Sunday, November 30, 2008

Etsy Wedding Team Gets a "Fresh" New Look!

As many of you know, several months ago I joined a wonderful group of talented wedding artisans on Etsy called the Etsy Wedding Team. It's a jury selected team of high-quality wedding artisans on what else... ETSY! I was really excited about it. I offered a lot of ideas to the group leaders and I think they were surprised that I was so "gung-ho" about getting the group going even though I had no clue what was expected of us. They asked me to be on the head committee and we soon realized that we needed to make some changes if the group was going to be able to grow and be able to apply for grants via Etsy to use for advertising, bridal expos and more.
I had immediately mentioned to them that we needed a new look. I gave them one quick idea just to get the ideas flowing and after several months, we finally came up with one. We pooled the talents of our members and Letterpunch Design (aka created the "look" we were searching for!

We're also working towards new and fresh articles on wedding trends from color palettes to what's hot in Hollywood and how it relates to wedding. You don't have to be a celebrity to have a "glam" wedding! We'll also be offering regular giveaways from our various Etsy Wedding Team shop owners as well. This is all very exciting and I'm looking forward to helping the team grow!

Red Anemone Hair Flower

A potential bride/client asked me if I could make her entire bridal party (15-16 bridal party attendants in all) a hair flower each. However, she wanted to see one in person before she made her final decision on placing the order. So, she asked me to make her the red anemone/poppy flower with the black/white center as a hair flower so she could wear it to a holiday party. This is how it turned out.

If Abbey does decide to move forward, she wants a bunch of different flowers, possibly picking each bridesmaid's favorite flower to wear in her hair.

Custom Order Flowers for a Candelabra

One of my Etsy clients who has bought several of my arrangements since I first opened my site asked me to create a Christmas arrangement. Initially she thought about me creating a sample of red flowers for a wine bottle to use as centerpieces (Ronda took a clay class in Hawaii and was hoping to create her own centerpieces). However, given the time frame and her current DECO skills, she decided to go another route. She found this beautiful, handmade forged iron candelabra and asked me if I would create the flowers for the center vase. I was honored she asked me to do it. Her event is December 19th and I've been putting it off, just because I've been so busy with orders. The flowers are removable so that she can put her own clay flowers in there or even a candle.

This is a great decoration for Christmas and would actually make a beautiful centerpiece idea for a wedding! :) I'm not much of a candelabra kind of person, but I really like the dark iron look and with the flowers it turned out to be very rich and elegant looking. I continue to surprise myself. Thank you Ronda for being such a loyal customer! I sincerely appreciate your business!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Real Weddings - Mae & Jeremy - Featured on Destination Weddings & Honeymoon Website!

I received a wonderful email today from Mae & Jeremy O'Donnell. They are currently expecting their first baby in January and I'm so excited for them as they begin their journey as a family. Mae informed me today that her wedding was also featured on Destination Weddings & Honeymoons' website!!! If you remember from several months ago, their wedding was featured also on's real weddings as well. This time I was delightfully surprised that they hyperlinked DK Designs so that it goes to my website. I was thrilled!

Anyway, you can visit the write up and photos from their wedding by clicking here. Their wedding was the wedding of the week featured on the site! Thanks so much Mae for the good news! :) It's amazing how popular these colors have become since Mae's wedding. Follows right along with the previous post from yesterday.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

More Tiffany Blue and Orange...

I think the trend of Tiffany blue and Orange hasn't gone away. It's interesting how the Mae & Jeremy Real Wedding on has really intrigued people to try these colors even though it might not have been the colors they had anticipated using. Everyone also seems to like that orange cymbidium orchid!

This is another possible client who requested a sample. Her invitationis a little more elaborate as she wants 3 inserts. She wanted to incorporate some yellow into the design since the orchid has yellow highlights. So I used yellow for the "&" in each insert/element and alternated the secondary cardstock for each insert.

I have one more sample to work on today and although the client likes the Tiffany Blue color, she's looking more for a delphinium blue. So a slight contrast, but still with the orange tones.
Back to work on that...

