I met KC & Mary at last year's Valley Wed show at Quonquont Farm.
Although they didn't have a plan yet for their wedding flowers, they were intrigued with the idea that they could have them preserved.. We chatted, they took a card, and they moved on to the next vendor's table. I remember being struck by their careful intention that their wedding day reflect who they are and how they love each other.
About a month before their wedding, KC reached out. They had big plans for their wedding flowers and they wanted to be sure I reserved the presses for them.
Here's the day they came to Flora-Ly Studios with the flowers from their wedding...
They had worked with Corina at The Botaniste. Their instructions to her were riotous, colorful, bountiful bouquets and tablescapes. Boy howdy, mission accomplished! To say color and texture reigned supreme at their wedding is an understatement.
Usually, when a couple comes into Flora-Ly after their wedding, they bring me a bouquet. KC & Mary brought me two coolers full of flowers! Their wedding flowers were so meaningful to them, the idea of throwing any of them away broke their hearts. So they brought as many as they could carry!
As they pulled flowers from the coolers, they "ooohed" and "aaahed" and gushed about how this arrangement was on their table or those looked just like the ones in their garden. Clearly, their flowers evoked the joy of their wedding day and the exhuberance of their love for each other.
Here's what thrills me about what I do...I get to preserve so much more than wedding flowers...I get to create something that will capture the joy of KC and Mary's wedding day and let them remember and relive that feeling every day for the rest of their lives. That's powerful stuff.
Sometimes unconventional choices just feel right. This bloom is beautifully unconventional, 100% joy-inducing and an absolute embodiment of KC & Mary's exuberance.
When I took KC & Mary's flowers out of the presses, my first thought was, "Oh my! I need a bigger table!" You know what? The whole world needs a bigger table! We all need to make room for an abundance of beauty and unabashed joy! More flowers, I say! Bigger tables, if need be, but more flowers, fuller hearts and efferescent joy for all!
My mission now, is to use these petals to inspire KC and Mary as much as they've inspired me!
Stay tuned for the next glimpse of KC and Mary's wedding flower preservation. I can't wait to see where all this love takes us...
P.S. - Immediate gratification anyone? Fast forward to Part 2!
What a joy to have the studio so busy! A record number of couples have asked me to create art from their wedding flowers this year and lately, it's been a whirlwind of gorgeous bouquets, pressed flower petals and inspiration!
Here's a glimpse of what it looks like when life is full of flowers...
Every single wedding bouquet that comes to the studio is utterly gorgeous and unequivocably unique. Some have just a blush of color...whispering of love...
...and some flowers are riotous and joyful and shout love to the rooftops!
Every bouquet that is entrusted to me to press, preserve and make art with is an absolute inspiration. I'm so lucky that I get to be surrounded by so much beauty!
All of the gorgeous flowers get taken apart petal by petal and go into the presses. I actually had to have MORE presses made this year to accomodate all of my wonderful clients!
Here's what it looks like when I empty a press...the deconstructed and pressed wedding bouquets have a glorious, simple beauty to them.
After pressing, I painstakingly recreate the flowers. At this stage, tweezers are my BEST friend.
My intention isn't to literally recreate the bouquet, but to transform it into a timeless piece of art that makes space for the memories of a courtship, romance and wedding day; and also expresses love and anticipation for a marriage that holds the promise of two lives lived fully in tandem.
Want to see some of the finished pieces? Check out my inspiration gallery! Are you curious about how it looks like to work with me? As the studio becomes busier, the presses need to be reserved in advance, so let's talk!
So, you’re planning a wedding and you want it to be like nobody else’s. You’re looking for a baker, photographer and floral designer who’ll honor your individual style. You want to pay homage to your home town with local touches from artists you share a personal connection with.
You’ve GOT to come to Valley Wed.
On October 29th, a hand-selected group of wedding professionals from the Pioneer Valley will gather at Quonquot Farm in Whately, MA. We’ll be there to delight, intrigue and wow you with our offerings while you soak in the beauty of this 200 year old farm and relax with nibbles & cocktails.
This isn’t your Momma’s wedding show. This is fresh, eclectic and personal.
