How do you prepare for the AIFD testing? Great question! Let's start by going to the source. This link will give you the full details on testing. If ever in doubt, refer back to the web site. Everything you need to know is there.
Valentine's Day Roses - Emergency Care Tips.
You received the most wonderful bouquet red roses for Valentine’s Day. This morning you notice that the blossom heads are starting to droop. Don’t panic. A few simple steps will correct this problem.
Lifestyle Business - I often hear, "Floral design is a lifestyle business". Just what does that mean? Is the term positive or negative? What lifestyle are we talking about? ? With a bit of research, I have to concur, floral design is a lifestyle business
I love Christmas...more and more each year. Of course, I love most any occasion that calls for flowers and decorations. That said, I guess you could say I love life since most every day demands flowers in my world.
Social Media for the Florist - Web site, Blog, Face book, Twitter, You tube, Pinterest... How do you keep up? What do you need? Why do you even care? Take a deep breath and pay attention. Social media is a fabulous tool for the creative floral business.
Wholesale Flower Buying - Where do you get your flowers and enhancing supplies? That is the question I hear over and over again. As a professional florist, it is one of the most important aspects of the job...knowing the best sources
Beachside Wedding - The life of a florist is never boring…a tad chaotic, but never boring. Recently, I had the grand opportunity of doing a destination wedding in Baja, Mexico in a small town outside of Cabo San Lucas.
Autumn Color Trends - The first day of autumn officially falls on September 22nd. In the flower world, autumn has been happening for weeks already. Mother Nature (with a little help from the farmers) provides such fabulous materials for the professional florist. Flowers, pods, cones, berries and leaves with so many textures and colors.
Flower School Success - I recently received the greatest compliment ever. It was told to me but....it was not my compliment. It is truly directed to the fabulous students and staff of the Floral Design Institute...
Preparing for a Filming Day - Making a video to share with you all is grand fun...and a lot of work! I'm often asked, "What's it like behind the scenes?" Those close enough to the Portland Creative Center are welcome to stop by.
Peterkort Tour - Do you ever wonder where your flowers come from and how they get to you? So often, we take for granted the beautiful blooms and forget that there is a lot of hard work involved in getting the perfect rose from bud to full mature bloom.
Mother's Day - Florists are entering the home stretch. The final week of the spring holiday season is here. For many florists, this will be the busiest week of the entire year. If the sales trends continue as they have for 2012, this could be the biggest Mother's Day holiday in years!
A Wonderful Career - 2012 is proving to be quite a wonderful year for those of us in the flower business. At last, we are returning to better sales days. Looking back, the improving trend began in 2011. Thanksgiving and Christmas both brought increased sales to most florists. What a wonderful way to end the year!
Put On Your Happiness - "You must wake up every morning and choose to be happy. You gotta put on happiness like you put on your clothes." This from 14-year-old Khadim Diop. What wise words from a young soul. It sounds so easy but, we all know it takes effort to be happy. Often I hear, "If only...... then, I would be happy." Why wait? Let's choose happiness now!
Flower Festivals - Now that spring is really here... at least in some parts of the country, it is time to schedule time to stop and enjoy the flowers. Everywhere I look, both in real life and through the camera lens, the bright colors of spring are blooming. I have my favorite spots I visit every year and some that I vow to visit someday.
We Are Connected - The internet is providing so many incredible tools for the creative soul. Web Sites, Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest... where do you even begin? I have to say, as overwhelming as it seems at times, I love them all. It allows me to connect with Floral Design Institute Graduates and friends across the world.
Flower Collection Etiquette - I always have a knife in my purse..... You never know just when you are going to need it. It could be that interesting blooming Roadsidia or, that lovely bit of ivy on the fence. Maybe the neighbor’s hydrangea needs a bit of pruning or the roses a good dead heading… I’m always there to help.
Daphne is one of the most delightful spring flowers. The shiny variegated foliage with delicate pink blooms is beautiful and the fragrance is utterly intoxicating! As a young adult, the first very plant that I bought for my yard was a Daphne. I had spent hours wandering through the garden center looking for the perfect plant to begin the garden of my dreams.
Change Your Weather - As the winter wears on (and on and on and…) it seems that March 20, the first day of spring, is a very distant dream. The skies are gray with just an occasional hint of blue. The “sunshine” comes down from the sky in liquid form and the temperatures hover at a cool 50 degrees. The cute summer sandals and t-shirts will just have to wait....
Valentine's Day Recap - What a difference a week can make. Last Tuesday we were buried in flowers helping everyone "spread the love". 7 days later, we all are still in the recovery mode. Whew! Take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back. From all reports, this was a grand year for Valentine's Day sales.
Valentine's Day Memories - Thinking back (far too many years to admit) I remember my first Valentine's Day as a professional (using the term loosely) florist. Oh, my! No one ever understands what a day it is until they've been there. Thank goodness for youth and naivety! The two got me through the day in spite of my absolute ignorance.
