Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Arrangement of the Week- Liliac and Fringed Tulips

When you are a wedding designer and a mom, Saturdays are often anything but quiet. That said, when I get a Saturday off my amazing husband gives me a gift every mom dreams of- a morning to blissfully sleep in, totally and completely undisturbed, only ended by the arrival of a few of my absolute favorite things- flowers and coffee!

J gets up, takes his shower- baby monitor in toe, and quietly gets Finley ready for their weekly adevnture- The University Farmer's Market.

Most people know that we are truly blessed to live in a city with fabulous farmer's markets, but truthfully I think my husband has taken shopping them to an all new level. He's an honest to goodness artist when it comes to the market! He loves getting to know the vendors by first name, has a system to how he shops, and is determined to be there when the bell sounds to signal the opening of the market- of course to ensure that he gets the best goodies of the bunch. Afterwards, my boys swing by and pick up a special treat for me- my morning coffee.

I hear them tramp up the front steps, ring the doorbell, and I happily go to greet them. Finley typically is holding a big bunch of flowers for his mommy (isn't his daddy the best!) and J has my coffee. I feel like a queen!

Over the next few months, I plan on featuring a few of the arrangements I make on these Saturday mornings, sharing design tips with you along the way. I hope these entries will inspire you and that many of you will begin to share your own adventures and finds with me along the way.

This week I'm featuring an arrangement of liliac and fringed tulips. I always start by placing everything in the sink and thinking through the shape, size, and color of the blooms I have.

This time my husband brought me blush double peony tulips (Love them; you have to check them out at the market), orange and fuschia long stemmed fringe tulips, and deep purple liliac. The scale of the liliac and the fringe tulips seemed to work well together. I really liked the rich saturated colors together too so I decided to make these into one arrangement, using the elegant, large double blooms of the peony tulips for an arrangement all their own.

My next step was to choose and prepare my vase. For me this entails 1)choosing a vase that supports the height and size of the blooms I'm working with and 2)making sure the glassware is 100% clean and dry when I start. Once this is done, I then decide how I'm going to base the arrangement or if I'm going to do anything at all. In this case, I decided to use recycled glass in the bottom of the container. After adding the glass I filled the vase with cool fresh water and added a little flower food for the liliacs.

Note: Spring liliac needs a little help to survive in an arrangement. First, you'll want to bash the woody ends with a hammer giving the branches more surface area to absorb water. Then you'll want to remove all green leaves. Removing the leaves will help the plant support the blooms. Lastly, make sure to add a little floral food. This will help the blooms to remain fragrant and in full bloom much longer.

After I finished preparing my individual stems and branches I started arranging. For me this is both fun and relaxing. A lot of people perscribe to a particular symmetry when arranging but I myself like to take a more organic approach editting and moving things around as I go. Here is a picture of this week's finished product. I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

We Heart Sharlane- A Benefit with Heart

Sharlane Chase is a pillar of the Seattle Photography community. She's a mother, a bride-to-be, a photographer, and a cancer warrior. I myself have never had the privledge of meeting Shalane face to face. That said her work has inspired me on more than one occasion both as a photographer and a business woman.

Back in 2007 when I first started looking for a web designer I looked at hundreds of sites for ideas. AND then I found LuLu Weddings. It was through this encounter with Sharlane's collaboritive wedding website that I found the artistic genuis of Naomi Cox at Spill Studio.

Naomi designed a beautiful site for me and I might not have found her if it weren't for Sharlane.

AND then there is a little jewel of a show known as Urban Unveiled. The boutique show started by Sharlane has quickly developed a chic following. It's an amazing show; it's hard not to be impressed by her ingenuity.

Sharlane was recently diagnosed with cancer. Cancer is scary enough, but add to that the cost of battling it and it's easy to become overwhelmed. That's why Sharlane's friends and the Seattle Wedding Community have banned together to host an auction to benefit Sharlane.

