Curious Lola

A Good Read, A Good Cause

You know we love a good themed event here at Lola Floral but few themes offer 380 pages of setting descriptors just waiting to be turned into something real. Few themes require us to read a book. We were spellbound from the first page on of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus which was the inspiration for this fall’s Group Health Foundation Gift of Health Gala. The event was produced by, the always impressive,  TOLO Events and the lovely photos are provided by Tracie Howe Photography. The venue was the Seattle Westin Grand Ballroom.

The color palette was predetermined by the book; white and black with red accents. I kept a notepad by my reading spot to write down any shapes, visual elements, or materials. The list included wrought iron, clock parts, birds, red rose, ornate scripted text, circles and rings, trees, apothecary bottles, cards, book pages, candles, runes, and tattoos.

The ice garden and the cloud maze were the most magical parts of the book. They were represented by the ice tree and the cloud mobile. Fluffy clouds dangled from tree branches and were lit from within with LEDs.

Each arrangement was pin lit from above for an eerie and dramatic effect.

All white flower arrangements were set in black and white striped vases. A little curl of black wrought iron set in each one.

Flowers included hydrangea, white roses and locally grown lilies and gladiola.

Thank you all for a great event!

Scottish Moorland Themed Arrangement at the UW Botanic Gardens

Open and airy heathlands, lush textures, and a deep earthy feel. These are the elements we at Lola Event Floral & Design portrayed through our Scottish Moorland inspired centerpiece displayed at this July’s UW Botanic Garden Vendor Showcase.

Every texture and color conveyed richness and movement. Since we were located at the Botanic Garden, what a great opportunity to display landscape plants that are uncommonly used in floral design.

These photos were taken by the talented Tracie Howe over at Tracie Howe Photography. You will have seen hers (and our work) in May’s travel themed post in Wedding Chicks.

Here we show local physocarpus, willow, Mexican feather grass, and Blue Star Juniper in a copper trumpet vase. Also shown are orange coffeebreak roses, green hydrangea, spanish moss, faux pheasant feathers, and grapewood. Table, runner, and furnishings beyond are by Vintage Ambiance– Vintage and Antique rentals.

This arrangement began (as they all do) with a sketch.

More yummy, rich, fall colors were displayed on Vintage Ambiance’s display. They featured their new farm tables, gold toned vintage vases, and amber glass vessels.

Place settings by Vintage Ambiance, elegant invites by Izzy Girl.

I just love those ruffly Coffeebreak roses.

Kate and Joseph’s Wedding!

The top five reasons why we loved working with Kate and Joseph on their joy filled wedding?

Number 5- You know how much we love working with Pravda Studios.

Number 4- You know how much we love sticks…. and logs… and rocks. There are so many situations and arrangements in life that can be improved with a stick.

Number 3- You know how much we love our Seattle University community and the luminous St. Ignatius Chapel

Number 2- Clearly Joseph understands the joy and power that comes from sporting Party Socks as shown in Kim Hayes’ photo collage capturing the event.

And finally- Number 1- This is actually the first time I, personally,  have experienced an exuberant, purely joy-filled bride on her wedding day. No sign of stress, no nerves, just bursting happiness and excitement. I hope Kate will write a letter for every other bride on how it is done. With all the tradition and timeline, it’s hard to remember that weddings are the ultimate party. These two, and their families knew that.

So thank you Kate and Joseph for the inspiring presentation on how to rock your wedding.
We’ve taken notes!

Below are some images of Kate and Joseph’s centerpieces by Lola Event Floral & Design.
More (and way better) photos are available on Kim Haye’s Photography Blog.

These arrangements featured succulents, driftwood bowls, dusty miller, green and white rose, hosta leaves, green trick balls, and scabiosa buds.

Table numbers were applied to stained driftwood bits.

Delicate “cloud” vases held bits of hydrangea, bellflower, hydrangea, and peony.

Thanks to the newlyweds!

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.

Farm to Table: Flower Arrangements with Edibles.

I get a special kick out of watching people interact with our flower arrangements. We don’t get to see it too often since we are typically long gone when the event’s guests arrive. This is especially fun when they see something unexpected- like something they are usually seeing on their dinner plates. That’s why I was so excited when Ravishing Radish asked us to set up a unique “farm to table” themed set for their April tasting at the yacht club on Lake Union.

Vintage Ambiance let us ransack their cave of vintage treasures. We picked up some pieces from their new stash of milkglass vessels and some old crates.

We chose to stick with oranges, reds, and yellows mostly because the daffodils look so freegin’ delicious. They are truly the happiest flower I know. After heading to the flower market we stopped by the grocery store for some kumquat, peppers, parsley, chard, lettuce, artichokes, oranges, lemons, and strawberries….  and asparagus…. and tomatoes… oh and grapes. Maybe I should have had a snack before heading to the grocery store.

aside from the produce, we also incorporated ornamental artichoke foliage and scented geranium.

We coated the lemons, oranges, and strawberries with a thick layer of decorative sugar. Yummm.


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