Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Art in Bloom 2014

Nature's Bones Floral Interpretation
Nature's Bones
We’ve said before that floral design is an art and recently we once again had the opportunity to pair our flowery art with its more traditional counterpart, paintings and mixed media designs at the Cheltenham Center of the Arts’ second annual Art in Bloom, Floral Interpretations of Paintings.

For this year’s April 26th event five talented Stein Your Florist Co. designers, as well as several more of the Philadelphia area’s floral artists exhibited their floriated interpretations of a variety of masterfully created paintings and mixed media art pieces at the CCA’s exhibit.

Stein Your Florist Co. owner/operator and designer Patrick Kelly chose to interpret “Nature’s Bones” by Paul Gorka. He created the floral portion of his design with blue delphinium, dendrobium orchids, Spanish moss and pothos. His design used a lot of mixed medias, awarding him Best in Show for mixed media design. The drift wood at the base was from his own backyard as well as the tall pussy willow branches. The tree branches and small pinecones were gathered from the grounds around the art center, the stones were from the pond in our flower shop, the large pinecones were from a trip to Yosemite State Park and the resin skull was a local flea market find. Patrick had a wonderful time creating his piece and said that the painting was the first one to catch his eye upon entering the art center.
Untitled 1 Floral Interpretation
Untitled 1

Stein Your Florist Co. designer George Emberger chose to interpret “Untitled 1” by Edwina Brennan. He said he was drawn to the pops of natural color and wispy freedom juxtaposed to the linear grid work in the design. George constructed his own three-dimensional grid of river cane with floral bursts of color in roses, tulips, pincushion protea, solidego, Spanish moss, ferns, seeded eucalyptus, and sprays of bear grass.

Road of the Flower Floral Interpretation
Road of the Flower
George also hosted a behind the scenes seminar before the main Art in Bloom exhibit. He did a live interpretation of “Road of the Flower” by Merle Spandorfer, designing for an audience, answering questions, and describing his interpretive process while he created his art piece. He chose a bold black container and curvaceous black branches to make the “road” of the painting pop in his design. The painting’s colors were picked up in the flowers George used:  ginger, gerbera daisies, alstroemeria, chrysanthemums, leptospermum, and springeri. The painting’s creator was there for the live demonstration and was fascinated by George’s interpretation and design process.

Living Room - Fort Lauderdale 1995 Floral Interpretation
Living Room - Fort Lauderdale 1995
Co-operations manager of our Burlington, NJ location and designer Jessica Kelly chose to interpret “Living Room – Fort Lauderdale 1995” by Howard Silberthau. She was drawn to this painting’s deceptive simplicity, appearing as a blank canvas from afar but boasting wonderful detail and linear precision up close. Jessica chose to interpret the painting as an unfinished canvas, paying homage to the evening’s theme and created her floral design as an unfinished painting itself. Working with liatris, roses, lilies, hydrangea, cymbidium orchids, gladiolus, iris, larkspur, bells of Ireland, and peacock feathers (a signature piece in many of Jessica’s designs) she created a massive arrangement to compliment the painting’s equally massive size. Some of the arrangement’s flowers were hand painted to convey the idea of a work in progress and it was accented with brushes, a painter’s palette, a paint splattered drop cloth and other painter’s tools to finish the effect. Jessica’s design was awarded Most Creative Floral Interpretation of a Painting.
Under the Microscope Floral Interpretation
Under the Microscope

Co-operations manager of our Burlington, NJ location, head of social media and designer Jennifer Kelly chose to interpret “Under the Microscope” by Barbara Straussberg. Jennifer, who has a bachelor’s degree in bioscience and biotechnology from Drexel University, said that “this painting reminded [her] of [her] college days in the lab, staring into a microscope at the various minute wonders of a world we rarely get to see.” Playing on the “under the microscope” theme Jennifer created her design as three oversized microscope slides, complete with labels and floral specimens. The “Succulent Plantae Sp.” slide was designed with live succulent plants, fresh cut pin cushion protea, and accented with Spanish and reindeer moss and dried foliage. The “Amaryllis Hippeastrum, c.s.” slide was made with roses, pincushion protea, hyacinth blooms wired as though floral flagellum, eucalyptus, hypericum berries, tulips, cut succulents, reindeer moss, floral pods, and a cross-section of an amaryllis bulb. Finally, the “Punica Granatum, c.s.” slide was created with tulips, amaryllis, roses, pincushion protea, cut succulents, ranunculus, reindeer moss, loops of hypericum berries, Brussel sprouts, savoy cabbage, purple cabbage, and a cross-section of a pomegranate. Jennifer had the opportunity to meet the painting’s creator and she was blown away by her floral interpretation. Jennifer was awarded Best in Show for Fun and Fantastic Design.

