Welcome to Floral Preservation!!!

It has been a while since my last blog.  I find that blogging has made it to last position on my “to do” list.  I need quiet time to write and in my house, that only happens once every 6 months…maybe.  It has been quite the beginning to 2016, not what I would have expected.  My dear friend, Tamara, had tragedy hit her family, suddenly loosing her husband, Joe.  This made me really think about what I was doing with my life.  Am I using my God given gifts or am I just randomly floating through life wishing that I was focusing on my passion.  I don’t believe that life happens by accident, everything we do, see, feel is for a reason.  I got up one morning, rehearsing my usual day, finally getting to sit at my computer with my steaming hot mocha and looking at a post on Facebook of a wedding with the last picture being of the bride’s bouquet in a box frame, preserved.  My heart jumped and I knew this is something I wanted to do.  Brides have asked me over the years about preserving bouquets and the opportunities around this area is limited for that service.  When I began my career as a floral designer it was during the time of permanent swags and wreaths having a popular place in home décor.  I would go to people’s homes to take measurements and discuss all of the options available including freeze dried flowers.  I feel like I have been preparing and developing my floral designing skills over the past 20 years for the art of preserved floral keepsakes.

 

What is freeze drying?  “The basic principle of freeze drying is the removal of water from a flower as water vapor, and the collection of this water vapor in a condenser.  With the flower solidly frozen (-40F) during the process and then the temperature must be raised gradually to about +70 F, shrinkage is eliminated or minimized, and near perfect preservation will result.  Often the only requirements for long-term storage of freeze dried materials, is the prevention or re-entry of moisture into them.  The first requirement is to have the flower completely frozen throughout).” (pg.29 DeLong) “Freeze Drying works by a process known as sublimation, which removes moisture by taking it directly from a frozen state to a vapor state.  The liquid state is bypassed so the flowers composition is retained.  A low condenser temperature is critical to trap the vapors into ice particles, effectively removing from the system.  Creating a vacuum effectively reduces the resistance to the flow of vapors migrating from the specimen chamber to the condensation chamber.” (pg.32, DeLong) “Freeze drying has become a widely used method of near perfect flower preservation.  The moisture in the flowers is removed without affecting the physical characteristics of shape, color, and overall appearance.  After drying, the flowers usually are post-treated with non toxic chemicals which make them durable, elastic, and water resistant.  The fresh look and extended longevity provide the consumer with a very good value.” (pg.31, Delong).

 

What does the intake process look like?  Scheduling a consultation with the bride, a few months before the wedding to discuss whether the bride will deliver the flowers to me or will it be a pick up and understand that I would need the bouquet within 24 hours of the ceremony for the best results.  At this time the bride would start to look at framing possibilities, sizing and thinking about any memorabilia that she would want to include.  A deposit (the deposit is put towards the finished products cost) is required to save the date and another meeting will be scheduled for a month after the wedding to decide all of the framing and designing details.  From that point, it usually takes anywhere from 4-6 months to complete.  Once completed the bride can either pick it up or I can have it shipped to you as well.

 

How much does it cost to preserve and design a wedding bouquet into a shadow box?  This is a difficult question to answer because every bride will have a custom order, specific and unique to reflect their wedding day.  I will take a deposit of $100.00 which will go towards the cost of the client’s custom order.  Depending on the size and style of the frame chosen and the amount of memorabilia the bride wants in her custom design, will determine the price of the finished product.  I understand what it is like getting married and staying within your wedding budget is critical, therefore I will also offer a monthly payment plan so that this opportunity to cherish your beautiful wedding bouquet through time, will not pass you by.  One of my specialties is working with brides and their wedding budgets.

 

Call, email, text or Facebook me to set up your free consultation to discuss preserving your bridal flowers.  Your custom design will forever reflect the memories of your wedding day.

Who Are Those Groomsmen?

