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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Happy Earth Day!

Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle

Let’s go back just a bit to the time and place that planted the seed for Cocroft & Delbridge’s flowers!

It’s Spring 2011 and we have just met with a florist who is helping us plan the floral part of my daughter’s fall wedding  (thank you Francie owner of Botanical Splash in Chadd’s Ford, PA).  Courtney came prepared with vision pages for bouquets, corsages, boutonniere’s, arrangements for the Chapel and arrangements for the Reception Venue.   Cha-ching, cha-ching…Courtney LOVES flowers.  Francie did a fabulous job!  See the photos below.

Gorgeous bouquets!

Gorgeous bouquets!

 

Courtney's bouquet

Courtney’s bouquet

 

Tip 1:  Go into your meeting with a budget.  Florists are very willing to work within a budget.

 

Tip 2:  Have the Chapel/Church Arrangements moved to the venue.  Ask family or friends that are not part of the Wedding Party to take on this responsibility.  Or if you have a wedding planner they will do this.

 

Fast forward to September 2011 (one month to go) I was beginning to wonder what happens to all of those flower arrangements after the reception?  Have you ever wondered that?  I asked the folks at the venue what happens to all of those beautiful arrangements?  I was told that:

A. You can take them or give them to friends and family to take home

B.  Dipsty dumpster out back!  After spending a lot of money I did not want to hear, that after less than 24 hours of use they would hit the trash!  Our venue did offer to drop any remaining flower arrangements off at a nursing home.

 

Tip 3:  Send home the arrangements with friends and family to enjoy or have them dropped off at a local hospital or nursing home to share.

 

On October 8, 2011 Courtney married her groom Erik Jenks! Everything was beautiful and we had a great time.  We invited friends and family to take arrangements and the rest were delivered to a nearby nursing home.  But, what to do with all of those bouquets?   Options:  If you are on top of things, you could have them preserved by a flower preservationist, or like us you try the hanging them upside down in a dry area (didn’t work well for us).

 

Tip 4:  Arrange ahead of time with a floral preservationist to preserve your bouquet or hire Cocroft and Delbridge to create your wedding party flowers from the beginning!

The great thing about our bouquets is that they can be taken apart and repurposed to make an arrangement for a vase or several vases.  It can be a great bridesmaids gift!

 

Help keep the world Beauty Full!

 

Until next time,

Cathy

 

Thank you also to John Barone Photography

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New Beginnings or An Old Dog Can Learn New Tricks!

Welcome to our first blog on our all new website!  Spring is a time for new beginnings and this is ours!

After attending the Wedding MBA (a conference for wedding vendors) last October it dawned on me that I wasn’t focusing on my passion or on what makes this company unique and different.  So after much thought and discussion we have turned our attention to what I do best and that’s making flowers…unique, by hand, petal by petal, creating something new and beautiful each and every time.

This is a genesis a long time in coming.  Starting when I was 8 years old and I taught myself to hand sew so I could make my Velvet doll a new outfit.  Ironically I drew flowers on the front.  Since then I have been hooked on sewing.

Below are a few pictures of my first design and my current designs:

Check out the fine hand stitching!

Velvet's Couture Mini Dress!

1920's Inspired Bouquet

Coral Flower Hair Clip

The other part of this is my entrepreneurial spirit. I have always admired Walt Disney and Milton S. Hershey. Not for their successes but more for their failures and their tenacity and determination to create a success! They have inspired me to keep pursuing my passions and my dreams. Over the next few blogs I will chat about my journey and what I have learned.

Until next time.
Cathy

 

 

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