Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Love Fresh Peonies.... A Gift on My Front Doorstep Today!

Today, I had to take my son to get his annual check-up so that his paperwork is in order for school in the fall. When we returned home there was a bouquet of gorgeous pink peonies lying on the front doorstep. I didn't know who they were from, so I texted my friend who I know shops a lot at Trader Joe's and asked if she had brought them by. She said that she was out shopping and thought of me. She knows how much I love peonies and TJ's has them every year at a fraction of the price.I hope to take more pictures later, but here are a couple that I liked most from the 40 that I took. LOL. Fresh flowers always provide great inspiration on how to get my clay flowers looking more realistic. This gift of fresh peonies was perfect timing since I had to work on some custom peony hair flowers for another bride this evening.

Thank you Ashlee for gifting me with these beautiful peony blooms!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Custom Birthday Centerpiece for a Fellow Design Blogger's Daughter

I have been really bad about sharing with you another blog that I love to follow. The blog is called Citrus and Orange ( Susana is the blogger of this wonderful design blog of all things pretty, wonderful dessert displays and design inspiration. Her blog is in Portuguese and English as she writes from Portugal.Susana approached me about purchasing a few of my ready made items on Etsy for her birthday earlier this year. She then asked if I would be willing to make some custom pieces such as individual stem peonies. What I love about Susana is she re-purposes the pieces I make for her just by putting them in a different vase.
A couple of weeks ago she asked me if I could create a centerpiece with coral peonies, peach poppies and white ranunculus in an aqua blue Ball mason jar for her daughter's upcoming birthday. This is the final piece. I cannot wait to see what she creates for her daughter's birthday.
If you have not checked out Susana's blog, it's definitely worth looking at and following! One of her images was selected on Apartment Therapy's website this week and it included my pink peony flower!All images are courtesy of You can also find her on Facebook! I am always touched and honored that I have clients who continually ask me to create more beautiful things for their home and special occasions. This is why I love doing what I do! Thank you Susana for being such a wonderful client and blogosphere friend!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Custom Floral Arrangement - Phaleanopsis Orchids, Lilac, Lily of the Valley, Roses and Sweet Peas

One of my friends and past clients asked me if I could create a custom piece for her sister who just graduated with her PhD in Nursing. We had discussed maybe created a gift for her a couple of years ago for Christmas, but she decided to wait and gift her sister for this momentous occasion.
She saw one of my previous arrangements I did for another client but asked me to include magenta and a little bit of tropical. I gave her some ideas and she decided to go with phaleanopsis orchids. I think it came out beautifully and so does my friend. :)
Another custom floral arrangement to share tomorrow with you for another repeat client and fellow blogger, for her daughter's special birthday all the way in Portugal! More about that later...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Custom Cake Flowers - Peony, Ranunculus, Hydrangea, Sweet Pea and Lily of the Valley

A repeat customer via Etsy contacted me shortly before I went on vacation to ask if I could create her cake flowers. She wanted peonies, ranunculus, hydrangea and small fillers. I suggested sweet peas and lily of the valley as the fillers.The flowers will cascade down her 3-tier cake. This is less than 1/3 of the overall flowers I created for her. She specifically wanted pinks, whites and greens.

Where have I been?

It's been a while since I've blogged. My family and I took some much needed time off as a family and vacationed on the Big Island of Hawaii for a week. The week went by way too fast and we didn't get in as much beach time as we had planned, but we enjoyed ourselves and I didn't work.Here are some photos I took while we were on our trip that I wanted to share.It's already back to my chaotic work schedule. I've been cranking out the flowers for several orders since my return on Thursday and I just started teaching a new student who came all the way from Saudi Arabia just to take classes with me. I always feel honored that people will travel around the world to take classes and learn the art of DECO Clay Craft Academy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Special Wedding...

