Monday, July 27, 2009

Cake topper, butterflies, flowers and a BIG BLACK BEE!!!

I've been working on some fun little creations the last couple of days. My super duper fantastic bride Alicia is having a big soiree in Maui at the Grand Wailea next week and she asked if I could recreate or create should I say a clay version of butterflies and flowers to match the cake picture above. I so struggled with this one, but I finally found a burst of creative energy and found what I wanted to do. So here are a few shots of the things I'm working on.

You might be wondering, where does the BIG BLACK BEE come into play. Well, Alicia said it's a lucky bee. I guess the story goes that on her wedding day 2 years ago there was a big black bumble bee following her around and her wedding coordinator, Cheryl Shoemaker of Orchid Isle Weddings & Events told her it's a sign of good luck. Well, when Alicia went to Maui to do her site visit and food tasting with the Grand Wailea yet again a big black bumble bee was following her around. So, for her anniversary cake she wanted me to create a cute, sparkly BIG BLACK BEE! :) Talk about being a little nervous, but it was actually kind of fun and even my husband thought it was pretty cute.
The inspiration photo had initials on it, but I didn't trust myself to make a Swarovski crystal "A" so I ordered an acrylic mirror style A from a great Etsy artisan, They were super helpful and got it out to my right away! I decided to embellish it with some flowers and a butterfly since Alicia said she didn't think she would re-use it and need it to be plain.

Tomorrow I will be finishing the final touches on the flowers and butterflies and packing it up to send to the pastry chef at the Grand Wailea. I so wish I could be the big black bee at this event watching it all because it's going to be FABULOUS!!!

The final pieces of Joyce's order...

As I write this blog post, Joyce and her fiance are driving down from San Francisco because Joyce is anxious to pick up her order and didn't want to wait until Friday. Who could blame her?! :)
The last pieces of her order were the two boutonnieres and the 30 orchid flower favor boxes. So without further ado... here they are! I'm glad this order is complete and ready to be picked up because that means now I can cross it off of my long list of orders to do and move onto the next one. I'm excited about the next blog post (more butterflies, flowers with crystals and a BIG BLACK BEE!)... LOL, you'll just have to wait and see.
All my best wishes to Joyce and Chris on their wedding day!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cake Topper = Keepsake Vase Arrangement

In between this post and my previous post this morning, I was working on Joyce's cake topper. Joyce asked that I create a keepsake cake topper that she can have as a home decor piece after the wedding. Much like what I did for my clients back in NY last year, I created a cake topper to match their wedding day flowers but that could be kept as a keepsake and decorative piece. I think more and more, brides are thinking about how to spend their money wisely and that's what I love about the clay flowers. They serve a purpose for your wedding day but at the same time they are also a keepsake and a decorative piece for the newlyweds' home!
I love this piece. So stunning against a white cake. You can even mask the vase so it looks like another layer with ribbon at the base.
Well, now that Joyce's cake flowers are done, I need to head back to my studio and make the 30 flowers for her favor boxes and finish her boutonnieres!

Vibrant and Tropical Bridal Bouquet

I've been busy working on a dear friend's website and branding yesterday, but I did manage to finish the bridal bouquet for my next bride who will be getting married at the SeaWatch Restaurant in Maui. The last time I talked about the SeaWatch was for my clients, Alyssa and Daniel!
At any rate, originally when Joyce and I discussed her order, she wanted a dome shaped bridal bouquet with orange and green cymbidium orchids and some hipericum berries. But as time went on, she saw other flowers and wanted to incorporate some other colors that are part of her color palette. So.... the end result is this, orangey-yellow cattleya orchids, green cymbidiums, peach roses, orange ranunculus and red peonies with tuberose buds and some greenery to finish it off. I was honestly a little worried about this bouquet because i didn't know how it would turn out, but last night as I was painting the finishing touches, I realized how beautiful and how much I really liked how it turned out.
Today's agenda is finishing the cake topper and working on Joyce's 30 cattleya orchid favors! Another vibrant, luscious, beautiful bouquet to cheer you up! :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Cheery Clay Flower Arrangement

