Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wrapping Up 2010


What a year this has been! 2010 marks the "soft opening" so to speak, of Urban Poppy Wedding, but 2011 looks to be full of wedding bells for many beaming brides-to-be.

10.10.10 marked the date of my marriage to my amazing husband, Russell. We celebrated our first Christmas both in America and as husband and wife, here in Savannah and are thrilled to be back.

Our last and first Christmas together (get it?) was in Korea, dog/housesitting for some friends. This past year has been full of teaching and traveling in Korea with trips to Seoul and other far off cities such as Bali and Tokyo. We bought a mild fixer-upper, planned our beautiful, sunny October wedding and went to Texas (to meet his family).

Enjoy the last few days of 2010. I'm sure for many of you, as for us, it's been a very full year. I look forward to the joys and challenges of 2011, with the hopes of creating many beautiful wedding blooms.

{ photo courtesy of Chiq Weddings }

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Artificial Inspiration


I'm really impressed with Noaki's jewel studded bouquet and continue to be surprised with this medium.

I love the vintage look of the piece with a combination of dried and artificial flowers that gives the arrangement a classic and understated sophistication.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Artificial Flowers: Overcoming Prejudices


Truth be told, I've always been a snob when it comes to artificial flowers. In my mind, nothing could ever replace the natural beauty and fragility of a fresh cut flower. Branches, greenery and even weeds were no exception to the rule. I could not understand why a person (apart from allergies and unfortunate weather) would choose plastic and polyester over living silk and juicy green.

Growing up in New York City, many folks were surprised to know that yes, we had both a front and a backyard with real trees and grass. After long hard northern winters, my mother and I would make our annual spring rounds to inspect what was unfurling beneath a light layer of wet snow.

First, in keeping with the new season, there were the snow drops, little delicate white flowers that pushed their way through the dark wet earth. Next came the crocuses bursting with first color of squashy yellows and purples.

Once the discovery started, the walk around our small garden continued up until the end of the fall with each ensuing week bringing new life, texture, scent and of course color to our humble little backyard.

But for many people, what was once a black and white idea becomes grayed out, so to speak, with the passing of time and a little more understanding. So too has my opinion of artificial flowers.


I have been pleasantly surprised with the variety and quality of "natural" flowers as of late. Pods, branches and wood can be shaped to resemble real flowers because they originate from organic material. Technology has developed in such a way that lends itself to truer textures and color.

As a wedding floral designer, I realize I am limited to the season, budget and locale of my bride. Many romantic brides want keepsakes of their day and oftentimes real flowers do not keep well when dried.

Then there is the question of season. I struggled to keep my arrangements fresh and perky for several sweltering July weddings here in Savannah. Although one can choose a hardy heat resistant bloom, brides still might want a tulip over stock and this can pose a problem in heavy heat.


Creating only live arrangements means limiting my client base to Savannah and a relatively close radius of customers. Although mailing live bouquets is doable, it's quite pricey and they run the risk of not being handled well once they are out of my care. Natural artificials relieve both the bride and the designer of that stressor.

Price and availability also prove to be uncertainties. A flower that is a dollar a stem one month might climb to five. Knowing that, designers offer substitutions when a certain bloom becomes cost prohibitive to the bride.


With the beautiful array of choices, I'm excited to have overcome my prejudice of artificial florals and look forward to creating some lovely unique arrangements. Please have a gander at my etsy shop to check my progress.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December: A Breath of Fresh Air


Yesterday Russ and I returned from our wonderful Thanksgiving visit to Johnson City, Texas. The weather has been up and down all over the country and we really weren't too sure what to expect when we deplaned in Savannah. The warm mugginess greeted us and belied the fact that the next day would be the first of December.

When we walked into our apartment, the windows were sweating and it was chilly and damp. Our orange tabby, Niko meowing his head off as if to say, "Where have you been! How could you leave me?" met us at the door.

Throwing open the windows to air out the apartment, the temperature outside began to drop and a chilly brisk wind began to blow. We awoke to a blustery cold morning and it felt a little more like winter was on its way.