The event is tonight at SODO Park from 7-10PM. The event is about clebrating love, life, laughter, and art while benefitting a woman known and loved by so many. It's an amazing opportunity to grab a friend or love one and come to a fun event that will celebrate and support an amazing woman as she fights for her life. There will be all kinds of items up for bidding ranging from photography wedding packages to pieces of art. AND if you can't attend there are other ways you can still participate.

You can help Sharlene in four (4) easy ways:
· Donate money (it’s PayPal — too easy!):
· Donate an item (great way to gain exposure and showcase your work for an amazing cause):
· Bid on a silent auction item on Feb 4th (Check out the list of amazing goods):
· Spread the word! Please pass this invitation along on facebook, twitter and email!

I hope to see many of you there!

February- A Month for Love

What is love? A romantic gesture? Flowers? The kind words written to a friend whose lifted our spirits in some small way? The hours we spend volunteering or a small donation we give with hopes of helping someone in need?

Love to me is all of these gestures and expressions, and this month- a month traditionally associated with all things love, I hope to explore the many facets and faces love takes on in our day to day lives.

Some of my posts will be about romantic love or eros. Eros is the type of love we read about in novels and see on the big silver screen. It's cupid; it's chocolates and roses; it's butterflies and fireworks; it's love at first sight... and all things Valentines.

Some of my posts will be about philia love- this is the love of friendship, fellowship, and things we love. Within these posts I'll tell you about some of my favorite people, ideas, and things I love.

AND finally some of my posts will be about agape love- this is selfless love, the love experienced when we commit to making a decision that benefits others inspite of potential outcomes for ourselves. Within these posts you'll find information about my philanthropic efforts, inspirational stories, and ideas for selfless acts that just might move you to action.

Along the way I hope you'll share your own stories, inspirations, and ideas with me as we explore a month of LOVE.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Seattle Wedding Show- Flowers Featured on Seattle Bride Blog

The last few weeks have been incredibly busy- I have all sorts of things to share with you. I can't let another day pass by though without posting about one of my highlights.

Many of you may have attended The Seattle Wedding Show this past weekend. I myself did not have a booth this year, but I did contribute the designs for the Spa Scotta booth.

I had so much fun putting together their arrangements. My favorite piece was designed to sit in front of the skywalk windows, overlooking the Pike Place Market sign. I choose to create a tree out of sandblasted Manzanita branches, embellishing the limbs to have a blooming branch look by using hanging glass cups filled with focal blooms. TIP: If you are a summer bride looking for blooming branches, which will be out of season, this is a good option for you.

At any rate, I digress, beneath the arrangement I placed two floral beds of lush blooms such as roses, garden roses, nerines,and cybidium orchids set against the deep cooper and green leaves of magnolia. I really loved this piece and hoped others would too!

My wish was affirmed when Sally Farhat Kassab, Seattle Bride's new editor, included a picture of one of my arrangements within her blogpost Sunday. I couldn't have been happier!

Here are a few more pictures I took at the event. I hope you enjoy them!

AND for those of you suffering from the winter blues, I encourage you to treat yourself to a little R&R at one of Seattle's premiere day spas. Spa Scotta really is a jewel. I really can't say enough good things about Spa Scotta! I've been going there for years now and I can honestly say I've never had a bad experience. It's warm, friendly, and incredibly relaxing- a true treat. I hope you'll get to visit soon!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rainy Day Ideas: Oscar Movie Night

When we moved here several years ago, we didn't quite understand when our neighbors bid farewell in late September. We hadn't seen a moving sign so we weren't quit sure where they were headed. Then October arrived and with it some of the rainest days on record. Our vibrant neighborhood became a ghost town and we too found ourselves spending more and more time nesting inside.

I'm a true nester- easily entertained by crafty little projects that warm my home. J on the other hand...well, in his own words, he's an 'outside dog.' So what's an outside dog to do when he's pent up inside? He goes stir crazy! Cabin fever sets in and even the largest of rooms starts to feel like a cage.

