Crazy for Pansies {The Pansy Ring}

001This is the time of year in the South where copious amounts of little Pansy plants are purchased and incorporate into landscapes outside business and homes across the region. They are adorable, edible, tougher than they look, cold loving, and come in a rainbow of colors and combinations. I started collecting them  a few weeks ago and could not stop. But that’s just part of the story here. You see, I’ve been waiting for pansy season because of a dear friend named Kevin. This summer I purchased from him the most curious little doughnut shaped vase. It was only two inches tall, from Germany, and almost looked like a circular ceramic frog. It turns out, in essence that is what the vase was. Kevin is a man well versed in antiques and oddities. If one needs to know what antique grape scissors look like, he knows and likely has a pair. He and his partner sell antiques and much more here in Memphis through a company named Posh Design Group. They are talented in many mediums, but getting back to the curious vase story, Kevin told me it was specifically designed for pansy flowers, known as a ‘pansy ring’  because obviously the stems are too short and blooms too flat to stand in a traditional vase. My mind was blown and ever since that moment I have been waiting to try this beauty out! Here are the results: I loaded the ring with flowers took some photos, then thinned them out, and took more photos.  I also gathered all of the smallest vases I could find and began to sort them out into the vignettes below.

Being up close to pansy flowers is not something I do often so I also learned that they have a very sweet and enchanting fragrance. What a unique decoration for any occasion or day of the week and lovely way to bring color into one’s home during those darker colder months of the year in which the pansy thrives. For all of these reasons I would highly encourage the ownership and use of such a fun vase. The color combinations are endless. This precious pansy ring has also continues to fuel my interest in flower specific products and frogs. I have quite a collection mounting for future features!

About this pansy ring: It is from a German company named Ulmer Keramik and dated sometime in between 1949 and 1960. The waterproof glazed ring has three little round feet and a blue stamp on the backside.

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A Potter’s Journey

aOver a year ago I met a beautiful and talented artist and student named Annaliese, and this summer she came to work with me in the studio. Since she is an art major, it made for a perfect internship experience watching me run my creative business while learning my medium of flowers. We were able to translate the lessons of art and art business into a lot more than just flowers while we modified the shop for work in ceramics. Soon there was a harmony of aesthetics as she and I drafted vases that were flower specific while working with so many materials in one room. We puzzle-packed and  fired the heck out of the kiln until the day she drove back to her school. I miss her dearly not because I need a helper so much, but because having a fellow artist near you daily for a month who understands things like the flow of diving into a project or the abstract ways that people like us get from A to B (which is never a straight line), or the excitement over the tiniest detail, is a rare and beautiful thing. There is a rise in collaboration with potters/vase makers and floral designers and it was so exciting to have a taste of that magic here at Haute Horticulture. We discussed artists like Frances Palmer who have been making waves by designing such flower specific pieces and their success of being embraced by what was seemingly a tight niche of customers, floral designers, and art lovers alike.

I often reflect on what I taught and what I learned while teaching and working with her. I wonder if it was I who actually got more out of the experience. It is no secret that we will be opening a flower school in the coming year and Annaliese was able to provide me with mindful feedback on my teaching techniques while I shared some of the successes and lessons of selling creativity in today’s world; after all, artists of all people have a product that is often so original it is difficult to market fairly to themselves with appropriate compensation for their time and ideas. Thank goodness there is a turning tide in the art world where emotions or thoughts are made into tangible objects; a renewed craving for the old methods of unique obtainable artwork that is slowly taking hold of the world conscious. Holding a hand made work or decorating with it offers opportunities to connect with the lives of artists and makers and with however one personally responds to the piece. It is a way to support those who take time to put their heart, talent, and dedication into a work for others to cherish; and a way to maintain the legacy of the art and culture of our society. This type of post is long overdue and this article has given me such pleasure to write that I look forward to a series of artist features coming more often on this blog.

The photos below are of her portfolio and a majority of the pieces were made in Japan where Annaliese studied for a year. I cannot take any credit for her magic attention to details or any of the art that flowed from her this summer, but instead for connecting her a little deeper with the nature around my crazy life, some new methods in hand building we practiced together, and my incredible friends like Annabella Brandon who captured her essence so perfectly with a camera (and is available for portfolio, commercial, and business image work). There is no doubt this is the first in many future features about Annaliese Davidson to come in the art community. I am so proud of her emerging style, her tenacity and courage to be herself and travel whenever possible, and her life guided by an extraordinary inner compass which is always pointed to the path of experiences with a humble heart, open mind, and noble purpose.

