photo courtesy of 'Have Light Will Shoot Photography'

Following on from my last post, I’ll start with a behind-the-scenes peek at a professional Masterclass which I attended last month.

Taught by celebrity florist Joe Massie at The UK School of Floristry in Liverpool, this three day masterclass was a fantastic experience in extending and developing delegates’ floristry skills in wedding creations. I was one of ten students set to work on a variety of ‘beautiful bouquets, table centres, arches, chandeliers and more’, like this floral headband above (one of mine from Day 2, picture courtesy of Have Light Will Shoot Photography).

For anyone who would like to build confidence in structuring big floral creations, this workshop is the one for going large. Joe was an attentive tutor, the materials were beautiful, a delight to work with, and the smallest query was given careful attention. I, for one, absorbed some inspiring new techniques which I know will carry over into my wedding work this spring and beyond.

On which subject, my diary is filling up fast. The next event for me is The Big Wed Meetup in St Ives on March 4th, which is a business to business networking event for professionals and suppliers in the wedding industry. Not only are these days important for getting out and about and meeting other folk in a similar line of work, easing some of the pressures of being a sole trader, but they are brilliant for picking up fresh ideas and making new contacts.

Following that, later in the month, I have a stand booked at a wedding fete at an exciting new venue, so if you’re planning a wedding this year, do come along with your queries and questions. Come and say hello for an idle (inspirational) browse of some of my designs.

Sunday 20-03-16 at Ta Mill, St Clether, Launceston, Cornwall, PL15 8PS, (11am to 3pm)

Here’s what Dream Weddings Magazine says about it:

Ta Mill’s Wedding Fete is a beautifully romantic, wildly wonderful and effortlessly fun wedding event which will be sure to captivate and inspire bride and grooms-to-be. Think barefoot bride, outdoor festival weddings, picnic receptions and secret garden locations. Wander around this secluded, rural, hideaway meeting a host of hand-picked suppliers will be on hand to talk through what you might need for your big day.

Hope to see you there!


Season’s Greetings

Happy Christmas one and all!The run-up to Christmas is a busy time for anyone, but in my line of work, what with the seasonal demand for festive decorations for office parties and private homes, making Christmas wreaths to order, and all the careful preparations for Christmas & New Year weddings, there’s scarcely time to draw breath let alone blog, but it gives me an excuse to sit down for a bit!

First of all, the arrangement featured here is a case in point – I made it back in early November when I started preparing for Christmas by attending a specially  themed workshop with RHS Gold medallist Tracey Griffin. It was a fun day with plenty of inspiration for the festivities to come and some excellent tips for on-trend colours and styles and seasonal materials. Natural and seasonal plant materials have such lovely textures, I like to use them whenever I can.

Next up, an opportunity to get out of my workshop and mingle with some other creatives at a photoshoot for the December issue of ‘Vintage Life Magazine‘. I love these events, they’re hard work, but the end results are worth it. You can’t beat the way the professionals present all the elements of a wedding in the best light, and this shoot was particularly fun, as it was 1940’s vintage-themed with echoes of the age of steam-train travel, on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway. Some of the photographs are over on my Facebook page, but if you want to see the whole shoot, you’ll have to buy the magazine!

Two other very different projects I was involved with this month were with Kernow Dream Photography at The Greenbank Hotel, and Enchanted Brides. Such events draw the best suppliers from all over the county. I was delighted to see a plus-sized model for a change, showcasing the new range from Brides to Be of Falmouth

Mid-month, I squeezed in a bit of ‘me time’ with a lovely (again Christmassy themed) workshop with Jonathan Moseley, the expert floral judge on BBC2’s ‘The Big Allotment Challenge. I love the way Jonathan’s celebrity status has brought floral design into the spotlight in the last few years. He’s living proof of the difference it makes when there is a professional florist involved which helps to improve our industry standards and reputation.

On which note, and not wishing to blow my own trumpet… but lastly, to top the month off, this morning I had a letter enclosing an invitation to exhibit at The Royal Cornwall Show 2016 and setting out the themes and requirements for the different displays. There are some really challenging constraints and inspiring themes. Roll on 2016. Can’t wait!

