Flower Designs, Holidays, Table Designs

Halloween Décor

Happy Halloween everyone!   I love to decorate for Halloween almost as much as I do another holiday (that shall not be named yet!).    My style has evolved over the years from cutesy Halloween to a little more spooky…though not horror.   Due to my schedule, I had my house decorated by October 1 so I could enjoy it all month-long.

Halloween Tea Parties

These two table arrangements are from the same tea party.  I hosted 12 friends and family.   One table was done in purples and greens with a witch theme.  The other a vampire theme with bats flying out of the centerpiece.   No costumes were needed for this party, though I did ask everyone to wear hats.   So much fun!

This table was done with a witch theme, as well, in collaboration with my aunt.  She brought the magnificent witch and the gorgeous purple plates.  By the way, you are looking at a prize winning table design!  (I spent that $10 at Starbucks wisely)

Work Designs

Halloween Tree - Monster

Would you believe that we have Christmas trees up all year in my office.  Mainly one nine footer that we have no place to store during the remainder of the year, so we leave it up and decorate it for the other holidays.  Above is last year’s design.  A ghoulish creature is climbing over the top of the tree.   He really creeps me out…and I put him there!  I don’t know how I was able to even touch him.

Home Décor

Halloween House Decor - Crows 1

Halloween House Decor - Crows 2

As you can see I really like to use crows in my designs.  There’s just something about them that is eerie without being grotesque.  The top design with the houses in the back remind me of a scene from The Birds.  The little pumpkin artwork in the bottom picture was made by my son, Alex, in elementary school (late 90s).  I always make sure it is part of my Halloween décor.

Below, is a flower arrangement I did in class a couple of years ago.  They are real flowers…not real eyeballs.  I loved making this arrangement and was so happy with the end results.

Happy Halloween

May your day be filled with beautiful flowers
(and a spooktacular Halloween)!

 

Flower Designs, Table Designs

Fall Tea Time

This past weekend I held a small, intimate tea party.  My brain has been clicking away for months on a table design.  I really have two designs floating around in my head, but the other is for an event being held in November…so I have to file that one away for later.

Fall Tea Time 1
Before putting the linens on, I like to do a mock layout. I even take a picture so I can remember what I did.
I can’t tell you how happy I am that the use of metals are popular in design.  I love the shiny and new just as much as the dull and rustic.  Copper being my favorite metal…but as I said…that’s for a different design (hint hint).  This past weekend’s design is focusing on galvanized steel.  Very popular with the farmhouse and vintage look.   I’ve been gathering pieces here and there for various projects, but for this I wanted to create a vignette of all my pieces put together for a fun, eclectic look.  This isn’t all of my collection either.  I have a few bigger pieces and had thought I’d do some stacking, however the bigger pieces were just too large for the table.

 

 

For the dinnerware, I used my Crate & Barrel everyday set with a mix of cream and grey.   Cups and saucers are from Sur La Table and have become by “go to” set when my design will not work with my mix and match sets.

Fall Tea Time 2The flatware is my vintage set that were given to me by my Bedstemor (grandmother).   Can you see the teaspoons at the top of the plates?  (see picture below) These swan head spoons originate from Aarhus, Denmark and were brought over by my Tante Kisten (great great aunt) when she moved to the US from Denmark.   They are probably one of my favorite things I possess.  In fact, both times I’ve been to Denmark, I’ve looked for more, but have yet to find any.  Someday I’ll track more down.

I found galvanized steel initials (Michaels) for each of my guests which I used as place markers on the table.  Wrapped with a little orange twine to add a little pizazz and to pull the color scheme together.

Fall Tea Time 3Yellow and orange flowers give the dull grey metal an eye-popping contrast of color.  The sunflowers and solidago are in a corrugated tin container.  I wasn’t quite sure that it was waterproof, so I inserted a bowl with a ball of florist wire (chicken wire).  The wire became my structure for holding the heavy sunflowers.   I use a pin frog to place the marigolds in their container.  This is the first time I’ve used the florist wire and the pin frog in my designs.  I’ll be using them more in future designs in lieu of floral foam.  I would like to move away from using the foam as it isn’t good for the environment.

 

The overall look of the table was fresh, bright and cheery.   A great transition from summer into fall.

 

May your day be filled with beautiful flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

Business, Flower Designs, Table Designs

Collaboration – Fun for all

Sometimes I am so wrapped in my brain that I forget to look outside my box.  For some reason, on this particular day, my head popped up outside the box and I immediately texted my friend Anne and asked if she wanted to do a photo shoot with me.  Anne aka Trixiepix.com is an amazing photographer and loves all things nature, opera and tea.  She is a graceful yet vibrant woman, which is reflected in her photos.  She has just release the first edition of The Tea Drinker, a stunning booklet about tea, food, and other fun goodies.

After I texted her, she readily agreed and we started excitingly sending each other ideas into the late hours of the evening.  Both of us anxious to hear what the other had to say.   A date was soon set.  I mean really…like in just a few weeks we pulled this all together.

We met at my house, I had pulled out all my teacups and saucers, and Ann had brought some of hers.  Then the fun began, because even though we had texted each other ideas, we really just went with the creative flow.  No real planning, just building ideas on the fly.   Two creative minds at work…well really three as our mutual friend Heidi was there as well.   I had purchased a variety of flowers with no plan and it all just really worked out perfectly.

Anne took hundreds of pictures and I took a lot too.  Oh man, does she have the talent for seeing things through the camera lens.  My pictures are nowhere near as good as hers.   I’d be jealous if I didn’t like her so much!!   She really made the flowers look fantastic.

