Wedding Photos - Gardenia Bouquet

12.29.2011
Sometime back I had posted pictures of a beautiful Gardenia bouquet that I had created for a client. She sent me some pictures from her wedding day.  

Melissa was very nice to work with. No hassles at all. I have to say though, that when I hear stories of bridezillas I realize how lucky I have been! Most of my brides have been exceptionally nice.
 
You know what I saw when I saw this photo of hers? The lovely necklace she's wearing. Though I am not a person who wears jewelry, I fell in love with this piece!

See that blue ribbon? You'd better! :) The shade is called Cobalt Blue. I made trips to a lot of Michaels Craft Stores in the Phoenix-Tempe-Chandler area (since Michaels was where Melissa had bought her other Cobalt Blue ribbons from and I wanted to match hers exactly) before a kind customer service rep told me that she could look up in the system and tell me which store had it in stock. Finally, I found it. And what a beautiful color it is! Totally worth all the running around. Complemented the off-white of the Gardenias beautifully.

 

I can't put a finger on what it is about groom holding his bride's bouquet, but I always love these shots. I hope  you liked the photos :). So much better than what I click, right? :)
Please keep coming back to the KeepsakeBlossoms Blog because more photos from other weddings will be up soon. Also, please take a moment to 'Like' us on Facebook or 'Follow' us on Twitter




Happy New Year!

12.28.2011

Hi Everyone!
I have been notoriously out of touch blog-wise. Sorry about that. Just so many things to do. And it just seems that either me or my husband is falling sick by turns. Hopefully, we are over it by now :).
I hope you had a great Christmas! I am so looking forward to the New Year. I have been working and working to get some things in order. Hopefully, they will all fall into place soon.
This year, in January and June I participated in the Bridal Fashion Debut Show in Phoenix. It is the biggest bridal show in the country with thousands and thousands of brides attending it every year. It was such a pleasant surprise for me when Shannon from the Bridal Show contacted me first to do a custom arrangement for her newborn daughter's room and then for a photoshoot for the purpose of advertising the Wedding MBA which she also organizes. Of course, I said yes! :) And guess where I was when I got that call in a remote location in the Glacier National Park, Montana driving through the beautiful fall foliage of the Rockies. Lucky I had phone reception! :)


So anyway.... Shannon said she wanted a couple of bouquets and it could be anything I wanted. The design was upto me and it would be nice if one of the bouquets had fall colors - but didn't too autumn-y.

For that I created a Modern, Pageant Style Bouquet with Orange Dahlias, Succulents (for the Southwest Feel) and Off-White Chrysanthemums. The dried branches accentuated the modern feel and the brooch on the handle gave it a little bling and complemented it beautifully. 


The second bouquet I made was a more traditional all-white bouquet with Lily of the Valley, Ranunculus and Peonies. I gave it a platinum colored ribbon and again, added a brooch :). I so love this shot where it appears that the beautiful model can't resist smelling the flowers :).

The photos were shot by the fantastic Roy Bracamonte of Roy Bracamonte Photography. He was so easy to work with.... Not that I had much to contribute in the photography part of the photoshoot :), but he made us feel so much at ease with his effervescent personality! He even visited us at home and showed me a few tricks to get better photos. You can visit Roy's website here to look at some more shots that he took of my flowers.


Guest Blog by 'Inspired Occasions' : Trends in Wedding Cakes

11.01.2011



   Website                   Facebook  
I love cake! I should because I create them for a living, (it would just be weird if I didn’t, right?).  It’s a lot of fun to see the trends in cakes from year to year too. I am always excited to see the new styles each season brings.

