Happy Van-niversary to me! It's been 1 year since the best purchase I've ever made. While I've already outgrown this van I'm trying to avoid buying a bigger one. Living in the city and driving a massive van can be heeeeectic so for my van's birthday I had my wonderful friend install a shelf which should help create some more space. I think I feel particularly proud and bonded to my van because its actually the first vehicle thats ever been entirely mine! Somehow I managed to get through this life without ever buying one myself?! Growing up I shared a car with my brothers and then Noah and I have had a few cars together, but this one was purchased, owned, operated, loved by me! It's pretty banged up because the previous owner was a personal trainer and her weights made lots of dents and holes, but I kind of like it that way. Plus it feels as if I'm doing a nice thing filling it with soft flowers instead of heavy weights. It's been so great at getting me where I need to go, I even tried camping in it which I DO NOT RECOMMEND!!
The final palette we worked with in our colour stories series was classic white and green. As much as I love working with colour I can see why so many brides choose this palette, you truly can't go wrong. Generally I like to use several different varieties of blooms in my arrangements. This session gave me the opportunity to try something I've wanted to experiment with for a while. It's really not ground breaking, just a bit different than my usual...I wanted to try and simplify by using just one type of flower in my arrangement while still trying to create interest, depth and shape. I chose to work with iceberg roses, mainly because I think they are adorable and I love how their little heads bob when you move them and how on the second day they open up and show you their sweet yellow centers. To my utmost delight, I was able to incorporate this stunning trailing clematis vine. It must have been my lucky day because I was dropping something off to my florist friends studio the day before the shoot when I spotted the vine that she had brought back from the market. She didn't need it and I happily accepted it (thanks M!). The vine added some needed texture and helped create a soft shape. As always, I'm blown away by the beautiful calligraphy of Michaela Mcbride, the photographs by David at We Are Origami and the styling by Sandra Chau Design.
An early Spring wedding captured beautifully by Ann Marie Yuen. When I received these images I truly gasped out loud. It meant a lot to me that Ann Marie really took the time to capture the flowers for Christina and Derrick. She also happens to be super lovely and I was lucky enough to get to work with Ann Marie a few times this season.
Initially these bouquets were going to be a lot softer in tone. A few weeks before the wedding Christina and I were chatting on the phone and we decided to make them much more saturated. I'm so glad we did, as these are some of my favourites.
Well Trille actually turned two about four months ago, I just haven't had a moment to write about it or even think about it. I've been really busy these days but also really happy. This job can be so seasonal--feast or famine, if you will. Lately its been a feast with the Spring season fading into the Summer season and now we're in the early Autumn season without much opportunity in there to catch my breath. Winter will be the famine and I'll do lots of blogging and sleeping then.
The best parts about year two were 1- buying my van and 2-moving into my studio. Both of these proved life changing in terms of the size of jobs I could take on, my efficiency and my confidence. Being a florist without a van and working out of the second bedroom of my apartment that I had to climb 5 flights of stairs with boxes of flowers on my shoulders to get to was...rough. Every time I needed a van for a job (or even just to pop out to the store for something ) I had to rent a vehicle. Very annoying when most days you start work around 3:30am and the last person to rent the van left the gas tank empty. There were even some hilarious/rude comments about how you couldn't be a "real florist" if you didn't own a van! lol I find that so funny/odd/mean. Everyone's path looks different and if you're producing good work and taking care of your clients should it really matter how you get the work done?
My husband and I got our permanent residency, so it seemed like an appropriate time to begin searching for a van. Initially I had a list of criteria for my future van..."black, caddy, automatic, reverse camera"...and then eventually the criteria became, "van"...any van, any colour, any brand, I just needed it asap. I found one online and I knew it was mine when I saw the license plate. It spelled out my exact initials and age and career WHAT?! It felt like the stars had aligned and I truly believed that this was my van. Turns out it was! I bought it, I love it, I've already blown the speakers from singing too loud in it---it's perfection.
