Archive for the ‘My Life’ Category

Saying Goodbye…

November 6, 2010

Siena Marie will be born in a few months, and now that the last wedding of 2010 is completed, I’ve been busy working on the nursery.  It’s pretty much ready to go, we just need a baby in there!

Photo by Trista Lerit

But as I look forward to my new life with baby, I’m sad to announce the end of my “other baby”, The Treasured Petal. When I started TPetal 4 years ago, I knew I wanted to be a stay at home mommy one day, so it’s not like I didn’t see this coming.  Here’s the honest truth:  I long to be the kind of mom who has time to make my own baby food, exercise, be my husband’s hot girlfriend, cook healthy dinners, socialize, and run my family with the same intensity and drive as I ran my business- with a real budget, real goals… a PLAN.

I do love the flower business, but those 4 am flower mart trips and late late nights drawing up proposals on the computer will not be as enjoyable to me with a baby on my hip.  Plus, I think it’s about time to trade in my cargo van for a mini van.  JK!  I’m not quite ready for that yet.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this topic!  I have so many friends who have been able to balance mommyhood and entrepreneurship beautifully. More power to them!  But I know myself well, and I have a pretty one track mind.  There was a time when The Treasured Petal was truly my baby, and I needed to devote all my energy, time, and creativity to making it work.  Sometimes during the really busy seasons, housework and time with hubby was compromised.  We ate lots of takeout.  I drank too much coffee and had plenty of knots in my back.  I also should have showered more 🙂 The hard work and sacrifice did pay off, and I’m so so proud of all I’ve achieved through TPetal! But a business is not a baby, not even close.

At my last wedding a few weeks ago, I did cry a little.  And I got extremely nostalgic as I cruised the flower mart for the “last time” (I’ve actually been back 2 times since then to pick up random flowers for friends/clients.)  There is so much I will miss.  So I want to say THANK YOU to the following peeps.  Without you, TPetal would never have gotten off the ground.

1.  My incredible husband Joe, whose constant cheerleading kept me going when things got tough.

2.  My best friend Angel Swanson, who helped me book my first wedding ever.  Since then, we’ve probably done at least 40 weddings together!  But our friendship is sooo much deeper than a business relationship.  She really is like a sister, and someone who I admire in so many ways.

3.  My favorite flower vendors– Felipe at Holland Flowers,  Ed from California Flowers, and Nick from Floral Supply Syndicate.  I’m notoriously picky about my flowers, and they always treated me like a princess.

4.  My sister Jennylyn, who gave me pep talks early on when I thought I was way over my head. She told me that I had to be willing to fail in order to be a business woman.  As a perfectionist, this was a hard lesson to learn.

5.  Janie from The Bride’s Cafe, who was the first ever “big blog” to publish my work.  Her post about me opened up many more opportunities for my little company.  She’s continued to reach out and support me throughout the years. I hope to meet her in person in a few months when she comes out to the West Coast.

6.  My main assistants, Montita and Shana, who pretty much rock in every way.  I’m so blessed to have found such hard-working, talented designers.

7.  The many friends I’ve met in the industry!  I’m sure I’ll get a little jealous when I see all the amazing projects you’re working on.   Maybe I can assist you on weddings once in a while, just to keep my pulse on the industry 🙂

8.  My loyal blog readers, whose sweet comments bring a smile to my face and have given me comfort during hard times.  It’s been fun!

9.  Last but not least, my amazing, stylish couples who trusted me enough to make their weddings beautiful! Not a bridezilla in the bunch 🙂  A few groomzillas though.  I kid!

So yes, I’m saying goodbye to The Treasured Petal for now, but I still have a wonderful creative outlet with my accessory boutique  Petal and Thorn. I’ve been busy creating some gorgeous new products, soon to be listed.  You can continue to keep up with my life and my crafts on my new blog, Petal and Thorn Handmades.  I hope to include lots of DIY instructions and house-wifey stuff on there, too.  Plus, oddly enough, I still have a bunch of 2010 weddings to blog!  Update your RSS feeds! Don’t let this be our last goodbye!!!

