Monday, December 2, 2013

Count down to Savannah wedding time...

Today is Monday-I have exactly today and tomorrow to do the prep work for my niece, Jordan and her bow, Rob's wedding.  We leave Virginia on Wednesday to head to Savannah GA for a Saturday wedding on Skidaway Island.

Flower girls' headbands are made and checked off the list!

If you are interested in having accessories made for your wedding, or wedding flowers and even wreaths please contact me!

I am joining Between Naps on the Porch's Met Monday.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Zoe and Jason's Wedding Day

My niece, Zoe and now my nephew, Jason's wedding day began at 8:00 a.m. October 19, 2013 at the Woman's Club of Portsmouth. We set up the ceremony and reception to include making centerpieces for the tables and decorating the porches. All of the other flowers were made ahead. We were on a tight schedule to meet the 3:00 p.m. wedding time.  

My dear friend, Bonnie arrived early and we got to work on filling the ball jars with purple stock, white fuji mums, limonium, lisanthus, ocean song roses, dark purple carnations, purple button mums, lavender fuji mums,  white hypericum, white spray roses, and white with purple edge carnations, lemon leaf, topped with twigs and hanging gems.  

Jason's groomsmen were such FABULOUS help. For a happy-go-lucky group of guys they were pretty darned particular about setting up the tables, and making sure all the napkins were even and the dinnerware set just so.  I would hire them in a heartbeat.  They were absolutely the best in every way imaginable and the two ring-bearers were precious!

Image courtesy of Stephanie Michelle Photography

There were 21 tables and each table had three ball jars, two held candles the large jars were filled with flowers. 

Image courtesy of Stephanie Michelle Photography

We moved to the outside of the Woman's Club of Portsmouth to decorate with seasonal pumpkins, pansies, mums and candles. Zoe's mom, Wendy made the cutest chalk board sign to help guests find their way to the ceremony on the back deck. 
Image courtesy of Stephanie Michelle Photography

The Woman's Club also has a gorgeous working fireplace on the front porch. Although it was too warm for a fire it didn't stop us from doing a bit of decorating :)

Image courtesy of Mary's Flower Works

And we didn't want to forget front steps

Image courtesy of Stephanie Michelle Photography

Meanwhile, back inside the balcony was getting decorated by Bonnie and another good friend, Evelyn with a burlap, ribbon and pumpkin wreath that I originally made for over the fireplace until the Woman's Club added the beautiful scroll ironwork piece. It turns out the balcony was the perfect place for a tulle swag and wreath.

Image courtesy of Stephanie Michelle Photography

Close up of the burlap wreath

Image courtesy of Stephanie Michelle Photography

Zoe and Jason selected the best photographer, Stephanie of Stephanie Michelle Photography.  She and her assistant for the day took TONS of pictures and they were all great with lots of detailed pictures. I LOVE details. Thank you so much Stephanie for sending me pictures of the bouquets and reception!

Zoe's bouquet:

Image courtesy of Stephanie Michelle Photography

The bouquet consists of Ocean Song roses, purple stock, white fuji mums, white hypericum berries, purple carnations, dusty miller, lemon leaf, ruscus, purple carnations, lisanthus and limonium; plus a little bling for some sparkle.  Zoe's bouquet was wrapped with lace from her mother's wedding gown that was made my our mother.

Image courtesy of Stephanie Michelle Photography

Zoe's bridesmaids carried bouquets of dark purple carnations, ocean song roses, lavender fuji mums, hypericum berries, limonium, and purple orinoco mums.

Image courtesy of Stephanie Michelle Photography

Image courtesy of Stephanie Michelle Photography

Image courtesy of Stephanie Michelle Photography

When Zoe and Jason were on the front porch getting their picture taken, some pretty flower girls took a peek... 

Image courtesy of Stephanie Michelle Photography

Isn't that the cutest?! 

Thank you Zoe and Jason for allowing me to make your wedding flowers and to be a part of your wedding. I enjoyed every minute, from the moment you got in engaged until the last clean up of the night. xoxo. Well, maybe not so much the clean up ;) 

Image courtesy of Stephanie Michelle Photography

I hope you enjoyed looking at the pictures. Contact me at if you need flowers or a wreath! 

If you would like to see more of Zoe and Jason's big day or more of Stephanie's beautiful photography please visit Stephanie Michelle's blog.  

I will be joining Between Naps on the Porch, Met Monday, Amaze Me Monday at Dwellings, The Brambleberry Cottage,
The Dedicated House Make it Pretty Monday and Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style.

