Wedding Wednesday :: Pink Flowers + Compotes

Recycle The Love – Get to know FULL BLOOM

The Full Bloom Idaho - Arrangement of yellow and pink garden roses

Shawn Chamberlain - The Full Bloom

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Shawn Chamberlain of FULL BLOOM when she attended one of my floral design classes in Seattle. I was instantly intrigued about her project of ‘Recycle The Love’ and wanted to learn more. FULL BLOOM is located in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, and it is here where she spreads the power of flowers. Fresh flowers can help aid in reducing stress and give comfort to those who are dealing with death, terminal illness, severe injury or sickness. Shawn and her team of volunteers accept any gently used or fresh cut flowers from special events and/or gardens to help create beautiful bedside bouquets for local area patients. They recut, repurpose and recycle donated, gently used blooms into beautiful bedside bouquets for patients in area hospitals, hospice care, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities. How fantastic is that?!

The Full Bloom Idaho - Shawn designing arrangements

Shawn Chamberlain - The Full Bloom

The Full Bloom Idaho - pink and yellow garden roses

Shawn, How did you come up with the idea for Full Bloom and when did you start?
The idea came about one summer evening while I was working in the gardens at a local hospice facility. I could see in one of the patient rooms, a young mother. I began to reflect about her situation and wanted to do something to let her know someone was thinking about her. I had just cut some flowers, so I arranged them and gave them to a nurse and asked her to deliver them and to tell the young mother someone was thinking about her. I’m not sure it made a huge impact on the patient, but it did on me. I thought, “wait. I’m on to something here.” So that’s sort of how it came about. FULL BLOOM is in it’s 2nd year of operation and hundreds of bouquets have been delivered since that one evening. Pretty amazing, I think.

Shawn Chamberlain - The Full Bloom

The Full Bloom Idaho

Can you tell us how Full Bloom works? How do you ‘Recycle The Love’?

I love the phrase “Recycle the Love” because that’s exactly what we are about and it’s so easy to do! To make a flower donation, all you have to do is go to thefullbloom.org and send a quick email telling us you’d like to donate. I collect a few details about the donation, then contact the planner or florist and arrange the pick up. I have volunteers recut and repurpose all the flowers into bedside bouquets and they are usually out for delivery the very next day. That’s how we recycle the love! It has been really rewarding knowing that this simple gesture has the ability to connect so many people in such a positive way. Whether it’s the one donating, receiving, or the volunteers that help arrange and deliver, every person finds some joy and meaning in it. It’s been really awesome to connect people in this way. Love is such a good thing. Isn’t it?

The Full Bloom Idaho - bridal bouquet of white, pink and yellow flowers

I’m sure you are full of wonderful stories of how flowers have touched someone who really needed them, can you share one of your favorite stories with us?

I do not personally go in to the patient rooms and deliver flowers – I leave that up to the nurses & caregivers, so I do not get to see the response of those receiving them, however, I did happen to have an experience with a patient that I will not forget. It reaffirmed to me that I am doing something good and it’s making an impact on the lives of others. It went something like this: I am on a flower delivery to a care facility. As I was bringing the last vases in, I saw a nurse and a woman ahead of me in the hallway. The nurse had just given the woman one of the bouquets of flowers.
The woman was walking with her walker, so the nurse set them on the seat of the walker.
The woman asked, “Who are those for?”

The nurse replied, “Well, they’re for you. Someone is thinking about you.”

The woman: “Who would be thinking about me?” This question stopped me in my tracks.

Nurse: “Maybe this lady behind you can tell you, she brought them in.” The woman turned to me and with moist eyes said, “These are for me? Well, they’re beautiful.”

I replied, “Yes they are and so are you..”

The woman then quietly said, “thank you, for thinking of me..” It was a very simple exchange of words, but I walked away knowing at least two lives were touched that day – hers and mine.

Thank you, Shawn, for sharing your story of Full Bloom, very inspirational!
For more on Full Bloom check out the website here

Shawn Chamberlain - The Full Bloom

The Full Bloom Idaho

The Full Bloom Idaho, Bridal bouquet of white, pink and peach flowers with grey accents

Visiting Chalk Hill Clematis Farm – Healdsburg, California

Chalk Hill Clematis Farm Healdsburg

Nestled among the rolling hills above Healdsburg, California sits a breathtaking flower farm called Chalk Hill Clematis. Yes, a flower farm focused on growing the beautiful, wild, ethereal Clematis Flower!

