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?