Blog Posts

Classes, Marketing, New Year, Pop Up Shop

2020 Goals

Happy New Year and Happy New Decade!

This time of year I always like to think about my goals for the new year for both my personal and career life. So here’s a few things I’d like to accomplish this year for Marmalade Sky.

Sorry, but this meme cracked me up!

Pop Up Events:

My Mother’s Day Pop Up events are growing to include other products other than flowers. Making it a one stop shop for gifts to celebrate mom. I’ll host another this year so keep watching for details.

This year, I am planning a Valentines Day Pop Up Shop. I don’t have all the details nailed down yet, but I will have info out on my social media pages soon. So keep an eye out. Tell that special person in your life you want a floral arrangement from me and they can stop on in to purchase unique arrangements that they won’t find anywhere else. I’m super excited about this! (You can also preorder and arrange for delivery.)

I know there is talk about another Made With Love Pop Up event in the summer. You’ll want to check that out and as always stop by my booth to say hi! Also be sure to follow the Made With Love FaceBook page for upcoming events AND some of the artisans will be posting their goods on it as well. Enabling you to get shopping done all year long.

Social Media Posts:

I set a goal for myself in 2019 to increase my social media presence and I did! However, I wasn’t as consistent as I need or want to be. I also would write something in advance then never complete or post it. So this year my goal is to post 10% more than I did in 2019. What that actually means…I have no idea because I haven’t looked at my analytics yet. So let’s hope that isn’t too little or too much of an increase.


I’m struggling here. I really wanted to do more classes last year but I was only able to do one. Which was fun and as always I’m so proud of my students! The others I planned just didn’t get attendance and I had to cancel. I’m hoping with the new circle of “craft friends” from Made With Love that I’ll get a new list of students for some fun-filled classes.

Here’s what I need from you dear readers…is it better to have evening or weekend classes? What types of classes would you like to see? My goal for 2020 is to hold 3 different classes…with attendees!


Probably my biggest struggle is marketing. You’d think with several years of working in marketing that this part would be a breeze. Not the case. This year I’d like to get a brochure or flyer done that lists my services that I can hand out at events, businesses, and maybe even mailings.

I’d also like to get some professional photos taken that can be used on the website and other marketing materials. Not a big budget for this so if you know someone that is trying to build a portfolio and is willing to work for little to nothing for photo credit and such, please pass my info along to them.

Same goes for anyone studying graphic design that would like to help me and build their portfolio.

Subscription Services:

I started this last year but it never gained any ground. So this year I’m going to reevaluate the program and market it better. Possibly simplify the program a bit more.

Before I set too many goals that are unattainable I think I’ll just let this list sit here.

I’m always so excited and enthusiastic about a new year. Hopefully I can keep those feelings going throughout the year. I think I’d like to do a quarterly blog post with updates on how my goals are progressing. That would keep me focused and you informed. Is that something that interests you?

I hope you and your family have a healthy, happy and prosperous new year. I’m looking forward to seeing you at one of my pop up shops or classes in 2020.

Thank you all for your support last year and I’m so looking forward to 2020.

Please follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
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May your holiday be filled with love, happiness, and flowers!

Christmas, Christmas, Holidays, New Year, Seasons, Uncategorized, winter

Happy Holidays!

It’s here! Can you believe that next week is Christmas (Chanukah, too!). Just one week later we are in the New Year! There is so much to do that I’ll keep this short so you can get on with all the wrapping, shopping, cooking, cleaning, decorating, etc.

On the 8th of December I had a booth at the Made With Love Pop Up Gift Boutique and it was fabulous. Yolanda and her team were awesome and did a great job at promoting the event. I sold out! It was awesome. If you have read any of my previous posts about other events I was at, you’ll know that those didn’t go as planned, so it was great to end the year on a high note. I highly encourage you to follow the Made With Love Facebook page as some of us local artisans will be posting our wares on it and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming events.