So here are a few of the pictures that were taken.  Anne is still editing.  I can’t wait to share more with you.

May your day be filled with beautiful flowers!

Business, Flower Designs, Table Designs, Uncategorized

Dream Becomes Reality

Pop Up Shop 1

I cannot tell you how long I have dreamt of owning my own shop.  When I was younger, it was a gift shop, and now it is a flower shop.  Two weekends ago, I was able to make my dream a reality…if only for a day.  I learned so much in just one day and those leading up to it.  It was a big success.  I went into the day with the thought that no matter what happened, it would be a success…because I had done it.  I had actually put myself, my designs, and my vision out there for people to see, so that was my success even if I didn’t sell a single flower.  However, it didn’t stop the butterflies in my stomach on Saturday morning.  I couldn’t wait to get to the shop to confirm that the flowers hadn’t died since I left them just five short hours before and that there hadn’t been an earthquake that toppled all my displays.  Once I had seen all that, I could finally breathe.  Of course, it also helped that I still had a lot to do before the doors opened.

Pop Up Shop 5
The table top is actually a backdrop my father made for my photos.  I just put it on top of a folding table.

 

Lessons Learned:  First and foremost, trust in yourself.  You must trust that this is really what you want (what you really really want…sorry..I had to go there) and that you have the talent and knowledge to go about doing it.

Secondly, trust in others.  Do not hesitate to ask for help or volunteers.   Honestly, the day wouldn’t have been the same without the help from my parents.   My father, for weeks leading up to the event, would build me partitions, bring things to the shop in his truck, or go buy materials for me.  And when the day ended, he loaded it all back up to bring it home.  He has always been my rock and I can’t thank him enough.   My mom is always my sounding board, my voice of reason, the one to say “do you really need to do that?” Then when I say “yes”, she just supports my decision.  At times she made me rethink things and move into a different direction that turned out better.   She worked the whole day with me speaking with customers and being my cashier.  Again, at the end of the day they both helped me clean up and put everything away.

“Have a good time.”

Friends were also a huge help.  Of course, my bosses, Wayne and Amy, who lent me the space to hold the shop, but who also came to help set up and do a little selling.  Wayne also went with me to the flower market at 4:30am.  He schlepped flowers around like a pro.   Carolina, a friend that I met in my very first floral class, came the day before to help do some design work.

Thirdly: have a good time.   Enjoy the whole process from start to finish.   It’s a lot of work…hard work.  You are exhausted and your back hurts, but underneath all that, is your dream.  There was a moment during the event, where there was a little lull in the action, and so I picked up my broom and started sweeping the foyer.  I had this moment of calm and just this thought that “this is mine.”  Just for that day, it was mine.

I dipped my toe in the water and now I just want to dive straight into the pool.  Unfortunately, responsibilities prevent me from diving, but not from wading.  I’m saying it now…there will be a Marmalade Sky Floral Design Store opening…you’ll just have to have a little patience (just like me!!)

May your day be filled with beautiful flowers!

Table Designs

Tea Tables

Hosting tea parties gives me such a feeling of satisfaction.  My guests leave full and happy and I hope a little pampered feeling.  It’s the social aspect of tea time.  Friends and relatives gathered around the table communing over a meal and drinking tea…and in some cases champagne…is what it’s really about for me.   But I love the other aspects of tea: the tea sandwiches, the scones, the little desserts, and the table décor.  Notice the lack of tea mentioned.  Don’t get me wrong, I like tea, I enjoy tea, but I’ll take the champagne, please.

I hosted my first tea party many years ago…probably 10 years ago…for a luncheon that the girls in my family would do twice a year to celebrate our birthdays.  Usually we would go to a restaurant for lunch, but I had been wanting to host a tea and since it was my turn to plan the lunch, I surprised everyone with a party.   I was given pieces of Royal Copenhagen and Bing & Grondahl porcelain from my Bedstamor (Grandmother) and other family members.   I had always been reluctant to use it, as some of it is very fragile and had been my Great Great Aunt’s originally.   However, since this would be a gentile (Ha!) event, I felt it was ok to us them.   I love the vibrant cobalt blue designs against the white porcelain.   So using that as my theme I added a bright yellow as a contrasting color.   I even made little menus for each person.   I loved every moment of it.  Unfortunately, I have no pictures to show you.  Bummer, right?

The teas have become a yearly tradition and I have extended the invite to more people, as it is no longer tied to family birthdays.   I have even been “taking them on the road” as I set tea tables for a Danish Sisterhood tea party the last two years and I’ve done them on my weekends in Bodega.  Picking a theme is always on my mind. I always have a table design (or two) going in my brain.

Though I’ve hosted a lot of tea parties, I’ve only used my Danish porcelain a few times.  The fall design I did for a Danish Sisterhood party was my very favorite…still is my favorite.  I like the wood tones that ground the design and then the pops of orange that are the perfect complimentary color to the cobalt.

Winter Danish Porcelain Tea Table

I also used it in a wintery design for a party in January on a weekend in Bodega.  Yes, those are plastic plates.  Who said, plastic and porcelain don’t go well together?  It’s sort of like wearing pearls with a t-shirt.   Casual yet elegant.  Here the blue adds to the icy look to the winter themed table.  I didn’t use any flowers in this table design but it was still fun design.  Considering the party was only a few weeks after Christmas, it was easy to incorporate some of my Christmas décor for the look.

 

 

May your day be filled with beautiful flowers.