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

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pretty Packaging from Knot & Bow

Some time last year, my sister asked me to send her a care package of her favorite cookies. I obliged. It only took me forever and a day to do so.

A few weeks ago, she asked me for another package. This time I would like to make up for the delay by surprising her with some other treats and all presented in a pretty package. Naturally, culling an assortment of packaging supplies would only impede the arrival of the little treats. As luck would have it Knot & Bow already has it covered.

The Classics Gifting Kit by Knot & Bow via their shop

This is enormously convenient and pretty. Maybe I’ll have Mr. J do the wrapping. Seriously, the man can wrap like a pro.

Monday, March 28, 2011

It's Not Wednesday But...

Today doesn’t really feel like a Monday. I can’t quite place my finger on why that is. With the exception of a serious hiccup on Saturday, the weekend included time with the Mister, consuming a strong and tasty margarita (yes, that thing deserves a mention), lingering in bed a little longer (but not because of the margarita), making a delicious dinner off the cuff and falling in love with white lilac.

white lilac, spray roses, carnations, wax flower, ranunculus

What a simple but beautiful flower. I know that the ubiquitous purple (hello lilac) variety gets more love but I found the white color irresistible at the flower mart. It’s now been added to my future home garden along with a hydrangea, roses (just like the ones my late Grandmother grew), and camellias.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Friday!

I am so ready for this weekend. I have a strong desire to not only complete some lingering tasks but to also create (and follow through) a meal plan for next week. It's funny how one tasty dinner can give one the illusion that they are Ina Garten (after all it was one of her recipes).

Also, thanks to Snippet & Ink's weekend links for this week, I was reminded to finally bite the bullet and get on to posting a little write up I did for a class that was very lucky to attend over two weeks ago. Here's a hint from the class:

I held off on posting my experience because my pictures are pretty bad. I didn't even take a decent picture of my assignment. However, I simply adored the experience and decided to not let my poor camera skills hamper that. So next week look for my post on my adventure to the Little Flower School (ah well, I was too excited to keep it secret).

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"It's not the having, it's the getting."

Some quotes from a legend...

I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I'm not afraid to look behind them.

The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues.

I've only slept with men I've been married to. How many women can make that claim?

When people say, 'She's got everything', I've got one answer - I haven't had tomorrow.

During a rare occurrence in which I was watching live television, Elizabeth Taylor's perfume commercial from the early 90s(!) came on:

Nostalgia from a different era.

Quote Source: Think Exist

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pretty Random Objects

I know it's late I just had to share these adorable vases by Pretty Random Objects. Such adorableness in a clean and modern aesthetic (and cool name to boot).

All images from Pretty Random Objects

Monday, March 21, 2011

Collection: Spring 2011 by Blanco

I will be perfectly honest - it took me a long time to narrow down my favorites from Blanco’s Spring 2011 Lookbook. Stripes, skirts, cute dresses, polka-dots, red, relaxed fit... Nautical, feminine, and spring-y all at the same time. This collection is somewhat of an extension of this weekend without the rain. It’s a shame that Blanco isn't available here in the US but some how I think my bank account is grateful.

All Images from Blanco found via FGR

Thursday, March 17, 2011

For Japan With Love

The news coming from Japan is jarring not just due to the wrath of a natural disaster but also its perilous aftermath. Now there are man-made effects that are holding a wounding populace hostage both literally and figuratively.

When in the face of disaster of such magnitude, it’s easy to think that what little help we can offer will not make a difference but For Japan With Love is proving that thought wrong. This beautiful benefit (that I found by way of Lizzie at Love Your Way) was started by Utterly Engaged and Ever Ours in an effort to raise money going towards the charity, Shelter Box, a nonprofit that provides emergency shelter and supplies for those in need. If you can, please make a donation. They are also holding a Bloggers’ Day of Silence to take place tomorrow, March 18th. I too will be participating, so this blog will be silent.

