I have recently rediscovered the world of dried flowers, and wow, am I loving it! After growing many different flowers last year, and having such a big bounty nearing the end of the season, I decided to start drying some of them. This project went really well, so then I decided to look for other varieties that I could forage locally to add to designs. At the time I was most interested in making wreaths, but I soon fell in love with working with dried materials and started creating many different designs. Soon I decided that my dried flower creations needed a whole separate shop to themselves, and Island Flower Girl was born. Let me show you what I’ve been up to!
First I started creating wild wreaths. I wanted to make something really earthy, unique and textural. Something that you don’t typically see around – full of nature’s spirit, yet still well-made. Then I decided to try designs on gold hoops that were softer and more delicate, yet still with a boho feel.
Next, I wanted to bring the feeling of a wild meadow to a table arrangement that could be placed anywhere inside the home. I opted for a minimalist contemporary feel to contrast the dried flowers, by creating wooden stands for the flower stems to sit inside.
I also wanted to experiment with ways to wear dried flowers. First I made a set of hair pins which I thought were so versatile for many hairstyles! Then I decided to order in some jewelry findings and make some necklaces. I really love how these turned out!
Of course I also made some cute bouquets as well! These are the perfect size for budvases, bottles or other small vases.
Dried flowers have certainly made a comeback, and I couldn’t be happier! Once the garden is in bloom again I will be experimenting with some more brand new designs! Until then, I will still have some new Etsy shop updates planned throughout the coming months in some similar designs as above, so be sure you’re following @islandflowergirlpei and @sakurahsflowerstudio on Instagram!
Ever wonder what it’s like behind the scenes of a magazine shoot? Well, this is it! A total of ten vendors contributed to the making of this editorial shoot for the Winter 2018 edition of PEI Living Magazine. Here you will find some quick snaps taken by Kelly from The Perfect Pear Bridal as well as a few other vendors. To view our finished photos taken by Caley Joy Photography, pick up your free copy of PEI Living out now!
“We all gathered at Hazelbrook Homestead on a sunny Autumn day. We soon started prepping and designing before Caley Joy Photography arrived, and then… Magic happened! I think I can speak for all of us when I say we had a blast working together on this project!”
I have been so excited to show you these photos by Simon Reid Photography! Hannah and Derek were married in beautiful Murray Harbour, PEI at the Ocean Acres Campgrounds. Marsha Weeks officiated the ceremony which also included a sailor’s knot. Hannah chose deep burgundy, nude and ivory for their colour palette and wore a gorgeous sleek lace dress. She also wore a beautiful rhinestone belt that tied at the back with burgundy ribbon. I really love all of the beautiful trees at this venue too! I think Simon Reid captured the day perfectly, don’t you?
“Simon is amazing! He and Shannon were such a delight to work with and all our photos are beyond beautiful. The whole day was perfect. Ocean acres was a great location with so many of our guests traveling from off island and being able to stay right there on site. The bouquets were everything I had imagined and then some! The most special parts of the day were having our first look pictures taken at Derek’s Grandparent’s and being able to include our son Rowan in the sailors knot portion of the ceremony. Thank you again for your beautiful bouquets!”
– Hannah Johnston
Janelle and Kris were married outside on the Montague river bank in PEI under a pergola style arch that Kris constructed for them. The arch was dressed with an asymmetrical garden styled topper of roses, amaranthus and various other floral accents.
Photographed by local PEI photographer, Danielle Gillan Photography, Danielle captured their day perfectly with the feeling of a warm summer romance, evident in each and every photo.
The reception took place in a beautiful barn at the Dundas Plowing Match near Montague in PEI. The guest tables were dressed with loose stems of seeded eucalyptus and freshly picked apples along with bud vases filled with boxwood foliage, cutely packaged party favours and jars of preserves that Janelle’s Mother made.
The head table was adorned with a luscious garland, vintage brass candle holders, and vases of boxwood, while two floral wreaths dressed the rafters above.
The bridal bouquet featured a warm summery mix of hot pink garden roses with white and peach accents while the bride wore a crown of miniature roses and ranunculus.
From the floral arch decor, hanging wreaths, foliage table accents and flower crown, this wedding was certainly a garden lovers dream!
Lauren chose a pallet of deep blush, ivory and gold for their wedding. Lauren’s favourite flowers right from the beginning were these ‘Romantic Antique’ garden roses, and although I really can’t choose a favourite flower, I think they may also be my favourite flower too. (Shhhh…).
The reception took place at Belvedere Golf Club in the heart of Charlottetown, PEI. The guest tables were dressed with golden plates and foliage accents on each of the napkins. Raw wood slices were used as chargers under two mason jars filled with garden roses and hydrangea. Then large golden table numbers that Lauren made by hand were placed on each table.
A long foliage garland was draped over the head table and spilled to the floor while gold candle holders were placed among the foliage. Golden glass vases were added to hold the bridesmaids bouquets upon their arrival. Miniature lights were then added along the foliage garland which played up the head table even further.