And to entice you to make the leap:

If you want to see the rest of my big belly pics, taken by my lovely friend Trista Lerit, go to the Petal and Thorn blog!!!  See you there in 5 seconds!


Petal and Thorn

October 10, 2010

I’m so excited to announce the launch of my new accessory line, Petal and Thorn!  Janie from The Brides Cafe did a great little feature on the new products, and is giving away a Wispy Cymbidium Clip to a lucky reader who comments on the post.  I can’t thank Janie enough for always supporting my artistic endeavors 🙂

The amount of work that goes into creating a diverse line of products, styling a shoot, pricing and describing each item, and then creating a brand for them is SOOOO INTENSE.  Which is why I’m just now launching in October, 7 months after the sweet as pie Marlin and Marlene Munoz shot all the pics for me.  Ok, so I got preggers, it’s wedding season,  AND my dad passed away during that span of time, so life has been a bit crazy.  I’m not beating myself up for taking this long.

Here is a small sampling of products from our new line- check out the new Petal and Thorn Etsy Site to see the rest!

The Wispy Cymbidium

Marlin captured the most dreamy pics as the sun was starting to descend.  All photos were taken in random residential and business spots in Downtown Tustin.

“First Date” in black

Also available in silver and eggplant purple.

“Snowflakes Falling”

Available in black, white, and ivory.

“Flower Princess Wand, in bronze” and matching hair bloom

These flower girl wands are so happy and colorful.  I would have loved these when I was a kid!  Sidenote: Can’t wait until my baby is grown up enough to model all my flower girl accessories!

The wands and hair blooms come in all sorts of candy colors.

“Snakes in Love Belt”

This one is a personal fav, just because I’ve never seen anything quite like it!  It’s super girly and glam, but edgy at the same time.  Any bride who can rock snakes on the wedding day deserves a high five!

“Polka Dotted Vixen”

I used spotted guinea feathers and striped grizzly maribou feathers to create this soft, feather flower.

“Hydrangea Blossom Belt” in blue

I love this for a bridesmaid or flower girl- super preppy!  My favorite detail is the intricate veining on the leaves.

“Child of Manhattan” cocktail hat

This sassy hat is perfect for boudoir portraits.  Jodi wears hats so well, and looked gorgeous in this delicate Diane Von Furstenburg dress.

“Ritzy Dragonfly”

“You Pick Two” hair blooms

Can be worn as a corsage, sash, or hair flowers.  They are super lightweight, which makes them perfect for flower girls’ fine hair.

“Champagne Toast”

Cocktail hats are by far my favorite item to make.  I use “French Room” technique, which basically means I take no shortcuts and try to create my hats from scratch, stitch by stitch.  The pregnanter I get, the more I’m enjoying just kicking my feet up and hand-stitching for hours at a time.

I could never have done this without:

  1. Marlin Munoz Photography,
  2. my sweet and GORGEOUS friend/model Jodi Newton,
  3. my neighbor Chie Hamada who did the makeup,
  4. my sis Jenny-lyn who did Jodi’s hair,
  5. my good friend Jenny Pham who let me raid her closet for all the super cute outfits,
  6. my hubby Joe for assisting me in too many ways to list,
  7. and my cousin Jason Schmidt who designed the website.  He also did my Treasured Petal website!

I’ll be back tomorrow with a  refreshing white beach wedding.  Ciao!

A Bumpy Road Ahead…

September 4, 2010

Oh, how it seems that the extremely joyful events of my life always happen in sync with sorrowful ones.  Life is truly a roller coaster ride. This has never been more true than right this moment.

