Looking back and moving forward

The year is coming to a close and as I sit here and try to recap 2011  I find it hard to believe that another year has passed. It was a busy year filled with weddings, corporate & social events along with many other projects that kept me running around. Not too mention the little man I have at home that never stops moving these days.

I moved into a new studio space and can't wait to settle in more over the next few weeks now that the craziness of the season has calmed down.

As I think back I find myself most thankful for the work that I had last year, for the clients turned friends that I was able to meet and for knowing that 2012 is going to be a new year to continue to grow and shape my business. I will spend the next few weeks celebrating Christmas with my family, I will turn another year older on the 30th and will ring in the new year with the ones I love. I want to enjoy the small moments and cherish these newly made memories.

I wish these same things for you this holiday season, whatever holiday you celebrate, wherever you are spending your time. I wish for you and the ones you love all the joy and fresh beginnings that a new year can bring.

I'll be taking a break until the new year and will be back with fresh ideas and more insight into the crazy world of flowers that I so love.



Handmade Holidays

I dusted off my sewing machine recently and have been thoroughly enjoying myself creating some handmade items for Christmas. There are great ideas out there and it's so satisfying to finish something you've made. Of course if I was smart I would have started a bit earlier in the year but I lament about it every year with my friend Lisa (check out her blog here) and she encourages me to get to it and keep going. I've started with the little people in my life and I'm happy to report I've completed two crayon rolls and  two fishing games in just the past two days (most of the work has to be done after my real work and after my son goes to bed!)

I've adapted my designs from various tutorials I've found online, there are many to choose from. Skip to My Lou has a few different crayon roll tutorials with easy to follow directions. The fishing game, which I found last year but my little man was still too small to play, is so easy and can be customized how ever you like.

I have big plans for more items and as I create them I will definitely share. I can't give away too much of the grown-up gifts I'm working on since they may read about them here but I'm pretty confident the kiddos aren't reading my blog.

**As I write this post I saw some more great DIY ideas for gift giving posted over at Design*Sponge today. Of course they have fabulous ideas for DIY along with other genius gift guides for anyone in your life.



Real Wedding: Robyn and Lee

Here are some images from the final wedding of the season at The Garrison in the Hudson valley. It was a great way to end the busy wedding season. I'm just starting to fully appreciate all the spectacular weddings we did this fall and the awesome couples we worked with. Just a few of the things I'm thankful for this year.

Bridal bouquet was a mix of roses, dahlias (last of the season!), craspedia, grevellia greens and pin cushion protea, brunia, scabiosa pods and feather accents.

Coordinating bridesmaids bouquets with the addition of yellow ranunculus and silver brunia.

Kumquats on the vine for bar arrangements

Love the way this chuppuh turned out, the natural, woodsy look was perfect against the backdrop of the Hudson valley. Natural birch poles accented with golden curly willow, moss and hydrangea. A gold canopy trimmed with brown satin stayed in line with the warm seasonal tones.

Chair accents

I love the place cards the couple chose, coordinated nicely with the original invitation. The bird motif was continued through with the use of simple faux birds on a sandblasted Manzanita branch and moss accents.

Table arrangements for guest tables and sweetheart table were a combination of pin cushion protea, grevellia, dahlias, roses, two types of brunia and green hedera (bush ivy). Bronze pedestal urns were used for the guest tables.

A combination of seasonal persimmons, pomegranates and the kumquats were used for the bar arrangements.

All the images taken with my iphone...you gotta love natural light.


Engage11! reflections

I'm back from Engage11! and it proved to be a truly inspiring three days. We spent a few extra days in the Cayman Islands and I'm only just getting a chance to sit and reflect on everything. I'm having a hard time finding the right words to describe the experience, "amazing" doesn't seem to cover it. Inspiring, insightful, thought provoking, interesting, fun and exhausting might just begin to help describe it.

 Kathryn Arce and Rebecca Grinnals (co-founders of Engage11!) were right to name it a "Luxury Wedding Business Summit". To call it a "conference" seems disrespectful in some way. The speakers were varied and each shared their wisdom and experience so vividly that you came away with a new found sense of purpose for your business, a greater appreciation for your clients and the relationships you share with them. I knew it already but was reminded of the role I play in one of the most special days of a couples life, or should I say the beginning of the their lives together.

The painstaking attention to detail over the course of the three days did not go unnoticed by a single attendee and each day you woke with an anticipation of what would be next. We are all in the service industry, working hard to create memorable events for our clients and yet for these 3 days we were the ones being treated to these memories. And what a treat it was. We are all fully aware of the time and effort it takes to create such an event and I can only say thank you to everyone who was a part of making it a most memorable experience. I will continue to digest the experiences and share with you some of my thoughts and reflections. I took some pictures myself but decided to leave it to the professionals to share a glimpse of the Engage11! experience.

Rebecca Davidson captures many of the details here and one of the brilliant speakers, Donna van Bruening, who moved most of us to tears recalling her love, loss and finding the love again for her work shares some of her Engage11! memories here.


Final fall wedding and trip to Engage!

I have the last of my fall weddings on Saturday and then I'm off to Engage!11 in the Cayman Islands. I'm beyond excited!!

But first, the wedding this weekend is at The Garrison in the Hudson Valley. I just visited last week and it is such a great space with breathtaking views. I'm looking forward to working there on Saturday and thrilled that the couple went with a mix of seasonal tones that are going to look amazing against the backdrop of the fall foliage outside. I'll be sure to share pictures when I return from my work/playcation.

I have wanted to be a part of Engage! for a few years now and this year after following the tweets from San Diego earlier this year I knew that I had to sign up for the Cayman Islands. Honestly, what could be better than gathering with an amazing & inspiring group of industry pros all the while enjoying the beautiful Cayman Islands? It's bound to be an all around great experience.

I may make some updates while I'm away but if not, please stay tuned, I give you all the details the minute I get home.

Okay maybe not right away...it will have to be after I smother my little man with kisses, I'm gonna miss that little face while we're gone.



Real Wedding: Oana & Jason

I've been waiting to share some of the professional shots from Oana & Jason's wedding and here they are! Thanks so much to Anja of Anja Hitzenberger Wedding Photography for sharing the images with me.


Real Wedding: Sandi & Rich Part II

More pictures from Sandi & Rich's summer wedding! One thing I love about this wedding, other than the fact that Sandi is one of the sweetest brides I've ever meet is that they got married at St. Rose of Lima which is my childhood parish. It was a blast from the past to be running into the rectory to deliver the arrangements. I think I heard once that the church had the one of the longest aisles but that may just be from a child's prespective.

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