Fun at the sale

Last Saturday we had a great Airplant sale!  So many folks came out to buy airplants, make airplant terrariums and branch designs and chat it up with us at Gorgeous and Green.  It was a fun time all around and I hope to offer more opportunities to get the community creating! Many people brought their own glass jars and containers to make airplant homes.  What a great way to give new life to old things:

And of course some of the best creative expertise came from the young people who participated:

 

Thanks to all that came, and don't hesitate to get on our email list if you want to hear more about our quarterly events. In Green and Fun, G&G

A Vintage Jewel of a Wedding

I just posted a blog on The Knot's Green Weddings website, about a wedding I helped with last year.  I am reposting it here to share the gorgeous colors and designs that we came up with!  Enjoy!
Photography by Amy Ellis
Gorgeous and Green had the fortune of being able to help decorate a grand affair at the Piedmont Community Center, and the outcome was fantastic. I whole-heartedly reccomend Community Centers for events when a budget is on the line. And when you spend less on the venue you have all the more budget to spend on flowers and decor!
Photography by Amy Ellis
The bride was looking for a vintage inspired decor using a lot of greens and vivid jewel tones. We rented what we could and used as many local flowers as possible. 
The bridesmaids wore dresses that were dyed at home, and I was able to get a hold of some of the dyed material to wrap the bouquets and boutonnieres.  
Photography by Amy Ellis
Photography by Amy Ellis
The Bride and her Maid of Honor loved succulents and made cute little planted succulent punch glasses as gifts for guests to take home. They went wonderfully with the fern and succulent displaysGorgeous and Green created for some of the table centerpieces.
 
Photography by Amy Ellis
 
It turned out very romantic and classy. I love Vintage! Besides the fact that a vintage look is fabulous, it is also a great way to use used and recycled items! Way to be green!
 
Photography by Amy Ellis
 
Gorgeous!
In Green and Health,

Recycled Silver Jewelry at Gorgeous and Green

At the Gorgeous and Green Boutique we are offering some recycled silver jewelry from Licky Drake.  Her pieces are vintage and rustic, and of course eco-friendly.  She uses 100% recycled fine silver for her pieces including her winged heart necklace and winged heart ring and vintage monograms.   All three are featured at the boutique currently. I asked Licky to share a few thoughts with us so we could better understand her art and decision to make jewelry out of recycled materials: 1. What is your artistic background and specialty? For as long as I can remember I’ve been making things. I have had a myriad of artistic interests- ceramics, painting, mixed media sculpture, photography, but I chose surface design as my major in college. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I switched gears and became fixated on jewelry. 2. Why do you offer jewelry made from recycled materials? It is very rewarding to know that no new silver is mined to make my jewelry. Because my silver is reclaimed it is so neat to think my finished pieces had a previous life. For instance, my Gathered Wings ring www.etsy.com/listing/56846368/gathered-wings-custom-size-ring-in, it was like the design was already embedded in the silver and just needed me to form it. Sometimes I believe I’m not an artist at all, merely a catalyst. 3. In what other way are you ecologically minded? I use hand made soap & shampoo bars without chemicals and I try to buy upcycled items like my tote bag made from an old coffee bean burlap sack that I take to the store so I can avoid using plastic bags. I feel the most important way I can contribute is supporting local farmers so I buy vegetables, fruits, honey, fish, bread, and freshly cut flowers from the farmer’s market on Saturdays. And I’m lucky to live where you can still get organic blackstrap molasses! 4. Out of everything you make, what item is your favorite? My favorite piece would be my Serenity Ring www.etsy.com/listing/61134840/serenity-ring-in-eco-friendly-reclaimed because it reminds me of the sea, with waves tattooed on the band and edges curved to mimic the ever-changing surface of the water. Each is made by hand so every one resonates its own charm. I lived in the Bahamas right on the crystal blue ocean for 8 years and this ring makes me feel a little closer to it. Do come by Gorgeous and Green if you like Licky's jewelry and ethic. In Green and Health, G&G