Chalk Hill Pink Clematis

The Clematis grown here are available exclusively to floral designers and the trade; yes, you can order Clematis from here! Typically their Clematis are available April thru October, of course weather can affect their flowering season. The Clematis are available in blue, purple, mauve, red, pink, lavender and white. Clematis’ are an excellent vase flower, and will usually last 7-10 days after receiving them. The Clematis from CHC typically have a stem length of 15-18 inches with one flower per stem. Yes, I have had them shipped to me in Colorado when I had the shop there and the flowers arrived in beautiful condition. Check out their website here to see a sampling of the varieties they offer.

Clematis Growing at Chalk Hill Farm

Clematis Growing at Chalk Hill Farm

Chalk Hill Clematis Purple

Chalk Hill Clematis pink clematis

Chalk Hill Clematis Seed Pods

Chalk Hill Clematis Seed Pods

Chalk Hill Lavender Clematis

Chalk Hill White Clematis

Purple Clematis

Chalk Hill White Roses

Visiting Chalk Hill Clematis Farm was a true treat, my mother joined me and she and I just loved every minute of wandering the grounds with the farm manager, Fernando. Just perfect to walk thru the rows of flowering Clematis, to see the rambling roses, rows of Olive Trees, take in the view from the pool area, and a walk thru Mary Toomey’s Clematis garden. Towards the end of our visit Fernando let me loose in the fields as I was craving those crazy, swirling seed pods and winding clematis stems for a wedding I was designing for the following Saturday. The vines I collected that day were just what my bridal bouquet needed ..

Designed by Alicia Schwede of Bella Fiori; Green Bridal party Bouquets

Designed by Alicia of Bella Fiori – Thank you Chalk Hill Clematis, your vines were the perfect touch for these bouquets!

Oh, and if you are curious to know if they produce anything else at the farm they do offer extra virgin olive oil, vinegars and honeys.

Chalk Hill Clematis - Olive Trees

Rows and Rows of Olive Trees

Olive Trees CHC Farm

Contact Information:
Chalk Hill Clematis
PO Box 1847
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Office: 707-433-8416
Fax: 707-433-8963
farmmgr@chalkhillclematis.com
http://chcfarm.com

Mary Toomey Clematis Garden

Bench covered in Clematis - CHC

Chalk Hill Clematis Farm

View from the pool area

Chalk Hill Flower Farm

Never know what you might see while wandering around the 120 acres at Chalk Hill Flower Farm!

CHC Farm

Fleur Friday

Hello Flower Friends –

Did you see that Florabundance announced the dates and speaker line-up for Inspirational Design Days 2015? – check it out here

……………………………………

Also, last week I mentioned my new part time position at Seattle Wholesale Growers Market. I’ll be posting goodies at the market to instagram so be sure to follow along – here

Jello Mold arrives at the market

Jello Mold arrives at the market

……………………………………

Last thing .. photo of my sweet niece modeling a flower halo I made with Passionflowers & bachelor buttons -

_MG_8178

……………………………………

Have a great weekend everyone! See you back here on Monday!

Q&A :: Pricing Boutonnieres & Corsages

The Question:
It’s been awhile since we’ve done a pricing post on boutonnieres and/or corsages.
Send in a picture of a boutonniere or corsage that you have designed. Please also include a list of the materials you used and the final price for the piece.

………………………………………………….

The Answers:

Kris of KRISanthemums, Oregon

KRISanthemums Boutonniere, Lambs ear (from my gardens), leather  wrap (from saddle shop throw away), cedar from gardens, berries  $20.00

Lambs ear (from my gardens), leather wrap (from saddle shop throw away), cedar from gardens, berries $20.00

KRISanthemums Corsage - White cymbidium orchid, pink ranunculus, eucalyptus, bear grass, bracelet and one bling pin $45.00

White cymbidium orchid, pink ranunculus, eucalyptus, bear grass, bracelet and one bling pin $45.00

………………………………………………….

Andrea of Dandie Andie Floral Designs, Ontario

Dandie Andie Boutonniere - 2x Spray Rose, Sprig of Green Trick, 1x Tuberose bloom, A few hypericum berries Wrapped with wire. $15

2x Spray Rose, Sprig of Green Trick, 1x Tuberose bloom, A few hypericum berries
Wrapped with wire.
$15

Dandie Andie Floral Design Boutonniere - 2x Spray Rose, Sprig of Statice, 1x Tuberose bloom, 1x Variegated Lily Grass Wrapped with wire. $12

2x Spray Rose, Sprig of Statice, 1x Tuberose bloom, 1x Variegated Lily Grass
Wrapped with wire.
$12

………………………………………………….

Tracy of Park Place Design, Michigan

Park Place Design - White rose, moss and some twine, and brunia, and lambs ear - $21.00

White rose, moss and some twine, and brunia, and lambs ear
$21.00

………………………………………………….

