Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lovely Lavender

Of all the scented items available at Bloomers (other than flowers), the most popular by far is Lavender. Candles, sachets, bath products, bunches of dried Lavender, all are the first to go out the door. Why? What makes Lavender such
a favorite?

When thinking of Lavender most people associate it with France, and dream of romantic postcard-perfect fields. But I recently came across a beautiful book:
The Maui Book of Lavender,
which opened my eyes to the Hawaiian Lavender industry! The book does a great job of documenting the history of Lavender over the fact, for the past 2,500 years! Its uses are well known in health, beauty and culinary circles. Haleakala's Ali-i Kula Lavender Farm encompasses an area on the side of a volcano...a dry, south facing slope that allows this herb the full sun it craves. I can't imagine a more perfect place to live and work!

The scent of Lavender is thought to be very comforting, hence the reason it's used in sachets and those popular heated herbal pillows.

The color Lavender is big this year, as well. Approximately 80% of the brides we are working with now are using some shade or hue of the color for their wedding. With so many flowers in the lavender-to-purple range, this gives the lucky bride many options!

I love this package of "Wedding Rice" which is actually Lavender!

Have you had a Laven-tini yet? It's a martini made with essence of Lavender!

At Bloomers, we just love Lavender!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Liberty of London

With Liberty of London experiencing a resurgence recently, I thought I'd have a look at the story of this venerable fabric company. Have you seen their pretty prints at Target recently? It's another of the upscale collaborations that has Target customers crying out for more.

In 1875, Liberty of London got it's start, oddly enough, as a result of Arthur Lasenby Liberty's interest in
Japanese Kimonos. After being denied a partnership at the renowned Regent Street shop of Farmer & Rogers, where he'd worked for many years, Mr. Liberty struck out on his own and with 1,000 Pounds borrowed from family, opened East India House right across the street. The shop was an overnight success, and caused Farmer & Rogers to close shortly thereafter.

Oscar Wilde is credited with bringing Liberty to the attention of Americans. On his 18 month tour of the States, he frequently mentioned Liberty prints as part of his interest in the Aesthetic Movement of design. The public could not get enough and Liberty hasn't look back since.

Though Liberty of London prints have had periods of perceived 'dowdiness", 21st century designers are looking at Liberty prints with a fresh eye. Check out this creation from Jean Paul Gaultier. This is a far cry from frumpy!

I love how Liberty recently "papered' the outside of their London shop with this great print. How cheeky!

I'll bet if you looked far enough into your closet, you'll find something with a Liberty of London print on it!

Bloomers Loves Liberty of London!




Sunday, April 11, 2010

Looking Back over 100 Blogposts

This is the one hundreth BloomersBlog! Unbelievable isn't it? Some of you have been on board since the very first post on August 19, 2008. Others have discovered us along the way. Here's a look back at some of the topics the Blog has touched on over the past 2 years....

We've certainly discussed all sorts of flowers. Hydrangea, Gardenia, Dahlias, Roses, Bouvardia, Camellias, Carnations, Cherry Blossoms, Amaryllis, and Poinsettia, right up to a review of all-green blossoms and 'blue' flowers.

Sex and the City was a theme a few times, with Carrie being the main fashionista flower lover.

Floral shoes made several appearances...not to mention floral hats, jewelry, and loads of floral accessories.

We scoped out pretend florists in the movies, and real florists in the White House and in Paris.

Holiday flowers of all sorts have been mulled over...Christmas wreaths, Thanksgiving centerpieces, Valentine roses, Halloween party pieces, and ideas for wedding and baby showers.

Flowers as food, flowers decorating food, and flowers resembling food have all been tasty topics.

We've been to gardens in Europe, from lavish castle gardens to grand carpet gardens in town squares and even vertical gardens, as well as wildflower gardens started by a First Lady.
And we can't forget the window boxes and container gardening either!

Wedding topics have ranged from this year's 'it' color of turquoise, to using succulents in place of flowers, and of course, weddings a la Paris.

We've compiled loads of information on topics such as why you should avoid wire services, how flowers are imported, how to buy, care and arrange flowers, and even how to wax flowers!
The 'new' style of flower arranging was reviewed, too, with some eye-popping designs featured.

We've found out fun information about Blooming Teas, and the making of perfumes.

We discovered flowers made of such diverse materials as paper, metal, frosting, Swarovski crystal, fruits and vegetables and even X-Rays.

And of course, famous weddings could not be ignored....

What was your favorite blogpost?
Do you have an idea for a future blog topic?
I'd love to know!
Be one of the first 5 readers to post and I'll send you a free VAZU!
(be sure to include your email address)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Flower, Vegetable or Fruit?

You won't believe what you're seeing. Is it a flower or a vegetable? You'll have to look closely! The book The Decorative Art of Japanese Food Carving: Elegant Garnishes for all Occasions by Hiroshi Nagashima will open your eyes to this fabulous art.

Fruit and vegetable carving is extremely popular in Asian countries, and they truly have taken what we would consider as craft, to high art. Known as Mukimono in Japan, these decorative garnishes are much more than just decoration. The Japanese feel it is as important to delight the eye as well as the palate, and these sculptures do just that. Some are made to be eaten; some are made to hold the food itself, and some are designed to sit on top as decoration. In China, watermelon carving is the most popular form of this art.

Chef James Parker has been featured on the Food Network, winning the Gold Medal for Fruit Fantasy Sculpture. These folks take their fruit seriously! Though there are countless specialty tools for the 'experts', anyone can try this art at home with peelers, knives and scoops.

Bloomers can't carve fruit for you, but we do have beautiful floral arrangements that incorporate fruit and veggies-perfect for a buffet or food-centered event!