Tag Archives: green

Wedding Flowers: Of Feathers and Faux

At this past weekend’s wedding, the bride made a special request for synthetic flowers due to various familial allergy issues. And I accepted the challenge. I had several guests comment that they had to feel the flowers because they didn’t believe they weren’t real. She wanted yellow roses and white calla lilies, and since the bridesmaids were wearing teal, we pulled all the colors together with peacock feathers! Here’s a sample:

Bride and Groom

Bride and Groom


Cake Decorations


Up close of Cake Decor


Reception Tables with Cake Decor


Reception Centerpieces (the groom hand crafted and polished the wood rounds under the vases).


A special “Grandparents’ Arrangement” to honor each grandparent who couldn’t be there.


A closer look at the Grandparents’ Arrangement


Tossing Bouquet (a smaller version of the bridal bouquet)




Mother of the Bride’s Corsage


Boutonnieres (the only difference for the groom’s was a silver ribbon, to match the bride’s bouquet)


Adorable Flower Girl


A closer look at the Flower Girl’s Basket


Bridesmaids carried 3 simple long stem roses (the groom also handcrafted the bridesmaids’ necklaces!)


Choir rail of greenery and dogwoods with candles


A closer look at the choir rail at the front of the church


Tulle Pew Hangers with glittered teal stems and peacock feathers, wrapped with a silver ribbon to coordinate with the bride and groom


Another Corsage


One more Corsage

If you’re in the Greenville, South Carolina area and would like more information about having customized flower arrangements created for your special day, contact us at TheArtisanHoneybee@gmail.com.

Event Planning: An Historic Wedding and Outdoor Reception

Below are pictures from the latest wedding that I did flowers for and coordinated the reception. This one was so much fun to put together. You’ll see why soon. The wedding was at White Oak Baptist Church in Greenville, SC, followed by a beautiful reception on the green at the Woodburn Historic House in Pendleton.

Here Comes the Bride! Maria and her proud papa! (picture courtesy of David Golla on Facebook)

Church decorations – arrangements along the choir loft railing

More decor – willow and twisted branches were grown by the groom’s grandmother and added special meaning to the day’s arrangements

I now pronounce you husband and wife!

I always ask if there’s anything sentimental, just between the bride and groom, that they would like added to their flowers for the day. I was given love letters between Jon and Abigail Adams and an excerpt of Jane Eyre. So, I ironed words from the letters and classic novel onto the ribbon for the bride’s bouquet and the groom’s boutonniere. The bout also had a paper leaf with burned edges with the words, “My dearest friend…” (their term of endearment for one another). They loved it!

The bride had white hydrangeas and white roses in her bouquet, while the bridesmaids had clustered, green hydrangeas bouquets.

Getting pelted with birdseed, coming out of the church (picture courtesy of Maria Golla via Facebook – original source unknown)

The Happy Couple at the Woodburn Historic House, Pendleton, SC (picture courtesy of Pete Hansen via Facebook)

The venue from another angle. Tent shown was filled with round tables for guests to eat at and relax.

Advice Cards Table

Centerpieces were an eclectic gathering of antiques, books, and flowers, along with the branches from the groom’s grandmother’s garden.

I loved this antique silver basket.

I found an antique looking bike at a local consignment shop that fit perfectly.

Miniature cordial glasses from a local antique shop added a delicate touch.

The tossing bouquet was a miniature of the bride’s, and the groom tossed a handkerchief instead of a garter – the original (and much classier) tradition.

A special note from the bride and groom was tied to the tossing bouquet and handkerchief.

The first dance (during which the groom surprised his bride by telling her their honeymoon would be in Paris!). Note the silk peony pinned in her hair (that was fun to make as well). (Picture courtesy of Debbie McNeely via Facebook)

Cake by Barb Illsley. Cupcakes by Nora Loach Collogan.

More of the venue: a little barn behind the house

More of the venue: an adorable herb garden, next to the barn and other buildings.

Closeup of the Bridal Bouquet

Parents of the Bride: corsage and boutonniere

Grandparents: rose and hydrangea corsage, hypericum berry boutonniere

The Bridal Party on the Balcony (picture courtesy of Lauren Hansen via Facebook)

Design Project: Dining Room Converted To Reading Room

We are almost done with our Reading Room Project – first DIY project of 2012. So, if you’re wondering what I’ve been up to (because the blog’s been a little sparse on new content), here’s your answer. It has been well worth it for us!

Let me start by explaining our thinking behind doing this re-decorate project. First, we found we rarely used the dining room. We work opposite schedules and only really get to eat dinner each night and the occasional breakfast together, and when we do eat together, we often found ourselves eating in the living room and chatting while we ate. Second, we’re combining the contents of our two extra bedrooms upstairs into one space for TV/exercise and the occasional guest, while the other room will likely be occupied by a short term renter. So, we needed a place for Bryan’s office and we were ready to pull some of our books out of storage. Finally, we’ve been hosting a Bible study/community group for young adults in our home for the last six months or so and wanted a more comfortable space for conversations to break off as necessary.

