Monday, December 6, 2010

artisan crafted ornaments

Hello again from Barbi. As well as being a full time floral superhero, I am also a jeweler and professor. So as you can imagine, I am almost as busy as Santa's elves. As always, I have been working hard to come up with new items. Recently, I started making great new ornaments for the holidays that are made of vintage silverware that I have found all over the Green Bay area.

People have asked me to make pieces from their grandmother's old silverware that they have then used as keepsake gifts for their families! Think about these for cute baby and wedding gifts! Each is a little different and glittered up for added holiday cheer!

I can use almost any old silverware, but sterling or silver-plated table ware work the best.

As well as the new vintage ornaments, I have hand cut, formed and enameled copper to create jewel-like, colorful ornaments.

Each is hand crafted in my home studio and enameled (an ancient glass fusing process) in my small kiln. A perfect craft for chilly winter nights, as opening the door of a 1500 degree kiln with each of the 5-7 fireings each takes, can warm up any small space!

So come and check out these great gifts as well as my holly pins (which retail at just $5!!!) and snowman earrings!

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Halloween, by Joplin Japhet

I know it's after Halloween, but I worked long and hard on these costumes so the blog is going up either way! (The ladies apologize for the delay-they've been busy getting the store ready for the holidays. I might need to find some new assistants who understand how to prioritize. Please feel free to forward me your resumes).

Anyhow, most of these costumes are all me. Shows how much can be done with an incredibly creative, adorable and photogenic cat like myself.

Bobcat Kitty. Ferocious, huh?

Alien Kitty. Take me to your leader.

Grecian Kitty.

Cardette Kitty. For those not in the know, cardettes are the little things that hold the cards in flower arrangements. I'm pretty sure I'm the cutest cardette ever.

Lamb Kitty. I need a little assistance from the ladies on this one.

And last, but not least, Pirate Kitty. Arrrrrgh. I look pretty tough and mean, don't I? I just need a little hook on the end of this paw.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Packer Game and Floral Cheesehead!

I generally get to one Packer game a year. So, for that one game, I go all out and salute the Packers to the best of my floral ability by designing and modeling my one-of-a-kind floral cheesehead. This is Version 3.0, each season I re-interpret my design slightly. It's big, it's a little bit heavy, yes, it's all fresh flowers, and yes, it's totally worth it! It takes me about an hour and a half to make. I wind up getting a ton of requests to try it on and take a picture of it. I'm certain there are random photos of it floating the internet!

To date, however, I have yet to get on TV with it! That is the ultimate goal of this endeavor, after all. If anybody has the connections to make that happen, have your people call my people. Eeerrr, just e-mail me. Eerrr, just comment.

The top view, displaying what I am certain may be one of the only floral tributes to our own #12, Mr. Aaron Rodgers!

My husband, myself and the floral cheesehead taking in the game!

Seated directly behind us was a row of Vikings Fans that were actually very good sports! Good enough in fact to pose for this photo. Needless to say, they exited very promptly after the game! Floral cheesehead meets feather boas and leopard print.

KICK OFF! Sorry you all couldn't be there! It was a beyond exciting, awesome, fantastic game!

And this seemed like a good idea at our post-game victory celebration! I promised him fame and fortune when he made our blog. Umm, the check's in the mail.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Triple Wedding

So it's not often that we devote an entire blog entry to just the bouquets for one wedding, but then again, it's not often that we do one wedding that involves 19 bouquets!

3 Brides, 1 Maid of Honor, 9 Bridesmaids, 3 Flower Girls and 3 Toss Bouquets!

First off, our Bridesmaids who wore navy blue chiffon...

Dahlias in orange and red-yellow tones accented with locally-grown gomphrena, bear grass loops and collared with fatsia foliage. The bouquets were also collared with rose hips (which you can't see in the picture!) They were a last-minute addition and a beautiful contrast in texture.

Our maid of honor, Grace. The maid of honor for all three brides-hence, the maid of honor, cubed!

Grace got to choose her very own special bouquet-dahlias in accordance with the other bridesmaids but made that much more special with the addition of beautiful yellow cymbidium orchids and loops of oncidium orchids! We loved this one! Simple, but yet oh-so dramatic!

And the first of our brides...Claire!

Claire loved gerbera daisies, yellow roses and the soft, fuzzy textures of celosia, centaurea and safflower (say that three times fast!) The combination was accented with red freesia, crocosmia, brunnia and hypericum.

Next up, Katie!

