Celebrate the joys of your life with Joie de Vivre.

Joie de Vivre brings freelance floral design to your Northshore or New Orleans event. We meet, discuss your vision and collaborate to make your floral idea a reality. Having just moved home to Louisiana, Covington is now the place we call home. Prior to our move, we've celebrated many weddings and events at the Salish Lodge, Snoqualmie Ridge Golf Course and other wonderful venues in the Seattle area.

No storefront means no overhead for me and better prices for you. It also means that flowers are purchased for you and only you, allowing you to benefit from the freshest possible product. Attention and creativity is poured into making your event a memorable one, not just some pretty flowers in a vase.


While Joie de Vivre is my business and design is my passion, it all starts with the flower. Hope you enjoy my many ramblings.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Au revoir Snoqualmie Valley (for now)

Our North Bend home's back yard
While I know that brevity is always appreciated, this is one entry that simply cannot be condensed.   After many years of talking about moving home to the New Orleans area, it finally became a reality.  We’ve talked about moving so much, it became a running joke in my mind and I finally accepted that this is home for now.  So I stepped out of my comfort zone and created Joie de Vivre, allowing me to share my passion for unique floral design with others.  Of course, once things are moving along peachy keen, the opportunity to move for a year presented itself.  That’s how life is, don’t you think?

So we’ve moved and Joie de Vivre will move as well—to an area where people can easily pronounce it and also appreciate its meaning.

Olallie Park, our daily hike
Leaving the valley was a bittersweet move.  Saying goodbye to friends is never an easy task and saying goodbye to the place we’ve called our home proved to be difficult as well.  But this blog is about flowers and the majesty of nature, so I will stay focused.
Over the past nine years, I have slowly been converted from city girl to outdoors girl.  The most expensive pair of shoes I own to date is a pair of hiking boots!  While happy hour is something this girl still enjoys, I have come to appreciate scuba and snowboarding and hiking, not to mention simply adoring the view in my own backyard.

Becoming a floral designer has opened my eyes in so many ways to the beauty of nature.  Part of me wants to say that this is God’s country, but you know, God’s country is everywhere.  You just have to adjust your perspective and open your eyes.

My budding flower girl
I’ve had the pleasure of walking two to seven miles a day with my puppies, husband and now my daughter.  It’s been fascinating to observe the rhythms of nature.  From getting soaked in the never-ending winter drizzle and gazing at the mountains trying to peak out of the dense clouds, to getting covered in snow, struggling to walk in snowshoes and hunting for Christmas trees in the forest (with a hot toddy of course), to observing the cherry blossoms of spring and hearing the birds chirping happily in the mornings, to the graduation to summer and the flood of vibrant foxgloves and daisies along the roads, to finally, the colorful leaves and berries of fall, there’s always something beautiful to behold. (My apologies for the never ending sentence.)  I am eternally grateful for this wonderful gift I’ve had to live in such an amazing place and the eyes to appreciate this myriad of gifts we enjoy on a daily basis.

Our first adventure in our new state
My blog is titled Ramblings of a Flower Girl for a reason, right?  Well, I am happy to say that my ramblings will indeed continue as I continue my journey with nature and exploration with flowers.  I hope that you will join me.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Just one more...




The project:
A farm style garden wedding
                                           




The advantage:
A bride that likes everything

    
                                                                                         
 The challenge:
a bride that likes everything

I knew this would prove to be a lovely wedding, but initially I didn’t realize how challenging it would be.  With dahlias being the bride’s signature flower, my curiosity regarded the color palate.  As we toured the Fall City dahlia garden, I quickly discovered that she liked all colors and flowers.  You name it; she loved it—from corally peach cactus dahlias to fiery red orange bi-colors to deep burgundy waterlily dahlias to giant sunflowers and everything in-between, this lady loved it all. With each row of gorgeous dahlias we walked, she continued to add another favorite (I like that and I like that and I like that).  My challenge: to harmonize the very wide variety she liked.

The solution—themes

Since she requested that each table be donned with two centerpieces, going with table themes allowed me to incorporate the many colors she liked without putting them so close that they would clash. To further create that farm style she was looking for, local apples, blackberries and grapes (from the bride’s yard) were gathered and creatively harmonized with similar dahlia colors.
The result—to quote a guest—a Garden of Eden experience.  I can’t think of a better complement.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Beauty in the shadow of Mt. Rainier

 
While floral design is my passion, there is no design without the flower.  That said, my blog is committed to beautiful flowers as well as beautiful design.  I can’t help but share photos from our amazing adventure.    I heard through the grapevine that Mt. Rainier was THE PLACE for wildflowers, so I put it on my bucket list.  As luck would have it, due to our long winter and nonexistent summer, the wildflowers were late!

This was the most awe inspiring hike I’ve ever that the opportunity to experience.  The sea of vivid wildflowers, beautiful lakes,  lingering snow,  intoxicating fragrance, the most amazing warm blue sky day, and let’s not forget the big guy in the distance—Mt. Rainier, simply put, took my breath away.

I am lucky to live in such an amazing area, I thought I saw amazing things and I certainly did, but this was on a whole new level.  Meadows, there were meadows covering entire hillsides that smiled with  lupines, columbine, lilies, asters and so many wonderful things I have yet to identify.

 I’m a Southern girl; there are no mountains or rolling hills where I’m from.  I’ve never seen a meadow.  I grew up with bayous and swamps and majestic oak trees---a different kind of beauty altogether.  As I experience the Pacific Northwest, I am happy to say that each of the wonderful places makes me appreciate the other even more.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Under the sea or through the woods?

When I gaze at this photo, it takes me down in the Puget Sound about 100 feet.  It’s reminiscent of an amazing invertebrate dancing in the water, dazzling me with its bioluminescence.  But the truth is that there was no SCUBA involved in capturing the essence of this beauty.