Annaliese Davidson and her work photographed by Annabella Charles Photography

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Colors from the Earth (Natural Fabric Dye} Part 2

1212Dying fabric with my hands and products derived from the earth was an experience I will not forget. Each new dye product and the color created gave me just a small insight to the methods in use long before dye was mass produced. The turmeric was especially vibrant and so rewarding to use on every material I chose. The day of the flower dye shoot a sweet little moth came up and rested on a Marigold the same orange as its wings. It was a glorious afternoon. I encourage anyone with curiosity on the subject to try something as simple as using the typically discarded water that comes from soaking black beans (the dark blueish water) and boiling or even sun dying any fabric in a jar for a day or several. I actually put the beans in the ground after boiling them and they sprouted immediately and thrived.

The natural products used for dying were:

Coffee, turmeric, paprika, orange Marigold, Queen Anne’s Lace, Black Eyed Susan, blueberry, blackberry, black bean, Chamomile flower, and Stock flower in both magenta and purple.

Some of the fabric colors you see here were created with various mordants to seal in the color.  The mordant combinations were different for each color batch, but were primarily one of either salt, alum, vinegar, and cream of tartar. These are the safer of the mordants and can all be found in the spice section of the grocery store. Some can change the color of the dye significantly. Research is key for selecting the right mordant for the color effect desired.

Photographs By: Annabella Charles

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Dying with Flowers {and other Naturals} Part 1

1In August there was a lot of activity in the studio. Our intern Annaliese brought something magical with her and a large part of that was the fact that to teach, I had to stretch my mind and imagine what it was like to learn something completely new. The atmosphere was alive with ideas and many art mediums colliding. Her love of pottery mixed with my love of botanicals was an explosion of creativity that resulted in spending a week of obsessive study on the art of dying fabric with natural materials. Humans these days are really reaching back out to nature and I must admit that after the extremely satisfying results of a few test recipe batches, I was hooked. I spent every spare minute boiling and sun dying fabrics in jars, big pots, copper basins, and the porch pretty much looked like an alchemists paradise. I talked about it constantly, spent hours online reading natural blogs for recipes and my hands were purple and blue. One night after leaving a bowl of Turmeric outside next to a bowl of blackberry dye, a racoon came and dug through the yellow powder and then the blue water making green stripes on my fabric! After the mania of creating every color I could in less than a week, Annabella Charles brought her camera and the three of us had an incredible 2 day summer session. The results were so perfect in telling the story that it is split into three posts:

1) Dying with Flowers

2) The Colors of Nature

3) A Potter’s Journey

The recipes are not exact. The best way to learn to dye with naturals, flowers, spices, beans, vegetables, and fruits is really in the trial and journal of your methods. It’s a lot of chemistry but the variables are your water source composition, pot metals, nature of the materials, fabrics, and mordants; none of which are going to be exactly the same as what I used in the photos.  I was able to get multiple colors out of a single fruit like blackberry using different pots, heat sources, mordants, and fabrics. The best way to document your dying recipes is in a journal with samples put right into the page. I created a sample journal, but would recommend at least one page per color or dye method. This was incredibly fun! If I weren’t so consumed with flowers in my life I would enjoy the life of some of the premier natural ribbon and fabric dying companies of our time. The one that is on every bouquet these days being Silk and Willow because of their gorgeous natural colors and safe dying methods. Silk and Willow is known to collect Avocado pits from restaurants just to recycle a bit more and make some of the most earthly yet ethereal colors from them. They are worth every penny to wrap that bouquet that makes you want to weep over its beauty, the extra finishing touch with perfect imperfections no factory could manufacture.

The steps to dying are simple once you get the hand of the process.

  • Create the dye by boiling your dye product and water.
  • Strain out any large particles.
  • In a separate pan boil your fabric in water and add the mordant.
  • Boil mordant and fabric for at least and hour and allow to cool.
  • Remove the fabric from the mordant and wring it.
  • Some mordants may need an additional water rinse.
  • Add the fabric to the strained dye and boil for an hour or desired color saturation time.
  • Remove the fabric from the dye, rinse, and air dry.
  • NOTE: Colorfastness is not guaranteed so please don’t wash hand dyed fabrics with other clothing until certain it will not bleed. I typically hand dye items I wash alone such as table cloths or ribbons (for bouquets) that are hand washed only and ironed.
  • Here is a link to a more utilitarian tutorial

This concept and all of the lessons were a complete indulgence in creation. Please enjoy the work of our team and photographs by Annabella Charles Photography!

