I spent four days in March in NYC, battling high winds and bitter cold temps, at The Chapel Designers 5th Annual Conference. It didn't feel much like spring in New York, but the weather was certainly no match for the abundance of fresh ideas and inspiration that was ever-present amongst this warm-hearted group of wedding and event specialists from around the globe.
For those who may not know, The Chapel Designers is a unique and eclectic group of studio-based wedding and event designers that was created by the talented Holly Chapple of Holly Heider Chapple Flowers. I became a Chapel Designer last July, when I traveled to Virginia for a portfolio workshop at Holly's home studio, tucked in the historic and beautiful hills of Loudon County. Her vision was to create a platform where designers could share and support one another through a variety of learning and networking opportunities. The group is a testament to her unyielding dedication to the business of weddings and her love of flowers. To us, she is the quintessential Flower Mama.
I listened intently over the course of three-days, as new floral techniques and design styles were presented by some of the best names in the business, including Holly, Sarah Winward, David Beahm, Naomi DeManana, Robbie Honey, and Ariel Dearie. We talked about business practices with the help of Sage Events, had a lesson in Quickbooks, and were cleverly reminded by David Beahm about the importance of just being YOU. We spent a day designing compotes and bouquets at David's fabulous studio digs in the South Bronx, and were treated to lunch at Verde Flowers, across the street. We visited Squarespace headquarters to learn about how to further customize our websites, and the importance of capitalizing on SEO. Joy Thigpen helped us better grasp the true meaning of composition, through visuals that spoke without the use of words. We toured Martha Stewart's downtown studio, and were able to see the magic created with the help of a prop room that was to-die-for. From Meg Biram, we heard tips and tricks on being more effective within the realm of social media. As she spoke, I realized that living with a teen, as difficult as it may be at times, has helped to keep me informed about current trends, like Snapchat. We ended the three-day conference with a kick-ass, eye-opening speech from the edgy Jes Gordon.
A gigantic thank you to Holly, her husband Evan, and the many hands and voices that made this an opportunity to remember. Next stop...London!
Photography: Lauren Carnes Photography and astrid photography Venue: David Beahm Studios
Witch Hazel is in town, and if you haven't had the opportunity to see it, I suggest you do. I recently had the pleasure of an up-close-and-personal look at Witch Hazel, as it took center stage in my yard. For months, the entire yard has been filled with waist-high snow, and outside movement has been limited to a few tunneled walkways leading to and from the house. Thank you Mother Nature for helping to heal the harsh effects of the winter months with this beautiful and much needed show of color!
This marks my tenth year as a member of the Lynnfield Village Garden Club, and my tenth year participating in our annual art-in-bloom program. The opening night reception was held at the Lynnfield Public Library last night, and went down in usual fashion with a design tour and treats for all.
Artwork and floral interpretations will be on display for the remainder of the week. If you would like to read about my art-in-bloom process, you can find me at Designing Forty Four, where I enjoy sharing a behind-the-scenes approach to design projects.
Thank you to Sue Cullen, Carol Schelzi, and Sharon Marrama, for making this year's art-in-bloom program a success!
On Monday night, I led a hands-on workshop for my local garden club, which proved to be a super fun night. This was not my first time teaching a workshop for the club, and it is always great to be invited back.
Since we haven't seen anything green around these parts for months, I knew I wanted to work with soil and plants. A petite garden, with a mixture of succulents, mosses, and bulbs, would be the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of spring. I made a sample design in advance in an upright contemporary-style vessel, to demonstrate how easy it is to play with the look of the petite garden, just by changing the style of the container and/or the mix of plants. For the club's design, I chose a moss-rimmed basket, which added a bit of texture and reminded me of Easter. The participants were then able to personalize their designs with the addition of branches, rocks, and foraged materials that I have collected throughout the year.
At the end of each workshop, I look forward to seeing the results. I love that each person puts there own creativity to work and creates a one-of-a-kind design with its own unique quality. Thank you to the garden club for having me, and here's to Springing Forward, with thoughts of warmer and brighter days ahead.
Today is my first official post here at Laura Thomson Design. Throughout the last four years, I have enjoyed sharing a behind-the-scenes look at my personal and professional design projects on Designing Forty Four. Now that my florals have taken center stage, it feels more natural that I should dedicate my talks on LTD to florals, floral design, and "Designers who Inspire," (seen on my Pinterest page).
Pictured below is a design of mine that was featured last week on Botanical Brouhaha, alongside some quite fabulous names in the business. I am a long-time reader and admirer of Amy McGee's blog, Botanical Brouhaha, which features a unique gathering of industry experts and professionals, floral crushes, and featured designers, all of whom provide a lot of visual inspiration. I encourage you to pay her a visit!
Please don't forget to visit me at Designing Forty Four, where I will continue to post about decorating, design projects, cooking, travel, and whatever strikes my fancy!