achievements, Bridal bouquets, DIY, flowers, Food for Thought, rustic, singapore, Testimonial, Weddings

Fruity Rustic Charm @Food For Thought

Wedding of Apple and Ben, photographed by AndroidsinBoots.

When Apple came to look for me, she had loads of awesome ideas. Things i wished i would have done in my own wedding. She wanted foliages, she wanted soft willowy look and she wanted fruity ( as per her name! ). in short, what she wanted was extremely rustic and if you wanna go full force rustic i assumed the outdoors or somewhere airy. However, her love for pancake also cannot be forgotten. Choosing Food for Thought at the National Museum as her venue, here comes the big challenge.

We will have to find a way to tie in the rustic look with the strong and solemn interior of National Museum of Singapore. And most of the time, floral decor is the best way to go about it. With Apple’s heirloom items and with the excellent photography skills of AndroidsinBoots, and a touch of flowers may i present A&B’s wedding at Food for Thought.

 

Apple specifically asked for an oversized bouquet and as flowy as possible. Using peonies, vintage roses, strawberries, little pineapple pods, spirea and assorted wild mix. I tried my best to create the biggest bouquet of my life.  Dangling the strawberries is freaking hard work. applebouquet.jpg

At their wedding, Apple created their own wedding sign and Apple’s dad created a rack filled with memories for the couples. I simply adorned the frame and sign with fruity garlands.

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Apple also used a vintage sewing machine her grandma gave her as solemnization table. Circling the theme, the couple gave measuring tapes as wedding favors and scoured vintage stores looking for old vintage drawers as their centerpieces. Vintage drawers contained photos of their parents and themselves, old buttons and thread spools with little flowers.

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Her love for pancakes also allowed me to create a self-serve Pancake station for the guests. And most interesting of all, instead of a traditional wedding cake Apple and Ben opted for a pancake stack as her wedding cake. Pouring maple syrup on it to seal the deal instead of cutting. How apt!

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this has more meaning that cake cutting don’t  you think?!

a funny and unforgettable moment happened when the bride and groom told me his prickly pineapple boutonniere struck her when they were about to kiss.

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Apple & Ben are also photographers and they customized their own photo booth, I designed a simple moon shaped arch as backdrop. Here’s me and my sister elf.

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and lastly some kind words from the couple themselves. I couldn’t be happier how it turned out and really glad that the couple loved it.

From Apple
“The Strawberries and Baby Pineapples were definitely a conversation starter at our wedding ! Till today our relatives still talked about my husband’s pineapple boutonniere poking me while we kissed ! Everybody definitely had a good laugh about it.My husband friends ( the guys ) definitely loved the pineapples and warned everyone in the group chat to be careful of hugging the groom lest you get poked as well.
The old folks loved the pineapples as it symbolizes ‘Huat’ good fortune and good blessings for our wedding.
At first i was so worried that my handwritten wedding signage wouldn’t fit in yet Fiona decorated it well with apples and matches my name !
Mixed fruit garland beautify the gigantic plain white photo frame that my father hand made.
Our guests were attracted to take photos in front of the lovely floral wreath backdrop by Fiona.
We had a pancake station and we got Fiona to ‘style’ our wedding pancake ! With her straightforward nature and unique taste, i knew i could trust her to surprise me which she certainly did.
Kudos to her for liaising with the restaurant about the pancake sizes and to work with the limited ingredients on hand.
My family and friends couldn’t comprehend my idea of signing our marriage certificate on my grandma heirloom sewing machine, pancake as wedding cake, apples as decorations. I’m so glad that Fiona supported my idea.
Fiona helped me to cope with the stress of planning the wedding with just 2 months to go and juggling with the home renovations.
She is not just as a stylist but also as a friend with good advice on turning my ideas into reality and even better that what I had envisioned!”

Here’s wishing the couple forever love. big Muacks to them! xxx

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later peeps.

fiona t

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Flower Market, Flower School, New York

New York’s Sweater Weather

it is a weird summer. it reminded me of Barcelona’s weather in winter. New Yorkers don’t seem to enjoy it but i totally loved it. Cold chilly mornings and evenings, and soft mid-day sun. The only regretful thing was I wore the same pair of jeans for the whole of 3 weeks.