First, the ups:  I’ve got a little baby girl growing inside of me.  There’s a small but  cute little baby bump to prove it (hence the title of this post 🙂  She will be our little 1/4 Korean, 1/4 Irish, 1/4 Italian, and 1/4 German princess.  She’ll be born naturally with a midwife (God-willing, but that’s the plan.)   We are already so much in love, especially after watching her yawn, stretch, and practically suck her own toes today at the ultrasound.

Just to orient you, her big head is at the bottom (you can see her profile in the first pic), her belly is on the left, and her little legs are totally stretched above her.  Joe calls it her Jiu Jitsu stretch.  I call it her ballet stretch.

Here is a little hypothetical baby Brancaleone- a morph of Joe’s face and my face.  Pretty cute, right?  At least as far as those morph pics go.  Remember the hypothetical baby in How to Lose a Guy in 10 days?  haha.

Now let’s talk about the downs: My dad passed away unexpectedly this Tuesday.  I’m actually writing this at 5 am on a Saturday because I can’t sleep.  My own emotions are a roller coaster in themselves.  Sometimes I’m numb, sometimes I’m crying, sometimes I’m laughing, sometimes I’m reminiscing.

My dad was special in so many ways.  He was a world-class Judo champion (at one time, 2nd in the world)- you can bet Joe didn’t mess around while we were dating, for fear of the wrath of my very physically fit father 🙂  My dad was a wonderful singer, who passed on this gift to my sister who is now an opera singer.  My dad loved us and cared about our well-being.  I don’t agree with all his parenting practices, but he really did what he thought was best for us. He never allowed me to talk to boys until I was 18.  Little did he know my first boyfriend was in 5th grade!  Boys would call my house and pretend to be girls to talk to me.  He was a very protective Korean dad.

He made us laugh.  He cooked the best Korean BBQ on the grill for every special occasion.  He and my mom babysat Pesto all the time even though he had a strict “no dogs in the house” policy.  He always seemed to bend the rules for me, his second daughter (especially when I would cry or whine- bad habit!  Hope my daughter doesn’t try to pull that stuff!)  He did this thing called “Candy Magic” when we were little.  He’d come home from work with candy bars up his sleeve, and we honestly thought he was creating them out of thin air.  I think that’s where my insatiable sweet tooth started.

His passing was a tragedy.  I’m not going to say my relationship with my dad was perfect.  In fact, I have many regrets about the way I have related to him in my adult life.  But I love him deeply, and already miss him so much.  The song “Unchained Melody” is stuck on repeat in my head. It was his favorite song.  I honestly can’t believe he’s gone.

From left to right, my little brother Nick, Me, my Dad Hak Chan, my older sis Jennylyn, and my Mom Jo Anne.

This might sound like a Hallmark card, but as this  bumpy road  of life continues, I’m so grateful that Jesus, my Lord and Savior, is holding me up and carrying me when I honestly think I can’t walk anymore.  God is good, even in the midst of sorrow and pain.  This little life inside of me is a constant reminder of that.

Thanks for reading.  I will be going through pics of my dad from my childhood, and hope you don’t mind if I post some of these later on.  I don’t usually get so personal on this blog, but it’s been a great comfort to write in this diary of sorts when I can’t sleep.

3 years ago…

August 10, 2010

I married a sweet, sweet man named Joe.   I can honestly say we’re still in that honeymoon “phase”, and I doubt it will ever go away.

This was his facebook message to me today…

“Happy 3 years of beautiful entanglements
Of 2 souls; You are a portrait of grace, inspiring
When life takes its toll; 1 pilgrim partner
I can depend upon; I am undeserving but

He has a much better way with words than I do… all I can say is ditto x 100!

My FIRST Destination Wedding!

August 8, 2010

At 3:00 am, Joe and I load buckets of flowers into my van and head up the California coast to San Jose.  Deliriously tired, but also filled with adrenaline. Thinking morbid thoughts of the van breaking down in the middle of the cow fields of central California, or the air conditioner stopping, killing all the precious flowers.  Don’t get me wrong, my van is in excellent condition (I even had enough foresight to get it tuned up beforehand) but when you’re carrying thousands of dollars worth of perishables across the state, your imagination can run wild.