Over the years we've become more and more creative as we've sought out ways to fight the itch for spring. This year I'm super excited about one thing we've cooked up with a few of our friends. We've decided to do a bi-weekly movie/dinner night.

What's so special about a movie night you ask? Well, this isn't just a movie night. It's an Oscar through the ages night. We are going to work our way through the winners decade by decade and challenge ourselves to cook meals that are inspired by the film in one way or another. The first flick we are watching is "It Happened One Night."

Two weeks later we'll be watching Casablanca and J has promised to finally use that Tangine I bought him last Christmas. I'm so excited!

We'll have to keep you posted as things unfold but I'm do you pass the rainy days? Any creative ideas? I'd love to hear more about how the rest of Seattle fills those darker days.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Photography: Birth Stories

Of all the investments I've made in life the one that I would go back and pay for ten times over is my son's birth story.

Those precious hours changed my life more than any others have, and while each and every moment is forever engraved into my heart there is something truely priceless to me about having photos that catpure the gravity of the moment too. I have no doubt that the photos taken that day will become treasured family heirlooms, just as much as the handmade quilts and other items handed down from one generation to the next.

Choosing someone to capture this once in a lifetime event was hard. As a photographer myself, I am beyond blessed to know some of the best and most talented individuals in the area. In the end, two friends agreed to step up to the challenge and be on call for the big event- Kristi Lloyd and Crystal Veroff. These ladies are amazing; I can't say enough good things about them both.

We'd spoken about the type of photos I was looking for, but in the with most birth stories, little is scripted. On the big day, a text went out and Kristi quickly joined us for the hours and moments leading up to Finley's birth. She was there through the laughter, tears, and at times pain that I endured. The way Kristi captured each little tiny detail from the clock hands at the minute of Finley's birth to our hands clutched together as we prayed for a safe delivery is nothing short of amazing. Each frame she took is so beautiful, but the way she wove them together into this amazing slideshow still moves me to tears.

Finley turned six months old yesterday. He's a far cry from the tiny, quiet bundle that came home. He's growing, changing, and laughing his way through the days and weeks; each day is full of true wonder! I LOVE being his mom! I will confess though...there is part of me that already miss my tiny newborn. ;) Good news though is that thanks to Kristi's gift, I can sit down and quietly watch and relive the joy of those first precious moments. The way it moved me will NEVER cease to take my breathe away.

Kristi, thank you so much for sharing your talents with us. You'll forever be a part of our family and of course Finley's special friend.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Appendix or Bust!

OK, so after a good start I was totally bummed to fall off the posting wagon so soon. I do have a stellar excuse though.

So how does a beautiful sunny weekend go way wrong? Appendicitis!

Friday I woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a mack truck. I struggled through the day until about 3:30 when I relented to call into the doc. We went through the list of questions and they too agreed it was probably a bug until I hit the last symptom- lower right quadrant pain. Apparently that's a red flag. So we scheduled an appointment and agreed that if anything changed before morning I'd head to the ER. Boo!

I made it until morning and was actually feeling a little better. I got up, took a shower, and even drove myself to my appointment. I totally expected a clean bill of health, but much to my dismay the doc said she thought it was appendicitis. "You'll need to go to the E.R. for a scan to confirm, but I'm 80% sure" she said. That was the beginning of the end of my beautiful sunny weekend.

I headed into the E.R. around noon, was diagnosed around 3, admitted around 3:15, and had surgery around 9. The whole thing was a bummer that's left me a little worn down and more than a little sore. Good news though is I'm on the mend.

I'm laying low for a few days, but i couldn't let another day pass without giving a huge shout out to everyone who helped J and I this weekend. Amanda, Julia, Kristi, Jo, and all are rockstars; we couldn't have done it without you. Thank you so much for giving up part of your weekend to help us in a pinch.

AND Erin...I'm bummed I missed your birthday but I promise I'll make it up to you very soon! Happy Birthday!