Buffy of Pink Posey Design, Colorado

Pink Posey Design - Blushing Bride Protea, agonis Berries, scabiosa bud, camelia foliage and small ranunculus. $18

Blushing Bride Protea, agonis Berries, scabiosa bud, camelia foliage and small ranunculus.
$18

………………………………………………….

Lauren of Garden Gate Florals, Florida

Garden Gate Florals - Succulent Oregonia Varigated Green Thistle Teal, gold and dark teal ribbon tied. $18.00

Succulent
Oregonia Varigated
Green Thistle
Teal, gold and dark teal ribbon tied.
$18.00

Garden Gate Florals - Dusty Miller Leaf Peach Ilse Spray Rose Peach Hypericum Berries 3 stems of Birch  Wrapped in Ivory ribbon with a tiny white pearl pin $18.00

Dusty Miller Leaf
Peach Ilse Spray Rose
Peach Hypericum Berries
3 stems of Birch
Wrapped in Ivory ribbon with a tiny white pearl pin
$18.00

Garden Gate Florals - Baby's Breath Jute/burlap ribbon tiny white pearl pin $12.00

Baby’s Breath
Jute/burlap ribbon
tiny white pearl pin
$12.00

………………………………………………….

Tammy of Wild Bunch, Shropshire, UK

Wild Bunch Corsage - Double white ranunculus, lilly of the valley, forget me knot, brunnera (and beautiful silk ribbon from Silk and Willow) £9.50

Double white ranunculus, lilly of the valley, forget me knot, brunnera (and beautiful silk ribbon from Silk and Willow)
£9.50

Wild Bunch - Santolina, Pheasants eye naricissi, lilly of the valley, asparagues fern and stachys £8.50

Santolina, Pheasants eye naricissi, lilly of the valley, asparagues fern and stachys
£8.50

………………………………………………….

Jessica of Blooms ‘n Blossoms, Kentucky

Blooms 'n Blossoms Boutonniere, 1 hellebores 3 creeping red sedum florets 1 boston fern frond 1 stem tri color sage 1 stem lemon thyme 1 stem dill tape, wire & bindwire  Price $18

1 hellebores
3 creeping red sedum florets
1 boston fern frond
1 stem tri color sage
1 stem lemon thyme
1 stem dill
tape, wire & bindwire
Price $18

………………………………………………….

Laurie of Fleurie, California

Fleurie, Wired and taped boutonniere with wrapped stem.  I stem spray rose 4.50 1 Galax leaf .50 .25 yd ribbon .50 Pin Labor Tape Wire  $15.00

Wired and taped boutonniere with wrapped stem.
I stem spray rose 4.50
1 Galax leaf .50
.25 yd ribbon .50
Pin
Labor
Tape
Wire
$15.00

………………………………………………….

I love getting creative on corsages and to be honest I’m not sure if I could create just a “basic” corsage because I haven’t done one since probably my first floral design class. I know some may think corsages are just an aftermath for flowers, but they are typically for the mothers of the bride and groom, who could possibly be the most important support system these two have had, so they should be wearing something beautiful for their flowers. Here are a few fun and not so typical designs I’ve done in the past.
Katie of Noonan’s Wine Country Designs & The Petal Club, California

Noonan's Wine Country Designs & The Petal Club - Peacock feather wristlet corsage

This was a wedding with peacock feathers and took place at the historic Santa Margarita Barn so burlap and feathers was a must, so we took a basic cuff and wrapped it with burlap, then added in a peacock feather and used the colors of the wedding with a few petals from a purple vanda orchid and then a green pompom mum. The price of this was $25.

Noonan's Wine Country Designs & The Petal Club - dusty miller and rose corsage

For these wrist corsages, they look more traditional, but are created on a floral decorative wire bracelet. These are the more common corsages that go out our door for clients and we create all the bracelets with the wire color of their choice and then add a base with a heavy kraft or fabric covered cardboard at the top of the bracelet. We typically cover this part with a foliage and then add in the flowers and maybe a decorative ribbon or lace accent. These are $25-$30 depending on the flowers used.

Noonan's Wine Country Designs & The Petal Club - Wristlet Corsage

These mother’s corsages were created with a much more labor intensive technique of creating the bracelet with three taped wires and then weaving lily grass tightly into a cuff bracelet creates your base. Then you are able to adhere blooms and accents as desired. Below we used a string of pearls to match the mother’s dresses and then added blooms of vanda orchids, but this can be customized to any style or color scheme. The price of these are $35, maybe should be more but like I said clients have a hard time paying more than $35 for “corsages” so it’s all about showing them a different type of corsage.