Normally after a big order I go through a lull in creativity and I need a day where I just try to not work too much on flowers or my orders even though I have the next deadline looming over me. My energy level is low because I push myself so hard to get everything done. So yesterday I had one of those days after I finished Sharon & Ryan's order. Didn't help that the dinner I ate last night made me go into food coma big time! LOL. I drank 2 cups of coffee which did nothing until about 9:30 p.m. I finally decided to do a few flowers for a gift that I had been meaning to get to for my friend Darrah at Otis B Jewelry on Etsy! I managed to make all the flowers and I love how this one turned out. Darrah wanted something simple and since she was a florist before, I was a little nervous that she'd be analyzing my flowers in much detail and scrutiny. LOL. Anyway, she wanted something simple and in shades of white, ivory and green. So this is the piece I created for her studio that is being built.
I just thought I'd share this piece because it's so pretty and I love the colors and it makes me smile when I see it!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sharon & Ryan's Wedding Details Complete

It was a busy last couple of weeks but even more so the last couple of days. I've been frantically trying to get flowers made and painted, favors assembled, place cards printed, mounted and punched, and getting a 4 page wedding program printed and assembled on straw fans. I am happy and relieved to say that we finished the order today. Sharon's order in total included 110 favors (mixture of plumerias, tiare, phaleanopsis orchids, and mokara orchids), 105 place cards, 100 program fans, 50 water bottle sleeves, 12 table cards, 1 phaleanopsis orchid hair flower and 16 cake flowers and about 10 bamboo reeds). I need a vacation!!! :)I was hoping to have the night off, but I need to get started on the next order that's due. I wanted however to share some new photos with you so you can see the last of the items I finished today before they were boxed up to ship to the Big Island.
Best wishes to Sharon and Ryan!Before I get started on my next order, I wanted to share this last above photo of my bamboo reeds. I loved the lighting that was coming through my window yesterday evening as the sun was setting and it reminded me of bamboo or snake grass with the water glistening on the reeds. So many people commented how real they look. My husband even says I have "issues". LOL. This is why I love what I do, creativity at it's best and I love a good challenge. :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Phaleanopsis Orchid Flowers and Bamboo for a Wedding Cake

Only 2 more weeks until my bride/client, Sharon ties the knot to the love of her life, Ryan! I've been busy painting orchids, working on place cards and programs all weekend long in between teaching. I finally had a chance to work on finishing her decorations for the cake.She asked me to recreate a cake she saw in a picture from her photographer Toby Hoogs! I've worked with Toby indirectly before on several other weddings and I'm so happy that he'll be photographing Sharon & Ryan's wedding as well. She basically was contemplating between sugar flowers or clay flowers and she said the price was about the same. So she finally made the decision to go with clay. She asked me to not only make the orchids but the bamboo. I wasn't sure how the bamboo would come out because she wanted really thin reeds, but I think it came out really nice.I'm so excited to see the pictures after the wedding. More pictures to come tomorrow as we're finishing up the favors, place cards and programs. :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Theme Projects from my DECO Students - Soon to Be Instructors!

In between all my wedding orders, I also teach the DECO Clay Craft Academy courses to interested enthusiasts. Recently, two of my students passed the instructor examination and are now DECO certified instructors. I have a bunch of other students who are also in the process (either they are just awaiting the review of their examination pieces that they submitted or are almost done with the 3 components required to apply for instructor certification. The 3 components are a theme project, a tall vase arrangement and 3 size roses. I wanted to share the theme projects because I am so happy with everyone's creativity and they all used the skills and techniques they learned over the course of the last year or so to create some very imaginative pieces.