The wedding tradition that is never expanded on…the groomsmen.  In my consulting experience, there is always a bride, usually a mother and sometimes a bridesmaid and rarely a groom or groomsmen present at the consultation.  The groom and his men are left in the tiny arena of “a” boutonnière, described and chosen through the brides artisan tastes.  I have met a handful of groom/groomsmen, verses brides, over my floral career, but it seems to be a scene that is replayed verbatim.  It begins with the brides wish to have the boutonnières  delivered to the grooms hotel room…  As my knuckles rap on the thick, industrious door with the peek hole staring me down and my other hand balancing the delicate box of boutonnière designs.  I hear the bass of the music and the giggling groomsmen.  The door opens and the smell of stale beer mixed with woodsy aftershave slaps me in the face.  Solidifying that I am in the correct room usually takes a five minute question period and locating the groom.  Then there is the comment from ”that” groomsmen that is in every bridal party.  You know, the guy that feels there are no boundaries on his female hunt, the winking guy, the guy that schmoozes with his verbal toxins.  ”Are you the STRIPPER”?  I never know if I should be horrified or complimented.  I then uncontrollably erupt in the most professional manner I can muster, mixing sass and teacher tone, extending my point of floral terror.  Do they realize my “visit” hasn’t even begun.  I then expose my greatest weapon, the pin that slides vertically beside their heart, suspending that precious boutonnière.  As I command the line up to stand at attention, drinks surfaced, jackets on, I check the precision of the pinning.  At ease and my parting words are “looks great, have fun and behave”!  Cheers to a mysterious group, the groomsmen.

 

IMG_1491

Show Time!

 

 

logo-header

 

 

Come and join the fun at the Red Deer Bliss Bridal Show, Sunday, September 29th at the Sheraton from 10:00-4:00.  TLC’s Renee Strauss will be there mingling with the brides.  I will have bouquets and more on display.  Hope to see you there!

Monique

Photo Bliss!

It will be seven years on June 23 since my handsome husband and I got married in Banff and continued on to Emerald Lake to host our reception. Most everything I remember about the day was positive and exciting. I remember driving down town Calgary to my hair appointment, the french-roll that was not like the trial hair at all, the empty streets and the early sun, the fake eyelashes and the sting of the glue. I remember the green tea latte and the seat heater in my sisters car, flying through the provincial parks “pass carrying” lane, seeing guests waiting. I remember struggling to get my dress on in my parents trailer in front of the church, walking to the doors with raindrops slapping my updo. I remember sitting and sitting and sitting. I remember the starving feeling of finishing pictures, the beautiful lake, the wind, the tourists staring, the pregnant lady and my sisters cleavage. I remember the outdoor patio fire burning, talking with Chris’ wonderful grama and replicating the Romeo and Juliet window scene for Jo.  Now, here is an important wedding tip. A very wise instructor of mine asked my classmates and I what we remembered when we looked at our wedding photos. The first thing that comes to my mind is that I hated my hair. It was average and not what the hairdresser and I had discussed. I’m sure she had me confused with someone else and then I think, why didn’t I refuse to leave until it was right. Pictures are memories and when discussing flowers with brides that are unsure or non traditional in giving flowers, I always bring it back to that wedding photo. What are you going to think when you look at your wedding pictures, how are you going to feel when you see all of the wedding choices wrapped into one. Take the time and really develop your wedding look and find the right people that will support you and bring you their best. At the end of the day it is the marriage that is important and long lasting which is the bottom line for the bride and groom. This brings me back to my question, why didn’t I demand to have my hair redone? I knew where I was going, to marry my best friend, my true love. I just wanted to get to Banff and marry him. I was so exited to become his wife that I was willing to forgo the hair. If the flowers would have been wrong, that would have been a different story, but they were stunning. Green cymbidium orchids, white freesia and simplistic greens (I did not design them). Loved it. Take time to develop your wedding day and choose your support team wisely. I am so blessed to be married to such a loving and supportive man and he is “hot”!                                nil

Blog Virgin, No More.

Kelly from Freshly Hatched will be so proud.  She is the website master that pulled me out of the dark and sent me on my blogging way.  If any of you are needing a website, she is it!  My last communication with her was of fear and hesitation to a list of instructions, but I put my “big girl” panties on and ran with it.  Thanks so much K!  You rock! 

I am so excited to have my ”floral soap box” to stand on and it even comes with a spell check.  I keep bringing up spell check because I have been told that creative people can’t spell…Anyways, carry on. 

So I designed a wedding for a soft spoken, smiley bride (aka Amanda) a few weeks ago and was amazed at how she pulled off such a stylish, organically vintage feeling event, just by using her parents spectacular farm.  So much character and heart is brought to a wedding when using all that you know and love, home.  From the bright potted flowers surrounding the house and the flawless lawn, to the barbed wire fence and mooing in the distance, to the peacock house in the center of the yard, to the cute, little vintage buildings around the venue, it was beautiful.  I am so blessed to have the opportunity to experience families and the beauty in their homes.

June venue IIJune sign table

Welcome to Shared Seasons blog!!!

I am so excited to be able to bring flowers, venues, wedding ideas and much more to the creative eyes of brides and clients.  I am so thankful for each and everyone of you!  Let the “seasons” begin.  M

8