My New York trip was super fulfilling this time, a day after we landed we took a road trip 5 hours north of NY to stay in a ranch for a few days. Quiet family time and definitely the best way to get over jet-laggedness. It was of course kids’ haven, my 1 and a half year old had a ball of a time at the beach. Even though he didn’t enjoy the horse-back riding, I definitely felt a connection with the horse I was on. Bob the horse ate non-stop when i was on his back and I had to yell at him throughout my otherwise serene walk on the trail. Le hubs commented, like human like horse.

 

Lake Sherman

Lake Sherman

 

That part flew by, and soon I was in Flower School in Manhattan. I was living the American dream, my kid was with my in-laws and le hubs and I were staying at THE STANDARD at Meatpacking. The Standard sits on the High Line, which was an old rail road converted into a park. Walking to school in my sweater, plugged into Tom Petty and coffee in hand, I felt like a subject of the Humans of New York but all happy story.

I really have to say that people in the school were really genuine. The Instructors were exceptionally friendly, though they were cautious of my questions ( they do not want to leak too much info, because there is always another class to answer all that questions! ). What i was humbled to see was the founder of the school, Eileen Johnson sweeping the class after we were all done. Beth and Cal were my Instructors and both of them are immensely passionate about their jobs, I took a few of the Introductory Classes from Beth and the Advanced Wedding Series from Cal. I had a few private lessons with Beth too and I really enjoyed it because I thought i really needed supervision when using the floral knife. ( Real florists use knife instead of that damn useful clipper! ) It was hard trying not to kill myself.

The most interesting class would definitely be the huge centerpieces we made. It is rarely seen in Singapore except Hotel lobbies to have such a big piece especially in just water, it was definitely fun to make and the outcome was definitely very jungle-like and impactful.

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Bridal Bouquet making was also one of my favorite class. It was easy for me because i have done a few of that by now, but what i found out was coming out with the recipe seems to be some people’s biggest challenge. All recipes were given at the flower school, so it was more of the technique of putting the bouquet together we were learning but a lot of the questions asked were about what goes with what. That’s a mindset I am glad i don’t have. A dozen more students with all the same flowers, each and everyone came out differently. Hence, the takeaway was you can learn the technique but you cannot learn the style.

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What i also liked was, despite the trend of inserting 20 over different flowers into a bouquet ( come on! how not to be beautiful when you put 20 beautiful things together!) the school emphasized on basics: a focus. I am guilty of having floral envy as well, but the school reinforced the truth i already knew, basic is still beautiful.

Beth using only roses for a bridal's bouquet. Not the typical roses, excuse moi. Garden roses grown in California and Spray roses from Ecuador.

Beth using only roses for a bridal’s bouquet. Not the typical roses, excuse moi. Garden roses grown in California and Spray roses from Ecuador.

I enjoyed Cal’s lesson a lot too. he has an upbeat personality, fun and easy to talk to. It is a totally  different conversation when you talk to men about flowers. IT’S ALL BUSINESS. so naturally, Cal took over the business aspect about owning a floristry. It was technical, excel spreadsheets and a whole lot of other un-happening-calculator things. But definitely insightful. He also took me on a private tour to the New York Flower Market which i thoroughly enjoyed! Another thing i was jealous about him, he is connected to two of the most talented florists in NY.  Business partner Ariella Chezur and his wife Phobe Crary. I got into huge fan-mode meeting Ariella at the Flower Market that rendered me speechless for a few moments, just gleaming ear-to-ear.

fan mode on. is this how a florist suppose to dress? i thought i was more appropriate with my overalls and flower power sweater.

fan mode on. is this how a florist suppose to dress? i thought i was more appropriate with my overalls and flower power sweater.

At the flower market, lined along the streets of W28th and 6th Ave it wasn’t just what i expected. I was expecting huge cold rooms, high ceilings packed with stacks and stacks of flowers. However, it was just shops and shops some without air conditioning that carry the prettiest blooms of the season. I saw an overwhelming amount of Dahlias, and because of the over-supply it was relatively cheap. Otherwise, all other flowers were equally expensive as Singapore.

