Options…There are so many!

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There have never been so many options for your wedding flowers! Whether it is for just the bridal bouquet and grooms flower or for the entire wedding party it seems your choices are limitless.

1) Fresh flowers: You can never go wrong with fresh flowers as a beautiful bouquet. The upside is they are fresh and fragrant. The down side is that by the time you are back from your honeymoon they are long gone unless you arrange for a preservationist or a family member to preserve them. Another downside is that many flowers are not available year around so you may be out of luck if your chosen flowers are out of season.
2) Button bouquets: What a neat idea. Several of the businesses I follow on Facebook incorporate the bride’s own buttons and or other trinkets. Check out these pages: https://www.facebook.com/IHeartButtonsuk?hc_location=stream, https://www.facebook.com/LOVEbouquets?hc_location=stream,
3) Silk flowers: There are so many silk and artificial flowers available from inexpensive dollar store stems to high end look like real stems. Many DIY brides choose to go with artificial flowers because they can be arranged and rearranged to their specifications. There are companies that specialize in using silk flowers and incorporating brooches and embellishments that create stunning bouquets. Here is one company that I follow that does stunning designs. https://www.facebook.com/TheTiaraBoutique?fref=pb&hc_location=profile_browser
4) Handmade flowers in fabrics and ribbons and paper flowers: These bouquets are fully customizable and can be designed to resemble fresh flowers that otherwise would be out of season. Here are two Facebook pages to view: https://www.facebook.com/ForeverPaperPetals?fref=pb&hc_location=profile_browser, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cocroft-and-Delbridge/321051567622,
5) Feather flowers: Check out ETSY and Pinterest for some awesome feather bouquets.
6) Brooch bouquets: Are very popular! Brooch bouquets can be personalized by using your own collection or by asking each of your friends and family members to send you a brooch that can be included in your bouquet. Here is one of my favorite pages for brooch bouquets: https://www.facebook.com/LillybudsBespokeBouquets?fref=pb&hc_location=profile_browser
7) Or a combination. Many brides still want the traditional real flower bouquet for themselves and what I recommend is that they consider mixing the bouquet with live flowers and then incorporating another type of “flower” that can be removed and saved as a memento/heirloom. Combine brooches with ribbon/fabric flowers, Paper flowers with buttons, and the list goes on… not only can you choose flowers, now you can choose items to add. Fabric, jewelry, etc. from a beloved family member or pet. Love a cartoon character, super hero, and princess, whatever it is it can be incorporated very tastefully into any bouquet or grooms flower.

The options are boundless and allow the couple to fully personalize their arrangements!

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Enjoy Your Wedding!

Sept post

All your life you have dreamt of your big day…your Wedding Day! Your dolls have been married too many times to count and there have been so many pretend weddings that everyone has been married (at least once)! Now you have met your future spouse and have your dream ring…it’s time to plan the wedding that you have always imagined! You don’t want to leave anything to chance.

Whether you are engaged for a short time or a long period it seems like FOREVER and you want to remember every moment of the planning (well almost every moment…there will be a few tears and/or tense moments). Everything passes so quickly – the planning, the showers, the parties and then the wedding day.

But wait! Don’t let it all pass so quickly! Enjoy every moment! Make memories along the way bond with your friends, family and of course fiancé. Decrease the stressful situations before they start and increase the fun.

When shopping for your wedding dress everyone wants to come, but in this case more is not necessarily merrier. When too many people are involved it tends to become more about what they like and think you should wear rather that what you want. Feelings get hurt and you end up stressed and overwhelmed! Just ask a few of your closest confidants and make a day of it. When my daughter was planning her wedding several years ago she invited her maid of honor (who happened to be her sister) and myself. We knew her style and helped her choose the gown that made her feel like a princess. She was able to focus and find her “perfect” dress and then enjoy a dinner and drinks to celebrate! A suggestion to include all of your girlfriends and the mother of the groom is have an “unveiling” party. Invite everyone over for dessert and drinks then model your dress before the big day. They feel included and you have another opportunity to make great memories.

Keep your wedding about you and your fiancé. You both love something a bit quirky and want to incorporate that in your wedding or reception. It is almost guaranteed that you will hear about it and sometimes you have to gently let someone who means well, know that you appreciate their suggestions but that you have definite ideas of what you want.

Are you a DIY bride? Why not get together with your bridesmaids, etc. and have a girl’s night to work on the project or projects. Look for DIY classes in your area. They may offer private group classes to teach you how to make some of the cool things you’ve seen on Pinterest.

It is easy to stress during this time and maybe not take as much time for yourself and your fiancé. Plan date nights for just the two of you or if either of you have children include them in a zoo or park date. Take a few minutes for yourself whenever you can. Read, exercise, soak in a tub, whatever relaxes you! Laugh and smile and enjoy the little things.

Don’t sweat the small stuff on your wedding day. On my daughter’s wedding day, we had to switch around the best man’s tie with another tie, someone was missing their vest, someone forgot to turn on the speakers for the front half of the chapel so that the processional music wasn’t heard but no one noticed and everyone had a great time.