My booth at Made With Love event

The holidays are time for fun and festivities. That being said, please be safe and do not drink and drive. Designate a driver for the night. Get a cab. Order an Uber. Whatever. The consequences far outweigh the fun you had that night. (Sorry for the soapbox moment but its only because I care.)

Thank you all for your support this year and I’m so looking forward to 2020.

Please follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs

May your holiday be filled with love, happiness, and flowers!

Business, Disasters, Fall, Fire, Flower Designs, Uncategorized


Unfortunately, Northern California officially has a fire season. Not the kind of orange and reds we want to see in the fall. But it’s becoming the norm here and it truly saddens me. We are spoiled here in NorCal. Rarely do we have extreme weather or disasters. While other states deal with hurricanes and tornados we are sitting in beautiful weather, wine tasting and eating good food. However, the last few years have changed that. Quite literally the winds have changed. Every year people are losing their homes, businesses and even worse their lives.

At the time that I write this the Kincade fire has spread to almost 77,000 acres and is still only 30% contained. Mass evacuations occurred in the hopes of getting people to safety before the fire was upon them. Luckily, we had notice of the fire and people were able to evacuate, unlike the fires from two years ago when they were awaken from their sleep at 1am and had no time to pack anything.

I’ve been one of the lucky ones. The only affect this has had on my life is that my town is the evacuation site. Oh and the smoke I’m breathing. But really, I’m charmed compared to what others are going through. I didn’t even lose power during the shut offs.

Though I haven’t been impacted in these ways, it has hit me emotionally. I worry for friends and colleagues who are in the fire zone. It saddens me that my county, the place I’ve lived my whole life, is in this seemingly endless battle and that the landscape I once knew is changing forever. I worry for the first responders. I stop breathing for a half a second every time I hear a siren (as I listen to one go by right now). I feel like I live in a war zone…and in a way I do.

It is also affecting me with growing the business. To be quite honest, growing my business right now seems quite trivial, which makes it very hard to think about social media, classes I’ve scheduled, etc. Why would anyone care what I’m doing right now with all this going on around us?

Then I think about comedians after 911. How some had a hard time getting up on stage and making jokes while the nation was mourning. But then we found it can be quite cathartic to laugh when we are sad. It helps us to heal, to pull ourselves from the quagmire, and to move on.

So I hope if you were temporarily displaced during the fires or if you are just feeling a little blue, that you put a bouquet of fresh flowers in your home. I don’t care if you get them from the grocery store or a florist, flowers will help to lift your spirits and fight depression. Plus they add a little color to our currently ash colored state.

I want to say a great big, huge, ginormous, thank you to all the first responders who have put their lives on the line and have had to leave their families and homes to fight these fires. You will always have my gratitude and respect.

To everyone else out there, things are chaotic and emotions are strained, so be safe and be kind to one another (stole that last line from Ellen).

Please follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs

May your day be filled with flowers!

Decorations, Halloween, Holidays, Home Decor, Wreaths

Halloween Wreaths

Wreaths are so much fun. They can be whimsical, elegant, dramatic, monotone, colorful, round or square. So many varieties and no two alike…much like a snowflake.

I’ve curated a few Halloween wreaths from my Pinterest board. Enjoy!

I love bats! People who know me would be surprised because I’m not a fan of flying things, but I just think bats are cool and are a staple in my Halloween designs even though I don’t think they are scary…unless they are flying at my face. Lol. Anyway, this design is from

I can’t express how perfect this next wreath is. First of all…they used a picture frame…hello brilliant. Painted a bright orange it will stand out against pretty much any door color. Then use a twig or branch (gee I may have a few of those) and then attach a scary looking crow. This wreath can be used right through Thanksgiving since crows are just one of the many symbols of fall. I think I need to make this one for myself. Click here to visit

This next crow inspired wreath is from Creative.Craft.Love. I love that she named it the Nevermore Wreath. Using a fabric that is black and white but not Halloween themed makes this more hauntingly beautiful than garishly screaming Halloween. It also highlights the flowers and raven better instead of competing.

