Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Little Flower School | I Went There

Warning: This is a novel.

A few months ago I squealed about an opportunity I snagged on a whim. A few weeks ago that experience finally came to pass: attending the Little Flower School in LA, taught by Sarah of Saipua and Nicolette of Nicolette Camille. If you aren’t familiar with the work of these crazy-talented floral designers, well, get on it. (Don’t worry, I'll understand if you get lost in their world).

Back in December, they mentioned on their blogs the possibility of bringing their floral classes to the west coast. Me, being the excited and anxious type, followed my reader like a hawk in hopes of any new updates. Then, on one of those days when I hadn’t checked my reader all day, when I finally logged on late in the day I saw the classes listed--but there were only 2 spots left. Oh snap. After snagging said spot, i could hardly contain my excitement. I’ve been interested in floral design for a while now but searching for floral design classes in LA has been a cumbersome task to say the least. When I finally found a class series that seemed promising it turned out to be a such a disappointment that I was a little turned off from taking another floral class.

I’ve been following the Little Flower School’s blog for a long time and had always hoped to get a chance to attend one of their classes in Brooklyn. However, as the date got closer, that excitement turned into fear.

Yes, I’m not kidding. I was intimidated. Their work is crazy beautiful. Earthy and organic and wildly perfect. I am novice, a wannabe; one who gets intimidated using foliage because, well, that takes skill to keep the arrangement from looking like an overgrown shrub. Did I mention that I'm also horribly shy? I mean, what if I sucked? What if this crazy dream I've had was merely an escape from my current world?

Then I went to the class, utterly nervous. But after having a glass of champagne, it all slowly started melting away. For real. I was greeted by warm welcomes from Sarah and Nicolette, the gracious hosts (the girls behind Ban.do and their pretties), and then by these pretties:

The women in attendance were a friendly bunch, some of whom came as far as San Diego--to a class held in LA during rush hour traffic. People, that is dedication. There were refreshments, chit-chat, a floral overview, New Order, and a chance to watch the masters at work. Then we got to work. No arrangement looked the same.

During this class, I learned a few things.

:: Get myself out of my shell and remember what happens when I do.

:: See the beauty in even the most unlikely things. Carnations? Who knew?

:: Stop second guessing myself (within moderation of course). If I hadn’t seized the opportunity to attend this class, well, I wouldn’t be feeling like this.

Three weeks later, I am still incredibly inspired. I hate to use "inspired" because it’s slowly turned into one of those words that gets used to the point of meaninglessness. I’ve resumed my weekly trips to the flower-mart, choosing items that I normally wouldn’t (and trying to resist the urge to get the same flowers from my last visit, no matter how intoxicating they look) to make me get out of my comfort zone. I'm trying new vessels that aren’t the normal go-to, keeping at it even if the arrangement isn’t to my particular liking. And if it's not exactly what I'd hoped, I'm making sure to document why so that I can improve and grow. And last but certainly not least: practice, study, and practice some more.

I feel like a student again, only this time I actually like my subject matter and I wasn’t forced to choose it nor have I settled on it. In fact, I’m almost done reading Flower Confidential (never in my life did I think I would find the star gazer lily fascinating but it’s story really is).

In short, this class was more than just a flower arranging class it reignited the dream I thought was fleeting. It reminded me that floral arranging is pretty personal and the style and look is in the eye of the beholder. So for those that are ever near Brooklyn or if the Little Flower School happens to bring their little lesson plan somewhere near you, don’t hesitate to take the class. I know if the opportunity again presents itself, I would sign up in a heart beat.

While I can see there are some areas of improvement to be had, I still really like my arrangement. I just wish I had taken better pictures of it.
Ranunculus, tulips, sweet pea, eucalyptus, anemomes, Japanese andromeda, crabapple, carnations plus the kitchen sink


Mrs. Hot Cocoa said...

I am beyond jealous: I love Saipua. And your arrangement is whimsical, lush, and gorgeous -- very Ariella Chezar. I think you should go into business!

lizzie said...

SO jealous! what in the world! your creation is like...way beautiful.