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{Click here to see Part 2 of this post}

We Love: Fresh From the Field Wedding Flowers {By Erin Benzakein and Lynn Byczynski}

We love the book Fresh From the Field Wedding Flowers written and photographed by Lynn Byczynski and Erin Benzakein for many reasons. First and foremost would be the approachable nature of the context and photos. This is a book for everyone and an honest look at wedding designs during the recent desire to turn back the pages to a simple more natural style of arranging flowers. There is even a companion tutorial DVD included which is perfect for those who want more than a static page can offer.  Lynn Byczynski is widely known in the community of flower farming and farming local product. Her book, The Flower Farmer, is one of the best to read on the subject, especially when starting out and is also worthy of a feature here on our blog so stay tuned! Lynn also is the editor/publisher of Growing For Market, established in 1992. These women know their field!

fresh 1The tutorials and photos in this collaborative book are useful for beginners and for veterans, as we believe there is never enough experience in seeing how things are created by others. Erin Benzakein’s story is enchanting, her farm amazing, and her gifts to the world of sharing flower farming and arranging knowledge is quickly making her a household name and the darling cover of many magazines. We adore her just as much and the glimpse into her true thoughts an family life in the Floret Flower Blog. Here is Erin’s blog post on the book. Below are some of our favorite arrangements as well as photos of Erin and her daughter working together.

fresh 2 Fresh 3There really is so much to love about the people living their dreams and sharing them with the rest of us who consider joining them. For new designers and the budding bride, there is  so much to learn and see in Fresh From the Field Wedding Flowers ; a book that gives a great appreciation for the time and skill it takes to arrange flowers for a gathering and event and realistic expectations on all fronts. This book is not physically large, yet is full of well crafted advice on the why, where, when, and how of every subject from local flower finding and use to why certain flowers will not work or whether one is truly meant for DIY wedding flowers and what that enormous commitment entails. We believe if one is to attempt DIY, this is a must read for the truth about what works and what will cause stress and delay and what options are best to achieve the look. Kudos to the authors!

fresh 5fresh 6This photo in particular has been a personal favorite for over a year and was printed and taped on the wall of the studio for a long time. All photos are from the website www.floretflowers.com.

 

Oranges of Late Summer

I was inspired by the mint and citrus colors of one of my favorite tea tins to create this little late summer vignette in honor of the bold oranges that show up at the end of August. Tea tins and lithographs may come in and out of fashion, but I continue to love them and enjoy grouping collected pieces together for tiny vignettes of color play. I was completely in awe of the fact that I let the early summer blue and purple hydrangea flowers remain and ‘antique’ on the plants and by August the clusters turned a color identical to the mint green of the tin. Hope this combination puts the same smile on your face as it did ours that day.

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Flowers include: Local Orange Trumpet, Chamomile, Pilgrim David Autsin Garden Roses, Hydrangea, and Echinacea Cones, and California Dahlias, Strawflower,  and Eucalyptus.

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Spring Sampling

Maggie Louise bridal boutique in Memphis, TN hosted a designer trunk show for a rising star designer named Olia Zavozina. Social Graces invited us to come create a high end sampling of floral designs for all of the brides eagerly awaiting to try on the dresses. We adorned the store with a little bit of everything from large urns filled with Olive branch to precious boutonnieres to touch. The wooden table and rentals from Mahaffey and Prop Cellar were decorated with all of our favorite offerings such as hand poured candles and spring fruit. The favorites were the enormous Japanese ranunculus that stole the spotlight in every arrangement and even took center stage on the feminine and demure cake design by our favorite Laura Jackson of The Flour Garden. The day was a huge success for brides who purchased designer gowns and got to have private consultations with the same woman who created them, who also happens to dress celebrities for the red carpet!

Between the first sign of Spring dogwood flowers, happy brides holding bouquets and posing for photos with family, and champagne popping there were nothing but moments of joy shared all around the room.

Luminous Photography as always from Anabella Charles

Gowns: Olia Zavozina

Boutique: Maggie Louise

Coordination and Design: Social Graces

Cake: The Flour Garden

Stationary: Emily McCarthy

Rentals: Mahaffey Tent and Party

Yellow Table, China, Crystal, and Flatware: Prop Cellar Vintage Rentals

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50 Years of Love and Devotion

When your daughter is one of the most talented cake designers in town and you are celebrating your golden anniversary, there is no doubt it will be the best tasting event of all! Laura Jackson of The Flour Garden Memphis invited all of us to work with her on this intimate project and make a memorable occasion for her parents. It was just that. I honestly can say that when Pat and Bud cut the extraordinary (and delicious) five tiered anniversary cake that their daughter created, it made me feel as though I was there the first time 50 years before –  and it appeared as if they did as well. What a magic day for the family. Purple is Pat’s favorite color and she is an avid gardener with an entire moss lawn: not a blade of grass! We created floral designs inspired by her lifetime of passion for art, flowers, and family and it was not hard to do considering the Lilac, Helleborus, Frittilaria, and tree blossoms were all in full Spring bloom! The photos and personal items incorporated into the design made us all feel like a part of the past and present love they share. I met two very precious  friends and look forward to working and attending their next anniversary party.  Congratulations to one of the sweetest couples that is 50 years strong and counting!

