events

Cats, Dogs, Brides, and paperwork!

22 April 2011

Hello Everyone…  I haven’t forgotten about all of you…  I promise.  Just lots of irons in the fire!

Me being the procrastinator that I am waited until the last minute to get through tons of paper work for the US’s big tax day.  I would so much rather do more fun creative things!  I did have help though…

Nipper was making sure my receipts were in order for the charity that my husband and I run called The Lucky Few.  I sure hope the IRS (for those of you not in the US they are the tax collectors) doesn’t mind a few cat hairs!

Another project I have been working on is a fun photo shoot with coordinator and designer Kelly Oshiro.  I can’t let too much out at this time but here is a bouquet from the shoot.

Just to tease you here is a severely cropped picture that shows you hopefully just enough to wet your curiosity but not enough to tell you what we were up to.  The model and the dog were adorable!…  The dog belongs to Kelly.  He was a rescue dog like all our cats (I knew I loved Kelly and not just because she is super creative and fun!!!).  For more on this very cool lady check out her web site here.

I will post the pics here as soon as I get them (it will be awhile though).  Lots of fun!!

I have also had a couple of weddings.  For anyone questioning my dedication to duty or being a team player…   here I am drying the flower girl’s dress which she had peed on right before the ceremony.  I ran and got my hair dryer from home (just around the corner) and stood behind the barn and did my best to dry it out while the ceremony was waiting.

I am making a funny face for a reason…  hot air travels up…  towards your nose…

Oh well, the show must go on as they say.  Hope you all are having a lovely Spring.  I will be back soon.

Thinking of Spring…

26 January 2011
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The weather here in Santa Barbara has been so warm, honestly it feels like summer.  All the Jasmine are budding and getting ready to explode.  Our front yard is going to smell amazing in a week or two.  The warmth has me thinking of Spring and the lovely parties I have had the pleasure of creating.  I thought I would share a favorite with you.

This was a girls birthday luncheon at a local restaurant.  We took over the place, moved out a lot of their things and moved in my fun props.  This was the entrance that greeted the guests.

There were beautiful fans for the ladies.

The restaurant has the most beautiful solarium that we moved my furniture and props into.  We also brought in lots of trees and green plants.

The details tucked in here and there were adorable…

The centerpieces were each different.  This one I used my Mom’s antique silver tea set.

This centerpiece had a chintz tea cup, silver tea pot and a cloche over a mini arrangement.

Sometimes you can’t even see the vase, I pack so may flowers into them.  I don’t know why I take so much time

picking the right container.

This lovely lady is a vintage candelabra that I wired flowers onto for a bar arrangement.

The party favors were beautiful Asian tea sets wrapped in fun bamboo boxes.  The cake was in the shape of a tea pot which I set on my bird bath and surrounded it with flowers.

Wishing you beautiful flowers filled dreams…

Terri Windling, untidy desks and the underwater Christmas wedding

21 December 2010
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I just have to tell you, I am so tickled!  One of my favorite people out there in faery tale land is Terri Windling.  She wrote a book I dearly love called “The Wood Wife”.

It is a wonderful story of a woman who journies to the Arizona desert in pursuit of a poet and his story and finds instead magic and a deep soul changing power.  I highly recommend it!  She also has a lovely blog that covers all sorts of manner of things not the least of which is her art (sort of a cross between Susan Seddon Boulet, Arthur Rackham and Brian Froud) and her life with her husband and silly black hound in Devon, England (does everyone wonderfully touched by the fae live there and can I too… please, please?).  She is blogging a wonderful series called “On Your Desk” and has asked for creative types to send in photos of their “desk”, untidied, as-is, in the middle of the creative process, or however it appears to be.  She has already featured many of my heros like Alan Lee, Charles De Lint, Rima Stains and more.  So… on a whim…  I sent in my desk top (workspace) pictures, as it appears in the middle of the wedding I just did, and…  she put it up on her blog!  How cool is that I ask ya!  Here are a couple of the pictures I sent her but please go and visit her site (and look for the blog dated 12-20).

I think it will charm and delight you and you can see yours truly’s completely wiped out work area.

