Monday, 30 January 2012

Wedding Flowers - Wedding Fayre Mecure St Paul's, Sheffield

Morning all, here's to an new week and a very quick blog today showing you all my designs for the Mecure St Paul's Wedding Fayre I attended yesterday.  We had a fantastic day, it was incredibly busy with a good mix of Brides getting married this year and next - and even a few ultra organised ladies whose big day isn't until 2014!

Caroline and I met some lovely people, who I'm sure we will stay in touch with.  The other exhibitors were fantastic - there were some who clearly knew the ropes, but were warm and welcoming and didn't make us feel like the 'new girls' - so a massive thank you to them. The whole day had a fabulous atmosphere and felt really relaxed, despite being so busy.

Here are some of the pieces I made, as you will see I decided on a very feminine, soft, delicate, vintage-inspired theme.  I hope you like them.

There's lots more to show you, and I will be uploading more pictures onto my facebook page later on today. 

If you would like to join in our show competition to win your Bridal Flowers which includes a Bride's Hand Tied bouquet, Groom's Buttonhole and 2  x Bridesmaids Wrist Corsages, then all you have to do is 'like' our facebook page and book a consultation with me to enter.


Friday, 27 January 2012

DIY Weddings - Beautiful Buttonholes Inspiration

Today's blog is going to be a bit shorter than usual as I'm getting ready for a wedding fair this weekend and will be ultra busy in the workroom designing all kinds of lovely goodies, which I will feature very soon.

This has been a busy week and as some of you may know I featured how to make a simple buttonhole in my Tuesday Tutorial, so I thought it might be interesting to show you some of the designs I've made for clients recently.

Rose 'Passion', Eucalyptus parvifolia & green organza ribbon

Double white Eustoma (lisianthus), solidago, stallion chrysanthemum, veronica & eucalyptus parvifolia

Rose 'Naranja', ivy berries and eucalyptus cinerea

Double white Eustoma (lisianthus), white lilac, jasmine and clematis seed head
White mini anthurium with china grass

Rose 'Wimbledon', forsythia and eucalyptus parvifolia

Crespedia and lavender with lemon organza ribbon

Rose 'Avalanche', purple lisianthus & ivy leaves

Eryngium 'Orion', eucalyptus parvifolia

I hope this has given you some inspiration and ideas for your big day.  Look out for more wedding  posts next week when I will be showcasing all my latest work.

Oh, and for anyone who fancies a go at making a slightly more technical buttonhole, Tuesday's Tutorial will be a moving on to show you wiring and taping methods. 

Have a great weekend


PS: I'm having problems with the link from my blog to facebook - its being directed to my personal account not my business page.  I would really appreciate it if you would 'like' my business page - I've had lots of people wanting to 'friend' me, which is lovely but like everyone I do have a private life!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

What's in Season? - How to save on your Wedding Flowers

I'm a huge advocate of seasonal flowers. And so, on a regular basis, I'm going to be looking at flowers which are in Season and hopefully provide you with some inspiration as to how they can be used.  .

So why?  Why buy according to the growing season?

Well, partly because of what seasonal flowers represent.  To me, they seem to convey a sense of optimism in that they herald the start of a new growing phase and new life. Even before I worked in Floristry, I always found it exciting that commercially grown seasonal flowers were available a few weeks before they appear be in your garden - I love that feeling of anticipation they create. 

But from a more practical perspective, the best thing with seasonality is that the blooms are in prime condition and absolutely at their best quality.  Like anyone, Florists hate working with substandard materials.  It's a real joy to work with Brides who have chosen their flowers according to whats around when they're getting married - a Florist's biggest nightmare is ordering tulips in September or Peonies in April - they are available, but only just! The problem is, that although you pay a whacking premium for them, you truly have no control over the quality and usually the blooms which arrive are much smaller, tighter and ultimately just a bit disappointing for everyone. 

Any florists out there reading this will know that horrible feeling of deflation you get when you've placed a special order for a wedding and the flowers that arrive are just not of the quality you want to work with.  Take my advice, if you absolutely have to have Dahlia, then get married in late Summer!

The other added bonus, from a customers point of view, is that if you buy seasonal flowers at the height of their availability, they can be inexpensive and incredibly good value! Buying or ordering in this way can make you some very real savings on your wedding or event.

