Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gardenia Flower Through the Lensbaby!

I hardly have time to take out my Lensbaby these days, but I decided to use it today since I got the fresh gardenias from the floral supply place. I still have yet to really understand how to use my Lensbaby correctly, but I love how these photos came out today.
Flowers are so beautiful and I'm so happy that I got to have fresh gardenias because I never have them. What a treat!

Gardenias, Gardenias, Gardenias...

I recently got an email from a bride in Australia asking me if I could ship there and if I could accommodate her New Year's Eve wedding. We conversed back and forth and she told me what she wanted, gardenias with the vintage silver, velvet millinery leaves and ivory velvet ribbon. She wanted a bridal bouquet and 10 corsages. She added one more for the flower girl because she wants to be like everyone else.... Too cute. :) So the flower girl I suggested we do a ribbon tie corsage because most likely the pearl wristlet would be too big.I mentioned to my bride that I would complete this order ASAP because with the holidays fast approaching and with customs and international shipping, I wanted to give this order ample time to get to Australia. It's interesting today because I got some gardenias from the floral supply place I often get my supply needs from. The manager there is such a nice person and I guess they had extra today. I rarely get to see gardenias up close and personal so it was a real treat and the fragrance is so wonderful! Although now that I see a real gardenia, I want to try and rework my gardenias. Granted there are various types of gardenias and various looks to them as well. I love this photograph that I took earlier today, so breathtaking. :)

Clay Jack O' Lanterns for My Son's Classmates

My son has his Halloween parade at Pre-K tomorrow. It's the first big function at his school since the year started. He' has decided to be a T-REX. He's pretty darn cute. Most of the moms either send their kids with goodie bags for the other classmates and/or bring food for the party after the parade. Last year I didn't do anything because I didn't know we were supposed to, plus with my busy schedule I can't find the time to be a good mommy and make things for my son to bring to school.
I contemplated making something and then decided not to. Make goodie bags and then again, decided not to. Then last minute, literally this morning I decided I would make cute little clay jack o'lanterns with little tags on them so he could give them to his teachers and classmates. Hopefully they will be dry enough by tomorrow because I just finished them 10 minutes ago.
All made out of clay with a styrofoam ball cut flat on top and bottom. Used glitter glue to do the face. I wish I had planned sooner because I would have liked to paint them, but would his classmates really appreciate the painting? Probably not. LOL.

So my son said to me when he saw the pumpkins, "Thank you Mommy, you are the best Mommy I ever had." He asked me to make some with scary faces, happy faces and sad faces. Um... "You get what you get..."

Check out the latest from Nesting Newbies!

I am so excited to share this latest update from Nesting Newbies! An online magazine dedicated to cooking, decorating and entertaining for the newly married or anyone for that matter. Lea McIntosh and Jodi Murphy of McIntosh & Murphy have done it again. You have to see this online magazine! It's simply gorgeous. You would think it was produced by a professional publication house, but Lea herself learned all the software herself and designed this beautiful masterpiece that I'm sure will impress anyone who reads it. The copy is beautifully written, the pictures and the content is just FABULOUS. I kid you not, you will wish you could get this magazine in print it's so good. I personally got to have dinner at Lea's the other night and the food was so delicious.
The magazine has the likes of Barclay Butera, local interior designers, helpful kitchen gadgets Lea "raves are her faves", and so much more. Even interactive video in the magazine!

I'm so happy for McIntosh & Murphy in their latest launch and there is so much more amazing things to come from these two, I just know it.

I don't want to spoil the content, so just go to and download your magazine copy! I plan on trying out these recipes myself. Perfect for Thanksgiving so don't miss out. :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

DK Designs Studio!

(This is the studio after the carpet had been ripped out and the wallpaper removed.)

Sorry I have been bad about posting to my blog the last couple of weeks, but there are some good reasons why and one of them is because I've been busy working on getting my design studio fully functional. There are still a few things that need to be worked on, but for the most part the studio is complete!(Walls had been painted and tables moved back in.)

I always said I wanted to have my own studio one day and I'm so happy that I have one and it's beautiful! Now my students and my clients walk into a bright and spacious design studio to take class or do consultations. I have tons of room to work and I love the decor.Align Center
(The main studio wall with my 18x24 prints, photography by Debbie Friedrich, custom wall logo by Single Stone Studios.)

I'm so very fortunate to have zenatona prints and canvas art throughout my studio as it really compliments my clay flowers. I am also very fortunate that my friend was able to print me poster prints of my work (photography courtesy of Debbie Friedrich Photography). I had envisioned for my main studio wall initially shelves with my arrangements on them, but since it's an area where my students walk to get to their work tables, I decided that it should be filled with pictures and my own logo! I couldn't be happier with the logo. I amazed myself and actually created a working vector file for Single Stone Studios who I found through Etsy (thanks to Debbie). OMG, Billy at Single Stone Studios answered my emails in the middle of the night his time and got the listing and the design done for me. Literally I ordered it last Wednesday and got it today! I highly recommend their company if you're looking for custom logo vinyl decals! They have some really great designs already, but if you want to brand your company, they do awesome work and their customer service is fabulous!
(Canvas art by zenatona and a shelf with my clay flowers to match the pieces above.)

