Monday, November 13, 2017

In the shop: a carnation revival

I know what you are thinking. Mention the word carnation and you can see the scorn in most peoples faces almost immediately. Carnations aren't cool, right? they're oldfashioned, they're ugly. They are boring.

Thing is though, they really aren't. They aren't any of those things. Well, maybe you can argue oldfashioned, since they've certainly been available as a cut bloom for ages. But ugly? I disagree, and I'm willing to at least try to win you over on this, and on them being cool.

Thing is, there are some really gorgeous varieties of carnations on the market right now. Antique, muted faded tones that are blousey and frilly in all the right ways.

I truly think that if you love the ruffles and full bloom of a peony or a garden rose, then you need to give the humble carnation a second look. And definitely a second smell, because these beauties actually smell like heaven, a clove scented subtle perfume that will win you over if nothing else will.

I'm with you on plain jane white or red carnations. they don't thrill me either. But if you just look at a single carnation bloom, really taking in the fluttery petals and the delicate frills, putting out of your mind the actual name of the flower you are looking at......I think that you may find you are falling a little in love.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Creative Inspiration: our floral wall is featured in the book Extraordinary Handlettering by Doris Wai

Way back in March ( which seems like a year ago right now) I spent a day on the upper floor of a rather fancy private club in downtown Toronto. On King street, tucked away in an old building, the Albany Club is rather unassuming from the front. Once inside you take a tiny and very old elevator up to the top floor. It's the type of building and the type of elevator you expect to see in a 1930's Agatha Christie mystery novel. The door of the elevator actually has a handle and you open it actually like a door. It was adorable.

I was there to make and install a large scale floral wall to be featured in a book by my friend Doris Wai. Doris is extremely talented and all round creative ( we did a little feature on her here). She runs Love Lettering, a company that handletters signage on just about anything for just about anyone. And she has been working crazy hard on putting together a really gorgeous book. I didn't know Doris when she first asked me to be a part of the book, but a mutual friend suggested I might be able to do what she needed.

Doris gave me the brief of creating a large scale rich and moody floral wall, that she would then hang beautiful handmade glass mirrors on that she had hand lettered to create a seating chart as if for a wedding.  I'm going to be honest here and tell you what I didn't tell Doris, which is that I've never made such a thing before. So of course, I said yes, absolutely!

And on the day the result turned out exactly as both Doris and I had hoped, a moody, slightly wild wall of rich toned florals with vines of greenery crawling between the blooms, like the wall of a secret garden left to grow wild and unfettered.

We started with a large wooden board that Doris painted flat black. We led it on the floor (on top of a thick blanket) and once the places for the mirrors was chalked in I got started. I coloured a set of staples in with a black marker so they wouldn't show against the board, and got to work using a staple gun to attach the back layer of greens. Then I was able to add layers of blooms and more greenery, tucking under the stapled on framework. It was long and rather laborious work, there really is no quick way to get it done and we had only a four hour window to work within from load in to load out.

But it got done, and then the wonderful Janet Kwan got to work taking her gorgeous photographs.

This month the book is finally out, and I am so excited to be able to say how perfectly gorgeous and inspiring it is! Doris walks the reader through every aspect of lettering, giving insight into her tools and process that mean anyone can take on one of the beautiful projects she includes and make it their own.

Here she is, the lovely Doris who I am so happy to now call a friend. She came by the shop recently and dropped off a personalized copy of the book for me, and I'm slowly working my way through it- there is so much information in there and I'm so inspired already and I'm still just on the section about tools of the trade! She also very kindly signed some copies for us to carry here too, so you can pick up an autographed book for yourself or as a gift.

You can follow Doris on her Instagram account here or follow her insta account for the book, Extraordinary Handlettering here.

The wonderful creative vendors that made this shoot happen are:

Lettering & Concept - Love Lettering & Extraordinary Hand Lettering - Doris Wai
Janet Kwan Photography -Photography - Janet Kwan
Madison and Ella - Styling - Annie Tu
Southern Charm Vintage Rentals - Rentals - Kathie Barone
Alicia Ann Glassworks for the octagon handmade mirrors - Alicia Ann
The Albany Club - Venue

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

In the shop: winter workshops

We are delighted to tell you that we are planning some new workshops for the coming months!

First up is our wreath workshop, where you will get a lesson on wreath basics and then be guided through making your own unique creation.

when: Thursday November 30th
           7-8:30 pm

where: the shop, 661 Mt. Pleasant rd

what: enjoy a festive drink and some delicious treats while shop owner Jess gives you a tutorial
          on wreath making in our signature whimsical style, using a wooden ring base and winter greens
          Then get stuck in with your new found skills and make your own stunning unique creation to  
          take home, using a mix of natural materials to add your own creative spin to your piece.

cost:   $100 per person + HST

The class size is limited so book your spot early- call the shop at 416 322 6985 to grab yours now!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Creative Inspiration: a gorgeous vintage styled photo shoot, aka our "best day ever" shoot

I'm so delighted to be able to share our "best day ever" from the beginning of the summer!

