Tess Casey and BlogTourNYC Classes
Be prepared to be wowed by colour in this post. I actually had to hold myself back and be super diligent in editing the photos selected to use here .... it could have easily become colour and flower power overload (if that's even possible). Imagine being invited to go to New York City in March. Now imagine that invitation includes starting your day in the Chelsea Flower District at 9 am. For this 'north of the 49th parallel' designer, it was like Christmas, the births of my three daughters, and my favourite vacation rolled into one euphoric event. On our first full day of Modenus #BlogTourNYC we had flower arranging classes with Tess Casey from Aisling Flowers. Providing classes for the bloggers was a first for any BlogTour and we blogger guinea pigs were excited and up for the task. We left our hotel at 8:30 am and proceeded to the Flower District, where we met up with Tess and her assistant Miles. Our education began immediately with a walking tour of some of the Flower District wholesalers. I could not get over the assorted bunches of flowers lined up OUTSIDE along the street. Thankfully there are no pictures of me ...they would have certainly shown me with my mouth agape, catching flies or picking my jaw up of the pavement. WOWWW!!!
THE EDUCATION BEGINS
We went from flower shop to flower shop. You can imagine this colour lover in a frenzy to take it all in after being starved of these glorious hues since October. I had left Ottawa with 3ft of snow on my front lawn and now I was walking in shoes, in a flower market that was drenched in every variety of flower and colour combination imaginable.
We ventured inside several flower wholesale outlets and were again greeted with the most heavenly flower scents and sights. Every conceivable flower, florist wire, ribbon, container and accessory were displayed row upon row, shelf upon shelf.
We were introduced to wrapped bunches of beautiful flowers. Florists and Floral Designers had likely been through the wholesale market earlier in the day....I mean, much earlier as in 5 -7 am. You need to get get to the Flower Market in the wee hours after the imported flowers have been delivered in order to secure the best flowers available
We were told that while the customer continues to peruse the never ending stalls and shelves of flowers, their previously selected flowers are put aside on check out shelves, just like the ones below.
THE HANDS ON EDUCATION CONTINUES
Our 'classroom' greeted us upon entry. HELLOOOO! Isn't it lovely and bright? Tess's wedding dress is hanging between two windows....and why not? And the ginormous pendants in the back corner drew resounding oouuu's and aahhh's from all of us. In reality, we were mostly speechless, drinking mimosas and snapping photos of this utterly fabulous studio.
These pendants caught the attention of us all and rightly so, They were hand made by Tess and Miles. I can't remember the number of man hours it took to complete, but it was a ridiculous number. They were constructed from hanging pot racks and adorned with regular ball chains found at any hardware store. Aren't they magnificent? Now this is thinking outside the box that all designers appreciate.
More of the studio shown below. I love vignettes, and this studio was chock a block full of them.
Did I mention that Tess Casey is a floral designer for movies such as"The Devil Wears Prada" and "Sex in the City" ? Above is the famous wedding scene where Carrie Bradshaw and Mr.Big have an altercation with the wedding bouquet. I believe there were 50 bouquets assembled for this scene.
FLORAL ARRANGING LESSONS BY TESS
In the photo above Tess is explaining some of the ways in which flowers can be arranged with chicken wire, frogs, floral foam etc. Also shown in this photo, behind and to the left of Tess are the very generous Troy Hanson and Megan Reilly of WestEdge Design Fair. They sponsored this unbelievably informative day and wrote a lovely post about #BlogTourNYC and Tess Casey here.
Tess discussed everything floral including buying decorative garbage cans and using them as large receptacles, prepping flowers by removing all leaves below the water line, positioning flowers in a vase using scrunched up chicken wire, hiding stems in glass vases with coloured elastic bands and much more. Below is a selection of succulents, orchids and greenery, which will be displayed on a mirror. SHARP scissors, and knife and floral tape are the tools required and are as necessary to a floral designer as the scalpel is to a surgeon.
LESSONS LEARNED AND PUT INTO ACTION
NO ONE exhibits group concentration quite like #BlogTourNYC. Tess Casey's valuable floral lessons were put into practice. The result was an array of at least 16 bouquets....each one slightly different than the next, depending on interpretation, floral additions and imagination.
A day in NYC and floral lessons I will never forget!
Thank You WestEdge Design Fair, Tess Casey and Aisling Flowers including Miles and Maria, Modenus and #BlogTourNYC....