This next one is so elegant looking. When I was first reading the instructions on how to make it I was a little surprised that they had spray painted the flowers because you can buy black flowers. But then I thought…brilliant! By spray painting you can use any type of flowers you want and you can do this anytime during the year. Plus I like the little bit of color that pops through…giving a little depth. I really like the fluffy yarn used to cover the wreath frame. It gives the piece texture and a plushness. If you look at you’ll see a version without the skull. I like them both equally.

When I do posts like this I always like to add something that I’ve done myself…but I really don’t have a good Halloween wreath that I’ve done. So I posted a piece Hall I did for our office. I used a metal tray (I think it’s used in incubators for baby chicks) I’ve had in the office for years with the intent of using it for plants or something…I used it to hold this ensemble of fall goodness. It will be easy to take the Halloween out and keep it right through Thanksgiving.

P.S. I put a fall wreath that I made at the end of the blog to make up for not having a Halloween wreath.

Please follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
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May your day be filled with flowers!

Classes, Decorations, Fall, Halloween, Holidays, Home Decor, Seasons, Shopping, Subscriptions, Thanksgiving

Halloween Time!

I have to say, I love the fall and nothing kicks off the season like decorating for Halloween 🎃 👻. This past weekend that’s exactly what I did and now I’m just going to enjoy the season.

I thought I’d share a few of my favorite decorations.

This guy I’m so wrapped up in. He’s new to the house and he’s already crate trained. Lol! I think he needs a name…any suggestions?

On top of the “mantel”…ok TV cabinet…is a haunted landscape. I love that Dad can get us manzanita branches.

So I actually saw this idea in a grocery store display but I happened to have this cute-as-sin vase and an air plant so I made it myself. So freakin’ cute!

When you don’t have enough storage space for the projects you are working on, then you use them as decor. I just simply gathered all my faux fall flowers and foliage together and placed them in this wooden vase. To make it Halloween-ish I added the flight of bats. After Halloween I’ll just take the bats out and I’ll have a lovely fall arrangement.

As I’m getting prepared for my upcoming classes I’ve collected a few trick-or-treat jack-o-lanterns (wow that was a lot of hyphens). So I made this totem of pumpkins. Not the greatest of designs but ya gotta do what ya gotta do when space is limited. You can take them off my hands by taking my Halloween Design class! Click above on the class schedule link to sign up!

Hope you enjoyed seeing a few of my decorations and are now inspired to get your Halloween on. Share pictures of your designs with me, please. I love seeing them.


October 27 Classes – I’m holding two classes on the 27th. The morning class is using fresh flowers in the jack-o-lantern buckets (shown above) in a fun and spooktacular design. The afternoon class is a beautiful sugar pine cone with a festive fall ribbon design with a few embellishments and then we do it all over again in a Christmas design. One pine cone, two designs.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Orders – get your orders for your Thanksgiving centerpieces by Saturday, November 16. I look forward to being a part of your holiday festivities.

Holiday Subscription Services – Fresh seasonal flowers help keep a festive feel to your home. Sign up for my November or December Monthly Subscription Service. Each consist of one bouquet a week leading up to the week of the holiday, that week will be a centerpiece style design perfect for your holiday table or bring a design as a hostess gift. Sign up for both months and you’ll get an extra New Years bouquet for half the price. Delivery fees included within Sonoma County.

Faux Get Me Nots – looking for something to last the whole season? Take a look at my line of faux designs to find that perfect fit for your holiday decor. They make great gifts too. Keep checking back frequently as I’ll be adding more items in the weeks to come.

If you have any questions or would like something specific, please contact me via email at

Please follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs

May your day be filled with flowers!

edible flowers, Flower Designs, food, recipes

Edible Flowers

A few weeks ago I posted a picture of a cocktail with a pansy laid gently on top of it. So delicate and pretty. This picture inspired me to write a little about edible flowers.