Finally, being someone who feels that our industry needs to take a serious look at the environmental issues surrounding it, buying in season can only be of benefit.

So, in case you missed my one of my real wedding blogs this month  - here are a few designs I've made recently which feature tulips and hyacinths - both of these flowers have been around since before Christmas and are now available in abundance.

The perfect choice for a January Bride!

If you used seasonal flowers for a wedding or special event and would like to be a part of this regular feature, please do get in touch - I'd love to hear from you.


Photo credit:-

Jennifer Booth

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Vintage Goodies - A few of my Favourite Things

A couple of months ago, when I was first setting up this new venture, I got into a discussion on facebook about whether or not  'Vintage' had had it's day. Someone had been unkind about how everyone had bought into it and how foolish they would feel once it was out of fashion.

I took a fairly pragmatic view and replied that surely what was important was the concept behind Vintage that, during socially challenging times, we naturally feel the need to escape and take a somewhat romantic and nostalgic return to the past by focusing on what made that era special.  During hardship, isn't it natural to want to concentrate on beauty, fashion and ephemera and if it happens to be old, does it matter?

What I do love about the vintage ethos is the aspect of recycling, reusing and cutting down waste and how a new found community spirit has led to the exchanging and sharing of experiences and knowledge. There is nothing I like the 'homemade' aspect of writing a tutorial.

Having said all of this, I am not, and never shall be prescriptive.  I don't think Vintage is the only option. I feel very strongly that Brides should feel free to choose what they want and not be swayed by whats currently 'on trend'. If Gerbera make you happy, then have them. Flowers are beautiful, Vintage is beautful, but I don't think that's all there is.

Don't get me wrong - I have always been a terrible fashion victim, but I have been around long enough to recognise that trends are cyclical.  I have in my time 'distressed' almost anything that didn't move, only to store it all away once minimal became 'de rigeur'!

My own home is now a rather comfortable, if, ever so slightly tatty, (two kids and far too many parties later) eclectic combination of pieces from literally all periods of history ranging from Georgian through to current Ikea & Next! Is that Vintage? Well, yes and no! What's more important, is, its personal.

Anyway, so here's the point of all this ranting! I thought I'd start a new regular feature on the blog entitled 'My Favourite Things' which shows vintage items that I, and guest bloggers, have around in our possession - and the story behind them.

So, here's mine ...

I have a set of tiny cups and saucers which my Mother gave me a few years ago, which I absolutely adore.  There are six cups (two which are really badly cracked) and only four saucers and close up they have seriously seen better days and so really wouldn't warrant queueing up at The Antiques Roadshow! But I love them. Possibly  because of their condition, and possibly more so because of the story my Mum told me. 

During the 50's she worked in Oxford Street and had in a flat in Shepherds Bush.  Upstairs lived an elderly Jewish couple who had fled and survived the Holocaust.  My Mum used to do them small favours like get shopping, fetch things and generally help in a neighbourly way.  In return the lady taught my Mum to make the best Matzo balls and gave her these cups and saucers.  I have no idea of  the couples name, where they came from originally, or what they went through - but the tea set came with them.  And that somehow seems magical.

To be honest, I don't use the set as its now so fragile and its so tiny, I'm not even sure that it was meant to be used. It might just be ornamental - or a dolls tea set for a really wealthy family! I think, apart from its obvious intrinsic beauty, its the mystery that I love above this set.

So, what about you?  Thats my story, whats yours? I'd love it if you could tell me about your favourite vintage pieces, how you came by them and what they mean to you.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

DIY Weddings - A simple buttonhole tutorial

Level                                                                                                                                     Easy

As part of her new, regular Sunday Service feature, I was really delighted to be asked to guest blog for the lovely Anne Marie at 

So, here’s my really simple tutorial which you can make with almost any materials and doesn’t require any fiddling around with wiring and taping techniques, which can be a bit tricky.  The materials I’ve used are really long lasting, scented and incredibly inexpensive.

I’ve used:

2 x crespedia
1 x small stem of eucalyptus parvifolia
6-8 stems of dried lavender

You will also need:

Something to tie with
Ribbon of your choice

Get everything you need out ready on your work area
 Select a couple of nice looking sprigs of eucalyptus and clean off the lower leaves and do the same with your other materials. 

