Outdoor Wedding Indoors

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Bringing the Best of The Outdoors Inside

I had flowers to do for an outdoor wedding last week.

The location of the wedding was in a public garden in Granada Hills.
There was a pavilion in the garden and that’s where the bride and groom were going to have the ceremony done. So the pavilion needed a boatload of flowers and then flowers needed to be attached to the chairs that flanked the aisle leading up to the pavilion.
The reception hall was on the grounds of the gardens and that needed decorating too. And then, of course, there were all of the wedding flowers for the bridal party itself.
We worked way ahead of time to plan all of the flowers and how they would be arranged in the pavilion.

The bride had chosen roses and daylilies as a pairing for most of her arrangement. Her filler flower was baby’s breath and Boston ferns.
The day of the wedding ended up being rainy. I had had my eyes on the weather forecast leading up to the day, and I knew it was a good possibility. But I also knew it might not rain, so I was keeping my fingers crossed.

The crossed fingers didn’t help, so the entire event had to be moved indoors. When I got there with the flowers it was absolutely pouring.
Fortunately, the gardens had a back-up location for events such as this that got rained out.
They had an indoor solarium room and I had looked at that briefly when I went over to scout out facilities. It had a very high ceiling–I’m talking twenty feet–that sloped down to a normal ceiling height at the entry doors.

Where the ceiling was highest was an exterior wall that was entirely windows. The gardens lay in view of the windows. (Of course in the rain, there wasn’t much view!)  Still, it let in light and you could see the outdoors so it was as close as possible to being outdoors without actually being out there.
I’m glad I saw the room ahead of time because when I knew that the forecast was rain for the day of the wedding, I decided what I would do in that room.
So at the wedding, instead of taking all of the flowers out to the pavilion, instead I took them inside to the Plan B room.

I brought in some props from a different outdoor event. One was like a pergola. I set up that pergola in the front and kind of re-created the pavilion feel inside the room.
I tied miles of bunting to the pergola. It was draped in swaths and then had kind of a waterfall of it on both sides of the pergola. (The ceremony was going to happen inside the structure.) I tucked roses and daylilies into the pergola so it looked like a vertical garden. And then I set two giant flower arrangements on either side of the pergola.
It was pretty easy to replicate the original plan of the flowers on the chairs leading up to the pavilion. I basically did the same thing inside–tied the bouquets to the sides of the outermost chairs that led up to the pergola.

The bride came in to check it out. She, of course, was all nervous and stressed out because of the rain and the change of the location but when she saw what I had done with the props and with the flowers, I could see her visibly relax.
She was happy, so I was happy.

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Distressed and HAPPY: Flowers and Crafts

Flowers and Crafts

Have you seen the old chest of drawers that’s standing inside my flower shop, a little to the left of the front door?

You know how awesome it looks? All old and wooden and a little distressed with nicks and gouges and stuff like that?

Well, it’s yours truly that gets all the credit. Yep. I am totally going to toot my own horn on this one!!

So, I actually had that chest of drawers in my daughter’s room at home. She moved out and I decided to re-do that room.

I was looking at the chest and realized two things about it. 1) It was actually solid wood (not a whiff of press-board or veneer anywhere), and 2) someone somewhere along the way had painted over that fabulous wood with several coats of white paint.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized I wanted to strip that white paint off, take it down to the original wood, and then stain the dresser. Make it look something like it originally looked. And then bring it over to my slower shop and use it in some mindbendingly clever way.

Well, you know how some projects take on a life of their own and morph into something much bigger than you intended?

Yeah. That’s what happened with The Dresser Refinishing Project.

I got some spray-on stripping stuff at Home Depot. The directions said to spray on a coat, let it sit for 15 minutes, scrape it off, and go on to the next section. Tough spots might need a second application, it said.

Two CANS of the stripper later, and I was still not done! The directions should have said, “Sections that have several coats to remove will resemble the aftermath of a nuclear bomb for several applications before the first glimmer of hope appears that the product will actually work. Keep on keeping on! In three weeks and after many many applications, you will begin to see the original wood.”

I am not one to give up easily. I’ll be honest and say that that dresser sat in my garage for a full month before I finally got it done. Which meant that I couldn’t park my car in there since I had all the drawers standing on their sides on the garage floor, as well as the dresser itself.

The stripper didn’t get all the paint off. It got most of the paint off. But that wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t stain over a surface that was freckeld with white paint.

So then I had to get rough-grit sandpaper, followed by fine-grade sandpaper, and do the whole bursitis-inducing sanding routine.

It was finally all prepped. Paint all gone, surfaces ready to receive stain. And then the rest was easy.

I put on two coats of stain.

Oh, I forgot to tell you that I distressed it before staining it. I took a hammer and chisel and just put in a bunch of gouges and holes. And then stained it. The stain pooled in the dents and gouges and was darker there than the rest of the surfaces.

It came out looking A-W-E-S-O-M-E.

Check it out next time you’re in the shop!

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