B-Groovy and Smarty-Pants Dahlias (picture on the bottom right): American growers definitely have a sense of humor. Check out the colors of these dahlias. Dahlias love cold climate, their petals shed off easily when in warm temperatures.

Dahlia overload.

Dahlias overload.

Roses are extensive too, for brides who hate roses wait till you see this. not all roses are created equal, and these are the most beautiful lots i have seen. I love the colors, i love how big and round they are, i love their scents, but only if i can lay my hands on them in singapore.

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L to R: Sahara roses, nice mustardy in color, i can so seem them in a vintage and rustic bouquet. Another kind of David Austin. Garden Spray Rose from middle pic to the end. Except the last flower in the picture is really fairy-tale like! Its lilac in color!!

Other interesting finds include this unknown vine ( which cal also doesn’t know), rambutan like plant which is known as caster bean, grape hyacinth and mimosa foliage. I super want to do something with the mimosa plant, Cal said I got the “foliage envy”.

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Love-in-a-puff: grown in Ariella’s farm, this vines have poofy-lantern like fruits which house a seed that shapes like a heart shape. hence the name. exudes a very “garden feel”.

Love-in-a-puff

Love-in-a-puff

At the flower market with Cal, I saw first hand how are flowers dip-dyed. Although unnatural, i feel that this will be an upcoming trend creating customize colors for end consumers. White dahlias are dip-dyed into whatever colors consumers want.

white dahlias dip-dye in yellow.

white dahlias dip-dye in yellow.

Cal is also very hands-on, he taught the advanced wedding series which was super useful. Making a chuppah ( pronounced as hoopah) is definitely on my next to-do list. But the warning given by Eileen makes me shiver, be prepared that one of these may fall. No!!!! I will make it so steady it won’t fall, unless its built with concrete and drilled into the ground otherwise yes be prepared it might collapse! The thought of it collapsing on my bride and groom really scares me. Nevertheless, I loved the significance and oh-how-beautiful-it-is!

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And the cascading bouquet class was awesome because i get to use Gardenia, really hard to find in Singapore. I have actually never seen it in Singapore. Even in NY, they come pre-packed into a box, because they are so fragile their growers put a flower cap onto them way before they bloom and they are being sold per bloom. A whooping $10usd per head. But when you smell it, it is really heavenly. One flower to rule it all! All hail the Gardenia.

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And my cascading bouquet, there are a lot more flowers available to use however i omitted them out so i could get this really elegant bouquet. Look at that blush colored rose, where can i find it in Sinagpore?!!!

 

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That was it, it went really fast. I felt like i was working everyday when i was in NY. i didn’t even had the time to go to all of my favorite restaurants. But it was really purposeful, hopefully i will put what i learnt into good use.

Till the next post, tata!

 

xxx

FT

 

 

 

 

 

 

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despite Valentine’s day being over-rated, i still believe every couple should designate a day ( or more) to give flowers and celebrate over wine. not necessarily the feb of 14th though. even as florists, i say that because prices for flowers were insanely inflated ( a stalk of rose went up to $10 wholesale price, and you wonder why you are getting such a small bouquet? ) and i truly am repulsed by the grab-and-go flowers.

and precisely this is the reason why i only do customization of bouquets, many of my bouquets’ recipients were friends or repeat customers. otherwise, new customers are to provide me with a short description of their girls and some even attached photos! I truly enjoy the process as it definitely gives the bouquet i made a story behind it and thus make the recipients a one-of-a-kind girl. while every girl is sashaying down the road with a classic red-roses-baby’s-breath-bouquet or whatever-it-is-with-baby’s-breath, i say that boat has long sailed and now is the time for more wild and fun flowers.

i definitely had fun making all these creations, i start bouquet by bouquet. choosing the flowers, binding them together and then wrap them up one at a time. it is not a mass production but a very much quiet and serene process in my own home ( at the end it was like a mess ). i think about the girls as i made them; “this bouquet will look great along with the new yellow LV bag her boyfriend got her for V-day”, “this looks great with her red lipstick look”, etc. and this is also why i love my job, its personable and it makes everyone happy. what’s best? i get leftover flowers.

here is a short write-up and thoughts I had while making these bouquets.