With the farm to table and craft cocktail movements (not sure if movement is the right word here but seems it isn’t just a trend) we are seeing edible flowers more and more in restaurants and bars. They aren’t just for decoration on a plate either. Squash blossoms are used in recipes and hibiscus is infused in vodka. There are so many uses.

I’m not saying this is a new thing, just a resurgence of their use…in more modern ways. The use of edible flowers have been used for centuries. Just think how long tea has been around.

Southern Living published an article on the top 10 edible flowers. I’ve listed them below. Click here to read the full article.

  • Borage Blossoms
  • Calendula
  • Zucchini Blossoms
  • Hibiscus
  • Lavender
  • Nasturtiums
  • Pansies
  • Roses
  • Sage Flowers
  • Violets
  • I thought it might be fun to post a few recipes for you. Mind you, I have never made these but if you try them let me know how they are…or if you need a taste tester you know how to reach me.

    If you are a baker maybe adding a few candied flowers to the top of your cupcakes would be a lovely touch. Here’s a recipe from for candied flowers. Just note this takes 8 or more hours, so plan accordingly.

    Now that you’ve had a delish dessert adorned with edible flowers, how about something a little healthier? (Notice how I put dessert before savory…yeah, that’s how I roll.). This squash blossom frittata looks so yummy and pretty. A great brunch dish or for a bridal shower. This recipe is from Honest Cooking.

    So now I think it’s time to sit back relax and have a cocktail. Because…it’s always time for a cocktail. I have to say, I’m a bourbon girl but I couldn’t pass up this recipe for a hibiscus margarita by Life In Pleasantville.

    I hope you try some of these recipes. Be sure to tell me how you liked them!

    Don’t forget I have two classes coming up on October 27. The morning class is a fun, festive Halloween fresh arrangement (see below for sample). Maybe your arrangement will have eyeballs in it, or spider webs, or skulls. Whatever you decide to use you know it will be a spooktacular!

    The afternoon class is for a decorative sugar pine cone. We will decorate it in time for your fall decorating and then remove that and apply a Christmas theme. This is so you can keep the pine cone up through both seasons. Here is a version I did last year. Sorry the quality is so poor…I will get a better picture posted this weekend.

    Both classes are $45 each but if you sign up for both you receive $10 off the total price. Sign up with a friend and spend the day being creative and getting into a festive mood. I look forward to seeing you.

    Last day to sign up is Friday, October 18.

    Please follow me on social media:
    Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
    Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs

    May your day be filled with flowers!

    Business, Classes, Events, Fall, Holidays, Seasons, Shopping, Subscriptions, Table Designs, Thanksgiving

    Post Show Wrap Up

    Oh how I’d love to say that last Saturday’s Show was a huge success…even a moderate success would be oh so nice to say. Unfortunately, no one came to this event. I’m not going to go into why I think this wasn’t well attended because I feel that it’s better to focus on what went right.

    First I must give a huge thank you to Janis @livingminiatures. She was supposed to have her own booth but due to an injury wasn’t able to make her product…so she came to help me all day. In 90 degree weather at an outdoor show. I am always so thankful for her continued support and her ability to sell me better than I do. Be sure to check out her Instagram page and get you orders in for the holidays. Her stuff is so adorable!

    We were given only about an hour and a half to set up. Needless to say I was quite nervous that it wouldn’t be done in time since when we had done the Art & Garden Show we took much longer than that. But I took what I learned from that experience and things went much faster this time. I didn’t use the pop up this time, opting for umbrellas. So those went up easily and were moveable as the sun moved.

    I decorated the booth in heavy fall designs since most of the product was in Halloween or fall designs. I also didn’t have a lot of product opting to focus more on my services rather than the product itself.

    We did have great booth placement in the fact that as soon as people drove onto the property they saw my booth…the negative was because I was at the end, people used my booth as a walk through. Anyway…I placed a fully dressed table at the front of my booth to promote orders for holiday centerpieces. Ahem…that’s a good hint for you too dear reader. Get your orders in now! Just shoot me an email and we can discuss.

