Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cranking out more arrangements for the Garden Art Party

Ever since Thursday, I've been working hard to get some flowers done for the upcoming Garden Art Party and these are the arrangements I was able to complete. The first is a lighter palette of ranunculus blossoms with viburnum in a mini teacup.
These flower cupcakes were very popular with our gofigurette! clients so I figured I would make one for the Garden Art Party. Complete with the cupcake stand. Hoping to make 1 or 2 more before the event.
Decided to use another one of these 3x3 fine weave pandan boxes from Eco-Friendly Market and do a green and purple palette of orchids, hydrangeas and roses.
These simple white hydrangea piece goes well with zenatona's "breeze" canvas art!
This particular piece comes from zenatona's "aloha" print. Love how I can be inspired by Debbie's amazing photography! This one is using Eco-Friendly Market's 6x6" square pandan box. Love to use these as containers for my arrangements.
Lastly and one of my favorites is this peony arrangement. Three large peonies in a vintage aqua blue mason ball jar!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A few more arrangements for the Garden Art Party

Now that I'm done with my critical wedding orders, I've been busy trying to make flower arrangements for the 5th Garden Art Party with zenatona. It's been slow going, but I've been trying to push myself to get some flowers done. I have to complete all my flowers no later than Sunday! The flower arrangement above is using the pandan boxes from Eco-Friendly Market. The boxes make great containers for wedding favors or bridesmaids gifts but they also work well as vases too!Here are a few I wanted to share with you that I worked on and completed today. Still loving my teacup and teapot concept so I'm continuing to make little pieces to brighten living spaces! :)

Snapdragon Boutonniere Request

Yesterday I got a couple emails via Etsy form a bride a groom for a hair flower and the groom wanted a snapdragon boutonniere. I've never made snapdragons before but it was definitely on my list of flowers to one day try. So why not now!
Their wedding is August 14th so they needed the flowers by August 12th. Normally I would have said "no" since I'm so short on time before we take some time off, but agreed to do the order. This is how the boutonniere turned out. I think there are still some modifications to be made to perfect it but for attempting it for the very first time I'm pretty happy with the final result.

Working on flowers now for the Garden Art Party which I hope to share more arrangements with you in the coming days!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Spending Time with Family = Practicing with my Camera!

My husband's nephew is visiting us from Georgia and we took him to San Francisco last week so he could see the Golden Gate Bridge. Granted we didn't do the whole touristy trip, but that was his one request. I decided to take this opportunity to put what I learned in Chung's photography class to good use. It was challenging, but these are some of my good photos from that day!We've been enjoying getting to know our nephew since it's the first time my son and I have met him and my husband hasn't seen him since he about Aidan's age.He's getting married next May so I'll be working on their wedding flowers and invitations!

Photography Workshop with Chung Li

I've been told that my photography is really good even by professional photographers, but I always respond by telling them I have no idea what I'm doing, I just find the angle I like and play with my flash and take the photo. I've had a DSLR for over 3 years now and I found out through an industry colleague that there was an introductory DSLR class being offered by Chung Li Photography in the Bay Area. So I contacted Chung Li and he still had space available and signed up.

I've always wanted to know how to use my settings and stop using automatic. This was my chance to take a 7 hour intensive class and learn all there is to know about how to take a good picture with the right exposure. Chung explained aperture, ISO, shutter speed and proper exposure. The first half of the day was about theory and understanding the basics of a camera and what everything means. A lot of it didn't make a lot of sense to me until the second half of the day where we got to practice at the Ralston Hall in Belmont. This is where I think I grasped what he was trying to explain to us in the morning.I was at a slight disadvantage since everyone there was a Canon user and I was the ONLY Nikon user. But I managed to figure out my settings based on what Chung was teaching us. I got more and more comfortable using the M (manual) mode and adjusting my aperture and shutter speed, but also getting the right exposure. He also explained about what settings to change based on the desired effect we wanted to capture.

I am so glad I took this class and every day I practice with my camera so that one day it becomes intuitive! Here's some photos I took that day and also I gave Chung a little gift of clay flowers since he had never seen them in person so he had taken some lovely photos for me!
If you live in the Bay Area and want to take a introductory 1 day class to learn about your DSLR, Chung is offering another class on 8/22! Please be sure to contact him ASAP as he only accepts 8 students. He even provides coffee and cupcakes for breakfast! He's a great teacher and for the price for 7 hours you cannot beat it. He will be offering intermediate classes as well in the fall and I'm definitely looking forward to learning more about dynamic posing, studio lighting and post processing. Now I just need to get my LightRoom 2 out of the box and start helping my work flow!
For more information visit Chung is an AWESOME photographer! So if you're looking for someone to do family portraits or your wedding, he's definitely someone you want to check out and keep in mind as a possible photographer!

I've been practicing with my camera in and out of the studio and will hopefully share in a couple weeks pictures I've been taking. I can see a dramatic improvement in many of my photos, but I have to admit when it comes to my flowers, I still shoot a lot using my Macro setting! Sorry Chung! LOL.

