September 30, 2008

fall wine tasting

I love monochromatic looks, and what better color than red? When I had Pollen I had the opportunity to create the flowers for a fun wine tasting event at Laguna Gloria in Austin. Galvanized metal containers with dried kiwi vine, Sumatra lilies, red roses and dahlias, James Storii orchids, and millet.

September 29, 2008

white arch flowers

I've got wedding ceremony backdrops on my mind lately. Here's one I created on the Four Seasons lawn a while back. Casablanca lilies, white dahlias, Eskimo roses, white hydrangea, white lisianthus white orchids, green ti leaves and Italian ruscus.

September 24, 2008

interview: susan fuehrer of lily true design

I'm so happy to introduce you to Susan Fuehrer of Lily True Design, a super-nice and talented floral designer living in Brooklyn. It's always fun to get to know the person behind the design, so read on... and visit her blog for more inspiring images. Thanks Susan!

How did you find your way to Brooklyn?

I was actually coerced into moving to Brooklyn - although I am so glad
that I did. When I moved to the city from a small east Tennessee town
five years ago, I chose the safest and cheapest rent offered in a
Manhattan neighborhood - the Upper East Side. Although I did love my
tiny apartments in that neighborhood, the UES never felt really like

Two years later, my husband, a furniture and lighting designer,
proposed to me on the Brooklyn Bridge (closer to the Brooklyn side,
which was his subtle way of hinting where we should live). After we
were married we moved to Park Slope, which is a really great
neighborhood. Brooklyn was definitely feeling more like home than
Manhattan ever did. Unfortunately, with all the trendy new shops
opening up on 5th Ave, we got priced out of the neighborhood and a
year and a half ago moved to Prospect Park South East (a developing
neighborhood). We are now two blocks from Prospect Park (which my
French bulldog, Giselle, L-O-V-E-S), walking distance to Ditmas Park
(a beautiful historic neighborhood of late 19th century and early 20th
century homes with actual gardens and yards), and a short bike ride to
most anyplace in Brooklyn we would want to go. We have a good-sized
two-bedroom apartment, which allows me to actually have room to
arrange flowers.

What lead you to become interested in floral design, and how did you acquire your technical skills?

I've always had a love for flowers that was ingrained in me ever since
I was a small child. My mother is an avid gardener, and on our hikes
through the woods when I was a child, she had me naming flowers,
trees, and other plant life. I have always appreciated the hard work
that it takes to grow a garden (I have done my fair share of weeding),
but always preferred working on the bouquet arrangements.
I went to school for interior design because I loved the blend of
technical and creative arts. I acquired my attention to detail and
craftsmanship from my schooling. I took and internship in the city 6
years ago and fell in love with the vibrancy, diversity and the
people. Once I graduated I knew I had to move to New York.
After a short stint at a hospitality firm, I decided to go back to
commercial interiors. I love the people that I work with and the
clients, but the work wasn't giving me the creative outlet that I was
looking for. When a coworker did the flowers for a mutual friend's
wedding, it sparked an interest. I bombarded her with questions on how
exactly she did this in New York, without much space and without a

A friend of mine was getting married in Brooklyn that following spring
and I had offered to help with the flowers she had planned to do on
her own (she didn't know what she was getting into). I started to
research care of flowers as well as arranging techniques online and
dove in. She had a pretty large wedding – 6 bouquets, 15 centerpieces
- and it took me a day and a half of arranging, and a lot of trial and
error. She was thrilled with the results, and I loved working with the
variety of textures and flora. Each event has been a learning
experience; I've refined my arrangement skills, learned new techniques
from books and friends, and become much more efficient.
Most of my clients are designers themselves, so I know that their
standards are pretty high and they have a lot of input, which can
really aid the creative process. Some of my clients want to browse the
flower market together, just to get a feel for color and texture. This
is also a great time to show how different textures and colors work

I think what I love most about floral arranging is the instant
gratification (especially compared to the 1-3 years of a commercial
interiors project schedule) – There are certain constraints, but I
love that after the planning process, and in three days you end up
with a beautiful final result.

What artists and designers inspire you?

I keep going back to one of my favorite designers for color
inspiration – Josef Albers. I have some reprinted books and his color
plates are really amazing. Always drawing on color combinations from
him. The other designer that inspires me is Hella Jongerius. Her
recent design work of textiles for Maharam are layered and garden
themed and the color combinations are beautiful.

I also read other flower and wedding blogs pretty regularly as well as
other design blogs. I think it is important to be aware of what
happening now. What's funny is that some of my floral design
inspirations are sneaking into my commercial interior work as well. I
love how design can connect such diverse fields.

What plant materials and color combinations are you finding particularly beautiful now?

I love the zinnias that I've been seeing at the farmers' markets. The
pinks, oranges, golds and reds are so vibrant and full of life. I'm
also looking forward to my next wedding in October that will be at the
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (a great venue close to home). The color
theme is cream and pale pink with silver accents. I'm looking forward
to coming up with some creative ways to incorporate silver subtly into
the bouquets.

How would you spend a great day off?