………………………………………………….

Do you have a question you’d like to ask for a Q&A session? Email it to me at: info@flirtyfleurs.com

Wedding Wednesday :: Elevated Centerpieces

LA Premiere - Photo by Remy Grecco - Elevated centerpiece of all white flowers, tall centerpiece

LA Premiere
Photo by Remy Grecco

Where’s the check? by Alison Ellis

Small businesses can get bogged down by late payments. There is one major reason why your clients may be paying you late (hint: it may be YOUR fault). I’ve got some tips for your today in my latest video.

As business owners it can be frustrating to deal with late payments. If you find yourself constantly asking “where’s the check?” this video is for you.

Alison Ellis
Floral Artistry
Vermont

GSFA & Nancy Liu Chin Workshop

First, a little backstory before I start today’s post. Last summer I announced on Flirty Fleurs that my husband and I would be relocating to Washington State for his job. At the time I had no idea what to expect for myself, Bella Fiori or Flirty Fleurs and figured I’d take it as it comes. Well, I was very fortunate in that upon announcing the impending move on the blog right away Kelly of Botanique reached out to me and suggested I join her for a GSFA meeting. (Greater Seattle Floral Association). I cannot thank Kelly enough for inviting me to the group, being part of GSFA has been a wonderful experience and one that I’m very grateful for. GSFA meets monthly and at each meeting we focus on a business topic. At one meeting we all got together and decided to have a floral designer come in from another city and give us a hands-on workshop. I reached out to my sweet friend, Nancy Liu Chin of San Francisco to see if she’d be willing to come to Seattle for a workshop, and luckily she said yes! Plus, as an extra bonus to our workshop she brought her husband, Kevin, who took photos of our day together!
We worked on so many projects together – bouquets, centerpieces, table displays, head wreaths, and escort card table statement pieces, plus, lots of business discussions took place. I can honestly say that by the end of the day we were all very filled with ideas and very tired!
Here are some of the fun photos from the day -

The awesome members of GSFA with Nancy Liu Chin

Greater Seattle Floral Association

floral designing

Nancy begins the day with designing centerpieces

Greater Seattle Floral Association

Nancy Liu Chin designing

Nancy designing a centerpiece for the group

Floral Design by Nancy Liu Chin

We begin our Escort Card table displays

GSFA floral group

floral designers at work

GSFA members

Nancy, Jodi, Kate, and Tess

display wall of flowers

Greater Seattle Floral Association

Colleen, Kelly, Melanie, Emily, Anne, and Melissa

Pink wreath of peonies and roses on salal board for escort card table display

Greater Seattle Floral Association members

Christiane, me, Wendy, Christopher, Lorie

White Floral Wreath on a salal leaf background

Time to design centerpieces in rustic urns

Colleen of Botanikal

Colleen of Botanikal showing her floral centerpiece

Colleen of Botanikal

Emily of Lola Flowers

Emily of Lola Flowers

Christiane of Flora Nova

Christiane of Flora Nova

Jodi of Woodland Flowers

Jodi of Woodland Flowers

Kate of in bloom designs

Kate of in bloom designs

Kelly of Botanique

Kelly of Botanique

Melissa of Terra Bella

Melissa of Terra Bella

Nancy Liu Chin

Nancy’s Design

Nancy Liu Chin

Nancy’s Design

Tess of July Floral

Tess of July Floral

Wendy of Ravenna Bloom

Wendy of Ravenna Bloom

Next up – group project of creating a white and green modern table display

floral designers creating a centerpiece

Nancy Liu Chin white floral centerpieces

table design by Nancy Liu Chin of white and green flowers

Nancy demonstrates how to make loose bridal bouquets

Nancy Liu Chin and GSFA

Bella Fiori - bridal bouquet of sherbert colors

Bella Fiori (my photo)

Bella Fiori - centerpiece of chocolate cosmos, peonies and roses

Bella Fiori – I took this photo with Kevin’s help, he gave me some pointers on how to shoot in manual settings. Thanks, Kevin!

Alicia Schwede and Nancy Liu Chin in Seattle

One last parting shot – Alicia & Nancy

Photographs are by Kevin Chin (except the last three that I took)

GSFA members pictured above include:
Alicia of Bella Fiori & Flirty Fleurs
Anne of Floressence
Christiane of Flora Nova
Christopher of Christopher Flowers
Colleen of Botanikal
Emily of Lola Floral
Jodi of Woodland Flowers
Kate of In Bloom Designs
Kelly of Botanique
Lorie of Ring Around The Rose
Melanie of Melanie Benson Floral
Melissa of Terra Bella Flowers
Tess of July Floral
Wendy of Ravenna Bloom

Fleur Friday

Hello Flower Friends!
Happy Friday to all of you!