Katie has beautiful red hair, and she completely let us decide what her bouquet would be! I would love to say that I chose these beautiful glowing Circus roses to compliment the warmth of her hair color, but that was just a happy coincidence! I really picked them cuz I love them, and hoped she would too! (She did!)

And last, but certainly not least, our planner extraordinaire-Helen!

Helen loved all the little detailed stuff with unique shapes-the ranunculus, fern curls, parrot tulips, and dahlias. Pay special attention to the ranunculus with the green centers-they are mutant! And gorgeous!

And last but not least, a beautiful picture of each bride paired with her corresponding flower girl!

Below is a report from WLUK Fox 11 showing the beautiful brides (with their beautiful bouquets) on their wedding day!

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Kunkel Triple Wedding! Part One

For those of you who haven't heard (you must be living under a rock :) we have a very big deal wedding going on here in Northeast Wisconsin-specifically on the St. Norbert College Campus in De Pere, Wisconsin. The St. Norbert College President, Mr. Thomas Kunkel and his wife Deb have four lovely daughters.

Three of which are getting married in one ceremony this Saturday!
The fourth sister (bless her) is acting as maid of honor for all three!

So this is the first of several blogs outlining the planning, prep and flowers of this once-in-a-lifetime event!

You may wonder how in the world 3 sisters plan to share one wedding day...fortunately, one of the sisters has been dreaming of her wedding day since she was a little girl and she happens to have wonderful taste. The other two decided to hop on board! All three sisters got engaged within 16 days of each other and after a bit of discussing, they decided to join forces and create a wedding trifecta! To hear more about how this came to be from the mom and dad of the bride(s), check out their interview on Good Day Wisconsin! To hear more from the bride(s) and groom(s), check out their interview on CBS' The Early Show!

So hear are some of the floral-related stats going into this fantastic event...

3 Brides, 3 Grooms, One Maid of Honor (cubed!), 9 Bridesmaids, 3 Flower Girls, 9 Groomsmen, 7 Ushers, and 4 Sets of Parents

300 dahlias, 150 parrot tulips, 130 oncidium orchids, 100 roses, 50 rose hips, 10 bunches of bear grass, 5 bunches of seeded euc, 30 hydrangea, 10 sprays of cymbidium orchids, 70 hypericum berry, 60 red hot poker, 120 gomphrena, 80 crocosmia, 100 ranunculus (some of them are mutant!), 60 fern curls, 60 fatsia, 30 helenium, and many more.

And one super excited floral shop staff! (And shop kitty of course!)

No disrespect meant to the flowers I can't remember right now. I'm trying to do a mental inventory of what's chilling in the cooler right now and I'm sure I'm missing a few.

So I know you now want a sneak peek of the colors and flowers we're using (unless you knew all of the names I just listed!) See below for our spot on Good Day Wisconsin. And you know the rules-no laughing at me!

Stay tuned for more posts! Pics of in-progress items to come tomorrow!
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Door County Wedding!

This weekend took us to beautiful Door County! Bailey's Harbor's to be more specific. Gordon Lodge to be exact! One of my favorite locations in Door County. It's been around for more than 80 years, so it has this wonderfully old school 1940s/50s resort vibe, but yet feels totally up-to-date and luxe. And the staff are all incredibly, ridiculously nice! I always say that about everyone when we set up at Lambeau Field, but apparently it applies to Gordon Lodge too! Wonder what those two locations have in common....hmmmm....

Anyhow, on to the pretty flower pictures!

Molly's bridal bouquet of dahlias, ranunculus, James Story orchids, spider mums and snowberry. Love it.

The bridesmaid's carried clutches of red and burgundy dahlias. Even Hannah- "the matron of dishonor!" That's how she was introduced to me-but I highly doubt she really earned that name! Sorry-just couldn't resist including that Hannah!

Centerpieces of antique hydrangea and those gorgeous red and burgundy dahlias. In glass cubes-yes, the cube is underneath those flowers somewhere!

Contrasting centerpieces of sprays of James Story orchids on tall glass cylinders. Accented with the same antique hydrangea and some very locally-sourced Diablo ninebark! Thank you Jody!

A huge stone fireplace is the showpiece of the dining room. This picture doesn't really do it justice! My heavy-lifting assistant (otherwise known as my husband) had to climb a ladder just to get the arrangements up on the mantle!

And lastly, my favorite detail, perhaps the most darling and meaningful favor I've seen to date...

These tiny little jade plants...but read on...

Okay, so the card is hard to read in my photo, but here goes...