Most of our furniture was either given to us or bought as necessities before we were married (i.e., things that fit our budget and were functional but not necessarily our style), and though grateful for these, we were ready for a change. We talked about the idea a couple of weeks ago and I posted our dining room set for sale on Facebook  the next morning, just to see what would happen. It sold by lunchtime! I was shocked, and excited for an opportunity to finally buy some furniture that fit our style. I texted Bryan, “Guess we have to remodel now. Just sold the set on FB! They’ll pick up on Sat/Sun. :)”

Here’s the Before picture:

I found this really cool website that lets you design your room layout, specifying dimensions of furniture, placement of outlets, and even add links to the items you want to purchase from various vendors! It’s called Urban Barn, and I highly recommend it. Here’s a snapshot of the design I had in mind:

And here’s the final result:

View of Reading Room from the Kitchen

View of Reading Room from the Foyer - the couch and upholstered chairs function as extra seating around the table, as needed (note: I used my teapot collection as bookends)

Sideboard with Feather Arrangements and Teacup Racks; Table Centerpiece is a Jar of Foodie Ornaments that I couldn't bear to put away after Christmas

The Office Space in the Reading Room

We’re thinking of hanging a clock or floating shelf next to the desk, to the left of the mirror, and we’re waiting on one final piece of art to be matted and hung above the computer.

11x14 original acrylic painting from Etsy - will have off-white matte and black frame to match the other artwork in the room

We’ve already used the room every day since we finished it! And I’m thankful to finally have a space that’s my own little personal retreat from life. I love curling up on the love seat with my Bible and a cup of coffee or tea, sitting and chatting with a friend at the small, round table, or cuddling with Bryan while we watch a movie on the computer. It’s a truly multi-functional room, and we love it!

Enjoying the Journey,


DIY Lavender and Honeysuckle Laundry Detergent

I’ve been reading up on various recipes and tips for saving some money and making my own laundry detergent. Here’s what I came up with for my first attempt:

100% Natural Ingredients: 2 bars of Clearly Natural Honeysuckle Glycerin Soap (yield: 4 c. grated), 2 c. All Natural Borax and 2 c. All Natural Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (both found in your laundry detergent aisle at your local grocery store),  30 drops lavender essential oil. (Note: This is WAY cheaper than normal laundry detergent!)
Grate the soap. I started with a box grater, but it took a while, so I used my food processor to start and finished with the box grater. Measure Borax and Washing Soda.
I poured too much Borax. Hint: Use a flexible funnel if you do this.
Mix all ingredients together (you can use your hands if you want). Add 30 drops of lavender essential oil. Optional: add 1-2 c. OxiClean at this point.

Seal in a labeled, air-tight container. Use 2 Tbsp. per load. (Optional: add up to 1/2 c. white vinegar in rinse cycle for natural fabric softener.)

Here are some more websites with other Homemade Laundry Detergent recipes:





What’s up next? Homemade Dishwasher Detergent:

Wash: Equal parts Borax and Baking Soda (NOT Washing Soda; 1-2 Tbsp. each)

Rinse: white vinegar (+ lemon juice), optional

Yep, it’s that simple.

Going Green with a Big Salad!

I had an all-natural Luna White Chocolate Macadamia Protein Bar this morning with my Mexican Coffee for breakfast.

Morning snack is a great big orange.

Then, for lunch, I literally grabbed what was green and put it in my salad: organic mixed lettuce, zucchini, green beans, alfalfa sprouts, mung beans, 2 sweet wax peppers and homemade sourdough croutons with organic balsamic vinagrette dressing.

Going green with a giant salad today!

Afternoon snack is a banana.

Then we have our Girls on the Run practice 5K tonight! We got rained out on Tuesday and played Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe Challenge inside instead. It’s this giant tic-tac-toe board and each of the nine squares has a tic-tac-toe board inside of it. They have to win the little tic-tac-toes to win the big board. They got to pick Brain or Body for each challenge (brain: questions from this season’s lessons about health and nutrition; body: physical challenge like holding a plank the longest, fastest sprint, first team to 50 jumping jacks each, etc.). It was fun watching them. I brought the girls apples, oranges, and granola bars for after their race today. They also get their pretty pink tshirts tonight. They’re going to be so excited!

Tonight is a batch cooking night. I’m making dinner for a friend who just had her beautiful baby girl and prepping for the weekend (time to bake bread…it’s been a while).

Have a great day!

Are You Eating Something Green for St. Patrick’s Day? (Mar. 11, 2010)

Check out this article from Whole Foods Market’s blog for some great green recipes! I’m excited to try the Creamy Asparagus soup (maybe I can actually get Bryan to eat asparagus)! I think it will go great with the Corned Beef Brisket I’ve been waiting to use. If anyone has a good St. Patrick’s Day recipe, please post it in the comments section below. Thanks!

And if you can’t see the link above, it’s http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/2010/03/are-you-eating-something-green/. Enjoy!

