the ones you see in the bridal magazines and websites where the bride is wearing the gorgeous, clean and simple single gardenia hair flower in their hair! You can always double up and have 2 if you want a fuller effect or place one on each side of your up-do or low-do too!

Friday, July 18, 2008

DK Designs Gardenia Hair Flower on!
So I was perusing the search engines for what comes up on "dkdesignshawaii" and I was delightfully surprised to see a new website that talks about It was none other than! It was the gardenia hair flower from Mae & Jeremy's wedding. Thank you to Stewart Pinsky Photography for letting me use this photo! As some of you know, I decided to make gardenia hair flowers to sell specifically for the bride. They are a little more pricey than the hair picks you find out there, but you're definitely paying for great quality craftmanship! I also have designed the hair flowers with their needs in mind. I'm anxiously waiting for my supply of U shape hair pins that are made in Japan to arrive from a supplier in NY on Tuesday so I can make more!
Tomorrow I will come out with a larger version that I think will do really well as I know some brides want a slightly larger flower for their hair! Just a side note. I first posted the gardenia hair flowers to sell on 7/14/08. Since then which mind you is only since Monday, I got over 730 views for this gardenia hair flower! Normally that's what I get after one of my products being on my Etsy storefront after a month or even 2 months depending on how popular the item is! THAT'S HUGE!!!
The Flirty Guide.... A Must See Website for Brides
Last week, I started searching on the Internet for various bridal blogs and I came across, I asked if I could be listed as a wedding related blog for Northern California. I got a response back from Stacie Tamaki - owner of the site and many other wedding related blogs/websites. I asked her about advertising on her other site, The Flirty Guide. It just so happens that Stacie used to live 2 streets down from where we live. Small world! Anyway, Stacie is an amazing entrepreneurial woman who realized the value of blogs and what it does for wedding professionals. She's really taken it to the next level. She is also very selective in who advertises on her site. She wants quality wedding professionals who have a web presence, who have good work ethics and really put the bride & groom's interests first in order to make their wedding day the most memorable and special event of their life. Most companies just want your money and they'll take anyone who has the money to spend, but Stacie really wants her site to be pure and only provide her readers/brides the best wedding professionals the Bay Area has to offer! It's refreshing to see someone like her and what she believes in! Gee, sounds a lot like how I look at things too. :)

Stacie and I met today for the first time and it was a really nice meeting. Because my clay floral designs are so unique, she could see the value of allowing me to advertise on her site. I really admire the things she is doing. She creates custom bridal veils, makes these beautiful beaded cake toppers, tiny cranes (we're talking the size of a penny) and tiaras, she also fell into website design and does custom graphics. All the cute bride and groom images are her pieces of art too. Aren't they just TOO CUTE! She barely sleeps.... No wonder she can do so much. So coming soon, you may just see DK Designs as one of her preferred or recommended vendors! :)

Check out her site. It's cute, it's fun and it's FLIRTY! :) She even launched today a site for brides who have stylish wedding blogs so they can post it on her new!/ It's a nice companion for the Perspective from the bride and perspective from the wedding professional! I'm very much looking forward to working with Stacie and hopefully dialing into the wonderful Bay Area network of wedding professionals to get more exposure out there about clay floral designs!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What Happy Clients Have to Say....
I thought I would share with you what clients of late have had to say after working with me or receiving my designs.

Debi & Ed - "It's beautiful. I've already shown everyone in my office and they're awestruck. Again, I can't thank you enough for everything you've done and all the hard work you've put into this. if you should EVER need any kind of reference, letter of recommendation, testimonial, anything at all, please don't hesitate to contact me. I would be more than happy.
On a personal note...Thank you Diane. You are going to stay with me for a lifetime. You have created much more than just a boquet for our wedding. It's a symbol of the special times in my life. (god I'm starting to cry!!!) How can I ever find the right words to tell you how much it all means? Your thoughtfulness, tender care, and love that you've put into each petal can be felt. You are a very special person. Michael and Aidan are very lucky to have you in their lives. I wish you much success in doing the job you love." - Debi

Chelsea Robertson - "Thank you so much for everything. I know everyone will LOVE the invites and it will get them excited about the party. Nothing like a beautiful and fun invitation to entice you to a party! And I know Eva will love them-it is very "her style" so you hit the nail on the head big time!

