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!

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Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
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Website: marmaladeskyfloral.com
Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day be filled with flowers!

In Remembrance, Sept 11, 2001.
Holidays, Uncategorized

Seasonal Responsibilty

This is not my normal “flowery” article. No, this is me getting on my soap box. So I’ll apologize here if it’s not what you are expecting and will not hold it against you if you decide not to continue reading. However, it’s because I’m angry, scared and downright blessed that I am writing about this subject. This weekend I was at a party surrounded by work acquaintances, friends and family. I was truly having a wonderful time. It’s a fantastic group of people and I loved seeing everyone interact with each other and the kids all playing so well together, even though they had just met.

Late into the evening most people had left and I was just speaking with close friends, when my phone rang and I saw that it was my friend who had left the party not that long before. I thought she was calling to let me know she got home safely. Anyway, what I got instead was her sobbing on the phone and telling me that they had been hit by a drunk driver. I was stunned and momentarily paralyzed. She’s crying and all I hear is her telling me about her car. So I finally tell her, I don’t care about the car…is she and her husband and daughter alright? She tells me yes, but that she hit her head on the steering wheel and is waiting for the police and ambulance. I ask her if she wants me to come up and get their daughter or meet them at the hospital. Whatever is needed. She tells me no. All the while, I’m trying to figure out how I’m getting to them because I had been drinking, the people I was currently with had been drinking and both of my parents were home sick with bad colds. But she said she didn’t need me, that she just wanted me to know what had happened. So I stayed at the party.

I cannot tell you the extreme relief I felt when I found out they were OK. However, after I hung up the phone with her…of which I stayed calm throughout the conversation…I lost it. Deep wracking sobs of relief and also of the “what ifs”. It’s still hard to think about. How much different that phone call could have been. How I could be mourning the loss of a sister-of-my-heart and the little girl who calls me Tia Kim. People I would put my life on the line for. I cannot tell you how many times, since 11pm Saturday night, that I have heard that phone call go differently in my head. All because someone was selfish enough to drive while under the influence.

So here I am on my soap box with a plea. This is the holiday season and there is frivolity all around. I ask that you please be responsible. Not only when you’ve been drinking but any time you are behind the wheel. This isn’t just your life you are putting in harms way. You are putting innocent people’s lives at risk. You could be the cause of a wife or husband loosing a spouse, a parent losing a child or orphaning a child. Think of how your mother or father, husband or wife would feel if they received a phone call like I did. The call I received turned out to be ok…but I’m still traumatized by it…just think if they had been seriously injured or had died. It’s not difficult to arrange for a taxi or car service. It’s easy to assign a designated driver. It’s even easier to not drink at all. What’s not easy is to see a loved one bound with a neck brace on a stretcher and blood running down her face (and yes, she sent me a selfie). What’s even harder, is to identify a body at the morgue or go to a funeral during the holidays.

I know, I’m being somewhat harsh and over dramatic, but frankly I don’t really care if this offends you. Because if it does, then you are probably one of the people that should be reading this.

I would like to think I am pretty darn responsible when it comes to drinking and driving…or should I say not driving. If I know I’m going to be drinking, I arrange for a ride home or stay the night somewhere. Most of the time, I don’t drink and I’m the DD, because then I’m taking the responsibility out of someone else’s hands and putting them back into my own.

Honestly, I don’t think you should have more than one drink if you are even thinking about driving later…much later. I know people who drink for hours and then stop a hour before they leave and think they are OK to drive. Think again!! That one bottle of water that you have sipped at for a hour isn’t going to sober you up after drinking 6 glasses of wine or having 7 beers. I truly think this is one of the most selfish acts someone can perform. To think you can drive safely after drinking is a selfish act, because you are only thinking of yourself and not those life’s you will affect.

Since the holidays are for giving, I’m asking this of you. Give Life. Make the choice to not drink and drive. Please.

May you and your family have a safe and happy holiday season.

Much love to you all – Kim

PS – while I do not know what happened to the driver and passengers in the other car, I do know some were injured though no one lost their lives…thankfully. I hope whomever was hurt recovers fully and I hope the driver of that car has learned their lesson and will never get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated.