Ruby and Friends Floral Interpretation
Ruby and Friends
Our final representation from Stein Your Florist Co. was created by freelance designer Denise Emberger, who chose to interpret “Ruby and Friends” by Gillian Bedford. Loving the beach, Denise focused not on the children in the painting, but on their surroundings. She stacked bubble bowls, mimicking the frothy waves of the ocean, atop a piece of driftwood and filled them with seashells, starfish and mosses resembling kelp and other sea life. She completed her design with beautiful green cymbidium orchids, pincushion protea and a large spray of bear grass that looked as though it was plucked from the sand dunes.

Our designers have been invited back to participate in the CCA’s event once again next spring. Two weeks prior we will draw for spots to select from the art on display and plan our designs. We are looking forward to another inspirational affair and we hope you will join us.

Follow updates for next year's event by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.

Stein Your Florist Co. designer Jennifer Kelly adding the finishing touches to her flora interpretation of  Under the Microscope
Stein Your Florist Co. designer Jennifer Kelly adding the
finishing touches to her flora interpretation of  Under the Microscope

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Art in Bloom

Floral design is an art in itself. A knife or floral shears are our brushes, the flowers our paints, and a vase, a basket, the entire world is our canvas. We paint and sculpt with fresh blooms, creating magnificent masterpieces; our floral designs flow like lyrical sonnets. Some have referred to floral design as a craft, but it is indeed an art.

"Woman Eating Ice Cream" by Jane Rovins
interpreted by Patrick Kelly

Last April the Cheltenham Center for the Arts presented their first annual event, Art in Bloom, Floral Interpretations of Paintings. Four talented Stein Your Florist Co. designers, as well as several more of the Philadelphia area’s floral artists exhibited their floriated interpretations of a variety of masterfully created paintings and mixed media art pieces at the CCA’s exhibit.

Stein Your Florist Co. owner/operator and designer Patrick Kelly choose to interpret “Woman Eating Ice Cream” by Jane Rovins. He created his design with birds of paradise, orange asiatic lilies, and blue roses with accents of limonium and tropical foliage. His use of colors picked up on the painting beautifully and the choice of exotic birds of paradise paid homage to the woman’s ethnic headdress, also accented by the traditional African cloth he draped across the pedestal. We had the pleasure of speaking with the artist at the exhibit and she told us the story of the woman she saw at a cafĂ© that inspired her painting. It was a joy meeting her and having the opportunity to appreciate each other’s art.

"Shaman Shapeshifting" by Rebekah Higgins
interpreted by Jessica Kelly 


Co-operations manager of our Burlington, NJ location and designer Jessica Kelly choose to interpret “Shaman Shapeshifting” by Rebekah Higgins. She was drawn to this painting, whose colors are not typically found in the floral world, and accepted the challenge of the interpretation. Imagining the world this painted creature must have come from, Jessica created it in miniature. Lush succulents were carefully planted amongst a faux deer antler and accented by fresh white calla lilies, veronica, curly willow, bits of wax flower and seeded eucalyptus. We also had the pleasure of meeting this artist, who was thrilled with Jessica’s interpretation (she snapped about a million photos of it) and this floral piece was purchased by one of the attendees to help raise funds for the CCA’s cause.
 
 


"The Quandry" by Rob Kasprzak
interpreted by Jennifer Kelly
Co-operations manager of our Burlington, NJ location, head of social media and designer Jennifer Kelly choose to interpret “The Quandry” by Bob Kasprzak. The painting is indicative of her style with its eclectic and lavish features. Drawing on the worldly elements of the painting, Jennifer added her own diverse elements to her piece, including a globe, a Quan Yin statue, pottery from China and saris from India. The arrangement was positioned to be an extension of the painting, as though the woman was gazing at it and created to look as if it could be in the room with her. The flowers used included roses, hydrangea, delphinium, heather, hypericum berries, cymbidium and dendrobium orchids, solidego, stock, hanging amaranthus and eucalyptus. Stands of crystals and jewels were added for an extravagant feel. This piece was awarded Best in Show for Mix Media Design for 2013’s Art in Bloom exhibit.
 
