Spring Flower Fling – Roanoke, VA

This post is coming a week late as I spent several days last week rescuing the blog. I know just enough about blogging and web design to be dangerous and that includes clicking on updates for things when I don’t really know that they are necessary.  Is the update compatible with my plugins and my widgets?… Can you not see anything in your dashboard?… um, what? This is pretty much what I looked liked like last week…

frustrated

One wrong click and the entire back end of my blog went BYE BYE! Talk about panic!!! Thankfully there are some great technical folks over at GoDaddy.com and they were able to restore it for me in record time. That’s the last time I click on anything!

On to flowers…..

I spent Easter weekend in my hometown of Roanoke, Virginia and I hosted a lovely afternoon with some friends and family showing them how to make a spring centerpiece for their holiday tables. We had beautiful spring flowers in shades of yellow, organge and peach and the weather was just perfect for the outdoor event.  The clubhouse in my mom’s neighborhood has the perfect back deck for hosting an event like this. There was plenty of space for everyone to spread out and make a mess!

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There were plenty of little goodies for everyone to snack on including my favorite “peek-a-boo” pound cake. This one had a multi-colored butterfly inside.  We had cheese slaw, chocolate covered strawberries colored orange like carrots, homemade chicken salad and more.

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_MG_5021The ladies are hard at work on their centerpieces.

_MG_5027Lindsay graduates from dental school next month and she’s thinking working on teeth is much easier than artfully arranging flowers… I would disagree!

_MG_5023I had some wonderful friends from the church were I grew up who attended the workshop. They really had a great time.  I think they’ve all decided to take turns doing the weekly church flowers!

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_MG_5025The flowers included daffodils, peach and yellow finesse roses, peach hypericum berries, sterling range, peach and yellow parrot tulips and spray roses.

photo 4Courtney and Billie Sue working their magic for their Easter centerpieces.

_MG_5028My mom and sister-in-law were hard at work using some of the skills they learned at last year’s Pretty Pumpkin event in Maryland!
_MG_5024Kelly found some pretty white lilac to incorporate in her centerpiece. I think she was sad we weren’t make bows like we did at the Christmas Wreath event in Richmond!

Wanda's Toms CollageWanda was sporting her floral Toms shoes for the event. How fun are they? So appropriate for the workshop!!
_MG_5032Here is Wanda with her friend Anne. These ladies did a wonderful job with their centerpieces!

_MG_5033Barbara brought her sister-in-law along who was visiting Roanoke for Easter weekend. I love how different everyone’s arrangements turned out.

IMG_5036My mom and sister-in-law Margaret showing off their beautiful designs. These two are getting quite good at this!

_MG_5010What party is complete without a little favor? Each attendee took home a little gift of some gardening gloves and a packet of zinnias. I hope they all find their way outside this spring to plant some flowers in their own yards!

IMG_5034What a beautiful group of ladies and centerpieces!  Thank you all for joining me over the holiday weekend and I hope you and your families enjoyed the flowers. I love sharing my passion for flowers with other people.  I hope to do another workshop in Roanoke again soon for those that couldn’t make it last weekend.  A special thank you to my mom for helping me cook and prep everything for the event. Could not have done it without you!

-AJ

Bouquets in Chairs

I love a good bouquet in a chair photo. I don’t know what it is but there is something so simple about a gorgeous bridal bouquet resting softly on a chair. Whether it is a rustic wooden chair, a metal garden stool, a velvet wing back, or an Adirondack on a beach, I love them all!  I had the opportunity to have a lovely spring bouquet photographed by my good friend and photographer Maggie of Birds of a Feather Photography this past Sunday.
Lucky for me she had the perfect shade of yellow and blue velvet chairs in her studio that really made this bouquet POP! The bouquet stems were wrapped in a striking plaid dupioni silk ribbon from Midori Ribbon.  It is interesting to see how the color palette works against the buttery yellow arm chair as well as with the deep, rich, velvety, blue chair. Envision the chairs as bridesmaids dresses or table linens at the reception. The flowers really work well with either color.

spring bouquet, yellow orange white bridal bouquet, yellow parrot tulips, midori ribbon

spring bouquet, yellow orange white bridal bouquet, yellow parrot tulips, midori ribbon Here is another one of my favorite bouquets photographed in an elegant tufted chair. The image was taken by the talented Stacey Windsor Photography for our recent winter styled shoot.