    At the back of the booth was a six foot table of which I had my lantern pieces available. A fun and colorful display that I put on a hay bale. (Note to self…don’t use candles on hot days).

    So sad looking.

    The other end of the table had a display of upcoming classes. No good pictures of that but here’s a sample of the Halloween fresh flower class. Cute right? You could make this! Click on the classes link at the top of the page to sign up.

    The table that separated my booth from my neighbor’s was a combo of my faux-get-me-not arrangements and fresh. I placed the faux work on another, smaller hay bale that was in a wooden wine crate.

    The fresh were put on stacks of wood rounds.

    I also hung my acorn pieces from the umbrellas. You may be able to see that in the full booth picture. But here’s a close up of those adorable acorns. A reminder that those are for sale on my website…just click on the shop button on top of the page.

    And for someone who just wanted a little touch of flowers, I made tussie-mussies that I hung on a manzanita branch. I just think they are so cute! See pic below.

    Please follow me on social media:
    Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
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    May your day be filled with flowers!

    Book review, books, Events, Flower Designs, Uncategorized

    The Posy Book – Book Review

    Omgosh! I just treated myself to a new book and this one did not disappoint. The Posy Book is written by Teresa H. Sabankaya and has all the info you need to make the cutest, most beautiful, meaningful arrangements. I love that she is somewhat local, as she has a store in Santa Cruz called Bonny Doon Garden Company (I see a road trip in my near future).

    What is a posy? A posy is a small compact bouquet that is usually round in shape. It harkens back to Victorian days when giving someone a small bouquet could have a number of meanings.

    Floriography – the cryptologic communication through the use of arrangment of flowers. –Teresa H. Sabankaya

    What Sabankaya does in her book is to breakdown bouquets with their meaning. Cute little tags tell the receiver the thought behind the gift. They are a well thought out, meaningful treat that bring the historical meaning of flowers into the 2000s.

    For each design there is a picture of the posy bouquet and on the opposite page is the definition of the flower or foliage and alternative blooms for the appropriate season.

    The next page is a centerfold (boom chaka bow-wow) of an aerial shot of the bouquet with a call out of each of the botanicals. The pictures are clean and simple yet stunning.

    Then there is a resource section on basic floral design instructions including flower types and descriptions, how to cut, assemble, and even how to tie a bow.

    And when you think that you’ve got all the info you need, there is an extremely helpful modern dictionary that allows you to quickly look up the meaning of a specific flower. She doesn’t cut corners either. There are almost 80 pages of just the dictionary. If you can’t find it…then it doesn’t mean anything. Lol.

    I’m sure this is a book I’ll be referencing many times over. In fact I will be making tussie-mussies, that she also talks about in the book, for an upcoming event I’ll be participating in at Reclaimed Antiques on Saturday, September 21st from 10-4pm. Located at 19618 Eighth Street East in Sonoma. Come see me…I’d love to see a friendly face!

    Please follow me on social media:
    Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
    Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs

    May your day be filled with flowers!

    In Remembrance, Sept 11, 2001.
    Fall, Flower Designs, Holidays, Seasons, Table Designs, Thanksgiving

    6 Fall Inspired Table Designs

    I’ve never done this type of post before, so I hope it works well. Please comment if you’d like to see more of this type of content.

    As I stated in my last blog…I am ready for fall and thus the holidays that fall within. So I’ve compiled some Thanksgiving or fall-themed tablescapes that have caught my eye over in the Pinterest world. Oh and there might be one of my designs at the end.

    This first table by My Creative Happy is like hunting lodge chic. Very dark but oh so elegant. There is so much depth to the table, starting with the buffalo plaid runner (which is very on trend), then the wood slat placemats, wicker charger and gorgeous plates of brown transferware. The centerpiece is a mix of different sized pumpkins, candles and foliage in various metallic and matte finishes and colors. Cozy yet elegant.