A big part of being in the wedding industry is taking part in creative photo shoots. I've been so lucky to have been part of some really awesome shoots over the last year.  This one was proposed to me by the talented photographer Rebecca of Pepper and Light Photography. It didn't take long for me to answer with a resounding "YES!" because Rebecca and her co-planner Olivia of Cerise Events explained they were planning something really, really special. I'm a sucker for vintage cars and flowers on bikes, and this shoot included all that and more.

Vanessa and I headed up to the property early on a Sunday morning in June. Storm clouds were brewing on the horizon as the team gathered to  get to work. Several times we all had to grab everything and race inside to dodge a downpour. It was a long and exhausting day. What you don't see in the images is all of the sitting on the floor making garlands, the lugging things to and fro, the creative team standing just off side ready to jump in and tweak the ribbons, fix the hair do, hold up the reflector to bounce the light. Each shot takes a long time and a team working hard behind the scenes.

I was thrilled to work with these creative talents on this beautiful shoot:

Photographer: Pepper and Light Invitations: Vibrance Designs Florists: Periwinkle Flowers Balloons: Pacha Balloon Creations Bridal Boutique: Untamed Petals Hair : Medulla & Co. Makeup: Beauty By Sabrina Wedding Dresses: Sash & Bustle Event Planners: Cerise Events Event Rentals: Cre8ive Studios

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Creative Inspiriation: 5 floral hashtags on instagram we love

If you haven't figured out already, we're a little bit obsessed with instagram these days. While we definitely try to live in the moment as much as possible without needing to document it all, we still enjoy whiling away some time scrolling through beautiful and inspirational images online.

Here are five hashtags on instagram that we love to lose ourselves in:

started by Vancouver bloggers Poppytalk, this feed has a lovely mix of happy bright florals and more moody romantic posts.

This one is a favourite. Photos of lovely ladies with flowers on their bodies in places that they have hair that aren't necessarily places society thinks women should have hair. Empowering and thoughtprovoking.

 this feed has some fantastic photography of beautiful arrangements.

a popular one for florists around the globe to post to, but heavy on U.K. posters. A wonderful way to see different floral styles.

a lovely feed filled with the simple pleasures of garden grown blooms popped into simple vessels at home. Happy and joyful.

How about you? What are your favourite flower related feeds on instagram? We'd love to hear back in the comments!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

In the shop: Pilea plants

They're here at last! These adorable little plants are strangely elusive in Toronto, yet seem to be all over the blog/pinterest world.

Pilea Peperomioides, other wise known as Chinese money plants, were originally from China. Brought to Europe by a Norwegian missionary in the 1940's, this plant is actually very easy to propagate but seldom seen at plant suppliers. A healthy plant will sprout little baby plants at it's main stem, which you can easily remove and root into water then into potting soil.

Pileas like frequent watering, don't let them get dry but don't let the soil be soggy. Here in the shop we're watering  weekly but checking mid week as well. Set them somewhere with some indirect but bright sunlight. Not enough sunlight will cause the lily-pad like leaves to curl, so take that as a sign you need to move to a brighter spot. Be weary of having them too close to air-conditioning or heating vents.

We were incredibly lucky and managed to get our hands on two mature Pileas that had many little offshoots. We've rooted our own little Pilea army and now they are ready to find new homes :)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Current obsession: 3 of our favourite plant lover blogs on the web

If you've dropped by the shop, you know we've got a serious crush on houseplants. Each and every time a new shipment comes in, the whole team falls in love with a new friend to take home.

If you love plants the way we do, you'll appreciate these plant lovers too:

Urban jungle bloggers
this website and instagram feed are super inspirational. Featuring a team of plant obsessed bloggers, you'll find inspiring home tours mixed with interesting and stunningly visual posts teaching you how to bring more plants into your life. The two bloggers behind the scenes also happen to have a really good plant book out, which we carry here at the shop!

Houseplant Journal is a Toronto based blog run by a very knowledgeable plant lover. This is a great resource if you have any questions about your plants. Everything from basic plant care, plant id ( for those random unidentified plant finds at the corner store) through to plant propagation and lovely home tours to sneak a peek at other plant lovers collection.

Modern Plant life is another proudly canadian blog that is filled with information. The blogger behind it is a self professed "black thumb" turned plant geek who is learning as she goes. Take a look through her lovely instagram feed for even more inspiration.

Do you have a favourite plant blog? Tell us about it in the comments below!