It’s your wedding day and it will fly by! Try to take a little time to breathe, relax and enjoy. There is an old saying, that you will enjoy everyone else’s wedding more than yours. This is a result of being the center of attention and everyone wants your attention. Try to eat some food, have a drink and dance the night away.

Life is Beauty Full! Enjoy!
Cathy

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Wedding Flowers…Fresh or Alternative

Wedding Flowers…Fresh or Alternative? That is the question.
Second Column

As if your head wasn’t already swirling with all of those wedding planning details, now there are more decisions to make. Do you go with fresh flowers, some type of alternative or a combination? Maybe I can help by breaking it down for you.

Fresh flowers are beautiful, traditional and smell great! They can be inexpensive if done DIY or can be as expensive as your budget will allow. There are, however, a few limitations with fresh flowers. You will have to be aware of what flowers will be available at the time of your nuptials. Many varieties of flowers are seasonal and can be very expensive if purchased out of season. Also, fresh flowers last a relatively short period of time and then will be discarded. If you are using fresh flower centerpieces I suggest giving them to family and friends to take home to enjoy or arrange for them to be delivered to a local hospital or nursing home. If you would like to preserve your bouquet then I would recommend finding a floral preservationist prior to the wedding so that your bouquet can be preserved in a display frame or case as a permanent memory of your wedding day.

When you think about alternative arrangements you probably think about artificial or “fake” flowers from your local craft store. However, there are many alternatives out there. A quick search of the Internet will help and/or search sites like ETSY for a variety of alternatives.
1. Brooch bouquets are very popular. These are gorgeous and create bling! The brooches can be new or vintage. Do you have a favorite brooch or a collection of brooches? Ask your designer to include them in your bouquet. These bouquets can be heavy so you may want to mix fresh flowers or another alternative flower with a few of your favorite brooches.
Paper flower arrangements/bouquets bring a whole new look to paper. I have seen entire weddings done with paper flowers from bouquets to boutonnieres to centerpieces. Origami flowers are made with intricately folded paper to form beautiful flowers. Do you love to read or do you love music? There are flowers made with pages from old books or sheet music. There are paper flowers that are fashioned into actual flowers such as roses, carnations, etc. The variety of paper that can be used in making flowers is endless…tissue, cardstock, and scrapbooking to name a few. For those of you who like to DIY there are tutorials on sites like YouTube, or you can buy the directions from various sites. Search the Internet for a variety of sources.
There are some very unique items that I have seen for bouquets…seashells, feathers, lollipops, and raw cotton bolls (raw clumps of cotton still in the husk) to name a few. These items can be mixed with fresh flowers as well as another alternative flower. Designers love to be creative so don’t be afraid to share your vision.
Of course, there are the artificial/”fake” flowers. These flowers have come a long way and many look quite real. If you choose to go this route please check out what you are purchasing to make sure they are of a nice quality.
The final category I will mention is the fabric or ribbon flower. Fabrics and ribbons are used to create rich textural flowers that offer a large variety of uses. Depending on the fabrics/ribbon used you can create your vision whether it be country/rustic, romantic, vintage, gothic, etc. Common fabrics/ribbons are silk, satin, taffeta, linen, burlap and felt. This type of flower works well with embellishments (add brooches, shells, etc.).

Finally, when you choose an alternative to fresh flowers you create a lasting memory to display in your home. No need to preserve, simply display. At the beginning of this article I mentioned using a combination of fresh flowers and alternatives. A mixture in a bouquet is a great way to have the best of both worlds. Adding a few fabric flowers, brooches, etc. in a fresh flower bouquet creates interest and texture. After the wedding if you don’t want to preserve your bouquet then just remove the embellishments and you will have a lasting memory.

Have fun searching out exactly what works for you!

Life is “Beauty Full”!

Cathy

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Downtown Las Vegas is winning big and not in the way you might think!!

 

My recent trip to Las Vegas was anything but the usual “Vegas Strip” trip to gamble, drink and shop.

My sister moved to Las Vegas in 2012 and fell in love with this city!  I spent 10 days in May with her and saw a whole different side of “Sin City”.

Don’t get me wrong the casinos are all there and doing a brisk business!  We did spend a little time visiting some of them and even feeding a few of the slot machines.  There were many Elvis’, show girls, cartoon characters, etc and that was just on the street!  What a country…where else can you dress up like a character and stand on the street taking pictures with tourists and make a living??  Now that is the entrepreneurial spirit in practice!!  Haha!

Wis we were related!

Wish we were related!

The Flamingo Hotel and Casino...a classic on the strip!

The Flamingo Hotel and Casino…a classic on the strip!

 

I should mention that we only visited the “Strip” once and that was to attend the House of Blues Gospel Buffet on a Sunday morning.  It was amazing both the entertainment and food.

Photo bomb at the House of Blues!

At the House of Blues!

Awesome show!

Awesome show!