Going Green in the Kitchen (Feb. 26, 2010)

Here are some helpful articles from SparkPeople.com (the online health management tool I use to track calories, exercise, etc.). It has tons of helpful healthy lifestyle tips and articles. Overall, it’s just a great resource! And it’s completely free!

8 Ways to “Green” Your Kitchen by Liza Barnes, Health Educator (http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=928)

Buying Organic Food on a Budget by Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness Writer (http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=740)

Why Go Organic? by Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness Writer (http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=682)

Farmers Market Food Finds by Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian (http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=478)

I love this chart from the above link:

Color – Phytonutrients – Health Benefits – Food Sources

Red – Lycopene, Anthocyanin – Prevents certain cancers. Strengthens collagen proteins. – strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon, cherries
Orange – Beta-Carotene, Liminoids – Protects against bronchitis, asthma, cataracts, and lung cancer. Can decrease cholesterol levels. – carrots, squash, melons
Yellow – Liminoids, Beta-carotene, Zeaxanthin – Protects vision. Prevents colon and breast cancers. – yellow peppers, corn
Green – Lutein, Saponins, Glucosinolates – Protects eyesight. Heart and skin maintenance. Prevents cancer. Lowers lipid levels. –
spinach, collard greens, broccoli, tomatillos
Blue – Anthocyanin – Prevents colon, cervical and prostate cancers. – blueberries, grapes, plums
Purple – Anthocyanin – Prevents cancer. Anti-inflammatory. – grapes, raspberries, blackberries, eggplant

To find a local farmer’s market near you, check out LocalHarvest.org.

Backyard Gardening Lifestyle Center (list of articles and helpful tips for growing your own garden), one of the ways I’m going to try to “go green” in my kitchen this year. Along with this, I’m going to try to start composting to eliminate a lot of unnecessary waste while helping my new garden grow.

Food, Inc. – More Resources on Going Organic (Jan. 21, 2010)

If you haven’t seen this documentary, stop by your local video rental center and check it out.

Resources listed under Special Features on Food, Inc. DVD:

American Community Garden Association: http://www.communitygarden.org
California Center for Public Health Advocacy: http://www.publichealthadvocacy.org
Center for Ecoliteracy: http://www.ecoliteracy.org
Center for Food Safety: http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org
Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention: http://www.foodborneillness.org
Center for Science in the Public Interest: http://www.cspinet.org
Consumer Federation of America: http://www.consumerfed.org
Farm to School Network: http://www.farmtoschool.org
Food and Water Watch: http://www.fwwatch.org
Food Trust: http://www.thefoodtrust.org
Heifer International: http://www.heifer.org
Jane Goodall Institute: http://www.janegoodall.org
Moms Rising: http://www.momsrising.org
Organic Consumer Association: http://www.organic consumers.org
Oxfam: oxfamamerica.org
Pesticide Action Network of North America: http://www.panna.org
Slow Food USA: http://www.slowfoodusa.org
Sustainable Table: http://www.sustainabletable.org
United Farm Workers: http://www.ufw.org

Eating Organic (Jan. 21, 2010)

I’ve been thinking about going organic more and more recently. So, I decided to do some online research on the topic. It seems that it is actually possible to eat organic (eliminating the hormones, antibiotics, and disease found in so many of the manipulated food sources, including meats and vegetables) and still eat frugally. Hopefully the result will be a healthier household. While our food budget may go up initially, if all of the research is correct, we should live longer, healthier, and better quality lives, with fewer trips to the doctor and less drugs (which would save us money in the long run). Also, eating local organics will help put money back into our local economy, versus further increasing Corporate America’s monopoly and bottom line.

Here is a list of resources:

Food, Inc. – This is a documentary style film available on DVD now. I would highly recommend it as an introductory educational resource about the food industry in America.

Online articles (click on links):
Eating Organic on a Frugal Budget
The Organic Thrifty Food Plan Challenge
USDA: Recipes and Tips for Eating Healthy
Books (I haven’t read any of these yet, but I wanted to include them as possible options):

How to Cook a Wolf by M. F. K. Fisher, part of the “Art of Eating” series
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
Food Politics by Marion Nestle
One of my questions: One of the comments in the Food, Inc. movie was that farmers (as well as animals) are building up immunities to the antibiotics used on the animals. If the bacteria morph so that they can no longer be treated, then does that affect my immune system to the point that I may become immune to certain antibiotics? Just a thought.

My response: Going along with my 2010 Resolutions of eating less processed foods, I am going to up the ante by trying to eat only organic items while still only spending $250/month on groceries (I will remove personal items like bath products, batteries, etc., from the count for the purpose of this trial). I’m not going to the extreme where I’m throwing everything away that’s not organic in my house. We’ll still finish eating those things while no longer buying them going forward. We have a household with only two adults, so that helps the budget a bit. I am also going to look into local farmers’ markets and coops to see if they can offer better prices for organic items. Thankfully, we have Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Earthfare, a couple local farmers’ markets, and organic options at Ingles and BiLo.