I appreciate all your work and all the back and forth. You did a beautiful job and I look forward to working with you again in the future. You are awesome!" Thank you, Chelsea

Laura Lee - Hi Diane, the delivery took 5 days ONLY and the flowers arrived into my arms today!!Perfect timing as my MOH is in town for my shower and will return home tomorrow! Can't wait to let her see her bouquet tonight.Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much Diane, they are simply beautiful and I am going to be so proud to carrying and sharing the toss version with one LUCKY gal in August. Thank you for making sure they arrived on time!!!BEAUTIFUL!!! can you tell I am super excited!! Talk to you soon again! Laura

All these are actual quotes from my clients. This is what I LOVE doing what I do!

DK Designs Interview Posted on the Etsy Wedding Team Blog!
So today, I found out as I woke up and started reading my email and looking at various blogs that my interview was posted on The Etsy Wedding Team Blog! The group tries to feature each of the Etsy Wedding Team members so that other members and potential clients can learn a little more about each member.

The other wonderful thing is that another one of the Etsy members asked if I would be interested in collaborating with her on a project/design idea. I'm really excited about it. It also got me thinking about how I can work with other members to help promote each other's beautiful creations. So once these collaborations develop, I plan to share them with you at that time, so stay tuned! :)

In the coming days, I hope to share with you as well some of the testimonials and kind words of appreciation I have received over the last several months from my clients after receiving their flowers or invitations. It is really sweet and it reiiterates to me that I'm doing the right thing and I enjoy doing what I do! Although there are days when I complain about how much work is ahead of me, but it's a good kind of complaining. It's a lot of work, but it's a labor of love kind of thing. Hearing the comments from my clients/brides is all I need to continue perservering and moving forward.

It's going to be a busy next 3 months, but we're going to take a short vacation to visit family and sit on the beach and relax! Of course, I'll still check email and obsess over what needs to get done, but it'll just be nice to step away from the studio and spend time with family!

Monday, July 14, 2008

New Items on
I decided to add more items to my wedding section to keep up with the requirements stipulated by the Etsy Wedding Team, plus I had some time last night to get caught up on some samples I needed to make. I made some gardenia hair flowers. I normally don't make hair flowers to sell in volume. However, I figured brides have been asking me to make them more and more so I thought I would post a few to sell on my Etsy site.

I also made another Passionate about Peonies Series arrangement. I've been continually trying to perfect my peonies and ranunculus and I'm almost there. There's always room for more improvement, but I feel like I'm getting very close! :) It's a little more modern and different in terms of the way I arranged. I wanted to incorporate more of the vase instead of just flowers sticking out of the top so I added this great little tea leaf vine that happened to be in a rich reddish burgandy with hints of green.

In the coming weeks I hope to share with you some more information about other wonderful Etsy wedding artisans who are part of the Etsy Wedding Team. Stay tuned...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Some More Concepts...
The concepts keep on coming today.. These are some concepts I'm doing for Alyssa. I think I like the palm leaves better than the pineapple. I also worked on a few more concepts for Erin as well so you can see some of them here.

Erin is looking for whites/blacks and for a little pop of color she wants pinks and purples but also wants some natural elements as well. She fell in love with the honu (turtle) design I did for Teri and Frank so I made a sample for her as well with her colors in mind. Below is the favor tag and place card idea using the poppy motif.

Here's the other concepts being considered for the save-the-date cards (Erin likes peonies and she also liked a floral silhouette idea... Which one do you like best???

New DK Designs Save the Date Concepts
So before I begin my 190 cymbidium orchid favors for my early August brides, I have been working on some sample save the date cards for a couple more clients for their upcoming weddings in 2009. The plumeria design was the easiest sell of them all. I made two samples (one with a phaleonopsis orchid and one with a plumeria design) and sent them to the client and they made the decision in like 45 minutes of me sending them the samples via email! Courtney's colors are the tiffany blue and chocolate brown. These are images of her save the dates that we are going with. Both brides found my items on

The second came to me via Orchid Isle Weddings & Events, although Erin had seen Mae & Jeremy's wedding and fell in love with all the elements. So she came to us with her possible color palette. White and black with punches of bright pinks and purples. She sent me a design of an invitation she liked and I found an image that I could use to recreate something very similar to what she wanted and this is what I came up with. I normally don't do a lot of color blocking because it's so much printer ink, but it definitely looks nice! :)

I have one more set of samples/designs to work on today for Alyssa so stay tuned for that.... Her color palette is navy and light blues with a hint of orange. Lots to do today...