Design Work

The Flower Market

Posted by on Mar 3, 2014 in Articles, Design Work, Floral Design, Weddings | 0 comments

The Flower Market

Adventure Day at the Flower Market It’s impossible to have a bad day when it starts at the flower market! Imagine rows and rows of gorgeous flowers, greens, and orchids in every color and kind lined up for your perusal.  That is the wholesale flower market experience and I got to go today (lucky me!).   My local wholesale flower market is in Carlsbad (at the north end of San Diego).  This is where wholesale growers and importers sell their cut flowers, greens, and plants to florists and the those in the flower business.  In a large warehouse 20 or more vendors line up buckets and buckets of cut flora for buyers to gather and purchase.  Since flowers are perishable, most florists get fresh flowers three days a week from this type of market.     As I’m sure you can imagine, the place smells heavenly! Roses, tuberose. lilacs and mums, to name a few, perfume the air and make it an olfactory experience like no other.  Literally hundreds of thousands of blooms are all contributing their fragrance in one building.  The temperature is always cool in a wholesale flower warehouse to ensure freshness and longevity of the flowers.  The combination of fragrance and cool temperature always takes me back to my first visit to the LA flower market several years ago…     I was a freshman in college studying Ornamental Horticulture and one of my required class options was Floral Design.  We had a mandatory field trip to the Los Angeles flower market from school.  I remember I had to get up at 2:00 a.m. to get to school by 3:30 a.m. so we could be at the flower market at 5:30 a.m., half an hour before they opened for a special tour ( and so we could see it before the mad scramble at 6:00).  The first time I saw all those flowers my jaw dropped.  I recognize everyone thinks flowers are pretty, but when you’re a flower person through and through as I am, there’s something magical about a place like the flower market that touches your soul.  I can only compare it to walking into a warehouse of different kinds of money stacked and piled everywhere. I’d found nirvana and wanted to roll in it! It didn’t matter how exhausted I was, I couldn’t stop looking at all those flowers.  Every kind and variety and color imaginable.  How could I leave that place?  It was perfect!  Eventually our instructor made us leave, but I will never forget that day.     I flashed back to that day when I walked into the wholesale flower market warehouse today.  Flowers and color and color and flowers were everywhere!  I wanted them all.  My purpose, however was to select options for 20 centerpieces I am making for a friend’s luncheon and to scout flower types and colors for another friend’s daughter’s wedding.  We’ll call that friend Kathy.  She came with me to check out colors and types of flowers for her daughter. Part of the fun of arranging flowers for friends is I get to play with the flowers and they have to pay for them :0) .  That is one of my favorite things EVER!     Within a few visits to vendors I knew what...

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Master Bathroom Remodel: A Tiny Space Gets a Masterful New Look

Posted by on Mar 2, 2014 in Articles, Before and After, Design Work, House, Interior Design | 0 comments

Master Bathroom Remodel: A Tiny Space Gets a Masterful New Look

 Master Bathroom Remodel: Before (Above)   Remember when I said we bought a fixer-upper?  Well, I wasn’t kidding.  We’ve been working away at it and we’re finally done with phase 1, the master bedroom and bathroom makeover. As part of the redo we did a master bathroom remodel of a tiny bathroom which had one small sink, a shower with a tiny window, a toilet, and a closet. Yes….A full closet in the bathroom.  (?!?) In order to make it more usable we incorporated a small hallway that lead to the two small bedrooms into the bathroom and removed the closet.  Once we did that we had a clean foot print of the bathroom to work with. Unfortunately, the water heater couldn’t be moved so we were stuck with and odd protruding corner, but it was a small price to pay for a better bathroom.  Of all the rooms in the chopped up, poorly mishmash-ed multi-renovation nightmare house, none were suitable for a master.  So we ended up taking the two front bedrooms and bathroom, and turning them in to the master suite with an on-suite bath, walk in closet and washer/dryer area. I loved all the windows across the front of the two rooms (the front porch is outside and there’s handy door to the side yard which is great for letting out the dogs in the middle of the night without having to get out of bed!).  The light in the room is lovely in the morning and in the afternoon, and it’s cool in the middle of the day since its on the Northeast east side of the house. It was the perfect choice for a master suite. Of course, that meant there were issues.  The two rooms had ceilings going two different directions.  One was an original room and one was part of an add on so it had the newer slanted ceiling.  And, of course, that meant the old one had to be torn out since who’s going to turn down a higher ceiling? But that’s another post! Now, I don’t know about you, but I am a bath girl.  I love taking baths.  Especially on a cold afternoon, there’s nothing like a relaxing soak, and with all the work we are doing ourselves, a nice hot soak is just the ticket to revitalize sore muscles.  So when I planned for the bathroom, I knew it had to have a tub.  Lucky for me The Mister knew it too.   So even though we were working with a small space, a tub was a must.  We obviously also needed a shower, toilet, sinks (two sinks is the sectret to a long and happy marriage) and some storage.  And, since we live close to the beach, a door to the side yard for easy clean up access was another must.  Then, for ventilation, a small window that can be opened to let out the steam had to be included.  Right.  Tub, shower, toilet, double vanity, storage, window, and a door in that tiny bathroom… Well, with a lot of planning and the use of Auto CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) software, we were able to get it all in.   One thing you learn when you buy an old house its that things are never ideal.  When you buy a brand new...