Combine the different textures and try to put materials opposite each other – I’ve used the lavender at the back of the design for height, put eucalyptus to the right and the crespedia to the left.  To balance the design, I then added more lavender in sprigs throughout.

Tie off the design really tightly so that the stems won’t move around and finish off the design by covering your binding point with a ribbon of your choice.

Cut the excess stems off to a nice clean point and you’re done! A lovely simple, well-made buttonhole.

I hope you enjoy making this - let me know how you get on!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Samira & Martin's Wedding - A Clubber's Paradise

Last year I was lucky enough to be asked to design the flowers for Samira & Martin's wedding at the beautiful Hargate Hall in Derbyshire.  The theme, in terms of colour palette was to be rich dark purples, plums and silver, with lots of twinkly fairy lights and sparkles.  As two ardent clubbers, one of the most important aspects of the day would be the line-up of DJs guesting throughout the night!

The couple had chosen Hargate Hall, set in the stunning Peak District National Park as the perfect venue for their day.  Set in sumptuous rolling grounds, The Hall itself contains self-contained apartments, beautiful communial rooms, a stunning staircase with balcony and an enormous permanent marquee in the gardens. Perfect for an extended weekend of partying, barbeques and compulsory chilling!

Samira wanted a really glamorous shower bouquet to stand out against her beautiful Maggie Sottero dress, and adores exotic flowers such as orchids and zantedeschia lilies.   I used stunning Vanda orchids, purple and violet double and single lisianthus, 'Sweet Intoxication' Roses and scented lilac double freesia together with 'Black Magic' calla lilies and eucalyptus parvifolia to create the lovely flowing shape to her bouquet. I also incorporated bear grass sprayed silver into Samira's bouquet to link in with her overall colour theme, with crystal beads to reflect the beading detail in Samira's dress.

The adult Bridesmaids carried hand tied posies using almost the same materials as the bride - stunning Vanda orchids, double and single lisianthus in various shades of purple, Roses with crystal beads and scented lilac double freesia.

The groom wore a buttonhole of two double purple lisianthus, with eucalyptus parvifolia and crystal beads.  The guests and ushers all wore single purple lisanthus and eucalyptus parvifolia.

I also made a long and low flowing arrangement for the ceremony table and a mantelpiece arrangement for the ceremony room, both of which had lots of impact, cascading naturally. I decorated the backs of the chairs with simple hand tied bunches using the same materials.  For the tables in the marquee, Samira chose Phaleonopsis Orchids in goldfish bowls for simple elegance.


The Clubland table placements

The Father of the Bride's speech was not only rapped throughout, but asked for (and got!) audience participation!

How many Bride's can say their Dad, Mum and sister all  DJ'ayed at their wedding?! The evening was a clubbers paradise with guest spots by DJ's from as far away as Australia keeping the party going all the way through till daybreak.

I just love weddings that really reflect the Bride and Groom's personality, and this one was so much fun to be involved with, the materials I worked with were a joy - as were the lovely couple.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Campbell's Flowers - The Way Forward

So, after it taking me a bit longer to set up my on-line presence and lot longer 'tweeking' than I anticipated, I'm beginning to get to grips with the likes (and links!) encountered whilst developing websites, business facebook pages, tweeting and not to mention blogging!

I've realised a few fundamentals, namely:-

- You can't learn and implement it all immediately (especially not when you've got floristry orders to be getting on with!)

- In any situation it's best to learn incrementally - and social media is no exception

- There are some lovely people out there who are really happy to help - ask when you need it!

- MAKE A PLAN (and stick to it!)

With all that in mind, I've made a slightly belated New Year's Resolution to promise my blog readers the following:-

- Exciting new content, with regular features delivered weekly

- Collaborations with fellow bloggers

- Access to competitions

I've still got a way to go .... my facebook page isn't finished and my url needs sorting, but all-in-all I haven't done badly for a Luddite!

Here's hoping that you're as excited by my way forward as I am! Here's a hint of whats to come on the blog tomorrow .... Samira & Martin's "Clubbers Paradise" wedding at Hargate Hall. 

Hope you've all had a fantastic weekend