Business, Flower Designs, Uncategorized

Commitments – the follow up

I really can’t believe a month has gone by and that we are heading into the final months of the year.  Crazy.

Journal 1My month of commitments to myself was a struggle at times.  Mostly with setting aside the time commitments.  At the same time, it was extremely rewarding in other areas.   Sometimes the simplest task that was completed would bring the most reward because it was something I had avoided or put off.

The biggest struggle for me was on the business side.  After working an 8-hour day, the last thing I wanted to do was to think about work again.  The 4 hours a week I set aside was too ambitious.   Trying to keep to the days and times I had allocated was extremely hard to do.  I needed rethink my commitment…augment it in some way.   I never quite got anything concrete down.  However, because I recognized my struggle, thoughts of the business were forefront in my mind more so than ever.  Lists were made, marketing plans in place, and increased social media presence.  I didn’t abandon it completely.  I just did things in littler chunks of time.  Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out how to fit all this into my schedule in bigger chunks.  Where there is a will, there is a way, though, and I am hopeful to get this working smoothly.

Journal 2As for the personal side…well that just went splendidly.  Every morning I sat down for 20 minutes and wrote in my journal reflecting on the previous day and looking forward to the day ahead.   Within my journaling, I would make a daily commitment to myself.  Sometimes it was the same commitment day after day because I wanted it to become a habit.   One day I was running late and I only had 12 minutes to write.  I got in such a dither about it.  Such a silly thing to be worked up over but nonetheless, I was quite upset.  Once I got myself controlled, I made a commitment to make up the time later that night.  And guess what?  I did!  By taking 20 minutes each day I learned and gained so much.

  1. A better understanding on how I sometimes go blindly through the day without being present. Ask me at the end of the day how it was, who I saw, or what I did, I would struggle to recall. Because I wasn’t present in the moment.
  2. By reflecting on the previous day and the way I felt, I could change up the current day.
  3. There were several times I would say “no” to something during the day because that morning I had made a commitment.  I set goals that push me further yet are easily attainable.
  4. I always wrote the next day’s date on the top of the next page.  This would just reinforce that I was going to write again the following day.

All-in-all, I think this was a very successful journey and I will definitely continue to make commitments to myself…and keeping them.

If you made a commitment to yourself this month, I would love to hear about it.  We can all learn from each other.

Now…we need some flowers to look at.

Fall Flowers

May your day be filled with beautiful flowers!

Business, Uncategorized

Commitments

The very word “commitment” can be either scary or a comfort.  It can be both hard and easy to do.  It can be a burden or self-fulfilling.  With just one word, so many feelings arise usually based on whether you are doing the committing or are the receiver of a commitment.

Now you may think I’m talking about marriage since I’m a florist, but I’m speaking about a broader scope and more precisely about commitments to one self.  It is easier for us to make and keep commitments to others.  It’s completely different when we do so for ourselves.   Just think about it…what is a New Year’s resolution but a commitment to yourself?  Also one that is easily broken…usually within the first month.  We are quick to push our own needs, wants, & desires aside for another, whether that be a child, spouse, good friend…or sometimes in my case a good book.

Straw Flowers 1

This is not a new concept to me.  I know I put some of my own commitments on the back burner if I really don’t want to be bothered by them.   It’s probably my number one topic with my therapist.  So what made me sit down and write this blog post about this subject and not flowers?  Simply stated, my best friend.

The other night I was having dinner with my bestie from high school.  Literally we met in 9th grade and had every class together.  We were bound to be best friends or enemies…luckily friendship won out.  Anyway…that was many, many, many, moons ago.  Here we are in our late 40s and both of us are working on changing our careers.  She has the most gorgeous voice and sings with operas and philharmonics. Jealous!  However, she’s cut back on that and is focusing on her first love…writing.  Something I know she will excel at because she is a super talented writer.  Again, jealous!!