This morning felt more like New Year's Day rather than the beginning of December. Perhaps it's because we have so many projects we hope to accomplish within a limited time span or the fact that we've been gone, but deep cleaning and resolutions seem to have me chomping at the bit.

After the chores are finished, I'm planning on collecting some greenery from outside and see what arrangements I can come up with.

This table arrangement suggests the clean starkness of winter with a hint of lingering autumn. Rather than using the harvest theme of pumpkins and turning leaves, these pheasant feathers are beautifully bunched in white vases of varying sizes and used individually as place holders on vintage china.

{ photo courtesy of Domino Magazine }

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Wonderful Thanksgiving

On the left, a simple modern table with dried leaves in hurricane glass is accented with understated blue napkins and runner. Anjou pears mimic the colors of the gourds, walnuts and paper cut out leaves.

{ photo courtesy of Martha Stewart }

Dried flowers, leaves and mushrooms settle in nicely with the pears in this vintage oatmeal tin for a simple fallish arrangement.

{ photo courtesy of Design*Sponge }

Gourds within a gourd: Clean decorating often uses the same design element but in a varied fashion. This larger carved gourd becomes a natural bowl for the little guys.

{ photo courtesy of Chic It Yourself }

Keeping the decor light and simple while still engaging the eye with turning leaves and various gourds adds a freshness and life to the table.

{ photo courtesy of Martha Stewart }


I'm thankful for my family and friends and am thrilled to have spent the past holiday with my newest family: my in-laws. It was really fun to be part of such an ever-growing group where the neighbors have their annual football match while the food is being prepared amongst lively chatter and the interjections of college football.

There were over forty folks at the house and it was by far the grandest Thanksgiving I've attended. Everyone brought their "must-have" Thanksgiving dish. My mother in-law and I had a great time baking cookies and "tasting" the dough. A good ol' pecan pie recipe adapted a Texan flair by adding a few tablespoons of local bourbon.

The photos above demonstrate that Thanksgiving decoration need not be dull. As Thanksgiving transitions into the grays and browns of winter, it's easy to fall into the trap of heavily decorating with dried objects.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hooray! The Cards Are Here!


Yesterday I received our promotional postcards and I think they came out great! I'm looking forward to UP Wedding taking over Savannah in the new year.

As I continue to research floral designs, patterns and arrangements, I am so excited to create. There is such great talent in the floral design world. I'll continue to compile a list that links other designers who inspire me.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wreaths for the Door


Martha Stewart continues to be the champion of creative home decor ideas.

In the first image, her use of simple blue hues mark a strong contrast against the white of the doors. The blue ties into the blue-grey of the lanterns and the bluish green of what appears to be a Douglas fir (or spruce?)

On the third image, one might think a garland, spruce and urns would be way too many decorating ideas happening all at once, but balance is struck because of the monochromatic nature of the greens. The reason the arrangement is not boring is because of the variety of texture achieved by the cedar boughs and moss.

{ photo of grapevine/leaf wreath from wreaths galore }

Monogram Wreaths


I love the simplicity of a moss-covered lettered wreath. As a graphic designer with a green thumb, it's easy to see why the living typography appeals to me. I'm looking forward to experimenting with various fonts and greens and will return with photos when I do.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Stationery Ideas


Getting the flower studio ready calls for great design in itself. I'm trying to decide on the colors but for now I think I'll try to incorporate both palettes.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Our Front Door


Russ put up the numbers yesterday and I made a quick little wreath out of greenery from around the house. The eucalyptus was left over from the wedding and the pine cones were lonely remnants of our neighbor's tree that no longer exists.

We finished in the nick of time because as the sun went down it became really cold (for us in Savannah). Eek, I woke up this morning to 32 degrees. I hope my newly planted agaves slept warm under their bed of mulch.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Autumn Orange Twist


I think one of the reasons I struggle with fall arrangements is their normal ho-hum palette. Balance in color is often achieved with contrast.