In the Gorgeous and Green Boutique #1

The boutique is taking up a good amount of my time these days.  But that's not a bad thing, mostly because I've been trying my hardest to create and find event more vintage and recycled goodness that fills the heart and shares my design sense with customers and onlookers. I have been producing a few items for Valentine's Day that I will share with you shortly, but first, I'd like to show you a few of my latest Tillandsia Gardens in recycled glass bottles. I love Tillandsia, because I can tuck it in nifty places and wire it to things, and it adds such a natural flavor and great lines.  These little bottled guys are available in my shop and cost between 19 and 35 dollars, depending on the bottle and amount of plants.  These plants were grown not far from Fresno, although they are native to Central and South America.

They are really cute.  Because they are in a bottle, they need special care, but I can give you the shpeel when you come in or (soon) when you order them off the website. In Green and Health, G&G

Thanksgiving Centerpieces and green thanks

Photos courtesy of Corduroy Media I recently shared some pics and some thoughts with the Allison Beck, an editor of a website in NYC called The Daily Meal.  They showcased some Thanksgiving themed centerpieces that my assistant Celia and I worked on for Gorgeous and Green.    I also answered some questions about sustainable arrangements and Thanksgiving.  Take a look at some thoughts I shared in the article: When creating centerpieces for Thanksgiving, what inspires you? Pilar: With any of my arrangements, I always look to what is locally in season. Follow the seasons around you to find colors and themes; in the fall to use browns and yellows and reds, because as plants and leaves die, we get to see some magnificent colors. Squash is also prevalent, so we see the use of pumpkins and gourds and squash in a lot of displays and arrangements. Pilar, what about creating stunning centerpieces, without breaking the bank? In a lot of my arrangements, I use vintage and reused containers and items that a lot of people may have around their house but never thought to combine with flowers or plants—I love unique containers. Sometimes an old gravy boat, candy dish or an old bird cage make for a stunning display. Plus, it's all about reusing and reinventing and that means it's also eco-friendly. Pilar, what are some "green" floral decorating tips that people should remember when purchasing materials? In addition to reusing and buying local/in season, it's also important that people pay attention to pesticides, organics and fair trade as well. As with food, flowers can be sprayed with a lot of toxic chemicals that affect everyone involved, from the cultivators of the flower to those who cut, sell, arrange and end up enjoying its beauty. I try to use as many growers as possible who don't use sprays, so that we can have fewer toxins that affect our people and the earth. Fair trade is also important to think about, and is directly linked to the health of communities and the environment. Hopefully, when you buy local or fair trade, you are supporting businesses who can then support and pay their employees fairly. Hopefully if you are going to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, you can remember to show your thanks in the many actions it takes to put something like a dinner or gathering together, and all the people and the planet that is touched by our actions, every day. In Green and Health, G&G

Gorgeous and Green Deliveries!

I have been doing a lot of gorgeous deliveries for Gorgeous and Green, my new sustainable floral boutique in Berkeley, CA.  It's been hard to remember to take pics, but on occasion I do, and so I have some pics to show you here from past deliveries. Most of my delivery clients are word of mouth, as of now I don't have an online shopping platform, but I hope to get something set up soon. Here is a pic of an arrangement I did for a local Oakland customer: And here's one I did for a Mother's Day arrangement.  The customer wanted as many organic flowers as possible so I included some organic snapdragons, greens and roses I grew!  It was also peony season (a short lived 4 weeks somewhere between April and May) so we had some lovely local bubblegum peonies too.  It was all packaged in a recycled glass vase I carry here in the store. Another arrangement, but this one is actually a living terrarium made with succulents.   I made it by request for a mom who wanted to give something living to her daughter on her birthday.  I love the way the gnarled wood looks in the glass. As always, trying to stay gorgeous and green with reused materials, biodegradable materials and local and organic flowers and plants.  This cylinder was actually left reused from a past event and the wrapping I used was recycled paper and cotton ribbon.  You gotta love biodegradable ribbon!  That plastic/polyester stuff is  bad news. In Green and Health, G&G

Simple Green and Light on the Budget

I just posted a short picture story of a wedding I did a few weeks ago that was very local, very sustainable.   We used locally grown flowers, vintage vases, and I even used a leftover piece of beautiful sage ribbon to tie up the bride's bouquet.  We kept spending low but elegance was high...

