Holiday Flower Class

In November, my friend Jessica Sloane and I decided to teach a flower arranging class together.  Jessica is a stylist and event designer, and we've worked on a lot of weddings together over the past two years. This was a really fun extension of what we normally do.  We had a great time with a wonderful group of ladies who created the most beautiful floral centerpieces for their holiday tables.  Our stunning host home was designed and built by Amy Jacobs of Gather and Build.  If you need a home designer, do not look any further!  These beautiful images from the class were captured by Zipporah of  Zipporah Photography.  

We hope to teach more classes like this in the future, so be on the look-out for more in the new year!

An update and a wedding.

When I've been away from this blog, it is always so hard to know what to write about and what images to show first.  I may just ramble for a minute...  

We were really busy this spring with some beautiful events and I can't wait to share images from some of them. Now, things are slowing down for the summer and I'm so glad because my house is loud with kids home for summer break.  It is a violent shifting of gears and I am continually coming to terms with the fact that I am not a great multi-tasker.  When my mind is full of creative flower-arranging, email answering, and quote-making thoughts, it is hard to be a fully present mom.  I'm always trying to figure out how to do it better, but for now, I'm just glad for the break so that we can have slow mornings and go to the pool.  

On another note, I'm so very excited to be on the preferred vendor list for Tennessee on the most beautiful wedding site, Once Wed!  I feel so honored and humbled to be listed next to some of the vendors in the industry that I admire the most. 

The images below are from a wedding I worked on this past November.  I know, it's Spring, but I don't have those pictures yet.  Coming soon!  

This wedding was a blast to work on because Sarah, the bride, is a porcelain artist living and working in Brooklyn, and she made all of the vessels that we used for the flowers.  They were absolutely stunning and I was a nervous wreck trying not to break anything!  The event was a lovely mash-up of rustic/Southern meets modern/organic style.  










Vessels and mobiles:  hand-crafted by the bride, Sarah Cihat
Flowers:  Melissa Broadwell-Vintage Florals
Venue:  The Wrens Nest
Event Styling:  Jessica Sloane
Photography:  Austin Gros

Pipe Dreams

Friday mornings are for coffee at our house.  Since my husband, Lee, bought an espresso machine with his saved up Christmas and birthday money, we've been opening the door on Fridays to friends and neighbors who want a good cup.  It has been this communal thing that we didn't expect and we are so grateful.  We serve up coffee and then get to enjoy the company of whoever stops by.  Everyone wins!  And if I have a flower job, friends just step over the buckets of flowers and hang out while I make boutonnieres.  






We have this dream to open a coffee flower shop one day.  I have visions of a community of people gathering to share life with each other over a cup of coffee with the hubbub of flower design in the background.  I'm sure it would be a crazy way to work, but something about it feels so right. Maybe one day.  For now, if you are in the neighborhood on Friday morning, you can stop by for a cup and visit for a while.  


Vintage Florals + minted.

I've recently partnered with the online stationary company, Minted., to create an inspiration board with one of their templates and beautiful wedding invitations.  Most of the pictures on the board are from a styled shoot that I was involved in last year.  It has been a pleasure working with Minted, so I hope you enjoy this little bit of inspiration!  And if you are in need of anything stationary (especially the wedding invitations with florals!), you should head over and take a look around.  I recently ordered a personalized journal and I love it!

Enjoy a little inspiration!  
Vintage Chic by Melissa, see more wedding invitations
Vintage Chic board by Melissa. See more wedding invitations


Florals:  Vintage Florals*
Styling:  Creative Design Events-Tiffani Helms*
Photography:  Twila's Photography*

*on all but silverware place setting and cake photo's











First Friday DIY: Indoor "gardening"

So here's my confession:  I don't have a green thumb.  
From the responses that I get from people when talking about gardening, I have the feeling that I'm supposed to know what I'm doing with a bag of dirt and a trowel.  
It makes sense...I do put flowers together for a living.  
But that just it, I put them together.  
I buy them from a store, cut the stems, and arrange them in a glass of water.  
There is no gardening involved here.  
I wish I wish I wish I knew what I was doing in the yard.  One day, when the kids are bigger..maybe even out of the house...I will learn how, and when, and where to put, for example, a peony plant.  
For now, the one peony plant that I do have will keep putting out only 2-3 blooms a year, even though I know that it's supposed to be loaded down to the ground with flowers.  
I can't worry about it right now.  
I have to let that one go.  

I have, however, found something that I can do!  

I can buy a potted plant, set it on any flat surface in my house, water it every once in a while, and voila! a healthy plant is LIVING, thriving even, under my own care!

Here are some tips for sprucing up and choosing potted plants for your home.  