Cake and all Edibles: The Flour Garden

Photography: Annabella Charles Photography

Styling: Everbloom Designs

Coordination: Social Graces, LLC

Calligraphy & Signage: Natalie Chang

Vases and Gold Tableware and Accessories: Posh Design Group

Linens: LaTavola

Rentals: Mahaffey Tent

Buffet/Vintage Rentals: Propcellar Vintage Rentals

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Valentine Inspiration {Hearts of Gold}

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A small token of love this Valentine’s Day. This vignette was simply to share the short and beautiful life of these divine, almost other worldly garden roses we had to work with as well as some very pretty finds from an antique store that belong to the photographer Annabella. The rest is what others see in it, whether that is just something pretty to scroll through or  little gems that stand out as inspiration, or really anything. We give our own meaning to objects when we see them as symbols; in this case symbols of affection, sweetness, romance, and softness. This doesn’t mean that one must own or recieve all of the gilded hearts and fluffy roses in the world to have a proper Valentine’s experience, but instead that whatever we do for others, (any tokens, actions, or words that have meaning) will be the best received when given with love.

Magnolia Rouge  kindly featured this today along with a bonus tutorial to learn more about how to create the candles or the sugared garden rose petals in the photographs.

 

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Sweet Violet Bride Magazine {Bouquet Feature}

What a thrill to see a new business take flight and to even more so to be a part of the first project. Sweet Violet Bride is a new print magazine that is full of natural inspiration for  wildflower loving brides and beauty seekers alike. Our team created a spread of bountiful bouquets with texture and intriguing combinations. Thank you Naomi for asking us to be a part of your new adventure. The only way we are all going to thrive in this world is to work, share, and  create with a sense of community.

It takes bravery to achieve your dreams and our example this week, Sweet Violet Bride,  is sure to know the feeling of sweet success!

Annabella Charles Photography

Everbloom Designs

Natalie Chang Designs

Prop Cellar Vintage Rentals

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Chlorophyll

The green chemical responsible for the absorption of light by plants is called chlorophyll and those tender leafy greens are precious and rare right now in the middle of winter. With a few herbs and flowers purchased here and there, this was a nice reminder that no season is eternal and that Spring will be here before long.

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 Ivy

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The Flowerwild Workshop {Part 2}

See that golden hue
Burning in the west
My dreams are with that color
My dreams are the sun

…My dreams are with the sun

-Dawn Michelle

1A Workshop created and directed by: Kate Holt of Flowerwild

Photography: Jose Villa

Featured in: Style Me Pretty

Hair and Makeup: TEAM Hair and Makeup

Paper Goods and Calligraphy: Feast

Props: Found Vintage Rentals

Location: Mayacamas Ranch, Calistoga, California

Model: Barbara of Scout Model & Talent

Bouquets: 17 Talented Designers including Haute Horticulture {Karin}

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Additional Information:

photographer: Jose Villa Flowers: Rachel Bowes of Finch and Thistle Events | flowers: Angie Tomey of Little Boy Flowers | flowers: Pearl & Godiva | flowers: Anne Bowen Dabney of Charleston Stems | flowers: Amy Reed | flowers: Shilhi Seibel of Passion Roots | flowers: madalyn covey | flowers: Ashlyn Gibben Hobbs of Stratford Events | flowers: Mandy Grace | flowers: Sarah Neal of L&S Design co. | flowers: Jahana Bilal of White Squid | flowers: Shannon Mahoney of Thistle and Honey Floral | flowers: Karin Woodward of Haute Horticulture | flowers: McKenzie Powell Designs | flowers: katie wachowiak of Reinhardt Blooms | hair and makeup: TEAM Hair & Makeup | calligraphy: feast calligraphy | creative direction and design: kate holt – flowerwild | model: scout model and talent | prop rentals: Found Vintage Rentals | venue: mayacamas ranch | wardrobe: bhldn

The Flowerwild Workshop {Featured on Style Me Pretty}

This past April I was fortunate enough to attend a workshop created by Kate Holt of Flowerwild and today Style Me Pretty posted all of the incredible photos that truly capture the essence of that perfect California sun filled afternoon with Jose Villa and Kate (among many other talented vendors). This is just a preview, so prepare for the next post with so many images to tell the story of our day in Calistoga –  using flowers hand picked by Kate to create our bouquets and have Jose capture them on film. Until then, you can see some of the group favorites on Style Me Pretty here.

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The Leftovers {Flemish Palette}

Just couldn’t resist playing with some photo shoot leftovers that somehow survived over two weeks without any water or care. They were still lovely enough to make into some vignettes in a Flemish palette with a hint of winter greens and blues.