The cupcake tower is still going strong. They are kind of non-traditional and different, if that’s important. They are also less messy as far as having someone cut the cake and serve it. It also often saves the couple the cutting fee they would be charged by their venue, which is sometimes the same cost as the cake itself. Plus they are just so cute! You can do so much with those little bits of sweetness! Usually the bride and groom chose a 6 inch cake to place on the top tier of the stand as well. This way they still have an actual cake to use for the cutting ceremony.
Some trends have to do with colors. Color trends often follow home d├ęcor’ and fashion trends. Shades of purple seem to be making a comeback, black and white is always popular and the all-white cake is a classic. I personally love the vintage feel that I am seeing lately.  You can find cream with black, muted yellows and garden pinks. So pretty!  Speaking of fashion, have you noticed its influence in the cake world in more than just colors?  Ruffles are huge right now as are flowers that resemble wrapped fabric. You can also find many the damask patterns on wedding cakes among other fabric inspired designs. An entire cake can be designed just by picking elements from the brides wedding dress.
Now let’s talk about frosting. I have seen a huge push back to buttercream iced cakes in the last year. Six or so years ago everyone was really into fondant and there are those that still want the look that fondant gives. There are others though that are going simpler with their designs and definitely want buttercream iced cakes. For most of them the texture of fondant is a turn off. There is something about a buttercream cake too that makes folks reminisce and think of times gone by. Sometimes we just need a little old fashion, yummy frosting! Buttercream can be iced smooth and it can be more rustic and rough. If you are copying a cake that was your parents or grandparents then chances are its buttercream and has all kinds of wonderful piping. Even if the design you choose requires fondant for some of the decorations you can usually still have the cake iced in buttercream.

Cake flavors are something fun to play with. Yes you might like the traditional white cake and that is completely fine, (my most popular flavor is white almond), but many couples are choosing things out of the ordinary. Yes you can serve chocolate cake at your wedding. You could also choose a red velvet, peanut butter/chocolate combo or lemon. Couples often choose to have a different flavor for each tier also. If you do that though you might want a little extra cake, some people may want to try all the flavors.
I would love to hear about and see pictures of your favorite wedding cakes. Please share!
God Bless!

Bonnie owns Inspired Occasions Designer Cakes  in Arizona. She has been decorating professionally for almost 9 years and loves her job. When’s not elbow deep in icing she is taking cake or her three munchkins and hubby of 13 years. You can call Bonnie and order her delicious cakes (the keylime flavor is my personal favorite!) at 480-251-9880.
                                                  
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New Website

9.28.2011



Landing Page
I had been working on a new Website for a long time. However, it took a long time and the right person to get the designs on track :). While I am still working on the improvements, and there is some way to go, I like the general feel of it all. The design is crisp and clean :).

Portfolio Page
 Let me know what you think of the new design and what can I change to make it even better :).