It's been a busy week last week with my son finishing his last week of school and helping plan my Dad's wedding. Sunday, my Dad got married. They had asked me to work on the invitations and part of the gift to them was his wife's bridal bouquet. However, they were concerned about the growing costs of the wedding and wanted to have my brother and I photograph the wedding. I knew that was going to be a recipe for disaster so I asked my friend and industry colleague if he was available. Amazingly enough, he was open that day to shoot the wedding! We only needed 2 hours to photograph the ceremony and portraits.
I knew that my dad would be impressed by Chung Li's work. They were floored when they saw his past work. So my brothers and I agreed to pitch in and hire Chung to photograph the wedding ceremony and important bridal and family portraits.I was roped in at the last minute to be the wedding coordinator/planner to make sure the wedding went according to plan. I have had experience in the past with coordinating/planning weddings, but it's not something I particularly enjoy. It's a lot of work and I give a lot of credit to those who make wedding planning and coordination their full time profession. It's definitely a must to have someone help you with this process.At any rate, I received some sneak peek photos from Chung yesterday from my Dad's wedding. Words do not accurately describe what he and his second shooter captured that day. It was nice to see my dad happy for the first time in a very long time. They turned an ordinary hotel venue backdrop into images that we will all treasure, most of all my Dad and his wife. If you love these photos, check out more of Chung's work at He also offers really great beginner photography classes (I took this class last spring) as well as 1:1 mentoring classes. He's a top notch photographer, professional and friendly. He travels worldwide. I highly recommend him for your special event!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Very Special Thank You Gift

My son is in his last week of school. It is hard to believe that he is going to be a 1st grader in August! He has grown and developed so much in the last year. It amazes me constantly where he started at the beginning of Kindergarten and where he is today. He is now reading books!Although I spend a lot of time with my son to help him with his school work and making sure he's grasping all facets of his kindergarten education, we owe a lot to his wonderful teacher. She's such a wonderful and loving person and gives so much to all the kids. I am so happy that she is my son's teacher and has made learning fun.As part of the gift we're giving to her, I decided to make her a special arrangement. I've given her things in the past, but this is the largest piece I've made for her. She often would comment about how beautiful my flowers are and how she just enjoys looking at them. So I knew I could not disappoint! My son's teacher will be someone we will always remember, respect and hope we will keep in touch with her throughout Aidan's childhood! Thank you to all teachers for what you do for our children - your patience, your knowledge and for encouraging our children to be the best!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Yellow Cymbidium Orchids - Ring Pillow & Favors

I finished a small order of yellow cymbidium orchid favor boxes and a matching ring pillow. My client, Valeria is having a small destination wedding in Maui later this month. She asked if I could make yellow cymbidium orchids for favor boxes with white and yellow ribbons and a favor tag. She also loved the lauhala ring pillow and asked if I could make her one as well.
Love the yellow orchids. I don't often get asked to make them, so it's nice to do something different once in a while! I love the yellow patterned stock under the favor tag. It adds a nice texture to the card, but compliments the entire favor.

Working on a few more projects before I take a break from work and spend time with my family and friends.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Custom Floral Arrangement = Magnolias and Plum Blossoms

I'm so fortunate to have clients who have become repeat clients, who ask me to create custom pieces for them. This particular client hired me when I first got on Etsy to create a large gardenia floral arrangement with hints of blue. Since then she's ordered gifts for special people in her life for various occasions.Recently she asked if I could create a low lying arrangement with magnolia flowers and cherry blossoms. I love how plum blossoms look more than cherry blossoms so I decided to use them instead. My client asked that I not use any greenery. Luckily the buds of the plum blossoms have a light shade of green and the hint of the branches adds some contrast.I love doing custom floral arrangements where my clients give me flexibility of design. :) Now that this arrangement is done, I'm focusing on a small favor box and ring pillow order using yellow cymbidium orchids and working on hundreds of small flowers for a jewelry designer who uses my flowers to decorate the beautiful wooden boxes she puts her custom jewelry in. Lots left to do in the next two weeks and then a much needed break!