December 27, 2010

Wreath Recap

California is a wonderland of fragrant and colorful materials for winter wreaths, and I had fun making many this season. Here are a few, which incorporated juniper, rose hips, rosemary, and bay . . .

 . . . buckeyes, live oak, cedar, magnolia, fir, more bay . . .

  . . . white pine, fir cones, more buckeyes, more juniper, more live oak and even more bay.

December 26, 2010

For Grandma On Christmas Eve

Here's the arrangement I made for Grandma, including local Meyer lemons, viburnum, ivy, sharon fern, arum leaves, cedar, acacia, jasmine, choiysia, and "California" ranunculus and freesia.

Hope everyone had a joyous Christmas!

December 23, 2010

Think Pink

 And finally, amid holiday floral madness, I present last week's cheerful pink arrangement composed of wonderful, all-local stuff: camellias, choiysia, tulips, sharon fern, Neve roses, arum leaves, and cedar.

December 18, 2010

Farm to Bench

Last week I got the grand tour of Neve Roses II, a magical place just west of Petaluma (not far from my godmother's place) specializing in growing roses, tulips, lilies, carnations (the big, fluffy, classic kind), gerberas, sunflowers, hydrangeas, larkspur, dahlias, lots of field annuals, and . . . . well, needless to say, I am excited.

Outside it was a cool 30ish degrees, but inside one of the heated greenhouses an employee had left her coat to hang with the passion vines as she worked among the gerberas (above).

And even in this season of short days and corresponding low production, I was able to snag a large bunch of beautiful peach spray roses for an upcoming delivery (above). Two hours later they were on my bench, their freshness making itself know in lush, rustling foliage and glowing petals (below). Next up, the arrangement!

December 17, 2010

You Call This Winter??

 Pretty much ever since I got home in June, a constant little mantra of "I love it here I love it here I love it here" has been ringing in my ears. Here's one small reason why: solidly into December, a perky little arrangement of narcissus, fern, snowdrops, arum, and lambs ear all from the garden. If I could count on everyone liking the smell of the paperwhites, they'd be in every bouquet heading out of this joint.  Luckily I'm content to enjoy them here at home.

O Tannenbaum

Liz is back in town, just in time to keep me company in the chilly studio while I decorated a little tree in natural, nostalgic Christmas goodness including home-dried orange slices, popcorn, wood bead, pine cone, and liquidambar garlands, and acorn, walnut, and vintage glass ball ornaments. The custom stand was wrapped in burlap for a just-dug-up look. We delivered the decked out little guy to a lovely new client in Liz's larger-than-Buck-the-Subaru vehicle, which was quite convenient.

December 12, 2010


 More fine flower work today! These fun stephanotis earrings are prototypes for a gal getting married this spring. It's been a while since I busted out the flower earrings, and I had lots of fun doing it.

I would like to take this opportunity to say how much it gladdens my heart to adorn all you real-earring-wearing-gals out there with the delicate little trinkets with which I would like to adorn myself but can’t.  For the most part, rocking Grandma’s clip-ons suits me just fine, but every now and then I wish I had the balls to put two tiny holes through my earlobes so I could wear earrings like this. Ah, well. I'm off to deliver these little pretties to a friend who is braver than me. I'll enjoy them vicariously.

December 11, 2010

It's a Party

I've been making a lot of wreaths, garlands, ornaments, and small arrangements lately, so it was a real treat to get my hands on a bunch of flowers to design Silverado Vineyard's holiday party. Sadly, the tulips, cymbidiums, and rununculus came from "California" and Holland, but the acacia, magnolia, cedar, toyon berries, and pine cones were locally sourced from this here county. I made the arrangements as hand-tieds to be transferred to the client's vases at the venue. Here's one of many, taking a stand before being plopped in a jar for easy transport.
I delivered the arrangements before the linens arrived and so did not get a shot of the set tables. But here they are waiting in the wings, looking quite coordinated with the beautiful vintage olive oil poster they happened to be stationed under. 

December 10, 2010

On Top Of The World / In The Thick Of It

Some mornings I wake to find I am in a cloud (literally), and some mornings I wake up to find I am solidly under one (which this time of year often means rain). But sometimes I wake up above a cloud. As I drove down into Wooden Valley early in the morning last week, I had the chance to document this pretty occurrence  . . .
  . . . first from above . . .
 . . . then from below . . .
 . . . and with a nice view of the camelia from Liz's mom's garden that's been keeping me company on Buck the Subaru's dash.

December 7, 2010

The Real Deal

Polyester ribbon has its charms, namely, it's really, really, cheap and it's really, really indestructible. But since I like to be able to compost all the mess I make while working, ribbon clippings and all, this latter quality led me to seek out a more biodegradable alternative not derived from petroleum. It took a while, but I finally found some 100% silk ribbon that I really love. And even though it's about three times as expensive as the (really, really cheap) polyester stuff, it's still not too expensive to use for everything requiring a satin weave ribbon. For more casual trimmings I use jute twine or the wonderful organic cotton ribbon I sourced this summer.

December 6, 2010

A Couple Classy Affairs

 If I were betting about this blogging thing, I would have announced the two classy little holiday events I attended this week before they happened. But better late than never. The first was thrown by Tulocay & Co at their beautiful culinary center in Napa. The second, pictured here, was a lovely al fresco affair hosted by my neighbors over at Wooden Valley Winery. Both featured excellent wine, yummy food, and many local artisans. I was especially happy to meet Natalie from La Saison (I've had a vendor crush on her and her husband's seasonally focused catering business since this summer when I was a couple booths down from them at the farmers' market, but never had a chance to stop by), and Jen from Magpies (an awesome baker and caterer out of Fairfield who designs each week's menu based on the offerings of local farmers).
One of the best things about these events in they forced me to get my packaging together. Pictured above are some acorn ornaments in my new recycled kraft and paperboard boxes, filled out with recycled tissue paper shreds.
Thanks to everyone who made it out! It was great to meet you!