Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More tabletop trees

Moira took this Christmas workshop two weeks ago and due to the lack of class time, worked on her tabletop tree at home.  She just sent a photo of her finished tree which I am happy to share with all of you.

Moira's precious tree!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tabletop Christmas trees

We had another fun Christmas workshop at Floradec Sales with Val and Jan this past Sunday.  We made "Eco-friendly" tabletop Christmas trees using fresh evergreens, seeded eucalyptus, "misty" and pinecones.  We ran out of time so the ladies are adding fresh rosehips at home.

Val and Jan posing with their "babies."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Neil Abercrombie's Inauguration Decor

Debbi Barrett-Holt AIFD, of The Floral Network, phoned me the other day to ask if I would like to volunteer to help decorate the Iolani Palace bandstand for Neil Abercrombie's inauguration.  She was asking all of the Honolulu branch of the Hawaii AIFDs to help with this prestigious event.  Below are some of the photos I took throughout the day when I wasn't wielding my knife.

 Aya Castillo AIFD and Florence making 120 ribbons for the stanchions.

 Aya working on some of the tropical arrangements for the base of the bandstand.  Debbi's designs included ti, lauae and palapalai fern for the base.

 Containers to be filled.

 Cory Ho AIFD,  selecting the tropicals for the two large arrangements at the front of the bandstand.

 Cory finishing up the arrangements.

 Cory working on  some of the smaller tropical arrangements.

 From left to right, me (Deb Di Bella), Cory Ho, Debbi Barrett-Holt (Decorations Chair) and Aya Castillo AIFDs of Honoulu.

 Finished tropical arrangements which Aya and I created for the front of the bandstand utilizing ginger, heliconia and ti stalks from Greenpoint Nursery,  Hilo, Hawaii

 One of the two large  tropical arrangements and the beautiful kukui "lei" made by Debbi, which went around  the front of the state seal.

 Bandstand almost completed.  The columns are  to be entwined with galax garlands.

View of Iolani Palace from the bandstand.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Canadian Florist Magazine

Canadian Florist Magazine has highlighted Design358 in their current issue.  See below for more details and you can also sign up for their free e-newsletter.

Canadian Florist Magazine
HomeShop TalkOn TrendDesign GalleryTop ShopsCare Handling

DESIGN358 announces new website and event
Written by Amanda Ryder
Dec. 3, 2010 - The new year brings exciting changes to DESIGN358. The group has launched a new website and are excited to present the First Annual Trend Summit on Feb. 26-28.
trendsummit2Dec. 3, 2010 - DESIGN358 has grown into a Floral Collective, a group of like-minded, talented independent designers from all over North America who come together and work as a cohesive team for various events in the year. The Collective is led by its creative director, Hitomi Gilliam AIFD and administered by Colin Gilliam, Yukari Mitsui AIFD and Susanne Law AIFD.

The group is announcing a number of changes for 2011, including a whole new look to its website at Here, visitors can learn about the 20111 Education Program, which includes a line-up of intermediate/advanced Hands-on Workshops now offered at two bi-coastal locations: Vancouver, Canada and Norwalk, Conn. (just 60 minutes north of New York City).

DESIGN358 is starting off the new year with a creative bang. The launch of the First Annual Trend Summit 2011 takes place Feb. 26-28 in Burnaby, B.C., with Leatrice Eiseman, colour specialist and executive director of the Pantone Color Institute as keynote speaker to kick-off the conference for industry leaders and forward thinkers. Registration information is now available online.

In the fall of 2011, the DESIGN358 will offer a European Masters Certification (EMC) Program with Tomas De Bruyne. A full brochure and registration information will be posted online so you can reserve a spot for this intensive educational opportunity.

Go online to check out our new blog-style website to stay updated on all of the latest news in the world of DESIGN358 and its talented team of designers.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas workshop

 On Sunday we had a workshop to learn how to construct a fresh, tabletop evergreen tree and how to decorate a fresh wreath using natural materials.  The ladies learned how to make their own ornaments using leaves.  They further embellished the wreaths with other nature forms like pods, pinecones, unusual dried foliages and fresh berries.