Destination weddings are really difficult for florists, hence I rarely do them.  Here’s why:

  1. There’s the issue of flower transport.  I had three options- buy them from the San Fran mart, have them shipped from LA to the Bay Area, or bring them up myself.  I chose the latter, mostly because I love and trust my LA vendors and  I’ve only been to the San Fran mart once.  I figured I could pull off the drive as long as the flowers were carefully cleaned and processed, had plenty of fresh water for the trip, and we left under the cover of darkness before it got too hot.
  2. You need a place to assemble the flowers, which can be a wild and messy process.  Luckily, the bride Kim is one of my good friends, and her parents offered up their garage as a workshop.  Otherwise, I would have needed to rent out space from another flower shop so I would have access to buckets, a sink, dumpsters, work tables, and ideally, a cooler.
  3. What about assistants?  We flew two of my assistants up just for the occasion.
  4. Vases and supplies?  We brought them all up with us in the van.  Had we chosen to fly up instead of drive, we would have needed to ship them ahead of time, or purchase them there.

As you can see, it’s a complicated process that requires a lot of planning.  I’m in awe of florists who regularly do destination weddings.  More power to you!  What is your secret?

Without further adieu, I present to you Mike and Kim’s gorgeous wedding!  All images by the fabulous Cindy and Daniel of  Orange Turtle Photography!

Meet Kim, one of my favorite people in the world.  A gentle, generous, vivacious, artistic, architect.   Quite a catch!

As roommates in college, I told Kim that big, fluffy peonies were my favorite flower.  She told me she thought they were a bit “overkill,”  and preferred graceful orchids.  I’m glad she finally came around!  Now she LOVES peonies and specially requested that they be in her bouquet.  I also added some delphinium, grape hyacinth, and vibrant derby garden roses.  Yum!Mike is a wonderful man, and I’m so glad to he and Kim found one another!

Swags of many colored ribbons draped along the aisle.

Sheer bliss!The Holbrook-Palmer Park in Atherton is such a serene place to be married.

These little fabric rosettes served as favors, escort cards, and a creative way to identify how we know the couple. 

I used sleek cobalt blue square vases overflowing with garden flowers in berry blues and magentas. 

The neato hanging contraption on the below is crafted from Kim’s architecture tubes, stuffed with fabric, corks, and flowers.   I told you Kim was a genius!Kim’s the kind of girl who will gladly bake cookies, cakes and treats for others but never eat them herself.  She does not indulge in sweets very often, preferring fruits and veggies.  Mike on the other hand names chocolate and caramel among his favorite foods.

The chandelier below is also made from used architecture tubes.  The gorgeous banner was handmade by Kim!  She even sketched out that tree to match the one she drew on her invites. 

Kim, I love you so much!  Your wedding day was totally a reflection of you- detailed, artistic, warm, elegant, and playful.  Thank you for your continued friendship and love over the years.  May God’s grace shine through in all aspects of your marriage!

She came bearing flowers!

August 4, 2010

Two dear old friends were in town, and came over for some homemade pizzas and lots of girl talk.  When I opened the door, Jules was holding a vase of freshly cut flowers from her parents garden (this garden!) in one hand, and a fist full of heirloom tomatoes and onions straight from the ground in her other hand.  Her homegrown tidings completely made my day.

I love that the roses are at all stages of life- some tight buds, some crisp and open, some soft and shedding their petals.  This life cycle isn’t something I can usually capture in my wedding arrangements, as most brides aren’t too hip on “dying”  roses!  I think they are beautiful though 🙂

I have never, I mean NEVER, seen zinnias this large and vibrant at the flower mart.  If I did, I would buy zinnias much more often!  ‘Tis the season for them!