KeepsakeBlossoms : Handcrafted Clay Flowers' Wedding MBA Experience

9.19.2011
Photo Credit:Krystal Muellenberg Photography

I spent the past week absorbing all the knowledge I could absorb, at the Wedding MBA convention that was being held in Las Vegas. I have been in the wedding business for over 3 years now, with my alternative to fresh flowers - my CLAY flowers - but there's a lot of things I could learn about the business. My experience so far, had been try, miss, try, succeed :). The Wedding MBA convention gave me a lot of useful stuff to ponder and act upon. There were a lot of industry leaders as speakers. There were Timothy Chi and Sonny Ganguly - the CEO and CMO respectively of 'WeddingWire', there Carley Roney - the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of 'The Knot', Shannon Underwood and Will Hegarty (both of the 'Bridal Fashion Debut'), Erin Brukhard (of 'Be in Love Designs'),  Kathy Ireland (Kathy Ireland Worldwide), Susan Southerland, Sasha Souza, Julia Markel (Association of Wedding Professionals International), Andy Ebon (of the Wedding Marketing Network), Laura Cave (Director of Marketing Intelligence of 'The Knot') among a host of other wonderful and knowledgeable people. 
My New Clay Hair Flowers : Soon to be offered on my ETSY store (sorry for the bad pic. Blame my iPhone 3GS)
Being who I am - a very reticent person who wants to go hide somewhere when she sees a lot of people - I was planning on spending a lot of time by myself. But thanks to my friend Jo Ann Grant of Apropos Creations, that was not to be :). She made sure that I spoke with people and I was glad I did. I met so many wonderful wedding vendors - all experts in their fields. I hope to share their work with all of you on this platform. Coming back to Jo Ann, I have never met anyone like her. If you need something, she will most likely have it in her purse :). She is friendly, resourceful and extremely organized. No wonder she's a wedding planner! Here she is, with Kathy Ireland.
Photo: Jo Ann Grant and Kathy Ireland
(I wish I had a chance to show her my clay flowers :), that would have been fun right?) We had a fun time driving to Vegas together. At one point, we were so busy talking and laughing that we missed the exit and had to keep going for more than 20 miles before we could turn back :). If you are in the Phoenix area and looking for someone to take care of your Wedding Day, do check out Apropos Creations. I truly believe (and I don't say this because she's my friend) she will take all the stress out of your Wedding Day and put you at ease so you can enjoy your Wedding the way you are supposed to.
The simple floral arrangement that I made for Jo Ann's association's booth at the Wedding MBA  Convention
Coming back to the Wedding MBA experience, it was wonderful. I cannot wait to do it again :). People who saw my flowers there, could not believe that they were made out of clay. Clay Flowers, I realize is a still a very new concept for most people and I am glad that I am able to introduce people to the beautiful world of realistic, lightweight and longlasting DECO Clay Flowers :).

Gardenia Bouquet

8.30.2011
I have been missing in action - again :). Sorry about that. But the good news is, that I am doing a lot of interesting things and you will see the results soon. There are so many things that I am doing right now, that posting photos sometimes becomes difficult. But this bouquet I totally fell in love with. So, I am taking time to post these pics for you :).
 Most of you folks know by now, that I am not a great photographer :), so please forgive the badly focused pics..... and please wait for the next post which only has pics by professionals. It was supposed to be before this, but then I got busy with the wedding season that 'apparently' ended in April! :) I am not complaining though... I am loving every bit of it.
Enjoy these photos and I'll see you soon :).

KeepsakeBlossoms featured in the 'Bridal Buzz' Blog of 'Bridal Guide Magazine'

7.20.2011
Yesterday, I was going through my emails when I found one from the Bridal Guide Magazine. They said they would love to feature my work - my DECO Clay Flowers - on their 'Bridal Buzz' blog :). They had conducted a poll to see if brides thought that faux flowers were a 'DO' or 'DON'T'. One of my Facebook Fans told them about my clay wedding flowers (Thanks Becca! You rock!) :).
I sent in some photos and some information that they asked for and here's the blog :). I have been working at this DECO Clay flower art so hard for all these years. Finally, it seems, that recognition is trickling in. I am so honored and grateful (and may I also say, totally elated!Yippee!). This is the first time a National level major bridal publication has featured my work.
Click on the photos or click here to read what the blog says about the flowers that I handcraft from Claycraft by DECO.  I must thank the photographers who helped me get here. I was always doing good work, but my photos sucked and people maybe thought my flowers sucked too. LOL! Well, I was lucky to find these ladies who took lovely shots of my flowers and made them look as pretty as they are in real-life: Angela Simpson of Angelina Rose Photography, Amanda Fales of Amanda Fales Photography, Wendy Loped of Abstract Mind by WLo and Marnie McCown of Crescendo Photography. Thanks Ladies!

PS: While you take this in, also look out for my next post. Tons of EYE CANDY, I promise! :)

Bridal Fashion Debut - June 2011

6.21.2011
I have been promising photos for long now :). Well, here are some from my recent participation at the Bridal Fashion Debut in Phoenix.

