Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

I know I have been pretty quiet of late on my blog. Honestly, I've been busy teaching another student, visiting me from Texas. She's finishing up class 5 of C2 tomorrow and doing last minute review. I've really enjoy meeting Elizabeth and spending time with her. She's a very good student and I'm very proud of all that she has done in 2 weeks.

Other than that, I've been making lots of custom ornaments for friends and just taking a step back. I can't say that I've been relaxing, but I guess not pushing myself to make things since I don't have orders to complete right now. This coming year, I have decided to cut back on some things so that I can focus more time on my son, hopefully also find some time for "me".

I will be sharing more things in the near future, but I wanted to wish you and your loved ones a Very Merry Christmas and a Healthy & Happy New Year! Thank you for always reading my blog and stopping by!

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Last Big Wedding Order for 2010 - Completed!

(Bride's bouquet)

Today is a day of happiness and relief. I finally finished the last big wedding I had booked for 2010. This order consisted of 60 favors, 9 large centerpieces, 4 small centerpieces, 4 bouquets, 6 boutonnieres, 5 corsages, a cake topper and a ring pillow. My 12/30 couple had booked me to do their entire wedding florals (minus the leis and the arch decor).
(Bridesmaid bouquets)

One of the reasons why Asuka hired me is because she could not get half the flowers she envisioned for her wedding. She had wanted peonies, cherry blossoms, hyacinth, wisteria, Japanese iris and hydrangea. Lots of these flowers are not in season in December.(Brother's boutonniere)
(Groom's boutonniere)
(Groomsmen boutonnieres)
(Ring bearer boutonniere)

I could not have done it without the help of my dear friend and very talented student/instructor, Myrna of Petal Chic and my business partner for gofigurette!. She agreed to help me make the cherry blossoms for the centerpieces as well as the cake topper. She did a phenomenal job on both items I tasked her to do. She literally made hundreds of blossoms and buds for this order.
(Corsages for the mothers and grandmothers)
I also could not have done it without the help of my aunt, who has been a true blessing, helping me roll stems and other elements of my business. For this order I asked her to help me with wiring the hydrangeas for the centerpieces and there were hundreds of them. She also made the mini buds on the cherry blossom branches for the centerpieces. She also cut the styrofoam bases for my centerpieces. Without these two people helping me, I wouldn't have been able to get this order done in 1.5 weeks.It was truly a team effort. Literally hundreds and in total maybe a thousand or so went into building in this entire order. So in a nutshell, you can now see why I haven't been blogging for the last week and a half. I've been swamped every day trying to make flowers, flowers and more flowers.
Now I can breathe a sigh of relief and pack this order to ship out! This week and next I'm teaching accelerated classes to a wonderful woman from Houston. Things are going well, she's a quick learner and we managed to get through 3 of the 10 classes in Curriculum 1 in 5 hours! I'm looking forward to teaching her through the 23rd as well as focusing on some Christmas gifts, some small orders, and samples that need to get done.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Post Wedding Images - Melissa & Jake

I'm so very honored to have been asked by one of my past brides, Melissa, who if you recall asked me to express mail her a gardenia hair flowers 2 days before her wedding, to create a gardenia wedding bouquet for a post wedding photo shoot with none other than Critsey Rowe! Their wedding day was a wet one so they had to bring their planned outdoor wedding indoors. Regardless of the weather conditions the wedding was gorgeous and nothing could spoil the love that these two people share!
Critsey Rowe flew out a couple weeks back out to Florida to do a post-wedding shoot. The forecast said clear skies. Well, it sprinkled and it wasn't sunny, but honestly I think for Melissa & Jake, the rain is a sign of good luck.
These are some amazing photos from the after shoot! One word... AMAZING! Thank you to Critsey Rowe and Melissa for allowing me to share these photos with you. So honored to have worked with a very sweet couple and photographer!
I'll have 3 more blog posts coming up of real wedding photos from my past clients! So stay tuned!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Teaching the C3 course to an instructor from Singapore