I could not be more proud. Everyone has a different level of skill and talent, but they all created something amazing! Check them out!The above image is from my newly certified instructor, Sau Wei. Sau Wei is very into doll making and making Chinese dolls, something she loves to do and is very talented at, I might add. She has worked with different clay mediums but was very fascinated with the CLAYCRAFT by DECO soft clay. She did a beautiful job of a Chinese garden with a princess and her entourage. Very innovative right down to the birds on the flowers!
Barbara created the piece above. Barbara sews costumes and ballroom gowns for her daughter who dances professionally. So this is her theme project. Barbara is also a newly certified DECO instructor and she will be teaching out of Tracy, California and surrounding areas! Judeanna did this whimsical piece above. Molded from a straw hat. She initially just wanted to do flowers around the brim, but I encouraged her to add the element of figurines so we did butterflies and bees in class and from there she used her imagination and skills to create lots of imaginative design elements and used glitter to embellish the cute bugs and critters! Judeanna is almost finished, she just has her tall vase arrangement to complete. My hope is that she will offer classes in the Pleasanton, California area when she is finished!Magdalena created this cute beach scene piece. She was very nervous about doing miniature size of anything because her hands are not as petite as many of my students, but I encouraged her to try. We practiced the shells in miniature size and I helped her create the little cute crab. I got her accustomed to trying to make the flowers small. She did a great job and I'm very proud of her accomplishment when I know this was quite challenging for her to do in small form! Magadalena just turned her projects in for review!Candy did this cute winter wonderland theme. When she brought it to class I was wondering what happened to her original idea which was supposed to be a wedding theme. I absolutely love the turtle and penguin. Candy just submitted her projects for review, so within a month's time she'll hopefully be a certified instructor as well.This last theme project is from my student, Myrna who came all the way from New Jersey to take classes with me. She's an anal clay freak like me. LOL. She's a perfectionist in everything she does and she always pushes herself to figure things out. I encouraged her to make things out of clay rather than using birch branches to create her tree. Granted she could have taken the easy way out, but I reminded her that it's all based on creativity using the clay. Her phonograph with a morning glory flower with the daisy record is super cute. The whole thing is cute and the little thing on the daisy is a cupcake! Myrna loves cupcakes! Myrna will also be submitting her items for review this week so in a month's time she will also be a DECO certified instructor once she goes through the review process.

I am very proud as I said before of all my students. They did a phenomenal job and they really did this on their own without much help from me. It amazed me what they came up with and how much creativity they used to create the final product. I'm so excited to have new instructors to spread the art of CLAYCRAFT by DECO and the DECO curriculum so that more interested enthusiasts can take classes since I cannot by myself do it all. It's their chance to share the art with others. I have a few more students close to finishing so when they do I will again share their projects as well.

In August, I have two students coming from out of state (Florida and New Jersey) to start the CI curriculum and another lady in February coming all the way from the UK to come and take the full curriculum so by the end of her stay she will be able to be an instructor. It still amazes me how far away people are willing to come to do the art of DECO, but it truly is a gift to be able to do this art form and be part of the DECO family of instructors and students!

Clay Flowers Featured in Haute Notes Blog of WedLuxe

This is a follow-on to the previous post. One of the comments I received from my good friend and colleague Evonne Wong of and is that I should get in touch with the editors of WedLuxe magazine in Canada. Apparently the luxury wedding magazine for Canada! I am not very familiar with bridal magazines outside of the US ones so I checked out the website and clicked on the Haute Notes which is the Editor's Blog. I'm scrolling down reading the content on hot trends and great finds and low and behold... Guess what I found???? My clay florals! On July 10th they did a short article on my clay flowers on Etsy!
I was so blown away. In the span of 1.5 weeks I got coverage from not 1 but 2 Canadian bridal magazines, one in print and the other online! So ecstatic! :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Blush Anemone & Sweet Pea Arrangement in WeddingBells Magazine

Maria at emailed me earlier this week to let me know that the blush pink anemone and sweet pea floral arrangement we collaborated together on as one of the 3 exclusive Estilo Weddings designs I created for her was being featured in the new issue of WeddingBells bridal magazine out of Toronto, Canada, that hits newsstands today! It's such a blessing to get press, but to see it go international is even more sweet! Maria has always been a fan of my work and so easy to work with and gives me creative license to create some amazing pieces of art to showcase on her site.Maria is taking a little break as she's expecting her baby boy to be born very soon. I'm excited though to collaborate with her in late 2009 to create some new and exclusive designs for her site for Spring 2009! Until then, Maria is updating her "lookbook" of stylish new trends and finds. Check it out at

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cake Flowers - Artistic Style Magnolia Flower

My client Jennifer contacted me last month to see if I could recreate a cake flower that she had fell in love with online. The picture of what she fell in love with is the one to the left. At first I thought maybe it was a peony, but this flower has been done in other colors and it really looks more like an artistic version of a magnolia flower.Jennifer's colors are golds, yellows, pinks, oranges and blues. That's kind of a broad color palette, but she's getting married in Jamaica and didn't trust her pastry chef at her venue to recreate it for her. So that's when she contacted me. I was a bit nervous and I think I was somewhat procrastinating working on it, but I realized I had to do it today and so I sat down and tried to figure it out. Luckily I think I came pretty close.
You can be the judge. I had originally quoted her for one large 6" cake flower, but because the petals are so hard to anchor at the base, the flower ended up being 5" and I threw in a slightly smaller one at no charge. I think it will look stunning and be a perfect touch to her destination Jamaica wedding!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Clay Butterflies are SUPER Cute!