Also I must thank my husband, Cam and son, Joel, my friend and neighbor, Bonnie, Wendy's best friend, Tish for their hard work, and Ev and Roy who came from PA to see their daughter play field hockey in VA Beach, and were gracious enough to help set up and clean up!  Thank you all, you are the best!

Comments are always welcomed!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pier 1 Knockoff

Happy Monday!  Today I am going to show you a project I did over the weekend to use at my niece's rehearsal dinner in a couple of weeks.

Since she is having a fall wedding pumpkins always look cute and festive with a fall arrangement of fresh flowers. I didn't want to use a plain pumpkin since my niece is a fan of bling and all things shiny.  I visited my local Pier 1 store looking for ideas since they obviously love bling too.  I found this,

Pier 1 had the cutest display of fall ornaments, and I fell in love with this pumpkin for 6.95. WHAT? 6.95 ?  and I need 10?  Oh no...that is 69.50 and some tax!  Hmm...I need to make these...  

Take a close look to get the details in order to buy the right materials for the piece being copied or knocked-off.

Check out all those fun beads, sequins and glitter.  Yeah, I love and hate glitter, but on this pumpkin glitter is a must. Michael's and Walmart are my go to places for craft items so
I was off to make these jeweled pumpkins.  

I purchased 10 small faux pumpkins in orange and green at WalMart for .97 each, and two boxes of glass beads for 1.50 each. At Michael's I bought a 3 oz. package of glass beads, (that I didn't use since I had plenty in the tubes) one package of mixed brown, black, silver and gold sequins, one tube of coppery-orange glitter, florist wire and brown floral tape. 

First, gather everything on a lined cookie sheet to keep the beads from rolling away and the glitter too; that stuff has a mind of its own and lands everywhere, (be sure to check your bra and teeth for glitter before going anywhere) but the cookie sheet does help and is a great work surface.

Second, start making the curly pumpkin vines by cutting 10 pieces of floral wire about 6 or 7 inches long and wrap them with brown floral tape. 

Pull the tape when wrapping around the wire. Using less tape keeps the stem from looking bulky. Next wrap the taped wire around a pencil or pen, mine is wrapped around a lipstick brush that I found in the pen and pencil cup?? Go figure... Anyway, wrap the taped wire to make the perfect curled stem for the pumpkin.

Once all of the curly stems are complete hot glue them as close the pumpkin stem as possible. 

Before hot gluing I stretched the curly stem out a little so it didn't look too much like a mattress spring.

Now this the fun and a little bit messy part, but it will be worth it! Use Elmer's All Multi Purpose Glue and make a small puddle of glue near the stem and let it run down the sides of the pumpkin, just a little.  Then start shaking out the glass beads, sequins and last the glitter. Check the pumpkin to be sure the glue is covered add more beads, glitter and sequins if necessary.

Here you can see where some of the glue is still running, just add more glitter, beads or sequins.  

The pumpkins don't look exactly alike, but that is what makes them fun and interesting. They will be placed on different tables at the rehearsal dinner. 

Cost of this project:
10 faux pumpkins  9.70
2 boxes of glass beads  3.00
Brown Floral Tape 1.99
Sequins 3.49 + 40% off coupon from Michael's=2.09
Glitter Tube .79
Floral Wire 2.00

Total is $19.54 plus tax, so around $20.00, and I still have materials left over.   *I did not add the leaves like the inspiration ornament and I only used one curly stem per pumpkin

Are you making anything for fall? If you try this project I'd love to hear from you!


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall or Christmas? You pick.

Fall might be in the air, but it is Christmas at Mary's Flower Works.

I received my first delivery of Christmas items for making wreaths and arrangements.

Thank you to my sister for helping me go through the various wholesalers on line. :)   I was overwhelmed comparing prices so that I could get the best deal in order to offer you the best deal when you place your order for a Christmas wreath.

How exciting to be able to go through all the ordered items after looking them on line.  It is a relief to know that they are good quality!

Fun picks that will look great with a green silk wreath as well as the popular mesh wreaths. 

You can never have too many bolts of ribbon!

Red and white check ribbon always looks great on a wreath.

Stripes and plaids are always a favorite.

Pine cones are beautiful in a wreath.  A money saving tip, collect your own and be sure to bake them in the oven for 45 minutes at 200 degrees.  You don't want any little critters coming out in your wreath.  After baking the pine cones I always spray them with Zinsser 12 oz. Clear Shellac Spray found at Home Depot 

While I wait for the rest of my orders to arrive, I will continue to work on my nieces' weddings, plan designs for the wreaths, and I will enjoy the fall weather we are having by finishing my fall decorating.

Have you decorated for fall?  Or are you thinking of Christmas? ;)


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Orange, Pink, and Blue who knew?

