Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Good Florist is like a Boy Scout (Be Prepared!)

Yesterday's wedding was to be a pretty basic set up.  Drop off the flowers at the church at 2 p.m., in time for photos.  Set up the altar bouquets, pass out the bridal party flowers, pin on assorted corsages & boutonnieres. 

A contingent of family members from "the greatest generation" waited patiently in the vestibule of the church, while the bridal party were still donning their clothes.  To pin on the 5 groomsmen's boutonnieres meant hunting down bodies -- wait, the bodies weren't dressed.  Hunting down tuxedo jackets.  That's more like it.  Gradually checking off the list, and pinning on parents' and grandparents' flowers as they arrived, I'd soon finish this task. 

Then the groom presented "another" groomsman to me, fully dressed and ready for his boutonniere.  Umm.  Did I make a pinning mistake?  No.  Did someone forget to tell me something?  Yes.

"Are there six groomsmen?"  Yes.
"Does this mean that there are also six bridesmaids?"  Yes.

The groom turned white, then red.  "Oh no.  Leah asked me to call you and order another boutonniere and bouquet.  This is my fault.  I added a groomsman, so she added a bridesmaid, and I forgot to tell you."


Luckily this family did add a bouquet for the sign in table-- And with a little time off to the side where nobody could see me, I re-fashioned it into the Maid of Honor's bouquet.  And I fixed a basic "extra" boutonniere with some bling, perfectly suited for the Best Man.

I may be able to add photos of the entire bridal party later, including those pieces I had to "rush."  Unfortunately, when my mind is focused on work, I sometimes forget to snap the photos.
I did get a few images of other pieces from this wedding.  Find them at Facebook's Fan Page for Julia's Floral. -- enjoy!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Lead with heart -- People will notice!

What does my son's Sophomore Class Award have to do with floristry?  I'll get to that in a minute.  In the meantime, here's background.

Picture this kid, 16 years-old, practically born smiling.  Throughout his life, he's known first-hand what it's like to live as the youngest of five siblings in a self-employed family.  Sometimes you have to wait a few months before you get new shoes -- that kind of thing.  Get in line.  Yes, you're adorable, but life is not all about you, all the time.

Intuitively, he discovered the sublime art of getting what he wanted.  Smile, ask, be patient, smile, ask, wait, smile, ask and smile some more.  Be respectful.  Apply your efforts.  And lead with heart.

He changed schools a couple of years ago.  Just two of his classmates moved along with him from the public school to a private high school.  If he wanted to have school friends, he would have to make them.  Smile and ask.  Be patient.  Be respectful.  I can't count the friends now.

Football and Wrestling are his favorite sports.  His winning ways of cheeful, respect and patience, with effort and heart have already produced awards for these sports. 

He sings all over the house.  With cheerful respect and effort, he became one of the only underclassmen in the Vocal Ensemble.  I believe he will become a leader here, too, because his smile continually shows the joy and passion in his heart. 

Last week I got a computer-generated postcard invitation to a school awards assembly-- well, due to a conflict with a wedding consultation, I didn't attend.  Ian thought it would be just an academic certificate or something-- His brother Joe said, "I bet you're Mr. Sophomore."  Now, if I could go back & change my appointment, that's an assembly I wouldn't have missed.

As a mom with faith in a loving God, I believe that our kids are gifts from Heaven.  It's my job to love them guide them, and show them how to live in this world by using their natural talents and abilities. 

Ian's got a natural gift for making people happy, among other things.  Mine is artistic, plus I adore flowers.  I feel most myself, at peace and happy when I'm designing flowers and serving my brides & business clients.  And my faith informs me of this truth as well:  You've got great gifts, too! 

What we do with these gifts is another thing altogether.  Ideally, I think when we are all using our particular gifts, with joy, effort, patience, generosity and a whole heart, people will notice.  And awards will follow.   

Thursday, May 20, 2010

National Association of Catering Executives

Do you belong to a professional association of any kind?  Out of the blue, I find myself a member of a fabulous one!  The Tacoma and Seattle chapters of NACE - the National Association of Catering Executives.  This Spring NACE's membership drive gave me $100 off, so I jumped in!!