I’ll be there with my latest botanical designs. Let’s talk about your flower dreams and how we can turn your bouquet into art that you can enjoy forever.
Maybe you’re thinking about hand painted wedding invitations? Ooooh fancy! Let’s talk about too.
Bored by the choices you see for bridesmaids gifts? Or maybe you’re looking for something special to say thanks to your mom & new mom-in-law? I’ve got something truly unique to show you!
It promises to be a lovely day in a lovely place with lovely people sharing lovely things. Doesn't it just sound....SWELL?!
Have a peek at all the amazing wedding pros you’ll get to meet and buy your tickets!
Enter to win a pair of FREE tickets!
I CAN'T WAIT to meet you and hear all about the wonderful plans you're making!
I thought I was too busy to create a calendar this year. And then my customers insisted that I find the time.
One particularly insistent customer couldn’t imagine what she’d give to her beloved clients if NOT a Flora-Ly Studios Calendar of Flowers…
“Each year I purchase these delightful desk calendars from Flora-Ly for all my current and former clients to enjoy throughout the entire year – they LOVE them – and so do I!”
Alicia of Alicia J. Nichols Fundraising Counsel, Pittsfield, ME
You spoke. I listened.
This is the fourth year I’m offering the Flora-Ly Studios Calendar of Flowers—a collection of 12 postcard-sized, monthly mini-calendars that perch upon a sweet, wooden easel—perfectly suited to adorn your desk.
I start putting the calendar together in August. I begin by going through photographs of every collage I’ve made during the year. It’s a wonderful opportunity to take a stroll down memory lane. Every collage is attached to the memory of a client and their story; the woman who looooooved her pink roses; the customer whose bouquet was so enormous that we made two collages from it; and the client whose mom and grandmother used to pressed flowers—having her wedding flowers pressed was so poignant for her.
Rather than use images of complete collages (Those one of a kind beauties belong solely to the customers I made them for!), I focus on favorite vignettes from the collages I love the most and digitally re-mix them to make something entirely new.
Every month is a collection of memories from my studio and my life and I offer them to you, ready and waiting to hold your memories-in-the-making.
June’s pink Peony is from my mother’s Peony bush. Her Peony bushes were lush and tall, with blossoms the size of cantaloupes. No chemical fertilizers for these babies--they grew to epic proportions as a result of love, gentle whispers, sunshine and sheep compost. Now they grow in my garden. I'm sure they long for my mother’s whispered-sweet-nothings…but I do give them a kind word along with their sheep shi…compost.
February is a layered vision in pinks and purples created from the flowers in September's photo. I think of those layers as being like our relationships—they start out simply enough—growing richer and more complex over time.
October is always one of my favorites. This is a photo of “flower ghosts.” The faint—sometimes not so faint—images that a flower leaves on the paper after I remove it from the presses. Sometimes the marks are distinct, sometimes less so. It seems apropos to use these flower spirits for the month that holds All Hallows Eve.
After I’ve settled on 12 images for the year, I add notes or quotes to the back of each month’s card. These are like a mini-journal entry, reflective of the past year and hopeful for next—my wishes for you as your year unfolds.
There’s a trick that time plays on us, as we grow older and wiser. Somehow it seems to speed up. When weeks blend together and months fly by, I feel robbed of my right to savor each moment. That’s why I’m especially grateful that you asked for another calendar this year. It’s my chance to slow down, cherish the beautiful memories from the year, learn from the less beautiful ones, and make wishes for each day, each week, each month in the year ahead.
Just as flowers are a gift—from nature to humankind; from one lover to another; given between friends; meant to memorialize, to symbolize, to celebrate…this calendar is a gift…not FROM me, but THROUGH me. A gift for you…to keep or to share. A gift of beauty, of wishes, memories and good intentions.
Calendar pre-sale orders are now open. I print only a few more calendars than are pre-ordered and they sell out every year. Make sure you get yours by ordering before October 25th.
If you’d like to purchase 25 or more calendars to give as gifts, you’ll enjoy a 25% discount on your order. For my corporate clients, I offer the option of customization with your logo on the back of each month’s card.
