Sunday, 29 March 2009

Making Boutonniere...

Making Rose boutonniere is probably the easiest out of all other flower boutonnieres... Why? There are couple reasons. First, the stem is hard and strong comparing to other flowers. Second, the flower bud is durable and hard to crush. Third, when the rose opens (if it does opens... sometimes it doesn't open at all), it opens up to a big bloom. Other reasons such as it's easy to wire and tape without being worried about killing it by pressing too hard. And it won't have a sad look too easily if its out of water for a while. And it's available and affordable.
Cymbidium orchid is the best flower to make boutonniere since it will last for a long time without water. However, it's really take a long time to make it into a boutonniere, plus the price for cymbids are not cheap. And oftentimes the flower will turn brown easily if petal get damaged... (cannot peal it off like rose...)
Dendrobium orchids are good choice of boutonniere making. But they are also very delicate and take time to wire carefully. But they also last long too.
I got many customer want stargazer or Casablanca lilies for boutonniere or corsage... It usually gave me headache when I heard it... They are just too fragile to wear as boutonniere or corsage... The 5 petals may only have 1 petal left at the end of the party if you are lucky... I ususally ask them to change their mind...
Gerbera daisies are beautiful to make corsage or boutonniere. But using a water tube to hold the moisture may be a good idea if it's going to be hot at the party. Alternative way will be wiring the Gerbera Daisy stem with wet cotton sealed with foil or cello. Because once the Gerbera daisy is dehydrated, it will give you a very sad look...
Carnation and daisy are OK too. They are very affordable in terms of the price; but with the same amount of labour like making rose boutonniere, florist would rather sell the rose boutonniere than a carnation one. But for DIY lovers or junior florists who need lots of practice, these flowers are great because they are very economic.
By the way, I forgot to mention Calla Lily... It's a great choice for boutonniere but not so good for corsage... Anyway, it will be next time's topic =)

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Corsage Demo

I just found out that it can take up whole day just to make one web page... I was trying to write a step-by-step demonstration showing how to make a corsage / boutonniere using a carnation and baby's breathe. A little corsage has involved a lot of steps. Lots of wiring, taping and labor work. Often time when the prom or wedding season comes, when customer are there to bargain the prices for these corsages and boutonnieres, they never thought how much work and effort each corsage or boutonniere has involved. Discount should only applied to those manufactured goods, not on the hand-craft goods with fresh flowers. I mean when you try to sell a carnation corsage for $6, how much discount can you give for the time and labour you gave in? Sometimes when the customer is not happy about the price, I will suggest them to buy the loose flowers to make the corsage/boutonniere/bouquets themselves. They will save money by half; and also learn to do it yourself. Then they may appreciate the $6 they will pay for the finished carnation corsage from a florist.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Got Bugged...

It's very inconvenient that I have to reformat my computer and reinstall it again...
Although I'd backup everything ie. files, pictures, programs to install, I still don't like to reinstall it unless it's really necessary... I'm not a super tech person. Usually the process will take me about 3-5 days to get my computer back to normal state. Thanks to my brother's ghost program so that I don't have to take a month to figure out how to reformat the computer... Soon after I reinstalled my computer, I finally got my anti-virus program in... Hope this will last me for a while before I bust it again... Thanks for all the troubles contributed from all the unknown bugged files downloaded from the universe of Internet... I feel that the matrix world is very similar to the universe we have in real... One is digital; and one is material... Once the two world connect together, it's hard to break it apart anymore. I cannot imagine how much people rely on digital; and one day if there's a big black out or end of the world kind of thing happens to mankind, people will be forced to live a simple life... No TV, no radio, no computer, no cellphone, no electricity, no nothing... Cook from the camp fire or stove with fire wood... No work, No banking... lol I'm just thinking too much... *Day Dreaming*

Monday, 2 March 2009

Wedding in March with Roses

<-- Jumbo White Calla Lilies Handtied Bouquet with White Mesh Ribbons.

Today I got the first wedding order for end of March in 2009. Quite happy~~~ Although it's not a big order, just a couple bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages with lots of roses, at least it took me away from thinking about the slowness of the month...

For most weddings, people use roses (75%); the rest of the common flowers used are calla liles (shown in the picture), orchids, gerbara daisies and other flowers. For the bridal bouquet, most color used are Ivory/off white showy flowers - such as calla liles, open roses, cymbidium orchids and gerbara daisies. The next popular color for bridal bouquet is Red, and then is Pink (either light or hot pink or mixed with both).

From the past experiences, these are the common wedding flower color theme for different cultures:

White people - All white/Ivory theme or mixed color (white/pink or purple)

Black people - All white/Ivory theme or mixed color (orange/peach/exotic color/flowers)

Brown people - All white/Ivory theme or mixed color (red/gold very big and showy peice)

Asians - All white/Ivory theme or mixed colors or all red or mixed pink (light & dark pink) ---> Asian girls really likes pink or purple flowers in their weddings...

Above just the general observations from the pass wedding I'd made for all different people from different culture background. There's no bias on the races~ Everyone has their own color(s) for their wedding. As a florist, I still love using roses for wedding bouquet. Why? Because they are pretty, durable, blooms are big, won't get damage as easily as other flowers, the stems are hard, smell good and the most important part is..... they come in all kinds of different colors and shades!!!

Pink+Green Hand tie Bouquet:

Light Pink Roses (Vogue)
Dark Pink Roses (Hot Princess or Sarena)
Light Pink/Dark Pink Spray Roses
Green Buttons - Pom Pom Daisies
Green Hypericum
Salal Leaves
Beaded Garland
Pink Satin Ribbons

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Funeral Order Stress...

Most florists will find wedding order is very stressful. But recently I found the funeral order can be pretty intense too... I'm still recovering from the big funeral order we did last Friday for Saturday visitation. We have to do overtime for two straight nights. Although there are "only" 20 big pieces (we'd done more than 30 pieces at one time just before Christmas 2008, so 20 pieces is still OK...), the amount of stress is not funny. Since funeral is not like the big wedding party that most likely all pre-planned at least couple months/weeks in advance, they always comes within couple days. From ordering flowers, calculating how many flowers to order and what kind to order to ordering supplies such as funeral containers, spray cages, hearts, wreaths, enough oasis to use, enough greenery for arrangement, there are a lot of preparation works to be done... There are also tons of opinions about what to put on the sympathy cards, what names to put on the cards, keep changing the message for the cards, color of the them or arrangements, all that drives me crazy... And then we have to worry about if the driver can handle all 20 pieces for delivery since he will need to bring the flowers in different loads instead of just one. Also pray for the flowers won't be dead or damaged during or after being transported. Because often time if the driver is not careful enough, the arrangement would not look the same when you made it... (Imagine the arrangement has been rolled around at the back of the car...) In the winter time, if the weather is very cold or windy (windchill), it kills the flowers even quicker, especially the open lily, it will just wilt right away when the windchill hits it. And the whole arrangement is ruined... The expectation of the family who order the flowers for themselves and also other friends and relatives are so high that you are so afraid that there is something wrong with the flowers or mistakes on sympathy cards will result in huge complaints from the sender. (Not to mention the part that we have to negotiate the price of the whole package with the family... I really don't like that part...) Although I should not complain too much since it's a slow season for floral industry that everyone should be happy to get orders but I still have to say that funeral is not a easy money to make...

Picture above:
Sympathy Wreath in Pastel Tone

Wax Flowers
Leather Ferns
Italian Ruscus

Sleepy Cats Bookmark Illustrations

Just want to do some casual painting with the sleepy cats... Gouache painting on watercolor paper 2"x6.5" in size Top: Ca...