 

Downtown Las Vegas is booming for the first time in a very long time!!  Some of you may have visited the casinos on Fremont street which is right downtown and was THE place to visit before the “Strip” grew and grew.

 

Some of the beautiful lighting and woodworking in one of the casinos on Fremont Street.

Some of the beautiful lighting and woodworking in one of the casinos on Fremont Street.

 Some of those casinos are really cool and beautiful.  It is like stepping back in time and worth checking out.  One casino has a display of the different eras of slot machines.  Did you know that at one time it was illegal to receive money as winnings so you won mints!  I’m not sure the casinos would be doing as well as they are if the only thing you won were mints!

Sample of the old slots machines

Sample of the old slots machines

An old slot machine that gave out mints instead of money!

An old slot machine that gave out mints instead of money!

 I saw displays of old room keys, woodworking that was intricate and beautiful.

An old hotel log in a display from a casino on Fremont Street.

An old hotel log in a display from a casino on Fremont Street.

What I saw that was amazing and so very different is called the Downtown Project (http://downtownproject.com/).  Definitely worth checking out!  I have been an entrepreneur at heart since I was a child.  Starting with selling magazines for prizes and many other “projects” over the years (but that is a story for another day).

In the ten days I spent in Las Vegas I was fortunate to attend several speaker events :

The Construction Project where all of the great speakers come as part of the Downtown Project.

The Construction Project where all of the great speakers come as part of the Downtown Project.

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First as part of a science weeklong event I heard David Knight, Producer speak about Space Shuttle Endeavour’s Historic L.A. Move Documented for Film and the future of space exploration.

David Knight speaking during Las Vegas science week.

David Knight speaking during Las Vegas science week.

Another evening we enjoyed a free dinner of Big Ern’s BBQ (http://www.bigernsbbq.com/)  and then attended a presentation by Chad Meng Tan from Google where he is affectionately known as “The Jolly Good Fellow”

The "yummy" meal from Big Ern's BBQ!

The “yummy” meal from Big Ern’s BBQ!

During those 10 days we missed 3 or 4 other very interesting speakers in the Downtown Project’s speaker series.  Did I mention that the speakers and the great meal were FREE!  Incredible!!

Another facet of this Downtown Project is to assist small businesses get started in the downtown area.  My sister pointed out a coffee shop, a boutique, a club as just a few businesses that have been assisted by the Project.

A cool art gallery above the Beat Coffee Shop.

A cool art gallery above the Beat Coffee Shop.

The projects that caught my interest were more hands on!

The Stitch Factory: (http://www.stitchfactory.com/)  What a great place!! They hold classes for kids, for fun one evening projects, for design and sewing as well as entrepreneurial endeavors.  Aspiring designers can come in and use their machines, dress forms, etc for a membership fee.  How awesome is that!

The Stitch Factory!

The Stitch Factory!

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The Syn Shop:  (http://www.meetup.com/synshop/)  It is a creative space designed for project collaboration, research and development, mentoring, and of course, learning.

So much is going on in downtown Las Vegas that you could be busy everyday!  There are too many things to mention in this one blog post so I shall continue next week!  Meanwhile, check out the above links.

Life is Beauty Full in Vegas!

Cathy

 

Note:  The above blog are my personal observations as a visitor in Las Vegas.

 

 

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

Anyone who has ever tried to grow flowers or anything for that matter, know that it takes time, patience and loving care.  The flowers of Cocroft and Delbridge are just like that but without the dirt.

 

First, you plan out what flowers you will grow.  The outdoor gardener pours over seed catalogs, combs the internet and drives to all the area nurseries to choose just the right combination of flowers.  I pour over fabrics and embellishments, comb the internet and drive to all of the area fabric/craft stores to choose just the right combination of supplies for my flowers.

 

So many choices!

So many choices!

Next comes the preparation of the soil and planting the seeds and plants.  For me next comes the preparing of the materials:  cutting fabrics and ribbons to the proper length for each flower and choosing embellishments.

Different lengths are cut for different flowers

Different lengths are cut for different flowers

 

Petals are made one at a time.

Petals are made one at a time.

The outdoor gardener watches and waits, tends their garden weeding and watering.  I form each petal individually sewing by hand anywhere from 5 to 20 petals for each bloom and then carefully sew them together to form a flower on a stem.  Then I form leaves and attach them to the flower and then cover the raw edges with fabric to form a calyx.  I finish each stem with floral tape to give each one a finished effect.

Fabric is chosen for leaves and then they are completed and attached

Fabric is chosen for leaves and then they are completed and attached

It takes weeks sometimes months for a flower to grow to perfection whether it is lovingly grown in the ground or created by hand.

Almost done..the flower is formed around a stem and leaves are added.  Then the calyx and finished with floral tape

Almost done..the flower is formed around a stem and leaves are added. Then the calyx and finished with floral tape

 

Lastly, gardeners display their finished products in lovely bouquets to share their beauty!!

Rosey Gold

Gardens that are grown with love are Beauty Full!

 

Until next time,

Cathy

 

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