Aaahhh, spring…when it has sprung, these delightful blooms are singing right alongside the sweet songbirds whose music fills the air with happiness. Ranunculus are a local favorite here in San Diego. We are blessed every spring to see them growing just east of the I-5 freeway at the Carlsbad Flower Fields…a hillside rainbow of cheery colors such as plummy-violet, red, hot pink, bubble gum pink, coral-orange, peach, yellow and white. There are also novelty varieties that have bi-coloration, very yummy! Riddled with ruffles, the petals of ranunculus create a very feminine look when added to hand tied wedding bouquets. I prefer theses little darlings to be the focus with little other floral textues present, and, go figure…a la mode d’ Adrianne, in a rustic container.
Ever seen the Coen brothers’ film ‘O Brother Where Art Thou’? One of my all time favorites. The period, the cinematography, the dialogue, the costumes, the 1930′s art direction, the bluegrass soundtrack…all so damn brilliant. Oh yea, almost forgot to add to that list – good ‘ol George Clooney himself as Ulysses Everett McGill. A whole lot of character lanquered up in Dapper Dan hair jelly…not too hard on the eyes either. The film recreates a dusty and desperate rural Mississippi, hung up in the heat of the great Depression - no pretention here. I imagine when folks had humble gatherings their efforts were communal and heartfelt. Sharing gifts from the farm, the land and the garden, all with the finest of intentions of bringing good people together to escape the woes of a wounded economy. I can almost smell the peach pie cooling on a window sill, faded gingham curtains dancing about on a warm breeze – mmmm.
When Ceremony Magazine nudged me to design a table top decor shoot for their 2012 issue, all I could think was…it must be “steeped in old timey”! On the fly I contacted Melissa from Pow Wow Vintage, she has an impressive array of delicious things! I gathered up a van full of inspirations from her including a fabulous farm table, eclectic wooden chairs, mixed styles of Depression glassware, a wheeled bar cart, old green pitchers, green bottles and quaint birdie patterned China. To these nifties, I added wire-mesh wrapped linen tea towels, zinc hanging tags, fire logs and pine cones on branches, old fence pickets to be used as a table runner, weathered silver plate candle accessories and found wooden palettes. Flowery touches to make the scene were local blooming pierris japonica, gigantic white dahlias, Queen Anne’s lace, sitaria and hydrangea.
The place for my southern California version of 1930′s Mississippi was the Olivenhain Meeting Hall, down right perfect. And, yay – that clever Jennifer Dery was the eyes behind the lens once again, leaving no detail overlooked. When the photo shoot was complete, the best part of the day was sitting down at our old timey table for an early afternoon picnic, this never happens. Typically we pack it all up and roll on out! My design associate, the 2 magazine reps, Jennifer and I all munched on sandwiches we made from fat daddy homemade biscuits (BTW from Encinitas Cafe), fresh figs, juicy grapes and from the vintage stemware we swilled chilled Prosecco…or was it really Prohibition hooch cooked up in grandpappy’s tin shed? Anyone hear a banjo?
What’s not to love about sweet peas? So ruffly, feminine and filled with the most delightful fragrance – aaahhh. When I was a little lassie, sweet pea seeds were given to me by my mother…it was the first flower I ever grew. Watching them trellis up our garden fence filled my little 6 year old heart with the giddiness and anticipation of Christmas, seriously. A spring and early summer flower, they come in beautiful colors: purple, lavender, red, watermelon pink, light pink and white. They are a lovely touch to hand-tied bouquets and old fashioned vintage themed events. Get to know them, cuz they’re pretty sweet!
I have a sweet theme in the works this Valentine’s Day weekend…check back Saturday to view our creative efforts. And, lucky me, I even have 2 very special guest elves coming to work in the studio, yessss! And…guys, if you are reading this…deadline for orders is Thursday evening. Got it?
Good, now get on it – your lovely lady is worth it.
For San Diego orders, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thankfully, at this wonderful time of year, bridesmaid dresses come in a sprightly array of colors. Saturated sunflower yellows, aquamarine blues, grassy clover greens, rum punchy pinks – all perfect choices for glowy summertime skin. Their bouquets also must make a special statement. That is where I come in – complimenting their zesty attire/flowers with the perfect ribbon wrapped around the stems. I must confess, I have boatloads of the stuff. I am a ribbon junkie. There is no easy fix. French wired, velvet, double face satin, ombre, vintage, grosgrain and silk, don’t get me going – the beast within emerges and credit cards go mad! Oh no, here come the voices again, make them stop! Where is that soup Nazi guy from Seinfeld when I need to be denied…”No ribbon for you!”
