January 30, 2011

visual art center puts on another great show

The artwork was amazing, the food was delicious, the company was impeccable. And Suzi got some stunning shots of the flowers!

Love this shot... I'm pursing my lips furiously while carrying a really heavy, awkward arrangement. I think I smiled a bit after she clicked the shutter... note to self: smile more while doing awkward things.

January 28, 2011

february and march workshop dates


Spring is almost here-and it's time for Pollen's next two floral design workshops:

Saturday, February 5th, 9am-12am
Sunday, March 6th, 9am-12am

hosted by Sabia Apothecary and Spa
(includes containers, flowers, use of tools and yummy snacks)
Workshops limited to 6 students

We'll meet at Sabia and have a fun and informative introduction to early spring flowers like parrot tulips, ranunculus and blooming branches. We'll make two beautiful arrangements-a European-style handtied bouquet that we'll place in a vase, and a lush, compact arrangement created in a ceramic urn. I can't wait to see what you guys design!
*the same format will be used for both workshop dates and is appropriate for a beginner to intermediate level, if you'd like to take an advanced class please email me for more details

You can see images from a past class here.

Tuition will need to be paid in advance for workshops to secure your spot-cash, check or credit card (cc's processed through Paypal for a fee). For more information email or call Brooke at 512 586.8913.

Photo of past floral design demo by Suzi Q Varin of Q Weddings.

January 21, 2011

butterflies in january

A big log, a little moss, and two hornet's nests. Add in some butterflies and candy hearts and you've got Sabia's Valentine's Day spring window... Jessica's gonna be throwing a wonderful V-day party, stop by and you might win a lovely Pollen arrangement or a year's worth of Sabia services!

January 18, 2011

david neale of the golden smith

I love jewelry so much (or jewellery as it's spelled in Australia and New Zealand). And I especially love the work of David Neale. Simple, sophisticated, witty. The good news is that you can now buy David's work directly at his new online shop The Golden Smith. Perfect for Valentine's Day, non?

January 16, 2011

vineyards at chappel lodge

There's a new venue about to open in Austin called The Vineyards at Chappel Lodge-the perfect mix of modern and Texas rustic. Pollen got to do the flowers for their Bridal Extravaganza booth this weekend. We had some freedom to pick what looked best at the market this week, and thank goodness they had mossy branches, purple clematis vine, unripe blackberries and garden roses. Oh, and succulents of course!

Lavender mica (a sparkly mineral) also made an appearance nestled into some sparkly black sand and spanish moss.

I couldn't help but make some corsages for the girls to wear out of vintage hand-dyed ribbon and blackberries.

allan house wedding

Cory Ryan got some great shots of the flowers we did for Meredith and Clay at The Allan House. What a sweet couple!

January 8, 2011

flowers for the w hotel

Recently Pollen had the opportunity to create a multi-faceted installation for the new W Hotel Austin Recruitment Center. Suzi captured the whole space amazingly well. I wrote an artist's statement to accompany the installation:

When I think of Austin, I think of the people: creative and friendly, down-to-earth but worldly.
My mind also goes to the physical landscape, a mix of lushness and desert, beautifully rugged
and unexpectedly abundant.

Creating an installation that reflects two axes (lushness and desert, creative innovation set against a sense of history) led me to interact with some of my favorite local suppliers. Jay at Desert to Tropics grows truly succulent cactus and succulents. I could wander his greenhouses for days and not see every amazing variety on offer.

A key component of my floral design philosophy is to incorporate more than just cut blooms, including all kinds of plants, mosses, dried materials, rocks and minerals. This creates a huge palette of interesting textures and shapes (why use the same standard botanicals when there are so many natural materials to use in a floral installation?). I was also thrilled to be able to acquire pieces at Uncommon Objects. Their tag line ‘raw materials for creative living’ couldn’t be more accurate. Steve Wiman and his vendors artfully curate a collection of vintage and antique items you can’t find anywhere else.

I love being able to mix components from these sources with some of the best international
floral product, like the orchids, hydrangea, and tropical leaves used here. By mixing all these
elements a story emerges: one of black sand evoking Texas’ mineral heritage, grapevine
root hinting at an emerging viticulture industry, horseshoes and antlers elevated from typical
props to symbols of luck and our spirit of enduring sportsmanship, respectively. The synergy of
this edited collection captures the sense of innovation mixed with history and groundedness
for which Austin is known.

Authentic materials are also key here. The W’s architecture and interior design rely on materials
like concrete, steel and glass. I’ve tried to use honest ingredients that work with and echo
that sense of modern form-meets-function (and adding some playful moments here and there).

With the typed text, displayed in the purple typewriter, I tried to capture some of what makes
Austin unique, as told by a few of the emerging and established creative entrepreneurs who
call Austin home. Guests and hotel staff are able to contribute their own stories on the gray