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Magnolia Rouge {The Romance Issue} Blush meets Blue

The new Romance Issue of Magnolia Rouge is out and as full of gorgeousness as ever! Issue 4 is live and all the digital issues are here in one lovely place. Kate Holland is the creative force behind this New Zealand treasure and we have been working with her for over two years now. It is hard to believe that our Memphis team has been inspiring international brides for so long and we are always honored to see what she does with our work. This color scheme sings with the beautiful blue privet berries that mixed with the blushing dahlias and earthy greens and enhanced with all of the lovely lace and vintage props and rentals styled and photographed together. The mismatched china really helped to play up the palate and unify the theme.

It’s good for blue hue loving brides to be to know that there are quite a few amazing naturally occurring blues in nature, such as the navy center of an anemone or the dusty shade of a blue thistle, that not only are available at different time of the year but can truly compliment the rest of the colors in a combination such as this.

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Photography: Annabella Charles

Styling: Everbloom Designs

Furniture, Silver, and China Props: Prop Cellar

Cakes and Cookies: The Flour Garden

Stationery: Natalie Change Designs

 

 

 

Autumn Palette

A little something different on the blog this Autumn day where the sunlight gets a little shorter and the colors richer. We need to remember to savor the greens before we wish them all to reds, oranges, and yellows and to fall to the ground. I will share more of this art-based shoot in the future, but for now just a peek at our woodland-esque model and artist Annaliese, who’s name is just as lovely as she.

Captured By Annabella Charles Photography

Styled By Everbloom Designs

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Plum Nectar

One never knows exactly when an idea will come to fruition when they first have it pop into their mind. Such is the case for this very rich and delicious color scheme. The theme overall was inspired by a painting I kept showing and texting Annabella and Kristin. Each of us pulled out of the painting what we saw individually, which was different times three. The interesting thing is when we show up together, whether after months of planning or 2 days, we don’t know what that final product will be for sure. That said, it’s usually exactly what we visualize or in this case, even better. Glamour and Grace was just like their namesake and graciously helped us show these inspirational photos to the world. Thank you! I must add that one of the phone calls made was to Laura of The Flour Garden and she got no more than a photo of a cake stand and a pen. Of course after designing with my first “naked” cake I had to try a slice. Then another. And one more for the road!

Flowers: Dahlias, Ranunculus, Spray Garden Rose, Elderberry, Crabapple, Bougainvillea, Blushing Bride Protea, & Olive Branch

Photography: Annabella Charles Photography

Styling: Everbloom Designs

Cake: The Flour Garden

12345678aThe chalkboard backdrop was really what made this cake stand out.

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Romance & Flowers

After some research the author of this quote still is not known, but it is a lovely one nonetheless:

My chest is your garden and the seeds you planted in my heart are going to be painfully beautiful flowers.

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A Touch of Southern Style {Wedding UK Magazine}

There are no words that can describe how excited our team is to be published in (UK) Wedding Magazine. It is sold in so many countries, including the United States, and I personally have been buying it along with the sister magazine Wedding Flowers since I was engaged in 2003. I cannot believe 10 years later Haute Horticulture is a part of both magazines this fall.

We simply couldn’t have done it without the lengthy list of talent we have grown accustomed to working magic with here in Memphis.

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Annabella Charles Photography

Everbloom Designs Styling

Social Graces LLC

The Flour Garden

Natalie Chang

Elaine Clayton Beauty Styling

The Junior League Memphis

Ziparo’s Catering

Model: Quinn Lake

Claire Pettibone

La Tavola Linens

 

Tasha {A Bridal Shower}

When a wedding shower is given by a photographer you know every detail is going to be lovely, especially if it’s a bridal shower by a wedding photographer. Annabella Charles is the reason I know Tasha, the bride-to-be, and she is such a warm and devout person. We will be doing her wedding next month so stay tuned for more pretty photos of beautiful Tasha and her handsome future husband! The watercolor cake and  cookies were created by The Flour Garden and they taste as amazing as they look! We put a little sparkle in this wedding with glittered flower stands and vases. Martha Stewart glitter comes in all of the perfect watercolors we needed to pull this one off. Style Me Pretty agreed and published it today!

It was a wonderful day.