My Twigs & Honey Original English Rose!

I've been a big fan of Myra Callan's work from the time I started on Etsy and she hearted my shop. She's so talented. If you don't know her shop already, it's called, Twigs & Honey. I had only wished that she was around when I got married. I always thought one day I would like to own one of her pieces, but where would I wear it since I am already married.Myra came out with this English Rose collection of 6 different styles all hand dyed silks in pinks, ivory, white and peach hues. She gives you an option of picking not only style of roses, but color, size and backing. Since I wanted something versatile, I told her a 4 inch flower and it was #5 - believe me it was so hard to choose I wanted all of them! I finally got my Twigs & Honey flower and it's so beautiful. The color is very subtle and natural looking since the fabric is hand dyed. I was surprised how stiff the fabric was, but I can imagine, that this helps to keep the nice shape.
It came perfectly packaged in a simple but sturdy box with a picture of one of the models wearing her hair fascinators. I'm so excited to wear this for my 5 year anniversary dinner with my husband in a couple of weeks. My dear friend has offered to watch our son while we have a nice dinner out. Something we don't do very often.
If you are interested in handmade, hand-dyed silk hair flowers, accessories and adornments, definitely check out Myra's work. She's coming out with a new online store soon with a lot of new designs. Her work has graced many bridal magazines and blogs and she's in high demand. Definitely plan ahead because she books fast and during busy wedding season you want to be sure you give yourself 1-2 months. She does do rush orders, but knowing how busy her schedule is, definitely plan ahead. :) It's well worth the wait!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Featured on Etsy Handmade Weddings!

This morning I received a convo from my client and fellow Etsy artisan, Dorana that her wedding was featured today on the Etsy Storque under Handmade Weddings! Dorana commissioned several wonderful Etsy artisans to complete her wedding day.
Dorana was such a sweetheart and although it was a quick turn in terms of her order, we made it happen. Here are some screen captures from the article, but definitely check it out and read about her Etsy Handmade Wedding! I was commissioned to do her bridal bouquet, boutonnieres, corsages and cake flowers.
Dorana asked for red and ivory roses, but in a more open fuller style and we used excess beaded lace from her gown to complete the stem wrap. I am so honored to have worked with Dorana and she's such a sweet person too!
She also runs! Definitely check it out!

Frilly Pink Peony Cake Flower

I got a request the other day from a potential buyer on Etsy. She loved my frilly pink peony ring pillow, but was really interested in a cake flower. So she asked if I could make one the size of the cake flower but in the style she liked best. I decided to take a picture of the two together. It makes a great collection!If you're interested in either the ring pillow or the cake flower, visit my Etsy shop!

A Very Special Custom Gift

I was contacted a few days ago by one of my past Etsy buyers asking if I could make something custom for someone very special in her life, her aunt. Amanda asked if I could make an arrangement of flowers for her aunt who has breast cancer and the prognosis is not good. She thought that my flowers would be a bright spot in her day and something that would last and she could enjoy every day!
Amanda's story really hit close to home for me. My mother also died of breast cancer and most recently my mother-in-law died of bladder cancer. My heart reached out to Amanda and her family and what they are going through. I felt the need to share my story with Amanda and I think she really appreciated that I could relate to her situation and offer some really good advice.

Time was of the essence with this arrangement so she told me that her aunt loves Maui and flowers in Hawaii so we created a piece that had plumerias, cymbidiums, roses and tuberose in a pandan box vase from Eco-Friendly Market. She loved it and she was so happy that I really dropped everything else to make sure this arrangement gets out to her. I told her I would express mail it to her tomorrow so that she receives it on Wednesday. I was hoping to ship it today, but it needs one more day to dry.

I'm so honored to be asked to create a piece that her aunt will enjoy and I hope that Amanda's aunt will continue to have hope, fight and just live life to the fullest.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Final Images of the Lilac Bouquet

Brittany is ecstatic as is my friend who referred her! I'm so pleased with how this bouquet turned out. It's sad to see it go, but I know that Brittany will treasure it and I can't wait to see the photos the photographer captures!I was just waiting for final feedback from the bride on the color ribbon because for the life of me I couldn't remember. The final touch was ivory satin ribbon with a light purple organza overlay.

The nice thing about this bouquet is that all the flowers dried quickly so I can ship it tomorrow and the bride should receive it by Monday!

Best wishes to Brittany and her fiance!

Back to all my other projects!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lilac Bouquet - Part II

Well, I really wanted to get this bouquet done tonight since I have other projects just behind this one. So I painted the buds and flowers to bring out more of their natural colors and so it wouldn't be so flat. Brittany wanted the look of "just picked from the garden" type of bouquet. The main focus obviously being the lilac blossoms. I would have loved to do the leaves in clay, but with the timing and budget I opted to use some fillers which I think rounds out the bouquet. This piece will certainly make a beautiful home decor piece after the wedding.
The last and final touches are the ribbons which I'm confirming with Brittany and then I have to tape more flowers that she wanted for her hair.

