Friday, July 31, 2009

AIFD Symposium{the show flowers}

You guys must be tired of seeing AIFD posts, but guess what? I have one, more!
Well, aside from this one. I just couldn't fit them all in. I still get excited about flowers and take a gazillion pictures:)

All fresh fruit. I get "fancy" with melon balls once in a while but this is madness!
They actually carved a rose out of melons.

Fruit, but in a different way. This is part of Lisa and Jenny's, one of my instructors at school, presentation on being Green. They used this paper product from home depot that looks like burlap or something and fresh apples, succulents and moss. Total organic, green feel.

If this looks familiar, it's because Jenny made the urn in March for Bouquet to Arts and it has been living as a succulent urn at school since then.

You know I *love* this structure of PVC pipes and flowers, right?

This floral door looked big on stage but in real life the bird they made out of Flowers was enormous! The birds(swan/goose?) beak was made out hypericum berries, its feathers were made out lily petals, and the head out of white button mums.

This was a pillar of calla lillies and anthurium.
The structure was quite fascinating and made me think of Daniel Ost.

Holy Epergne!

Lime and Lavender flowers looks so wonderful and unexpected to me for the holidays and I love the Holiday decor for the door. An updated take on the wreath.

What can I say, I love pave?
This was a huge floral arrangement made out of Phalaenopsis orchids, super green roses, jade roses, and green dianthus. Loved it and can totally see it being used at a wedding ceremony.
The little pink and coral number next to it is pretty hot too.

This is the one that took my heart.
It was a wall piece that was made with folded ti leaves
(everyone who has been around me when I get ti leaves knows I love to twirl then and fold them to different shapes, so this made my heart smile).
They used the bunched ti leaves to hide the water tubes that held up the orchids.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lavender Bride{ The Ceremony}

{Lavender Bride}

The venue was in Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California.

The campus is gorgeous and I was pulling in to the driveway I noticed 3 large dogs on the side of the road and I thought rather cynically to myself,
What the..? Moraga has dough, why would they have random dogs out? Furthermore, who's cleaning their poop?
So San Francisco of me I know.
Imagine my surprise(and delight) when I rolled up three deer(doe?) and my Ughh. turned into Awwww...Bambi!
I had to commemorate with a picture,naturally.

I arrived before the wedding party so while I waited I chatted with the videographer, who's name escapes me(sorry!) and we both took pictures of the flowers while we waited.
The flower girls had a beautiful color purple dress so I made these flower baskets for them using lavender sweet peas, mauve spray roses, mauve statice, lavender roses, white spray roses, purple stock, and seeded eucalyptus.

Here is one of the Reader and singer corsages.
Mojika Cream Spray Roses with seeded euc.

Here is the usher boutonnieres.
A single Ocean Song rose with a little bit of the seeded Eucalyptus.

This color purple always seems to give me a bit of grief.
Color really is subjective to the interpretation of the beholder.
I order Blue Curiosas, for this wedding, and the grower told me not available, we can get Blue Bird roses telling me it was scary close to it in color. So I was happy with it, well the day before he called and said we were sent Cool Waters so when I got there my stomach sank as I realized the color was way to Mauve for me. So I ran around the market and finally got my hands on these Ocean Songs which were the perfect color. A true lavender.
So all you purple brides out there that want to have purple or lavender flowers for your wedding, remember: Ocean Song roses are your best bet.

The bridal bouquet was composed of lavender Ocean Song roses, lavender sweet peas, and white stephanotis with peal head accents.

As the bride made her way into the bridal waiting room, I set up the flowers for the wedding party. I love to see the flowers all lined up ready to go.
I always feel like a proud mother knowing that these flowers that I worked hard and lovingly on will go out and accent the beautiful bridesmaids and bride on a very special day.

While they got ready, I went outside to pin on corsages and boutonnieres.

Are these not the cutest Ring bearers ever?
Waiting diligently in the same spot right in front of the church doors.

I came back in to catch one of the bridesmaids taking a picture of flower girl baskets. :)


I thought it was so appropriate that the Bride would have a chalk board in her waiting room because she is a school teacher!

Last but not least was the bride just before it was time for me to go and her time to step into her gorgeous dress.