1. Trader Joe's sells the prettiest, and cheapest potted plants ever, but if you don't have one, a local grocery store,  Home Depot, or Lowe's will carry them as well.   Just check in the floral or indoor plant section. 

2.  Don't pay attention to the ugly cellophane wrapper on the container-you are going to ditch it as soon as you get it home.  

3. Look for green, healthy foliage and pretty blooms.  Sometimes I buy plants that haven't bloomed yet so that I can enjoy them longer.  


4.  Find a container in your garage, or around the house, that is a little bigger than the pot holding the plant.  Drop the plant down into the pretty container.  


5.  Water, and enjoy. This is my kind of gardening, people. 


I've recently had a bit of luck potting succulants, or echiveria, as well.   This is a little bit more involved, but if I can do it, you can too.  

If you buy the succulant already in a pot, you should be good to go with an established root system.  I usually just have the blooms from the wholesale flower shop where I buy them.  In this case, a little bit of the stem on the bottom needs to be cut off.  I use a paring knife for this-it's like cutting a broccoli stem. You are basically trimming off the dry part to let water absorb into the stem again and grow roots. 



The little roots below are what grow once the stem has been trimmed and planted in moist soil for a couple weeks.  


I use a potting soil that I bought at Home Depot for indoor plants.  
It just needs to be a type of soil that drains well.  

Fill the container with soil.  If your container is really deep, fill it half-way with styrofoam peanuts or rocks, and then fill the rest with your soil.


Nestle the succulent into the soil, pressing gently.  Water the soil once or twice a week.  If you are buying a potted succulent, and just want to repot to a different container, skip to this step.  


My photographer friend, Meredith Teasley, and I had fun the other day styling some of these shots, so here are a few more pretties to enjoy!  Thank you for the beautiful photos, Meredith!  


Little tip for the above potted plant.  I used a terra cotta pot for this one, and since there's a drainage hole at the bottom, I put a pretty plate underneath.  This is a good idea if you are using a decorative aluminum container too, as they tend to leak and sometimes can rust onto your table.  

Beautiful Jasmine plant that I "repotted"....I hope to plant this sucker in the Spring...we'll see how that goes!



Happy "gardening"!!  




Styled shoot with Sara Harper

It has been raining for a week and I'm longing for some sunshine.  Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of a good rainy, on the couch with a magazine and cup of tea kind of day...but only if I'm alone...and this is not an option in my life at the moment.  And let's face it, we really only like one rainy day to be lazy. After that, we get itchy and wiggly, and wanting to get out of the house restless.  Right?!  Well, at least, that's how I feel about it.

All of this rain has reminded me of a styled shoot that my photographer friend, Sara Harper, and I put together a couple years ago.  We rented a table, made a cake and a chocolate torte, I put flowers together and collected china from all over my house...and then it rained.  Then the rain stopped and the sun came out with only about 45 minutes left of perfect sunset sunlight.  Roller coaster!  My friend, Katie, came over to help style the shoot and we got to work.  There was a flurry of handkerchiefs, ranunculus, flowered teacups, silverware, the click click clicking of Sara's camera, and it couldn't have been more fun.

And listen, I know the hot colors for the year are coral and mint, and I love those colors...but I also think you can't go wrong with red, turquoise, and a little hot pink!


David Austin garden roses-perfection

Queen Anne's lace 



  


Styled shoot with Crystal Martel

This styled shoot was put together by my photographer friend, Crystal Martel.  What a beautiful job she did.  I think the images are breathtaking.  Enjoy!  


The bouquet was filled with eucalyptus, peonies, scabiosa, protea, succulents, queen anne's lace, and styled in a very freeform, natural arrangement.  The headpiece was a simple vine of eucalyptus with scabiosa pods and a sweet little succulent.




First Friday DIY: Thanksgiving


I should just start calling this Friday DIY, because I'm not keeping up with the "first friday" part. :/  Goodness, the days speed by!  For Vintage Florals, I've been busy meeting with potential clients for next year, putting quotes together, getting ready for December weddings, and thinking about getting decorations up for a few Christmas clients I have.  It's a busy time for everyone and I have to keep refocusing on what's really important during this season-thanksgiving and gratitude.  

My friend, Julie, posted on her blog a couple years ago about how her family makes a Thankful Tree, "to encourage gratitude" during the season.  It is not only a thoughtful way to honor the season, but it is beautiful, economical, and simple.  So over the weekend, my daughter, Nora, and I gathered what we needed to make a Thankful Tree.  It's been fun to see my kids walk over, write something down, and hang it on the tree..things like family, the world, food!, God, and our home.  There's still time to do this project-it just takes a little time and everyone can be involved!  You can find instructions on Julie's blog here:  Thankful Tree



With Thanksgiving in mind, this month's DIY is going to focus on decorating ideas for your table.  I like to keep it simple, because whether you are putting food ON the table, or serving buffet style, there always tends to be a lot on the table and you don't want it to look cluttered.  You can do this by creating a simple tablescape.  A tablescape is an arrangement of similar items that cluster in the middle of a table or go the length of a longer table.  

