Monday, December 23, 2013


It feels like it's been snowing here in southeast Michigan for nearly a week and today, as I sit her writing this we're bracing for a possible ice storm.  Winter has just arrived and I'm already waiting for spring.  There are no flowers in sight except for the bulbs I've planted indoors.  The only one that has bloomed is the paperwhite so far.  I have an amaryllis bulb that I planted before Thanksgiving but, it hasn't bloomed yet. My original plan was for it to bloom so that I could use it in a design for Christmas.  That's the wonderful and frustrating part about flowers, like everything in nature - it's unpredictable.  I still have a few days left before Christmas so, I'm still hoping that the amaryllis blooms in time.  I'll let you know how it turns out.  I'm going to take a little time off from the blog so that I can spend time with my family and friends during the holidays, so you won't be hearing from me for a while.  I hope that all of you enjoy holidays and I'll see you in the new year.  I'm ready to say goodbye to 2013.  I can't wait for a fresh start so, bring it on 2014.  I'm ready for you.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Evergreens

Hey there!  I've been busy preparing for the holidays around my home.  Both of my trees are up and I'm hoping I don't find anymore boxes of decorations.  A few years ago I started hosting Christmas brunch at my home and with that I started collecting items to style the table.  Although the table is decorated, I also like to add some special touches to the chairs too.  I've seen the chairs of brides and grooms all gussied up for weddings, but why not for other occasions like the holidays too?  I gathered three types of evergreens, from my yard, my in-laws' yard and a friend's yard to create this mini swag.  Beware - if you become my friend, chances are I'll be heading to your house with my pair of clippers in hand.  Don't let your table have all the fun.  Pay attention to your chairs too and try this at your home.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Colorful Fall Bridal Bouquet

I was practicing making wedding bouquets when the flowers were still blooming this year.   I ended up with this colorful beauty that I completed with a deep purple ribbon.  Wouldn't it be lovely for a late summer or fall wedding? 

Monday, November 25, 2013

An Evening at the Farm

It's Thanksgiving week here in the states and it's the quiet before the storm for some of us.  It's before the chaos of shopping and holiday stress creeps up on us.  Before all of this begins, I just wanted to share some images of a quiet autumn evening during a visit to a friend's farm I had with my daughters and my parents.  It was still warm enough to go without a coat and my girls played in the pumpkin patch and fields with the sound of chickens and turkeys in the background and I took in the last blooms of the season.  Have a fabulous week friends!  I'll be seeing you again soon.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Buy American Grown Flowers

I'm a newbie to floral design and one of the reasons for this blog is for me to journal my work so that I can see my progression and to see what I would change.  As a freshman floral designer, I'm trying to educate myself as much as I can about all the parts of the floral industry.  Upon all my reading and searching, I discovered Debra Prinzing.  She reinforced what I was already thinking and feeling and also changed the way I view flowers.  For those who don't know, Debra is a writer and an advocate for American grown flowers.  She has written many books including, The 50 Mile Bouquet and Slow Flowers, both of which I need to add to my reading list.  Debra's website and podcast has completely enlightened me on how necessary and important it is buy American grown flowers.  According to the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, almost 80% of flowers sold in the U.S. are grown elsewhere.  I was astounded by this statistic and now I'm driven to design with more American grown flowers.  

I didn't post last week because after being educated on the American flower market, what I had created no longer was up to my standards.  The post was going to be on how I transformed a grocery store bouquet and of course then I realized that the flowers that had been purchased were most likely imported.  If you've been following my blog, you notice that most of my work always has some locally grown blooms in them already along with some store bought flowers.  I started buying flowers from local growers because I like to support local farmers and I found that what they were offering was more interesting and fresher than what I could find at the grocery stores or area florist shops, but I was and am limited with growers to source from.  I wished I had more local ingredients available to me to work with.  Wishing doesn't change anything.  I know that I have to make it happen.  I have to buy more from farmers in order for them to want to grow more and I have to put the work into finding more growers to source from.  I'm very excited to tell you that I took the beginning steps to make things happen.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.   
So, this is what I've learned and this is what I will change.  I will source as much as I can from local growers and what I can't, I'll be sure that it's American grown.  Not only does this support our economy, but it's also a more sustainable way to enjoy fresh flowers.  We all love that, right?  I have included an image of the grocery store inspired arrangement I created because, although I'm not proud of the purchase, for me it represents an awakening to take some action into my own hands.  I did include some foliage and lavender from my yard, dahlias from my sister-in-law's garden and the pumpkin was grown by a local farmer.  I could go on and on about the benefits of buying locally grown flowers, but to find out more information for yourself, you can head over to Debra Prinzing's site or to the ASCFG's site.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Bloom Florist Collective