Three years ago this week, I was juggling working full time and helping a very sweet and wonderful co-worker with her wedding flowers.  

When Dianna asked about flower color choices for her bridesmaids dresses, I am sure I talked her ear off with all kinds of ideas, creating those bouquets in my head before she could get the next word out!  

Dianna was lucky to have a bunch of sisters to be with her on her special day, and these girls are a fun, bright and lively bunch. No pastel colors for them. No sir, they selected cobalt blue, in a soft shimmery fabric that looked comfortable. That's my motto, comfort first ;) 

Before I could share what I was thinking about flower color choices, Dianna timidly asked if bright orange and hot pink would be o.k. with the dresses.  I'll be honest, at first I was taken back because I was going down the yellow path, but her idea was great!  Bright, bright, bright to go with those fun sisters/bridesmaids.  Dianna's bouquet colors were born!

We used bright orange and hot pink gerbera daises, orange and lip stick pink roses, ruscus and variegated pittosporum.

These bouquets were probably one of the most fun to create. The roses opened nicely, the gerberas were just beautiful, and the colors were just popping and looking happy for such a happy day!

Dianna decided she wanted to carry all Lip Stick hot pink roses for her bouquet. I loved all that bright Lip Stick pink together. If you are ever looking for a bright pink rose, Lip Stick pink roses are your best bet.

         Now, these are some pretty maids all in a row. 

I am so honored Dianna and Dennis trusted me to make their wedding flowers.  Thank you for your confidence!  Happy 3rd Anniversary!

I am linking to Between Naps on the Porch's Metamorphosis Monday and Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
and Jennifer Rizzo's Fabulously Creative Friday and The Dedicated House


Monday, September 16, 2013

How to NOT follow an inspiration picture

Ha! The inspiration bouquet doesn't resemble the bouquet or I should say bouquets  that were made Saturday for Zoe's bridal portrait shoot AT ALL.  To catch up on the story of this metamorphosis of flowers go here.

I knew the flowers would be off from the look of the inspiration picture because there were no black centered anemones and no wax flower.  It isn't easy to achieve the same shape as the inspiration picture when said flowers were no where to be found.  AND the dark purple flowers that Zoe loves weren't available either.  I kept telling myself, this is practice, this is to see what will work and won't work.

As I started putting the hand tied bouquet together, I got a little panicked.  I KNEW the color was off and I certainly didn't want my niece to feel she had to use the bouquet for her portrait.   I needed a poster that read KEEP CALM AND MAKE A BOUQUET!

Progress of the hand tied bouquet, that I will refer to as bouquet one. I am using more of a fuchsia colored carnation, white sweetheart roses, white fuji mums, fuchsia alstroemeria lilies, purple asters, limonium and a little bling.  I was digging that limonium and those fuji mums, but that fuchsia color was freakin' me out!  Zoe WANTS purple-not fuchsia!    So I called and had her to come over and look at the bouquet.

While I waited for her to arrive, I had a brain storm-why not make TWO bouquets?  I have all these buckets of flowers...duh I could have had a V8!  I got busy making bouquet two that was totally different. 

This is bouquet one in the progress of adding Lemon leaf and Ruscus.

When Zoe arrived I showed her bouquet one.  She was very sweet about it, no Bridezilla here! She was calm, just like the Keep Calm posters.  She knew the color was off and asked about being able to get a truer purple for the wedding and the answer is yes.  

Here are the details of the wrapping for bouquet one.

While she and her mom waited I finished making bouquet two.  

Details of the wrapping for bouquet two.

Bouquet two consists of white fuji mums, white sweetheart roses, limonium, purple asters, dusty miller, ruscus and purple bling.  Zoe's face lit up.  This was the one that she seemed the most excited about.  

For the photo shoot at the city park we took both bouquets with us, just in case.

Surprisingly, bouquet one LOOKED purple outside. Go figure... 

Of the two which one do you think Zoe liked the best for the photo shoot?  =)  I know you know.

What was in your bouquet or in your dream bouquet?

I am linking to Between Naps on the Porch  for Metamorphosis Monday and Stone Gable's Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits


Friday, September 13, 2013

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice doesn't always make it perfect, but it sure helps to calm the nerves, especially when making a bridal bouquet!  

Saturday morning I will be up early and putting together a bridal bouquet for my niece, Zoe's bridal portrait session with photographer,  Stephanie Michelle. You can find Stephanie on facebook too.

In February, 2013 Jason proposed to Zoe on Jeannette's Pier in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. They surprised all of us by deciding on a fall wedding! My sister, Wendy aka, the MOB, got into high gear. She made lists and phone calls and in what seemed like a blink, the bulk of the wedding was planned.  Zoe and Jason will be married at the newly renovated Woman's Club of Portsmouth.  

