Monday, June 30, 2008

Kristy & Hector (Magnolia Bride) June 14, 2008 Style Sheet
The wonderful Melanie "Mimi" Gubser of Luci Lyn Photography sent me some photos from Kristy & Hector's wedding (this is the wedding where Kristy wanted magnolias and gardenias). I created a style sheet of some of the pictures Mimi sent to me today. She's a wonderful up and coming wedding photographer on the Big Island of Hawaii. If you forgot, Cheryl Shoemaker of Orchid Isle Weddings & Events planned this wedding and also referred Kristy to me for all her wedding details.

Anyway, more pictures to come, but since style sheets seem to be so popular, I thought I'd give it a whirl. :) Kristy and Hector were such a wonderful couple to work with and I wish them all the best for a happy and loving marriage! Maybe this style sheet will inspire your next wedding inspiration board....

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Love for Ranunculus Flowers...
So, last night I was wiped out and although I managed to ship out a big order (which is why half of my items on my Etsy site were taken down) and finish my Canadian bride's order and not to mention completing an invitation order for my NC bride, I thought I'd try to make some flowers so that I could post more arrangements on my Etsy site.... I know, I know... I must be crazy.....

I wasn't sure what I wanted to make, but I wanted to use some of the vases I just purchased. I started making ranunculus flowers and then thought about what flowers might work well with that flower. So, I made some peonies, roses and tuberose. I guess I wanted to make them (even though they are labor intensive) because I'm perfecting the flower since I have to make them for an upcoming Canadian bridal bouquet and centerpiece order I need to focus on this coming week. Anyway, I love these flowers. They come in so many wonderful colors so I just kept making them and making them and managed to make 4 arrangements but I only posted 3 because I need to give my sister-in-law a birthday gift! :) So I titled these ones part of my Ranunculus Series! :)

Well, back to work on my wedding orders. I have favors, hair flowers and of course the Canadian #2 bride's order to complete by next Friday!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saying Goodbye to a Dear Friend
A couple of days ago, my dearest friend and old college roomie, Noriko had posted that her dog, Boss is very sick and that she wouldn't be posting many blogs for a while. I immediately emailed her and she emailed me this afternoon to tell me that 2 hours prior to that Boss had passed away in his sleep. :(
Sorry I don't have any digital images of Boss when Noriko and I lived together, but this is the last picture I took together with Boss when Michael and I visited Japan in 2004. He had just had cataract surgery, but he was still as "genki" (full of joy and happiness) and cute as I remember him even though he was now an "ojiisan" (grandpa/old man).

Boss is a Boston Terrier. Boss was my first encounter with the Boston Terrier breed. It's the one breed that I really fell in love with and that I wasn't really allergic to! Boss was the most loveable dog. Noriko and her friend had bought Boss in San Diego before we had met when he was only a puppy. When Noriko and I moved in together for our last year of graduate school Boss and I became very close. He had the best personality and was so loveable. the best thing I liked about him was that he would burrow himself under all the blankets to keep warm or sleep between my legs or under my arm just to keep warm.

Even after Noriko moved back to Japan with Boss, I would from time to time visit her when I would be there for my job several years ago. No matter how much time had passed, Boss remembered who I was. He would hear me on the phone and would go nuts because he knew who I was. Even when I went to see him after not seeing him for 3 years, he still remembered me. I guess a dog never forgets the ones he loves and who take care of him.

Boss truly was Noriko's best friend, faithful companion and her child. Noriko and her husband don't have children so their dogs are their children. They go everywhere with them! Dog is man or in this case, a woman's best friend and when they leave us, it really feels like the loss of a dear loved one. Boss lived 16 years, 4 months and 7 days!!! That's a LONG time for a Boston Terrier dog.

I too have a Boston Terrier, Brig - short for Brigadoon (seen here sporting a Christmas bow). Michael grew up with Boston Terriers so we knew when it was time to buy a dog, we had to have that breed. I can't imagine our lives without our spaz case dog, Briggy! So my heart and thoughts go out to my best friend, Noriko who is having to cope with the loss of someone who meant the absolute world to her! Love you Boss and we will miss you! :)

Bride #2 Order Complete!
The last week and a half I've been busy making flowers for one of my brides in Canada. I believe Karen found me via She saw my wedding flowers that I did and wanted to model it after those flowers. Her colors were shades of pink, black, silver, white and hints of lime green. After much thought, these are the items we came up with for her wedding. If only I could go back and redo my wedding flowers! :) Oh well, it was signficant of the time and where I was in my flower making skills. Thank GAWD I'm so much better now. LOL!