Straw Flowers 2

So, as I was saying, we were sitting after dinner (finishing our wine) and she said how she had writer’s block and that she sat staring at the computer for two hours the day before.  She has been struggling with a certain part of her novel, which she had abandoned for a while and wrote some short stories, and that just yesterday morning she finally realized that part of the book would have to be scrapped and reworked.  She was thrilled with that, because it finally gave her some movement on the project.   This led us into discussing the fact that she commits (there’s that word again) to writing two hours every day.   So for two hours every day she sits in front of her computer and writes…or as in the case the other day…staring at a blinking cursor.

This is what I pulled from our conversation.  Her commitment to herself and her writing is to put aside two hours every day…no matter if it’s productive or not.  Had she not sat with writer’s block the day before, she may not have given herself the OK to scrap part of the story that isn’t working. Therefore, the novel would be at a standstill.  I bet if I spoke with her today her two hours were probably really productive.

I like that her commitment was a bit vague.  I think sometimes we get a little too detailed (at least I do) and then when one thing goes wrong we scrap the whole idea.  Her commitment to write for 2 hours every day is an easily reached goal.  She could have committed to writing 25 pages every day. Totally unreasonable and tightens the parameters of her commitment, which would lead to feeling like a failure or have her abandoning the entire novel not just a section of it.

Straw Flowers 4

OK, so what does that mean for me? As I’ve already stated, I know this is an issue for me and I’ve been working on it and things have been better.  I know I have to find things that support my commitments and in some ways makes them easier for me to deal with on a daily or weekly basis.   Calendars are a big help for me.  If it is on the calendar, then it’s a little harder for me to push is aside.  Take for example about 3 months ago, I signed up for a new gym (mind you I’m still paying for 2 that I don’t go to).  Not only do I just really like this gym but also I can sit down for the week using an app and schedule all my work out sessions with the trainer and they link to my calendar.  Now when someone asks me to do something on that day, I know that I’ve already committed to a training session.   I’ve tried using a calendar for my working out on my own…but it hasn’t worked well.   I won’t cancel a training session because I don’t want to inconvenience the trainer, but there is no one I’m inconveniencing if I don’t go for a walk…well except myself.  BOOM! There we have what I’ve been writing about all along.  It is easier to say “no” to myself then to someone else.

Now…to apply my AHA moment.  What should it be?  I want to make a commitment to help with my career and one a bit more personal.

Business:  I’m going to set aside 2 hours twice a week to work on building the business.  That could be social media, advertising, strategy, floral designs etc.  Prior to this, I had committed an undisclosed amount of time on Tuesday evenings for social media (mostly blog writing).  As you can tell from my lack of posts that this just didn’t work.

Personal:  I’m going to take 20 minutes every morning just to focus on me (with no electronics), to think about what I can do for myself every day that is healthy for my body and my mind.  What will I eat for that day that is healthy and good for me?  When will I fit in some exercise?  Am I just so exhausted that I’ll need to schedule a nap after work?  Maybe it’s that time of month and I know I’ll be on the “see food” diet that day so I better stock up on pretzels & chocolate.  The point of that 20 minutes is to have “me” time.

That is a total of 6 1/2 hours per week I’ve just committed.   Since this is almost the beginning of September, I’ll commit to you, dear reader, that I will write a follow up blog at the end of September that will let you know of my progress.  And by committing to you, guess what?  I’ve supported my own commitments.  Yay!

Have you made a commitment to yourself that has or hasn’t worked?  Want to make a commitment to yourself but just haven’t done it?  I would love to hear about it!

Straw Flowers 3

PS: I wrote this blog last week, but wanted to run it by my friend first, so I am about a week into my commitments. So far things are going really well and I’m really enjoying my 20 minutes to myself more than I thought I would.  The photos above were part of the time I spent on business matters. 

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!

Business, Flower Designs, Uncategorized

Vintage Style

One of the many things I love about my hometown is that it holds an antique fair twice a year.  The city shuts down several of the streets downtown, which is brimming with antique dealers from town and afar.   Last year, I wasn’t able to attend either fair, so this year I was bound and determined to go.  Like a true junkie, I had to have my fix.  I mostly look for porcelain or china, linens, silverware, and home décor. However, with the focus on my business in the forefront of my mind and the pop up shop coming soon, I found my eyes wandering to other goodies.

Army Drawer
What should I plant in here??