I would probably bike down to Brighton Beach with my husband and dog
(she loves the sand between her toes) and watch the sunrise. Then we
would hit a farmer's market for fresh veggies fruits and a wild flower
bouquet. Then we'd probably meet up with friends and bike to the Red
Hook soccer tacos (yum). We'd then bike over to Van Dyke St have a
chocolate dipped key lime pie at Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies while
taking in the view of the city. We'd bike back through Prospect Park
and probably stop at the dog beach for Giselle to cool off. It would
definitely end with a walk through Brooklyn Heights and on the
promenade – the city lights at night are beautiful.

September 23, 2008

decorating a tricky cake

Mmm. Tres leches cake. But tricky to decorate... with hydrangea, ranunculus, and geranium leaves.

September 22, 2008

chrysanthemum tea

Have you ever heard of chrysanthemum tea? I hadn't. But today I found myself having a very yummy cup at a fabulous dim sum brunch. The steaming pot was served with chunky crystals of rock sugar to toss into the teeniest little tea cups. And when I looked in the pot, I don't know why, but I was surprised to see actual blooms floating in the water. Maybe the floral designer is coming out in me... chrysanthemums aren't my favorite flower to design with, and the smell of the cut stems is a little acrid. So I was expecting a not-too-pleasant, hard to drink concoction. But it was delicate and freshing, and another diner and I felt positively relaxed and spacey after several cups. Hmmm, this might be something to brew at home before bedtime.

Image from here.

September 19, 2008

dutch tulip fields

What do 60 million tulips look like? These images from here (via SeeSeeBe) are amazing works of environmental art in my eyes.

September 17, 2008

austin florist: cowgirls & flowers

This week I helped out at Cowgirls & Flowers, a studio that's been creating gorgeous arrangements for 30 years. All images from their website.

austin florist: bouquets of austin

Lately I've had the pleasure of working with a great group of women at Bouquets of Austin, a premier wedding florist in north Austin. I had a chance to try out the new camera on some of the things that we created for the local Bridal Extravaganza last weekend. Shannon's bouquet with the raspberry dahlias completely took my breath away! Bouquets will be overhauling their website soon, so check back for more current work.

September 16, 2008

shells in boutonnieres

Nuthin' prettier than teeny shells on bouts of mini callas, white bouvardia and galax leaves.

September 12, 2008

a mini vacation

Ahhh, it's been a hectic week. A week of unintended absence here at crosspollination.

Kyle left today to fly back to Auckland after a too-short two week visit. We had a great time while he was here, stuffing our pie-holes at all the Austin barbeque and Mexican joints, swimming at Barton Springs (above, image from here), and hanging out with family and friends.

Next week it's back to business as usual, with fun posts coming to a computer screen near you.

September 5, 2008

kate breakey show in austin

Yeah, I've posted about Kate Breakey's decadent photograph/paintings before, but I snuck in and saw the recent show at Stephen L. Clark Gallery here in Austin right before they took it down. Sorry I didn't give you a heads-up. Still, you can see some of the ethereal images here.

September 4, 2008

rhode island farmstand

Visiting New England recently was such a relief from the Texas heat (which had been such a relief from the Auckland cold). My friends decided to take me down to Little Compton, a quintessential seaside town in Rhode Island. A gorgeous beach greeted us, but my favorite part was sitting under the shade trees at one of the farmstands, drinking Del's lemonade. We watched the farm hands bring in a fresh load of corn, as well as a pumpkin the size of an armchair then bought blueberries and veggies to cook up for dinner. And what a great bouquet of dahlias and basil in the middle of their fruit display! At least I'll be headed into another mild summer in Auckland in a few months.

September 3, 2008

photographer: ngoc minh ngo

Ever since my recent trip to NYC I've been obsessed with photography and styling. So I was pleased as punch to find out about Ngoc Minh Ngo, whose photographs have graced the pages of the best magazines in the world (via automatism). Go women photogs!

And to make my week even better, I've been playing around with my new Canon XSi and 50mm f1.8 lens. Good images coming soon, no excuses now.

September 2, 2008

san francisco: rose and radish

I visit the lovely Rose and Radish blog periodically for a fresh blast of West Coast modernism. Next time I'm in San Francisco I'll definitely be attending one of their themed installations of art and craft items mixed with home wares and flowers (images from the Woodland show below).

Guess what? The talented floral people at Rose and Radish also do daily flower deliveries and events. To see behind the scenes (even more), check out Jill's blog small stump. In addition to working for Rose and Radish, Jill makes and sells nature-inspired goodies on her website, but get in line if you want some of the birch-bark vase covers or cute little mushrooms!
All images from Rose and Radish website.

September 1, 2008

nyc: tropical flower wholesalers

Tropicals are some of my favorite cut flowers, and the NYC wholesale flower district has some of the most amazing specimens - blooming banana stalks, king protea from New Zealand, sprouting coconuts, unusual types of ginger and heliconia to name just a few. Still wracking my brain to figure out what the huge brown and white dried leaves might be - anyone know? Images snapped at Caribbean Cuts and G. Page shops.