Thought I’d share a few of my latest projects with all of you-

I’ve been working with my friend, Amy of The Flower House in Denver, to design and launch her new website:

Screen Shot of The Flower House Denver Website

You can see her new website here – http://www.theflowerhousedenver.com
AND if you are interested in having me design a website for you just send me an email — I love this techie stuff!

…..

Did you receive the latest Syndicate Sales Postcard in the mail?

Syndicate Sales Floral Postcard

Definitely was fun to receive that postcard in the mail as it was one of the designs created at the Chapel Designer/Florabundance Design Days conference which took place in January. I designed the piece along with my friends Courtenay & Victoria!

…..

And in other interesting news — I have started a new position with Seattle Wholesale Growers Market!!! Today is day #2 at the market! After 15 years of being on the receiving end of the flowers from growers/wholesalers, I am quite intrigued and curious to be working at the growers market!? I can be found at the market on Mondays & Fridays .. be sure to pop in, say Hi! & buy some flowers if you are in the area!

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

…..

Q&A :: Do you send Images of Daily Deliveries?

The Question:
For those of you who do daily deliveries (ie – deliveries for birthdays, congratulations for a new baby, anniversaries, etc). How do you feel about taking a picture of the arrangement and sending the image to the sender prior to the arrangement leaving your shop? We’ve heard of more & more clients asking for this service. Pros & Cons?

………………………………………………….

The Answers:

I find myself doing this more and more. Taking a photo with my phone and getting it to the sender is great for customer service ! Waiting to post photos on social media until the design has been delivered , in my opinion is important. The con…the time it takes.
Kris of KRISanthemums, Oregon

………………………………………………….

I do photograph each arrangement and text or email it to the client when it leaves to be delivered. I have had such positive and appreciative responses about this added service. I used to order lots of flowers in my old life and never knew what was being delivered, so I thought this would be a nice touch. It is! Just snap a photo on your phone and press send.
Tara, By The Bloom, California

………………………………………………….

More and more I’m getting requests for photos of arrangements and many times I will ask if they’d like a picture, especially if it’s a new customer. People almost always take me up on the offer and are usually delighted that I’d do this. I think that it shows a customer that you have confidence in what you’re producing, especially if they aren’t ordering something they’ve seen on your website. I always tell them that I will send the photo after delivery and also provide them with delivery information and a description of what was in the arrangement. The other benefit of sending pictures is that you now have an email to use for marketing purposes.
Anne of Hydrangea Bleu, California

………………………………………………….

I like to take photos of each arrangement, but don’t send a picture to the sender unless requested. If I need to give visual proof of the arrangement’s quality or contents, then I have the photo to share. In my opinion, sending a pic before you deliver the arrangement opens the door to all sorts of issues that most shops or studio florists would not have time to address. The client should trust the floral designer they have contracted to make and deliver that arrangement.
Laurie of Fleurie, California

………………………………………………….

If you have a flower shop you should have a policy on this “photo prior to delivery” request. If you choose to offer this additional service you need to do it well. This means having a dedicated spot/backdrop where you photograph the arrangement from it’s “best side”. I think the biggest decision to make is whether you wait for approval prior to sending your driver out the door. That seems ridiculous to me, personally since when I worked in flower shops it was always a hustle to get deliveries made and out the door in the right order. If I had a shop I would offer this service, possibly even charge a few bucks for the effort and time and make it clear that the delivery will be headed out the door at whatever time works for the driver. If it is for next-day delivery or the customer requests the ability to approve the design I would allow for 1 adjustment to the design and any subsequent requests will have a re-design fee.
Alison of Floral Artistry, Vermont

………………………………………………….

In today’s tech and visual environment, it’s so important to take images of your client’s designs. I do this daily and clients absolutely love it! I have a small area in my studio with good lighting and a small table. I just take the design to the area, use my smart phone to take the image, text or e-mail the image to the client, and everyone is a happy camper. Then I send it to my Facebook page, Twitter, InstaGram, Pinterest, and anywhere else I can show my work…..all in a matter of minutes! I also have a higher quality (not that smart phones don’t have great cameras!) camera that I use as well just to have better focus for my website or ? What this does is reaffirm your relationship with your client…..that trust is worth years of client loyalty! Be well, and go create my friends….
Joe Guggia AIFD of JP Designed, California

………………………………………………….

Do you have a question you’d like to ask for a Q&A session? Email it to me at: info@flirtyfleurs.com