Saturday, February 26, 2005

Wedding Bouquets for the 2/27 show

Have I mentioned lately how MUCH I love my digital camera? It was a birthday present from J and E last summer, and at the time, I actually wondered if I'd ever use it!

See, for years, I thought I didn't care about pictures, that recording moments of my life only skewed the memory of an event. I'd have a film developed months later and find that someone blinked, or the sun glared, or everyone looked posed...duh.

These days, I take the camera along everywhere I go because there might be something to show you--a snowy road, my big toe, a sunrise, the backyard (again!) and even flowers....(we'll do the toe some other time, ok?)

Round bouquets are "in" these days. Here, my favorites: Daud's colors (if not the flowers she wants), a springy pink, yellow and white bouquet, and a hand-tied clutch of pink ranunculus, roses and tulips.

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This is part of a bouquet C made out of white spray roses, small roses and huge roses...DO click this picture! It's a close-up of all the colors in white roses. Wow, huh?
(Hmmm, I don't know why it won't enlarge. Still, look at those subtle shades...cream, pink, blue, green and lavender. Beautiful!)

S loves this shape. She grabbed the bells-of-Ireland first, so SHE got to make this bouquet. (A little 'insider' humor...tee-hee) more: The Unity Candle arrangement, by C.

Pink and lavender roses, heather, genistra, with sprengeri and flat fern for greens. I love the way it cascades, don't you?

A typical Friday at the shop

Yesterday.....well, let me show you yesterday:

Oh man! S was starting a casket spray, I was working on a funeral basket (the blue larkspur) and C was finishing the 'unity candle' piece for the wedding show, all on the only raised counter in the shop.

With all those elbows and knives flying at, what made you think being a florist was a safe profession?

Friday, February 25, 2005

You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours...

We're doing ANOTHER wedding show this weekend.

The company I work for is really involved in the community. It's a family owned business that's been here for more than 80 years. While that's good in many ways, it also has it's downsides.
It's a classic patriarchy.
Things change with glacial speed.
Innovations are rarely welcome.
(It took two years of second-phone problems in our department to get us a new phone that worked with the system...two YEARS!)

Still, there's a clear understanding in the company that this business is a two-way street. The community needs us to exsist, and we need the community to exsist.
(Last year, for instance, the bread winner in a low-income family in town had a tragic accident. They'ed always been faithful shoppers in the store, even though they had little money. We knew they wouldn't be able to afford flowers, let alone food on the table when people came to extend condolences. The store manager and the floral manager decided to send a box of practical things--sandwich makings, condiments, sweet rolls, napkins, coffee, cream--and I don't remember even totalling it up. It was just assembled and delivered because they needed it).

OK, I can hear you saying: "Nice...but what does this have to do with another wedding show??"

It's the whole idea of community involvement.
We do ALL wedding shows because we understand that there's a cache' implied in our participating. Even if we lose money-- extra labor and product--we're committed to helping make commerce work in the area. If we're not involved, then other businesses won't bother, either.

Cynically, it's called "Follow the money"....but practically, it's called "Community involvement".

Yes, yes....there will be PICTURES! Photographer

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

More silk sets

Are you saying to yourself, "Now wait. I like looking at silk flower arrangements as much as the next person, but these aren't that different from each other....(yawn)...wonder why she keeps posting them?"

Well, since you brought it up, I'm posting them here because, in almost 36 years of designing, I've never kept a portfolio of my work. Now, I have:
1) the web
2) a digital camera
3) the time and ability to take pictures of my designs AND
4) the considerable irritation factor inherent in posting endless pictures of them.

So, see? It works out for all of us: I get to post to my on-line portfolio and YOU get to be irritated. Cool, huh?

Here are some of what I made today. This first set is in the colors of Son's wedding, though they'll have more shades of purple and blue, with the chartruse less prominent, and they're using silver as a base.

I REALLY love these colors together. In fresh flowers, there are more variations, too, so the bouquets will be stunning.

(Oh, yes, of course you'll see them

This set turned out ok...but I really had to look for flowers to match the burgandy lilys I started with.

THIS set, with the lemon-sprays incorporated, started with my needing to use up some 'filler' stems. (Those are stems made with a few flowers and fuzzy greens and those bright pink bits you see in the picture). Consequently, the arrangements got too full, and they're not my

There you go!

It's blooming!

Remember the slow-growing amaryllis I showed you a few weeks ago?
Well, it finally bloomed this week.
(I would have posted a picture yesterday, but you were already having more fun than was good for you with the pictures I DID post).'s a a pure white amaryllis:

Yes, I know it looks like a shy person covering her mouth. Or, a bored person yawning.
Ha! You be the judge.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Red, burgandy, orange and green

One suggestion for measuring designer productivity is to add up all the arrangements made by the designer each day. This doesn't work in a shop because designers are also phone-answerers and order-takers and hand-holders while getting flowers into vases and out the door.