 Am I allowed to have favourites amongst my own creations? LOL! Because these two above qualify. The left has peonies in three different shaped vases. The vases weren't sold as a set.... I literally had to hunt for matching vases. But they go so well together and give the arrangement such elegance. I love the simplicity of the design. It is so modern and striking. 
The yellow ranunculus and freesia arrangement on the right took a long time to make. I was experimenting with colors and textures. Eventually, I decided on different shades of yellow, with hints of green as accent. The vase is actually a very very pretty candle holder, with a teal and light-gold print on it. I keep buying containers that catch my eye, to use in future arrangements. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don't :). This one did. Big time. 

This is how my booth looked this time :). A big change from how it looked in January :). I even hung photographs that I received from photographers who were kind enough to take pictures of my flowers. I credited them on the frames. The photos generate a lot of interest in my booth and people even asked for information on the photographers who clicked the pics. So glad the idea worked out well.

Here's some more eye candy :).

 The pics came out nice, eh? Just goes to show how professionally taken photos can make a big difference and make my flowers look as beautiful as they are in-person. For these pics, I have to thank my friend Angela Simpson of Angelina Rose Photography. She not just did a great job of taking photos of my flowers, she also helped me design the booth and even came down to help me set it up. 
Another person was a big help (and has been, since I first met her at the Bridal Fashion Debut in January this year): Jo Ann Grant of Apropos Creations . Jo Ann is immensely encouraging and helpful. She not just advised me on where I could get my tables and linens from, she also shared some of her own decorations with me :). Now I know why she is such a fantastic wedding planner. She really goes out of her way to make people happy. Thank you you Jo Ann :). 
Andrea Jeckering of Dolli Bee.Com designed my new and improved Business Card. (Just email me if you want one.) What a difference she made! She delivered exactly what I wanted and in record time! My new business card is SO beautiful, I am going a little silly over it. I keep looking at it all the time :).  Andrea is a wedding and event stationery designer (she is also on ETSY!) whom I met very recently. And I am so thankful that I did :). 

This little arrangement that you see in this picture was designed by my husband. It turned out amazingly pretty! :) I didn't know there was a hidden designer in my engineer husband. 
All the arrangements that you see here are already available in my ETSY store for purchase, or are in the process of being available there :). I am also working on exciting new products to be made available on ETSY soon. And yes, as always more beautiful photos to share. So .... keep reading. 

Guest Blog: Angelina Rose Photography

6.15.2011
I have SO much to tell you.... and I know I haven't been good at blogging of late.... but please bear a little longer with me. Your patience shall be rewarded with beautiful photos :).
Talking of photos, allow me to introduce Angelina Rose Photography. If you are in Arizona and still looking for a great photographer for your wedding day, this would be a lovely choice!

I'll let the talented Angela Simpson take over from here:



A warming embrace, a quirky smile only the two of you understand, the laughter of a happy day, and the love you share.
It's not so much the wedding itself that's my passion to photograph, but the emotions, vibe, and lives that surround the wedding day. The passion of photographing the people. You and those that you invite to one of the biggest days of your life. Capturing the smiles, laughter, cherished memories from a story, and the tears of joy.
Here's a few of my favorite images from last year:

Melinda and Jerry met at the softball field in Glendale and got hitched a year later back on the field. A happy-go-lucky couple. Full of spunk both on and off their playing field and full of love for one another.

Sarah and Richard got married at the Windmill Winery in Florence AZ. This was a private moment during their first look that took my breathe away. So in-tune with one another that the air around them must have crackled.

I was second shooting for a friend of mine last October at the Scottsdale Fairmont Resort. This little guy caught my eye among the bridesmaids. A little ham all dressed up and looking absolutely adorable.
Amanda and Gerald were married at the Wright House in Mesa. Having their wedding day on a Thursday gave us the advantage to use both parts of the property for pictures. We had a ton of fun with the fountain and the surrounding gardens.

A backyard wedding and reception. One of the most intimate and personal settings that just screamed the personality of this lovely couple; Sharlot and William. A national park ranger and a non-profit organization worker.

