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August 15, 2013
wild whimsical centerpiece in bright colors on old chipped paint chair

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.

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Looking for a Good Home…

July 15, 2013
gold roses and bronze amaranthus with scented geranium

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.

seasonal flowers lonely bouquet free flowersAll 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

Exquisite Designs

Alicia Jayne Florals

Stacy K Floral

Celebration Florals

Urban Petals

Colonial House

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Succulent Love

May 19, 2013
succulent bouquet and kate spade mrandmrs purse

Wedding season is upon us. I couldn’t be happier that succulents are still one of this seasons favorites. I think they’re so gorgeous. Hailey’s bridesmaids bouquet above is a glorious example (photo by Kate Romenesko Photography). They are the perfect addition to a rustic wedding day. Are they a bit pricey? Yes. A little extra work with all the wiring? Yes. Worth every penny? YOU BET! Succulents add such a great texture and color to floral arrangements. And as a tiny accent in boutonnieres? So very sweet!

spray rose and succulent boutonnieresucculent and spray rose boutonniereNot only are succulents great in bouquets and bouts, but they make a great jewelry as well. The handmade ring below features tiny succulents glued on an aged brass band. This ring was created as part of a succulent flower bar for a happy hour party! We provided all the supplies and helped guests make their own succulent ring to take home. It was a smashing success.

succulent jewelry handmade ringI’m looking forward to seeing what this wedding season has in store for more fun succulent floral arrangements!


Chapel Designers 2013 – Day Two

April 17, 2013

Image via Genevieve Leiper / Amy Tucker

I’ve been back home from The Chapel Designers conference in NYC for almost a month now. I still can’t believe my time with my dear flower friends went by so quickly. This was a CRAZY packed day – so this is going to be a long post!

Our second day in NYC was a full one. We spent the day at the Helen Mills Event  Space which was located just across the street from our hotel. Monday was a really surreal day for me. A couple weeks ago our leader Holly asked if I would share my experience and some of my documentation with the group. I was honored – and terrified. Me? Really!? A new-ish designer from Wisconsin talking to the group on the same day as legends from Style Me Pretty and Martha Weddings?! You’ve gotta be kidding me. Despite my doubt I took the stage and I’m so happy I did. A handful of other Chapel Designers also shared with the group: Daevid of Daevid’s of Norfolk, Leslie of TULIP, Francoise Weeks, Laura of Faith Flowers and Jenn and Dave of Modern Day Floral. All of them graciously shared their experiences and offered valuable insight into the business of flowers. We also heard from Anne Chertoff who gave us brilliant advice on tackling social media.

After a full morning it was time for lunch. Sorry guys, I didn’t take pictures as everyone was speaking – I was too busy soaking in all the information. So instead you get pictures of my lunch. Oh, but this wasn’t just any lunch. On Sunday when we were out sightseeing we noticed a little restaurant right down the street from our hotel called Melt Shop. A restaurant devoted to grilled cheese?! Yes, indeed.

melt shop nycOne look at this sign and it was a done deal. We were going back for lunch.

They had me at $2 PBR… all. day. (All DAY. ALL DAY, SON… All. Day. Any other New Girl fans out there?! Hahaha)

grilled cheese sandwichLunch didn’t disappoint. My sandwich was sinfully delicious. And it was just the break I needed before heading back for an inspiring afternoon. I was so excited to hear from two women I greatly admire in the world of weddings: Naomi de Manana, Editor at Martha Stewart Weddings and Abby Larson, founder of Style Me Pretty. Between the two Rachel Merkle was kind enough to talk to us about branding your business.

My favorite two comments of the afternoon: Naomi – “Flowers are a reminder that life & beauty are fleeting”. Abby – “It’s dedication and hard work that turns your little something into something bigger”.  So true. Such an amazing day.