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!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

In the shop: Some summer flowers you may not know

Summer brings us blooms that we love, big full fat flowers with such an array of hues that we feel our hearts will burst as we design away in the shop.

Delphiniums, dahlias, and lisianthus are flowers we wait for each year, as the season hits they become plump and frilly and make us happy every summer. But there are other, lesser known flowers that we wait for patiently too. Here are three of our current favourites.

Scabiosa may have a not so pretty name, but the blooms themselves are stunning. The soft periwinkle blue tone is always a loved one, but the deep blood red and soft buttery yellow are wonderful to work with too.

Cosmos are delightful. They come in a range of colours including deep red through pink, soft yellow and white. Their feathery leaves have a soft grace to them that adds whimsy and movement to our designs.

And these babies....well, the common name says it all: "Love in the mist"! With soft feathery foliage like the cosmos, and delicate dancing stems these small wild looking flowers are jewel like.

What about you? Do you have any lesser know but much loved blooms that you look forward to every summer? We'd love to hear from you in the comments!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Shopkeeper's diary: July

After a June so busy with events we could barely catch our breath, July came along as a gentle reprieve from the chaos that they bring. Time to catch up on some of the little things that never get done, that get left to the side when we're in full swing. I've been giving the back section of the shop some much needed attention. A new table with vintage chairs for our meetings, and some fabric was purchased to make panels to cover the not so exciting work table shelves when I'm in consultations. The front counter has some lovely fabric pieces  decorating the sides. Plans have been made to finally paint the washroom, although that has yet to actually happen (this week, I've promised myself). And a three month backlog of bookkeeping was slogged through. And yet, there are still so many things that haven't been attended to. This blog, for one thing, where along with my newsletter I have fallen off the wagon and slipped away from my regular posting. No real excuses, not since I just finished reading the time management book "168 hours" which explained very well that we all have bucket loads of time in a week, we just need to prioritize how we spend it, in order to spend it on the things we actually want to be doing. In truth, I've been enjoying taking a bit of a breather. This marketing, connecting, emailing, posting thing takes so much brain space. Sometimes it's nice to concentrate on other things.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Makers: Doris Wai of Lovelettering

 The Makers series of posts highlights the artists that make the products we sell, a peek into their workspace and process as they create beautiful things. 

In this Makers post I'm delighted to introduce you to Doris Wai, creative director of Lovelettering, who creates amazing and beautiful handlettered pieces as well as a line of adorable handlettered "pose-cards" that we sell in the shop.  I sent Doris a few questions about her creative process and creative space:
Toronto maker and creative Doris Wai of lovelettering talks about her creative space

Jess: Tell us about your work space- do you have a dedicated studio or do you carve out space where you can when you need? What does it look like?

Doris: I never intended to start this business, and could have never imagined but I have always had a room dedicated to my creativity, but since Love Lettering took off, it seems that my home is almost my entire studio!  I have multiple work spaces for different purposes!  In the basement is my work room, where I store all my supplies, big printers, shipping materials etc, if I am going to get down and dirty, into the basement I go!  On the main floor I use a portion of my living room as a place to letter the items that are brought to me on a daily basis, you will find 2 easels that literally support me as a hand lettering artist.  And on the top floor is my airy office, where I handle my emails, invoicing and accounting, there is a loveseat in here that I frequent to write Instagram posts, its a lovely space and I enjoy it very much. 

creative handletterer Doris wai's workspace

Jess: what are your tools of the trade?

Doris: Any instrument in which I can create a letter is a tool to me, in my line of work, I letter on so many different surfaces so I like to know what pens work best on what surface, what pencils work on all surfaces?  But some of the items I cannot live without is painters tape, my Stabilo All pencil and my Sharpie paint pen.

posecards by handletterer Doris Wai

Jess: Share a little about the process involved in your work?

Doris: For signage, my work is so vast and tailored to each client, wording is almost always different, surfaces are different so there is never a repeat of anything.  However with the Posecards, it thrives upon repetition.  I hand letter each design and then print onto card, where they are hand cut, coloured, and assembled.  I created Posecards, a line of photo prop greeting cards, as crossover product between a gift tag/greeting card and a photo prop, in the age of the selfies, we can use photo props anytime with our cell phone, why not mark the occasion?  I will continue to use my lettering to create products because I know one day I will be old and want to ensure I have created things I can continue to sell.

Jess: Where do you look for inspiration?

Doris: I am a visual sponge, I can look any anything and transform it in my head, some times lyrics from a song creates a painting in my mind, sometimes its a persons personality that drives me to draw, there are not enough hours in a day to accomplish what is going on in my mind. But my daughter inspires me to work hard, be diligent, but enjoy life too.  And Instagram, the black hole of inspiration, its like taking a trip without going anywhere, you can step into a hotel lobby, you can visit the desert, you can learn to letter! To be inspired all I really have to do is look around.  

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 Not only is Doris insanely good at what she does, but she is also a super sweet lady too, and I'm so happy to know her. You can find Doris online via her website as well as follow along with her beautiful work on instagram And, as if this lovely lady didn't have enough going on, she also has a book filled with gorgeous handlettering projects coming out in November, which you can pre-order here!!!!!