Here's a list of items I like to work with:  

acorns, branches with fall leaves, pumpkins, gourds, candles, mason jars, platters, and chrysanthemums.  

Most of these items can be collected from your yard, house, or nature walk in a nearby field! Depending on your plates or tablecloth, you can go a few different directions with color.  I love the warm colors of fall..orange, red, yellow, brown, and green.  If you want a more modern look, you could choose one color.  For a more upscale look, a beautiful serving dish filled with miniature white pumpkins and gourds, accented with greenery and roses.  For a natural look..greens, whites, ivory, and browns would be lovely.  You may have a dish or napkin you love, so you could work your elements and colors around it.  Or, you could use all candles in differing heights and sizes.  

For my mock-up tablescape, I collected things I like from around the house.  

Here's how it turned out-I like an eclectic mix! 

Craspedia, greenery, funny gourd person :)  


Mini pumpkins, funny gourd person (Levi's creation!)


Ikea pedestal bowl, acorns, pumpkin, greenery.  


Have fun with this!  If you have kids, get them involved.  They will be so proud to see their gathered items or artwork on the table.  As the season ramps up with shopping and lists, I hope that this next week especially can be full of simplicity and thanksgiving.  


Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Arranging!  

  

Wedding-Belle Meade Plantation

Amanda and Nate were married last August at Belle Meade Plantation.  I love this place.  It has the perfect combination of southern class and rustic charm with beautiful gardens, a mansion, and a carriage house.  

And, I can't say enough about how amazing Amanda and her mother were to work with.  They put a lot of work into planning the whole thing and it turned out beautifully.  There's more about the wedding and all the details on a feature from Ashley's Bride Guide in March.  

Here are some images from the wedding, by Shuffield Photography.  
garden roses, dahlias, privot
Amanda's bouquet was filled with garden roses, spray roses, dahlias, privot, and fall grasses.



Garden roses, dahlias, hydrangea
Bridesmaid bouquets were filled with ivory hydrangea, varying orange roses, dahlias, and fall grasses.  












 

Rustic arbor, Jackson vine, roses
Amanda's uncle built this gorgeous arbor for the ceremony, and we draped it with Jackson vine, grasses, and roses.






























Beautiful, sweet couple!  Happy belated anniversary, you two!  

First Friday DIY: Containers, Part 2

My friend, Julie, and I were talking the other day about DIY post ideas, and she suggested that I teach about a trick I taught her a while back when some branches she had needed a little help in a large pitcher.  When I dropped the branches into the container, they all fell out to the sides, leaving the middle empty.  I asked her if she had a vase or jar that was smaller than the container.  She did, and when we filled the vase and placed it inside the pitcher, the branches stood up perfectly in the larger container.  You'd never know there was a vase inside!























Julie's vintage pitcher and branches!


Sometimes a container that you really like may be too big, too tall, or too wide for the amount of flowers or branches you have.  Some containers aren't fit for water either.  For example, I love the idea of using fun, colorful cans for vases.  What I have found, though, is that after a few days, water starts leak and rust the bottom of the can, leaving an orange ring on whatever it is sitting on.  Not good-especially for a person like me who stinks at getting stains out.  

The answer in both cases?  Like in the example above, find a smaller container than the can (I like using recycled jars), fill with water, and place it into the can.  Then proceed to arrange your flowers.  


Supplies



















Fill the smaller container with water and place into the can.  Notice that the jar is shorter than the can.


Remember the grid from last month?  Since we are using a smaller container, we can create the same "grid" without the tape.  It's in the way that you place the flowers into the vessel.  The first blooms should be cut so that the length of the stem is a little bit shorter than the height of the vase.  This will allow the blooms to peek over the edge of the container, making it look really full.  Put one bloom in at a time, each time placing the bloom on the opposite side of the other.  When you look down into the vase, you will see that each stem is making an "x" with the one across from it. 



Once you have a grid of 4-6 blooms around the edge, start filling in and up.  You'll notice that the grid will begin support the rest of the flowers, and they will stand where you want them.  


Changed background here-the roses are actually orange, not peach!  :)  

There are 6 blooms around the edges and 1 large in the middle here.

I had some left-over Jasmine vine that I looped in and out of the roses for an accent.  You can accent with any smaller flowers or greenery.