The last thing she said to me was that she knew she wanted stephanotis and rose but that when she imagined her wedding day flowers it was nothing like this.
My heart did a flip flop.
She said it was better and so much more than she could have imagined and she hugged me and said Thank you I'm so glad you made my flowers!

oh god.
I almost cried.
The only floral designer in town that even thinks of crying when she gets a compliment.
I was on a high and i felt incredibly lucky to have helped C&E out on their big day.
She was so happy and he was so excited to see her that I left thinking to myself.
What a nice couple, I bet they will have a ton of babies and have great big parties with a lot of family and friends always. *sigh* I couldn't wait to get home to see my husband suddenly.

{ They lived happily ever after...}

Monday, July 27, 2009

Floral Couture {Delicious Eye Candy Anyone?}

So I am jumping all over the place, I know , I know.
I haven't finished on my Euro Bouquets, I haven't' posted my lavender wedding and I am dying to share with you my two latest obsessions. But I am bursting with a need to be creative. My juices will be all dried up because I start school back up in three short weeks, and I am feeling like I am running out of time to get all my summer"projects" started.
Obsession One: Floral Dress

I am in love and have been obsessed since Bouquet to Arts in making another dress.
Here is the dress I made out of flowers. Silver tree, cymbidium orchids, ti leaves, flax, and melveccia vine for the birdcage veil.
Someone suggested to me I should get into making floral wedding dresses and in that one night they planted a seed in my head.

I have been playing around with the idea for the last four months and I walked into Ross the other day looking for something and I came across this. Sure, I lied to myself and bought it to hold my earrings...yeah right. My mind was spinning with making miniature dresses.

I had to have it.
It has been sitting in my kitchen for the past week calling my name.
Then I started thinking of all the designers I researched along with the Yves St. Laurent catalog when I was making the dress and the nagging thought that I should make a dress came back.
So I wanted to share with you some pictures and artist that have been inspiring me.

Franz Grabe out of South Africa is bananas.

Nicole Dextras via the Orchard Studio. If you are a flower whore like I am you will love her blog.
Best. Eye Candy. Pictures. Ever.

Alexander McQueen is a savage.


So then I thought about all the beautiful couture dresses made out of recycled items; magazines, coffee filters, newspapers, rubber name it, chances are someone out there made one.

Or how about a dress made out of say, condoms?
Adriana Bertini dresses out of condoms. Whoa.

The famous phonebook dress.

After seeing these pictures I feel like running to my studio and making a dress immediately.
But sadly, I need to sketch and buy flowers and all that jazz. Kinda important, right?

Obsessions Two: String Art and Armatures

Why? I can just picture the placement of flowers on a perfectly constructed armature or string art installation.

Elly Lin is a master at her work on botanical fashion. My god, have you seen her books??
Whew! I love her twig dresses and I am so surprised that I cannot find one of her dresses online but this is a taste of the magic she works with plants and flowers.

String Art via {curious g30rge}

So you can see why I interrupted my regularly scheduled program to bring you into my obsessive world of dresses right? right?

Lavender Bride

Last week I tweeted *rolling eyes* that I got stuck in my car meeting up with a bride.
Well, it was because it was drizzling and overcast, of course, in San Francisco and I left my lights on. I chatted with her more than I planned as we sat in my car because she is just the sweetest gal.
She was freaking adorable and I couldn't wait to design her lavender wedding flowers.
Sadly, my camera died Friday :(
It's the second camera I have gone through this year, I just got my new Cannon around Mothers day....
So I don't have that many pictures to share but I will go though them in a nit but I did want to shout out my Lavender Bride. She looked blissfully happy and calm on her big day.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What's in a Name

*Roll with me on this one, I have a point, we are just going to take a little trip first.

A penny for your thoughts, he said.

So here they are.

The world is holding out on me. I'm convinced.
I never knew there were yellow watermelons.