"Good luck, Friendship and Prosperity"

"These jade plants are rooted from the Davis family's decades old jade tree. A gift of friendship holding strong, throughout many years and many changes.

They are now our gift to you."

An heirloom from the bride's family shared with guests and a gift that symbolizes friendship and good luck.

Beyond perfect!

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Summer Wedding at Pamperin Park!

A recent summer wedding at Pamperin Park! One of my favorite locations-I love the old stone building there that the reception was held in. (Husby and I had our shower there!) The ceremony was held outside at noon. An early ceremony time, but one that allowed their guests to enjoy a beautiful reception on a summer afternoon and into the evening!

Lexi's bridal bouquet of snapdragons and freesia collared with hosta and pittosporum. A unique combination-very light and whimsical. I wish I had a picture of Lexi in her dress-tea length and lovely! Her excitement and smile were absolutely contagious. It was like she was walking into a fairy tale and soaking up every minute of it!

Centerpieces of birch branches accented with white snapdragons and strung with our glass crystals. Each centerpiece was paired with cylinders of assorted green fruit-the perfect unexpected punch of color on the white linens! The groom made the "fruit run" to Woodman's and brought it in for us to work with. He did such a good job of selecting the best of the crop, that some of the apples were too big to fit in the cylinders! We went and picked up some "less impressive" apples that were able to fit. We wound up enjoying some delicious apple pie courtesy of the extra apples and one of our designer's skills in the kitchen!

Crystal close-up shot! Courtesy of the lovely ladies at Seize the Day who were kind enough to share this pic with us!

And lastly, their gorgeous head table! (Linens and chiavari chairs also courtesy of Seize the Day!) I loved the contrasting black and green linens and it's placement in the band shell-perfectly inventive use of the space!

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Maria and Donald's Wedding!

So it bums me out to realize I am now officially a month behind on blogging our weddings! But this one was so lovely, I had to make sure to get these photos up!

Bridal bouquet of antique hydrangea, roses, dendrobium orchids, fern curls, sweet peas, and the star of the show...

Chocolate Cosmos!

Their ceremony was held at one of my favorite churches: Old St. Joe's on the St. Norbert College Campus. This church is stunning in it's simplicity. (And it holds a special spot in my heart as my husby and I got married there!)

Close-up of the altar arrangements in our silver urns.

A wider shot of the church (borrowed from their website) that gives a sense of the beautiful simplicity I mentioned. I also love the fact that the chairs are situated in the round, surrounding the couple rather than looking at their backs while they exchange vows!

On to the reception!

We used the same silver urns to create the tall centerpieces for the guest tables.

And the low centerpieces got extra special, super adorable fern curls hearts! Love those!

Also love the rose shown in the center of this shot-called Amnesia. Such a beautiful smokey lavender-pink tone.

And I saved the dessert for last!

A beautiful cake from Lindsay at the Runaway Spoon! Complete with a fern curl heart and sweet pea cascade!

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Catnip: Still Legal in All 50 States

As I've said before, living in a floral shop has it's perks. One of them being an almost unlimited supply of fresh catnip during the summer months. No, the ladies don't use it in floral arrangements (they complain that it smells skunky, I think it is just beyond the scope of their appreciation). But, one of our local growers (Windswept Acres) happens to grow some of the best nip around. Windswept Wowie, as I have named it. When I see Reed's van pull in the parking lot, I get up to greet him. Honestly. It's that good. And Reed's a pretty nice guy too.

Here I am inspecting my most recent delivery.

I also receive catnip delivered from one of our local wholesalers. One of the delivery drivers happens to have some growing in his garden, so occasionally I receive very special shipments marked just for me!

Thank you Elton!

When those shipments come in, even the box is fun! In truth, with a little (or a lot) of catnip, anything is fun.

And a cardboard box that smells like catnip? Best. Cat. Toy. Ever.

I will now demonstrate the best way to enjoy catnip. I prefer my catnip harvested in bloom-much more intense.

Grasp the flowers buds between your front paws. Having great big fluffy paws helps with this.

And then... lick, lick, lick, sniff, lick, lick, sniff, sniff, lick, lick, lick, lick, sniff, lick, lick, lick, lick...

Repeat until you achieve the desired effect.

This is the desired effect. Good stuff, man.

After a nice buzz, catnip tends to make me a bit sleepy. Here I am, sleeping off my latest trip. With more catnip next to my paw. In case I wake up and need a little fix.

Yes, the ladies have created a little abode for me. It's decor blends opium den chic with a Moroccan/Turkish flair. Perfect for a Turkish Van with a fondness for indulging.

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