Book review, books, Flower Designs

The Secret Language of Flowers – Book Review

Hi all! Today I’m reviewing this sweet little book. There are several books out there on the language of flowers and I think even a novel, but I’m reviewing this book by Samantha Gray. The illustrations are by Sarah Perkins. I wouldn’t necessarily call out the illustrator when doing a book review but this book is so beautifully done in both writing and artwork that I can’t not give both contributors a shout out.

Most people know that red roses are symbols of love. But did you know that a single red rose means “I still love you”, “You are the one”, and “Love at first sight.” But that four red roses is a symbol of bad luck. And 50 roses no matter the color means “My love is unconditional.” If you want to say “thank you” to someone you can give them a deep pink rose.

For centuries romantic or religious meanings have been associated with different flowers. Victorians would send bouquets as secret messages of love and friendship. And sometimes even hatred…you don’t want to receive a bouquet of orange lilies from your frenemy.

While this isn’t in practice these days wouldn’t it be lovely to convey a message through flowers. This little book can help you do that.

Flowers are organized into categories based on the message they convey: Courtship, Love & Affection, Beauty, and Friendship.

Each flower has its own page(s) with an accompanying illustrated page. At the top of the flower’s page is the meaning behind it. Then a history on that particular flower, it’s origins, popularity and how it got its meaning. If you love that flower, the bottom of the page will tell you your personality.

I must have multiple personalities because I love all flowers! Lol. But since tulips are my absolute favorite I’ll use that as an example. She has tulips broken down by color because like roses, each color has a different meaning. We’ll use yellow tulips…because I can never pass up a yellow tulip.

IF YOU LOVE YELLOW TULIPS, you have a natural radiance and a joie de vivre that lights up any room you walk into.

I’m not sure if that’s me…but I’d like to think it is.

I’ve had this book for sometime (published in 2011), and I thoroughly enjoy reading it. As I continually say, if I was taught history through things like architecture and flowers I would have gotten better than a D in class.

I hope you purchase this book. It’s a great little read. And I also hope this encourages you to ask your florist to make a bouquet that conveys a specific message to the recipient. Who wouldn’t want to receive a bouquet that tells them how much you love them…even if you are buying it for yourself.

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May your day be filled with flowers!

Thank you for reading…
Business, Events, Flower Designs

Review of My First Show

As you know, from all my posts of late, I set up a booth at my hometown’s Art & Garden Festival. It was a lot of prep work, long hours, and hot weather…and extremely fun.

The first question I’m asked is “How did it go?” And that is hard to tell…I have mixed feelings.

I barely sold anything. And even though I offered to hold items until the end of the show, not many wanted to buy fresh flowers especially on such a hot day. So that was disappointing.

However, I got a lot of business cards and postcards into people’s hands. People I hadn’t ever met and do not follow my social media accounts. So that was a big plus and pretty much my main goal.

I also gained some potential business contacts of which I’m excited about. Even if they don’t pan out…at least I know that something I created was appreciated.

Janis, my booth mate, and I were asked to participate in a craft show in November because we had very unique items. A huge positive to the day.

What did I learn? Well…pardon the expression…but a shit ton. I learned you can never be too organized. Even with the trial run through the previous weekend, we still scrambled through some of the set up.

Also, know your product. I had a beautiful arrangement at the front of the booth that was very unique but I could not tell people what one of the flowers were (it’s not a commonly used one) and I struggled until I was lucky enough to have my grower come through the booth. So I asked her and wrote it down! After that I confidently told everyone that asked.

The white airy flower to the right of the pic is called Agrostemma.

I learned a lot about myself and what I’m capable of doing. Faced the unknown of running a booth and put myself out there like I have never done before. Yay, me! Look at me…adulting again!

The best part was meeting people and talking with them about anything. People in my community that I see as I drive around town and some that I’ve never seen before. People from all walks of life. Watching the diversity of my town…it may not be a huge diversity but it’s there if you are paying attention.

The third question I’ve been getting: “Will I do this again?” Yes, but in a different way. What that way will be I’m not sure yet. I still have a little work to do. Gather thoughts and ideas. But yes, I will be there next year…so be sure to look for me.

As always, the love and support of friends and family was wonderful and I am forever grateful for it. It’s easier to make the decisions to step outside my comfort zone knowing there is a support system there for me. I love you all. ❤️

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

May your day be filled with flowers!

Business, Events, Holidays

Happenings (and Happy 4th!)

Just a quick little update on a few things…then I’ll let you get back to your holiday weekend.

Website Updates

The subscription service page is up and running. I’ve been wanting to start a delivery service for a while now so beginning the week of July 22, the service will be live…but you can order now, just click on the link above. Are you an enthusiast, a lover or a fanatic?