For reals?? Yes, seriously – 500 stems of hydrangea!!! Our studio was packed with the prettiness of garden roses, peonies, China mummies, too….aaah! Voluptuous full blooms are what set the stage for Alissa and Zach’s vintage Victorian wedding at the Hotel Del Coronado. Washed out pastels of champagne, blush, apricot, creamy whites, soft pink and subtle greens were the perfect match for the historic setting. The chuppah was quite an endeavor for my team and I. We designed and constructed an awning style canopy off the existing courtyard gazebo that complimented the hotel’s garden surroundings. And, lucky me – snap happy Paul Barnett was on the job – GREAT images! He is one of San Diego’s best wedding photographers and always a hoot and a half to work alongside. Miryam Seid, a recent addition to our fine city from New York, planned all the details perfectly, this gal’s got style and then some. Get to know HER! And, the sweet and very talented Erika Firm of Delphine provided stunning letterpress invitations and escort cards with a quaint leafy motif…a great touch. Did I forget anyone else?? Yes – duh, and the gals at CAKE! www.fabcakes.com/ created a dreamy cake with large “scales” of white chocolate…it was quite unique and a thrill to decorate with peonies, spray roses and, or course, our last stems of hydrangea. Here’s to the bride and groom!
(BTW – If you made it this far in my gushy, rambling post…latest greatest news just in, my lovely friend Rachel called a moment ago, she and Peter are engaged!!! XO to you both!!!)
With daylight savings being just a few days away, something fantastic has also re-set its seasonal clock around here. The abundant winter rain that dumped this year made our funky succulent-ed entry really bust out with big time juiciness! Once shriveled jade plants, aeoniums, echevarias and aloes are now thick, thriving and fat with moisture. And, along with their new found lust for life, these plants are also hosting a variety of critters. My darling cat “Bones” (aka “Itty Bitty”- not so bitty any more) has made many new chewy friends and has thoughtfully introduced them to the rest of the household; usually when and where we least expect it. Examples – like right after dinner, or at 2:30am via the bedroom window (over my side of the bed, of course) or placed orderly next to my gym bag where her victim lays maimed, wiggly or dead as a door nail.
Her favorite new friends include: earthworms, some up to 6″ long; alligator lizards, usually missing a limb and/or tail and the real fun novelty of late is a 3″ long potato bug, ewww! This link should do the trick for those unfamiliar with this elusive, mysterious bug-thing…. Darwin, my friend, I guarantee our crazy coastal niche would have impressed you!
But seriously now – cats, critters and natural selection aside, the important thing to share with my blog followers is that I often harvest succulents from our rain-soaked front yard. I find they make a fine ingredient in many a floral recipe. From boutonnieres to centerpieces – their effect is stunning, surprising and always invites both touch and comment. Heck, talk about shopping “local’, eh? Lucky me! Oh, and my cat too. Photo courtesy: www.barnettphoto.com/
Whenever I need new ideas for floral creations, I look to window displays. In college, my favorite art classes were Color Theory and Exhibition Design…so no surprise that I find new color trends in their retail settings down right fascinating. Some people watch gobs of TV (my husband refers to this gizmo as the box with the little people inside), I watch out for color relationships -everyday! Yes, I totally agree, nerd alert.
One of my favorite places in Southern California to go “window shopping” is Anthropologie. For those not familiar, this is a women’s apparel/home furnishings store specializing in the modern-bohemian-chic aesthetic…amazing textiles, fashion designs, unique jewelry/accessories and inspired store displays. Beyond the impressive use of color, their merchandising gurus often focus attention on repetitive textures and shapes. Last week when I saw their recent display utilizing two other of my favorite things – recycled products and bicycle wheels – I blew a micro chip getting super snap happy with my little green camera (ask my pretty gal pal, Dawn – think I may have embarrassed her!). The tops of plastic water bottles were cut into flower blossom shapes, then airbrushed and splattered with mixed pastel colors , then layered and mounted on to chrome rims and spokes of old bicycle wheels. And then lastly, layered upon themselves…so damn clever!!! Check this YouTube video to get the gist of it.
I have always wanted to teach art. Perhaps someday my crazy class will be called ‘Color Theory – Recycle Scratch and Sniff 101′ – a course combining light industrial design, recycled goods, methods & materials and lots of glorious colorama! Are you in or are you out?