We ended up doing, 3 bridesmaids bouquets with green cymbidiums, fuschia pink rose buds, tuberose buds and light pink gerberas. Karen wanted tropical, but she was having an outdoor kind of country wedding so she wanted something more in the way of a mixture of the 2. I tihnk it came out really well. We tied the bridesmaids bouquets with black ribbon and accented with a light pink ribbon.
Karen's bouquet and toss bouquet were off white cymbidium orchids with pink roses and tuberose buds. It reminds me of my bouquet.... only her's came out 100 times better. We wrapped her stems with pink ribbon and accented with black. The toss bouquet is a miniature version of her bridal bouquet.

We also did corsages and boutonnieres and these are some images of those. Now, I head onto my 3 other wedding orders that need to get done by next week!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Alex & Judy - 15 Year Anniversary Celebration
Today, Dianna Shitanishi of Hawaii Weddings & Events sent me some images from Alex & Judy's 15 year wedding anniversary celebration & vow renewal. Dianna is a wonderful coordinator on the island of Oahu but also does events and weddings on the outer islands. From time to time, Dianna calls upon me to create items for her wedding couples. I'm always so grateful for the wedding coordinators I have worked with throughout the last few years and their referrals and business! These photos are courtesy of Dave Miyamoto Photography.

This couple loved the orange orchid design I did for a previous client and they also liked the white tiare flowers for the favor boxes. So I was asked to create the favors for the guests as well as the wedding program fans. It's always nice to see what I've done at the actual event versus just pictures I take before I send them on their way!

I've been busy catching up on orders the last 2 days. I'm almost done with one of my Canadian bride's order which I hope to post some pictures of her flowers tomorrow. After that order is completed, I have 3 more weddings to tackle between tomorrow and 7/4! I'm back to staying up until 2 a.m. again..... Although I think I might have to try and get good night's rest tonight so I'm ready to go for the next week! :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Business Stems from Wedding Favors Photo Gallery
Yesterday I was shopping with Aidan at Target and I got a call. I didn't recognize the phone number so I let it go to VM and finished shopping. It was a call from a bride who was interested in my clay flowers. So when I got home I called Joanne back and she told me she saw my favors on

It just so happens that when you click on the image, it does in fact say, "Favors - DK Designs Hawaii"! Joanne is getting married at the same resort that Mae & Jeremy got married at and she just had to have these favors for her wedding. The wedding is less than 3 weeks away, July 15th to be exact. Luckily it's only 40 favors. Anyway, we're working fast to get it done. I haven't created the flower yet, but I worked on her favor tag samples last night in addition to trying to work on my 1st Canadian bride's order that needs to go out on Monday next week.

Luckily Joanne had some artwork she's used for her wedding details so we used that. We're going to go with a pink hibiscus flowers with pink and green ribbons. I hope to post later this week with the actual sample to show all of you. Here's the favor tags, which one do you think works best. I think I like the watercolor hibiscus design. It screams "dreamy, tropical, island wedding"! I'm just amazed at how many people see the favors and the Real Weddings and contact me. I just wish I had more leadtime! I guess though life isn't perfect! I'm just very happy that I am able to support these orders!
Yesterday morning I also used some flowers I had made extras of from other things and put together a simple arrangement at a lower price point on my Etsy site. It sold within the hour. Just so happened a previous buyer of mine who purchased 2 arrangements after I was on the Martha Stewart Show. I really appreciate my repeat customers. I hope moving forward that I have the time to come up with some small token "Thank You" gifts for customers such as these!
I also worked on a sample yesterday morning for another client who saw me via my link. Funny how Lindsay came across my site because she's getting married on the dunes in Holden Beach, NC and my listing is for Hawaii, although I serve customers nationwide. Anyway, this is the sample I created for her. She wanted pinks and greens and she wanted the casablanca lily as her wedding flowers are titanic pink roses and white lilies. Pinks and greens are definitely very popular. They were the main colors for my wedding too! Hard to believe, we're coming up on 3 years! The only sad thing is we don't get to spend our anniversary dinner at the Orchids at the Halekulani Hotel and have my wedding cake - their signature Coconut Haupia Cake! :(

Sunday, June 22, 2008

New Order via Real Weddings Feature
I was fortunate to be a part of Mae & Jeremy's wedding as a referral through my best friend and wedding planner extraordinaire, Cheryl Shoemaker of Orchid Isle Weddings. I recently found out that Mae & Jeremy's wedding was being featured on's Real Weddings site!

