Archive for April, 2010

Floral Fashion Friday

Saturday kicks the Triple Crown races into gear with the famous “Run for the Roses”– the Kentucky Derby. While the Derby is known for being “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” the association between this race and elaborate, wide-brimmed (and sometimes ridiculous) hats is also impossible to ignore. Each year, women who are going to the Derby spend countless hours putting together the perfect ensemble– and an attention-grabbing hat is considered to be the piece de resistance. So while you watch those incredible Thoroughbreds contending to be wreathed in roses at the finish line, also keep an eye out for the flowers, feathers, and frills that adorn the brows of the Derby’s excited attendants. It’s sure to be a show in itself!

For this Floral Fashion Friday, we couldn’t resist pulling together some Derby hats with floral flair:

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Be sure to stop by next week for another Floral Fashion Friday!

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Bud of the Day

“Flowers are happy things.” – P.G. Wodehouse

Photo Credit: Jason Wallis

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Floral Fashion Friday

Classic Ray-Ban Wayfarers. Cute floral motif. What more do you need?

Wayfarer style Ray Bans, $159.95

Come back next week for another Floral Fashion Friday!

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Petal Pointer: Revive Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are gorgeous blooms that thrive in warm weather with plenty of water (“hydra” is Greek for “water”). In arrangements, though, these flowers may begin to wilt because their woody stem does not absorb water as easily as other flowers– and there is nothing more sad than wilted flowers in a floral design! Luckily, there’s a quick fix for when your hydrangeas get droopy:

Dunk these thirsty flowers into a bowl of water and let them drink for 20 minutes or so. When you pull them out, you will have revived hydrangeas ready to take their place back into your floral design!

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Bud of the Day

Art is the increasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers – and never succeeding. -Marc Chagall

Photo Credit: Glenna Evans

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Floral Fashion Friday

It’s only April, but the weather has been suspiciously like summer these past couple of weeks! Pools are opening early (at least in the sunny South), kids everywhere are anxiously awaiting summer break, and the rest of us are wishing we still had summer break. This Floral Fashion Friday is focusing on this adorable little girls’ bathing suit that’s perfect for playing on the beach or by the pool. And for under $30, you don’t have to worry that your little one is growing like a weed flower.

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Profile in Petals: Blue Bouquet

Launched just three short years ago, Blue Bouquet—a Kansas City floral and event design team—has made a splash in the floral scene in the Midwest. With a team comprised of florists, designers, and amateur musicians, Blue Bouquet’s broad range of talent and creativity puts them among the best. Often using eclectic containers, Blue Bouquet creates arrangements and bouquets with great texture and vivid color. Head Designer Drue Carr loves to think outside of the box and create floral designs to complement a bride’s personality or event’s theme. Taking time away from her busy schedule, Drue took the time to answer some of my questions about her ethos, design aesthetic, and what inspired her to start her successful floral design business.

What initially sparked your interest to work with flowers?
I’ve always been drawn to beautiful things, and flowers qualify, of course. When I was 15, I needed a job and there was a floral shop nearby. ‘That looks like a great job,’ I thought. So I walked in and convinced them to hire me.

Who did you work under before starting your own business, Blue Bouquet?
Several shops in the Kansas City area. I’m especially indebted to Dan Needham of Needham Floral for his support in the early days.

I see from your website that a certain wedding inspired you to open Blue Bouquet. What about that wedding was the inspiration?
It was the largest wedding I had done on a freelance basis at that time—20 or 30 tables, I suppose. [My husband] Neil was working as an art director at a design firm at the time, and following that wedding he convinced me that we could make a good go of this.

I love your “why not” approach to floral design. Can you tell me a little bit about your personal style?
We try really hard to work independently of styles. Good design exists outside of trends and fashion. Our belief is that the client matters more than the current trends, and our job is to find their style—whether it be trendy, edgy, or traditional. Realistically though, there’s a good bit of me in everything I do and I’ll never escape that. For me, floral design is all about texture and color. That’s what I go for in everything I create. Composition matters, of course, but many florists make the mistake of starting with composition rather than starting with the texture and color of the materials and allowing them to dictate composition. You are dealing with nature, and you can’t force it or you’ll end up with very contrived arrangements. For me, floral design is all about flexibility. I know where I want to end up, but I don’t always know how I’m going to get there.

What are some everyday inspirations for your designs?
Store displays, architecture, graphic design… and of course the usual wedding blogs and the ever-enduring Martha Stewart. She’s got some fabulous designers working for her. They may not be avant-garde, but they have a great grasp on how to design for ordinary people and do it with a lot of class.

How do you  deal with common obstacles you face while designing for events and weddings?
We spend much more time talking to our clients and prepping for events than we actually do in production. In order to be successful in events, you have to understand that. You have to learn to educate and partner with people and enjoy doing so.

Are there any floral designers that you look up to?
Many… All the usuals, really: David Stark and Avi Adler, Ariella Chezar, some Europeans like Gregor Lersch, and the entire staff of Martha Stewart. There are also some great local florists who I look up to.

On your website, it’s mentioned that while doing a wedding in Honduras, you spotted a phalaenopsis orchid plant growing off the side of a tree and used it in the wedding. It’s a very green approach; do you try to be “green” whenever possible?
We have great relationships with our local farmers, and we use them as much as possible. Their crops are limited unfortunately, and often even when they do have what we want, they don’t have the quantity. When we buy through wholesalers, we do so responsibly. Our relationships with our wholesalers are equally important. Obviously the environmental practices of their farmers are important. Equally important though, is the quality of life of the workers, the shipping/importing methods, and especially the quality of product. There are so many variables to weigh, so we find that trustworthy and responsible wholesalers are crucial.

I also see that you’re an avid gardener. Does this tie into your love for design in any way?
Not as much as you’d think. I do grow a few things that I use for weddings—things that are hard to ship, like clematis and lily of the valley. Mostly though, I just enjoy getting outside the shop and in the sun to work in the yard a bit. It’s good for my heart.

What kind of encouragement would you give to someone inexperienced who wants to take a stab at making an arrangement?
Just do it. No need to educate yourself first, though you might want to read online just a bit about how to cut and prep your flowers. Usually, I’d advise starting with something simple—maybe just a single, smaller vase and a single type of bloom. We’re coming up on peony season, and that would be a great place to start. Always think about what you are doing. Look at the arrangement as you go, and try hard to think about what is working and what isn’t. That’s how you’ll learn. There are lots of great books on floral design, and they can be helpful, but they’ll never replace what you can learn by just jumping in there and making something.

To see more images from Blue Bouquet’s impressive portfolio, click here.

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