In the same week I convinced Noah to come look at a house with me, you know "just to see" lol. The ad online told me that there was a seperate garage, which to me meant studio! We were both totally surprised at how much we loved the house and the garage...The garage wasn't pretty, but I had mothers eyes for it. I just knew if I could clean it up and paint it white ( FIVE coats of paint!!) it would be the perfect studio for me. And it is! We applied for the house right then and there and have happily been living in it ever since.
I adore my studio and my van. It feels like I really earned them after how difficult it was in my old apartment with all the stairs. But I am glad I had that experience because it's part of my journey and I worked really hard to start this biz with a lot going against me. To finally have a place that's mine is heaven--it really is my happiest place to be these days. I'll post some before and after shots of my studio below.
This morning, scrolling through Instagram, I found this quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald,
“For what it's worth... it's never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you've never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you're not, I hope you have the courage to start over again.”
It reminded me of my workshop attendee Catherine from Flowers at Haberfield . After years in the corporate world she decided to pursue her passion for flowers full time. Catherine dived right in and even opened a shop! Working in flowers, let alone retail flowers, is not for the faint of heart! I found myself endlessly inspired by her courage and ambition. I can't wait to see where Catherine's passion takes her in 2018.
Massive thank you to my assistant, Billie who also modelled for us---she looks SO gorgeous in these images!
Photography by @ameliasoegijonophoto | Student work by @flowers_at_haberfield | Studio @lepetitstudioblanc_au | Ribbons by @songbirdsilk | Styling board by @sandrachaudesign | Assistant extraordinaire & model @billierimmer |
Sometimes living in Sydney can make you feel like you are living in any city in any part of the world...It's not until I leave the city that I realise I'm in Australia.
I try to explore Australia as much as possible on my own time, so when my work takes me out of the city I feel especially lucky. This late summer engagement session in particular was one of those "pinch me" moments. The landscape, the sun streaming through those incredibly tall and old trees, the team I was working with, and the smiles on Mykey & Erics faces when they saw the ceremony nest -- It was a very good day and one that made me feel really thankful to be on this path.
When I found out my workshop student, Belinda, was traveling from Outback Queensland to Sydney to attend a 1:1 workshop with me I knew immediately what palette I wanted us to work with. While my experience with the outback is limited, I did spend a few days walking in absolute wonder around Ayers Rock last year and I can't help but think back to the rust toned dirt and terracotta sunsets that feel so quintessentially Australian. I wanted to focus the palette on warm rusts, terracotta's, peaches and pinks because I thought it might be nice for Belinda's portfolio images to reflect the landscape of where she will be designing most of her events. I'm so glad Belinda came when she did because the ranunculus this season in Sydney have been beyond beautiful and gave us that perfect peachy pink tone. We also were lucky enough to have a few peach foxgloves grown by the wonderful Elizabeth from Wild Aesthetic Flowers. Then when the first of the bearded iris's showed up at market I knew it was going to be a good day!
Something that I've really loved about these 1:1's is the opportunity to plan and style the photoshoot portion of the workshop. I put a lot of thought and time into planning every detail and collecting all the props and styling bits to bring to life what I'm seeing in my mind. My favourite elements from our shoot are all the terracotta details, like the vases and the candle votives. I was determined to find a model with beautiful red hair to compliment our palette. My friend Sandra from Sandra Chau Design also created us a custom styling board for our shoot, the colour and texture was spot on!
I'm really excited to watch Belinda's business "Flinders & Mitchell" grow. She only just started and I can already see how talented and passionate she is about being a florist and creating memorable events for the people in her community. She also happens to be a delight to be around! If you are in the Julia Creek, Queensland area and are in need of flowers, Belinda is your girl!
Special thank you to all the other creatives who were involved in this workshop, especially my assistant that day, Tina, who is equal parts sunshine and spartan.
