TEAM WTF | Workshops & Whimsy

Boy has it been a minute since I last blogged to you beautiful flower people! Better late than never right!!

Can you believe it’s friggin APRIL??!! And HOLY Mother of nature we went from crazy wintery rain storms to hella heatwave like- over night! Low 60’s to 80 degrees is quite a jump! That’s a bit of a shock to the system if ya ask me. I was no wear near ready to come out of “hibernation”… And by that I mean painted toe nails and silky smooth legs! But I did it! Well half way… Half of my legs are smooth. Yup. Only half…the bottom half. Not like it matters a ton because it’s floor length dresses for this girl until I can get my sun kissed glow goin. Baby steps!!! Next on the agenda… a much needed pedi. As soon as I have time! OH- which brings me back to why I am here. Focus V!

The floral artist life has kept a sista busy! Thanks to all you faithful flower lovers and to your little people especially! The kiddo’s and I have been flourishing up a storm of our own from the WS and the Delta the past several weeks! Kids are the FUNNEST! All that’s wrong in the world just takes a back seat and lets all the colorful creativity SHINE!

Grab your shades, because these smiles are BEAMING!!

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Floral Design Workshops are all the rage right now! We had a blast talking about flowers and creating their very own completely unique floral arrangements! Huge THANK YOU to the Friends of The Clarksburg Library for allowing me to transform their activity room in to a floral studio! I can’t wait to host another one.

Even my own kids jumped on the design bandwagon over Easter Break (for the first time EVER)! That just makes my floral mama heart siiiiiiing!

BOLO for more events in the coming months! Like my Facebook Page and opt in to receive my monthly-ish emails about all the 411!

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Flower Confessional

I have a confession to make: I used to steal flowers.


 That’s right, I was a 3 year old juvenile delinquent.

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Me: The {happy} a flower thief.

My grandparents lived next door to an elderly woman who planted a simple pansy and petunia garden every summer but worked hard to keep it looking nice and full all summer long. At least she tried. She had ME sneaking into her yard and pulling them up on a regular basis. First, I started picking her flowers to bring home to my mom, or grandma (probably to cover something up/smooth over/or get my way) but it started out as a gesture of love. Well, I quickly learned that my gesture was not welcomed, flowers were not liked, and they would only get me into trouble because I was grabbed by the hand, marched right back to were I’d foraged my first bouquet, and told to fess up, and apologize. Which I didn’t understand because they were clearly mine. They were in MY hand. I had picked them all by myself. And I was being forced to return them… For what!?  Because apparently you’re supposed to ask first. So I did. But “Old Lady M” was not interested in sharing these little beauties with me. They were only to be looked at not for picking. (WTF…What fun is that?? Seriously.)

I am pretty sure I had to “replant” what I had taken and told I wasn’t allowed back in her yard again. Well, that didn’t exactly stop me. It did slow me down though. Sometimes “Mrs. M” would catch me before I got close enough to do anything. She’d come out on her porch or stand at her door and watch me if I tried to get too close. Other times it was too late; I’d all ready been in and out, {just like those pansies} before she could do anything about it. Or I would just wait for her to leave and then sneak over and take my  pick of her pretty flowers. She’d come home to find little dirt piles along her walk way and then march right over to my Grandma’s and tell on me. (Pretty sure my grandpa thought it was funny. I got away with quite a bit under his watchful eye.) By that time though- I had most definitely learned not to give anyone the flowers I “acquired”.

So I started keeping them form myself, hiding them behind the house, or trying to replant them in my own little garden only to find them wiled and dead the next day. I was 3 what did I know about growing a garden! So Instead I would gather other flowers, like dandelions and clovers and bundle them together and leave them on the door steps of the apartment complex we lived next to hoping others would find them and be happy to have them. If I thought I didn’t have enough time before someone caught me I’d tear them all up and make “flower soup, or flowers salad” and leave it out in the sun to bake like potpourri. Maybe I thought if it was a big choppy mess, they couldn’t prove whose flowers they were to begin with.

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Here I am, making my own rules, doing what I want, with the flowers that I LOVE, because I want more than anything for others to enjoy them as much as I do!

Thirty years later, I’m still in love with all things flowers. Only I don’t have to steal them anymore. 

I buy them. I create with them. I sell them. I share them. I enjoy them.

Sometimes I even give them away out of the kindness of my heart. Just because I can. (I’m not as terrible and rotten as I used to be.) 

 

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This is my Handsome Boy when he was about the same age doing what little people often do when they see flowers. Pick them!

For the life of me I still can’t grow my own anything. Maybe it’s karma for being such a shit, tormenting the elderly, and raising hell just because I knew I would get away with it. That is, if my grandpa had anything to say about it. And he always had something to say about it!