 
"Stress Relief and Beauty"
by Ydalinda Oliviera
interpreted by Michelle Erikson
Our final representation from Stein Your Florist Co. was created by designer Michelle Erikson. Michelle choose to interpret “Stress Relief and Beauty” by Ydalinda Oliviera, a mixed media piece. Michelle loved the lines of this artwork and aimed to capture that in her floral design. The graceful curve of the flamingo’s neck is mirrored by the arrangement’s armature of larkspur and snapdragon. The body of the bird was recreated in protea, antherium, cymbidium orchids and more snapdragon with background accents of tropical foliage and craspedia balls. The vase was filled with delphinium to represent the watery habitat of the flamingo.
Our designers have been invited back to participate in the CCA’s event once again. Two weeks prior we will draw for spots to select from the art on display and plan our designs. This year’s event is even more poignant with the Philadelphia Flower Show being held in early March boasting a theme of Articulture, pairing with area art museums for an Art in Bloom style event of their own. We are looking forward to another inspirational affair and we hope you will join us.
This year’s Art in Bloom will be on Saturday, April 26, 2014, 5-7pm and includes an her d’oeuvres, wine & beer reception.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.cheltenhamarts.org or call 215.379.4660.
All proceeds benefit the educational outreach programs at the CCA!

Follow updates for this year's event by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

365 Days of Floral Education - Days 361 - 365

As part of our 125th Anniversary celebration at Stein Your Florist Co. we are sharing a year of floral education, November 1, 2012 thru October 31, 2013. Each day we will post something new on our Facebook page to share our knowledge of our favorite things, flowers and plants and we'll be updating our blog every 5 days or so. No need for pencils and notebooks, just sharing some simple lessons in floristry.

Day 361 – One informal experiment has indicated that Cattails or Typha are able to remove arsenic from drinking water. The boiled rootstocks have been used as a diuretic for increasing urination, or mashed to make a jelly-like paste for sores, boils, wounds, burns, scabs, and smallpox pustules.



Day 362 – Cattail seeds have a high linoleic acid content and can be used to feed cattle and chickens. They are frequently eaten by wetland mammals such as muskrats, which may also use them to construct feeding platforms and dens. Birds use the seed hairs as nest lining.


Day 363 – The outer portion of young Cattail plants can be peeled and the heart can be eaten raw or boiled and eaten like asparagus. This food has been popular among the Cossacks in Russia, and has been called "Cossack asparagus". The leaf bases can be eaten raw or cooked, especially in late spring when they are young and tender. In early summer the sheath can be removed from the developing green flower spike, which can then be boiled and eaten like corn on the cob. In mid-summer when the male flowers are mature, the pollen can be collected and used as a flour supplement or thickener.

Day 364 – Davallia fejeensis, fondly known as rabbit foot fern, is much easier to please as an indoor fern than most other types of fern, which require high humidity. Elegant, lacy fronds create a lush mound of evergreen foliage. The main attraction of this plant, however, are the furry rhizomes that hang over the side of the container. These light-brown, creeping rhizomes are covered with hairs that look like a rabbit's foot. It's a good idea to put the plant in a hanging basket because they can grow up to 2’ long. And because you want to show them off, don't you? Those furry rhizomes are more than eye-catching, they take up moisture. Mist them every day, or as needed, with tepid water to prevent them from drying out.

Day 365 – Floral design or floral arts is the art of creating flower arrangements in vases, bowls, baskets or other containers, or making bouquets and compositions from cut flowers, foliages, herbs, ornamental grasses and other plant materials. Often the terms "floral design" and "floristry" are considered synonymous. Florists are people who work with flowers and plants, generally at the retail level.


Thank you everyone for sharing this year of floral education with us! We love flowers, plants and all aspects of our industry and we feel fortunate to share that love with all of you for the last 126 years! Keep following us, you haven’t seen anything yet!

365 Days of Floral Education - Days 356 - 360

As part of our 125th Anniversary celebration at Stein Your Florist Co. we are sharing a year of floral education, November 1, 2012 thru October 31, 2013. Each day we will post something new on our Facebook page to share our knowledge of our favorite things, flowers and plants and we'll be updating our blog every 5 days or so. No need for pencils and notebooks, just sharing some simple lessons in floristry.