The feature had lots of great pics of my detail work! Great exposure and the favors I did for their wedding made it into the Wedding Favors photo gallery! The photographer for this wedding was Stewart Pinsky Photography.
Cheryl called me earlier this week to let me know that a bride down in Southern California had contacted her because she LOVED the favors from Mae & Jeremy's wedding and wanted to know who did them. Veronica saw the slideshow pictures from Real Weddings - "Mae & Jeremy, Maui, HI.

I contacted the bride and she LOVED the wedding details I did for Mae & Jeremy. Her colors were green and orange but she was torn because she loved the Teal and Orange I did for Mae & Jeremy. So I created two comps for her over the weekend. Even though I already have a hectic next several months, I felt that I had to do my best to accept the order. The order has now gone from a wedding favor order to wedding favors, reception programs and water bottle sleeves. The bride is trying to convince her fiance to let me do the table cards too!
Anyway, we ended up changing a few things - switching the names so the groom's name is first and then the bride's, switching the cardstock so the green is more predominant. Veronica's flowers are green cymbidiums and white roses, but her centerpieces are orange cymbidiums. Her bridesmaid dresses are green as well. They got engaged in Hawaii so naturally she wants to bring a little bit of "Hawaii" to her wedding day!

Which one do you like best teal and orange or green and orange? Either one is nice, but it is a tough call! In the end, Veronica had to go with the color scheme of oranges and greens

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Magnolia Bride's Cake Flowers - Photos from the Pastry Chef!
This evening, I got an email from Noelani Galante-Pi. I did Noelani's wedding invitations, hair flowers and program fans for her wedding at a private estate on the Big Island. Noe is a VERY talented pastry chef who used to work at the esteemed Four Seasons at Hualalai on the Big Island. She and a couple of other talented pastry chefs started their own company recently called, The Cake Rack of Kona (their website is still under construction). Noe makes wonderful pastries of all kinds! One of her talents is making delicious and beautiful wedding cakes. There are images from her recent wedding of her decorating her own wedding cake with flowers because they wanted her to be happy with the way it turned out! There are some great shots that I hope to eventually post on my Real Weddings section of my website.

At any rate, Noe provided me with some sneak peek pictures of how the cake looked before the wedding reception. I will be sharing more photos with you once I receive them from the photographer. If you recall, my magnolia bride, Kristy wanted everything in her wedding to be themed, what else... MAGNOLIAS. From her invitations to her favors, favor tags, program fans and cake flowers. The cake flowers were slightly different as we made them more pink because her colors were pink and brown. Noe said the flowers really made the cake. I love the modern and chic look of Noe's cake design. Simple but elegant! :)

So if you're getting married on the Big Island of Hawaii, check out the Cake Rack of Kona's location in Kona town! You won't be disappointed. Even if you're not getting married they make yummy desserts to suit anyone's sweet tooth or sugar craving!

The First Official Wedding Bouquet & Boutonniere of the Summer 2008 Wedding Season Holds Special Meaning

Today I completed the first official wedding bouquet and boutonniere for the Summer 2008 wedding season. I have been wanting to share this story with everyone, but I wanted to wait until I finished the order. This order came to me via a reader who saw the post from Miss Pineapple who also contracted me to do her wedding. Her name is Debi and she knew that it was very short notice, but she asked if I could create her dream wedding bouquet. This came during the week that the blog post went up and I got 15 serious inquiries. I told her that I would do it and we worked out the details of what she wanted.

The reason this bouquet order has special meaning to me is because of Debi and Ed's story. Debi and Ed got engaged on July 4th, 2007. Earlier this year, Debi was involved in a serious car accident (she fell out of the back of a pick-up truck at plus 50 miles an hour). She's lucky to be alive. She couldn't walk, stand, drive or put any pressure on her leg. She explained how important this wedding is to her and just hearing her story and reading about it on her wedding webpage (don't worry Debi, I won't give out your link), I felt VERY HONORED to create something for her and Ed!