The wedding I was working on that appears in the “desk top” photos was a really fun beachy Christmassy style with tons of red roses as well as other rich burgundy colored flowers mixed with driftwood.   Here are some of the completed centerpieces…

The tent was beautiful both glowing warm and inviting and yet wintery looking up above.  Here are a few shots of the tables and decor…

They also had some fun lounge ares…

The couple also had a thing for hearts so I made two 12′ tall driftwood hearts, decorated them with flowers and a mini chandelier and hung them from the tent rafters.

The tent looked beautiful as the night moved in…

And check out this desert spread!   The worst part was that I had to look but not touch (or eat!)

Now for the “underwater” part.  We here in Santa Barbara are in the middle of a week long deluge with another week or so predicted.  Absolutely everything is soaked, saturated, drowned and in every other way… wet!.  Now this wedding was held in an outdoor venue at the San Ysidro Ranch…  yes I said outdoor.  They had decided right from the off they would have a tent just to keep everyone warm.  What we all didn’t know is that the tent had to work in the driving rain as well.  I mean I think I saw Noah sailing the ark by at one point!  So not only did they tent the reception site and the ceremony site but they had to tent all the walkways and even the rented bathrooms.  They even had to build floors and sub floors for all these tents too!  What with washed out service roads and parking areas and huge tent and party rental trucks, delivery vans with trailers (us), and all manner of support vehicles jockeying around trying to keep to the only narrow road that was left…  lets just say that you could have shot the pilot for “Exstream Weddings” (pun intended) on this wedding!  Now I notice I said narrow service road…  what I should have said was narrow-fast-moving-river-with-rapids.  To unload you had to stand in the rapids with the water sending waves up to your thighs as you tried in vain to keep the items you were unloading dry.  After I set up the ceremony Chuppa I had to take paper towels and dry off the flowers and branches so it didn’t drip on the bride.  Quite the day let me tell you!  The pictures however show a beautiful serene and cozy wedding, which I guess is as it should be.  After all the craziness and a lot of completely exhausted vendors the bride and groom had a lovely time and were completely unaware of all the stress (that is until they read this).  So another wonderful wedding completed and thankfully the next one isn’t for a couple of months…  I need that time to dry out!

Vintage… take two

24 November 2010
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I know everyone is in a holiday mood but I finally got the pictures from one of the weddings I did a couple of months ago.  It was another beautiful vintage style, which I absolutely adore…  The next post will be holiday oriented I promise.  In the mean time enjoy…

The brides and bridesmaids bouquet

Up close of the brides bouquet.  A combination of garden Roses, Eucalyptus, blue Thistle, Dusty Miller, Stock, Lavender and Sage.

boutonnieres for the groom and best man.

The bride and groom were delivered to the reception in a vintage tractor and carriage.

The carriage with a garland of Baby’s Breath.

A stack of vintage suitcases with the top one filled with flowers greats the guests at the entrance to the ceremony.

Along with the check in table and a wagon of parasols.

A bit of decoration on the way to the ceremony.  That is actually my husbands bed side table. He is very accommodating actually.  There are a number of occasions where he would come home from work and small things like the living room couch and coffee table would be rented out for a wedding.  So far I haven’t rented the bed yet…  I think he might draw the line at that.

The ceremony Chuppa (with the living room carpet on the lawn!)

In the trees surrounding the Chuppa I hung lots of birdcages with flowers spilling out.

The aisle (the carpets from the hallway…)

I hung small jars with flowers at the back of the chuppa.

How fun are they?

The bride’s Dad driving the couple to the reception.

I created a fun eclectic sign that hung on the back of the carrage.

One of the arrangements on the cocktail tables.

I hung birdcages with flowers at the reception also.

A lounge we set up for the cocktail hour (the living room couch and chair by the way…)

An old wine barrel caddy as a coffee table.

Another cocktail table arrangement.

A reception table arrangement.  I placed a small floral arrangement under an old cloche and hung the “bloom” sign on it.

Some vintage tins filled with flowers

The head table.  I used a glass door off an old cabinet, set it on it’s side and then set various arrangements and bits around it.

Upclose shot of the glass door and the bits around it.  I stacked a couple of antique floral frogs and then tucked a couple of flowers in the top.

More of the head table…

A vintage tray with bottles of flowers.

Another tray.

