Peonies :)


I love the ball like poufy peony blooms and have been making peonies like crazy since the past few days (when I wasn't making lillies or roses that is). This arrangement, I finished today. It is a custom order.

This arrangement has brought me many sales. I sold the original in the 'Made in Hawaii' festival. It got me two wedding orders as well. And now this order too :). So, this is really my lucky arrangement.
This arrangement is very time consuming since each peony has about 35-40 petals, all made one-by-one :). But its really good fun. And when the arrangement is ready, its so pretty that I forget the hard work. :)
Do send me your much valued feedback :)....

Amaryllis Flowers

Almost a month back, I heard from a lady who wanted two holiday arrangements. One in a vase and one a wreath for an advent ring. For the vase arrangement, she wanted crimson amaryllis. So, here's my first attempt at the flower :). I had been taught regular lillies, but not amaryllis (which belong to the lilly family). But instead of bothering my teacher - which I do a lot :) - I thought, I will try these out myself. So, I went to florists' shops and checked out the way amaryllis is structured. This thing about learning the botanical part of flowers is something that my friend Betty Phillips - a fellow DECO Clay artist - taught me. And really, it helped. I learnt that the petals are wider than the regular lillies. Then I figured out how to give texture to the petals. Then, I made some 'compromises' with the stems. Since my client wants the arrangement to be a certain way, and since clay flowers and stems are not soft like the real things, I made the stems thinner than real amaryllis stems. Also, I put only one flower on each stem. Since, the stems won't show as much in the final product, I figured it was okay to make these changes. I went ahead with an okay from my client. This is what I have right now. I just put them all in the vase sent to me by my client, for the photo. I should have pictures of the finished arrangement by tomorrow morning. :) But I just had to show these flowers off! I just love them. What about you?

My Christmas Wreath

This week I attended a couple of classes at the DECO Clay Craft Academy and this is one of the things that I made :). I am so happy about this one. I just love it! I love all the glitter, all the pearls and I love how the white, pink, silver and gold go together. Now, I am just waiting for it to dry enough, so that I can hang it at home.

The wreath has anemones with golden centers and roses, which look like they are made of fabric. They aren't. They are made of clay. But this is a new technique that Yukiko taught me.
I am keeping this post real short for lack of time. I have lots of work to finish this week. But do let me know how you like this creation of mine.

Here's presenting Nella!