Debi wanted green cymbidiums with more of a copper bronze mouth and throat instead of pink or burgandy, she requested purple lavender colored hyacinths (more about that later), pink and cream roses and stephanotis flowers. Debi picked the specific flowers because each one has special meaning to her and Ed. Well, the ones I know about are this, the pink roses are the first flowers Ed gave to Debi and she took 20 plus photos of them and even framed one and put it up on her wall. The purple hyacinths... well, long story short, Debi meant to say purple hydrangeas. Purple is Ed's, her daughter Jennifer's and her late Grandma Josie's favorite color. Plus she told me that she and her Grandma Josie used to pick purple hydrangea balls and carry them around like bouquets so she could hold them while wearing her mom's wedding gown. So after I made hyacinths, took pictures and emailed her, she realized after her other daughter Becca told her where are the hydrangeas, that she made a mistake. She called me in a panic. I told her that I would not charge her for the change and to send me pictures of the purple hydrangea she would like. She was so appreciative. I told her I would just use them in an arrangement I could sell on my site. She emailed me back and told me that she wanted some hyacinths because every flower has meaning to them and now the hyacinths would remind her of our friendship and working together. So of course, I agreed.

Debi has gone through a lot. She's had a lot of bad luck over the last several months and I continue to encourage her and remind her that what's important is the love that her and Ed share. Ed took care of Debi at her worst and continues to support her during with his love and support! To me, that's true love... when someone you care about loves you unconditionally even at your worst moments (kind of like my own relationship with Michael - he saw me at my worst and still loved me unconditionally).

Anyway, I know this post is a lengthy one so I'll wrap it up. My agreeing to do Debi's bouquet, boutonniere and hair flowers made her excited to get married (she wasn't sure she'd be able to with the car accident) again. I redid some of her flowers because I wasn't happy with how they were looking so I guess in a way, Debi inspired me to do my utmost best and not settle for just o.k.!

So there you have it, my first official bouquet of the summer 2008 wedding season and it's a great way to kick off the flurry of wedding bouquet orders I have from now until October! Lots of love and best wishes to Debi and Ed for an everlasting, loving marriage! One last note, it just so happens I ironically had 4 hyacinths left which represents the day Ed proposed to Debi and she accepted (4th of July). There also just so happens to be 4 white roses and 4 pink roses and 7 cymbidium orchids. Of the 4 hyacinths, I put one in Ed's and 3 in Debi's to represent that Ed completes Debi... I always loved the line in the Jerry McGuire movie even though it was corny - "You complete me".... Debi and Ed DEFINITELY complete each other! :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Little More Family Time...
Well, today we took Aidan to the park for a little fun in the sun. He was really good and showed me all his favorite things at the park (this is where my husband and my Dad take Aidan while I'm working or teaching class). We played ball (well, I mostly took the pictures), Aidan spun around and got dizzy on the little ride they had and swung with his daddy on the swings... These are just a few (there were so many) of my favorite pictures from today's outing. Afterwards he and I shared vanilla ice cream with strawberries, blueberries and whip cream! :)

More, More, More...
I built two more arrangements this morning. One of my repeat clients asked if I would create a custom piece for her bedroom. She has peony envy because her peony garden suffered some kind of plant virus so she has no peonies this summer. Her bedroom is all blues and whites but she wanted a punch of color. At first I thought blue, pink and orange???? But I guess when you look at many fresh flower bouquets you get at the market there are tons of different colors put together. So she specifically requested pink peonies and orange ranunculus and to add whatever blue flower I thought might work. I picked the blue hydrangea, but in a very pale blue and with a hint of green in them. I think it works well. She asked me to put it in a mint julep cup so her little one and her pets don't try to play with them. So I found a 4.5 inch cup that worked really well given the size of the flowers. Granted they aren't the actual size of a real peony, but they are beautiful nonetheless!

The second arrangement was a product of me not being happy with the color of Debi's pink roses that Ed gave to her. I will write more about Debi and Ed after I finish her bouquet (hopefully by this weekend). Their story is truly amazing so stay tuned. Anyway, I had pink roses that were too dark, the extra ranunculus and peony flowers I didn't end up using for the client and some of my dendrobium orchids and tuberose buds and flowers that I made extras of..... Well, I decided to build another arrangement. I call it Rainbow Sherbet. No... it's not edible and I'm not making frozen desserts now. The colors all put together make me think of rainbow sherbet - rasberry, orange and lime. Brings back memories as a little girl eating that stuff! Check it out!

