Saturday, October 19, 2013

Now featured at The Secret Garden!

I am thrilled to announce that my one of a kind vintage finery is now featured at the wonderful Secret Garden Boutique in downtown Mount Dora!  This is a timeless romantic store that carries lovely women's clothing, gifts and more!

If you are in the area, do stop by!  The Secret Garden is located at 442 North Donnelly Street.  Make a day of it and shop in this quaint historic town!

A Beautiful Flora Bella Tribute Poem!

I Must share this amazing poem my dear friend Jeanie wrote about the beautiful Flora Bella Art event.  It is so touching and warmed my heart beyond measure!  Thank you sweet Jeanie!

                                  Flora Bella Weekend
                                      by Jeanie Hatch

 A call was sent into the ether
And as I sat, I wondered whether
Should I attend the planned event
And what would happen if I went?
The Herlong Mansion called to me
from the quaint little town of Micanopy.
Standing majestic through centuries,
Surrounded with verdant, stately trees.
Framed with moss, the boughs hung low
showing such beauty to those below.
The trees seemed to whisper and summon me near.
As I drew closer, a path did appear
It beckoned me onward and then led the way
To a beautiful garden there on display.
The flora, the flowers, the bushes, the trees,
How precious our Lord is to make all of these!
To gaze upon them brings such a delight.
What beauty they add to each day and each night.
Blissfully I was sent to my room for a rest
While I awaited the arrival of each special guest.
Six bella beauties arrived on the scene.
We went to the splendid front porch to convene.
Draped in bright colors, how we sparkled and shined.
We sipped our champagne and then went to dine.
Forging new friendships and treasuring the old,
We treated each other like silver and gold.
Laughing and sharing our hopes and our dreams
We acted like royalty and were treated like queens.
Each countenance so lovely and each smile so bright,
we shared and conversed till well into the night.
Classes were taught on the following days
By Cassandra and Karen who taught secret ways.
How sweetly and patiently they taught us the skills
To make flowers from ribbons and embellish with frills,
To concoct potions with flowers and wear them to be
A bella, a beauty, for all to see.
We traipsed through the town and stopped by to see
The angels and headstones in a cemetery.
We pondered our death and impending doom
As darkness enveloped us like a tomb.
Quickly we ran and shuddered in fright.
We hugged ourselves dearly and cherished our life.
Poems were read that brought tears to our eyes
And sadly the time came to say our goodbyes.
Cassandra and Karen, Erika and Marie,
Sherry and Jeanie, we all will be
Traveling back in time in our memory
And seeing etched there, so sentimentally,
A weekend in time that turned out to be
One that we will cherish eternally.

Monday, October 7, 2013

My Finished Flora Bella Beauty!

I promised to post a photo of my finished Flora Bella Bodice and here she is......

I loved the last details like the vintage pearl necklace.  If I ever need to wear it I can just borrow it from her!  when I finished her I thought, "you are so gorgeous...all you need is a head, a body, and a date to the prom!!" I LOVE how she looks in my guest bedroom.  Truly a special conversation piece.

Learning to make several types of fabric flowers was the highlight of this special project.  I shall admire her for years to come!! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Flora Bella Bliss Filled Weekend!

 I have just returned from the quaint town of Micanopy, Florida where I hosted the beautiful Flora Bella Art Retreat Weekend along with my dear friend Cassandra.

              It was everything "Bella" (beautiful) and beyond!

The Herlong Mansion was our home for the weekend, and we filled the place with joy, happiness and late night laughter!

Friday night began with a wine and cheese celebration.  It is so wonderful to spend time with other artists who are passionate about the same things!

All arrived to their rooms to find one of these gorgeous handmade pillows by Cassandra Vancuren on their beds! 

 The handmade rose is detachable and can be worn as a pin.  The pocket held some sheet music and one of my greeting cards from the crowning of the angels series, and a delectable lavender lollypop.

I do believe the partner swap was one of my favorites ever.  The ladies made home made floral inspired bath products and each and every one were GORGEOUS and smelled like heaven!  In fact, many of them seemed as though  you wanted to EAT them instead of bathe with them!!

On Saturday morning, we opened the doors to the Long Hall which would be our creating space for the weekend.  All received a golden pot filled with an african violet and fresh mint to take home and enjoy.

The first several hours were devoted to covering our bodices with old sheet music and book pages.  And after they dried, the dress creations began!

Cassandra taught us several techniques for making fabric roses and slowly, the bodices became works of art!

I chose to do mine in shades of blue to match my guest bedroom.  I used a vintage slip and petticoat.  I am putting the finishing touches on her at home and will post a photo when it is complete, but this is a little look at the details...

This is the way Cassandra packaged all of the items for our bodices...just beautiful!

I taught the girls how to make Lavender and Chamomile Bath Tea and also Lavender Vanilla Body dusting Powder.  The room was filled with such a beautiful scent!

We loved retreating to the veranda after a long workday for some happy hour bliss before we went to dinner.  I was so in love with the huge was a perfect place for photos!

 Here we are with our almost completed bodices before we left Sunday morning.  It is always bittersweet to say goodbye, but one thing makes it a little bit easier.......

 A car filled with beautiful treasures to take home!

With the exception of a few shots, all of the amazing photos at Flora Bella were taken by Cassandra Vancuren of Artful Adventures Photography.  You can view even more photos and details of the event on her website here:

Weekends such as Flora Bella leave me in a state of peace and well being.  I feel so blessed to spend time that is nurturing to the mind and soul..

Until we meet again, I nod to all of the Flora Bella creative women in admiration of your incredible talent.  Thank you for being part of the fabulousness!   xoxoxoxo