I love receiving flowers even though I’m around them constantly.  I wonder if bakers still like receiving cupcakes, or if they’re totally sick of them?

Vegas, Baby!

July 1, 2010

My sister and I will be in Vegas this weekend with our dear husbands.  Since none of us are the crazy “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” types, we will be doing such innocent activities as:

  • seeing The Lion King
  • the Bellagio horticultural exhibit
  • M&M world (my sister’s  idea!)
  • watching the sharks and whales at Mandalay Bay.
  • speaking of whales, we’ll also be hitting up the buffets 🙂

I swear, sometimes I think I’m a 60 year old in a 27 year old’s body.  Case in point: I told you that the last time we went to Vegas we saw BETTE MIDLER!

On another note, super sweet photographer Tonya Joy asked me to provide a few accessories for her workshop last month.  I sent her an edgy purple birdcage veil and spotted guinea feather fascinator.  I may have to rock these in Vegas at some point during the trip.  Can I pull it off at The Lion King? Do people ever wear veils just because anymore?

For more fabulous accessories, go to The Treasured Petal Boutique.  Hundreds more items will be listed in the next few weeks. It’ll blow your mind!

Have a wonderful and safe Independence Day Weekend!!!!!!!!

A Sweet Southern Wedding!

May 29, 2010

Last week I happened to see  Meg’s beautiful blue eyes staring back at me from the e-pages of  Southern Weddings Magazine! What a surprise!  Although SWM usually features real Southern weddings, they have happily featured quite a few of my California weddings that have a certain Southern something 🙂

{BTW,  I’m actually typing this from my hotel room in Oxford, Mississippi right now. It is GORGEOUS here and the magnolias are starting to bloom. Tomorrow I’ll be a guest at my nephew Aaron’s  wedding.  I will not be doing their florals, in case you were wondering!}

I posted some teasers of Meg and Shawn’s wedding captured by Joe a while ago here, but I recently received a slew of detail shots from Meg and Shawn’s sweet photographer, Brittany Keene.  Here are some of my favorite details!

A single gardenia graced her hair.  I always suggest purchasing two wired gardenias, one for the ceremony and one for the reception.  They are so fragile and can brown easily, but their creamy gorgeousness cannot be denied.  And the fragrance!

A classic white bouquet, filled with dahlias, callas, gardenias, roses, and then some.

The bridesmaids carried equally lush and textured blooms in shades of white, beige and yellow.

The Newland Barn and Museum is a cool little spot in Huntington Beach. It definitely has a country feel to it.

Brittany caught some great shots of the couple wandering around the barn.

One of my favorite planners- scratch that- one of my favorite PEOPLE Courtney Toney of Joyful Weddings and Events created all the sweet little touches that made this wedding so special:

The reception florals were so sweet!  Paisley wrapped vases and jars overflowing with fresh blooms.

We hung wired mason jars from the magnolia trees.   How Southern is that ? 🙂

I firmly believe the bride and groom’s chairs should be a little bit special.  

Here is one of my assistants hard at work on the cake.  She is my cake decorating expert!

The reception was chock full of southern bbq, dancing, and merriment under the stars.

I can’t wait to share pics from our Mississippi adventure!  I’m in love with their accents, catfish, wild growing hydrangea, and Southern hospitality.  I’m NOT in love with the humidity, fried foods, and mosquitos though, but it’s a small price to pay.

A Homespun Wedding: Ceremony Details

April 29, 2010

Glorious Spring is finally upon us, which means that the flower mart is filled with sweet peas, lilac, viburnum, and some of the most ginormous tulips I’ve ever seen. 

It seems festive and appropriate to and dig up this wedding from last Spring and delve into all the lovely details, as promised so long ago.  Thank you so much to Sarah K. Chen for these gorgeous images!  And coordinator extraordinaire,  Kerrie Underhill, you are my girl!  I always love working with you!