Live for the Moment - As florists around the world prepare for the BIG day, it is easy to forget today. I know we must be good and look forward, planning and prepping for the "best Valentine’s Day ever" but, what about today? We each have a finite number of days on this earth. We certainly don't want to lose any of them.
Bridal Trends - January was a month filled with bridal shows. It seems like every event space, every hotel and every convention center hosted a show of their own. It was hard to make time to visit each and everyone. I can only imagine how overwhelmed the brides must feel. Thank goodness there were ample cake samples to keep me on a sugar high throughout each visit.
Valentine’s Day - Three Weeks and Counting! The big day is getting closer. How are you doing on the preparations? Last week we discussed preparing a theme for the day. Today, let's look at getting the pieces ready. What "pieces", you ask? Pieces are all the little things you know you need to complete your flower order.
Preparations - Valentine's Day is just a month away! Are you ready for the rush of big flower sales? This year Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday, traditionally a fabulous day for very strong sales. A mid-week holiday is too far from the weekend to allow dinner to replace flowers and recipients will be at work during the day, eager to receive and show to their co-workers just how much “they are loved”.
An Adventure Awaits - The air is bitter cold and the ground frozen. Walking through the neighborhood, the trees are bare and the world is asleep. I often wonder just why I am out walking on this cold January day. Shouldn’t I be inside where it is warm and cozy, candles lit, cocoa at my side and a good book at hand?
Walking - Yes, walking is the miracle drug, cure, exercise…it solves all the problems of the world. OK, I may exaggerate but, walking does make the world a better place. An early morning walk prepares me for work. A mid-day walk focuses the creative soul. An evening walk makes me feel healthy and the night time walk (often at 2:00 am when I can’t sleep and the mind is racing) clears the mind.
Planning for the New Year - Happy Holidays, Happy Solstice and almost Happy New Year. Now that the longest night of the year has past, it is time to celebrate the return of the light. Minute by minute, the days will lengthen. The process of the changing seasons is a gentle reminder that life is lived in minutes, not lifetimes. Tick-tock-tick-tock the time passes; sometimes with such speed that it is truly frightening!
Christmas Roses - As I write this, the world is beginning to slow. The frantic pace of flowering and bowing anything that stands still has ended. The fingers are tired, the feet are aching and the back is sagging. Oh, the life of the florist. At last, all the wreaths are hung, the final centerpiece is delivered, and the poinsettias are gone.
Christmas Countdown - The countdown has begun and time is speeding up. The theory of relativity has nothing on the Theory of Christmas. Days, hours and minutes are sucked into the holiday vortex. Over and over I think, “Where did the time go?”
The Warmth of Candlelight - The long, dark nights of winter make me long for evenings spent in front of the fire with a hot cup of cocoa. Alas, it is not to be! I have the cocoa but, the crackling flames are missing. Without a fireplace in my home, I make do with a “candle-place”.
Festive Christmas Wreath - Oh, how I love getting the house all dressed up for the holidays. The furniture is shifted to make room for the tree. Red throw pillows are on the sofa and holiday candles are ready to light. Once everything is set, the Christmas tree is decorated and a festive Christmas wreath is hung on the door. Now, I am ready for holiday entertaining!
Self-Care for a Happy Holiday - Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, New Year’s Eve.....the days are racing by and it is easy to get caught up in the holiday frenzy. The season is supposed to be fun...happiness, love, friends and family. Unfortunately, it is also the season of "too"...too much fun, too much food and too much to do!
The Art of Living - Thanksgiving is a holiday that truly exemplifies the art of living. It is a day devoted to visiting and eating…the perfect opportunity to feed the body and the soul. How often we forget to relax and give thanks as we get caught up in the frenzy of life. Giving thanks for the simple pleasures of life; watching the sunrise, dancing in the living room, listening to the church bells chime...
Nature's Red Carpet - Today as I walked to the Learning Center Mother Nature rolled out a “red carpet” to mark my path. What a beautiful sight! The unexpected beauty stopped me in my tracks. Do I dare walk through? Should I carefully step around? And, of course, where is the camera?!?!
Buy Local - I’ve embraced the “locavore” movement. As best as I can, I search out locally grown food and locally owned restaurants. (Even better is a local restaurant serving local food…oh, yeah!) Add to that “locapour”. Yes I search out local wines made from Pacific Northwest grapes and I drink local tap water.
It's a Beautiful Morning - How do you start your day? Silly as it sounds, this is quite an important question. The morning start sets the tone for the day. You get to decide. Is it rushed, harried and stressful? Or, is it smooth-sailing as you prepare to leave the house?
Autumn Leaves are Falling - David and I were out of town for a long weekend and I am amazed at the changes in just a few days. The leaves on the maple trees that line my walk to work were tinged in red when I left and are now fully bright red. The elm tree leaves are falling like snow and piling up on the sidewalk. Autumn has fully arrived.