Breakfast at Tiffany's Inspired Invitations

A possible client of mine asked me to create an invitation design based on some designs she saw in the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" issue of the Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine . Her colors are Tiffany blue, white and light pink. She also liked the monogram border of another wedding invitation designer. So I tried to incorporate what the couple liked and created a DK Designs original.

Just when I think Tiffany Blue is a thing of the past, as everyone in the industry says is on it's way out, I get a lot of clients asking for it.... Hmm. I guess the trends are a little ahead of what brides want or maybe brides don't care what the trends are... they just go for what they like best! :) Which I think is smart. :) The key... if you're going to do it, then do it well and do it stylish! :)
This particular client was referred to me by my good friend Cheryl Shoemaker at Orchid Isle Weddings & Events!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

DK Designs' Family Christmas Cards 2008

I seriously didn't think I would find time to get our family Christmas cards done this year. Last year with the move I had to go with the Kodak templates and felt bad that I didn't create my own. So this year, I squeezed it in and used cardstock inventory that I bought but never used. The idea came from Mountain Cow's idea gallery since I use their software to help formulate my layouts for my invitations. I took the idea and made it my own.

I wanted to use photos of our family over the past year and instead of doing the traditional 8.5x11 page year in review, I decided to save on some paper and go with the blog route this way our family and friends can keep up-to-date with our family happenings, I can share more pictures, and we save a few trees. :) Gotta love blogs and the Internet to keep in touch with loved ones. Plus those who aren't on Facebook, can still keep tabs on what our family is up to. :)

It was fun to create all 70 and not as much work as I expected it to be. Finished all 70 yesterday and managed to get the blog going so that by the time I send it out the first post is our year in review.

Even though it's not yet even Thanksgiving, I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas as I know if I don't say it now, I might forget with all the work I have to get done over the holidays!

Corsages = Gifts for a Korean University Alumni Reunion

The last couple of days I've been feeling under the weather as my son shared his cold with me. I've also been busy making our family Christmas cards which amazingly enough I got it done before Thanksgiving!

At any rate, I wanted to share some samples I've been asked to work on for a friend of the family. She saw my flowers book on Halloween when we went over to her son's house to celebrate Halloween with all the kids and she told me about an alumni reunion they were holding in San Francisco next year and she thought maybe the ladies on the committee would like to have something handmade to give as gifts to the attendees. It's a Korean Women's University and the alumni reunions are held every 2 years for all the alumni who now live in the United States. This year happens to be in San Francisco and then in 2 years it will be in NYC.

I met with the committee members last week and showed them various samples of favor boxes, hair flowers and a corsage. They really liked the corsage idea but it was hard for them to choose what flowers to pick so they asked me if I could do an assortment. This is what I came up with. They plan on making a custom stamp to stamp a message pertaining to their particular event.

It's going to be a busy Spring season...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mango Calla Favor Boxes - Oranges and Greens

Today is apparently a busy blog day for me! As you can see just by today's posts that I have been working on a lot of things the last few days! I received a call last week from a gentleman who was referred by the Hilton Waikoloa Village Wedding Atelier... the FABULOUS Kai Maxwell! He is getting married to his fiance, Suzette on 11/28/08. Yes, the day after Thanksgiving. It was a small order so I agreed to take it.

He really liked my mango calla lily favor box I did for a past client and asked if I could replicate it. Since he wasn't particular about the contents of the favor box, I suggested the Honolulu Cookie Company pineapple shortbread cookies in various non-chocolate flavors (so they wouldn't melt). He agreed and so these are some pictures I took of his favor boxes for his wedding! If you haven't tried these shortbread cookies, you are MISSING OUT! They are the BOMB! :) They are SOOOOOOO good! The great thing about them is you can order in bulk without having to purchase their pre-made boxes. That way you can have whatever flavors you want as long as you order in total a minimum of 100 cookies. Not hard to do especially when you have a lot of wedding guests. The cookies last about 6-8 weeks for the best freshness, but you can freeze them to prolong the freshness. 6 cookies fit nicely in each box.For a over the top gift you could fit in 8. What a sweet way to end the evening!