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A Little Bubbly {Pink Champagne}

Annabella Charles gets a lot of credit on my blog for a reason. She works hard and practices with me constantly to get the right look for both clients and editorial customers alike. I love to showcase what we do in the hopes of inspiring whomever may come across this blog. I love to look at pretty things. I love to make them, (and just my luck Annabella loves to photograph them!) I am truly proud to work, more often than not, with some very select people (including Kristin) whom I consider a gift to know. It makes light of the darkest times and when we are creating it feels like it’s not even work (except for the exhaustion that cannot be avoided when giving your all and staying up late). Our muse this time was garden roses … and a little bubbly. So cheers to friendship and to finding your circle, your collective or your closest friends. The people who understand you and your talents (whatever they may be) unlike anyone else; your people. Cheers to the best of best friends, and to family who support the wild artists and their eccentric tendencies. The world needs all kinds of ideas,  color, and beauty –  just as it needs the raw numbers, facts and the pragmatic and sobering truths. This is the great balance that keeps us all in love and living life and helping others and dreaming.

Cheers!

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Inspiration Recharge

I was recently fortunate enough to be taken to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (lacma) and it was exactly what I needed to renew my creativity. There was too much to see in a few short hours, but I think any longer would have been overwhelming. I have to thank Sam, Alex, and Paula for the idea and accompaniment on a perfect visit that made the most of a little spare time in such a big city. These are just a few of my favorites (I really do lean toward still life) and photography was allowed unless noted next to each piece; which was awesome! I know I cannot do these works full justice, but I can at least look at them until I travel to see the brush strokes in person. Check out the site and internet images for past exhibits and visitor photos of the wondrous exhibits.

{The photos in order are de Grollier, Van Huysum, and Cezanne – All on display at lacma}

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Purple Dahlias {a little practice}

I was told once by a successful floral designer, whom I admire, that all she did was practice  with every flower she could get her hands on; especially in the beginning. I also recently saw a video/article that really hit home in this regard. It is my belief  and that of my dear friends Annabella Charles (she took these glorious photos) and Kristin Wolter that if we keep following our passions, honing our craft, and practicing what we love to do we will always be improving our creative talents. So sometimes even in the middle of a busy time I will make time to practice with colors I don’t normally use or challenge myself. Now you can enjoy the fruits (and pecans) of our labor below!

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From the Garden {Dahlias and Shrimp Plant}

There is nothing better than getting to play with a new variety of flower purchased from my local nurseries. This particular little photo collection by Annabella Charles was made up of our personal garden Dahlias, Bougainvillea, and Shrimp Plant (Or Justicia brandegeanas as they are known botanically). It also includes some Ranunculus from the wholesaler and the most beautiful peach muslin wrap (a new product from Oasis). It was her idea to do the heart and I absolutely loved it. It was simply exciting to see what color combinations made the flowers stand out. This season there are a lot of peach loving brides (who can blame them – it photographs so well!) , and there are many ways to add a new twist to a pastel.

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Earthly Heirlooms {Magnolia Rouge Issue 3}

We absolutely love getting creative when it comes to the themes of Magnolia Rouge Magazine. Working with Annabella Charles Photography and Everbloom Designs we designed an entire vignette around the heirlooms that are gifts from the Earth to be transformed into treasures for generations to enjoy. Whether made of wood, clay, cotton, charcoal, or seeds that grow flowers and food year after year, these blessings are not too small to be forgotten. We are so proud to be a part of the talent in this magazine spans the globe!

{ I would like to also mention that the charcoal sketch was done by the talented Annaliese Davidson, a budding artist.}

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Patience

‘When one plants a garden they are admitting they believe in tomorrow’. This much is true, but with each day that the sprouts begin to grow taller and taller the anticipation mounts. We have so many little seedlings planted here that we cannot wait to see take shape! So while we practice patience, we can show you a little instagram montage of the times spent working or simply creating for the sake of doing so when we have a few spare flowers or gifts from the garden. This fall promises to be bountiful with images, news,  work, and inspiration we just have to give it a little more time to ripen to the perfect sweetness.

For more Instagram goodness you can follow Haute Horticulture and Flowerwheel App here.

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Lovely Words on Paper

Sometimes we turn to mediums other than our own for a little pick-me-up. This week I found two really lovely vendors on Etsy who make these items. Sometimes it’s just nice to see words of positivity and grace when you are moving forward with your dreams. After all, great plans require great risk so it is good to hear a little reassurance from any source that works. Today it happened to be some very lovely words on paper.

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The prints above are made by Sarah Trumbauer and available here.

fabled needle shakesp This drawing was created by The Fabled Needle.

Roses from the Garden {Milk Glass and Heirlooms}

We have had a bountiful year here in the south so far. Our garden seems to agree. Here are some hand picked lovelies in my milk glass collection. It was a little bit of fun with photographer Annabella Brandon and stylist Kristin Wolter-Canfield to break up the long week (and an excuse to see Annabella’s handsome newborn son).