One of fabrics of Japanese culture that I have been fascinated with since high school has been the emphasis on teamwork in an effort for the greater good. One of the most harrowing yet inspiring stories from Japan is that of the men at the Fukushima nuclear plant who are currently risking their lives to save those of their countrymen and women from imminent danger. This story is a bittersweet reminder of what can happen when we band together.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Image by The Cherry Blossom Girl, please see the rest of her beautiful photos from Japan

As someone who follows the news everyday, I try to keep this blog as my little haven from the dire situations surrounding us. However, with all the devastation going on in the world today (not to mention the terrible responses that they generate), I can't help but be reminded to appreciate the present, plan for the future but never forget the past. Life can be all too wistful.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy Weekend

Truth be told: I’m checking out early for the weekend. It’s not due to anything bad, on the contrary. I’m experience an amazing high right now, one which is making it virtually impossible for me to focus on work right now.

I want to take time to fully digest the experience, utilizing the new discoveries, tips and direction it has given me and move forward in the right direction, no matter where that path leads. So with that (and this beautiful editorial that makes me want to visit the beach preferably Santa Barbara), I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. See you Monday!

Liberty featuring Mathile Frachon by David Bellemere for Marie Claira Italia March 2010 via Studded Hearts and Souvenirs

Monday, March 7, 2011

Spring Looks from ASOS

This is a great example of why I have yet to order anything from ASOS: I can't make up my mind. Armed with a little bit (or a whole lot) of everything at varying price points, ASOS can be deadly.

I suddenly have a hankering for flouncy skirts....
L-R: ASOS Tailored Pleat Front Ponti Fit And Flare Skirt, Boutique by Jaeger Skirt in Polka Dot Flower Print, and ASOS Midi Tailored Belted Ponti Fit and Flare Skirt

Sweet dresses...
L-R: ASOS '50s Knitted Dress in coffee, River Island '50s Check Dress, and ASOS Floral Embroidered Shirt Dress

And all the little things that Spring has to offer.
L-R: ASOS Midi Pleated Knitted Skirt, ASOS Spot Print Shirt Playsuit, ASOS String Waisted Midi Dress, and Nishe Scalloped Trim Blazer

Luckily, I'm on a self-imposed clothing purchase hiatus. I guess a pair of shoes will have to do.
ASOS Lottie Stud Ballerina

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Calypso Rugs | At Home

I've had Calypso St. Barth in my bookmarks for clothing/travel inspiration for ages but never took look at their home section. I was pleasantly surprised to find some of Calypso's offerings especially in their rug collection featuring basic prints in colors ranging from neutral to bold. While I'm not afraid color, it's nice to see some simple and easy options for the home that won't limit your decor options. Here are some of my favorites:

L-R: Kuba Jaipuri in Jadeite and Tile Jaipuri in Aubergine

L-R: Cochin Dhurrie in Flax and Hampton Lattice

Zig Zag Jaipuri in colors L-R: Indigo, Flax and Jadeite

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Two Things...

1. I would like to add these milk bottles by Alyssa Ettinger to my floral vessel arsenal.

Antique Replica Porcelain Milk Bottles by Alyssa Ettinger
2. This tea towel by Dear Colleen would never get any use for all the obvious reasons.

Dishes I'd Rather Be Doing by Dear Colleen

While the 14 year-old girl in me still has a soft spot for Colin Firth and his portrayal of Mr. Darcy, I can’t help but wonder how Alan Rickman’s likeness is not on this tea towel. Colonel Brandon, come on!

Image is a long saved relic

P.S. My husband is aware of all this and he teases me for it.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Small Notes on a Fresh Start + Erin Fetherston Fall 2011

Happy first day of the month! I am so excited that March is finally here. Although this past weekend started off with some heavy rain, the following day the air was crisp and the weather was gorgeous -- the perfect segue before the new month.

Besides the obvious warmer weather, spring brings better movie selections, pretty flowers, some much needed cleaning, and just an overall lighter fare. One of my ongoing tasks is purging my closet of items that either no longer fit me physically or aesthetically. It’s something that I’ve been meaning to do ever since my move last year. Like Goldenmeans, I’ve been re-examining what I really need as to oppose to what I want in my closet and what I need is more interchangeable items with simple and clean lines with a feminine touch. What can I say? Clothing is one of the few avenues that I showcase my heavily-feminine tastes.

Erin Fetherston's Fall 2011 collection exhibits the type of aesthetic I hope to incorporate throughout the year. Fresh, comfortable, simple, and still pretty. It's all part of a new start.

Erin Fetherston Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear via Style.com