Looks a little bit like a crazy hair day, but I like it!  :)   

Happy Arranging!

ps..my friend, Julie, that I mentioned above has a great food blog-you should check it out if you haven't already!  I pretty much use it as my online cookbook!  :)  







Every Last Detail blog feature!

I'm always excited to work on a style shoot.  This one, featured today on Every Last Detail, with Twila's Photography and Creative Designs and Events is classic and chic.  The fresh mint and pink color combo with gold accents would be perfect for a winter or spring wedding.  Gold has officially made a comeback and I love it! 

For the flower arrangements, I used pale pink spray roses, dahlias, and scabiosa pods.  The result was a romantic, lush bouquet.  I don't usually paint flowers, but these pods were made for a little gold glitter, don't you think?!  





For the bride's bouquet, the same flowers were used with the addition of white scabiosa-the dark centers have just a hint of gold in them and provided the perfect contrast.  


Check out the post today for more beautiful images and inspiration! 


Unruly beauty

There are moments in life that can only be fully expressed in creation.  For me, these moments can happen after a vulnerable conversation, or during a busy day full of duty, or after a rich, real conversation with a friend or loved one.  


Yesterday, I was texting with a close friend-we are both moms and many times it is hard to talk on the phone with kids at our ankles...so we text.  She was telling me about her hard week and I was telling her about mine..and we were wishing that we were drinking pumpkin pie lattes together instead of working all the way out, into and past, the margins in our worlds.  


I love my work, but there are weeks when life and work get all messy, tangled, and unruly in the mix of family, church, and married life.  What happened this week was unexpected, though.  In the messy and unruly, there were sweet, beautiful moments of encouragement and truth.  In a study, in church and in our community group, we talked about holding fast to truth.  I can't get the image out of my head.  The storm may be blowing, circling around, but my hands are gripped tight to truth and I'm standing..maybe not very strong, but I'm standing!  


So in the rich, connecting moment that I had over a text yesterday, I felt thankful and inspired.  I needed to get my hands on something.  With scissors and a water-filled jar in hand, I traipsed through our yard and plucked some of the last blooms of the summer.  


I'm so thankful for the people in my life who point me directly to Truth.  I can't get away from it no matter how far I wander, and I'm deeply grateful.  

First Friday DIY: Put a GRID on it!

This month's First Friday DIY (really late, sorry!) is going to be part one in a series of posts on how to build arrangements in different types of containers.  I remember years ago, when I worked at Import Flowers, I delivered a flower arrangement for my boss from a local flower shop.  It was a beautiful, lush, textured arrangement in a shallow vase.  Because I was beginning to take interest in floral design, I took a close look at the arrangement.  What I noticed that I hadn't thought of or seen before, was that the florist had made a grid on the top of the container with clear tape.  Brilliant!! It was invisible to anyone not looking and allowed the florist to create a well supported arrangement.  Since then, I've kept this technique in my back pocket for certain types of containers and flowers that need extra support.

I primarily like to use a grid on a shallow and/or wide-mouth container.  You may have an antique bowl, a wide square vase, a tall wide vase, or a stemmed compote container that would be lovely as a centerpiece.  The grid will enable you to place flowers exactly where you want them and also offer support for heavy or tall blooms such as sunflowers, hydrangea, gladiolus, or lilies. 

For this DIY lesson, I had roses on hand, so that's what I used as our example.  This arrangement is a classic cluster of garden roses.  

Here are my supplies:  

Scissors, a shallow, footed container, clear tape

The first step in arranging flowers is to clean the stems and flowers, if needed.  For roses, you'll want to remove the thorns and leaves that will be under the water level.  Roses also have a protective layer of petals that you can remove as well.  They tend to look pretty beaten up from packaging.  


Next, you'll make your grid-it should look something like this.  You can make the squares as small or large as you'd like depending on the width of the stems.  It's usually best to fill the container with water before doing the grid, but I forgot and the tape got a little wet.  It still worked!  



We're ready for flowers!  With roses, I like to start at the bottom edges of the container and work my way up, filling in the holes as I go.  You can use this technique without a grid too.  Make sure you trim the ends of the flowers at an angle right before placing in water.  


I used about 15 roses, but a dozen would do with fillers and/or greenery.

With all of the large holes filled in, you can now take any smaller flowers, fillers, or greenery, and work them into the bouquet. I had a little seeded eucalyptus to work with.  You'll want to strip off any leaves that will be under the water level. 


The finished product!



Make sure your container is filled up with water and refresh every other day or so.  

Please post comments if you have questions or send me a note on Facebook!  My facebook page is www.facebook.com/vf.boutique.  

Happy arranging!