Workshop hosted by Trille Floral, Student work by @flinders_mitchell , Photography by We Are Origami Photography , Model @jaimeemay , Hair & Makeup @makeup.by.jaimeemay , Styling board by Sandra Chau Design , Ribbons by Song Bird Silk , Foxgloves grown by Wild Aesthetic Flowers , Studio Le Petit Studio Blanc , Assistant @merakimovement
Flashback to a few months ago when it was Winter in Sydney and my friend David from We Are Origami came over to snap a few photos of this Winter arrangement. I kept it simple with an earthy toned palette using only hellebores, tulips and a few poppy pods. Some of my most favourite arrangements use only 2 or 3 varieties...plus those mushrooms, which were a last resort decision when I couldn't find grapes! I incorporated them to add some interest and texture to the table and I ended up loving the way they looked.
It's the best time of year to be a florist! All my favourite blooms are popping up at market and the temperature is still cool enough that we don't have to worry about them wilting. A few weeks ago my friend David from We Are Origami Photography stopped by to capture the season. In celebration of Spring I chose a very saturated and happy palette to play with. Earlier that morning, I stopped in at the fruit shop and they had these mini papayas sitting at the cash desk that I had to incorporate. They were a great compliment to my favourite terracotta candle votives that I found while in Canada.
Narrowing these images down was a challenge because they all came out so beautifully! I have Kerstin Auer from Lilli Kad Photography to thank for that that. She came by while I was teaching this 1:1 workshop to capture some behind the scenes teaching and arranging, as well as final product images of what my student created.
I've been getting a lot of enquiries lately for teaching workshops, so when Olivia approached me about teaching a 1:1 I thought it would be a great way to start. I loved the entire process of planning, organizing, prepping, teaching and shooting this workshop. My mind was busy for weeks prior creating inspiration boards, collecting styling bits, vessels and props. I wanted the atmosphere to feel relaxed but informative, beautiful but realistic. Olivia and I focused on creating loose, lush and unstructured bouquets and arrangements. I talked her through my process, creating a demo bouquet and arrangement and then it was her turn to create. We had a styled tablescape set up and a model so that she could get some really beautiful images for her portfolio. It was a really lovely day.
There are so many different styles of workshops and classes out there and I plan on holding more casual, larger group workshops in the near future. However, with 1:1's I love that that we have time to focus on the details, ask a lot of questions, give personalized instruction based on the students needs and include styled components for some great portfolio images. If you are interested in attending a 1:1 workshop please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Special thanks to Elizabeth from Wild Aesthetic Flowers. All the foliage, berries, roses and hellebores you see came from her garden. Thank you also to Kerstin from Lilli Kad Photography, you are such a talent and so easy to be around, and thank you to beautiful Lynn who was our model.
I've been meaning to get this shoot up on my blog for months. It was featured on Magnolia Rouge a little while back and you can see the full story if you click this link !
This shoot was dreamt up by lovely Meg over at Style Palette Co. She was inspired by the idea of drinking lemon cello in Italy and found the perfect location to evoke that feeling. Redleaf has got to be my most favourite venue. Those terracotta walls are beyond beautiful.
Brides, please book Redleaf as your wedding venue and then hire me to do the flowers!
Photography by Lilli Kad Photography, Styling by The Style Palette Co, Florals by Trille Floral, Hair & Makeup by Abbey Love, Calligraphy by Written By Hand, Venue - Redleaf , Long Gown - Mira Mandic, Short Gown - Anna Sui, Jewelery by Bond Street Jewelers, Silk Ribbons by Song Bird Silk, Model Rachel Kim Cross, Linens by The Lost and Found Department, Glassware by Riedel , Ceramics by MH Ceramics
Just received the images from this beautiful ceremony set up. Full post coming soon!