So, as we say goodbye to 2015, here’s wishing all my customers and suppliers a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!

Autumn round-up

gentle autumn colours

Where did summer go? I was so busy with weddings, suddenly it was September (I remember the glorious weather) and – whoosh! – now the chilly nights are here. 

In between the late summer/early autumn weddings I squeezed in a workshop with Tom Hodges who decorated the Chapel at [email protected] I love practising the floral arts and this was a good day, I learnt some brilliant new tricks and tips.

Next up was ‘The Most Curious Wedding Fayre’ at Pengenna Manor. Deep in the Cornish countryside, near the Camel estuary, Pengenna is a fabulous wedding venue all year round, and the perfect place for this gathering of beautiful, quirky and slightly different wedding suppliers.  Later in the month, I followed this with a stand at the Atlantic Hotel Wedding Fayre in Newquay, a regular show which I have attended before, and which always draws a crowd. As a result, my diary for next year is filling fast following plenty of new consultations with brides and mothers-to-be.

Meanwhile, it’s important for me to balance promotional activity with keeping my floral skills up to date, so in early October I booked myself in on a fantastic workshop with the internationally recognised Master Florist Gregor Lersch learning more artful techniques and ingenious tips to pass into my work and onto my customers. I was pleased with the end result that day, a lovely wired structure with an autumn feel.

Coming up: a Wedding Fayre this Sunday at the beautiful Headland Hotel, Newquay and on the Monday I am away on a residential course for a few days at Brunel Manor Torquay in a workshop titled, ‘Autumn Rose’.

At this time of year, I like to make sure Floral Creations St Austell has a presence at the major wedding fayres, garnering plenty of new business for 2016. So, as soon as I’m back from Devon, you’ll find me at The Carnmarth Hotel in Newquay for another bridal event on Sunday 25th October. 

Then before you know it, it will be Halloween, and I’ll be filling orders for floral designs to decorate all the parties and seasonal events leading up to Christmas…

I can’t go without a small note of pride. One of my brides just posted a review of my wedding work on her event earlier in October.

…. there are no words to thank you enough for what you did. The flowers were absolutely fantastic and lasted for so long!!! With professionalism and patience you put my worries aside when I started freaking out. You adapted to what I wanted and made it 10 times better!! I will totally recommend you without hesitation!

Dancing Flames

FlamingJJune is often known as ‘Flaming June’. The phrase comes from a famous painting by Frederic Lord Leighton, of a sleeping woman in a bright orange dress, a reproduction of which was popular in many Victorian homes. Although what ‘Flaming June’ has to do with the average weather in Britain in June is less easy to fathom. The phrase is used more often in irony than in truth!

Such is regularly the case with the weather at June fixtures. Take Glastonbury and Wimbledon, annual events held in June often affected by wind and rain. The Royal Cornwall Show (4-6th June) is sometimes no different, as loved by its fans as Glastonbury, almost as competitive as Wimbledon, and as proportionally well-attended whatever the weather. The Flower Show in particular draws the crowds. For this reason, it is an important June date for regional florists. 

This year there were three classes. One, inspired perhaps by hope of soaring June temperatures, was entitled ‘Dancing Flames’. I entered a design in each class and was delighted to be awarded Third for my piece… ‘Dancing Flames’

On June 13th it was my role to create the floral designs for the wedding of Leanne and Neil at Glendorgal Hotel, an inspiring setting with its stunning views of Cornish seas across the Atlantic. I hear they had a wonderful day. You can see some of the floral work for it, and many other pieces, over on my Facebook page.

It has been a busy month, so after all the creative output, it was lovely to get some input at a small and friendly floral skills workshop at Holbrook House, Wincanton, Somerset, with Sabine Darall, a highly respected floral stylist and event designer. We explored key aspects of dressing an event, everything from the expected, to spectacular floral canopies. Sabine feels it is “a privilege to work with such a beautiful medium“.

I have to say, I wholeheartedly agree.