Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ralston Hall Bridal Faire - An Afternoon of Elegance

With everything going on the last 3 weeks, it has been kind of stressful trying to get ready for the Bridal Faire at the Ralston Hall which takes place from 1-4 p.m. tomorrow. I didn't have many new bouquets created so from last night at about 8:00 through this afternoon until about 2:00 p.m. I decided to crank it out. I managed to make 2 larger bouquets and 1 single flower bouquet. I also made earlier in the week a little centerpiece since orange and turquoise are my most popular color combination for wedding invitations.
I was also grateful to Jen of Jen's Cakes for coming through for me with a faux cake to display my poppy cake flower. Her scroll work is amazing. The cake looks good enough to eat and smells good too! If you need a cake for a special event or a wedding, definitely check them out!
I will have a few other things to show at the bridal faire tomorrow and I'm sure lots of pictures to share with you again this year.I've read and heard that the color trends are orange and black so I had hints of it. I had never really done a yellow bouquet so I decided it would be great to also do one of those. So in less than 24 hours I managed to create some beautiful things to share with potential brides/couples tomorrow!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Jules' Last Day...

Today is a bittersweet day! Jules completed her training with me today. Granted I will see her on Sunday when she comes to a bridal faire with me, but I am sad that she's going back to the UK next week. She did a fantastic job for the last 3 weeks and I'm very proud of her.

I'm happy to say I have a new and dear friend in the UK and have thoroughly enjoyed training her to be a DECO Clay Craft Academy instructor. One day in the near future she'll hopefully be offering classes to those in her area. She was so kind, bringing me wonderful cheesecake from a bakery near where I live, she even made me a lovely necklace of her own design! One day I will ask her to make me one with her flowers. :)
I wanted to share her tall vase arrangement as well. She had over 30 flowers and it turned out gorgeous. I love all the flowers she picked and they all work well together.

Jules got along splendidly with my son Aidan and our dog Brig and she had to endure the passing of my mother-in-law, tears shed and a few other things that happened while she was here, but she was so gracious and so thoughtful. We will miss her dearly, but that's what Skype is for and email! I'm looking forward to seeing what she creates and how she expands on the skills she learned while she was here. I have no doubt she will take it to new heights! Also looking forward to hey maybe one day teaching her students in the UK! Now that would be a great dream!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My UK Student's Theme Project!

My UK student, Jules, is in the home stretch. This week she will complete C2 of the DECO Clay Craft Academy curriculum courses. She finished her theme project today, which is 1 of 2 certification projects she must complete in order to apply to become an instructor. This one was fun helping her create the pieces and showing her how to make things out of clay that she had envisioned in her sketch.
She bought this beautiful little box that looks like a vintage piece of luggage. She wanted to create a little gift for her best friend who is having a little boy in May. As we worked on the piece, things changed a little bit based on the size of the container she wanted to use. Originally she had wanted to put, "Baby Boy" on the blanket, but because of the small nature of the bed, I suggested maybe making puffy pillows and spelling just "Boy" out. She also wanted a toy chest and so I helped her figure out how to create it out of clay and we added some little toys coming out of the toy chest and she made the letters for the toy chest. She wanted a sleeping bear hanging out of the box so that took some thought but I have to say since I started gofigurette! with Myrna earlier this year, it has helped me to figure out a lot in regards to creating figurines and things out of clay. Wire is my friend! LOL.

Jules did an amazing job and I love how she incorporated the colors from the box into her composition. I asked her if I could keep it but she politely said, "NO!" Her friend will be completely blown away and I am sure become emotional when she sees just how cute this really is!I'm very proud of Jules for taking the chance to come out from the UK to take these classes and really push herself to finish as there is A LOT to work on in 3 short weeks. She's a real trooper. I can be a real slave driver, but she kept up and has grasped many of the techniques I taught her over the last month. I think we've become friends and I've really enjoyed spending time with her. I now have a friend in the UK through the love of DECO! :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Orange Poppy and Purple Violet Bridal Bouquet

I'm sure you've all been wondering what I've been up to since my blog posts are few and far between. Well, lots of stuff has been going on. I have been training a woman from the UK for the last 2 weeks and she's in the home stretch in her last week of training. She's doing an awesome job and I'm very excited for her to start sharing the art of CLAYCRAFT by DECO with the European world! We've been working 6-7 hour days plus lots of homework in the evenings and she's doing splendidly. She's another natural and I'm excited she'll soon be an instructor!

Also we've gone through something very sad in our lives. My mother-in-law passed away on Valentine's Day and it's hit us all very hard. The tears, sadness and the difficult task of explaining to a 5 year old why Grandma is no longer with us. My mother-in-law was and still is a beautiful soul. She lost her battle with cancer on Valentine's Day. It will be a day we will always remember. She was truly a loving and caring person.
I know you're all wondering what about my flowers. Well, I've been busy with flowers and invitations. I've got a couple big orders that I'm working on and the first one is this one shown. My client's colors are orange and purple with hints of red since she's marrying someone who happens to be Chinese. So she wanted to include his traditions. She decided on orange poppies and purple violets. The violets have special meaning to her since they were her mother's favorite flower and her mother is unable to be with them so she wanted to have a piece of her late mother. What a great tribute. I know they say that oranges and purples go well together and now I really do see that they do! It's such a striking bouquet. Wait until you see the bridesmaid bouquets and boutonnieres. That will be later this week.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Announcing the Wiinter Issue of Nesting Newbies - A MUST READ!!!