The second palette in our Colour Stories Series was citrus. There are, of course, many directions you could take this but I decided on grapefruit and tangerine purely because that is what caught my eye at the market that morning. It's important to be adaptable, to be able to work with what you have, even if it wasn't what you planned on using. That's what makes a great florist and what I'm trying to get better at. My friend Myra always says a good florist can make anything look good and since here in Sydney we work with so much local product everything is very weather dependent. You absolutely must be adaptable and able to think quick on your feet if the flowers you planned on aren't available.
Working with brights doesn't come naturally to me. I love using colour but tend to gravitate towards muddy, pale or rich tones so this was a bit of an experiment for me. To keep the brights from getting overwhelming I softened things up with soft apricot and nude roses which really complimented the beautiful ingredient tags Michaela made us. I had to buy three bunches of multicoloured zinnias just to get those 3 orange stems...because when I saw them I knew I wanted them and that is just what you do to make it work.
David of We Are Origami, Sandra of Sandra Chau Design, Michaela Mcbride of Michaela Mcbride Calligraphy and Amy Chan of Amy Chan Hair & Makeup.
Insomnia strikes again. Or maybe it's jetlag. Or maybe there is no excuse and it's just me, the new me who cannot sleep properly, ever. I even took the sleeping pills my doctor gave me, had a hot shower two hours before bed, did some deep breathing exercises and turned off all electronics (lol I definitely did NOT do that last one), and yet here I am...
My mind is racing with ideas and especially colour palettes I want to explore once I get back to Sydney. I'm happy to be visiting family and friends here in my beloved Toronto, but I'm missing the flowers and eager to get back to work.
The shoot below was one of my favourites. The concept was really simple, mostly about working with different palettes and textures and creating beautiful images for our portfolios. Lately I'm loving simple, minimal studio shoots. I find you can still tell a really pretty story this way. We had three different colour stories to play with and this is the first of them.
These photos of Natalie and Derrick's engagement session were taken by my friend David from We Are Origami. When I first moved to Sydney and discovered David on instagram, I put it at the top of my list to work with this guy! His images are just so soft and beautiful and filled with light. Turns out he's actually one of the nicest guys I've ever met and I'm so thrilled that we have become friends and that we've had the opportunity to work together on a few creative projects and weddings this past year. If you are a Sydney bride I would highly recommend getting in touch with David...look at how beautiful he managed to make two of the most photographed tourist sites in Sydney look like fine art! I really loved creating a bouquet for this shoot. Any time a bride wants to use colour I jump at the opportunity.
Now that the temperature has finally cooled down, I wanted to share a few Autumn inspired arrangements and bouquets from the past couple weeks.
These first few were from an elopement! Those always feels really special and exciting. This bride wanted to use colour, which I was very enthused about. I tend to use a lot of softer palettes for most weddings so when a bride is open to using richer tones or unique colour palettes I get excited to work with something different! In the past, I found red to be quite harsh and difficult to work with. But lately I've been so drawn to it and was really hoping I would get the chance to arrange with red while the dahlias are still with us. I still wanted the bouquet to have some softness and dimension to it so I incorporated my favourite nude carnations and a few different pale pink roses.
These next few were for an engagement session by my friend Dave at We Are Origami. I used deep, rich tones of burgundy, plum and purple. Sweet peas made their first appearance for the season so I had to include a few of those (nothing more exciting then when new flowers start showing up at the market). These were just taken with my iphone so I'm looking forward to seeing the professional images from Dave once they're ready!
I'm teaming up with my friend and fine art film photographer Kerstin, of Lilli Kad Photography to offer Sydney families and couples a styled mini session. On Saturday July 1st I will be creating an installation to use as our backdrop and Kerstin will be shooting each 30 minute session with film. Sessions are $450.00 and have limited spots available. This would be a really great opportunity for small families to update their family photos.
What is included in the session fee:
- 30 min photo session
- styled studio backdrop
- 20 high resolution images
- printing rights
- client gallery
Sessions are for couples or small families with one or two kids. These sessions are for a maximum of 4 people at a time. If you have a larger family please contact us directly.
Session fee is non refundable due to the limited spots available. The studio will be in Sydney and exact location will be confirmed closer to the date.