Seeing all the dealers together in one place does allow you to see trends, as well and surprisingly the offerings are different every show.  This year, drawers were a big trend and are sold just on their own…no cabinets or dressers for them to set in.  They are great storage solution for a desktop, they can be hung to make shelves, used as planters, and whatever else your mind can think up.

 

Since it’s spring, there was a lot of outdoor and garden items; wire cages, plant stands, café tables and chairs, etc.

Box graters. Yeah you heard me, box graters.  I think I saw about 5 of them.

Lawn Seeder
I think some vines to trail up the handle are needed for this cool piece.

My creative mind was going a mile a minute throughout the 3 hours I was at the show.  I really wanted to find something very unique to sell at the pop up shop (being held on May 13 if you haven’t heard *wink*).  With all the drawers around me, it was inevitable that I would purchase one…a very cool metal army green drawer from a military cabinet.  The item I’m most excited about is this lawn seeder.   I’ll be getting my hands dirty this weekend getting plants in both items.

 

I’m already anticipating the September antique fair.  Anxious to see what treasures I’ll find!

P.S.  Look what delivered last night! My lawn signs for the pop up store. I think they turned out great!

Yard Sign

May your day be filled with beautiful flowers!

Flower Designs, Uncategorized

Wonderful, Wonderful, Copenhagen!

I was having such a wonderful time on my vacation that I never quite got around to writing a post or organizing my photos.  But now I’m home and back on a normal routine.

Denmark is just starting their spring season, unlike Northern California where we start in February during the first warm weather.  Here the daffodils have already bloomed and withered away, but Denmark is brimming with blossoming bulb flowers.

Probably the best display was in Tivoli Gardens, which was just open for two weeks to celebrate Easter.   If you’ve never been to Tivoli Gardens you must add it to your bucket list of places to see.  This is where Disney got inspired to create Disneyland.  While Disneyland has far surpassed the size and magnitude of Tivoli, I do love the quaint, fairyland feel that Tivoli evokes.

Tivoli had decked out in their Easter finery during this visit.  Our first visit we went in the evening and by the time I got to the floral displays the sky was too dark to do the flowers justice.  They were so spectacular; I had to go back in the daylight. It didn’t disappoint.

I could smell the field of hyacinth before I could see it.  The riot of color just as spectacular as the scent.   I wished I could just lie amongst the flowers.

Hyacinth Field

Probably the most enchanting were the daffodil roofs on the little shops.  These temporary shops were set up around the hyacinth field.  The shops were adorable on their own, but the daffodil roofs just sent them over the top.

Daffodil Roof

I took many photos of flowers during my trip, but Tivoli was the most inspirational.   I can’t wait to go back!!

May your day be filled with beautiful flowers!

 

Flower Designs, Uncategorized

Spring is Upon Us!

This Sunday daylight savings begins.  I cannot wait!  It makes evenings seem so much longer.  Now when I go for my evening walk, I won’t feel like my whole night is over and I can ditch the hat with the head lamps.  Yes, I look like a dork…but there are crazy drivers out there, and I do wear black.  So the head lamps (both front and back) help to make me visible to others.  Plus I then don’t have to carry a flashlight or use my phone flashlight app.

Northern California was hit with some very heavy rains this year and now that they have subsided a bit, I’m happy to see all the flowers and trees blooming in my neighborhood.

I especially love the flowering trees.  They are just so vibrant against the evening sky.   Then I look down and there are all the daffodils and tulips popping up.   They just look like they are ready to party.

Can I tell you a secret?  I like camellias better than roses.  Don’t get me wrong, I like roses, but there is something about a camellia that just draws me in.  In the house I grew up in, we had a camellia tree (bush?), anyway, I loved the vibrant red color and the deep glossy green leaves.  The contrast between to two colors really called to me and I like how the flowers are nestled in amongst the leaves.   Unfortunately, I don’t have my own tree anymore, but I can appreciate those I see out and about on my walks. On a recent walk, I saw a butter yellow colored camellia that had big buds. Unfortunately, I forgot my phone, so I don’t have a photo to show.  Hopefully, I’ll get a good picture to show on a later blog.

Until next week…

May your day be filled with beautiful flowers.