Greenwell State park wedding, red peach grey bridal bouquet,

Bouquets in chairs are one of my favorite detail shots from a wedding day and I love when photographers take the time to style it and really show it off.  It is best to photograph the bouquets at the beginning of the day before it gets too beat up from movement and being out of water for the ceremony and reception. Brides should ask their florist to deliver the bouquet early enough so the photographer can get these special detailed shots.  Here are some other amazing bouquets in chairs that I found online.

alluring bloomsMy friend Amanda from Alluring Blooms in Madison, Wisconsin knows how to work her camera and she gets some great images of her work.  I love this one on a rustic wood chair. Check out that orange/peach anenome!

FloralAbany Bauer Styling and Flowers & Heather Payne Fine Art Photography

green chair resized

Dragonfly Nursery & Vivian Sachs Photo

jodi miller photoJanie Medley Flora Design  &   Jodi Miller photography

joel hannigan photo

Lush Florals and Events  &  Joel Hannigan Photography

Rebecca Shepherd Floral

Rebecca Shepherd Floral Design & Elisabeth Millay Photo

Red-ChairMyrtie Blue

rosehip social

Rosehip Social
stewart imageryStewart Imagery
twig and twine IITwig & Twine

twig and twine

Twig & Twine

Kacie Cooper Floral designKacey Cooper Floral Design & AM Photography

-AJ

Poisson d’Avril

APRIL FOOL’S 

Poisson_d'avril

This post has nothing to do with flowers but I thought it might be fun to share a fun fact that I learned while living in Paris in the spring of 1999.  As my semester abroad program was coming to an end we experienced the childish fun that goes on in France on April 1st. It’s referred to at “poisson d’avril” which literally translates to “the fish of April”.  French school children tape a paper fish cutout to the back of an unsuspecting friend or teacher. When the person finally discovers they have a fish on their back they are declared “poisson d’avril”  Super funny right?  I guess the French think so…

fish on kid

I also remember the French Mother of the family I lived with telling a story about some pranksters leaving a dead fish in a laundry basket on “poisson d’avril”.  That is much funnier than the paper fish prank! Can you imagine the stench?

I came across another explanation from The French Travel Guide.com for how this day originated:

“Although the origins of April Fools is obscure and debated, the most widely accepted explanation actually credits the “holiday” as starting in France. The most popular theory about the origin of April Fool’s Day involves the French calendar reform of the sixteenth century.

The theory goes like this: In 1564 King Charles XIV of France reformed the calendar, moving the start of the year from the end of March to January 1. However, in a time without trains, a reliable post system or the internet, news often traveled slow and the uneducated, lower class people in rural France were the last to hear of and accept the new calendar. Those who failed to keep up with the change or who stubbornly clung to the old calendar system and continued to celebrate the New Year during the week that fell between March 25th and April 1st, had jokes played on them. Pranksters would surreptitiously stick paper fish to their backs. The victims of this prank were thus called Poisson d’Avril, or April Fish—which, to this day, remains the French term for April Fools—and so the tradition was born.

While it is not clear of the origins of fish being associated with April 1, many think the correlation is related to zodiac sign of Pisces (a fish), which falls near April.”

I loved pulling pranks on April Fool’s Day.  I remember putting ice cubes in my dad’s shoes one morning so his feet would get wet when he went to put them on.  Realizing now how much I spend on shoes I’m surprised my dad didn’t lock me in my room for a week for that little prank.  He got me back another year when he woke my brother and I up for school in a flurry making us think we were late.  He said the the bus was coming down the street and we needed to grab our stuff and run down the driveway to catch it.  We made it to end of the driveway and stood there for a good 5-10 minutes before we realized there was no bus. We were actually about 30 minutes early.  We turned around to find him standing at the front door waving and laughing and yelling “APRIL FOOL’S !!”   That was a good one…

My best April Fool’s day prank had to be in 2003. It was almost a year after I had left New York City and was living and working in Alexandria.  I sent out an email to my friends and family announcing that I had made a mistake in moving and decided to return to New York City.  I had a myriad of reasons for why I needed to give New York another chance and that I appreciated everyone’s help and support over the past year in helping me adjust to Alexandria.  I received the most touching and heartfelt responses from so many people who truly believed I was moving back to New York. I even sent it to my roommate who was probably flipping out thinking she would need to find a new roommate or move again herself (sorry Shana !!!)  I look back on that prank and that was a pretty cruel thing to do to my friends and family. I really had them going!  After a few hours of shocked phone calls and emails I decided to let them know it was an April Fool’s prank. In the end we all had a good laugh and I didn’t move back to New York. :)

Happy April Fool’s Day to you and I hope you don’t fall victim to anyone’s cruel pranks! You wouldn’t want to the be the ” the fish of April”…

-AJ