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Curious Lola

A Novel Place to Get Married

This summer we at Lola Event Floral & Design had the pleasure of working with an out of the ordinary, self-described “coupla nerds.” There’s nothing like a new idea to get the create juices really pumping. Cindy and Sam’s desire for a no real flowers allowed, triumphant expression of all the things they love led us and their creative team to a truly one of a kind wedding. Perhaps the most triumphant piece (besides a glowing bride and groom and proud family) was our fantastic book arch. We really just can’t shut our mouths about it.

So if you haven’t already seen it on the Huffington Post or other outlets, here it is again- this time with our own photos. Definitely go to Alex Rubin’s page for pics of the beautiful couple, more book arch, and more wedding photos.

Thank you, also, to the couple for being so neato and for choosing such a great team of creative professionals

To the Lola Event Floral & Design team for all the great pieces and long hours of mindless book drilling.

Pink Blossom Events for planning, paper flower centerpieces, and in general making everything work.

Sodo Park/ Herban Feast for the iconic site and tasty eats

Heathoriginals for paper flower mastery

and Rubin Photography for capturing it all.

Designing with Seaweed

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Ya, this bouquet is great and everything, but it’s missing something. I dunno, something slimy, something…. that smells of the bonny brine of th’ foamy tide.”  (Oh, you think in pirate-speak, too?)

Yes! Well we think so too. And so did the creative thinkers over at Seattle Bride Magazine when they asked Lola Event Floral & Design to contribute to their ocean themed feature for the upcoming issue that will hit stands this week.

Sliminess and smell aside, seaweed is alluring because first, the sliminess and smelliness means probably no one else will be working with it and second because the translucency and watery quality epitomizes the ocean and our Puget Sound region. Third, the texture is so unique.

Check out the lovely translucency in this gorgeous image from this winter’s Northwest coast inspired post.

Well, we thought we’d share with you what we learned while working with this ocean grower.

First some rules. Seaweed is habitat for a variety of species with erosion control properties that are so important for coastlines. Just as we don’t rip plants out of forests to play with, we don’t rip seaweed from rocks. Luckily, there are plenty of pretties just layin’ about awaitin’ to be haaaaarrrvested. (back pirate, back… sigh). There are also some restrictions on which beaches you can harvest from. For more info, peruse the fish and wildlife page on shellfish and seaweed harvesting.

We harvested a bunch of different varieties but were most successful with the little curly red/ purple seaweed and these large green leaves.

We started by rinsing our seaweed in cold water (warm water makes them super gooey) and setting them out on some wax paper. We wanted them to be sealed so that they would maintain shape as they dried and preserve the coloring. We wanted a clear and flexible coat. For this we tried Golden’s Self-Leveling Gel and High Solid Gel to test the best product.

The Self-Leveling Gel is above and the High Solid Gel below. These are found in the acrylic paint section of your art store. They were both applied with a soft brush (big, floppy, cloud soft) so it wouldn’t pull the delicate plant. Both mediums produced a clear seal, though we went with the self-leveling gel because it produced a thicker coat that added heft to the delicate leaf so we could really play with it. We did find that the coloring changed drastically during this process. We have not tested whether this is due to a reaction with the sealant, or exposure to the sun. It’s worth giving Mod Podge a shot to test it’s colorfastness and to save some money.

After carefully flipping the pieces, we coated the other side, let dry completely and curled it into these unusual tufts cascading out of the arrangement below.

The arrangement is placed in a recycled glass vessel with plant roots (a nod to the eroding land into the sea) and plants with shapes that mimic sea life. We also sealed mussels shells we found after a sea bird feast. The interiors are a lovely opalescent blue that really glow with a little gloss.

Enjoy! Don’t forget to pick up a copy of the new magazine! Let us know what you think.

That’s a nice bouquet, bow lady. Needs some seaweed.

Salvage and Survival

This morning I cautiously popped my head out of my sliding front door before heading out. Not to see if it is raining, no. To size up the perils of my backyard and what lies beyond. Birds chirping, check. Appropriate level of street noise, check. Piles of leftover construction wood- unkempt, but in an organized sort of mess that would make sense to only me and my sweetie. No OCD intruder has come in the night to organize our yard. Wood, Check. On the way to the car, I suspiciously eyeball the people at the bus stop before jumping in the safety of my Korean hotrod (it’s actually closer to a old boot on wheels.)