    Let’s keep with the buffalo plaid theme for this second picture. From the lodge chic design above this pattern moves us completely into a farmhouse design. So versatile! While I’m not a fan of the ruffles for the charger/placemat, I do like the use of burlap for added texture. But the rest is just perfect in its simplicity and trendy items. I love the mini olive pails and the tall sheaves of wheat. A great look to keep up all season, however you’ll need to remove the wheat during mealtime otherwise your guests won’t be able to see each other. The color scheme is very neutral but the textures add depth and interest to the design. Table design is by Hip and Humble Style.

    This next picture is all about the mix of patterns. While not on a traditional table it’s easily adaptable. Again it’s all about pattern upon patterns…something I have to admit I’m not good at doing, but Home Is Where The Boat Is has mastered it with this design. So why does it work? When mixing patterns you need to keep your color scheme harmonious. The brown and cream base colors are accented with bright pops of yellow. Having the pumpkins in white instead of traditional orange keeps the color palette on point and doesn’t add chaos. Because the pumpkins are a solid color, like the placemats, they give your eye a place to land within the sea of pattern. A resting point for your eyes. And then…and then the hydrangeas. Gorgeous end of season antiqued hydrangeas. Simply sublime. I wish I had this set up in my house year round.

    Can you say fancy, fru-fru, high-end shi…uh stuff? And I don’t mean it in a negative way, because if I had all this gorgeousness I’d be showing it off too. First let’s start with the linen. Um…hello and yes, please! I just love that grey and orange together. Then the stacks of pewter and silver chargers and topped with the patterned plates. Gah! I want. So again with the multiple patterns, but it is so well mixed with solids that it gives your eyes a place to rest. I wouldn’t be able to stop writing about this without mentioning the simple yet glorious arrangements. Just orange roses with some seeded eucalyptus placed in silver and pewter vessels.

    Another table design from Home Is Where The Boat Is. This is an easy yet equally beautiful table. Notice there is no layering of plates which isn’t needed as the plates just pop off the deep green, rust and orange tablecloth. The showstopper for this table is the table runner. No need for a container.  Just lay your fruits and veggies down the center of your table and tuck in some fall leaves (fresh or faux). Add votives or tapers. Use preserved hydrangeas or using fresh flowers place in water tubes and hide under the leaves. I love how bountiful this table runner looks.

    Finally, here is a photo from my friend Beth who asked me to make her a garland using olive branches for her Thanksgiving table. She then added the candles, pumpkins, pomegranates, and tea roses. I think it looks perfect!

    And since I mentioned taking orders…I am taking orders for the holidays. Just shoot me an email and we can discuss your centerpiece needs.

    I hope you enjoyed seeing other people’s ideas. I had a hard time choosing which designs to spotlight from my Pinterest boards.

    P.S.  One more little note:  I will be participating in the Fall Art & Antique Market at Reclaimed in Sonoma on Saturday, October 21.   Go to for more info.

    Please follow me on social media:
    Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
    Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs

    May your day be filled with flowers!

    Classes, Flower Designs, Holidays, Seasons

    Bring On Fall, Ya’ll!

    I honestly cannot believe that August is just about over and September is upon us. I promised myself that this year would go slower…like I can control time. But here we are summer is just about over and we are heading into fall.

    While spring brings new growth and beautiful pastels the fall just grabs me with deep oranges, rich reds and muted yellows. It’s actually my favorite time of the year to drive through the wine country when rows upon rows of vines are changing into their fiery colors.

    I start getting anxious to decorate the house for Halloween, then Thanksgiving and finally Christmas. It’s a whirl wind of moving storage boxes in and out of the house for three months but I love it! I mean, I’ve been living with the same everyday decor for nine months. This girl just can’t handle that!

    It’s also the time of the year that you gather with friends and family to shop, eat, drink, attend floral classes (nudge, nudge, wink, wink), an just be merry!

    As much as I want to slow this year down, I’m ready for the seasons to change. So bring on the fall ya’ll!

    Are you ready for the turn of the season?

    Please follow me on social media:
    Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
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    May your day be filled with flowers!