My blog posts have been been few and far between. I've been super busy teaching the C3 instructor's course the last 2 weeks. I'm always amazed at how far students and instructors will travel to take classes with me! This time, I had the pleasure of teaching Shahida from Forever Blooms Decor Gifts! She teaches and does finished products in Singapore.
I have to say, it's been a great pleasure to teach Shahida the new flowers and concepts that I learned during my C3 training but more importantly, it's been really nice getting to know her as well. I feel like I have another good DECO friend. She has the same passion and I have and it's easy to see why she is very successful in Singapore.
She finished her final class with me today and she successfully completed all 7 series and each series contains 1-3 projects in each, which is no small feat. This is her first time to the US and everyone asked if she went to San Francisco or did some sightseeing. She honestly stayed in her hotel room working on her homework if she wasn't in the studio learning the new techniques. The requirement was that she had to finish every single project and I'm so proud of her because she did just that! Today she was rewarded with a trip to the big mall in our area and did some shopping for herself and her family.I hope I'll get to see Shahida again if she decides to come and take the series 8-10 with me. I wish her lots of continued success as I know EVERYONE will be asking her to create these new flowers for them and will ask when they too can learn all these new flowers. If you live in Singapore, please contact Shahida at Forever Blooms Decor Gifts as she would be happy to share with you the art of DECO Clay! Just so you know, all photos were taken by yours truly, but the work is that of Shahida! As you can see she is very talented too! This is just a small amount of what she completed during her training.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Custom gifts

A long-time friend recently asked me to create some pieces for her for the holidays. One she wanted for her new place using a specific container (a lovely green teapot with a beautiful embossed design on it) and the other was more specific in terms of colors.I finally had the opportunity to work on them (specifically last night) and managed to finish all the flowers in short of 4 hours. These will make stunning home decor pieces!
I wish I had more time this year to create some arrangements to sell in my Etsy store, but I will have to plan on the new year with things being so chaotic. Now that this order is complete, I can focus completely on my last big wedding of 2010! Oh and teaching another 2 week accelerated course to an interested student from Texas.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Favors, ring pillow and small centerpieces

I'm in the midst of working on several components for the last BIG wedding of 2010! Here are a few elements that have been completed and will be shipping next week for my 12/30 wedding. Asuka and Nori have a very specific theme in terms of colors and flowers. Their colors are lavender, pink and white. They asked me to create the flowers for their entire wedding, minus the leis and the arch & aisle decor.I'll be working on the large guest table centerpieces for the reception and the bridal party flowers during the next few weeks, however I wanted to share the photos of their favors, small centerpieces they ordered for the welcome reception table and their ring pillow.Asuka wanted a lavender purple ring pillow with satin pink ribbon and a white peony. I love these pillows from Y & E Bridal. They have the best customer service and high quality pillows! I had them custom make the pillow based on Asuka's specifications.
Next were her favors. She wanted lauhala boxes but their budget wouldn't allow it. Plus I felt the lauhala was not a good fit with their color scheme and their florals. So we opted for these square white gloss boxes with lavender ribbon, cherry blossoms (actually plum blossoms) and their favor tag adhered to the bottom right corner.
Lastly they requested 4 small centerpieces which originally were supposed to be teapots modeled after the ones I created for their bridal shower, but because they will be bringing these home after the wedding they wanted something a little bit easier to hand carry home.

Well, back to my studio to make flowers for another order one of my other clients so that I can spend 100% of my time focused on this last wedding order of 2010! It's going to be a lot of work!

Monday, November 22, 2010

8 Years in the Making....

Today is a very special day. My sister-in-law, Maryam, finally finished C2. Why you ask am I blogging about one of my students finishing C2. Well, not only is it because Maryam is family, but also because it only took her 8 years to complete C1 and C2. Maryam started after I was certified to teach, but due to schedules, having children, living in different cities and states, she took classes when she could.She was determined to finish this year before the holidays and today she completed her tall vase arrangement. It's such a great accomplishment for her and once she is certified and passes her exam, she will be my first Sacramento area instructor! What a sense of accomplishment and it's been great seeing how far she has come. She's a busy mom trying to juggle her children's schedules and be a housewife. She's excited at the prospect of eventually teaching and learning all the new techniques from C3. Hopefully that won't take another 8 years! :)We celebrated with a lunch out with the family and my brother surprised her with guava cake from our favorite local bakery. I'm so proud of her!