Art & Garden Festival

Petaluma’s Art & Garden Festival is Sunday, July 14…just a little over a week away. I’ll be sharing a booth with my friend Janis from Living Miniatures. Our booth number is F73…located on Kentucky Street close to Washington. Please, please, please come see us!

New Family Member

My friend and fellow floral designer Carolina just added a new member to her family. Meet little Charlotte.

Carolina, Diego, Chloe & Charlotte

Carolina has been with me on this floral journey since the very beginning. We met in our first class and quickly became the dynamic duo. She helps me with wedding work and recently stood for way too many hour doing arrangements for Mother’s Day…while 7 months pregnant. I am hoping Carolina’s incredible designer talent has been passed along to the next generation!

That’s about it right now…told you this would be quick.

Please follow me on social media:
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Website: marmaladeskyfloral.com
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May your day be filled with flowers!

Book review, books, Flower Designs

Flower Color Guide – Book Review

Since I started designing flower arrangements I have gathered a nice collection of books on flowers. From gardening to arranging they range from instructional to coffee table, I love them each in their own way.

So I thought every once in a while I’d do a little book review and maybe you’ll find one that peaks your interest. And by all means, if you have a favorite please tell me about it. It may be one I don’t have…yet!

Today’s review is of my latest purchase that I bought at the deYoung Museum during Bouquet To Arts. It was a book that kept showing up in my Instagram feed in an advertisement and had quickly been added to my books to purchase list. The book is called Flower Color Guide by Darroch and Michael Putnam.

This book is exactly what it’s named. It’s a guide to flower colors. The pictures are simple and allow you to see details of each flower. In the upper corner of each picture are the stats for each flower: common name, botanical name, variety, category of flower in an arrangement, and the peak seasonal availability.

In the appendix you can find info on how to buy, prep, and cut flowers. They also give a list of color schemes.

Finally, there are the flower “chips”. These are small little perforated chips that have the flower on the front and their corresponding info on the back of them. This would allow you to pull together a mood board or make a set of flash cards…hey I don’t judge. LOL.

My only complaint is that the book is super thick and therefore it’s hard to keep open while reading.

Definitely a great reference book and one I’ll turn to time and time again.

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May your day be filled with flowers!

Business, Events, Flower Designs

Pop Up Shop – The Finale

Note: I wrote this last week and then forgot to post it! As I state below…I was exhausted. So sorry for the delay in my pop up shop recap.

I’m sure by now you’re tired of hearing about the pop up shop but I feel I would be remiss in not sharing how the event went and all the things I learned from it.

To be honest, it’s exhausting and stressful, but so very rewarding and worth every sleepless night.

First of all, the event was perfect and was exactly how I wanted it to be. There were many new people that I was able to meet and honestly I think that was the best part. I also liked that I was able to help promote my friend’s products as well. There is nothing like a good collaboration to boost sales for all parties involved.

I made more arrangements this time than prior and thus sold more. Had I made the same amount I would have been sold out by noon. While that would ave been nice, I wouldn’t have met the new people that came by the shop and I wouldn’t have sold more…yes more than the previous year. Yay me!

I always look back on an event and think about what went well, what didn’t, and what I would change next time. So here’s how my internal conversation went:

So what went well…a number of things actually. As stated previously collaborating with my friends brought in a fresh audience and gave me other items to sell besides flowers and added visual interest to the shop. It gave me another narrative to tell my guests. I really look forward to expanding on that next year. If there is anyone out there wanting to sell their handcrafted products, give me a shout and maybe we can work together.

Tiny nurseries by Living Miniatures. Livingminiatures707@gmail.com

My own narrative has improved. And I spoke to it probably for the first time. I have a vintage flair. My designs are classic and I like to use vintage containers and items. I will emphasize this more as I build the business.

Various vintage containers (Kraft cheese box, milk glass compotes, and enameled pot)

Marketing was better. As I said more unknown people came in because of my social media and others sharing it. Also, because I was selling items that were small, I had bags with stickers and I placed business cards and subscription postcards in each of the bags. Can I tell you that placing a bag with tissue and ribbon in someone’s hands just ticked off a bunch of boxes for me. I’ve stated before that I’ve dreamed of owning a shop…bags, tissues and bows go along with that…weirdly enough.

So what didn’t go as planned? I introduced two things that I thought might draw new guests in, the demos and the kid’s station. No one showed up for either of them. So ok..wasn’t the draw I thought they would be. Lesson learned…move on. Though I’d be remiss in not mentioning Miss Scarlet who came in with her grandma and was so shy she would barely speak to me. However after teaching her how to make a bud vase design and giving her a cookie she and I became fast friends and she waved goodbye to me from the car window. Worth it!

All-in-all I consider the day a huge success and am already looking forward to next

A few of the photos that Ann at @teadrinkertrixie took on design day. I love her perspective!