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Pine Cone Succulent Planters: Cool Crafts

Posted by on Jan 1, 2014 in Articles, Floral Design, Garden | 3 comments

Pine Cone Succulent Planters: Cool Crafts

    If you’re looking for a cool craft that is a quick and easy D.I.Y project, try this hanging pine cone succulent planter.  I love innovative craft ideas and this pine cone planter is not only affordable, but also a gorgeous way to show off succulents.  These would be great hanging from a large tree, under a porch, or even indoors in a sunny window.  They require very little care and will last for a long time. It makes a unique gift too!.     My friend Lynn went to the local mountains over Thanksgiving and came back with a sack full of these big, beautiful pine cones.  She had intended to use them in her Christmas decorations, but decided against it and handed them over to me.  It looked like a sack of gold!!!  I had the itch to do some decorating with pine cones and filled several baskets on my front porch with the cones and fresh greens.  Adorable!  Then one day Lynn and I went to Rodgers Gardens to enjoy their Christmas display and what did my wondering eyes behold? A beautiful pine cone topped with succulents.  (Insert the sound of angels singing) Presto!  I had my inspiration.  After reading my friend Mary’s blog (It’s All About The Pretty) about growing succulents on top of pumpkins, I knew all I needed to make this very cool craft!     Hanging Pine Cone Succulent Planter Supplies Here’s what you need: A pine cone, preferably 3″ in diameter or larger Spray adhesive Sphagnum moss 3-7 (depends on cone size) small succulents, soil removed from roots 6 feet or so of fishing line or narrow twine A sturdy cup to hold the pine cone upright or the cap from the spray adhesive (this is just used as a holder). That’s it!   How to Make the Hanging Pine Cone Succulent Planter This diy project is so easy, you’ll want to make several! Here’s what to do: 1. Start with a pine cone that has a bit of a bowl shape to the top of it.  This helps hold the moss.  Spray the top of the pine cone with the adhesive and press in a wad of sphagnum moss.  You’re not trying to press the moss flat, rather you want a bit of a mound.  The tangle of the moss is what will secure the succulents.     2. About 1/4 of the way down the pine cone wrap one end of the fishing line or twine around the cone 2 times and pull so it’s wrapped snugly around the core of the cone.  Leave enough extra so you can pull the extra up the opposite side and tie it about 6-8″ above the top of the cone.  Make sure your knot is secure.  Leave the extra line for hanging the finished planter. You want the two lines to be opposite one another when you pull them up so the cone hangs evenly when suspended.  Check your work by holding up the pine cone.  If the top hangs fairly level you’re set.  If not, work the line between the pine cone parts until you get it hanging fairly level.   3. Set it in a cup or in the lid of the spray adhesive so you can use both...

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Simple Striking Flowers

Posted by on Oct 20, 2013 in Articles, Floral Design | 0 comments

Simple Striking Flowers

  My favorite thing in the whole wide world is flowers.  I love to look at them, am compulsed to touch them, smell them, grow them!  I cannot live without flowers!  Rule number 1:don’t try to make me.  Rule # 2, I will always grow some I can cut and bring in the house. When my daughter was getting ready to go off to college we threw her a going away party.  Nothing makes a party more beautiful than flowers.  Since her school colors are orange and black, orange was the color of the day. Notice how nicely the green hydrangeas compliment the orange flowers.  They happen to be opposites (or complimentary colors) on the color wheel. If you’re not a big fan of dull fall colors, this is a bright and lively alternative color scheme for fall decorations as well. I took this long low-handled basket with a plastic liner and loaded it up with wet floral foam.  Then I went in the yard and picked the green hydrangea heads.  This is the color they turn as they loose their original color.  I stuck them all over the floral foam to cover it completely, keeping them lower than the handle height.  Finally,  I added roses in two shades of orange to give more depth.  I think it would have been lovely, but too flat with just one shade of orange.     With all of the flowers being the same, I livened things up by using them in different configurations and in different containers.  Besides the low basket, I also I made some low petal-to-petal groupings in pots. In others I cut the stems short and set them floating in a fish bowl of water.     One of the tricks I learned as a florist is to get my roses a day or two early and put them, with a fresh cut, in a warm bucket of water overnight.  This helps them open up a bit.  Typically I’ll buy my roses at Costco as long as they’re fresh (the heads are firm when gently squeezed-Oh, you’ve seen me squeezing every bunch of roses in the display?  Just checking for freshness…)  and they even take special orders!  Their price is competitive with wholesalers and (bonus!) you don’t need a resale licence.   More Inspiration:Apple PickingReclamation- East Coast Meets WestGame Changing Homemade Marshmallow...

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