I'll spare you the before photos, but imagine really ugly army green carpets and 70s wallpaper scene of an ocean wallscape. It was 70s kind of tackiness, but growing up as kids we thought it was cool. LOL. The room was never really used much so we found out that it had finished hardwood floors underneath the nasty carpet. My husband first ripped out the carpet from the hallway and then the day before I took off for the Garden Art Party, he took out the carpet and finished the room upon my return. That Sunday, the 11th, I started painting. The transformation is amazing. For my students who had been in the space before the remodel said it's like night and day.
(My storage cabinets with my clay flowers on top and another large print of my flowers courtesy of Debbie Friedrich.)

Gone are the days of teaching on my kitchen table, gone are the days of not being able to color match my clay because the room is so dark and the lighting is affected by the nasty green carpets. Now it's a beautiful studio that I absolutely love.(The right side of the window with more zenatona prints and my clay flowers on the shelf below.)

I'm very excited because the studio is complete before Yukiko and Miyai-sensei come to teach classes here next month. I'm excited for them to see it since this will be the first time they have seen the place since I moved back to California and to meet many of my students who have become part of the DECO family in the last 2 years!
(Perfection - my company logo with 18x24 posters of my work!)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Real Wedding Photos - Sharon & Ryan

I'm so very excited to share these photos with you. My dear clients, Sharon & Ryan got their photos back from Hawaii photographer extraordinaire, Toby Hoogs. I've had the pleasure of working with Toby (meaning he's photographed many weddings I've worked on in the past) and he never ceases to amaze me with his talents.
Sharon and Ryan asked me to create their wedding invitations, place cards, favors, favor tags, table cards, cake flowers & bamboo, and program fans. These are the images that Sharon sent to me last night. Thank you Sharon and Ryan for sharing these with me and my readers! Sharon and Ryan got married at the beautiful Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows on the Big Island of Hawai'i. A beautiful resort and the wedding staff is top notch.Above is the head table setting! Simply gorgeous! Sharon had table names of places they have been or want to travel instead of doing traditional numbers.These are Sharon and Ryan's place cards.

The below 2 photos are the place cards I created (Sharon assembled the starfish and ribbon onto the place cards and created her own menus) as well as the complete guest table look. Beautiful colors and I love the votives.
The last two photos are of the cake! OMG, can I just say this cake is picture perfect! I can't believe how well the Mauna Lani's pastry chefs recreated the image that Sharon wanted them to replicate and how well my flowers and bamboo look. Absolutely STUNNING!

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Look for DK Designs

Well, I hope to have a new website look by November, but in the meantime I wanted to share some new photos with you. Debbie Friedrich of Debbie Friedrich Photography and zenatona, redid my head shots when I went down to San Diego last weekend. I really hate being in front of the camera. Hard to believe but it's true. It's the most awkward thing for me. Debbie however makes you feel at ease and just captures your natural beauty. She really makes you feel comfortable and feel like a million dollars.I often wonder when she throws out a comment, "that's gorgeous" if she's just saying it or if what she sees through the lens is really that gorgeous. Well, I have to say these latest head shots are TRULY gorgeous (I'm not being conceited in the least bit, but Debbie captured me as I am). Having my clay flowers in the shots added an extra special touch. Here are the two that are my favorite although it was so hard to choose.
I'm so honored to have a talented photographer, friend and fellow artisan to capture me on camera. Thank you Debbie for always being there for me when I need you! :) Your talent never ceases to amaze me.

Lots of new things on the horizon for DK Designs. In addition to the new head shots, new website (targeted to launch by Thanksgiving) and more importantly, I'm working on my DK Designs studio. My husband has been hard at work the last two weekends ripping out the carpet to reveal beautiful hardwood floors. Today I finished painting the walls and putting the furniture back. There's still some decorating to do, but I can finally say that I have great studio that is bright and cheery and I can't wait to share it with my students and clients! Pictures will be posted when it's completely done!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Zenatona and DK Designs Garden Art Party recap - Such a wonderful event!

"breeze" and "jolliepops" and my clay florals
"jellybeams" and with my tropical floral piece
One of my favorites that I created for the show that I gave to Debbie & her family as a Thank You.
I created these great hanging orbs with my clay florals which everyone loved.
"maya" = LOVE! So beautiful and vibrant!