This mysterious life is indeed a flower emerging through the forest floor.  After scavenging books and google to discover its name, I learned this enigmatic flower is commonly known as Indian Pipe.  This fascinating botanical lacks chlorophyll, thus explaining its stark appearance.  This deep in the forest with such limited light, it’s amazing that any kind of flower can survive.  I'm so thrilled to have discovered it. 


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Boeing Classic

We were so excited to earn the business of the Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.  This year, the Seattle Seahawks requested flowers to deck their tents and we delivered.  The only guideline was small white vases and green flowers.  Being so tired of seeing blah round mounds of flowers in vases, we were determined to do something different.

Since there were so many pieces to do, why did they all need to be the same?  Keeping with the same collection of flowers, the style varied slightly.  When you’re working with ornithogalum, you have flexible stems—it would be crazy not to take full advantage of that cool trait. So some pieces let those crazy stems meander every which way, while others we manipulated to bend to our ways.  The result?  No round mounds here!



Monday, August 15, 2011

Wildflowers and Weeds



Most days, my daughter and I try to squeeze in a walk.  We live in such a scenic area of North Bend, it’s a sin not to take advantage of nature’s majesty.  So I devised a new challenge for myself.  Create a bouquet with nothing other than flowers and foliage found on our walk.  By the end of the walk, it looked as if I had a handful of weeds, but in the end, the creation wasn’t half bad. 


Yes it’s simple, but I realize that crazy out of the box design isn’t for everyone.  Some brides want to carry a simple bouquet down the aisle.  It doesn’t get more simple than a few wildflowers organized into a neat little bouquet.  


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sensational Seasonals

When you think of summer flowers, what vision of beauty comes to mind? Delicious dinnerplate dahlias?  Sumptuious hydrangeas?  Delicate sweet peas?  All those flowers are fabulous, and I admired all of those beauties when I visited my local supplier, but what really made an impression were the cobra lilies. 
Yes, I said cobra lilies, but no, they are not actually  lilies.  They are nicknamed cobra lilies for the way the flower resembles the hood of an Indian Cobra (think snake charmer).  These beauties are part of the pitcher plant family—carnivorous flowers.  With a diet consisting of insects, these exotic flowers can be found in the U.S.—closer than you think—California and Oregon.  I actually have a plant in my backyard; whether it survives our Northwest winter is another story.  I have to say that I am less concerned about about the snakes living near me, even though they are only garter snakes.


Monday, August 1, 2011

A good reason to frequently check your junk folder



Don’t always assume that only unsolicited email goes into your junk folder. I randomly checked mine and low and behold, there was an email with wedding photos.  I’ve been trying to get these for over a year now.  Timing has never been quite right and I had just about given up.  I’m so glad to be able to share them now.  Special thanks to Nostalgia for providing them.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Challenging oneself

My goal as a floral designer constantly revolves around creating beautiful innovative pieces while avoiding mediocrity.  When the product is so beautiful to begin with, it is easy to fall into the rut of just putting flowers in a vase and calling it good.  While it’s good enough for some, it’s never good enough for me.

This is an attempt at pushing the envelope.  These leftover flowers having been sitting in bucket, withering away, just begging to be transformed into something more.  I recognized and accepted the challenge and a challenge it was. 

The result--  a work of art?  Probably not.  A big mess?   Possibly.   But the point of the exercise is to travel outside that plain old vase.    Based on that thought, mission accomplished!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Resilience

My pretty pink peonies finally popped and were soon after pounded by a deluge of rain.  Needless to say, the beautiful and delicate blossoms looked as though they had seen better days.
Yet after that same rainstorm this amazing tiger lily managed to survive with little visible stress.   This beauty captured my attention while walking the Iron Horse Trail. While most people enjoy the amazing mountain views and rock climbing the trail offers, my eyes are always glued to the foliage, searching for beautiful new things sprouting on the scene.  I’ve only seen lilies in my garden, in flower shops, and in books, but never growing in the wild.  I couldn’t believe I saw a wild lily!  The icing on the cake was that it was fragrant—what a surprise!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Euro Lounge

We were so excited to discover that North Bend has added a crepe shop to its collection of coffee shops and eateries.  Simon and I can’t get enough of the Euro Lounge.  I kid you not, we’ve been there at least three times this week.  Just a few doors down from the infamous Tweedes, Euro Lounge  will be your new favorite destination.  Whether you are experiencing an undeniable sweet tooth or just a need to relax with a cup of coffee, check it out.  You will be sure to be greeted with warm hospitality and wonderful treats.  
You might even see my flowers while you are at it.  I had a wonderful time designing these pieces.  When you find cool containers like these, its amazing how easily the inspiration flows!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bienvenue

Welcome

While Joie de Vivre is my business and floral design is my passion, it all starts with the flower.  Everywhere you turn it is possible to find nature’s beauty-- whether it be carnivorous flora flown in from Timbuktu at our local flower market, in an exotic design at a luxurious hotel lobby or a wonderful floral discovery on a leisurely afternoon hike.

 Sometimes we move so fast we miss the beauty that is right under our nose.  I hope that as this flower girl rambles away, my passion for nature’s beauty will be contagious.  Soon enough, you too will feel the same passion I feel upon discovering something beautiful.  So please, take a moment and smell the gardenia, or peony or honeysuckle or whatever flower it is that you are admiring.  Chances are, for that fleeting moment, that intoxicating fragrance will transport you to another world and bring a smile to your face (or it might make you sneeze if you are allergic or gasp if it’s skunk cabbage—but in any case it will make you smile and you will remember that moment…)
Joie de vivre translates to joy of living and I hope to bring that same joie de vivre to you through the art and beauty of flowers.