I love the farmers market. My mother used to drag me out there every Saturday and I loved it as a kid( ok, ok, it was the free samples that won me over...kinda the way I love Costco now.....)
and then I hated it as a teen. I wanted to sleep , she wanted to pick fruit and flowers.
But then when I had my daughter I suddenly needed to go back and I have been going there on my own for the past 12 years. So today I came across for the first time a yellow watermelon and I am delighted that I am still discovering things and I took it as a green light to explore more.
So naturally I came home to Google it and I cam e across this:

"When using the open palm technique for ripeness, avoid melons with a high-pitched tone or a dead, thudding sound. "{source}
I don't even know what this means.
I'm tone deaf so maybe this is why I can't pick a melon to save my life.

We had a brand new baby born on Monday.
A 9.3 lbs. baby boy!

It got me to thinking that my own little boy is growing up so fast.
I am starting to shop for preschools.
So then I got to thinking that I adore baby toes and baby fingers and chances are, my son Kuba, who is such a ham, is probably going to be my last and he is getting so big. Well, he started out that way, he was 10lbs. when he was born, his dad is 6'5 what can I say?
Am I getting the baby blues all over again?

Which brings me to my next thought.
I love my mom.
She makes things.
Out of scratch: cioppino, pies, clothes, stuff.....
It's amazing how she turned my daughter's T'shirt that is 7 years old, into a a pillow at my request!
My daughter, Gaby, wore this T-shirt way back before I even know I loved flowers as much as I do today, and I could never get rid of it. A crafty friend suggested I make it into a pillow and I thought"That's perfect!, I'll do it!" (read: My mom will make it.)

Which brings me to how I came up with Kuga.
Ku-ga is a mash-up of my kids name.
KUba and GAby.
My boy and my girl to represent the things that I love best outside of them.
The loves of my life and my flowers.
Kuga Designs.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

AIFD Symposium{Floral Vendors and Displays}

Why go to symposium when you have me to share all my pictures you are wondering? Hehe.
Although I have about 500 pictures, I only took pictures of stuff that really got ideas in my head going or that I thought were super inspiring. The other stuff, I had seen before or maybe I didn't get, so really don't trust my judgement 100%. You gotta get to a floral show, convention, symposium, competition - whenever you get a chance. it's pretty awesome.

So before I share the Euro designers I would like to share with you some great shots I got of the meet and greet mixer with sponsors and vendors that happened on day one of the AIFD symposium.

This vendor was selling glass containers and I fell in love with how simple the arrangements were but how much of an impact they made.
I think Anthuriums are so beautifully elegant.
Damn near handsome they are.

I needed to buy some of these but sadly, they weren't for sale.
They did have a catalog that I perused and they have interesting containers.

This vendor had the brightest exotic flowers EVER!
I needed to take a shot of these babies.

I especially took note at this table because the multi-colored blooms are the theme of a wedding I have in two weeks!
I had to invoke the God of self control so that I wouldn't remove the stamen of the lilies and risk offending the vendor.

I heart sunflowers in my personal life.
In my floral life, I don't really like to use them unless it's the day after Halloween and they are gone by Thanksgiving. It's just not natural to me.....
So when I saw this I was conflicted:
One the one hand" Hello! look at how great this huge piece is" WOW.
Fall Wedding or what??Hi, Indian summer Autumn in San Francisco wedding!
( ya gotta be a local to know what I'm talking about)
Then they coupled it with submerged succulents in a tall Pilsner vase? Be still my beating heart.
*love it*
On the other hand it wasn't Thanksgiving.....
In the end, beauty was the victor and I snapped a few shots :)

I adore Manzanita trees, and this huge mammoth of a floral installation took my breath away. I was all up in their mechanics trying to figure out how they suspended the floral disk in between all the branches.

I could never cut down a lily this low, but isn't this kinda cool looking?

This Modern Purple Ikebana inspired table killed me. I wanted to scream with delight but was scared to upset the vendor.They wouldn't understand that I am unable to express happiness in words so I have to be violent and primal about it...yes. issues.

This last one caught my eye because it was a silk...oh sorry...PERMANENT BOTANICAL....(ooh I'm snarky today!)...and normally I will walk past it but I had to touch them to make sure they were fake, and then I had to confirm it in a hush hush whisper to my friend" is this...fake?" She nodded knowingly.
So a picture I took to remind myself not to be a floral snob.

Love the apothecary jars with the Flowers inside.