Why am I acting like a freak? No, we haven’t been burgled. I stayed up all night reading the Hunger Games and now I’m obsessed. Tired and hungry, too. That just makes it all the better to feel like I’m on some sort of quest.  A bird flies into the understory and I think, “Ya, you better get out of here… or I’ll eat you.”

I don’t read fiction often because of the life disrupting effects. Not only have I not eaten, slept, or completed any urgent work, this morning I have an overwhelming need to go to the metal scrap yard. Work will have to wait again. On the drive down, each person I pass is a competitor, and I throw them a glance as my Korean hot rod passes them at a cautiously fast but clearly superior speed. Breakin’ the rules. Stickin’ to the… well, I guess I don’t really have a point in passing everyone. To win, I guess.

I haven’t been to Pac Iron since I was a sculpture student in college and now I have a hankering to see what types of junk can be remade into cool stuff. I need fodder for a post but more importantly, I can’t help but think this place would be like a treasure world for a survivalist. So I’m off to Pacific Iron and Metal.

A whole bin of machine screws. Like candy.

Hefty sheet metal- protects from all sorts of elements including poison fog.

These are cool. I almost brought some home, but the face on the container was a little scary.

Nothing jumped out at me to take home and remake, though I may go back for some of these chains for a chandelier project we’ve got coming up at Lola Floral (stay tuned for that!).

I had forgotten how much I like the smell of burnt metal, but overall I was underwhelmed. I remember this place having a lot more cool junk- from boats and stuff. But then it hit me. Of course. The rebellion. It’s all being melted down to support the rebellion.

And since I didn’t find something I wanted to remake into something else, here are some great uses of repurposed materials from the nation’s rebels.

Sewer pipes from

wood wall from Design Sponge

salvaged wood for a fence by Valle de Verde via

Wagon Shelf from Ki Nassauer

Succulent planter from Small Space Gardening


Wishing you all a mental vacation and some salvage inspiration.



Purple Water Experiment

This little experiment is for an idea I will be showing a March bride this year. We’re trying to keep costs down and thought maybe an inexpensive way to get a lot more interest would be to dye the water varying shades of purple. She likes aubergine, but in the interest of testing some samples, we’ve done some cooler violets, too. I found all my colors in the baking section of the grocery store.

First experiment (above)- shorty wine glass is one drop of purple food coloring.

To the left, one drop of blue is added… then two drops of blue on the far left.

To the right of the shorty is one drop of violet and one drop of red.- Barfola!

let’s switch to pink. To the right of Barfola is one drop of violet and one drop of pink. I like where this is going.

Next is Two drops of violet, one drop of pink and the far right is three violets and one pink.


This is just one drop of violet, one drop of pink, and one drop of blue- mixed with increasing volumes of water. Very nice.

I liked the pink violet combo- Here is an expanded spectrum each with one drop of increasing violet. (there is actually much more variation in the darks than is seen here).

We’ll have to incorporate candles or lighting trays.

Very nice.

Botanic Garden Part II: Garden Party Table Arrangement.

I fell in love with plaster during my anxious days as a sculpture and landscape architecture student. Besides the obvious uses to cast things, I love using it as a medium for paints and pigments, a crusty glue, and my go-to material to give my hands that 25 years-older dried out look. Lovely. This table top was inspired by some plaster fabric botanical forms I made for something else (that didn’t work out). We worked them into this rustic, table top piece with sculptural plants and vintage rentals (chairs, glasses, and plates) from Vintage Ambiance. This table, like the previous post: “Goodfellow’s Stylish Grey Lady” was part of the University of Washington’s First Annual Vendor Showcase for the Botanic Gardens.

And just like before, photos here are by Red Sparrow Photography.


I loved these bricks so much I ended up using them for my wedding too!

Succulents, sedum, and scabiosa!

Doilies, linen, and burlap

The prickly thing is Acanthus spinosus!

Fuzzy moss.

Nigella pods/ Love in a Mist- so cool.

‘Little Bunny’ Pennisetum grass.

By the way, all the plants shown are local and organically grown. Yay!


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