Baby Shower Favor Tags and Table Cards

This is a continuation of my former "Everything Bride" order. Lorela asked me to make her thank you card ensemble (if you remember the previous post I did several weeks back) as well as work on a welcome baby shower for her new nephew Shane! So the order is finally done and ready to ship and I wanted to share the favor tags and table cards Lorela asked me to design.

The motif is shells printed on diamond cardstock and mounted on sapphire and wind blue metallic and pyrite which is a light champagne gold. We did a picture of Shane and his two sisters for the favor tag which came out super cute! What a photogenic family! :) The table cards Lorela plans to mount onto vases on each table.

I know I say this a lot in my posts, but I sincerely appreciate the repeat business my former clients continue to bring to me. It really shows that they are happy with my designs and they find something unique and stylish about them! I am very fortunate to have clients such as Lorela! Thank you Lorela!

Orange Lily and Red Rose - Samples for a Texas Bride

A potential client of mine had contacted me after seeing my work via a Google search. She sent me some pics a while back and I finally made her the samples. She's thinking a more modern style cascade bouquet utilizing stems versus using the traditional cascade bouquet plastic holder. She wants orange lilies and red roses with dark green ivy.
This is how her samples turned out. I finished my clay cake form so now I have something else to take pictures on. Now that I took photos using the cake as the backdrop, I think these would look beautiful on the cake as well!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Clay Flowers for Christmas

It's so hard to believe that Christmas is only a month and a week away! Where did all the time go. Normally the holidays are somewhat slow for me, but this year has been VERY busy. I've been busy the last several days finishing up printed orders, but yesterday I sat down to make a ton of flowers. I have lots of orders and sample requests that I'm trying to fulfill.

Anyway, I decided to make some Christmas arrangements. I hope to post more in the coming weeks, but here's one I just posted to my Etsy site this morning. A tropical twist on the holidays. Sorry... you just can't take Hawaii out of the girl. :) Amaryllis flowers (double petal or possibly triple petal variety), green cymbidiums and green roses with some pine needle fillers and red buds. I actually contemplated selling this or giving it to a loved one. LOL. That's always my dilemma! I'm trying to fit as much as I can into my already busy schedule. I know, I do it to myself... I hope by the end of this week to have some cake flowers to also showcase on my Etsy site! Stay tuned...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Corporate Holiday Cards

My dear friend KK, contacted me earlier this week and asked if I could do their holiday greeting cards for his company, Marvell Semiconductor. I have been doing their corporate holiday cards for the last 2 years. KK and I used to work together when I was still in high-tech many years ago at NEC Electronics. KK and I were like brother and sister and we had so much fun going on business trips together and spending KK's money shopping for clothes! LOL.

Anyway, KK's boss asked him one year if he knew anyone who could design holiday cards for the company and so KK knowing that I make wedding stationer asked if I could come up with something. I hadn't done anything before that, but I decided to give it a shot. So... the condition is that the cards always have to be red.. The last 2 years we did different snowflake/ornament/modern looking cards, but he asked if I could do something with a snowman. So taking some stock imagery I embellished a little to make it a little more DK Designs like. The picture here doesn't include the little glitter embellishments I added to the buttons and the Christmas tree.
I almost declined the order (due to my hectic schedule), but KK's boss was so disappointed to hear it and so I decided to squeeze it into my already busy holiday schedule of orders because I know they really enjoy sending out my cards to their clients and they have been so wonderful to continually ask me to do their cards on an annual basis.
Bottom line like the years before, they loved it, so we're off to the races to try and make 300 holiday cards again this year before I leave for my wedding in Maui...

Ruth & Brian - Real Weddings (Gardenia Hair Flower)

I was checking out the number of links that pointed to my site and I came across one of my bride's Knottie Bio page. Ruth and Brian got married on September 20th and their reception was the same place our wedding was so it brought back fond memories... Aww, the Halekulani Hotel! BEST hotel and BEST service in Waikiki hands down!

Anyway, Ruth contacted me to see if I would be able to do her gardenia hair flower for her wedding. I sent her one and she had a hair trial and asked if I could do another one with just the floral wire as the other one didn't hold in her hair as well, but she still loved it and was willing to pay for the 2nd one. Here are a few shots courtesy of Chrissy Lambert Photography (another AWESOME photographer on the Hawaiian Islands... Chrissy is so much fun to work with.. HIGH ENERGY and LOVES what she does). What a great shot of Diamond Head... OOH how I miss home!