I'm back from my trip down to lovely San Diego! I had such an amazing time with my dear, dear friend, Debbie Friedrich of Debbie Friedrich Photography and zenatona! Debbie had this fabulous idea to do a Garden Art Party - designed around the idea of having a home party where you can sell things. But this time it was art pieces from mother nature or inspired by mother nature. Sharing and selling items that will nurture your soul was such a great idea.
"penelope" and one of my citrus tropical pieces."whole lava love" and two of my more vibrant pieces. The fall piece in the background was part of a giveaway."quench" was debuted at the Garden Art Party

I flew down on Friday morning and Debbie picked me up and took me to the Self Realization gardens in Encinitas. Such a wonderful way to start my day. It was so peaceful and beautiful. The gardens were amazing and just below us was the ocean. It's a place where people can go and meditate. The foliage and flowers are gorgeous. From there we went to Oceanside Harbor and had a nice lunch on the pier. Debbie knows how hard I work and how much I miss the ocean so she thought it would be the perfect start to my girl's half weekend, birthday celebration and of course, the Garden Art Party event.
"posey" is another favorite."harmony" was purchased by zenatona art collector!

After lunch we got all our supplies we needed for the Garden Art Party and met Debbie's wonderful sister-in-law, Lisa who came up early to help make all the food! We went to the Midas Garden where the party was to be held and started setting up. It really turned into a 1 hour photo shoot of my work and my new head shots. I can't wait to share those with you. Debbie graciously offered to shoot my flowers in the garden environment and also my new head shots since I'll most likely be featured in an upcoming magazine article. The lighting was amazing and I can't wait to see what she sends me when they are done being processed. Debbie is such a talented photographer. She makes you feel at ease, makes you laugh and relax even if you hate being in front of the camera. She does everything with love. Even with a broken toe and hobbling around, she did this for me and I'm so truly blessed to have such a wonderful and dear friend in my life. :)"lemon meringue sky" such a wonderful art piece of a dahlia!

Friday night we had a lovely dinner and then went back to her home to help her finish all her zenatona pieces and get all the final details done for the party. Saturday morning we got up and headed over to the Midas garden to set up all the pieces in the garden while Lisa made all the wonderful dishes for the party. Debbie's youngest daughter and her friend were our servers and they were so delightful and really did an amazing job. The guests loved the idea and were so enchanted with the art and how it was perfectly set in a garden environment. I did a demonstration on how to make a rose and they surprised me by singing happy birthday when it was time to serve the dessert. We did a giveaway of "hearts of gold" and my fall inspired floral arrangement.
"breeze" - zenatona pieces can be put into 20x30 large format canvas!

Both Debbie and I were so appreciative of the good weather, the support and help of her family and friends and for the sales! So many people commented on how they would like to have a Garden Art Party as well. So who knows, maybe we will be doing this again and on a regular basis! :) I could not have asked for a more supportive friend who felt that I would be the perfect compliment to her art. We work so well together and that's what I enjoy most about Debbie. She is so giving and encouraging! Life is just so amazing, you never know who is going to come into your life and I'm so very honored and blessed that Debbie is in my life. All because she was the photographer at a wedding I was helping coordinate with a friend. She continues to inspire me in so many aspects of life. :) Thank you Debbie for the honor and privilege of participating in the Garden Art Party!"ignite" and my green dendrobium and ivory rose floralsLisa (our chef for the day) and Debbie!
The creators of zenatona and DK Designs!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Garden Party with zenatona - New Additions

I'm pretty much done with my arrangements for the Garden Party with zenatona this Saturday. I had hoped to make more, but my creative energy has finally tapped out! Besides, whatever I make will not be dry enough by the time I get on the plane. These are the 12 arrangements that were done as of last night. I had completed these 2 below which was a small container full of gardenias. Who doesn't love a gardenia?
This one below is a sweet little arrangement of blush pink ranunculus and greenish ivory garden roses. So dainty and pretty.
I made a few pieces last night and today that I wanted to share. I figured I didn't have any fall like arrangements so I decided to do one just in time for Halloween and Thanksgiving. I'm still debating if this will be the giveaway piece that one lucky person will receive that day. It's the most expensive piece I created out of all the florals I made for the event. I love the richness of the mango callas, deep yellow roses and the burgundy roses, offset by the light peach colored ranunculus.
I'm very excited about this event and meeting some new people who Debbie has been telling all about my clay floral art. I'm planning to do a demonstration of how to make clay flowers as well so the attendees can get a feel for what I do. :)The above piece probably looks very familiar as I have done it a few times. This time however due to the fact that I will be traveling with some of these last pieces (the rest shipped today), I decided that branches might not be the way to go, so I opted this time for these whimsical greens that I thought added great lines and texture.This particular piece above, was a last minute creation. I had decided that I wanted to try something that inspired me from zenatona's piece, titled, "shine". Debbie captured a beautiful picture of a yellow lily and the colors were so rich and vibrant.
Finally, this one image in particular I love because it's my favorite colored rose, a two tone coral orange with pink! Just lovely. Well, flowers are drying and I'm just finishing up getting my things together and starting some work on some new orders so I better get back to the studio. I will have some great photos to share after my return this weekend! Whatever doesn't sell this Saturday will be posted on my Etsy site so who knows, maybe you'll be the lucky owner of one of these one of a kind creations! BTW, those who attend the Garden Party get a special little favor!