A couple weeks ago I went to my first class with Bloom Florist Collective held at Pot & Box in Ann Arbor and I loved it!!!  Tracy of Red Poppy Floral Design taught us how to make a compote composed of fruit, flowers and foliage - a perfect fall combination.  I've been itching to make a compote because I'm drawn to the dramatic, elegant look of the arrangements.  I'm glad I finally got a chance to learn how to make one.  Don't be surprise when you see more compotes showing up here on the blog.  The wonderful, Heather of HMN Photography was kind enough to capture these beautiful photos of the class.

If you're in the Detroit or Ann Arbor area and are interested in floral design check out what Bloom Florist Collective has to offer.  Classes will soon be announced for November and December.  Be sure to check out their blog or FB page for updates.  Ann Arbor is a bit of a drive for me, but I know that I'll definitely be back to learn some more from this amazing group of designers.  

I love this photo of larskpur that Heather took.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Flowers for a Teacher

Last week was a tragic week for educators here in the states when two teachers sadly lost their lives at school.  These events have especially saddened and frightened me because I am married to a teacher and am friends with many teachers.  I know the dedication that many teachers, counselors and administrators have to their students.  I know that teachers not only teach, but protect your children when you leave them in their care five days a week.  I know that teachers sometimes go home and worry about the well being of their students.  I know that teachers perform acts of kindness throughout the year for students, but are never thanked. 

Before the beginning of last week, my husband asked me to make a couple of arrangements for a counselor and a teacher at his school.  The staff at my husband's school doesn't have "secret Santa" during the holidays, but instead they do something similar in October and "boo" or surprise a fellow colleague with a special little gift.  These are the arrangements I created and this is how I was able to thank a couple of educators for all that they do.  Now, it's your turn!  Take some time and thank an educator.  You could donate your time and volunteer in the classroom or buy a teacher lunch - the simplest gesture can mean so much.  Don't forget the school's counselors, secretaries, principals, etc. too.  Often these key people in the school are overlooked because they don't have a classroom of children, but remember they too help to make your school a success and play roles in the success students.  Get out there and do something kind for a teacher and have an amazing week my friends!  I'll see you next week with some more pretty blooms!  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Dahlias + Fall Leaves

My sister-in-law's dahlias are blooming like mad right now and I couldn't let them go to waste.  I had to throw in some fall leaves for good measure.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall Inspired Table

Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year.  I love the cooler weather, colors, smells and flavors.  Pumpkins and leaves are just my thing.  I got married in the fall and my first child was born in the fall, so I have several reasons to celebrate the wonderful season.

For my daughter's eighth birthday party we decided to just go with a fall theme.  I wanted punches of color with the flowers; which included zinnias, dahlias, roses and mums.  All of the flowers except for the roses came from a farm owned by a family friend.  For the foliage I added in crab apples, Japanese maple and smoke bush.  I had to put some gourds and pumpkins on the tables too.  I'm also obsessed with ornamental cabbage and kale for fall, so that found it's way onto the table as well.  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sunflower Arrangement

I recently made a hand-tied bouquet for a friend as a house warming gift.  For some reason I forgot to snap a picture of the hand-tied bouquet to share with you and I loved the way it turned out too.  Anyway, I had some pieces leftover that I didn't want to go to waste, so I played with them and this is what I came up with.  I added in some sedum and ornamental grass from my garden to the leftover sunflowers, zinnia, gomphrena and tanacetum that were purchased from a local flower farm.  As you can see, it turned into one colorful, happy arrangement.  Have a fabulous week friends!  


Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall Boutonnieres

I needed to practice making some boutonnieres, so I came up with these little guys for fall.  I wanted to create something rustic and modern.  For the first one, I used a scabosia pod as the focal flower and mixed in a bloom from my chive plant along with a leaf from a Japanese maple tree and a ruffled geranium leaf all from my garden.  For the second one I chose a succulent for the focal flower and added in arborvitae and again a chive flower.  I wrapped up the rustic feel with a bit of twine.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Welcome to Northern Bloom

A bridal bouquet I created for a styled shoot with HMN Photography and Alora Rachelle Photography.

Hi there!  Welcome to my blog, Northern Bloom!  Maybe you know me from my old blog Cupcakes & Confetti or maybe you're a new reader, either way, I'm glad you found me here.  This is where I'll be blogging about my love of floral design and other lovely things.