Order calendars in small quantities here…
Order 25+ calendars here…
Brides often think of greenery as the filler between the flowers, but in truth, there's a quiet elegance in a leaf, a fern, some Dusty Miller. Greenery creates a soft, fresh romance all on its own.
If your dream wedding is simple, elegant and fresh, greenery is the way to go! Pro tip: something magical happens when you mix fresh greens and pressed botanicals. The resulting alchemy is textured and timeless, elegant and elevated.
Just feast your eyes on this gorgeous inspiration photo shoot (which I was invited to participate in) that combines fresh and pressed greens in every element of the wedding design!
Amanda Sandford of A Styled Fete Wedding Design, asked me to create some pressed greens and flowers to support her vision of an old world botanical collector—with specimens in luxurious wooden display cases and under glass cloches—creating a hushed sense of leaning in, paying close attention and drinking in the details of Mother Nature’s perfect work.
I pressed white Peonies, Queen Anne’s Lace, Astilbe, Eucalyptus and Dusty Miller, which were carefully placed among the place cards to create a breathtaking display. So simple! So stunning!
The delicate detail of the pressed botanicals against the dark fabric encourages guests to lean in, hushed, and admire their beauty.
Peonies press beautifully, evoking the paper flowers you made as a child. Can't you practically smell the clean, sharp eucalyptus?
These pressed greens were placed between sheets of custom cut acrylic to create a lush and intricate wedding invitation. Can you imagine getting this in the mail?! Such a gorgeous way to say, "Come! Something special is going to happen and you'll want to be there!"
All these ideas are simple, elegant and absolutely achievable for your wedding! Think green, think pressed botanicals and create something unusual and stunning that will amaze and inspire your guests!
See ALL the photos of this soft & romantic wedding inspiration at RuffledBlog.com.
Special thanks to the entire vendor team that made this photoshoot come together so beautifully:
A Styled Fete
Forget Me Not
Bridal Gown / Veil
Emily Taylor Rogers
The Baker's Table
Makeup by Emily Dimant
L. Priori Jewelry
Wild Flowers By Design
Hair and Makeup by Nikki
“The life of man is a self-evolving circle, which, from a ring imperceptibly small, rushes on all sides outwards to new and larger circles, and that without end. The extent to which this generation of circles, wheel without wheel, will go, depends on the force or truth of the individual soul.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
The circle is without beginning and without end. Ripples on the surface of the water, emanating out from a single source—a raindrop, a pebble, a water strider as it glides impossibly on the surface of the pond.
Since the ancients gazed upon a full moon with wonder, mankind has been fascinated with the circle, its perfection and the timeless mystery of that perfection. Mandalas are circular designs from the Buddhist and Hindu traditions that symbolize the entirety and utter completeness of the universe.
The recent eclipse is a fleeting moment in a dance of heavenly orbs—one circle passing in front of another.
I have spent countless hours drawing and painting circles in the hopes of coming as close to perfection as possible. Dipping the brush in ink and swirling around on the paper is meditative and satisfying. Circles are in us and of us and around us physically, metaphorically, spiritually.
When I begin to design a circle collage I feel the tension between being bound within a one foot diameter and the freedom that comes from allowing the beauty of the petals to guide me as I pay homage to the love they represent.
Large and small, light and dark, cool and warm elements balance and harmonize, like the balance we strike in marriage. Separate, but together. Two people, one and one—now, each more than they were alone.
Constant and unbroken. Unquestionably whole. The Circle is a beautiful and fitting design to preserve your wedding flowers.
The Flora-Ly Studios Walk series began with a walk in the woods.
In 2016, I created a series of botanical collages for the Mount Grace Conservation Trust. I would walk their land and gather flora along the way to bring back to my studio and press. The long, horizontal stretch of the resulting pieces reflects those walks. They were an abstract recreation of the Mount Grace trails.
When I hung the pieces for exhibition, my goal was for each guest to relive those walks in the woods. I wanted each person who viewed the pieces to be moved to remember their own thoughtful meanderings down those same trails. Or, or perhaps the collages would bring to mind the sun dappled forest paths of their childhood. The pieces were meant to be evocative of the smells, sights and sensations of walks from the past. By joining the past with the present, I intended to create a timeless feedback loop of memory and emotion.
