Trick or Treat – Its up to you!
Trick or Treat – Its up to you!
A huge warm welcome! I’m not sure about you but I just love October – It’s been one of the best summers and I now feel ready for the colder months. With the nights drawing in the heating is programmed on, winter duvet is out, summer dresses and sandals have been replaced with wooly jumpers and Dr. martens.
Oh look, another glorious morning, makes me sick!
What does October signal for you? Do you really start to think about Christmas? Are you booking your summer 2020 holiday?
I love the New Year. For me, it is a time to draw the line and push on with my best foot forward. October is like my preparation period for what I know is coming. I start to ask myself the question I achieved what I set out to do in at the start of 2019? If not, I’ve still got three months right, so there is no excuses!
Lots of questions, but really more food for thought as the leaves shed from the trees and the bare naked tree go into protection mode – so do I, do you?
Preparing for Halloween
We’ve had our summer evenings, now for October eves!
October also signals Halloween. What has happened in the UK over recent years? With influences from America on how to have lavish celebrations of blood, gore and pumpkins carved to perfection, we have the perfect welcomes for our ghastly guests.
Well, anything to get dressed up I say, and what with the kids influence, its game on!
Here are some super ideas I’ve seen on the web and some inspiration for you. Are up for the challenge?
A simple, cheap and cool idea is to make spiders from balloons, these can be hung or tied up to the exterior of the house, here is a thorough 9 minute tutorial on you tube showing exactly how to recreate the best spiders
‘use the rolling motion to reduce the friction’
Team these spiders up with some fake cobweb available for £1 at poundland. https://www.poundland.co.uk/spider-web-with-12-spiders-1
Poundland and Wilko have to be the go to places for cheap and cheerful ideas. If you can’t get to these shops or they simply don’t float your boat, here are a few more ideas I think are super awesome, doable and frightening to say the least.
Do you believe in ghosts?
Do you have a front porch/awning or a front lawn with trees, its the perfect place to hang some ghastly ghosts – basically, hang some white sheets up – draw some big black scary eye with a sharpie pen, hook up and let them sway in the wind. You could use a balloon to create the head, tying the sheet around the neck to give it a bit of body. TIP – use fishing reel for invisible hanging.
If you have spare mannequin legs (as you do), take the legs, put on some scary tights and beaten up shoes – hook it up to the letterbox – you can dress the door with some ruffled organza material to hide any mechanics. Genius. I was thinking you could hang a bell from one leg with a sign saying ‘ring if you dare’ Or, simply stick the legs coming our of plant pots, simple.
Don’t have a mannequin? Don’t panic!
Packing tape ghosts are here. Yes, that’s right packing tape. – simply get one of the kids or willing adult and tape them up. See the you tube for a five min vid to fully explain what to do https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bw00kZOhLyU
Check ‘packing tape ghosts’ on Google images for inspiration.
‘Its time to hide, its time to fear’!
PRODUCT OF THE MONTH
If you want to take the stress out of dressing the house call us!
Are you planning a party and want something subtle, try one of our Halloween wreaths. Check frames for florists website. This giant skull wreath entwined with hops, decorated with skulls and succulents and deadly moss.
3ft size: £275
Buy here: https://www.framesforflorists.co.uk/design-104/skull-wreath-halloween-party-event-flowers.htm
WHO YOU FOLLOWING?
If you need a little inspiration for make up this Halloween, I seriously recommend you check out Vanessa Davis, we’re certainly girl crushing over here – her talent is insane. The link to her fabulous instagram is here, go follow: https://www.instagram.com/the_wigs_and_makeup_manager/
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY IN OCTOBER 2019
Flower workshops to tickle your fancy – October 2019
26th October 2019
‘Glam Hatters X Fox Club’
Creepy cocktail, flowers crowns and afternoon tea x
Book tickets here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/halloween-afternoon-tea-and-flower-crown-workshop-tickets-72892620791
Pumpkins at Leith Hill Place
If you fancy something pumpkin based to get you in the mood for Halloween, you can attend a workshop being held at Leith Hill Place, Surrey which looks pretty spooky to me, above, on 28th October 2019. Price is £30
Tickets here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/halloween-flower-arranging-tickets-59463198026
Do you have a forthcoming event you would like mentioned in our future newsletter/blog? Please email us firstname.lastname@example.org with full details and an image would be ideal but not necessary
‘There’s no money in floristry….anyway here’s your enrolment forms’
-Katie Laura Ashton
I love the little quirks of this industry, the niche businesses I come across and admire greatly for the braveness of those who think outside the box – often we fall into a certain part of the industry we either love or hate.