Ernell, Faith and Moira showing off their completed holiday wreaths.  Birds made of mushrooms, nests made of twigs and birdhouses made of bark completed the wreath decor.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

René van Rems' Master Symposium on High-Style Bridal Bouquets

My dear friend and mentor, René van Rems, AIFD will be conducting a Master Symposium in San  Diego from Jan. 8 - 15, 2011 on high-style bridal work.  It is the first time that I have seen anyone offer a behind the scenes look for the making of a bridal book.  We will be working with models, gowns, photography and fabulous florals.  I hope you can join us!
Contact or call the office 888-824-7363 for more information.  Also check out his site

Monday, November 1, 2010

Donna and Paul's wedding

Red, was the chosen color for the bride's bouquet.
The Pink Mink Protea was the focal point of Donna's bouquet.  Unfortunately she was getting married at the time of year in Hawaii when the minks were not in season.  I was able to connect with a wonderful grower named Ali who owns Malolo Farms on Maui and she "babied" three minks for me until harvest time.  I stripped one of the minks and used the black-tipped feathery petals throughout this bouquet.  Safari Sunset protea, Black Baccara roses, striped Dracena foliage,  Uluhe fern shoots, "Blush" mini calla lilies, succulents, silver buttonwood leaves and a collar of red ti leaves which were grown by the bride's dad and large "rubies" all went into her bouquetThe handle was also bejeweled with ruby colored crystal pins which were made by a relative.

Groom and groomsmen's  boutonnieres of Uluhe fern shoots, silver buttonwood foliage and a tiny strip of red ti leaf.  The groom has a small, clear crystal on his fern curl.

Photo credits for the slide show are by Phillip Pasag. 

Thank you, Donna, for the lovely review! 


Today's blog is to give the viewer a brief glimpse into the behind-the scenes creation of a small event/wedding.  This wedding was held on the Windward side of the island at a location called "Secret Island."  

Design table with containers for table arrangements.  These are filled with Oasis foam and are the foundation for the arrangements.

Beautiful orange Cosima roses from Ecuador which are being processed for use.

Completed bridal bouquets and arch piece, packed and ready to go into the car.  The bride wanted blue dendrobium orchids which are really purple Thai dendrobiums dyed blue.  The problem is that these will bleed if they are wet.  I had to make sure they were thoroughly dry so that they would not stain anyone's clothing.

After a wet trip over the Koolaus, we are now at the pier and have to take a boat to "Secret Island."  Bamboo arch pieces and arch flowers  are loaded onto the boat.

      Our "Titanic" is heading out to the island.  The trip takes four minutes.

                                          Mainland in back of us.  

Construction of bamboo arch on the beach begins.  "Chinaman's Hat Island" in the background.

Floral helper (Amanda) is waiting for arch construction to be completed.  Dense foliage in background is where we emerged from the dock.

                Arch piece and tools waiting on the table under the tent.

                                Poles are up and the wind is blowing!

Sorry we have no pictures of the three of us mounting the flowers but the arch is finally completed.  Note the dark clouds forming.  I take a few photos and we head back to the pier.

Rain!!!  We hid in the thicket but still got wet and the bride and her party had just arrived and were also getting wet.  You could not see the mainland because of the rain.

                     The rest of the bridal party is arriving in the drizzle.

                      Our mighty captain taking us back to the mainland.

                               Returning to the mainland in the mist.  

We finally land and the rain has eased up a bit but it's still overcast and drizzly. Now it's back to the shop to clean up.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ian & Shayna's wedding ceremony

My cousin, Ian Robertson, married Shayna Lum in Honolulu on September 5, 2010 in the courthouse behind the King Kamehameha statue.  Their colors were pink, silver and black and they wanted a soft, romantic look with temperate flowers.  I chose pink and white roses, snapdragons, lisianthus, larkspur, curly willow, alstroemeria, asiatic lilies and Queen Anne's lace in a more formal, Louis XIV style because of the architecture in the courthouse.  The grand marble staircase was softened with tulle swags filled with pink rose petals.

 Shayna, the bride, with her attendants carrying pink faux flower bouquets made by Shayna's friend, Yumi Miyata.

The Lum and Robertson families