On to new business: the subscription service is just about up and running. There is a page on the website (just click on the subscription link at the top of this page) with the details, though right now it is under construction so please check back. I hope to have more info in the next week or so. I’m super excited about this…just think you can have Marmalade Sky flower arrangements delivered to your home or office on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis!

I had to post this last arrangement because I think it was my favorite of the day. I don’t normally name my arrangements but this one immediately was named “Little Poppies on the Prairie”.

Please follow me on social media:
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Website: marmaladeskyfloral.com
Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day be filled with flowers!

Photo of me curtesy of Ann. I love to hide.

Business, Events, Flower Designs

Antique Faire Find

My home town of Petaluma, holds two antique faires a year…and let’s just face it…it might as well be Christmas Day for me. Those days are marked on my calendar months in advance. I like to get an early start in the day, not to jump on the good deals but because I like it when it’s less crowded and the temp is cooler.

This past weekend was the spring antique faire and I have to say I didn’t find much that were must haves. I’m always on the look out for Royal Copenhagen or Bing & Grøndahl porcelain. Sometimes I find some linen and other times I find something unique to plant or arrange flowers in.

I was about half way through the faire and my reusable bag was still empty. I had a few ideas for things to go back and get if they were still there. And then I came across something that I have been searching for. My search had been for a chair that I could plant in. Something that wasn’t really usable as a seat any more but that wasn’t total trash…because let’s be honest here…I’m not a very good DIYer. Low and behold someone else had the same idea and had done some of the prep work, but hadn’t completed the planting stage. Score! There was no question about purchasing them and my co-shopper helped me carry them home.

Now my biggest dilemma is if I should keep them with this paint or should I repaint them…I’m thinking bright yellow! What do you think? I would love your opinion.

My plan is to work on these this summer and to post step by step instructions so you can do the same. Or maybe I should say we can learn together. Lol!

The next antique faire is in September…I can’t wait to find a new treasure!

Don’t forget we are only 11 days away from my pop up shop. I would love to see you there!

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May your day be filled with flowers!

Business, Events, Flower Designs

Reworking

This week has been frustrating…and it’s only Wednesday. In the grand scheme of things what frustrated me was not a really big deal…more of an annoyance and waste of time…and completely out of my control. Little things that pop up and should never have been an issue in the first place. But as any professional would do…you work through it. Or you rework it to get the desired results. However, by reworking the problem not only do you get the desired results, it helps to stop your brain from repeatedly running into the proverbial wall. We want to do things the “correct” way and get angry or frustrated or helpless feeling when said way isn’t working.

Reworking yesterday’s issue that wasted an hour of my time, actually opened me up to finishing a project at home. These cute little faux flower wreaths are a project I’ve had cluttering up my room for a few weeks. I was gung-ho on making this a few weeks ago, but wasn’t liking how they were coming together. Mind you, this was the first time I’d ever worked with these materials. My first attempt on the double hooped wreath was to use flower foam to link them together and stick the flowers into. I’d seen this technique on the internet, however, I just wasn’t getting the look I wanted. My second attempt was to wire the flowers onto the hoops…much like you would with a fresh wreath. Nope wasn’t digging that either. Last night, I finally used the crafters best friend…the hot glue gun. Or as I always say it…glue glun…not purposely. Now I have two adorable wreaths.

These will be for sale at the pop up shop on May 11 AND I will also be demonstrating how to make them. I have two demos schedule on May 11 one at 11:30am and the other 2pm. So, if you’d like to see how they are made, please stop by and see me on May 11.

Finally, there are some new things happening here at Marmalade Sky besides the pop up shop.   First: I’m really excited to start offering a subscription service.   I’ll have several frequency plans available.  I’m hoping to start this in June.  Keep an eye out for more details and if you come to the pop up shop you can get a coupon off your first delivery if you sign up for the service.   Second: I’m continuing to work on building the website…and learning a lot in the process.    The website will allow you to place orders, send inquiries, and see my full gallery.  I’ll keep you updated as the site progresses.   You may have even noticed that I added an events page to the website…so you’ll want to keep an eye on that!!

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Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day be filled with flowers!

Business, Classes, Events, Flower Designs, Holidays

Pop Up Shop!

I’m so excited to share some details on my pop up shop. Conveniently held the day before Mother’s Day…ideal for getting your mom, grandmother, wife, or auntie the perfect gift. I started the pop up shop two years ago with just flowers and plants but always with the intention of expanding it to other items made by friends and family. I want to totally support the other creators in my life as they have supported me. This year, I’ve been able to do that! Without further ado, here’s what you’ll find at my shop.

Kid’s Make and Take Bud Vase

Bring your child in to design their own arrangement for mom! I’m so excited to offer this service. Nothing could be more special than a child presenting beautiful flowers in a bud vase that they designed themselves.