Day 356 – For local tribes around Lake Titicaca in Peru and Bolivia, cattails, or Typha, were among the most important plants and every part of the plant had multiple uses. For example, they were used to construct rafts and other boats. During World War II, the United States Navy used the down of Typha as a substitute for kapok in life vests and aviation jackets. Tests showed that even after 100 hours of submersion the buoyancy was still effective. Typha are used as thermal insulation in buildings as an organic alternative to conventional insulating materials such as glass wool or stone wool.

Day 357 – Cattail or Typha stems and leaves can be used to make paper. It is strong with a heavy texture and it is hard to bleach, so it is not suitable for industrial production of graphical paper. In 1853, considerable amounts of cattail paper were produced in New York, due to a shortage of raw materials. In 1948, French scientists tested methods for annual harvesting of the leaves. Because of the high cost these methods where abandoned and no further research was done. Today Typha is used to make decorative paper.



Day 358 – Cattails or Typha can be used as a source of starch to produce ethanol. Because of their high productivity in northern latitudes, Typha are considered to be a bioenergy crop.










Day 359 – The seed hairs of Cattails, as known as Typha, were used by some Native American groups as tinder for starting fires. Some tribes also used Typha down to line moccasins, and for bedding, diapers, baby powder, and cradleboards. One Native American word for Typha meant "fruit for papoose's bed". Typha down is still used in some areas to stuff clothing items and pillows.







Day 360 – Cattails can be dipped in wax or fat and then lit as a candle, the stem serving as a wick. Without the use of wax or fat it will smolder slowly, somewhat like incense, and may repel insects.

365 Days of Floral Education - Days 351 - 355

As part of our 125th Anniversary celebration at Stein Your Florist Co. we are sharing a year of floral education, November 1, 2012 thru October 31, 2013. Each day we will post something new on our Facebook page to share our knowledge of our favorite things, flowers and plants and we'll be updating our blog every 5 days or so. No need for pencils and notebooks, just sharing some simple lessons in floristry.

Day 351 – Charles Darwin, in his interesting work on "Cross and Self-fertilization in the Vegetable Kingdom," gives some interesting particulars of the ingenious way in which bumble-bees obtain the honey from the snap-dragon when they cannot push past the projecting lip: "In Antirrhinum majus one or two holes had been made on the lower side, close to the little protuberance which represents the nectary, and therefore directly in front of and close to the spot where the nectar is secreted." In experiments, Mr. Darwin found that while fifty seed-pods protected by a net gave nearly ten grains of seed, a similar number of pods from plants that the bumble-bees had free access to yielded over twenty-three grains of seed. It is not, however, by piercing holes in the flower that the bees effect fertilization, but by thrusting their way through the jaws of the dragon into the throat, where they encounter the stamens, and becoming dusted with pollen, leave some of it on the stigma of that or the next flower they enter in like manner.

Day 352 – The blub of some muscari, or grape hyacinth, varieties is poisonous. It contains a substance called comisic acid, which is said to act like saponin. Although poisonous, saponins are poorly absorbed by the human body and so most pass through without harm. Saponins are quite bitter and can be found in many common foods such as some beans. They can be removed by carefully leaching the seed or flour in running water. Thorough cooking, and perhaps changing the cooking water once, will also normally remove most of them. However, it is not advisable to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in bodies of water in order to stupefy or kill the fish.

Day 353 – A few species of Muscari flowers, including M. comosum, can be used to make wine that is high in antioxidants and vitamin C. In addition, some homeopathic remedy practitioners crush the bulbs to create a form of poultice for irritated or red skin. Other practitioners also boil the bulbs to make a diuretic tea.









Day 354 – At least one species of Muscari, M. comosum, has an edible bulb. This species, also called tassel grape hyacinth, cipollini, or edible muscari, is native to the Mediterranean area. Its bulb has flavors similar to garlic, leek, or onion, making it a popular addition to Mediterranean cooking. In addition, the flowers are often used by perfume manufacturers because they smell sweet.



Day 355 – Many parts of the Typha or Cattail plant are edible to humans. The starchy rhizomes are nutritious with a protein content comparable to that of maize or rice. They can be processed into a flour. They are most often harvested from late autumn to early spring. They are fibrous, and the starch must be scraped or sucked from the tough fibers. Plants growing in polluted water can accumulate lead and pesticide residues in their rhizomes, and these should not be eaten.