We have great plans for this fire place; can't wait. It is going to be pretty. 

Standing on the porch of the Woman's Club are Zoe and Jason

We have been on Pinterest pinning away all kinds of ideas and having lengthy discussions on how to achieve the look that Zoe and Jason have in mind for their wedding. If you click on the Pinterest board Ball jars, Burlap and Bling you will find the headquarters for Zoe and Jason's wedding. Several of the flowers that Zoe likes are not available to our area in October. We've had to go back to the drawing board a couple of times substituting flowers. When I went to the wholesale house to purchase flowers for the practice bouquet I purposely did not order ahead of time. I wanted to see what was available and looked the freshest. The practice bouquet will be good for Zoe and me. We will both have the opportunity to see various flowers mixed together and Zoe will have a better idea of what she likes. 

                                      Pictured is Zoe's inspiration bouquet

Two of the inspiration flowers, lisianthus and wax flower were not available yesterday. I will substitute white sweetheart roses and alstroemeria lilies for the lisianthus and asters for the wax flower. Instead of lavender we will be using limonium since Zoe has selected that as a favorite. I will be adding purple carnations and dusty miller, plus a little bling. Substituting flowers is easy and can be helpful when on a budget.

Carnations, sweetheart roses and hypericum berries

Asters will be used instead of wax flower. Aren't these Asters gorgeous?

The flowers are prepped and cooling near the AC vent. Every time I walk by I can't help but feel excited that I have the honor to make my niece's bridal bouquet, both the practice one and the perfect one; because I practiced by October 19, 2013 it will be perfect. 

Come back Monday and be the judge of how the practice bouquet turned out.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Not so contrary...

Mary, Mary quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, cockle shells 
And pretty maids in a row

As a child I hated that rhyme, in fact I still sort of dislike when adults say it to me. What are they thinking? ;) I never knew what the heck a cockle shell was or what pretty maids in a row meant.   According to Wikipedia the poem has religious and historical significance. OK, you mean it wasn't to torment girls with the name MARY?  Hmm... 

Whether or not it is a loved or disliked poem, it now rings a bit true for me. I love growing flowers and I learned the definition of a cockle shell.  Go me! I'm not as contrary as I used to be :)   I appreciate the gardening lessons learned from my maternal grandmother, Lucille R. Davis. In her words, dig a hole, fill the hole to the top with water, loosen the roots of the plant, place plant in the watered hole, cover with soil. Once all the flowers are planted, spread some good old chicken manure.  I am sure the people on the bus were thrilled when she got on with her little brown paper bag of chicken manure from Tidewater Feed & Seed. 

How did my love of planting flowers move to a love of the florist industry and faux flowers? Where did it come from?  It certainly wasn't my mother. She was busy sewing and quilting. I am not sure, but I think the ability or talent comes from my mother's paternal side of the family.  They were artsy people.  I enjoy making fresh wedding flowers and faux wreaths.  I help people to decorate their homes for Christmas-->so much fun!  And in my own home I enjoy decorating for every season; just not the getting the boxes down from the attic. I haven't found that fun at all.   

During my last two years in college I worked for my 2nd cousin once removed, Delores, she is from that side of the family I was talking about.  She owned and operated Blakemore Flowers in Harrisonburg, VA.  I loved working there, and deep down I knew I should be in the florist industry, but being the good girl that I was, I stayed in college and earned a degree that would land me a job with retirement and benefits. Over the years I did a little side floral work, off and on, but now I am in a position that I can put time into my floral business. Another day, I'll share about my first floral class that I took with my sister.  It was a hoot of a class. 

Today I am showing you three pictures of flowers I designed at the end of March for a co-worker's retirement party. She loves the beach, and what a perfect way to combine shells and flowers. 
 We used mixed and bright colored flowers.  The conch shells were placed on the tables along with other shells and votive candles.  

Conch Shell filled with gerbera daisies, mums, spider mums, aster, alstroemeria lilies and pixie carnations.

A medium sized conch shell filled with lilies, mums, spray roses, snapdragon, Carnations, status, baker fern, and variegated pittosporum.

A large conch shell filled with gerbera daisies, mums, spider mums, alstroemeria lilies, and pixie carnations.  

These conch shells have had some mileage.  They have been used in three beach themed weddings and were big hits. They make great centerpieces, and are easily paired with lanterns and buckets of shells to have that true beach feel.

I hope you will contact me if you are interested in talking about your next upcoming event or need assistance in decorating your home for fall or Christmas. I would love to hear from you.

What is your vision of the perfect centerpiece?