(Huge thanks to Nems Scarim of Three Chicks Catering, and Monica Newby of A Grand Affaire Catering for inspiring me to join.  Plus the many members I've come to love in the meantime.)

Although not a caterer in the traditional sense, as a floral designer, I "cater" to brides.  I cater flowers, custom-designed for their special day, using fresh ingredients (flowers & foliages), and creative recipes to blend those ingredients (designs), all in a deadline-oriented environment. 

Consequently, of the many wedding pros I've known over the years, caterers are my best "front desk" people, because we identify with each other.  When we do our jobs well, it's all about the love.

Caterers work SOOOO hard for their brides!!  Every wedding setup I see, these people are working diligently, to earn every penny of their freight.  So when they recommend me, I take it as a sacred trust.  Caterers could risk their hard-earned reputations referring me.  And I don't have the freedom to damage anyone's professional image.

I created these designs for the Tacoma NACE chapter meeting, May 18, 2010, at Indian Summer Golf & Country Club in Olympia, and shot the images with my purse camera. 
All I knew in advance was that the tables seated 8, and would be draped in white & light green linens. I brought 3 vases per table, plus the glass blocks & all the gems & marbles.

The "covered porch" room at Indian Summer Golf & Country Club is delightful, inviting and open to lovely views.  Erin's Linens provided the icy celedon diamond pleated table covers & accents.  In the background left to right are Grady, rockstar server (bending to put finishing touches on the buffet), Christina, awesome server & bartender, Adam Tiegs, Adam's DJ Service and Tacoma NACE Membership Chair, and Susan Aaron, catering manager at Indian Summer and Tacoma NACE First Vice President.
Glass cubes, glass blocks and lime green gel-marbles, mix with a cool, fun blend of Polo and Jade roses, bupleurum, mini green hydrangea, hanging amaranthus, yellow limonium and aspidistra leaves.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kim & Erik's Orange & Blue Wedding, May 15, 2010

Unapologetically bright, colorful flowers are striking, refreshing and truly memorable--  Vibrant wedding colors are surging right now, forming a distinct chapter in the history of wedding fashion.

Kimberly & Erik met me last November, with ideas for their wedding colors in place.  The details they left up to me.  So I began collecting a wide variety of cobalt blue glass, china, ceramics.  In clusters & vignettes, I placed groupings of mini bouquets all around the reception tables.  Even the altar flowers were in cobalt glass.  The flowers for the sand blending ceremony I arranged in an old blue painted metal ring, which at one time served as the handles for a large milk can.  Since my own antique china  complemented the rest of the pieces so very well, I loaned my cups & saucers to the cause.

These photos were taken with my handbag camera (Olympus FE-240).  By the time my work was done, Kim & Erik had retreated to the bride's & groom's rooms, so I have photos of most everything else.

The floral designs featured "Orange Unique" roses, tulips, begonia, kalanchoe, delphinium, pincushion protea, dendrobium orchids and other textural elements.  If you have any questions about any of the flowers or designs, please let me know!

Cordially yours,
I found these sweet little goblets, which the couple used for their toast.
Kim's bouquet was a bountiful collection of roses, tulips and exotics.
This painted blue milk can "handle" became the perfect decorative accent for the altar, where the couple performed a sand blending ceremony.
Oh, by the way, the "BandAid Buffet" was a large silver tray, trimmed in blue satin ribbon, with a navy fabric "blotter" on which were 10 different novelty tins of bandages (from pickles, to steaks, to fairies!).  Friends & family could take the ones they wanted.  Kim & Erik chose bandages as a party favor because they both work in health care.
The groom's daughter carried this bouquet -- since she's growing up fast, I made her bouquet just like the adult bridesmaids' bouquets, even though her dress was a younger style.

The official beginning of my professional blogging history

Someone on "the cutting edge" is knife-sharp.  They see that thing coming on the horizon, and they're ready to slice right through it!  The cutting edge (of my design knife) is what I use to slice through floral foam, and hundreds of stems each week.  I wield it with confidence!

OK, I don't want to admit it.  I've been on the "handle edge" of blogging.
Too many people have asked if I blog.  Who really wants to know what I think?  A surprising amount of people, perhaps.  So here goes.  Followers, don't disappoint me.

I'll be back later with more.