Bridal Bouquet - Subtle Elegance

5.15.2011
Heather has been a breeze to work with. To start with she sent me a detailed email with all her wishes. That  helps a lot! :) She also showed me some pictures that served as her inspiration. 
 Well, this is what we came up with - Ivory Peonies, White Ranunculus, Stephanotis, Pink Roses, White Hydrangeas with Blue highlights. I then added a little foliage to it, and embellished it using Swarovski Pearls (They are expensive.... but I L-O-V-E them!).
Finally, I put on a hot pink sheer ribbon with pearls, over an ivory ribbon with a fine silver lining. So pretty! :) I am so shamelessly in love with this creation of mine. I hope Heather enjoys her wedding bouquet. Here's wishing her a blissful wedded life.
PS: These lovely photos are again, by Wendy Lopez of Abstract Mind by WLo . Stay tunes for some more great pictures we took the day she shot these pics for me. I feel so lucky to have found her in my little town :).

Third Anniversary Giveaway!

5.10.2011
On May 13, 2008, I started my Etsy Store. I had no experience of selling online. (Or selling wherever!) But hey, I am here today. And I only have to thank my clients for putting their trust in me and getting me to this happy place.
To mark the day, I am doing a giveaway. Here's what you have to do to enter (Read carefully):

To be entered for the giveaway, please follow me on Facebook, Twitter and/or Blog. (Each gives you one entry. So if you follow me on all of the three, you get three entries) And send me a message or a comment that you are doing so. Its that simple. What's the giveaway? This time, instead of deciding on my own, I'll let the winner decide :), (Anything for upto 35 Dollars worth!) so that you are not stuck with something that you can't use. Excited yet? :) Spread the word. The person who gets me the largest number of Facebook Fans also wins the same prize. (Just let me know who you are sending my page's way)

I know, Friday is only a short time away.... but the drawing will be on the 31st of this month. So you have lots of time to enter :)
If you wish to Email me, my email address is: info@keepsakeblossoms.com

'Country Chic' Bouquet

A while back, I was asked if I could make some bouquets for a photoshoot. I made 3 of them, matching them with the dresses the models were to wear. One of those bouquets, is this one.... Now, I don't have the photos from the photoshoot yet, but I figured I'll share with you what my friend Wendy of Abstract Mind by WLo shot for me :).
Now, this is a smaller bouquet, but I love how pretty it looks and how much character it has, despite the size. Initially, I didn't think of including anything yellow. My husband said I should 'infuse' yellow. Now, normally, I tend to ignore what my husband says about floral arrangements. LOL! But this suggestion totally made sense. I think the yellow gives this bouquet 'spunk' :). Don't you think so?

This bouquet has Roses, Shrub Roses, Lilac and Grape Hyacinth. The Lilac, Grape Hyacinth and the Grape Leaves give this bouquet a whimsical feel, while the colors keep it very very chic. Now, for the photoshoot, I did the wrap in a plain mauvy pink satin ribbon.... but I think I could work on it a little more to make it more glam :).  That's my plan now :).


If you wish to see this bouquet first-hand, please visit my booth at the Bridal Fashion Debut - the biggest Bridal Show in the country - on June 12th, 2011 between 9am-3pm. It will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center.  You can hold this bouquet and see how light it is ...and yes, it will still be looking exactly the same :), because these flowers don't die :). That's what I so love about my flowers!
Okay, now back to wedding orders :). Shall get back to you with more photos soon .... keep reading.....