We are also offering $50 off the first 2 sessions. Just enter 'earlybird' in the coupon section.
To purchase a session head over to http://www.lillikad.com/product/portrait-mini-session/
This shoot was recently featured on Once Wed (!!!!!!)...but actually, that is a massive deal to me. It was a really special day and I'm still so grateful that I was asked to be a part of it. I feel inclined to say that it was a "dreamy" day but I feel like that word is so overused in this industry and it's starting to sound cheap but I can't stop using it because it works and my vocabulary has severely suffered since completing my degrees and living off only a few hours of sleep a night. I can't remember anything I learned in University, which is really sad because as with everything, I tried really hard all those years.
My friend Sandra Chau, who is a Sydney based stylist had reached out to talented American stylist Ginny Au. An accurate word to describe Ginny would be innovative. She is so good at what she does and see's beauty in a really natural and exciting way. Ginny mentored Sandra and part of the one on one experience was organizing a styled shoot here in Sydney. I've been a massive fan of Ginny's styling (and ribbons!) for years now, so it was really surreal to meet her and watch her work. Honestly, I was pretty nervous because Ginny has worked with the best of the best...essentially ALL of my florist heros have worked with her before. On the drive out I found myself wishing I felt more prepared. Then again, everything I've ever read on the topic of business has been about taking opportunities even when you don't feel you are ready. Just jumping in and doing your best...or simply put, fake it till you make it. That's hard for me because generally I like to prepare 110% for everything I do and find comfort in collecting a piece of paper that costs thousands of dollars and takes years of study to tell me I am ready for something. Sounds pretty female doesn't it? Elizabeth Gilbert has a lot to say about this and I suggest if you feel the same to read "Big Magic" and then get on with it.
I learned a lot from this shoot and I'm really proud of everyone involved. And as always I had a blast working with my pals Sandra and David. I've included a few behind the scenes shots from this day because it's always interesting to see how these things come together.
It's been raining non-stop the past few days. I actually really like it. I feel more like myself when the weather is a bit gloomy. I've always been drawn to melancholy...music, movies, colours, weather--all of it. Now I'm remembering that embarrassing "Emo stage" a lot of us went through at age 13, 14....I was really good at that. Two days ago I was snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef. It was some of the most tropical landscape I've ever seen. Beautiful. Really, truly beautiful and I think I'll write about the coral I saw in another post because I can't imagine the palettes I saw there exist anywhere else. So two days ago I was in a tropical paradise and I was really happy when I checked my weather app and it forecasted Sydney for rain....and a lot of it. That's a very unpopular thing to say.
I didn't exactly mean to write about this.
People say you talk about weather when you have nothing else to talk about. I disagree. Sometimes in Australia it's all you can talk about because the heat waves or the thunderstorms are really aggressive here, I find at least.
I did want to mention the rain. Because one of my favourite times to arrange flowers is when it's raining. Something about the light and the sound makes me feel relaxed yet concentrated.
I just found out that a shoot I was lucky enough to be a part of is going to be featured on Once Wed (!!!!!). That's a big deal to me and I feel really honoured to have been a part of this shoot.
Below is an image from that day taken by David of me arranging in the rain.
Sometimes, to keep track of what is in season, I'll scroll back a few months on my phone and see what ingredients I was using in particular months. Doing this gives me an idea of what could be available for a bride getting married at a similar time. As we know, mother nature is temperamental AF so it's not exact but it does give me an idea of what we can expect to see. I came across that fleeting period where tree peonies graced us with their glorious presence and I had to include some images on here. They are so spectacular and unassuming at first...you could easily walk past them at the market because their little heads are closed up so tight and buried under long floppy foliage. But once you take them home and give them a little time they will open up as big as your face. They are one of those flowers that feel like therapy -- It has to be good for you to be around them because they do weird things to my heart (same as puppies, arrival gates and ocean swims). Below are a few images from that time.