The wave of online/virtual magazines is on the rise. To do it in such a way where you want it to be in print because the images look so good is a challenge. By far, there are some great new virtual magazines in different industries that I enjoy but my most FAVORITE of all is Nesting Newbies! The first issue was awesome, but the 2nd issue is hands down AMAZING! You just have to check it out for yourself.
My dear friend Lea McIntosh, chef and entrepreneur, never fails to serve up nothing short of spectacular in everything she does. This is a classic case in point. The photos, the copy, the recipes just make you want to read more. Nothing can stop her from what she wants to accomplish when she envisions it. I literally see her maybe once every 3-4 months and we need 4-5 hours just to catch up on everything going on.
From decorating the entertaining to cooking, this magazine covers it all. She's got top notch designers and iconic nesters yet she brings it back to reality by giving the newly nested (newlyweds and those new to creating their new home) a way to bring many of these amazing design, entertaining and cooking ideas into their home.Who would have ever thought crockpots were cool? Don't get me wrong, I grew up with a crockpot but as they say, after a while everything tastes the same. When Lea told me she was doing this amazing Crockpot Chic spread with Christopher Peacock I knew she would "rock the crockpot!" The photos of the different menu items she developed are oh so yummy. You want to just eat the pages! It makes me want to go out and buy the cool crockpot trio and have a party! Just look at these pork sandwiches - yes, from a crockpot!I was fortunate to be asked by Lea's business partner, Jodi Murphy who is the editor-in-chief of Nesting Newbies to do a DIY makeover to an old lampshade she was considering throwing out. I have never covered my own lampshade, but she convinced me I was up for the challenge. So we spent a morning working on this lovely lampshade project using beautiful Duralee fabrics! It was a lot of fun and I actually was the photographer for this spread so it was neat to see my photographs in action.
I don't want to give away everything because this issue is a DEFINITE MUST READ! I also worked on a Nesting Newbies video production a while back and Jodi asked me to make signs for the photo shoot of their cheese spread and I finally got to see them! The wonderful Natalie Wi of Allure West Studios took some amazing images! Great ideas and a video on how to create the most amazing cheese spread that will have your guests commenting that it's a work of art. Even detailed notes on different cheeses and how to pair them with wines!Last but not least, the another reason I'm blogging about this is to let you know about an amazing giveaway that's happening with Nesting Newbies! One lucky person will win over $1500 in wonderful products including my beautiful peony and cherry blossom arrangement valued at $500! Plus you'll even get a signed, matted and framed piece by zenatona! Both Lea and Jodi are excited with future issues what bluebird bag giveaways they will have!

I'm so proud of my friends and their accomplishments. Literally they have a small group of people working on this project and they spend countless hours perfecting something AMAZING. Nothing short of EPIC! Definitely check out the magazine and enter to win the bluebirdbag drawing!

Note - all images courtesy of Nesting Newbies

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

DK Designs Clay Flower Bouquet & Boutonninere Featured in Brides of Northern California

Around November/December, I got an email from Lauren Matthews at Brides of Northern California. She asked if I could send her my favorite bouquet and boutonniere pairing and that she had been a fan of my work. I was truly in awe that she was a fan of my work and that they wanted to feature me in the Spring/Summer 2010 issue. The fact that there are SO MANY uber talented florist out there, for her to ask me really meant a lot!

I had to think about which ones were my favorite, but it kind of boiled down to which photos I had professional photographs from. Shailer and Vikas' wedding bouquet and boutonniere were one of my top favorites from 2009. The spring colors and it included all of my favorite flowers. They had a beautiful, rustic barn style wedding in New York. Their photographer was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.... Tammy Swales! She's got such an eye and the images she captures are so beautiful yet different!
I've been so honored to have been featured in so many magazines in the last 4 months. I think the best thing of all is that it brings to light that there are alternatives to fresh flower bouquets that are equally as beautiful and everlasting! Thank you to the team at Brides of Northern California for asking me to be part of this issue!

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Bouquet - Rustic yet elegant

I have a client who is renewing her vows next month and she asked me to replicate her bridal bouquet. Granted, there are many things I still cannot replicate in clay, but I'm always eager to try. I was able this time to do the hipericum berries, monkey tail ferns and my latest endeavor was dried lotus pods and of course succulent rosettes.
At any rate, this particular client didn't like certain things in her original bouquet so she asked if we could substitute. So instead of the cymbidium orchids she had, she requested ivory anemones with brown centers since her colors were white, ivory, blue and brown with muted greens. I think it looks gorgeous. A big departure from what I'm used to.
I'm always hesitant about doing bouquet replicas because I'm not sure if the clients expect them to be 100% replica of their original. I think most clients are happy that they have a bouquet that's not going to die on them and that it has the flowers that were in their bouquet on their wedding day that they will now be able to treasure for many years to come.

I know it's been a while since I've posted about bouquets. More to come in the coming weeks. A new wedding order of bold reds, oranges and purples which I'm excited about and then a bouquet replica for another client. Things are getting very busy again. Definitely looking forward to an amazing 2010 wedding season!