←For the record, these flowers came with the house, and they grow all on there own. (That’s how “good” I am at gardening.)←

If could grow my own garden (maybe I will someday) I’d let all the little children come pick them anytime they wanted. Because I believe that flowers are for picking, sharing, and enjoying! What good are they if you can’t enjoy them the way you want? Maybe you shouldn’t pick them from anyone else’s  garden with out asking first…. I definitely do NOT condone trespassing on private property. These days anyway. That could get you into some serious trouble. Especially if your grown-up ass thinks you’re sneaky enough to get away with it. Don’t be a flower thief. And teach your kids to admire the neighbors flowers from a distance but DO encourage them  to enjoy nature and let it inspire them to learn, touch, love and CREATE. You never know where it will take them!

 

WTF: What A Year Pt. 1

WTF | Throw Back
One Year ago Today

I STILL can’t believe it has been a whole year since I began one of the most incredible journeys of my life… 

So many changes. So much growth both personally and professionally.  I was #BeyondGrateful then and I am even more grateful today and Every. Single. Day. for the two women in my life that believed in me more than I believed in myself.  Who gave me the encouragement and confidence to go BIG or go home!  I never could have imagined all the love and support from two of my most favorite communities: Clarksburg, California and The Cit y of  West Sacramento, California.

There I was 9 years after our move from MT to CA…. Sept 2016.

Drained from doing everything for everyone. ALL. The. Time.  My kids were older- and the demands of my favorite little people who I live and breath for – day in and day out had lessened. The weekly doctors appointments of my oldest had slowly began to dwindle down from the average of 6 appointments a month to ONE. PEOPLE- That was nearly 30 hours of time every month that I could focus elsewhere.  What would I do with it?  The possibilities were endless!!  Would I continue to volunteer my free time at my kid’s school?  Embrace my OCD and clean and organize everything for the umpteenth time?  Hit the gym? {Haha yeah right!} Nap?  Seriously 30 hours a month of designated {more like mandatory!} nap time would have been well deserved. Not to mention so well received! Well, it was none of those things!

Little did I know the universe had a different plan for me according to my good friend *Lily, who I had become really close to the last few years.  We spent a lot of time together talking about all our hopes and dreams, plans, and needs… you know super sappy friendship shit.  One thing I shared with her on numerous occasions was my desire to have my own floral business, it was my “dream”.  From the very first time she showed me so much support and encouragement and LOVE.  Best of all she believed in me more than even I believed in myself. I always thought that I was a pretty confident person, except that – for every ounce of confidence I have an equal amount of doubt and anxiety.  I tend to think things through and play out all the possible scenarios in my mind. {Some…{ok most} would probably call that “over thinking”.}  Leaving me with the inability to commit to some things. Still however, I told *Lily that if there was just one thing I could do it would be… Floral design.   Designing when ever I could.  Designing for no reason all.  Designing because it simply makes me so incredibly happy. Designing is very therapeutic for me; not to mention flowers make others happy too. Being able to do something or provide something for others that I know makes them as happy as I feel while practicing the art of floristry- is a remarkable feeling. Seeing people light up at the mere sight of flowers- even when they aren’t for them was one of the very first things that hooked me into the floral industry. Even if I hadn’t been the one to arrange the flowers. Delivering them was just as amazing. I’m not a huge fan of surprises {like at all} so I tend to be rather straight forward and transparent with people. {That’s where my NO Bullshit policy comes in.}  But giving someone flowers is a surprise I will always stand behind.

Then one day I got a call/text from my friend who said she has a surprise for me.  I was having a particularly awful day.  Something medical related with one of my children on top of a million other things had me in a funk that I just couldn’t shake. Therefore, I was in no mood for such a surprise no matter what it was.  We both knew I wouldn’t have been able to receive it well and I wasn’t about to be a d*ck to my friend and ruin the delivery of her surprise.  But she totally understood because that’s kind of friend she is.  We agreed to check in first thing the next morning.  So after a good nights sleep the following morning I was ready for her to share the news.  So I dropped off my kids at school and she texted: “Grab some beer. This surprise is celebratory breakfast beer worthy.” [I’m paraphrasing here but that’s pretty damn close.]  I had no idea what she had to tell me, but I wasn’t worried or anxious because I trust her.  She wouldn’t have called it a surprise if she had any doubts that I would hate it.  So I show up, she opens both of us a our favorite beer, slices up some limes, and we get comfortable.  I was ready. I said, “Lets hear it.”  She wasted no time at all and she just laid it all out. She said “YOU are going to do flowers for *Rose!  Rose is a mutual friends. Shes a bad ass who get things done.  She is also one of the most giving and caring people I know.  Lily continued, “She loves them, needs them, and wants to retain YOU to do them every week.”

I’m pretty sure I said something along the lines of “Shut the F*@k up!  Are you serious??!!”  She explained the conversation they had, in detail.  I couldn’t believe it.  She was dead serious and I was so beside myself I almost cried!  We both knew what this meant for me.  Rose was the door to opportunity and Lily simply rang the bell.  Once that door opened it’s been a flood of one incredible opportunity after another!