A fun item for the buffet…  Those are my boots!

The cake…  it is hard to tell but there are a variety of vintage apothecary jars filled with flowers surrounding the cake.

All the pictures, by the way, are from the wondefully tallented Brian and Brady of BB photography.

Hope you enjoyed the pics…  see you with some holiday stuff soon…

A Magical “Green” Woodland Party…

4 November 2010

OK all of my blog friends…  get ready for a mega-super long faerie packed post.

Remember a while back when I said I was working on a fund raiser for the Community Environmental Counsel that was to be a faerie themed event?  Well I finally got the pictures back…

I feel like a proud parent that is dying to show off pictures of her children…  all 100 pictures.  So consider yourself warned…

It was held in an outdoor large rotunda of the Fess Parker’s Double Tree resort.  We filled this huge space with approximately 250 trees, 400 shrubs and divided it into two spaces, one for cocktails and the other for dinner and dancing.  You are looking at the diner area in the front with the stage on the left and the cocktail area to the back on the right, behind the curtain.

The theme was an enchanted woodland forest.  As they are a non-profit that consults on local environmental issues they wanted a green event.  Well as you can probably guess green means a bit more to me that the average person.

I wanted to remind people of our heritage, of the myths and legends that surround the forests.   Of a time when we were intrinsically tied to nature.  When our daily lives were so mixed with nature and it’s folk lore that there was no dividing line.  Now because of the marvelous wonders of technology and science many of us live a life that is very removed from the rhythms of Mother Nature.  Our Earth is beautiful, and so magical.  To walk in the forrest or on the beach or any place where the magisty of Mother Nature is felt is to heal your heart, calm your mind, and remember your part in the big picture.  I get so frustrated at how political environmental issues have polarized us…  in large part because of the crazies on BOTH sides.  To me it is just good manners to care for this precious Earth.  My Mom taught me to not take more than I need and say please and thank you.  To strive to live a healthy earth friendly life is to do the same.   OK I am done preaching…  thank you for listening.  Anyway…

Some of the tables had wild fantastical trees complete with feathers, flowers, butterflies, bugs and hanging candles…

And some of the tables had low arrangements which were an eclectic mix of fun items like birdcages (with the doors tied open…  it is a thing I have against caging flying creatures) filled with butterflies (fake), lanterns, plants, garden statuary, cloches, funky old bottles with feathers, birds nests, and all manor of magical woodsy beauties.

Our Faerie court…

(click on the picture for a larger size)

We had a Faerie Birch Queen who rode in on a Unicorn and would you believe it…  I do not have one picture!!!!!  Maybe it is the magical nature of the Unicorn that does not allow for photos…  However here is our lovely Queen

She sat on her Birch throne up above the rotunda and with her ladies in waiting reigned over her forrest that evening.

Along with the Queen we had Satyrs.  Does this picture make you giggle or what?…

There were lots of beautiful details…

And some just fun silly details…

Kenny Loggins played for us…

The deserts were adorable…

I think everyone had a fun time and came away thinking more about our beautiful Earth.  Even though a party of this size does have an impact on Nature no matter how you slice it.  Everyone did their best to keep it to a minimum.  The trees and statuary were loaned to us from three wonderful people…  , Katie Oriely Rogers Landscape Architect, Eye of the Day Garden statuary and Cal Western Landscape.  Everything went on to their respective permanent homes in peoples yards.  These people were brought in by the Event Coordinator Merryl Brown. She is wonderful at connecting all the right people together.  This event would not have been possible without the trees plants and statuary.  Imaging a forrest without trees!  She kept the big picture in mind and got anything that I might need… usually donated!  Most of her events have a huge on being green.  The food was locally organically grown, the decor (me) was mostly plants and props (which I use over and over) with a few locally grown flowers.  The costumes I made were mostly of recycled items from thrift stores.  The party supplies such as dishes, tables, chairs, etc were all rented and used again.  Fewer dishes were used (such as no bread plates and limited amounts of glass wear) so the water usage in clean up was reduced.  And I composted the remains of the flowers on the ranch that my husband and I live on.  Not too bad for such a decadent party!  Hope you enjoyed all of it!!