I think once she is certified she will be my 15th instructor to date! I know people will be contacting her once she becomes certified to teach because I know so many people have contacted me from that area so it will be nice to have another instructor to refer them to!

Congratulations Maryam, your hard work, patience and dedication truly paid off!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A dozen plum blossom branches for a vow renewal

It has been a while since I last worked with the wedding staff at the Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort. They recently contacted me because they have a couple renewing their vows and the wife of the couple really wants cherry blossoms. So I just completed these in 2 days. 12 stems with roughly 65 buds and about 160 flowers. These will be incorporated into a fresh flower bouquet with roses. I'm interested to see how it turns out.
I still need to matte varnish the flowers so that they are water resistant due to the fact that they will be incorporated into a fresh flower bouquet.I'm continuing my plum blossom production for another wedding that is also incorporating "cherry blossoms". Lots of work ahead!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Southern Magnolia Cake Flowers

I had an inquiry a few months back for Southern magnolia cake flowers in size of 4-5 inches in diameter. I asked the client if I could hold off to make them until I had taken my C3 class to learn the new techniques. So I had made her flowers a few weeks ago, but they didn't look very good and so I put off reworking them, but I knew I didn't like the way they turned out and wanted to redo them.I recently saw a sugar magnolia cake flower that Jacqueline Butler of Petalsweet Cakes recently created and it gave me inspiration to try again.
I ended up falling back on some of my old techniques while at the same time incorporating some of the new things I learned. I'm very happy with the results.

Had a great weekend teaching in San Diego area this past weekend and spending time with my dear friend Debbie Friedrich of zenatona, doing some teaching and just enjoying a little time off! Now it's back to catching up on orders and accelerated instructor courses.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Final Floral Arrangements for the Craft Fair

I finally finished all the pieces that I'm going to be able to do for the craft fair on Saturday. I made 5 arrangements with hydrangeas in them with a mixture of colors.
I made a few more phaleanopsis orchid pieces as well. One of my colleagues kept telling me how great my deep pink orchids looked yet I didn't make any so I guess she was trying to tell me something. :)
Lastly, I had to make a gift a former client of mine wanted to give to her mom who is undergoing surgery for breast cancer. So it inspired me to make another one but in different colors. I love the ranunculus and plum blossom combination!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Four more arrangements completed

I am now at 10 arrangements completed. I have flowers for 4 more arrangements left to assemble. I hope to be able to get to 3-4 more before I switch gears again and focus on my other orders. People asked where are my holiday arrangements. I'm all for holidays, but I also wanted really to showcase flowers that can be for every day use, not just the holidays. I love color so that's why I just went with whatever moved me.These 4 arrangements are simple trios of ranunculus in various colors with various colored glass vases and the last one is of 3 blush pink anemones. I am going to make one with orange cymbidiums hopefully tomorrow.
I'm taking a short break to visit with my brother's family which means no flower making for a day and a half, but hope to make more flowers tomorrow morning before that.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A few more items for the craft fair

I've been busy creating a bunch of new pieces for the craft fair. I finished 4 additional arrangements today. Two of them are phaleanopsis orchid arrangements that are simple yet stunning. Who doesn't want orchids that don't wilt or die. I have such a hard time keeping flowers alive let alone orchids. My longest success with an orchid is the last one my husband and son bought me which I kept alive for 3 months and that's being gone 1 week without watering it. But alas it too met the same fate.Since we learned how to make the phaleanopsis orchid during our C3 workshops, I thought it would be great to introduce these little gems at the craft fair! I'm really happy with the way they turned out.I also decided to practice my dog roses as well after C3 and incorporated them with white freesia that I had left over from the last bouquet order. I arranged them in these super cute paisley shaped ceramic vases.

More arrangements tomorrow, but for now, enjoy the eye candy!