Eddie Ross's orange sherbet roses in this posy bouquet sit comfortably with the salmony pink carnations. The clean white of the cattails (?) and the asian vase add an atypical, thereby, interesting element to an autumn arrangement.

In this second simple yet attention grabbing bouquet, orange and white ranunculus are freshly fall-like with the added element of a peacock blue vase. Modern in its minimalism, it reminds me of bright turning leaves against a crisp blue sky. { photo: Real Simple in an article sharing new uses for old objects, this arrangement shows clear rubber bands used as invisible bouquet binders- rather clever }

Friday, November 5, 2010

Shells & Things


I'm absolutely in love with the work of this San Francisco floral designer, Erin of Rosenow Floral Design. She's a kindred spirit in that she has an eye for color and unique design. Though fresh flowers form most of her work, she incorporates other sundries to add interest, individuality and texture to her arrangements.

In addition to the beautiful white shells, I spy "romaine" tulips (I made up that name just now because they look like bunches of romaine lettuce)- they're actually called Ruffled or Parrot tulips (I believe the name for this one is the "Super Parrot"). I see a variegated hosta leaf and I'm still researching the greenery (so much to learn!)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mums the Word


I've learned a lot about mums today and really enjoyed working with the green spiders. Teal, green and white seem to be a popular combination these days. To keep the arrangement simple yet "classically mod tropical" I tied a clean grosgrain ribbon around the vase atop a banana leaf. White hydrangeas, yoko ono and green spider mums add the fresh touch as do the tucked in miniature white spray roses. The seeded eucalyptus adds balance to the piece. (UP: Arrangement photos: moi; mums, unknown))

The Knot is a constant source inspiration as noted on the crisp boutonniere top left. (Photo By: Allegra’s Studio, Lynchburg, VA)

A Cheerful Bouquet on a Gloomy Day


The second day of chilly gray and I wanted to create a piece that seemed to give off its own light. This bridesmaid's bouquet also doubles as a centerpiece.

Every florist will tell you that peonies and ranunculus are a pretty penny at this time of the year, but our shop found the perfect solution: baroness roses- as ruffly as a ranunculus with the fullness of a peony. Mini mango calla lilies, salmon variegated carnations, fuschia spray roses and green spider mums completed the look.

An Autumnal Arrangement


This morning I started working at a neighborhood florist and was thrilled to "play" in their cooler. For anyone who loves flowers, it was just like being let loose in a candy shop.

{ burgundy and yellow red chrysanthemums, sunflowers, mango mini calla lillies, maize spider mums, salmon varieted carnations, ornamental wheat and lastly, perhaps hypericum? }

Not Your Everyday Chrysanthemum


I cannot tell a lie. Like daisies, I've never really been a huge fan of mums. Most of my experience with either family has been the common grocery store kind. Chrysanthemums were the flowers you bought when everything else around you was dying. I accepted them for what they were: arrangements placed next to pumpkins properly as a backdrop against the front door.

Interestingly enough, I am not the only one with this "less than pleasant" outlook. According to a column written in the Victoria Times: "Chrysanthemums are among the top five most cultivated flowers in the world. In Japan, Britain and the United States, more chrysanthemums are sold than any other cut flower. They used to mark the milestones in our lives, from weddings to funerals, and Mother's Day flowers were always "mums" in pots or cut flowers. Yet, when I conducted an informal poll, I found mums ranked second only to carnations as a least favourite cut flower."

But then I started working with them more. They are a hardy flower and work really well in arrangements. The image above is an example of one of my favorite exceptions: Yoko Onos. (tbc)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Feeling Rather Fallish


This morning I stumbled around in the dark trying to add to my already growing layers of clothes. It wasn't technically freezing, but my body could not warm up. Donning my scarf, I actually turned the heat on. Looking out the window I checked on my newly planted agave and irises- gifts from my mom inundated from her own Florida garden.

The gray skies, calling crows and rusty chrysanthemums have put me in the mood for autumn. These cosmos from Wedding Flowers Magazine are a beautiful minimalist example showcasing the almost black-cherry hue- quite stunning against a white gown.
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