Meet Ashlee.  Isn’t she  elegant?

She was so serene on the wedding day.

I love to see a bride admiring her bouquet 🙂

I admit, it was pretty luscious! Gorgeous viburnum, freesia, roses, double tulips,  scabiosa and scabiosa pods, with wispy feathers.

Her bridesmaids carried cheerful yellow and cream blooms, including craspedia, majolika roses, big fluffy china mums, and lisianthus, wrapped in chocolate ribbon.

I cannot resist inserting this little canine cutie who greeted me at the door when I came to deliver the personals. He markings are quite Basil-esque!

Brenton made a handsome groom in his pinstripe suit.

The feathers in Ashlee’s bouquet were carried through in all the bouts. 

Are you starting to see a theme?  Feathers, nests, twigs…

Gorgeous chickpea and coffee bean filled hurricanes were scattered about.

We lined the aisle with hanging mason jars filled with country flowers- snapdragons, lilies, roses and hydrangea. 

The courtyard at Talega Golf Club is so intimate and full of Spanish flair. 

This arch was quite special, between the tangled branches, puffs of white feathers, hanging jelly jar vases, and fluffy florals climbing along it. 

Check back soon for the delightful reception details in Part 2 of A Homespun Wedding!  Now it’s back to work for my fabulous Friday wedding 🙂

Happy and Organized

February 27, 2010

I am the “messy sister”.  To be fair, I’m really not THAT bad compared to the general population.  I would classify myself as the low-end of neat and tidy, or perhaps the upper echelon of messy.  My house is always “presentable”, as I have guests and clients over often. But yes, my closets and bookshelves are a mess,  and I do have that random guest room which has become our storage area. Plus, I have floral and craft supplies everywhere.  And the ribbon, my goodness, the ribbon!

On Monday, I had a sudden urge to purge the mess.  I wanted my house to be SUPER clean, like magazine-worthy.  My first project?  Our office.

I called my favorite “Monica Gellar/Danny Tanner”- my sister, Jenny-lyn.    Sometimes, you just need a cheerleader/drill sargeant to help you get your home in order.  Organizing is a skill that doesn’t come naturally to me,  but my sister thrives on organization.  The morning of her wedding, instead of a relaxing massage or brunch with her bridesmaids, she vacuumed, swept, did the dishes, and cleaned the counters.  That was her way of kicking off her big day!?!

This is embarrassing, but here’s my home office before:

In my defense, I had been crafting up a storm right before this picture was taken.  I don’t always live in this kind of chaos!

Here is my office after:

My desk area is pristine and lovely thanks to the storage boxes from Homegoods and Pier 1.  I bought a corkboard and French memo board to display select cards, inspiration, and photobooth pics.

My craft corner : Goodbye to piles of ribbon and random fabric scraps everywhere!  Supplies are in baskets and bins, clearly labeled.

My office closet: a place for everything, and everything in it’s place.

Here’s the thing about organizing that trips me up:  It’s easy to give up or get distracted.  About an hour in, I got a headache and felt nauseous.  I became so drained that I had to take a break, and curled up in the fetal position on the couch. Could it be the double shot latte I had earlier that day, or was it  something deeper?   Was the very act of bringing out the junk from every corner and crevice making me physically ill?  My sis had to laugh- her last client got sick in the middle of their clean-fest, too! Coincidence?

But Jenny-lyn kept encouraging me to push on, and I’m so glad she did!  How wonderful it feels to work and live in a clean, orderly environment.  I get really happy every time I walk into my office.  I’m resolved to keep it neat!

My sister is amazing at this.  I’m convinced that every small business owner needs a neat-freak to help them get things in order.  Good news for you Orange County peeps- she’s available for hire!  Check out her new blog Happy and Organized for cleaning and organization tips.

Spring cleaning?  Bring it on!!!  Next up?  Linen closet, laundry  room, and guest room.