Posts Tagged “Flirty Fleurs”
A few weeks ago, I was delighted to receive an email from Alicia of Flirty Fleurs, telling me about her upcoming tulip workshop that would be perfect for beginners. Well Alicia, you had me at tulips…and beginners. The next day, I was signed up and anxiously awaiting my second Flirty Fleurs workshop! Thursday finally rolled around, and I gathered up my tools, braved rush-hour traffic (I thought I was leaving traffic behind when I left LA…ha!) and made my way down to Georgetown to join three other ladies for the class. Some of you probably know, but tulips in Seattle are a big deal. BIG. The Skagit Valley is known for it’s tulip fields, and hundreds of people, tourists and locals alike, flock to the fields starting in April to get a look at these beauties. But I digress. I think my point is – I was very excited to get my hands on some PNW tulips and learn how to work with one of my favorite flowers!
Back to business. Upon arriving, I glanced at the buckets and was able to tell which swas mine in an instant. Alicia had thoughtfully asked each of us in advance what our favorite color tulips were, and she hit the nail on the head with mine: lush, buttery pinky orange (we deemed them “sherbet tulips”) and creamy white ones with green edges. I was in heaven. Like before, Alicia started out the class by creating a sample arrangement, step-by-step, so we could see how she worked and give us an idea of what it should kinda-sorta-just maybe look like. And again, like before, maybe a half hour went by and viola! She had a perfect little arrangement, just sitting there, daring me to try. And try I did… a few minutes later I had my sleeves rolled up and was diligently cleaning the aspidistra. Because this was a contemporary class, we focused on minimal varieties, keeping colors grouped together, and using aspidistra to separate and “boost” the tulips. After cleaning, folding, and securing the aspidistra (with staples! genius), I moved on to the tulips. I stripped the large leaves near the bottom, put a little slit near the head to slow the growing, and cleaned up the stems with a borrowed knife (guess it’s time to get my own!). After the cleaning and prepping came the fun part – arranging time! First I wrapped two of the leaves around the inside of the vase to create almost a shell that would cover the stems and keep things looking clean and minimal. Next came a few of the folded leaves to create a base, and then the tulips. I chose to cut my “sherbet” tulips shortest and use them as the next level, and kept the white tulips a bit longer to add height in the back. I filled in with a few more folded aspidistra to add volume, and cheated by putting a bit of Pittosporum in the very back to keep things from falling over. I love learning all of these little tricks that I never noticed in arrangements before! I’m catching on, guys. Last came a touch of bright green vibernum and a little burlap around the vase for a softer, more feminine look, and then, it was my turn to say “Viola!”
I took a step back, breathed (for the first time in about an hour) and took a minute to assess my work. And you know what? I liked it. I was proud to call it my second “official” arrangement, and couldn’t have done it without the guiding hands and encouraging words of Alicia. While “contemporary” may not be my style of choice, I am trying my best to experiment with all styles and just throw myself into learning every technique I can. Because of the pretty, pastel tulips used in my arrangement, it had more of a “country” feel rather than being too contemporary, which was a good happy medium and allowed me to learn new techniques while still staying true to myself. All in all, second workshop…success!
A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take a fabulous workshop with the lovely Alicia of Flirty Fleurs up here in Seattle. Alicia offers a variety of workshops throughout the year, and to my delight, are for just about any experience level! I must admit, I was a tad nervous going it into it, wondering if I’d be the only inexperienced newbie sitting cluelessly in the back of the room. A few days before, in a last minute panic, I drove to a local nursery and stocked up on tools I thought might come in handy. They looked pretty and fairly useful, so I crossed my fingers at the register and purchased my first florist tools. When Saturday finally came, I arrived at a cute little studio in Georgetown, filled with a whopping four other people. Hallelujah! Small, intimate classes are my favorite, as they are much less intimidating and provide for a hands-on, supportive environment. We went around the room sharing just a little bit about ourselves, and I was happy to learn that everyone had different levels of experience, with only two professionals present. What a relief!
Alicia began the class with an introduction about herself, and then quickly segued in to the task at hand: creating a compote floral arrangement using chicken wire and a compote container. Thus far, I have only learned and attempted to create a hand-tied bouquet, and have done some rookie arranging during the holidays with my mom. I had also never worked with chicken wire, so I was excited to learn a new trick of the trade. Alicia quickly put together a beautiful arrangement, and then just like that, it was our turn. Okay, I have a confession: I may or may not have snagged the chicken wire that Alicia had already formed as a demonstration, so I kind of got to skip the first step. I did, however, secure it in the vase and tape down the edges by myself… baby steps people. I started out a bit hesitantly, unsure if I was doing things correctly, but after a few minutes, I began to get in a groove and work a bit more freely. I started with the greens – a few of which included eucalyptus, dusty miller, and acacia purple – and began snipping and inserting into the chicken wire. Once I had a solid base and the green tape was not visible anymore, I moved onto the flowers. Alicia had chosen to go with a purple theme, which I had no complaints about. My only alteration was trading out a few for some pops of bright pink, because sometimes you just need a little burst of color in the dreary Pacific Northwest weather… can you blame me? As we arranged, Alicia walked around giving snippets of advice, but never overwhelming or changing the design. I opted to use a Lazy-Susan which helped remind me to spin the arrangement as I went and design all sides, the number one rule of thumb I have learned. The arrangement included white garden roses, hyacinth, tulips, white anenomes, hot pink spider mums, and pink ranunculus to name a few.
Once I had spun my arrangement one last time and was finally satisfied, Alicia deemed my arrangement a “pave” arrangement… to which I responded, “Huh?” While 99% of you know what that means, I’ll explain for the 1% that doesn’t. A pave arrangement is one where the stems are fairly short and the flower heads are placed very closely together, more of a “tight and compact dome” feel rather than loose, airy, or sculptural. To me, the fact that it even resembled any sort of floral style was a win in and of itself! My final task of the workshop was to safely transport my arrangement from south Seattle to north Seattle. When I opened my car door to survey the situation, I was thrilled to realize that my nanny job would crossover and save the day: CARSEATS. So I buckled that baby up, and made it all the way home with zero spillage or destruction. Thanks kiddos!
Overall, I’d say my first real learning experience was a success, and I would happily take another class from Alicia! Things have already been a bit busy this year (um, when did it become March?) but taking this workshop really helped to reignite my passion and desire to learn and become a part of the flower industry. Stay tuned for more exciting progress in my floral adventure!
January is quickly coming to a close, which means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!! Crazy, right?!
Everyone here at Mayesh is preparing for the holiday and I had a few things I wanted to share with you!
I have a quick video to share with you. While most importers are loading up their coolers with flowers for Valentine’s, Mayesh does not believe in storing flowers and is in fact cleaning the coolers in anticipation of the Valentine’s shipments that will start around February 4th. You can see for yourself in this 30 second video clip:
Next, I thought I’d bring out some fun Valentine’s Day design inspiration. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the following videos to get your creative juices flowing!
Floral Perspective: Valentine’s Day Roses with Patience Pickner AIFD PFCI
The Art of Flowers February 2012: Romantic Collection Centerpiece
February 2014 Wholesale Flower Product Showcase: Romantic Flowers
Oh, and don’t forget Flirty Fleur’s red rose study!
Last, but not least … Pinterest! Check out my Valentine’s Day Pinterest board for some great design inspiration!
On behalf of everyone here at Mayesh, I wish you a very sweet Valentine’s Day holiday! Cheers!