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Flowerwild Workshop

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Maycamas Ranch is nestled deep in the heart of Napa, California. It was there that Kate Holt of Flowerwild greeted us (attendees of her workshop) with open arms. It was also there, surrounded by beauty, that we formed new friends and learned from a pioneer in the shift of floral design in our changing world. Kate was so lovely to meet because she is simply and authentically Kate. She cares about our craft, our world, and our community. As I moved through each new day at the ranch I began to see the simplest principles that get lost in the every day event industry: quality over volume, honing one’s specific style, the true value of one’s time and creativity. If those elements are missing from the business of an artist it can cause a ripple of unwanted changes that lead one to stray away from why they chose flowers in the first place (or any career/passion for that matter). Floral design is rarely extremely profitable, but there must be a balance between making soulful designs that are commissioned by people who appreciate its value, and the ‘copy and paste’ rampant in today’s creative industry.

The sights and sounds, mixed with my photo journal and notebook, are so precious to me. I am sharing just a piece because like any soulful journey it is meant to be kept close to your heart. Jose Villa was there on the final day taking photos of our work. Once we all got past being a little star struck by watching Jose and Kate work together, the entire group had the most fun. It was the perfect retreat and Kate was an ambassador of change to us all. By sharing her world, she inspired us to go home and find our niche, find our community, and thrive. Making romantic garden style arrnagements is very fulfilling, but if you find yourself interested in a workshop you may want to ask yourself, “What is it I am trying to learn? Will this help to be more in touch with a style that speaks to me?”. The more we do this kind of introspection, the easier it is to find our place and the best people to help guide us along the way.

{The photographs were taken by me and the lovely logo work on fabric was by the talented Pitbulls and Posies}

Thank you so much Kate!
xo

b  There was lavender everywhere. So much so that the breeze was as calming as it was gentle and warm. Below is some scenery as I trekked through the hills to get to Napa Valley.d e f ff g h    Our model was beautiful and kind enough to hike, canoe, pose barefoot, and hold heavy bouquets all while looking radiant for the camera.imo

Garden Basket

What a beautiful time of year. Here is a photo that sums up the wonder of having a basket full of

freshly picked botanicals. Oh the possibilities!basket

Photo: Annabella Charles Photography

Spring {a time to grow}

For all of us who love that first spotted daffodil in the field or the blossoming trees that seem to pop overnight, Spring is here! It is the rebirth of not only the fresh leaves of the trees and Wisteria vines along the roads, but a chance to start over in our hearts. To love what we have growing in front of us, to have goals for our gardens as well as our lives. The amazing thing about plants  is that they teach us the true meaning of an investment and we must take that example by planting what we want to see in the future and understanding that only hard work makes a  truly bountiful harvest {and not overnight!}. There will be ups and downs, storms and locusts, sweet rain and drought, but in the end if we work with great care, no matter what happens, we learned to be a better, more patient person who is invested in the present and still believes in the blessings that lie ahead in the future.

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Beauty in Botany {Magnolia Rouge Feature}

            Magnolia Rouge published its second edition under the new name and the magazine is a treasure trove of real weddings, style, and more! Kate (the director) was able to use two seperate photo shoots from our group in the magazine and we thought we would share the lovely botanical beauty here on the blog. It’s an ode to the lithograph and fern lovers alike and includes a bunch of fresh Helleborus mixed with lively little puffs of Acacia and four different types of ferns to name just a few floral ingredients. With stylist Kristin Wolter from Everbloom Designs and Annabella of Annabella Charles Photography, we mapped out the details of a decorated repast of salads, spritzers, and sweets that include edible pansies.

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A Parisian-Inspired Shoot {Featured in Style Me Pretty}

Style Me Pretty is one of the biggest and most watched blogs in the wedding industry for fresh ideas, real weddings, and incredible photo shoots. They even have a new book with all of the best photographers, stylists, planners,  and floral designers as contributors. When we found out SMP was going to publish something we worked hard on and were very proud of, we wanted to sing it to the world… but that’s the catch, you have to wait sometimes months before their brilliant team picks just the right moment to publish it. So after the Winter turned to Spring and the trees all burst into fluffy canopies of florets, we agree that April 1 is the PERFECT day for such a sunny and inspiring collection of photographs from Annabella Charles.

{You can see more of her work here}

So of course we don’t want to boast, but we love this photo shoot that was waiting for the frost to thaw and sprout. We hope you do too!