This is what Ruth had to say about me in her Knottie Bio. Thank goodness it was all good stuff (as you know Knottie brides can be brutal when the service expected is not up to snuff). So far I have been very fortunate to date with what all my brides have had to say about my quality and level of service.

"DK Designs, Hawaii: Diane Phillips created my clay gardenia to put in my hair. I wanted the clay one because I really wanted gardenia in my hair but my aunt told me it was a bad choice because it bruises so easily. I highly recommend DK Designs if you want realistic looking clay flowers! I believe Diane also does centerpieces, bouquets, cake flowers and favors."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A New Twist to DK Designs' Pineapple Design

I was asked recently by my new friend and wedding colleague, Lea McIntosh (of Lea McIntosh Weddings, The Wedding Chat, Cherry Bomb Design, Ready to Propose, and so much more - Lea could have 5 companies developed in the 2 hours you have a discussion with her because she has SO many great ideas for business concepts) to help out on a special project she's working on. I was very honored that she asked me to be part of this special project, especially since we only officially met 2 weeks prior to the request!

I will share the exciting new project when it is released, but for now, I wanted to post about my pineapple design. My brother (the true artist in my family) designed this pineapple over 3 years ago and it continues to be a very popular design with my clients and Lea thought it was perfect for the theme they were trying to achieve.

Instead of doing just a simple pineapple design because of this particular project, I had some Swarovski Jonquil AB flatback crystals left over from another wedding and I thought I would try it out with the pineapple to give it some pizazz! I think it came out really nice and added that extra glamorous touch I was going for. I also like the teal and orange. Most of my clients have wanted the Tiffany Blue and orange combo that was made popular by Real Weddings feature I was part of that used that color palette. I think this one is more vibrant and bold, but beautiful. I actually prefer it over the lighter color palette combination.

Anyway, this is my new twist on the very popular pineapple motif design. I can only imagine someone asking me to do this for their invitations. Definitely a lot of work so the price of this invitation would obviously be higher than my normal price range. But it would definitely be a stunning invitation to receive!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Get Well Gift for Debi

Late last week I did a post about one of my brides who has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Debi is very dear to me and so I wanted to do something special for her. Although if I could go and help her I would. Debi fell in love with one of the arrangements I made from the hyacinths I was going to use in her bouquet. If you recall, she asked for hyacinths in her original bouquet order only to tell me she made a huge mistake and it was supposed to be hydrangeas! So.... I told her not to worry, I would use them for other things and make hydrangeas per her request without charging her. With all the things she went through to make it to her wedding day to marry Ed, I felt it was the one thing I could do to put a bright spot in her wedding planning process.

She told me that I HAD to put the hyacinth in there because every flower had special meaning to her and now the hyacinth was representative of our new friendship. So to brighten Debi's day, I'm sending this out to her this week. It's close to the one I made that sold on Etsy shortly after I posted it, but the vase is different. It can't take away her pain, but I hope it will brighten her day and bring a smile to her face and possibly forget the pain that exists for a moment.

Lots of love and get well wishes to you Debi!

Krewe of Kamehameha - Mardi Gras Meets Hawaii

One of my dear clients who I befriended via Cheryl of Orchid Isle Weddings & Events when we worked on her wedding a couple years ago contacted Cheryl and I to help her with another big milestone event & celebration. It's a combination of anniversaries and milestone birthdays. Alicia wants a fun and festive but chic event. Since some of the honorees live in Louisiana, they thought it would be fun to have a New Orleans meets Maui kind of concept. These aren't the final save the dates, but just concepts we came up with. Obviously not Mardi Gras colors, but she wasn't tied to them, she just wanted bold and festive. So I decided to use her direction of fleur de lis with a tropical twist and go with vibrant colors. I think I like the orange and teal combination the best.
I used a Hawaiian Aloha font which is kind of resonant of vintage signage you see all around Hawaii. Still waiting to hear back from Alicia, but it'll be a FUN and FESTIVE event because Alicia and her family go all out for these events. Alicia is such a joy to work with. She's so appreciative of everything and it's nice to know that clients such as herself come back to do other events with the vendors she enjoyed working with 2 years ago.
Believe it or not, many of her guests at her wedding haven't been back to the islands since their wedding which was over 2 years ago so this will be a fun way for everyone to get together and have a good time and celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. Life is short, so having fun with those you love and care about is very important and what's better than having a big bash to celebrate love and friendships!