It's such a relief and a HUGE sense of accomplishment especially on this bouquet. It's like making 5 bouquets! LOL. I will have more photos after the final touches are added.

Sneak Peek at a Stunning Wedding Bouquet in Progress - Lilacs!

I've been knee deep so-to speak the last 3 days in making hundreds, make that thousands of lilac blossoms and buds. I have a client who came to me via one of my dear past brides and now good friend. The bride has seen the bouquet I made for Debi and was so excited at the possibility that I could make hers. The catch was that their wedding was only a month away! Normally it's not a big deal in most cases, but Brittany really wanted lilacs. I asked what other flowers she wanted and she replied, "an all lilac bouquet". My first response was HOLY COW. Well, that's not what I said, but in my mind lots of other words.Seriously though, I have never done an all lilac bouquet and I love when clients challenge me so I agreed to do her bouquet. She didn't want anything too big and thank gawd because I made 2800 buds and blossoms in total and granted I didn't use every single one, but I have to imagine the bouquet is roughly about 2500 buds/blossoms. I really started to get the groove of the flowers and the buds and how I wanted them to look. It really doesn't start to come together until I started taping each stalk. OMG, as I started the first one just to see if I was going to have enough my jaw dropped and I got super excited about the results. Today I finished making the buds and assembled all the stalks. I still have to paint and assemble how the final bouquet will look but I am quite pleased.
I think this has to be the most time consuming let alone the order with the most flower components I have ever done. I'm almost scared when people see these photos because then they too will want a lilac bouquet. I know I do, I want to keep it! LOL. What I love about Brittany is that she completely understood what it was all about and what it takes and we agreed on a price that was reasonable given the amount of work. Granted now that I've gone through it once, I think I would charge a little more next time.

It was a great experience and I love challenges. After this order is complete I have a few more things to accomplish and then I'm seriously taking a much deserved break. I am even contemplating putting my Etsy shop out of commission while I spend some time with family.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tea Cup Brimming with Gerbera Daisies

I look at this tea cup brimming with gerbera daisies and think of rainbow sherbet! Such lovely colors of pinks, oranges and greens. Makes me smile. This definitely would make such a great arrangement for a place setting at a tea party themed event! Happy Friday!

Mini Teapots to Mini Tea Cups = Another Great Flower Vase!

I was so excited yesterday when my shipment came. Lots of teapots and teacups to start working on filling. I am in the midst of filling orders for my brides, so I didn't get a chance to make a ton of flowers. However, I made enough flowers to fill one little mini teacup! So, so cute!
Can't wait to debut these at the upcoming Garden Art Party next month in San Diego. Then whatever doesn't sell will surely make it's way to my Etsy site. I bought a lot so definitely if they do sell out, I will be making more! The cup itself to give you perspective is 2" and the saucer is 4" not including the flowers. These would be so cute for a centerpiece for a tea party themed bridal shower or baby shower or as place settings and gifts to the mommy-to-be!

Lilac Hydrangea Hair Flowers Make Etsy's Front Page

I'm so excited! This morning I woke up and received notification from that my lilac hydrangea hair flowers were featured on Etsy's front page around 12:30 last night! I've been so fortunate of late to be featured on several treasuries, but the possibility to make it to the front page depends on whether Etsy feels it's unique enough to make it.

Hopefully it will show up again today so the rest of the world can see it. :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Orange, Green and Brown Bridal Bouquet

I have been busy trying to finish orders for upcoming weddings before we go on vacation. I am so in need of a vacation. This summer has been so busy with wedding orders and important projects that I've literally not had much time to stop and breathe. This upcoming vacation will be a chance for me to recharge before I start working on the late summer and early fall orders and there are quite a lot!This bouquet is full of juicy goodness. It's a great departure from the color palettes I've been doing of late. Alison liked a bouquet I did years ago that had orange lilies, red roses and grass elements. We discussed her ideas a little more and the colors she had wanted were orange, green and brown. She wasn't really sure on the flowers other than the lilies. So we exchanged a few emails back and forth and we agreed on the lilies, ranunculus, cymbidium orchids and monkey tail fern curls. It's so lush. Because I didn't want to really introduce magentas and pinks, I used a more burgundy/merlot coloring for her cymbidiums and didn't do a lot of detailing in the throat/mouth. I tried to pick up the oranges, yellows and browns.
Alison sent me an email this morning after she saw the photos and she was floored. She said I did a way better job of what she had envisioned especially when she wasn't exactly sure what she wanted.

Lots to continue to do the next couple of weeks. I have a few little projects I need to tackle, but starting tomorrow, I am working on an all lilac bouquet. This will be my first and possibly my last after my fingers, wrists and hands fall off from making SO many little lilac flowers and buds. Wish me luck! :)