Anyway, I better get back to working on flowers again. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

New Arrangements on
This week I've spent the majority of the time working on finishing up some of the June and early July orders. I've also been working on some of my projects (wrist haku lei) for the Tropical Course so that I can begin teaching that later this month.

One of the arrangements I posted on DK Designs Etsy site was a product of a client ordering the wrong flower for her bouquet. Good thing I sent her pictures this morning of what they looked like and then she realized that she made a mistake and she wanted hydrangeas and not hyacinths! I told her it wasn't a problem to make hydrangeas (after all.... it's become my specialty after the Martha Stewart Show!) and that I would use the hyacinths to make an arrangement to sell on my site! :) (Don't worry Debi - I still love ya!) So this is what came out of that!

I also made extra flowers because I wasn't sure what I was going to make for a wholesale client of mine. She's going to be selling some of my items at Because I needed to make a couple of the same arrangement here's what I will be selling through her online store. Hopefully it's as popular on her site as it is on my DK Designs Etsy site! The citrus green orchid arrangement ended up on my storefront because I didn't have enough of the yellow roses to make two identical arrangements. I don't do much in the way of yellow roses, but I think this one came out really well. It's sunny and cheery! :)

The products you'll eventually see on CCC Gifts are below.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pineapples and Orchids
I'm finishing up another big order. This one comes from my client Laurie in Michigan. She and her husband are doing a vow renewal at the Hilton Waikoloa Village & Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii. She contacted me via the hotel's wedding atelier and asked if I could do her centerpieces, hair flowers, favors, table cards, place cards and thank you notes. Her basic theme was greens and pinks and she really liked the pineapple design I did for another client and fell in love with the green cymbidiums. We modified the color pink as she wanted it a bit darker and more vibrant than the original one I made for a previous Hilton client. This was a fun one since the wedding was small, but each piece really works well together. These are just a few of the images that I took of the items I made for Laurie and John.

Laurie decided on Big Island Candies dark chocolate dipped shortbread cookies to fill her favor boxes. If you have never tried these delightful shortbread cookies, TRY IT! They are really delicious - you can never just eat one, it's hard not to want to eat the whole box! On another note, if you love everything pineapple, try Honolulu Cookie Company cookies - another great shortbread cookie company out of Oahu. They make shortbread cookies in the shapes of pineapples and have these great fruit flavor shortbread cookies. I LOVE the lilikoi (passionfruit) and pineapple ones!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Family Time
My husband had today off from work and although Aidan came down with a slight cold (too much fun in the sun on a slightly windy day at his cousin's birthday party), we decided just to hang out in the front yard and blow bubbles. We had a plan to take him to Lake Vasona Park, but because he is sicke we felt it better to just take it easy, plus it's a blazing 91 degrees outside.

So these are a few of my favorite pictures of Aidan. He's grown so much in the last few months. For some reason today he was especially cute and sweet! If only he was like that every day! ha ha.... I've been trying to make more time for Aidan and my husband of late and not pushing myself 24/7. I figure if I don't push myself to take a break, I'll just get so used to working all the time that I'll get burned out like I did a month or so ago. So it's that constant struggle to find balance between work and family life.
The funny thing is that when I sat down to watch TV with him and Michael, he told me to go and sit in my chair in the office and do work.... Kids are so smart... Sometimes too smart! He never ceases to amaze me.
Pineapple Motif Revisited
My clients Mari and Nick are getting married next month at the Kahala Hotel and Resort. A beautiful hotel on the east side right on the ocean with beautiful dolphins in their lagoons! At any rate, Mari asked me after the Martha Stewart Show if I would have the time to design her table cards and also her ring pillow.

Here's a recap of her invitations and how the design of the table cards was worked in as well as her ring pillow. She sent me a swatch of her bridesmaid dresses so that I could match the pink. I think it came out to be pretty darn close! She wanted pink roses to match her bridesmaid dresses and then a green cymbidium orchid to tie the green back in. I hope she'll be happy with the way things turned out. We used the pineapple illustration that my brother created for me a couple of years ago as the backdrop and she wanted Hawaiian words and the English translation instead of the standard table numbers. We put mini brass pineapple charms in the corners to tie the brass pineapple charms from her invitations. The cardstocks used all matched the ones used in her invitations!