A woodland trail is much like the aisle you walk down to join your true love in marriage. Both are a procession through a sacred space; both showing the way down an oft-trodden path—the direction marked by the footsteps of those who have gone before us. Rather than wander directionless through the forest of life, you have found your path, your way, and you are ready to walk it.
Carrying a bouquet down the aisle on your wedding day is a tradition that goes back centuries. During the time of King Henry VIII, brides carried a bouquet of herbs that were later used in a celebratory feast. When you choose to preserve your wedding bouquet in the Walk design, you honor the path that guided you to the discovery of love; the grace of tradition; and the beauty of commitment.
To hang a Walk botanical collage in your home is to give yourself the gift of revisiting that walk down the aisle, a daily reminder to cherish the events that brought you to this life. More than a memory, it serves as a reminder that this path is a life-long journey and while there may be challenges along the way, there is much beauty—if only we’re wise enough to stop and appreciate it.
Flora-Ly Studios’ Walk is 36” x 10” of floral meandering, a timeless work of art that represents the way you once walked alone and celebrates how you now walk side by side, mindful to stop occasionally and appreciate the moments of beauty along the way.
This Walk is comprised of Dahlia, Queen Anne's Lace and Hydrangea. Three flowers balanced in a thoughtful and rhythmic way.
Have you heard the news? Flora-Ly Studios now offers hand painted wedding invitation suites! Do you have any paper lovelies that could be elevated with the stroke of a paint brush? Below, I’ll show you HOW I do it, but first, let me tell you WHY.
I don’t remember a time when a paint brush didn’t feel like an extension of my soul. Long before I thought to call myself an artist, painting was second nature to me. And so it made sense that I should go to art school. After studying fine art at Syracuse University, I went on to work with fiber, flowers, and more traditional mediums, making murals and commissioned pieces in the hours between teaching art to children and raising my own. When I took over my mother’s business, I relegated painting to my personal time, not thinking to incorporate it with the work I was doing with pressed flowers.
Last year, my son Keegan proposed to his then-girlfriend Emily and the two began to plan their wedding. In the glow of their joy, the universe took a break from bigger doings and took a moment to speak to me. What it said was unmistakable. My gift to Keegan and Emily would be made of botanicals and brush strokes. Of course, I would do their wedding flowers (and press them afterwards), but I would also hand paint their wedding invitations!
The three of us spent a few evenings around a table with paints, paper, excitement and joy as we planned out the design. Emails, sketches and more excitement followed. And then, the plan was complete. I was going to create one hundred and twenty 5”x7” invitations; RSVP cards; event cards; envelopes (sending and return); thirty rehearsal dinner invitations; place cards and table numbers; each a unique piece of their vision. Every single one, painted by my hand.
Over the winter, after my work was done, I painted. I laid in branches, then leaves, blue hydrangea and wispy, baby leaves. Mesmerized by the rhythm of painting, I meditated on my son, his love, the enrichment of our family and the new chapter that lay ahead for all of us.
Here is a few minute video of the making of 1 out of 120.
When the entire suite was finished, Keegan and Emily were thrilled to send each person on their list an original painting made just for them, inviting them to share in their happiness.
The joy of this creative act was deepened by the love I have for my family, but it began with the feel of the paintbrush in my hand, the colors at my command. It felt natural and RIGHT.
When something feels so right, you want to repeat it. Over and over. Lucky me! By offering this service to other couples, I can!
I get to paint and you get to send your guests an invitation as unique as your love, hand painted with the same care you’ve taken to choose every detail of your wedding. And they’ll know, the moment they open that envelope that something very special is about to happen and it’s your wish to share it with them.
So, let’s talk, email, sketch and sit around a table (real or virtual :). I’ll listen and interpret your ideas with brush and color. I’ll help you create original paintings to call your loved ones to your celebration. Painted just for them.
Your special time is now. Let’s get started!
Whether the medium is pressed flowers or watercolor, my passion is your love.