Photo by Terry McCarthy tmcphotography.com

Read more about this wedding at my other blog location on the Knot's Green.Weddings.com website. I have many more weddings and pics to include, so I'll be posting in the coming weeks, stay tuned. In Green and Health, G&G

Opening a sustainable retail shop

Hi all, I've been busy.  I haven't been posting regularly because I've been working on opening up a retail shop in Berkeley!  I plan to keep you updated on the process and what opening a sustainable and eco-friendly retail shop entails.  So far, I have the location.  Now it's time for all the paint, furniture, fixtures, stock, etc. As if I'm not crazy enough, we're going to do it in two weeks.  I plan to have the shop open the first week of February.  I'll be selling local and organic flowers and plants, handmade recycled and sustainable gifts and eco-friendly cards. Our Grand Opening Party is February 4th from 6-9pm, come on down if you're in the bay area and check it out! In Green and Health, G&G

The Green details of a Green Wedding

More green in a Summer Wedding

Over the summer I worked with Meredith and Ben on their outside wedding at a local community center.  I just recently posted some great details of how they infused green and sustainable into their event on The Knot's Green Wedding Website.  Take a look:

green.weddings.com

Event and Floral design by Gorgeous and Green Events

Photography by Sean Donnelly Photography

 

In Green and Health, G&G

More Green Stuff from my Knot guest blog

Guest Blogging for The Knot's Green Wedding Blog

Here's an excerpt from my first post on that blog and some great pics: The Knot's Green Wedding Blog From the looks of things, Kelly and Mark's wedding was super elegant, but not without a lot of green and sustainable influence. I asked Kelly to tell us about the green decisions she made: The Gown "My dress was a sample gown from encorebridal.com. Instead of purchasing a brand new gown (and probably made of synthetic fibers in my price range), I was able to attain a somewhat used gown that had outlived its use for the showroom, but was great for me! I would highly recommend this to any bride looking for a designer gown on a budget. I really didn't care that it was used. In fact, I preferred it used because I was one less bride demanding the production of another gown. I will wear the gown only once, anyway. Floral and Event Design And finally, we had absolutely beautiful flowers and decorations! :) Finding sustainable flowers for the wedding was extremely important to me. As I began looking into floral designs, I started to wonder about these flowers that seemed so easy to obtain, though I knew that a lot of them were out of season. That snowballed into research on flower growing, labor involvement in other countries (South America particularly), pesticide use, the amount of fuel required to transport out of season flowers from a country in South America to a wedding in San Francisco. None of this made sense to me. To use so much fuel transporting flowers, chemical pesticides (that are not regulated in other countries) that put the environment and people at risk, just for my wedding, didn't sit well. I really hoped that the 'green movement' had already extended to florists, but it really hasn't yet, though its starting to, which is awesome. I was so happy to find Pilar online. I had talked to other florists who were willing to find organic and local flowers for me, but I really wanted to work with someone who was absolutely committed to the idea, not just a bride's wish. For eco-friendly flower design we use vases made of recycled glass for the centerpieces and large arrangements, locally grown flowers and greens, biodegradable ribbons made of cotton and hemp, we totally avoided floral foam, composted all leftovers, recycled and used rented and reusable vases and hurricanes.

Thanks again to Kelly for her great background about her wedding and to Lucie XYZ Photography for the great pics. Check out the whole blog for more of the story. In green and Health, G&G