I’ve found the wonders of social media, in particular instagram, which gives us such great access to networking and exploring what is on offer in the UK and worldwide floral markets.
How the creative mind ticks just blows me away, especially in this industry.
I’m sure you’d all agree to having a love hate relationship with blooms, having to revive sagging hydrangeas in the heat, wearing our favourite top only to get the dreaded fleck of pollen on it, the list goes on. Yes, we all love our jobs but lets be real – it isn’t all moonlight and roses…
A young lady who is bringing a little humour to the realness of this business is florist and illustrator Katie Laura Ashton. An incredible talent who pencils works of art that, are all, relatable to florists and like.
During October she is showcasing 30 days of florist confessions on her instagram feed and it is hilarious. Please do give her a follow and share your stories via comments in her relatable posts, we all love to read them.
Q & A with guest Katie Laura Ashton
We have asked Katie a few questions about her floral journey in this October edition and here is what she had to say:
What influenced you to become a florist?
I've always needed & wanted to live a creative life. In my teen years, it was all about textiles, creating artwork with stitching and layering fabrics of varying colours & textures.
Skip forward a few years and I found myself standing at my clothing retail job feeling rather unfulfilled and lost. Thankfully, it was my Grandparents who suggested getting into floristry after they both did a little flower arranging course which they loved. Pottering around their garden with scented roses, passionflower and clematis climbing up the wall was lovely and they’re moments I’ll never forget.
And it was all very sudden, I quickly found a NC floristry course & a job in a local flower shop all
at the same time, like it was meant to be. However, I struggled at first to love floristry, I think I was overwhelmed and hesitant to fall in love with yet another creative endeavour!
But then I remember walking in the woods one day, looking at all the different textures, leaf shapes, and shades of green while giving myself an ultimatum- enough is enough- half arsing ain’t my thing, I must delve into the industry head first, and let myself love it and put my all into it. After that moment, it did all change, I’ve never looked back or questioned whether I was supposed to be a florist since that day.
When did you start putting your floristry experiences into works of art?
I began painting flowers back in 2016 and exploring different mediums and learning which ones I liked to work with.
It was Spring 2017 that I drew my very first floristry related illustration ‘Life as a Florist’ in my sketchbook. But it wasn’t until late winter 2018 that I began to draw and finally complete the series ‘Becoming a florist’ which caused a bit of ruckus! I really didn’t expect it to receive that much attention but actually now I see how it brings florists together for a giggle and the whole ‘me too’ thing, like 'I find leaves in my bra all the time too’ is so powerful and fascinating to me. And now I’m hooked into telling the story of florist life.
What mediums do you use in your art?
Right now, I’m very much in love with my iPad Pro. But ink drawing and watercolours are my other go-to’s. Oh and my moleskin sketchbook, when I draw in there, I’m reminded how important analog is to me and how I should draw with real life pens and pencils more often!
What time of day are you most productive creating your art?
At the moment it’s the mornings, it used to be very much evenings. But I really like the freshness of the mind in the morning, where I can just get on with drawing without much hesitation or questioning.
Overall, I try not to be too rigid, I’ve been there, done that! Now I just try work through things in whichever order it happens. And not give myself a hard time for not being productive all day, every day. It just doesn’t work like that for me. Also what’s funny is that most of my ideas come to me when I’m away from my work & doing something else, especially exercise.
Tip :: Always have a list of ideas going and to hand.
How do you showcase your artworks?
I post my artwork mainly on Instagram & Facebook, and I upload my print pieces up on my online shop.
I’d love to do a showcase IRL, where it brings a group florists/people together for interaction & reflection in real time.
What are you plans for the future?
Oh my gosh, I have a long list of things…
But here's a few that are at the top-
To expand the shop with new kinds of products, create an original series of art, start a comic book and to work on a creative collaboration would be pretty cool too!
