Monday, June 12, 2017

Hand Tied Bouquet Workshop featuring Roses and other seasonal delights

Here are the results of a most delightful investigation of hand tied bouquets featuring roses and other additions in this late May workshop. It was amazing how different each was, using approximately the same flowers. Yet they all related beautifully. Well done!


Monday, May 15, 2017

Flower Jam for Center for Domestic Peace!

Yesterday this team of creative, organized,  and energetic women joined 7petals Design in making small centerpieces for the Center for Domestic Peace Annual Luncheon. This incredible organization, based in San Rafael, CA has spent 40 years helping survivors of domestic abuse with protection, housing, and support. It takes a lot of courage and  community support to break the cycle of abuse.

I have donated leftover flowers to CDP for a number of years and was delighted that the timing worked out to participate on 24 hour notice! The flower community responded to a call for help with great enthusiasm.

We used donated flowers from Cypress Farms and Whole Foods to make 40 something small centerpieces in 2 hours for 400 attendees that attended this fundraising luncheon.  Fatima Hansia,my contact and pal at CDP told me that they never were able to make the donated flowers go around for all the tables. I told her that we were going to attempt a "loaves and fishes" miracle to make that happen; a success thanks to  interesting foliage the team donated and a few composing techniques!

Women really know how to get the job done! Again, thanks to the Flower Jam Team. We will ride again!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

All creatures Great and Small/ or Meet my Manager

"Where did that little cat come from?" I was washing dishes and staring out the window. A petite grey cat came walking along and stopped on the side of our house. The kitchen window gives a bird's eye view looking down from the second floor of our duplex. It shows a narrow, picturesque side street laden with plantings to either side. The street continues to the back corner of the property and makes a right turn onto another little side street. These two streets provide a quaint atmosphere away from all the hub bub of dense urban living. Those of us who live along this backwater of Gertsle Park affectionately call the two colliding streets the "L". We keep protective watch over this little sanctuary and this interloper was in our territory.

Suddenly a butterfly flew by and she lept up off the ground, her body fully elongating and arching in an attempt to snag it. Luckily for the butterfly she missed but I was entranced by the effort of  her young, extravagant expenditure of energy. Enter Aurora Bell into my life.

This young cat was newly adopted by a neighbor and was exploring the territory. She became a regular visitor to our yard and gradually worked her way into our house and hearts. About a year later, after many conversations with her mother, we all decided that perhaps Aurora Bell should try living here. It appears that she had that in mind all along. But she is a young, opinionated girl; hyperactive and one who still loves to roam. 

We didn't get to have kids, but have lots of them in our lives in the form of nieces, nephews and godaughters.....Somehow this very small being feels closest to having a child of all the animals that have come and gone in our lives. Ah, the Agony and the Ecstasy. ...Despite her roaming, she is a dear and  keeps a close watch on the comings and goings of the studio. She lets me know when I need to stop and take a break to smell those just stripped roses.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Store Bought Bouquets Redux

What a fun, spirited group! I asked you to take a "before "photo of your Store Bought Bouquets, and now realize I need to do it as well, to show you, dear readers.

Because the transformation is so wonderfully startling.

It was a spirited group. And I asked them to take a "before " photo of their Store Bought Bouquets, but then I forgot to do so to show you, dear listeners.  Because the transformation is so wonderfully startling.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Is it a bird...Is it a plane????

Tulips are surging into the Farmer's Market and our venerable San Francisco Flower Mart. Have the Dutch, intimately tied to the flower industry since the 15th century and tulips in particular, been up to some mischief in the breeding department? These are double tulips or peony tulips. Double tulips breeds have been around for awhile and have long lasting flowers. This makes them very desirable for the cut flower trade, though the colors were geared more for the outdoor garden. In recent years there has been more emphasis to breed them in colors more suited to the wedding industry. This one fits the popular peach, pink, and magenta palette, though it is so riotous and rather artificial looking that I'm not sure... It's as though an entire Dutch Masters painting was contained in one Dutch tulip. I do see remnants of the austere tulip that was derived from; though this variation completely left the ball park, save the tell-tale leaves. But there was a high amazement factor watching it open as it was relatively closed when I bought it. Every day it's like a different flower.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Daily Vase or Two



Dear Journal,

I'm sorry to have been so remiss of late. It's not that I haven't been thinking of you. There are many unfinished entries waiting in the wings. Life feels rather more complicated right now and not so flower friendly- exactly the time when we need more flowers, art and music! They are soul food. The creative force that allows these expressions through is born from a well of  inspiration and compassion and we need to stay in touch with this. We need this  replenishment as we stay active and vigilant. So I will try to be better about contributing a soul snack from my flower world.

Here are some of the first locally grown flowers coming out of the Bay Area. The wet and cold gave way and the local blooms will be prolific this year and aren't they something.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Pave' Workshop/ 2017

Year after year, I am still amazed by the creative potential of Pave'. Someone in our group compared it to quilting. It reminds me of modern painting. We had an adventurous group this year. One participant took off and I was thinking it was a rather long bathroom break. A different call to nature; he had gone outside to do a little foraging to add to the mix. Others returned to delve more deeply into this format and the group created wonderful compositions that always had a little touch of magic; hard to plan, but really a delight.


Monday, February 13, 2017

With Love

Have you ever noticed how leather can look an awful lot like a seas of chocolate?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The litle website that could.

Ah, it's been awhile. Last year this time my plan was to find a talented designer to create my website as I have been overwhelmingly daunted by the prospect of DIY. A change in plans funneled the website money into attendance at a very expensive, quite worthwhile workshop. And one year later- still no website. 

It wasn't so much about money. I just have not been able to move forward. My degree in fine art included a lot of design study. Shouldn't I be able to do this myself? Was it okay that I didn't want to, and on and on.

 Maybe I should think of this chapter  
(Birthing a Website 101) to a butterfly in chrysalis phase. Do you know that the caterpillar dissolves in the cocoon and 
mind bendingly reforms as a butterfly? As you look at the chrysalis it looks like nothing is happening, but inside transformation is taking place. Remember this all you fellow caterpillars. Maybe we just have to put one foot in front of the other and trust the timing.

                     Butterfly emerged from chrysalis

 As I've stalled  DIY website design has become much easier. Which is a very long winded way to say that I have embarked and appear to be one my way. You will be able to access all the offerings: many categories of photos, this blog, workshops, etc in one place. It feels like childbirth. Wish me luck and stay tuned!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Holiday Wreath Workshop

Yes, the Annual Wreath Workshop commenced! We all took note of how wreath making is rather unique in the Floral Design Family of Techniques, with it's sculptural aspect of creating mass with bundles, wire wrapping, negotiating the bulk of greens, the detailing, etc.

Many were surprised by how many greens are required to make a wreath. The large pile that awaited each of them was used up in short order. After the initial terror for newcomers, they got into the grove and return participants noted making the second and third wreath gives a certain ease, practice, practice!

Lastly we had a run on traditional red bows this year. The prior year, no bows were used. Hmmm...which gives me some ideas for mixing it up next year....

Everyone did a great job creating textural, lush creations!  Thanks everyone. What a fun morning.