I have been thinking of writing about Nella’s ETSY shops for quite some time now. I did not do it earlier, because I did not want it to look like a favour to a client. I did not want anything to take away the attention this girl deserves.
Nella is truly special. She is a crafter, yes. And she does so many crafts. Her wedding was a DIY (‘Do-it-yourself’ for the uninitiated) wedding. She did almost everything by herself! I was amazed at her creativity and energy. I say energy because Nella, is a student-doctor and she spent almost the whole day diagnosing illnesses, suggesting treatments, learning more about new faculties and then she came home and did her wedding stuff! Amazing!
Nella found me through ETSY. She saw the Martha Stewart Show and learnt about DECO Clay, which got her interested in the option of using for her wedding. When she searched for DECO Clay flowers, my flowers turned up too, including my fall colored wedding bouquet. In her own words, "I thought it was absolutely beautiful and that is how it all started. I was going to use the florist that Prestonfield had suggested but after seeing your bouquet, I was hooked. I’m glad I choose you. It was the best decision I ever made and the posies and table arrangements made great keepsakes for our guests!" Thank you Nella for those wonderful words!
As for me, I was pleasantly surprised to note how much she trusted me. After looking at just 3 samples (one of each flower), she went ahead with her order. It was the start of an amazing process and a friendship too. I didn’t even realize when we started sharing little things and deep thoughts with each other. There, there! I am getting carried away again by Nella – the person. I want to talk here about Nella - the crafter, Nella – the Etsian.
Nella has two shops on ETSY – The Quirky Bride and Ukiyoe Designs. Which is my favourite? I love both. I have been the lucky recipient of several pieces of Nella’s Jewelry, which she sells in Ukiyoedesigns(Ukiyo-e : Pictures of the Floating World). I have two bracelets and two sets of earrings made by her. I just adore them! I am not a jewelry person, but I do know that she works the wires between the beads (and she uses the real stuff!), kind of like crocheting with wire. Her jewelry is so beautiful and unique that several people have suggested to her that she should sell her designs at high-end stores and let other people make them for her. But like most artists, creating is what she HAS to do. So, she opted against having others make jewelry for her. It also makes her jewelry unique and personal.
Nella’s other shop – “The Quirky Bride” is really unique. Here she sells Guestbooks, hair flowers, throw bouquet etc. But my favourite and Nella’s too, are the Bride and Groom Love Birds that she creates using fabric and lace. For her own wedding she made burgandy coated grooms and lace and feather fascinator brides for her wedding and they were too cute for words. She tries to give them personalities similar to the bride and groom she’s making the lovebirds for. Isn’t that sweet? About the lovebirds on her cake, she tells me, “The groom had a silver ‘pocket watch’ which I think fit my husband very well (he has a bit of that old Hollywood look to him with all the class and sophistication) and I had a sterling silver and pearl fascinator and a long tulle train - very glam which fits my style”. As for her hair flowers, I truly love them. I had Nella make me one too. Though I make hair flowers myself, my raw material is different and in any case, it is always an honor to own another artist’s creations.
Nella’s dad was an artist in Nicaragua and her great aunt had her own line of clothing. Its no wonder then that Nella too has an artistic bent of mind! She tells me that even when she was a child, she used to love to create. “When I was 4 I used to get into a great deal of trouble with my grandmother because I would cut up our appliqu├ęd and lace pillowcases to make dresses for my dolls. When I was six I used to mix her perfumes together and add water because I was “creating” new scents. It kills me to think about it now – mixing Chanel no 5 with Opium. LOL!” Nella’s grandma still has all of her fragrant masterpieces.
Nella’s journey on ETSY has been very interesting so far. In fact she told me that she intends to write an article on “How to have an ETSY wedding”, since she ordered most of her wedding stuff from ETSY. A little serendipitous, considering the fact that she just ‘bumped’ into ETSY. Here’s wishing Nella all the best with her lovely creations ! I hope she becomes a wonderful and famous doctor…. But I also wish that she never gives up crafting, because she is so creative and so great at it. Most of all, I wish Nella all the happiness in her married life with her wonderful husband (also a doc), Jonathan.

Gardenia and Stephanotis Bouquet

Today's flowers are the ones I shared with you about a month back, when they were still just flowers, stuck on to stems. Now, they are a bridal bouquet, complete with ribbons and pearls :).
My client contacted me through ETSY and told me that hers is going to be a simple seaside wedding and the colors are just white and light almost Tiffany Blue, with less of green than the Tiffany Blue. And here's the final product. And there's a boutonniere and a hair flower to go with it, but I don't have photos yet. Let me know how you like this simple, elegant bouquet.

A really sweet gesture

A client of mine, Liz from California got in touch with me via ETSY (Don't I just love ETSY!) for a Gardenia Hair Flower. And this is what she sent me as a part of her feedback for her flower. I thought this was very sweet of her, sending me a picture of her wearing the flower I made for her and also the cute thumbs up sign. It really made my day! So, I thought I should share this with you.
Making these beautiful flowers takes a lot of effort. And it feels so good to be appreciated by people who buy the flowers.

I found myself on the ETSY Wedding Gift Guide!

I love ETSY. And not without reason. Ever since I started listing on ETSY, thanks to my friend Andrea (I can never thank her enough!), my business has been on the upswing :). And just the past week, I even found myself on their Wedding Gift Guide. Alright, the arrangement chosen by them isn't one of my hottest sellers, in fact I haven't really sold one of those arrangements :). But I am pretty positive that being featured on ETSY's wedding gift guide sure got me lots of hits, which then converted to sales :). And I am on the third page! :) Since most of the orders I get through ETSY are wedding orders, being featured on the Wedding Gift Guide is a huge plus for me. Yes, I know, I can't stop smiling :). So, please click on the picture and take a look.
I have also been featured in a couple of treasuries lately, but I have been so busy that by the time I found out about the treasuries, it was time for their expiry. Next time, I shall be more careful and try to share these too with you... While I go and check out if I am in any treasury today, do send me your comments :).