Guests were welcomed with a wooden greeting sign filled with foliage and accent tables were set up around the reception space including a guest welcoming table, gift table and a gorgeous display of mouth watering treats. Lauren and Jeremy’s gold initials were also added as decor while the card box was dressed with a grapevine wreath of eucalyptus.
From the romantic pink, ivory and gold pallet to the long garlands of lush foliage, this gorgeous wedding mixed rustic, romantic and classic themes perfectly. Cheers Lauren and Jeremy, may the best be yet to come!!
Heather’s initial colour for her wedding was a bright hue of mint green, so she chose gorgeous flowing mint green skirts for her bridesmaids and paired them with ivory lace tops. As a pretty compliment to mint green, we decided to use monochromatic purples for her floral bouquets and decor.
Her bridal bouquet used classic ‘Ocean Song’ lavender roses, deep purple lisianthus and hydrangea with accents of seeded eucalyptus, purple trachelium and dried lavender. All of the bouquets were then finished with our hand made silk ribbon, using ‘Latte’ for the bridesmaids and ‘Cool Mint’ for the bride.
The reception took place in Memorial Hall, a romantic sky lit room with tall ceilings at the Confederation Centre of the Arts. The head table was dressed with with a long floral centrepiece in colours of ivory and purple. Heather created the table numbers herself by hand painting floral designs on clam shells that she had collected along the beach.
The boutonnieres and corsages for the wedding party and families were made with dried lavender tied with silk, while the stems were left exposed to match the bouquets. For the groom we used a single ‘Ocean Song’ rose from Heather’s bouquet along with green lisianthus buds and touches of trailing green amaranthus.
From the mint green bridesmaids skirts and the hand-painted shells, to the airy art gallery venue, Heather and Bob’s wedding was the perfect mix of classic beauty and artistic style. Congratulations Heather and Bob!
Vanessa and Ryan shared their vows at Shaw’s Hotel in Brackley Beach, PEI. This picturesque heritage hotel is nestled on the shore of a small ocean inlet, just minutes from Brackley Beach National Park.
Photographed by Paynter and Company, the couple start their day getting ready with their friends and family. The bride and her bridesmaids are busy with hair, make up and dresses, while the groom and his men are buttoning sleeves, fixing collars and tying ties.
The bride’s main wedding colours encompassed a pastel pallet that ranged from ivory and blush, to cooler hues of slate, lavender and grey. For her bouquet Vanessa chose a loose garden style with soft nude pink roses, large white peonies and lots of foliage, all hand-tied with handmade ivory silk ribbon.
The outdoor ceremony is framed by large shady trees that over look the gentle ocean waves of the inlet. The couple soon says ‘I Do’ and then with many big smiles and teary eyes, they leave to spend the afternoon on on the bright sandy beaches of the North Shore.
At the reception, a thin garland of mixed foliage and light pink wax flower ran the length of the head table where large white vases were placed to hold the girls bouquets. On the dance floor, round glowing lanterns illuminate a rafter ceiling while a large lighted sign depicting XOXO accented the wall.
With the idyllic ocean view venue, pastel colour pallet and whimsically lit dance floor, this wedding certainly celebrated a story of true love, and marked the beginning of those first days of Summer, beautifully.
Birch bark in particular has been one of my favourite finds as of late. I love it rolled into a spiral like a cinnamon stick and placed in wreaths or grouped together in arrangements made in floral foam. Birch bark is also nice wrapped around containers.
I am always fascinated by the immense variety in branches, even those from the same kind of tree. Some branches have more colouring than others or less bark in places, while others may have interesting lichens growing around them. New raspberry shoots that come up in the spring time are a particularly pretty mahogany colour and are quite malleable for weaving around the inside of a vase.
And of course pine cones! Their unique array of forms never cease to amaze me. I collect them all year round to use in arrangements during the Christmas season. Next time you’re out for a stroll, have a look around you and see what gifts nature has left waiting for you!
*Ingredients for the arrangements above:
Vanco Farms tulips, yellow pinocchio chrysanthemums, hot pink carnations and raspberry shoots
Plant Life: the perfect cohabitant for us human beings; breathing out oxygen for us to take in. How can we feel anything other than adoration for them and their beautiful gifts of blooms?
I saw this Hibiscus tree for sale in a shop earlier this past spring and I bought it, not because of it’s wonderful condition, but because it was almost dead. I knew that if I didn’t take it back to the house with me it would probably end up in a garbage heap. So, I brought it home and started removing all of the dead leaves, and with much love over the course of the summer, it is now in full bloom. And too be perfectly honest, I have never seen a hibiscus bloom in person until now! I now keep this little tree in my bedroom and get to wake up to these blooms every morning. You see, to me, flowers are a way in which we can bring nature, our very essence, back into the spaces we inhabit. They can invigorate a space, create an air of magic, or provide a romantic feel.
I am reminded of a quote I came across a while ago, ‘Be sure to stop and smell the flowers along the way.’ Life moves quickly, and flowers remind me to stop and notice the beauty that exists around us at all times. So in this sense, floristry is not only an avenue for me to use my creativity, but also has spiritual relevance. Being near nature centres me, and reminds me of the perfect balance we have with plants and in life.