Posts Categorized: collaborations

collaborations + DIY + garden + Projects / Tuesday, 13 May 2014

3 ways to make a topiary

How to make a topiary
I’ve had a thing for topiaries ever since I could pronounce the word. Something about a bush being cut into the shape of a ball thrills me. I’ve always assumed that there was a specific science to it and I’m sure there is for some of those crazy animal shapes, but turns out, they’re quite simple and MUCH cheaper to make on your own–as all good DIY projects are. I was excited to learn the art from Tonya LeMone, who owns the most beautiful enchanting garden Perennial Gardens. She has a true love of creating beauty with her gardens and flower knowledge. I met her last year for a shoot and I keep on going back because 1) her gardens are so lovely and 2) she is so lovely. Today she is sharing with us three ways to make topiaries: ivy globe, boxwood, and rosemary topiaries and 2 ways to put the scraps to good use. Because resourcefulness is a lost skill.
how to make a topiary
Rosemary topiary tutorial
boxwood topiary tutorial
boxwood cuttings
Boxwood wreath tutorial
topiary skills from Tonya LeMone at Perennial Gardens 
 Click to learn how to make all topiaries!

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Art + collaborations + Design + flowers + Pageant of the Masters / Monday, 28 Apr 2014

Pageant of the Masters: Herbert James Draper

Last month I announced a new series on the blog, Pageant of the Masters, where floral designer Ashley Beyer of Tinge Floral and Kate Osborne of Kate Osborne Photography and I team up to recreate paintings with flowers in the them. It’s been awfully dreamy so far. This time we included painter Leslie Duke, model/illustrator Michelle Christensen, and hair stylist Aubrey Nelson to (literally) complete the picture.

This month we recreated Herbert James Draper’s Pot Pourri from 1897. I was unfamiliar with Draper’s work when we selected him as our second artist in the series so I thought I’d provide some background. He was a Victorian era English painter who took a traditional path as a career painter. He studied at the Royal Academy and like the good artist he was, took frequent trips to Rome to study from the masters. He often portrayed mythological themes in his work along with portraits and became quite famous for it. By the end of his life in the early 1900s his fame had passed. It’s only now that there’s a revival in his works.

Kate, Ashley, and I gasped at the thought of recreating this painting in real life. The beautiful red and pink roses so beautifully frame the canvas and lend a romantic yet lonely feel to the woman. Is she all alone with her flowers creating an arrangement for herself? Or is she the madame of her residence creating the arrangements for a party later on in the evening? Does black indicate mourning and is it for a funeral of a loved one? I gotta find out more about this artist!

Funny story, the painting we initially found was the exact image above. BUT, in later research, after the photoshoot, we found that this painting had been cropped.

WHOOPS! Would have been good to know and it explains the dried flowers on the right side of the painting. Now you can see the blue and white vase peeking in. Note to self: research BEFORE the shoot! That said, I do rather enjoy the crop of the one we recreated.

So, the funky thing about recreating paintings is seeing just how many artistic liberties the artist takes. There are some angles of the model that I’m pretty sure aren’t humanly possible. For example, the left hand holding the bowl. To get the height of the bowl with the angle of her sleeve wouldn’t be possible in our recreation unless someone else was holding it. So I did what anyone would do and get down on the ground and hold the bowl up from below.
Another issue was the lighting. The light source in the painting was coming from all around, yet the face of the model was in darkness. Explain that one! Kate did an amazing job of recreating the lighting, but here’s how normal lighting would have been (see above). There’s no way you can get such severe shadows on her face without a little artistic license.
I have to applaud Aubrey Nelson on hair. Didn’t she nail it? And Leslie Duke‘s background. It was just the right texture.

Stay tuned for next month’s recreation!

hair by Aubrey Nelson
art direction by me

collaborations + Design + giveaway / Thursday, 27 Mar 2014


This Saturday, I’m partnering up with one of my favorite brands, U.S for a Pinterest Happy Hour: an afternoon of live pinning featuring my favorite design, décor, and DIY pins! 
Join me on Saturday, March 29th at Noon EST to get in on the pinning action. will also be hosting a giveaway during this time so keep your eyes peeled for the hashtag, #PillowPin2Win for a chance to win a snazzy pillow simply by repining the image! 
For now, head over to U.S on Pinterest, follow them, and keep an eye on their board, Design, Décor, D.I.Y Happy Hour! 

collaborations + DIY + holiday + Projects / Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014

“You’ve been flocked” prank for April Fools

You've been flocked April Fool's prank

While I was in Palm Springs for Meet Make Do with the other wonderful crafty ladies (check out more of our fun here and here), I caught a glimpse of a photo my mom had put up on Facebook of their neighbors yard with a flock of flamingos and a sign reading “you’ve been flocked.” What in the what? This is the best thing that could ever happen to anyone, no?

That day was our crafting day of the trip and I was racking my brain for something stellar to make while I was in a beautiful mid-century home in the middle of the desert. I needed something that would capture the spirit of the place…and soon it came…”why don’t I flock this house?” It’s the only appropriate thing to do!

Our retreat had been sponsored by the good folks at Bing so I immediately took to one of the Microsoft Surfaces they provided us and searched for “you’ve been flocked.” Qu’est-ce que c’est? Turns out, there are TONS of websites and pictures with people who’ve been flocked. This is a thing apparently! There’s even a “you’ve been flocked” website. It appears that sometimes it’s used as a blackmailed fundraising device (“give us $10 to take back the flamingoes”) but personally, I find just the fun of waking up to a flock of flamingos hilarious.

Melanie, Danni, and I headed to the local party store who was sold out of pink flamingos. What now? We Binged it and found this gem: Flock o’ Flamingos. A whole company in Palm Springs that rents out flamingos. And rubby duckies. I didn’t ask questions. It was owned by a super swell guy who just had them hanging out in his condo. Thank you!

put out tons of flamingos in someone's lawn
pink flamingos in someone's lawn
With the help of Jenn Elliott of Scout Blog and Ashley Rose of Sugar and Cloth, we got set them up around the front yard.
Click below to see full tutorial! 

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collaborations + Design + flowers + paper flowers + Projects + video / Wednesday, 5 Feb 2014

Experimenting with corn husks

corn husk flowers rose
paper flower bouquet with corn husk flowers
corn husk rose flower
corn husk flower bouquet
I posted this picture the other day on Instagram and hinted: it’s not made of paper, guess the material? Thinking that no one would guess. I was surprised to find that many people nailed it on the head. Corn husks! Am I just super out of the loop and never in a million years would I think to create something with corn husks? I’m guessing it was a thing back in the day or something. You got me.
ANYWAY, my intern Trisha Zemp, approached me about doing a project made of corn somehow and she suggested corn husks. Yumm, sure? I started experimenting with them and then thought, “Wait, is my life supposed to be dedicated to corn husks?” They’re dreamy. They hold a shape that paper cannot replicate, you can manipulate them to do anything, they’ve got a lovely grain. I worked until 3am creating petal after petal. Guys, it’s all about corn husks! 
I’ve done a few since them for this and that and I’ll show you a bit of what I’ve been doing here. I added some into a paper flower bouquet, second picture from the top, I was hired to create for someone retiring and created a corn husk hat for another shoot which I’ll show when it comes out.
And THEN, Trisha had the idea to create a little stop motion. You know, the genesis of the corn husk flower. It’s only natural. Isn’t it adorable?

More DIY corn husk projects on their way. I know you’re stoked.

photography and stop motion by the wonderful Trisha Zemp