However, the method DOES work for a day like today, when I was designing silk flowers at Central for all eight total for today was about $1450.00 retail...26 pieces, the most expensive of which was $276.00
I did one set of six, one set of five, one of three, and twelve spring 'shelf fillers' in small enamel watering cans.

The set of six is in Daud's wedding colors, and here are the containers, ready to go:

(I'm hoping my sibs can see the CD over there on the right...playing that helped!)
OK, here's the set all finished.

I started with reds and oranges, and the designs looked fallish until I added the chartruse. Wow! One small color adds all the freshness, hm?
(I know you appreciate the 'drape' behind those's a tissue and plastic tablecloth from the store, and the only other color available was purple. Just trying to spiff up my

Yes, YES...of COURSE I took pictures of the other sets! Be patient, please.

Evidently, our 'buyer' decided that I was lacking white flowers to use in designs. If you go look at silk designs in a shop, you'll see that white is rarely used. It's blah and looks 'negative' against almost any color scheme. BUT, I now have white silk flowers to work with. Yippee.

(This on top of the plethora of silk water lilies I already have...gah! Check these out:

....and NO, they don't float.)

Ok, that was a digression--back to the topic of white flowers:
I don't HATE these designs:

Obviously, the spring green helps tremendously, and compliments the dark pink.
I've almost used up my stash of chartruse, too:

Two pieces of the set of five in pink, green, white and purples.
Yeah, I know. I had to drape the tablecloth over
The other three pieces wouldn't fit into that configuration of "display space" you'll just have to imagine the others, ok?

I'm pleased with what I made today. Now, if I just had a bit more room to put the finished stuff!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

What I did today

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A picture just for Em and

I LOVE new toys!

Ok, I'm fairly new to this blogging business, right? It's fun, and I can post pictures with wild abandon, which I do...ahem.

I thought the Hello program worked just fine for that.

Until last night, when a friend e-mailed and suggested a program that would make the pictures 'clickable'--to enlarge them.

AND, I can slip a photo into a paragraph so it needn't always be a stand-alone, like this:

Now, you can click on the picture and see it much larger.

Ahh, the pure FUN I provide for all four of you!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

It's Newbie's Birthday!

(She says I never send her flowers on her birthday--ok,tee-hee-- here's one!)
Happy Birthday to my sister in Chicago.
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Maybe I've finally slept enough

The majestic shape and saturated color of irises makes a spring garden even more wonderful. I have three different types in my garden, which you'll be subjected to as they bloom...aren't you thrilled? Posted by Hello

Mmm...I can smell the freshness of these peonies, can't you? Monet must have enjoyed them, too, and in a jumbled setting like this one. Posted by Hello

Friday, February 18, 2005

Sneezing and coughing here...!

I went to work today, then realized that I should have stayed home. You can't 'catch' every sneeze or cough in a tissue. My co-workers had disinfectant near the phone (our main catalyst for sharing a cold) but it's hard to remember to wipe the reciever every time.
So, I went home.
Took more aspirin.
Slept some more.
And here I am, trying to come up with a metaphor for how I feel.
Nope, it ain't gonna happen.
I'm going back to bed.
Sick In Bed

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Do you understand this?

Today, I'm making a pot of chicken noodle soup because my throat is scratchy. It's the bug that's been going around at work, and it's hit me on my day off. This is not unusual.

So. Noodles should be right, I've used them up. Well then, how about....spaghetti noodles? Naw...that's just wrong.
The only other noodles I have on hand are ramen noodles, in a package I paid ten cents for. I hesitated, though...I might have to toss the little envelope of seasoning! Ohmigawd.
This is carrying the Minnesota-frugality thing a bit far, isn't it?
(I realized, too, that if I'd paid a dollar for the package, I could throw the seasoning away without a thought...and that REALLY doesn't make sense Rolling Eyes ).

There's a similar phenonemon that happens in the store, though...if we have mark-down plants, or "free with a coupon" items, people expect guarantees that they never ask for with full priced stuff.

(Last fall, we had FREE violet plants as part of a promotion, and I've never had as many questions about longevity and re-blooming as I did though there was a trick being played: "Yeah, the plant's free, but you're going to NEED this $300 fertilizer...brahahaha!!")

Is it the garage-sale mentality maybe? You know, when fifty cents for a pair of shorts seems like too much, then a dollar for a ball gown seems outrageous? I mean, you'll have to get it cleaned!

People are funny, even me...even when I'm not sick.
Yes, I used the damn noodles...but I saved the seasoning.
Chef (<---another left handed

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

A very fluid wedding theme

This "anonymous"comment came from Daud last week, after I said I needed to ask her if it was ok to discuss the theme she has in mind:

"If you must. Know, however, that I have been having a hard time trying to incorporate my 'theme,' since my colors don't quite lend themselves to it. Red, orange, and light green don't really say '______'. (I leave it up to you to explain)."