Flower Samples - Stephanotis and Tiffany Blue Hydrangeas

I have a client who is getting married at the end of May and she wants a bouquet of all stephanotis with Tiffany blue crystals and her bridesmaids to have an all hydrangea bouquet but in Tiffany blue! So, I made the samples some time ago, but hadn't gotten around to taking photos to share with her so she could see how it would look. Here's a little snapshot of the two flowers.

I've noticed that although many of the style experts are saying Tiffany blue is not so popular, I can honestly tell you, it's still one of my top requests both on the accents for the florals (ribbons, crystals and now Tiffany blue flowers) as well as the invitation side.

This week, you'll probably see a lot of pictures and write-ups about my samples, so stay tuned..

Update - Kacee, sent me a picture of her and her fiance James! It's nice to put a face to an email and I really look forward to working with them on their flowers. Kacee was so happy with the hydrangeas, she's considering having it in her bouquet now. LOL... The bouquets always evolve after my clients see my work or see something new during the design process that works better.
They are such a cute couple. I can't wait to see their wedding day photos when that time comes. It's so cute because even James is excited about my flowers!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gardenia Cake Flowers

I got another request for gardenia cake flowers a while back. My Etsy client, Mary sent me the same cake picture that I received before. She told me how much her cake person told her it would cost to replicate in sugar or gumpaste and I was floored!!! Needless to say, I think this might become one of my additional items to my Etsy offerings moving forward since it seems to be so popular and the bride can use it for something else later. Put it in a shadow box with a wedding invitation perhaps as a keepsake or in a vase.

This is a very hectic week (but for me, I'm realizing every week is a hectic week) of trying to complete several print jobs and finally getting around to flower and invitation samples for several clients. My posts might be kind of light this week, but I'll try to post something new as often as possible. My goal is to put up some Christmas/holiday type arrangements on Etsy if I can find some time to create them. Oh yeah, which reminds me, I need to recreate a cake form so I can take better pictures of my work when clients ask for cake flowers. :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Congratulations to the Winners of the DK Designs Clay Flower Giveaway!

Congratulations to our three winners!
First Prize: Jessica O. from Stillwater, OK
Passionate about Peonies - $100 value
Second Prize: Heidi S. from Williamsburg, KY
Gardenias in Something Blue - $75 value
Third Prize: Julia R. from Brookline, MA
Gardenia Hair Flower - $20 value

First of all, thanks to the brides-to-be who entered. Thank you to Melissa Smitten of Melissa's Smitten blog for hosting the contest on her site! She said over 150 people entered the contest which is by far the largest turnout she said she had for a giveaway contest. Who knows.. maybe we'll have to do another one next year! It's been a sincere pleasure working with Melissa on this contest and if you're looking for beautiful letterpress stationery for your wedding, Melissa is your source for beautiful letterpress invitations! Melissa, you ROCK! :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Prayers go out to my former bride - get well soon!

For those of you who follow my blog on a regular basis, you may recall back in the summer, I posted my first bridal bouquet of the summer wedding season and how this bouquet and the couple I was making the flowers for turned out to be a very special couple to me. If you remember, Debi was in a very major car accident and she was so lucky to survive it and her husband Ed stuck with her every step of the way. They got married in July and are enjoying married life.

I've been catching up on my blog reading and Debi has her own personal blog that keeps me up-to-date on her life, her struggles and her beautiful marriage to Ed. I read her post from Thursday just now and found out that she has been in excruciating pain due to a condition called fibromyalgia. It's caused by injury to the body but basically in a nutshell, her whole body is in SERIOUS PAIN. I read the post and I started to tear up and really feel sad that my friend was hurting so much and there was nothing I could do to help her. Of all the people in the world, Debi doesn't deserve this. She's already been through so much through her continued recovery from the accident and she deserves to be happy and pain free.