We love. We dream. We laugh. We work our arses off (!) –
Sign up for Katies regular drawings & letters about florist life & what's new
You can also buy her artwork, which I truly think should adorn every florist shop wall in the land! You can purchase ‘Florist art’, ‘Floral art’ and beautiful ‘Greeting cards’ here
Kate has kindly offered our readers a very generous 15% discount on all artworks – USE CODE ‘FRAMESFORFLORISTS’
ADJUST YOUR CLOCKS
Before we say good bye to summer and the clocks go back –(27th October at 2am)
‘Loveliest castle in the world’
As we wave goodbye to summer, I wanted to take a look back at a fabulous job we were honored to be involved with at the beautiful Leeds castle in Kent. This year it celebrates its 900th anniversary. That is quite a milestone, right! So its no surprise there is going to be some celebrations involved.
We received a call from Louise, owner of Louise roots, head florist at Leeds castle, asking for some help to create a giant number 900 to stand on the lawn at the front of the castle.
Louise leads the concept, design and delivery of the Leeds Castle festival of flowers. We simply could not wait to be involved and see what flowers she was going to use for the design.
A bit about Louise:
Louise Roots is a double RHS Gold Award winning floral designer. She leads the large team of Leeds Castle Florists designing flowers for over 100 weddings, corporate functions and events every year as well as providing fresh flower displays to adorn the state rooms of Leeds Castle every day of the year. Her work also includes leading the concept, design and delivery of the Festival of Flowers. Louise's floristry team includes Alice Hambly, Julie Hart, Ruth Fagg, Paula Lowrey & Sharon Frankham.
Here is what was Louise did with the Giant 900. Can anyone guess how many flowers were used?
We asked Louise a few questions about life as florist and here’s what she had to say :
What influenced to becoming a florist?
I had always been artistic and was looking for a career that would be creative and could possibly lead to me being my own boss. My original plan was to go to art collage. One day I was looking through a college prospectus and came across a floristry section. I applied and started college fulltime for two years and never looked back. I left collage one day and started work the next.
How long have you been a florist?
18 years….I think?
How did you become Leeds castle head florist?
Leeds Castle has always had a florist and I used to work at the castle on a casual basis, helping with weddings and events. When the last florist retired, I applied for the role. I had three interviews and a practical test to gain the position. I started as the head florist at a time when the Castle was going through lots of changes and was increasing its hospitality business. Weddings and functions were now increasing and there were new possibilities.
In my second year I was asked if I would like to bring the flower festival back. We hadn’t had it for a while. This was my opportunity to make changes there and revamp the whole thing.
How many hours is your average working day?
I am contracted to work 37 1/2 hours a week. Being a busy wedding and event I need to be flexible. During busy times we will often work 7 days a week and take time off when we can. I find the busiest part of my role is the office side. Meeting with couples, planning their designs and working on quotes. When you are responsible for a busy department and staff averaging a 100 events a year, it can be difficult to switch off and do everything in your contracted hours so I often take work home.
What’s your favourite thing to do to unwind?
My husband and I both have busy work lives so it’s great to unwind and spend time together. If I am working weekends we will often catch up together by eating out or going to watch live music. We have two grown up children, Ben 26 and Alex 22 and love spending time with them, friends and family.
My little pride and joy is my Cockapoo, Rosie Rebel. Weekend walks and pubs lunches with Rosie and the family is always great. I am lucky to have great friends and family .We all catch up when we can.
I love being outside anywhere and gardening. I am in my element in a garden centre somewhere.
Look out for next years festival of flowers 12th-16th September. Book tickets here https://www.leeds-castle.com/What%E2%80%99s+On/Festival%20of%20Flowers/Festival+of+Flowers/
Thank you for reading our blog and we hope you enjoy the month ahead.
If you have anything you would like mentioned in our November blog, please email to us at email@example.com before 18th October.
SHORT STORY – For your amusement
‘The ghost at home’
“Last night a friend rushed me out of the house to catch the opening act at a local bar’s music night. After a few drinks I realized my phone wasn’t in my pocket. I checked the table we were sitting at, the bar, the bathrooms, and after no luck I used my friend’s phone to call mine. After two rings someone answered, gave out a low raspy giggle, and hung up. They didn’t answer again. I eventually gave it up as a lost cause and headed home. I found my phone laying on my nightstand, right where I left it.”
Fly high, witches!
All my love, Cassandra xx