A glimpse of a sample of every piece created, from envelope to place card.
My world Monday, illustrated.
Here’s what a Monday looks like in my world…
No matter what day it is, it always begins with coffee. My favorite is Deans Beans because it’s ethically sourced, locally roasted and totally delicious!
Coffee may GET me going, but music KEEPS me going! Today it’s Hamilton, David Bowie and Talking Heads.
Right now, I’m diving into some circular designs. I love circles. Nature loves circles too: the sun; the moon; the center of a flower; a sand dollar; an acorn cap; the circle of life.
I’ll spend hours in my studio today, elbow deep in gorgeous pressed flowers. These pretty petals are sweet company but they aren’t very chatty. When I long for conversation, I turn on a podcast. One of my favorites is She Creates Business with Kinsey Roberts. Her interviews are so interesting and full of useful tidbits that I often find myself taking notes while I listen.
Which reminds me!
Have you heard my interview on Kinsey’s podcast? It was such a treat for me to chat with her! Give a listen here… (Don't have itunes? no worries, She Creates Business can be found on most podcast apps.) Maybe it will keep you company on your Monday. (Or any other day ;)
Flora-Ly is now Flora-Ly Studios - Artisan Pressed Flower Preservation for Your Wedding Bouquet.
We are now Flora-Ly Studios!
Why have I changed the name of my business?
Because life happens, change happens and sometimes old labels can hold us back. Flora-Ly Studios is a name that reflects my growth and respects my roots at the same time.
Not only am I updating the name of my business, but I’m updating my botanical designs too! (GAH! I’m SO EXCITED!)
How are my pressed flower designs changing?
My new designs are a departure from the more traditional ones I’d adapted from my mother when I inherited her business. Prior to taking over Flora-Ly, I’d studied fine art at Syracuse University and worked as painter. With the initial effort of getting started in the business behind me, I’ve been freed up to listen more to the artist within. (Hello, beautiful!)
I’ve given myself time to play with new shapes that create space and movement in my pressed flower pieces, and I LOVE it!
What will you see in my new botanical collages?
Look for circles and all that is metaphorically attached to that ancient, organic shape; gallery collections that showcase the beauty of a single stem, one leaf, a pressed petal; wide landscape botanical collages that feel like a walk down a secret garden path; tall pressed flower designs that allow the petals to flow like waterfalls. *sigh* What you’ll see is the movement and shapes of nature being invited in to play with the botanical beauty of the wedding bouquets entrusted to me.
I’m letting my imagination loose and it feels wonderful. Come along, we’re going to have some fun!
Introducing Hand Painted Wedding Invitations!
I’m just bursting to share my newest product line with you!
I now offer custom designed, hand painted invitations for your wedding. (It all started when my son got married this summer, but that’s something we’ll talk about another day!) Over the next weeks I’ll share a video peek into my studio, to show you how I create these custom wedding invitation suites. I can’t wait!
Change can be unnerving, but don’t worry!
Flora-Ly Studios is still grounded in its original mission!
My passion remains connecting with couples who want their carefully chosen wedding flowers transformed — just as marriage has transformed them — to become something new; something elevated; a timeless work of art that will hang in their home for years. My calling is still to create truly unique, bespoke, botanical collages that celebrate love in all its infinitely beautiful forms!
The Elements of Change and the Elements of Nature
These elements of change - new name, new designs, new products - like the botanical elements in a bouquet are each exciting and beautiful in their own right. And these changes, like flowers, when thoughtfully pulled apart, reexamined and rearranged, compliment each other, becoming greater than the sum of their parts. They create something unique, exciting, deeply personal and unapologetically honest - like the pressed flower collage I hope to create with you and for you.
I invite you to follow here and on social media (@floralylinda on Instagram and @floralyflowers on Facebook) and come along on this creative journey as Flora-Ly Studios continues to grow and evolve and strive as ever, to serve and preserve the ephemera of love, commitment and memory.
Woohoo! You make the memories and pick the flowers! I’ll press those blooms and make some art!
Let’s create something beautiful together! (I CAN’T WAIT!)
I'm Linda, keeper of the flowers.