Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pretending to Be a Florist

Hi, my name is Cindy, and I'm a pretender. [Chorus: Hiiiii Cindyyyy.]
I like to masquerade as a real occupation to satisfy my own creative urges, frequently subjecting my friends to my amateur efforts, at least until I'm found out.

For example, as I mentioned before, I like playing graphic designer. I am not actually a graphic designer. I don't own a legit copy of Photoshop. Shoot, I don't even own a non-legit copy of Photoshop. I've never used Illustrator or CorelDRAW and frankly, I'm not even sure what exactly they do. But when a friend asked me to help her make wedding stationary, I happily jumped in to make programs and menus and all without know what I was doing. Thankfully, this friend was very gracious and patient with my earnest, if slightly subpar, efforts. I didn't learn and went on to do my own invitations, somehow making do with only a five-minute lesson from my sister on using GIMP.

Then, a month or so out from the wedding last weekend, I blithely volunteered to do the florals when the bride told our women's prayer group about how much a real florist wanted to charge. I was pretty sure I could do it for less, and how hard could it be to tie some ribbons around some flowers? I'd already done flowers for my own wedding (but that was just baby's breath bouquets bought from Albertson's the day before), after all. Well, thankfully, right after I committed, I thought better of it and asked my sister, who is an amazing artist, to fly down and help me out. I promised that we would go to Jimmy Eat World together if she would assist with the flowers.

Friday morning before the wedding we went to the wholesale flower market to get roses, filler, floral tape, pins and ribbon. We cleared off the kitchen table, filled the sink with water, and started unwrapping the flowers; it looked like a rose bush (and a fern plant and a baby's breath bush) had exploded in our kitchen.
Walnut was shocked by the explosion of flowers.
Sitting in my crisper drawer.
We decided to start with making the corsages and bouts, naively thinking that working with one rose at a time would be easier than several, right? Wrong! We quickly realized that we had no idea how to secure the ferny bits to the leafy bits (which we had to tear off of the roses themselves, not having thought to buy actual leaves) without them flopping we resorted to tape on their backs, hoping that no one from the wedding party would turn them over to see the ghetto-rrificness. Also, we didn't have a real corsage box so we delivered them in a Marie Callender's pie box taped with a sign reading "FLOWERS. DO NOT EAT."

Trashcan full of floral debris.

After a Chicken McNugget break (we are nothing if not uniformly non-high-class), we turned to the bouquets, which actually turned out to be much easier. Of course, that's because we are from the "let's just keep adding flowers until it looks better" school of thought. I'm sure real florists would've been appalled at our methods; we ended up using masking tape instead of floral tape because it worked better. At the end of the day, we concluded that should we ever start a business, it would be named the oh-so-promising "Oh Well, It's Good Enough," or possibly "Dangit, That Wasn't Supposed to Happen."

This actually pretty well encapsulates what most of our projects are like. I love working with my sister because we always have so much fun, simply because of how much we don't know about what we're doing. Every time we do something, whether it's experimenting with baking (brown butter bacon cookies, anyone?), sewing plushies, or painting a mural for our room, I am guaranteed to have a ridiculous time. I feel so lucky to have a sister with whom I can collaborate and produce great good enough art. Anyway, enough wibbling, here's what the final flowers looked like!
The bride's bouquet. Photography by Orange Turtle Photography.
Emily and I didn't know what the long stringy green things were, so we called them chives throughout the bouquet-assembly process. Photography by Orange Turtle Photography.

We made it up to Walnut later by letting him have a rose to play with.


  1. Aww... yay sisters. Nicely done.

  2. REALLY nicely done!! love the seductive walnut pose at the end :P

  3. dude those flowers are so good!

  4. DIY, while often imperfect, is one of the best things we can do for others. Your experiment turned out great and your cat looks mighty dashing with a rose. ;-) Love those felines.

  5. my menu and program looked great! even without photoshop. i also believe in "good enough" for some projects.

  6. @Claire Sisters are indeed the best. Thanks for commenting!

    @Carrie B Walnut accepts your compliment with the customary feline indifference. I, however, am humanly grateful. Thanks for affirming my DIY efforts!

    @melissa Thanks for letting me be a part of your wedding in that way! I really did enjoy making your programs and things and am glad that you, too, are of the good enough school of thought.


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