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A Beautiful Day! {Style Me Pretty Feature}

It is truly a beautiful day to share some photos we have had to keep to ourselves for some time. That’s the way it works in the publication and editorial business, you must be months ahead of the season and then wait to see your product in its rightful place. We have been thrice featured on Style Me Pretty and this one is just lovely all over. The team deserves full credit, for no one does much alone in the industry, so be sure and look at their sites too for more photographs and their version of the day.
Our story is easy to tell. We had an extremely accommodating venue, great coordination, the perfect stylist, an unparalleled photographer, incredible: cake, flowers, linens, rentals, and a lovely model wearing gorgeous dresses. The shoot was actually in the Winter and it was not easy. I believe the high that day was 40 degrees, not to spoil the magic though, because inside the conservatory it was a perfect temperature. I may even consider one for a future function. What a great idea of having green plants and great weather (indoors) all year round with glass walls and natural lighting!

There will likely be a few more future posts but for now we are overjoyed to be on a wedding style blog like Style Me Pretty and to finally share it with you.

Have a wonderful day!

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 Vendors

Annabella Charles Photography

Social Graces Events

Everbloom Designs

Dresses provided by : Maggie Louise

Hair and Make up : Tricia Coble

Venue : The Conservatory

Stationary : Natalie Chang

Model : Rebecca with MACS AMAX

Vintage Rentals : Propcellar

Headpieces and belt : Hushed Commotion

Cake : The Flour Garden

Caterer : The Conservatory

Lighting : Bright Event Productions

 

 

Brittany & Jason {Project Wedding March 25, 2013}

Real weddings are sacred and they have to account for a lot more life situations than photo shoots, so when a wedding with Annabella Charles as the photographer comes up it’s fun to see a couple get the royal treatment  and be featured on a national blog like Project Wedding.

We are so happy for the couple! And happy that Project Wedding loved it enough to make it a feature wedding!

project wedding cover page 3-25-2013

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Autumn Arrangement

While it may be Spring here in the Northern Hemisphere,  Autumn is coming to the Southern Hemisphere.

This is an arrangement for all of our readers down South. {Photograph by Annabella Charles Photography}

Recipe:

Banksia, Magnolia Grandiflora Fruit, David Austin Juliet Garden Rose, Echinacea (Coneflower) in Orange,

Acorn on the Branch, , Crabapple on the Branch, Bougainvillea, Dahlia, Tulip, and Waxflower.autumnpost

Romantic Garden Rose Bouquet

Simple bouquet recipes can be just as effective as varieties. This romantic rose bouquet was primarily garden roses and spray garden roses in a bundle surrounded by Magnolia leaves (which have a velvety tobacco colored underside).

The handle was wrapped in silk ribbon and styled by Kristin at Everbloom Designs. Lovely photographs by Annabella Charles Photography.

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The Cheery Cherries {Using Fruit in Bouquets}

1cherry 2cherry 3cherry 4cherry There is nothing more delicious than using berries and various edible fruits in bouquets, but what is truly safe and what is fantasy? We have worked a great deal with fruits and unusual bouquet content recent years and here is the true advice we have to give customers and aspiring floral designers alike. When it comes to bridal bouquets these are our 7 best tips to avoid complications and gain peace of mind:

1) If you are using real fruit with clear juices make sure it is under-ripe and very hard.

2) If you wire fruits that are larger and heavier the test is simple, if you hold the wire only and the fruit does not stand erect, the gague is not heavy enough or the fruit needs more wires through it. You can also combine wooden picks but make sure the fruit is anchored with some wire or the fruit may fall off the pick alone when the bouquet is held upside down (which does happen).

3) If you use real fruits it is safest to nest them into the flowers so that they are not on the outside of the bouquet where they can get bruised or start to weep.

4) Never use real fruits with extremely dark juices. It may look appealing in magazines (yes we have published a few ourselves) but the secret is that there are some very convincing faux fruits and veggies out there,  and no floral designer or bride should have to worry about this when there are lightweight fauxs that can be tucked (wired) into the bouquet. Make sure the client understands that these concerns are for clothing safety and the reason a real plum is probably not ideal for a bouquet; give them the truth about the risks of real fruits and vegetables and they will respect you for thinking ahead.

5) Peppers and fruits like Mangos can be very irritating to skin and eyes if the oils come off onto the designer’s hands or onto the client’s hands. The best thing to do is use faux or very small ornamentals that are grown specifically for arrangements. It may seem tempting to use that cute little jalapeno pepper from the garden, but it could potentially get an irritant all over everything that it touches.

6) Be smart, if you aren’t going to be there to watch over the bouquet for the entire ceremony and reception and all photographs, then our best advice is play it safe rather than risk disaster. There are so many usable low risk berries and ornamentals to use and the options are getting better each year with the demand. If you must go outside the box, practice and see how well the fruit holds up outside the cooler and in a bouquet for a day.

7) Be creative! If the customer needs a certain color or look, there are probably alternatives that can be used instead. For example, Hypericum berries look a lot like little strawberries when used with strawberry foliage and not bunched together.

All photos by Annabella Charles Photography

Photo Shoot seen in Mag Rouge