My client, Alicia, asked me not only to do her Krewe of Kamehameha (Mardi Gras meets Maui) save the dates and invitations, but she also asked me if I could create some butterflies and flowers out of clay. She got her inspiration from the Mariska Hargitay cake that was embellished with crystals, glitter and lots of flowers and butterflies!
Above is the cake that gave her inspiration for their event. I used some cool colored "Stickles" glitter paints to embellish the texture on the wings and body. I hand painted the eyes as well. I'm excited to see what she says about the butterflies and hope to have some flowers to post as well. Well, back to work on all my other pending orders. Lots to do!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Victorian Bouquet with a Twist

If you remember back in February I created a bridal bouquet for the Ralston Hall Bridal Faire and used left over flowers from other projects to create a Victorian style bouquet with a modern twist. Who knew that this particular bouquet would be so popular on Etsy. I have had many people inquire about the bouquet and this particular client asked me to make her a custom piece with a twist, a twist of orange blossoms that is. I mentioned to her that the one listed on my site was more petite and that if she wanted to go with a more substantial bouquet it would be even more stunning. She decided to go for the pumped of version of the bouquet in the end. This bouquet is not for her but for her friend. What an amazing gift to give to the bride. That is one dear sweet friend.

This bouquet is so romantic, whimsical and dreamy with a vintage feel! Another one of my favorites and I got to try my hand at orange blossoms!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Martha Stewart Inspired Bridal Bouquet

My client, Shailer asked me to create her bridal bouquet and matching boutonniere for her fiance. We first started with peonies, poppies and lily of the valley. I did an exclusive design for my client and showed Shailer the photos and she was sold. So we modified her bouquet. We took some inspiration from a photo she found in a past issues of Martha Stewart Weddings and although that bouquet had lilac and some other flowers, the colors and the flower combination are beautiful. It consists of coral pink peonies, orange and yellow poppies, pink sweet peas, pink Victorian roses and coral peach/pink ranunculus. It's my new favorite bouquet. If only I could keep it.
Each time I work on my orders, I develop new techniques or notice things that I could modify to make everything look better. That's why I love what I do, each time it's not the same, everything is unique and custom. Every time I touch the clay I learn a new way to do things that help me to grow and become better. It truly is an art form and every piece I create is a work of art. :)I wish Shailer and Vikas all the best on their wedding day and for many, many years to come! Thank you again for allowing me to be part the most special day of your lives! :)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My Peony Cake Flower - Real Wedding Laya & Luke

As I was checking my web stats today, I came across something posted in Abby Larson's Style Me Pretty's blog. It just so happened to be a blog post about one of my bride's wedding. Laya ordered a custom peony cake flower via my Etsy site. She sent me a picture of the cake she was planning to have recreated (inspired by a Martha Stewart Weddings cake). At any rate, it was a nice surprise to see my work featured on Style Me Pretty! Click here to see the full article (larger photos) and the work of Jonathan Hanson Weddings photography!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Nesting Newbies - For a Home Tweet Home!

My dear friend, Lea McIntosh is truly a gifted and VERY talented professional. There is no limit to what she can create! Her latest creation is Nesting Newbies, an Internet based cooking show for newlyweds who may need some help in the kitchen from cooking to creating the perfect dinner party. I have to say even for someone who can cook, even I learned a few new tricks that I've already tried and that work!(Photo courtesy of Allure West Studios)
Her first episode she shared with newbies, Tejas and Lacee Naik a delicious Italian Sausage Ragu. You have to try it because it's SO GOOD - it's tweetalicious! :) Be sure to watch the video. It's chalk full of helpful cooking tips. You can even advance and move backward in the video whenever you want to!
(Photo courtesy of Allure West Studios)
I have been fortunate to see the tapings and the work that goes into this production and it's nothing short of amazing. Lea has put together a top notch team. I'm excited to see what new recipes she develops and shares. Companies such as Christopher Ranch Garlic and Calphalon are taking notice of Lea's Nesting Newbies show. I couldn't be more proud of Lea and her team of professionals who help bring this show to life. Personally being on the set, a LOT goes into each taping and it makes for a long day, but the end result is an amazing cooking show where newlyweds get hands on experience in cooking a new dish based on the foods and ingredients they enjoy most.
I can't wait to see what Chef Lea and the next newbie couple cooks up next!

Definitely bookmark - Nesting Newbies at!