Sweetly Vintage

26 October 2010
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Hello Everyone,

I have mentioned a couple of time about how busy my season has been…  well finally I have some pictures to share with you so you don’t think I have just been lounging around on the chaise eating bon bons all summer.

This was a lovely vintage style wedding I had the pleasure of creating a couple of months back.  The couple were just as sweet as the details!

The ceremony was held under the Oak tree at the bride’s family’s home.  We hung lots of whimsical ribbons from the branches.

The guests found their table number by looking for their names on cards clipped onto the “clothes line”.

This is the walk way to the backyard where the reception was held.  We hung lots of pretty ribbons some plain and some with flowers and lots of lanterns and candles.  At night it was lovely!

Some of the hanging posies…  (can you tell were in California by all the citrus?)

The table arrangements were lots of sweet vintage (some actually old and some just vintage in style) containers filled with flowers…

There were lots of fun details, this bouquet was tied to the entrance gate just for fun…

The cake was a flower covered delight!!

The back yard at night…

Some more of the fun hanging bits that were everywhere…

See…  I really have been working,  I will post more weddings and events very soon.  I can’t wait to show you the faerie woodland event I did.  That was crazy fun!!!

All these lovely pictures are from the most talented Katie Moos Photography

By for now…

It was a Great Pumpkin Wedding…

19 October 2010

Hello all my witchy friends…

Sorry to have flown off on my broom for so long… tis not only the witching season but the wedding season as well!!

Now some might get those two confused and I am sure that there are many that cross the line but alas I am fortunate to have only come across one bad witch-bride in amongst 12 years of wonderful Glenda-the-good-witch brides!  I shall save her story for another time.  Truly a dark and stormy night is needed!

I wanted so much to be a part of Vanessa’s Fanciful Twist Halloween blog party, cooking up lots of magical brews and potions, or creating some mystical witches den.

I so love Vanessa’s magical ways and her beautiful blog… to be a part of her lovely party would have been a joy but alas the ladies in the white dresses come first!

So on that note I want to share with all of you pumpkin-loving-witches and magical-muggles (not a oxymoron I assure you) a supercalifragilisticexpeallidotious wedding that I got to be a part of a few years ago.

This bride LOVED pumpkins, I think even more than Vanessa over at Fanciful Twist!

To get ready for the wedding we met her and her family at a pumpkin patch and between her family’s trucks our delivery vans and trailers we hauled away over 2000 pounds of pumpkins!!!!

My husband still gets shaky when he sees a pumpkin…  he’s afraid I will ask him to haul it somewhere and back again.

There were mini piles all over…

On the tables as name markers…

Tiny glittered ones as party favors…

A larger buff colored one we turned into the ring bearer’s fanciful treasure chest…

They were all over the tables as general decor…

And not only did my fabulistic-fall femme like pumpkins she LOVED halloween candy (is this a woman after our haunted hearts or what!).  So of course I filled tall vases with candy corn and stuck branches in them!

She had a desert buffet laid out with pies and cakes and tons of all the most wonderful childhood-memory-inducing Halloween candy.  It was a spread that would have caused any dentist to retire early!  In addition they had a most beautiful chocolate wedding cake.

Her bouquet was filled with…  but of coarse… CHOCOLATE Cosmos (and Lilly-of-the-Valley).  They really do smell like chocolate!

What with all the Halloween/pumpkin/candy/ and delectable treats blog posts out there I thought I would share one of my all time favorite weddings that so fit the season.  Hope you enjoyed it!

Party on my Pumpkin Pals!

A Magical Merman party

12 August 2010
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I mentioned a while back an underwater themed-merman party I had the pleasure of creating and I shared with you some of the night shots my husband took.  Well I finally received the CD from the photographer so today I will share with you the rest of the amazing pictures!

The photographer is Jethro Acosta from Infocus Studio.  His pictures are wonderful… judge for yourself.


This was for a fun gentleman who saw my faerie wedding on the internet and asked me to create a very special 60th birthday party for him.  He couldn’t have been more trusting and encouraging.  I kept reminding myself that he liked the faerie wedding so over the top was ok.  We chose the private beach on the ranch I live on and because it was by the ocean and a beautiful lagoon we went with a fantasy underwater theme.