365 Days of Floral Education - Days 346 - 350

As part of our 125th Anniversary celebration at Stein Your Florist Co. we are sharing a year of floral education, November 1, 2012 thru October 31, 2013. Each day we will post something new on our Facebook page to share our knowledge of our favorite things, flowers and plants and we'll be updating our blog every 5 days or so. No need for pencils and notebooks, just sharing some simple lessons in floristry.

Day 346 – In the summer months, the whole dictamnus plant is covered with a kind of flammable substance, which is gluey to the touch, and has a very fragrant, lemony aroma; but if it takes fire, it goes off with a flash all over the plant. The name "burning bush" derives from the volatile oils produced by the plant, which can catch fire readily in hot weather, leading to comparisons with the burning bush of the Bible, including the suggestion that this is the plant involved there. The daughter of Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus is said to have ignited the air once, at the end of a particularly hot, windless summer day, above Dictamnus plants, using a simple matchstick.

Day 347 - The dictamnus, or gas plant, is inedible: the leaves have a bitter and unpalatable taste. Despite the lemon-like smell, the plant is acrid when eaten. All parts of the plant may cause mild stomach upset if eaten, and contact with the foliage may cause photodermatitis.










Day 348 – Why white roses are so special is no mystery - it's a myth. Perhaps it started with the Romans who believed white roses grew where the tears of Venus fell as she mourned the loss of her beloved Adonis. Myth also has it that Venus' son Cupid accidentally shot arrows into the rose garden when a bee stung him, and it was the "sting" of the arrows that caused the roses to grow thorns. And when Venus walked through the garden and pricked her foot on a thorn, it was the droplets of her blood which turned the roses red.

Day 349 – The rose is a legend in itself. The story goes that during the Roman Empire, there was an incredibly beautiful maiden named Rhodanthe. Her beauty drew many zealous suitors who pursued her relentlessly. Exhausted by their pursuit, Rhodanthe was forced to take refuge from her suitors in the temple of her friend Diana. Unfortunately, Diana became jealous. And when the suitors broke down her temple gates to get near their beloved Rhodanthe she also became angry, turning Rhodanthe into a rose and her suitors into thorns.
 

Day 350 – According to business experts, the key to gaining the competitive edge in the modern economy is easy to understand -- a happy, productive workforce. And, while sometimes the easiest notions can be the most difficult to achieve, a recent scientific study conducted at Texas A&M University finds that nature can hold the secret to business success. The research demonstrates that workers' idea generation, creative performance and problem solving skills improve substantially in workplace environments that include flowers and plants.

Monday, October 14, 2013

365 Days of Floral Education - Days 341 - 345

As part of our 125th Anniversary celebration at Stein Your Florist Co. we are sharing a year of floral education, November 1, 2012 thru October 31, 2013. Each day we will post something new on our Facebook page to share our knowledge of our favorite things, flowers and plants and we'll be updating our blog every 5 days or so. No need for pencils and notebooks, just sharing some simple lessons in floristry.

Day 341 - The great Chinese philosopher, Confucius, is said to have had a 600 book library specifically on how to care for roses. This variety is known as Circus.

Day 342 - Columbus discovered America because of a rose! It is written that on October 11, 1492, while becalmed in the Sargasso Sea, one of the crewmen plucked a rose branch from the water. This sign of land renewed their hope for survival and gave the seafarers the courage to continue on to the New World. This variety is known at Blue Curiosa.









Day 343 - Angelica archangelica, commonly known as Garden Angelica, Holy Ghost, Wild Celery, and Norwegian angelica, is a biennial plant from the Apiaceae family, a subspecies of which is cultivated for its sweetly scented edible stems and roots. Like several other species in Apiaceae, its appearance is similar to several poisonous species (Conium, Heracleum, and others), and should not be consumed unless it has been identified with absolute certainty.

Day 344 - From the 10th century on, angelica was cultivated as a vegetable and medicinal plant, and achieved popularity in Scandinavia in the 12th century and is still used today, especially in Sami culture. A flute-like instrument with a clarinet-like sound can be made of its hollow stem. Linnaeus reported that Sami peoples used it in reindeer milk, as it is often used as a flavoring agent.











Day 345 - Angelica archangelica roots have been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally as tea or tincture for treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, nervous system, and also against fever, infections, and flu.