If I lived closer I would drive there and help her through this very difficult time for her. Debi holds a VERY special place in my heart. She and I really developed a bond during the course of my making her bouquet. Her story, her will to live and her love for Ed really inspired me. I plan on making her something special to cheer her up and if for only a moment bring a smile to her face and make the pain go away.

So I wanted to dedicate this post to Debi and I hope she's feeling better really soon.
Big air hugs and lots of get well wishes and prayers to you Debi and I hope you're feeling better very very soon!

Uber Amazing Blog Award

DK Designs is honored to have received a nomination for the "Uber Amazing Blog Award" from none other than Evonne Wong of Events by Evonne. I'm not sure on all the details, but this is what I understand from Evonne based on her recent blog post earlier this week.

The Uber (synonym to Super) Amazing Blog Award is a blog award given to sites that:
1. inspire you;
2. make you smile and laugh;
3. or maybe give amazing information;
4. a great read;
5. have an amazing design; and
6. any other reasons you can think of that makes them uber amazing!

The rules of this award are:
* Put the logo on your blog or post.* Nominate at least 5 blogs (can be more) that for you are Uber Amazing!* Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.* Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.

There are so many wonderful and inspiring blogs that I read on a regular basis, but these are a few who I think deserve the Uber Amazing Blog Award:
Events by Evonne
The Wedding Chat
The Flirty Guide
Melissa's Smitten
Studio MSV
Shooting from the Heart
Hokul'i Images

Even if they don't win the award, in my book they are Uber Amazing bloggers and pepole! They inspire me, but most of all what they do and who they are as individuals are what is most inspiring!

Last Day to Enter to Win a DK Designs Clay Floral Arrangement!

Today is the last day to enter to win 1 of 3 of my clay floral giveaways that Melissa Smitten is hosting on her Melissa's Smitten Blog! The acceptance of entries ends at midnight tonight, Pacific Standard Time! Thank you Melissa for hosting the contest on your site! I'm eternally grateful! :)

I know many of you are wondering why I have been light on the blog posts, but I've been teaching the accelerated curriculum courses to a student who came all the way from New Jersey! She's very motivated to finish and to teach so I'm really excited because she'll probably be one of the first East Coast instructors to actively start teaching and expanding the art of CLAYCRAFT by DECO! My student did a fabulous job and we crammed 14 classes in 5 days! She's got some natural talent and I know she's going to be really good. I only wished she lived closer so I could hire her to help me! LOL. I hope that by summer of 2009, she'll be ready to teach other interested crafters the art of DECO clay!

Anyway, new posts to come soon.. PROMISE!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chocolate Cosmos and Stephanotis Bouquet

A week or so ago, a client approached me via my Etsy site and asked if I could create her bouquet for a 11/14 wedding. At first I was going to say "no" just because it was a very short lead time, but with my bouquet orders slowing down a little and my invitation/wedding stationery orders picking up, I figured I could do it. She sent me various ideas, but then she finally decided her favorite flower which isn't in season is the Chocolate Cosmos. It's from the daisy family and after researching it and finding pictures of the flowers on the internet, I found out that they actually have the scent of chocolate. Anyway, this is another DK Designs first in terms of learning on my own how to make the flower. I think it came out really well. I had one practice flower and figured out what I did wrong and corrected the petal position and voila.... this is the final outcome.

Trish wanted chocolate cosmos intermixed with stephanotis with pearl centers. She wanted canna leaves at the base, but because I couldn't find canna leaves that didn't have the hard wire center, I did something slightly different with a 1/2 inch grass like filler that I think worked really well. The green really makes the flowers pop. I finished the bouquet off in chocolate brown and ivory ribbon accents. Trish's colors are ruby red, chocolate brown and ivory.

Anyway, I would categorize this as another fall-like bouquet, but it could even be a great holiday type bouquet since the flowers are a deep Burgundy chocolate with a hint of yellow on the fringe of the center of the flowers.