Intrigue Teaches Workshop Tour

I didn't have a normal Valentine's Day with my husband. On February 14th I took off to Columbus, Ohio to meet up with the Intrigue Teaches Ohio Tour Stop. Owner of Intrigue Designs, Sarah Campbell, and her Intrigue Team are hitting up all 50 states over the next year to teach a one-day design workshop and one-day business intensive.

In 2016 I attended an Intrigue Business course in Annapolis, Maryland. I loved Sarah's style of teaching - a bunch of educational tips with lots of enthusiasm. So I knew it would be a fun experience to catch Sarah while she was in Ohio. 

I had a great time getting to meet other floral designers in Ohio, learn some new bouquet techniques from Sarah and work with some gorgeous blooms.

Images by Rakoteet Photography

Motherhood and Flowers - Asking for Help

This isn't a typical blog post for me. Today I'm not featuring a wedding or giving tips on flowers. Today I'm working through some thoughts and feelings related to motherhood and working. 

I knew things would change when I had Elliott and became a mother. Having less free time isn't surprising. And that's fine. I'm just learning how to work through it and navigate this new normal. And I know none of these thoughts or feelings are exclusive to me. It's new to me, but definitely not the billions of moms out there.

I'm learning how to work in spurts. How to make the most of the little moments where I have time to sit down and focus. It doesn't happen very often, but during the long naps or the days where I have help, that's when it's time to work. To check items off of that big to-do list. But it's often not enough. So I'm also learning how to ask for help.

The only way I'm finding to survive right now is by asking for help. Whether that's help with Elliott or help with flowers. It's not in my nature to ask for assistance. For some reason, I've looked at it as a negative. Asking for help, means I'm somehow not able to do it myself. But that's dumb. And I keep telling myself that it's dumb (even if it takes lots of repeating).

I started down the path of asking for help last year when I was pregnant and during my early post-pregnancy weddings because honestly, there wasn't another option. I couldn't do it all. I couldn't get on my hands and knees and design a petal aisle while being 7 months pregnant. I couldn't place a 20-pound centerpiece on top of a tall vase filled with water and a belly the size of a basketball. I couldn't process hundreds of flowers while also recovering from mastitis. So I had help.

And you know what I found? Having help is fantastic. And it's necessary. Even when it isn't 100% necessary, I've learned that it's wonderful to not feel like you've been hit by a truck on Sunday morning. The wedding hangover is real. And having a little help for some of the manual labor, or having someone watch Elliott so I'm not working until late into the night is amazing. Processing flowers, packing deliveries, cleaning buckets, going back to a venue at midnight to clean up, these aren't things that I need to be doing. I'm not moving my business forward by doing these tasks.

Even with help, timing up everything is hard. Hitting a creative moment where I have a break or help doesn't always happen. But that's a whole nother type of blog post.

In the last couple weeks, several business owners that I look up to and that inspire me have posted either songs or lyrics by Brandi Carlile. Because I feel like I've been living under a rock for the last year, this is the first time I've heard of Brandi. After seeing her name pop up for the umpteenth time on Instagram, I knew I had to give her a listen. And love her quickly I did. Specifically her song, The Mother. For obvious reasons.

This post is a bit all over the place (perhaps like my brain?), but I felt the call to write to let the thoughts flow. I'm in a new stage of life, so any clarity I can gain from writing my thoughts is needed and honestly, a little theraputic.

Welcome to the end
Of being alone inside your mind
You are tethered to another
And you are worried all the time
You always knew the melody
But you never heard it rhyme
She’s fair and she is quiet, Lord
She doesn’t look like me
She made me love the morning
She’s a holiday at sea
The New York streets are busy
As they always used to be
But I’m the mother of Evangeline

The first things that she took from me
Were selfishness and sleep
She broke a thousand heirlooms
I was never meant to keep
She filled my life with color
Canceled plans and trashed my car
But none of that was ever who we’re
Outside of my windows
Are the mountains and the snow
I’ll hold you while you are sleeping
And I wish that I could go
All my roadie friends are out
Accomplishing their dreams
But I’m the mother of Evangeline

And they have still got their morning paper
And their coffee and their time
And they still enjoy their evenings
With the skeptics and the wine
Oh, but all the wonders I’ve seen
I’ll see a second time
From inside of the ages
Through your eyes

You’re not an accident
Where no one thought it through
The world has shit against us
Made us mean to fight for you
And when we chose your name
We knew that you would fight the power, too
You are nothing short of magical
And beautiful to me
Oh, I will never hit the big time without you
So they can keep their treasure
And their ties to the machine
’Coz I’m the mother of Evangeline

They can keep their treasure
And their ties to the machine
’Coz I’m the mother of Evangeline
Ooh, ooh

Kristen and Matt's Personal Alms Park Wedding

I adore weddings with lots of special little details that reflect the couple. And Kristen and Matt's wedding was one of the most personal and beautiful weddings I've had the honor of working. These two sprinkled such fantastic little pieces throughout the day, making it truly unique and special to their and their ceremony alone.

This wedding was so much fun to design for because I was able to really experiment with foliage. Greenery is a hot trend right now and I love it! It doesn't work for all settings, but it was perfect for an outdoor ceremony and reception at Alms Park. If you're in Cincinnati and haven't been to Alms yet, get there! This park has some of the best views of the river and is gorgeous when all of the trees and plants are fully green - just as it was for Matt and Kristen.

For Kristen's bouquet, I was able to incorporate a lot of different types of greens - a couple varieties of eucalyptus, camellia, dusty miller, olive, and ruscus. We accented the green bouquet with pops of white florals from dahlias, ranunculus, veronica, lisianthus, and scabiosa.

One of my favorite elements that we incorporated was wrapping both the bouquet and Matt's boutonniere in copper wire. Copper was used in several design pieces throughout the day - the invitations, Matt's tie clip, the paint color on the seating chart, and the table numbers.

And I feel so lucky once again to work with an amazing photographer. Ashley Wittmer Photography took the most beautiful photos and really captured the day. Sometimes it's sad to set up the flowers and leave, but once I looked through these photos I really felt like I took part in the joy of the whole day! Ashley has more fantastic photos of the wedding on her blog.

What a special day!