We began jotting down notes and making plans because THIS was only the beginning.  I knew I had to get my shit together.  So first things first I needed a business name… And it didn’t take long.  WTF became What The Flowers and thus my dream was becoming a reality!  She was right that celebratory breakfast beer was perfect for this occasion!!  I suddenly knew exactly what I was going to do with all that extra time now that this opportunity had just landed in my lap!! ♥

Read : WTF | What A Year | The Preface

Continue reading “WTF: What A Year Pt. 1”

WTF | What A Year | The Preface

Seriously if I could choose anything… If I could DO anything… A floral designer was it. But I also knew I didn’t want to work for anyone else ever again.

WTF has come a long way… 

When I got an opportunity to design {like when my husband came home with my favorite lilies}; THAT would completely make my day.  It wasn’t just my favorite flowers. It wasn’t just being reminded how much my husband loved me.  It was all I wanted to do. Strip them, cut them, and arrange them in whatever vase I had at the time.  The other opportunities came during vacation.  Yup! I planned our vacations back home to Montana every year {so many times right down to the minute};  I made damn sure to include a design day for myself while we were there.  Because it meant that I got to go back the last flower shop I ever worked in and work with the family of designers that treated me like more than an employee, more than a friend, like that was where I belonged, like I was part of their  flower family.

While I had worked in other flower shops before that also helped me fall in LOVE with the floral industry – Butte Floral and the Forsman family gave me responsibility, opportunity, and freedom.  Freedom to create, freedom to make mistakes, freedom to explore, freedom to LEARN.  I knew being a floral designer was it for me.

Ten point 5 years later, even though someone else owns that shop today {Jen is equally amazing and welcoming!!}, they still save a spot {and the most ridiculous orders} just for me. When I pop in, pick up my knife, and go about the day as if I’d never left the TEAM.

Seriously if I could choose anything… If I could DO anything… A floral designer is what I was going to be.  But I also knew I didn’t want to work for anyone else ever again.  And if I’m being honest I just didn’t have it in me to “shop hop” in order to try to find the right fit. The perfect “flower fit” is a really big deal to me. I also knew if I was going to design it couldn’t be just anywhere with whomever had an opening. (I did that once.  Stayed when I should have left.  I’ll never do it again.  But that’s for a later post.)

So what’s a girl and her floral knife to do between all the wife-ing, and baby raising, and “California dreaming”? Getting my flower fix only every now and then…just wasn’t going to cut it! {Haha! “Cut it.” I’m so unintentionally funny sometimes!}

Now Fast Forward about 9 years to Sept 2016….

Continue reading “WTF | What A Year | The Preface”

WHOA! Check me out!

WTF is all grown up and graduated on the

World Wide Web!

This chick finally has her website up and running thanks largely in part to Danee McMahan of Cowboy Bling Designs for rockin’ the hell out of my web design, updating my logo, and putting up with my OCD- Type A- ass! We’ve finally got it all goin’ on. Seriously this babe doesn’t mess around. She knows her stuff! She’s so smart and she’s so funny. And we definitely love hanging out with one another when there isn’t a computer screen between us. That’s the best part right there if you ask me. 😘 

Now everything you need is just a few clicks away. Learn a little about me, my WTF style, find my price list as well as my inquiry form. When you’re ready to place an order just visit the Inquire Now page with all your information. Leave the rest to me!

Check me out at www.whattheflowers.net 

You can also check out on Facebook and Instagram.

And for all you pinning fanatics I’m on Pinterest as well! This is a work in progress- I’m a little late to game here so no judging! But if you do have any helpful suggestions I’m happy to hear those any day!

While we’re at it how about that photo page!? My friend and fab photog Katrina spent an entire morning with me-kind of on the fly, to capture me completely in my element of floral design. Everyone single one of her images depicts who I am, what I do, and how I do it, to a T! Now you all have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of it too. I’m not going to lie though- that design day was a lot cleaner than all the other days. I tend to make quite a mess and at the end of the day there is shit strung all. over. the place. My husband appreciates that the most! It’s just how I create. I design quick and dirty and I don’t apologize for the mess it leaves behind. But I am a bit a neat freak and a germaphobe So you can bet your ass my work space all clean and tidy when I’m done. One day  [I’ll let] Katrina pop over and “catch me” off guard. Then you’ll really get to see me in all my floral madness and my organized chaos. This shoot was strictly business and for promotional purposes and she killed it! Like I KNEW she would! Please go see more of work at Katrina Arundel Photography and here and here!

You never know you might need her in your back pocket for something down the road. She’s amazing and I’m incredibly greatful for her and her talent!

All I have you today is – My OVERWHELMING EXCITEMENT that all the work we’ve done these last few weeks has all finally come together!!

Come get your flowers! ❥x