Happy May Day!
Samantha at Willow & Stone Photography and I decided to postpone the April 25th Bride’s & Blooms series post to bring you this special posting today. A springy, cheerful May Day basket. Are you familiar with the tradition of May Day? It is something I truly adore.
May Day is special to me because I have very fond memories of making May baskets when I was little. Traditionally bonfires were lit to symbolize the coming of spring and to banish the horrible, long, cold winter nights. While these celebrations have pagan ties, today a much more secular version of May Day is observed in America & Europe. May Day in America is most often celebrated by leaving little baskets of flowers or treats at someones doorstep. After placing the basket on the doorstep, you ring the bell and run! There’s something particularly fulfilling about randomly leaving a little bit of cheer to surprise someone.
So, what do you think? Want to join in the tradition? Step outside, get some fresh air, pick some spring flowers from your garden, and pass the May Day love on to someone you know.
The seed was planted last summer. I was smack dab in the middle of wedding season and I got an inquiry from a completely new to me photographer who wanted to do a stylized shoot. I knew from the moment we chatted over email that Samantha at Willow & Stone Photography was someone special. From her love of all things vintage to her attention to detail that rivals mine, she thoroughly impressed me. I watched her kick butt on her first stylized shoot (it was a smashing success – we’ll share those images soon. I promise). I watched her do an impressive re-branding of her business. And most importantly, I watched a fellow hard working woman pour her heart and soul into growing a business because she believes in her amazing clients and true love. I can relate. And let me tell you, that seed blossomed into a beautiful thing.
And here we are today. Starting a really cool new blog series – Brides & Blooms! Look for some gorgeous inspiration the last Friday of each month in 2014. We’ll be covering a range of topics from trends to table settings, bouquets to boutonnieres, flowers to favors, and lots of fun things in between – all including gorgeous blooms from yours truly, and stunning photos from Willow & Stone.
So let’s get this thing started, shall we?
We’re kicking the series off with this fun modern + industrial tablescape. Anyone who knows me knows I have a passion for all things vintage + rustic. This table design was a nice change of pace. I went with a mix of my favorite go-to flowers – garden roses, ranunculus, double tulips, agapanthus, nerine, standard tulips, anemone, waxflower, eriostemen and jasmine vine – but gave it a modern twist with a bold color palette of white + pink ombre.
The industrial zinc containers contrasted nicely with the aged hardwood table. A single nerine blossom and a fuchsia napkin added a pop of color at each place setting.
Oh, and I finally get to showcase our gorgeous collection of mid-century modern silver ombre glass votive holders! We rent these lovelies and they really dress up a table. And because we were incorporating them, I felt obligated to use our personal flatware for the shoot. Matthew and I use this awesome Mar Crest atomic flatware (Citation pattern) on a daily basis. We love it so much.
Let us know what you think – join the conversations on our facebook pages: Alluring Blooms and Willow & Stone
I haven’t been feeling well this week. Last night I was on the couch watching TV, puppy at my feet, and I quickly put together a little flower crown for a dear friend for a photo shoot today (those pics to come soon). After I was done I took it out to the cooler and there, staring straight at me, were vase after vase of pretty little blooms that hadn’t been good enough for my last 3 weeks brides, but were too pretty for the compost pile. So, even though these leftover flowers were old and previously rejected, I took all those little bits and pieces and arranged them in one of my Grandma Mary Ellen’s old pressed glass dessert cups. So, here it is, in all its glory. Rejects. Still beautiful. Frail in their old age. Maybe they’ll last a day, maybe two or three. Who knows. That’s part of the beauty of flowers – so fleeting.
Over the past two weeks we’ve been participating in a flower movement that’s sweeping the globe… The Lonely Bouquet
The Lonely Bouquet is the brainchild of Emily from Fleuropean. She picks garden flowers/forages from nature, arranges the flowers in a recycled glass jar, attaches a “take me” tag, and leaves them around for unexpecting passersby. This year she designated June 30th as (inter)National Lonely Bouquet Day so others around the globe could partake in the fun.
So, when the Chapel Designers heard about Emily’s mission via Botanical Brouhaha we immediately jumped onboard! Check out the end of this post for links to the other Chapel Designers journeys with The Lonely Bouquet.
All of the images in this blog post are bouquets I left around southern Wisconsin to brighten someones day. We left flowers on a bench on Main Street in Pardeeville, on a pile of softener salt at a gas station in Westport and a recycling container on the capitol square in Madison. The printed tags read “Take Me! Adopt me, please! I’m all alone and looking for a new home… perhaps I can live with you or a loved one?”
During this whole process I realized a few things. First, it was absolutely astounding to me the number of people who walked right past a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and didn’t even notice! It made me realize that far too often we’re absorbed in our own world and don’t take time to appreciate the beauty around us. Second, it shocked me how many people who DID notice it, took the time to read the tag, then didn’t take it home! One lady even snapped a photo then walked away! I was talking to a friend about it. Her thought was that people are just skeptical of all things “free”. The idea that people think that way made me more sad than people not even noticing.
Every bouquet we left out eventually did find a home. The little “Take Me” tag also says “Tell our flower friends where we ended up!” along with The Lonely Bouquet facebook page and our email address. We heard back from two people who adopted our bouquets.
Chrissy let us know that she found the bouquet below and gave it a good home (with an adorable pup!).
Sandra (pictured below) was nice enough to foster this bouquet for a bit until she passed it on to a server at The Old Fashioned, downtown Madison. Another person spreading the love! That’s the spirit!
This was such a rewarding experience. I encourage you to try it!
And, as promised, go check out what some of the other Chapel Designers did with their Lonely Bouquets!
Posh Floral Designs
Alicia Jayne Florals
Stacy K Floral