Mini Gardens

My friend Janis at Living Miniatures is preparing the most adorable creations to sell at the shop. You guys…I’m serious…just look at how adorbs they are. And they are all made from reclaimed materials.

Cards and Magnets

I’ve worked a few photo shoots with Ann from Trixiepix (see my masthead above) and I’m always amazed at the magic she makes with just a few clicks of her camera. I’m so very honored that she will have her cards and magnets for sale at the shop. The perfect item to round out your gift of flowers or a plant. To see some of Ann’s creations visit her website at theteadrinker.com or her check out her Instagram @teadrinkertrixie.

Jams, Jellies, and Marmalades

My friend Heidi is super talented in writing and singing, but her talents also lie in the kitchen. Her preserves are so delicious and unique. She is who makes the marmalade that I give as thank you gifts. I will have some of her jams, jellies and marmalades for sale at the shop. So many flavors to choose from you’ll have a hard time deciding which one to bring home…so you should get two…ok five jars.

Demonstrations

I will be doing two demonstrations during the day of the event. The first at 11:30am and the second at 2pm. I’m still working on the subject of each demonstration, so keep checking my FB page for more details. These demos are free, so just stop on by to watch and learn.

Flower Arrangements

Did you think I might have forgotten about the main event? Nope. While I never know what the final output will look like, as I am inspired by the flowers, I do know that I will have a full range of styles, colors and sizes to suit your needs.

Plants

I always like to have some plants available for those who want something more permanent. This year I’m going to try to have a bit of a variety instead of just succulents as I did in prior years. I’m looking forward to getting my hands a little dirty.

Preorders

Preorders are available just email me at marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com and it will be ready for pick up on May 11!

I so hope you can stop into the shop on May 11! Even if it’s just to say hi! I would love to see you!

P.S. I accept cash, check and credit cards.

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May your day be filled with flowers!

Business, Classes, Flower Designs

Teaching

I have mad respect for people who teach for a living. The ability to give someone knowledge is awe inspiring no matter the age of the student. It’s not just imparting your expertise on those wanting to learn, but there is so much work that goes into making sure that just one class goes smoothly and that you capture your student’s attention.

I have always had a fascination with teaching. I would play school when I was a child. In elementary school I was a teacher’s aide during the summer. Even when I was taking Floral Design classes, I was a teacher’s assistant. So it’s only natural that I incorporate classes into my business plan. Mind you this is not an easy task for me. Standing up in front of others speaking, engaging and teaching is very hard for this introvert. However sometimes the joy or desire of doing something out weighs the scary stuff.

Just about this time last year, I taught a wreath class…this was my first class I had ever taught on my own. I loved it. I felt good, it felt natural and it felt satisfying. So this year I vowed to myself to hold more classes. Yay, me!

My lovely, talented students!

Great…so there is my commitment but that left me a quandary. What do people want to learn? Finding projects that are interesting, yet easy and fun is not a simple thing to do…at least not for me.

So once I’ve come up with a lesson I have to plan it…which means I get to do a little playing in my studio. This is how I came up with my April class of a Spring Basket Arrangement. I’ve been wanting to make birds nests for a while and had thought it would be a good class. But just making a birds nest wouldn’t make for a very intriguing project, so I thought it could then be applied to an arrangement. The perfect spring decor.

Coming out of this very rainy winter season, it was so wonderful to be able to work with the spring flowers. Pussy willows, larkspur, tulips, heather and ornamental kale was a dream to work with and made for a colorful, bright display. (Though the lighting in this picture doesn’t do it justice.)

Once the subject of the class is determined there is still work to be done. Marketing, ordering, organizing and prepping before students arrive. While this can be a little daunting, I do enjoy this process as much as the designing.

Just like any job, there is much behind-the-scenes work that goes into teaching just one class, so I can’t even imagine tackling a full semester curriculum. And I don’t have to grade papers! Like I said, mad respect for the teachers out there.

You will learn so much in this class…easy flower arranging, nest building, and bow making. I could teach a class just on making bows!

If you would like to take my spring basket arrangement class, please email me at marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com. Class details are below. And if you aren’t able to attend this class but would like to hear about upcoming classes, please follow me on social media.

Spring Basket Arrangement

Sunday April 14, 2019

11am-1pm (snacks provided)

RSVP by Friday, March 29 to marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

As I work on scheduling more classes for this year, I’d love to hear what type of classes you’d like to attend.

Follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
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Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day be filled with flowers!

Flower Designs

National Floral Design Day

In celebration of National Floral Design Day, February 28, I thought I’d keep this blog short and sweet, posting some of my favorite designs that I’ve done over the years.

Enjoy…

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Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs

Blog Post: marmaladeskyfloraldesign.com

Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day be filled with beautiful flowers!

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