classic bouquet with a twist : a reform of the red-roses-with-baby’s-breath, i used 3 different colored roses with italian ruscus in a cascading manner

classic bouquet with a twist

classic bouquet with a twist

peek-a-boo garden : an orangey hue bouquet with roses and ranunculus hidden among mini eucalyptus. this girl is a new found friend when i did her wedding last year, i always feel she has the power to turn something vintagey into something modern and thus give her a bouquet that is subtle but strong in colors.

peek-a-boo is not as subtle as you think with this neon wrapper

peek-a-boo is not as subtle as you think with this neon wrapper

hidden amongst the mini eucalyptus are these ranunculus and yellow roses

hidden amongst the mini eucalyptus are these ranunculus and yellow roses

rustic : a bright wintry feeling is what i am trying to convey. this girl always remind me of winter.

antique colored hydrangeas and wintry eucalyptus set the tone

antique colored hydrangeas and wintry eucalyptus set the tone

lilies : boyfriend asked for lilies and i already like the girl. i always think girls who likes lilies are alluring.

the sweet smell

the sweet smell

pure and simple : baby’s breath. they are always used as fillers. but sometimes these underdogs can be the main actor too. how gorgeous is this bouquet!!

no more underdogs

no more underdogs

for sarah : my brother’s girlfriend, a sweet and simple girl. i wanted a red hued bouquet for her and decided shes too young for it. so i did a match of pinkish undertone with green hydrageas

sweet young thing

sweet young thing

neon sputnik sweetheart : this is an interesting bouquet to make, i chose an array of playful colors inspiring the girl who received this bouquet to break out of her shell. and made it as daring and bold as possible by wrapping it with neon colored wrappers.

everything playful

everything playful

red lipstick : if you could see the girl’s face, you will be jealous. this pretty girl only deserves a pretty bouquet. she has this classic face which i thought if she ever wore a red lipstick and carry my bouquet, she will be my poster girl.

will you be my poster girl?

will you be my poster girl?

sweetest moments : i made these similar pair of bouquets inspired by the couple themselves. sweet and gentle.

sweetest

sweetest

callas : boyfriend knew exactly what she wanted. and she likes it fuss free. trust me, the bouquet wasn’t easy to made. i had to re-tie again and again.

languid lines

languid lines

purple tulips : and thats what she got. tulips are very fragile especially in our weather, the general public likes it enclosed but it is only natural if they bloom. and for those who hasn’t seen tulips full bloom its another kind of prettiness too.

purple adoration

purple adoration

green : what kind of a girl loves green? that was what i was thinking when i made bouquet? does she likes the nature? it was quite uncommon for me to get an all green bouquet so i jumped at the challenge. might have gone a bit overboard and so glad she loves it. it was a concoction of callas, tulips, orchids and the full attendance of eucalyptus family. if u like the herby smell, this bouquet is healing!

a concoction of green

a concoction of green

here are most of the stuff i have done, and again i am truly blessed i have supportive friends and family. the trust these people have given me to create these flowers, i am really beyond grateful.

one last picture to end the post!

its ok to be single! you should be loving it!

its ok to be single! you should be loving it!

Bridal bouquets, DIY, flowers, valentine's day, Weddings

Valentine’s 2014

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the perfect mess

exactly how i want to start my first blogpost. the perfect mess.

i adore blooms when they are alive, but somehow guilty that their life is so short-lived. whenever i have leftovers i hang them upside down on my window grills. few days later, they are immortalised. some blooms seen here were bought dried, cotton flower, haver and lavender.

here are some of the mess i made, what a beautiful mess.

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african black grass (above) and cotton flower (below) make great combination for a rustic wedding.

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foreground : the yellow balls, craspedia dried up nice. pairing it with a two-toned china rose.

background: blackberries

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pink spray roses and ecuador roses sitting on twine.

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tokyo garden roses with haver

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protea robyn dried up nicely

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cant get enough of these tokyo roses, when they were alive they were in coral grandoise in colour. now they dried to an almost neon pink lining the tips of petals.

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other than drying flowers up, pressed flowers are great alternatives of preservation. again while our blazing sun might be good for drying blooms, the humidity almost make it difficult to preserve their colours.

thats all for now flower folks.

xxx

FT

DIY

the perfect mess

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