Archive for September, 2009

Party Time with Guest Blogger, Neillie Butler

As an event planner it is easy to get excited about big parties with exorbitant flower budgets, but I must admit I get just as excited about the “at home gathering” with a smaller floral budget. Whether you have an arrangement professionally created, pick up a few bundles from your local wholesale florist, or simply pick a few stems from the yard, fresh cut flowers are a must for every event.

Troy Rhone Garden

I recently had the privilege of planning a birthday party in one of Birmingham’s most beautiful gardens. A house party at the home of Troy Rhone, owner of Troy Rhone Garden Design, and his wife, Randi, is far from your usual house party venue. With a garden so beautiful, the decision to enjoy cocktails and dessert in the garden was as easy as they come.  I focused on the blues and greens from the garden when choosing the décor for this event.  I put together two simple arrangements of blue hydrangeas bursting from the tops of long-stemmed artichokes.  I placed each of these arrangements in tall cylinders beside the garden entrance to help steer guests in the right direction.  As guests made their way into the garden, they were immediately greeted with a beer and wine bar and then made their way to mini cupcakes and a signature champagne cocktail served in frosted flutes. The intimacy of the gathering was created by strands of lights that created a canopy over Troy and Randi’s amazing garden. 

Troy Rhone lights

The garden was a great cost saving factor to the beauty of this event, but do not feel like you need a fabulous garden to make your next “at home gathering” something special.  You will be amazed at how your backyard can be transformed into the perfect venue by simply adding a few features, such as unique lighting, the right floral theme, and a signature cocktail to welcome your guests.  All it takes is some creativity, a little planning, and as always, the willingness to think “outside the box.”

Neillie Butler is an event planner in Birmingham, AL. To learn more about her work and thoughts, visit her blog, Gather.


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Bud of the Day

“Earth laughs in flowers.”–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Courtesy of Barnsley Gardens

Courtesy of Barnsley Gardens

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Petaled Tresses

For any girl who ever tucked a freshly plucked wildflower behind her ear, accessorizing your favorite hairstyles with flowers has never been easier or more chic. Fabric flowers are popping up all over!

via Twigs & Honey Photo Credit: Paul Rich Studio

via Twigs & Honey Photo Credit: Paul Rich Studio

These ethereal creations from Myra Callan are a natural fit for you brides and bridesmaids. If wearing a more traditional veil for your ceremony suits you better, consider “changing into” one of the hairpieces for the reception. Both exquisite and playful, Callan’s detailed floral accents brighten up any special occasion or even just a plain old dreary day. Prepare yourself for all the compliments you’ll receive.

Coral Hair Pin Set via Handle & Spout

Coral Hair Pin Set via Handle & Spout

Next up, for when you want to make an entrance, turn to Handle & Spout and their fluttery creations made of silk taffeta, tulle, and other sheer  fabrics. I’m seeing the Disco Lily hair pins at a swishy New Year’s Eve party, myself.

Moving from angelic wisps to a mod statement, Sue Eggen of Giant Dwarf Design refreshes the old-fashioned fascinator in wool felt and a graphic rosette design complete with leaves (the Rosette Fascinator was featured in the Spring 2009 Anthropologie catalog). The headband styling makes putting one on a snap; no fretting in front of the mirror about whether you put it on wrong. Take that bad hair days!

The Rosette Fascinator is now a part of the Anthropologie catalog. Via Giant Dwarf Design

via Giant Dwarf Design

Last but not least, that old refrain about good things and small packages really rings true with WREN Handmade’s delicate flower hair pins and clips. Laura Normandin’s crochet and fabric designs evoke long-running craft traditions while weaving a new trendy tale.

via WREN Homemade

via WREN Handmade

If you’re more the d-i-y type, pick up a copy of knitware designer Nicky Epstein’s book, Knitted Flowers. Any of the styles Epstein details in the book would make perfect hair adornments, once attached to clips or combs of your own. Several flower issues ago, Callie Aldridge, former Executive Assistant Extraordinaire, dove into this book’s clever and crafty pages for our book review section of the magazine:

Knitted Flowers

via Nicky Epstein

“Though live flowers eventually fade, Nicky Epstein recognized the beauty flowers bring to any design—and wanted to show readers a way to keep that joyous effect around for years to come. Creating from her “botanical yarn garden,” she filled the pages of Knitted Flowers with designs and instruction that encourage readers to sew flowers that will never wilt. Different sewing and felting techniques, combined with many yarn colors and textures, supply crafters with seemingly endless floral accents. From an ice blue “wall flower”-trimmed cardigan to floral bags, a “necklette,” and even a decorative “ponchette with beaded edging”–all of her floral work is on happy display. Technique, schematic, and template pages provide a guide for terminology used in the book (how to “felt,” use a cast-on, or measure the size of a “leaf”), and a Resources list divulges all of her recommended textile sources.”

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Get Ready!

Our new Fall 2009 issue will start being distributed to subscribers next week, so keep a steady eye on that mailbox!  We cannot wait to share our new issue with you.

Want a taste of what’s to come? Here’s a small slice of our cover:


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