LOL...aren't daughters wonderful? She didn't spill the theme while still giving me permission. Cool, huh? Now, I can write about it, letting the idea wash over you til it melts into your brain. I'll give hints and let them trickle down, and suddenly, there will be a tide of me!

Ok, I'm bubbling to get started--let's break the ice, shall we?

E and S were born on the same day in June ( a few years apart), so they're both, Geminis. They met while kayaking.
Dates involved 'doing' different rivers in the area as well as doing other outdoors stuff together...their love for each other built, and errupted like a geyser, when......

(See a theme yet?)

.....S proposed to E last year on Valentine's Day here:
even though it was frozen.....

(What? You still don't see it?? It's a theme as natural as a spring-fed lake...!)

Sheesh....ok, one more really bad pun:
I know you're just getting your feet wet here, but let's jump right in...
the theme is:

A couple of E's ideas: name each table for a river they've kayaked.
Centerpieces could be tall water-filled cylinder vases with rocks from Lake Superior in the bottom anchoring pine twigs and an orange flower or two...topped with a burgandy floating candle.

An ice sculpture would work....or a fountain on the head table.

The problem for E is that my suggestions ALL run toward visual bubbles....or toiletries in the rest rooms that feature water...or rubber duckies. Rubber Duck

lol...any ideas out there?

Monday, February 14, 2005

Ready for Valentine's Day!

A picture of our storage cooler this morning. In front are some of the arrangements we made yesterday...and below that, buckets of cash-and-carry bunches. It's amazing how MANY flowers we go through in this one day!
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Thank god Valentine's Day is OVER...for another year, anyway.

This was an especially long holiday, but it 'worked' because we had Sunday (with almost no deliveries) to prepare for Monday. We felt ahead of the game almost all that time. The hours were long, but we didn't feel too overwhelmed. That's a treat in itself!

The goofy part though was this afternoon, when desperate men started milling in the department and accumulating in front of the coolers.

"Oh. Gawd. Must. Get. Flowers."

You can SEE them fighting with themselves--

"How small will she still go gaga over?"...

"But, do I REALLY need to get a whole DOZEN?"....

"Maybe I'll go for 'simplicity' at $9.99...well, maybe not..."

...and they reach for the closest arrangement, and take it to the checkout.

(See? Valentine's Day is not without it's own macabre humor! lol)

I Love You Flowers

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Produce Department workstation

Another view from my temporary corner of the world. It's a sensory overload of lights and COLORS...and customers ask, "Where's the lettuce?" Posted by Hello

Ok, just to keep you's my view of the store from the corner where we're working during the Valentine's Day rush. (We set up a large workstation in the Produce Department, next to their fruit and veggie cooler. We can't store flowers in there...the flowers are in the Dairy cooler, of course!) Posted by Hello

Friday, February 11, 2005

Valentine's Day Daze...

I probably won't be here much until Monday night, unless I NEED to let off some steam....We're starting mass-production today, and yes, YES...(don't nag!)...I'm taking pictures!

Ooohhhh, I know.
You can't WAIT...

But suspense
is good


Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Theme weddings

Talking to brides at wedding shows is always fun. One idea that's fairly current is the concept of organizing your wedding around a theme.

The first 'theme wedding' I heard about was the wedding of a florist and the ribbon salesman who called at her shop--really! They used ribbon as party favors, with a note suggesting the use of the ribbon on a special gift for someone at Christmas..."and as you tie the knot, think of us".

Two years ago, I talked with a bride who wanted to use "Monet" as a theme for her wedding. Wow! What instant images. Bridesmaids in soft, clear colors, Monet prints as favors, a garden wedding, for sure! and the FLOWERS....ohmigawd! How exquisite that wedding would be.
The bride, however, was from Chicago....just visiting friends here. Awww Shucks I need to ask Precious Daughter if it's ok to tell you about the theme she has in mind!

Monet's Garden at Giverny, Irises

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Sunday, February 06, 2005


You can see why these would attract an impressionist, eh? The tall blue and white spikes were a favorite in Monet's garden, and in mine! Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Claude's Plan

"There was a stream, the Epte, which came down from Gisors on the boundary of my property. I opened up a ditch so that I could fill the little pond that I had dug in my garden. I love water but I also love flowers. That's why, when the pond was filled, I wished to decorate it with plants. I took a catalogue and made a choice any old how. That's all."
Claude Monet
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Monet--A man with a beard

Did you know I have a passion for beards? Ah, how leetle we know about our favorite blogging florist.

His middle name was Oscar.
"Impressionist art is based on the use of color, which has to "draw" the motive without resorting to line".
He lived from 1840 to 1926.

Oooo, I'm going to love this month...even WITH Valentine's Day. Hearts

Hunka-hunka Claude. Posted by Hello