Blue Rose Bouquet with Peacock Feathers

5.02.2011
Our move to Arizona has blessed me with not just good business, but also good people :). Wendy - of Abstract Mind by WLo - and I became 'Facebook Friends' sometime back, when I saw her beautiful portrait photography and 'liked' her page. We had been 'talking' on FB for sometime, when I asked her if she'd have some time to photograph my flowers. And I am so glad she agreed :).
This blue roses with peacock feathers bouquet, I have made for Suhanya from Canada. Suhanya is my first ever South Asian client. Interestingly, though she and I come from different countries (I come from India and she comes from Sri Lanka), my husband speaks the same language as she does - Tamil. I have a different mother tongue (India has about 5000 languages and dialects!) - Bengali. Anyway.... so I was pretty happy to finally have a bride from the same geographical area as me :). 
Suhanya had seen my first roses and peacock feather bouquet and wanted something like that, in blue. It has turned out so vibrant! And the peacock feathers add a lot of charisma to these pieces -just in case you missed it the first time, there is a bout too, for the groom-to-be. 
Alrighty! I've got to go now. I have lots more to share..... soon enough :). By the way, for those who are not on my Facebook Page, here's what I am working on for my next project - Kate Middleton's Wedding Bouquet - in CLAY. I am totally obsessed with it :). That has sometime to go though, with the million tiny flowers in it :). 

Brilliant Bridal Grand Opening

4.15.2011
Brilliant Bridal is having their Grand Opening this weekend (April 16 and 17, 2011). And it is going to be the most happening place to be for Phoenix area brides. There are many many giveaways - including jewelry, gift certificates, wedding invitations, veils, tiaras, an HDTV and even a vacation :). And yes, my flowers too. I am giving away a 50 Dollars worth gift certificate towards a custom order and a hair flower.



There are raffle draws every half an hour! :) And food. And cake. Really, this is the place you want to be tomorrow and the day after. You can read more about the grand opening and the giveaways on Brilliant Bridals' blog.

Pictures from a PhotoShoot

3.24.2011
I just got these photos in from Marnie of Crescendo Photography and I just had to share them with you rightaway, though I am nodding off even as I type :). 
The photoshoot was organized by Jo Ann of Apropos Creations. She is a fantastic wedding planner with exceptional organizing and networking qualities. I really owe a lot to Jo Ann. I met her at the Bridal Show and since then, she has guided me and helped me  in several ways. Thanks Jo!

So anyway... I got an email from Jo Ann one day asking if I could lend some bouquets for a photoshoot. Of course I could, I said :).  Given my photography talents, I am always happy and grateful to have my flowers professionally photographed.
My flowers show their true potential when photographed well. Don't you think so? :) 
So these two bouquets were used for the photoshoot. And the results are better than anything that I could have imagined. :) The day was overcast. Yet, the flowers came out looking so so beautiful :). I am just amazed at Crescendo Photography's work!
The first bouquet is all peonies and has been photographed by me before with terrible results. LOL! :) I love it so! It is a petite bouquet and has a lot of character. And the colors too, are oh-so-beautiful. I have had many people look at this bouquet and ask if the peonies are real. When I tell them that they aren't, they don't believe me :). That is a huge compliment for my work :).
The second bouquet is a more brightly colored bouquet made of hydrangeas, shrub roses, roses and calla lilies. I love how vibrant it turned out. I saw this color inspiration in The Knot Wedding Look Book and gave the design my own twist.
Special Mention: The veils in the photos are made by Leah of 'A Silver Lining - Bridal Veils and Accessories'

New ETSY Listings

2.23.2011
I have been working hard to finish the projects at hand. But I did manage to put up some listings on ETSY - Finally :). I had neglected my ETSY store so long that I felt guilty :). Anyway, here are some cool things that you will find in the store.
This is a poppy cake flower. I love how the colors really pop out :). I also made one as a hair clip, for a friend's daughter :). 
This arrangement in an Expresso Cup is really a favourite with me. Because of its colors and its size, it is really versatile. Everyone who sees this has always wanted one. I have sold so many of them before I even had a chance to put it on ETSY! So, I thought it was time I did. 

The Peony Bouquet, I SO love! It is a simple bouquet, but has so much texture! I made it for the Bridal Show. But when ordered, I will be making a fresh one for the buyer. This particular piece stays with me :). 
I have tons of work to do, so I really have to rush now..... I hope you like these pictures. By the way, have you seen how all the pictures have the 'cake background' ? :) I thought the faux cake formed a really nice background for the wedding creations and got a little carried away. LOL!