Autumn Inspiration - The seasons have changed and it is time to decorate for the autumn holidays. How do I begin? For me, it is a hands-on, tactile process. I open the cupboard and pull out all the linens and lay them out. I gather autumn leaves, pods and cones and start playing...
Gathering Treasures - The equinox has past and the days are shortening. Temperatures are cooling but the sun is still shining. One of my greatest joys of autumn is "gathering treasures"; pine cones, buckeyes, mosses, sticks, rocks and most any textural natural material. This year brought a wonderful surprise! The buckeyes in my neighborhood sport odd coloration.
Autumn Roses - The seasons have changed and soon, the frost will come. The roses have dropped their petals and the plants are “fruiting”. Yes, the hip is the fruit of the rose and yes, they are edible. The rose is related to the apple – look close. Do you see the resemblance?
The Bounty of the Garden - The Autumnal equinox is just around the corner. The term equinox comes from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night). This is the point where the hours of night and day are the closest to equal time. As the days shorten, the saying “there is just not enough time in the day” comes true!
Roses at Work - We all love the beautiful rose. In the garden or in an arrangement, roses are fabulous! Did you know, they are also a hard working beauty? If you’ve visited a vineyard, you may have thought, “How nice! The farmer planted pretty roses.” Nice thought but…. No, the rose is not planted for the aesthetic beauty. These plants have a job to do in the vineyard.
A Last Weekend of Summer - The season is changing. Days are shorter and the smell of autumn is in the air. As we say goodbye to summer, I’ve scheduled one last picnic in the park. The checkered cloth is washed and the invites are out. Potluck it will be with favorite dishes created from the bounty of the garden. The only rule is that it must be homemade.
Back to School - Stores are filled with back to school regalia…in fact, they have been for months! It seemed school no sooner ended as the promotions began for returning to the classroom. I think back to a much simpler time. I needed two #2 pencils, paper and a new box of crayons. Of course, new shoes and a few outfits were on the list.
Shades of Green - Forest, chartreuse, mint, lime, avocado, basil, moss… how many names can you think of for the color green? Just as there are many names, there are so many fabulous green flowers. Have you added them to your flower favorites?
A Sunflower in the City -I love finding floral surprises in the city. It could be the glorious camellia in spring or the dandelion growing through the sidewalk crack. Today, I found a glorious sunflower. One tall, stately beauty – so big and healthy you would never expect to see it in the middle of the city.
A Life in Balance …Oh, how we strive for the balance. Do you live to work? Or, do you work to live? Mastering the balance between working and living is the essential element of happiness. A life in balance does not just happen. You need a goal, a plan, and a sincere desire for balance. As daunting as it sounds, it can be done.
Dahlia Season - I love the colors of summer! There is no flower that shows off the color choices better than the dahlia. Today I gathered middle size dahlias. They are the perfect size for floral design. As you can see, I could not choose just one color.
Fabulous Succulents - There are so many new and fabulous items to work with. It seems there is not a trip to the flower market that does not include a stunning new find. While succulents may not be truly “new”, they are certainly more readily available in more varieties than ever before.
The Creative Process - I’m often asked, “Where do you get your inspiration?” Good question! Where does creativity come from? For me, creativity is a process, a preparation, a lifestyle…it is not a specific moment. Creativity comes when I have time to listen to my soul.
Living the Good Life - "I’ve learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life." Maya Angelou. So often we are told to grow up and get a good job. What constitutes a “good” job? To most, a good job is defined as a well paying job. The more money, the better and do what ever job takes to get to the top of the pay scale. Eek – that does not sound like fun!
June Weddings - Regardless of the culture, weddings are built on valuable traditions which convey important meanings and messages to the married couple, their families and their community. The most enduring wedding tradition is the use of fresh flowers in the wedding ceremony.
Linger with the Lilacs - Some of the very first Europeans to explore the Great Lakes area of North America were French fur trappers, traders and the "voyageurs". These were very tough men, capable of traversing the roaring rapids and stormy lakes of the far north in birch bark canoes filled to the gunwales with heavy beaver pelts.
Purple Passion - Yes, purple flowers are very much in style. There are dozens of purple flowers to choose from – lilacs, roses, iris, carnations, dahlias, freesia, sweet peas, hydrangea and more. Fill your house with your favorite purple blooms and wear a red hat – I promise, life will be a little more fun.
Blooming Jewelry - Here's a hot new trend for parties, flower jewelry. Add a touch of glamor to any outfit with fresh floral jewelry. Yep, blooming jewelry - I love it! Next time you need flowers to wear, think beyond the traditional. A dramatic ring, a floral bracelet, and even blooming earrings - oh, what fun!
The Sounds of Spring - At last, spring has arrived. The change of seasons brings new delights each and every day. I walk through the neighborhoods and find crocus, daffodils, tiny little snow drops, flowering plum, quince and tulips. What a grand time of the year to be alive.