I wanted the feeling of a coral reef just covered with lots of aquatic plant life in vibrant sea colors like what you would see when you dive at night with lights.   I also wanted it to sparkle so being a bit of a glitter nut I pretty much covered everything with glitter.

I started with Manzanita branches (covered in glitter) for the coral and screwed them to wooden planks.  On the planks I set a few rocks and oversize shells (also glittered).  Then I added tons of moss and smaller shells.

Occasionally I set in amongst the shells a beautiful glass float ball in the colors of the ocean.  I had also picked up at Michael’s right after Christmas some glittered foliage Christmas ornaments thinking I might use them on faerie costumes.  Instead they worked well as some of the sparkly underwater plant life.

The day of the party I added lots of beautiful cut flowers and foliage that were reminiscent of underwater plants.  I used chartreuse spider mums, Kermit Mums, (center of the picture above) Kale, blooming Artichokes (the purple bloom looks like a sea anemone on the left) purple Allium, Lilly grass, Silver Dollar Eucalyptus, green hanging Amoranthus (center right), and a few other bits and pieces.  The combination of the natural plant and flower elements and the glittered exotic items came together for a great effect.

This is a lounge I set up right by the table, you can see a bit of the lagoon in the background at the base of the trestle bridge.

A closer shot of the lagoon and some of the birds that call it home.

Imagine the sound of the crashing waves on the beach just beyond the table with an occasional seagull crying overhead.   Behind you is a beautiful large lagoon with Egrets in the huge Sycamore trees that surround it.  The trees right next to you are up-lit with soft green and teal lights and another light is casting water ripples on the ground around you.  As the night gently falls the table starts to come alive with lots of glowing blue and green lights nestled in the shells and under the glass balls.

I created this effect by placing dozens of LED lights in blues and greens throughout the tablescape.  The lights worked really well under the glass floats exaggerating their already blue or green color.  The table really glowed, the effect was truly magical!

That’s a large crystal geode on the right.

The birthday boy on his private beach for the day…   not a bad way to spend your birthday, don’t you think?

vintage eclectic barn wedding

24 May 2010
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As promised here are the latest barn wedding pictures, please know I am a designer not a photographer so pardon the horrible pictures.  If the photographer gives me some better ones I will post them…

The ceremony was across from the barn at the base of a 300 year old Sycamore tree…


In an earlier post I had shown you a few ideas for hanging windows from the trees and setting the pews outside, the bride liked the ideas so that’s what we did.  We also added straw bales as more seating

The vow site,

We used some old fence gates as the entrance to the aisle.

The welcome beverage table,

Really fun beverage signs,

The check in area with vintage trunks and hang tags with buttons which told the guests where they would sit.

Inside the barn,

Containers were an assortment of vintage boxes, wooden buckets, jars and bottles, old tin, and cast iron.

I made candles covered with copies of old French letters and ledgers as well as some covered with burlap with buttons…  very fun!

they used mason jars as drinking glasses,

At the entrance to the barn we hung up old keys, hang tags with the bride and groom’s names, old door handles, latches, locks, silver ware and all manner of eclectic items.

We set the cake on a glass table top which was placed on a couple of straw bales with a funky old wrought iron chandelier with crystals hanging overhead.

Another old, fun chandelier with crystals, and behind on the wall are a bunch of photos of the bride and groom.

Below is an old wooden grain trough that my husband turned into a couch.  I am having huge overstuffed white denim cushions made for it, they just were not done in time for the wedding so I used foam and an old quilt.



Another view of the barn…   it really is set in the most beautiful glade of Sycamore trees,

There were lots of fun and sweet details, almost a sweet as the couple…   Hope you have enjoyed the pictures!

wedding wings

21 April 2010

I have been working on some fun projects of late…  I had my first “faerie” bride comission me to make her a set of wings for her wedding.  She bought the most beautiful amber color wedding dress that I am matching with vintage sari material for the wings.  She also loves mermaids so we are making it a bit of a cross between wings and fish tails.

I am not done yet but here they are mid way…

I will be adding shells, bugs and all manor of fun things.  Here is a close up of the embroidery on the sari…

more deails…

Anyway I will post a picture of the completed wings later and hopefully I will show you the bride with her magic wings on her wedding day!!

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