Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Boutonniere: A Lesson in Language and Style

The discomfort is obvious.When students come in to order their prom flowers they just don’t know what to do with the word “boutonniere”.  Most times they don’t even know what it is, it sounds like something that happens at a rave party,  a "boot ‘n da’ ear".  Many times, they just simply mumble, “the flower that the guy wears”.

The boutonniere (say it after me, “boo ton ear”) has been with us since the 16th century.  It was initially worn as a way of warding off evil spirits, bad luck and the occasional malicious demon. Sounds like the perfect accessory for a high school prom doesn't it.  The word “boutonniere” is French for button hole which refers to where the flower is worn, on the left lapel button hole of the jacket.  The British still refer to the flower as a “buttonhole”.  During the 18th and 19th century, it became an essential fashion accessory for the hippest guys.

The classic boutonniere has been spotted on some of history's sexiest leading men including Cary Grant, Fred Astair, and Oscar Wilde.  Boutonnieres were recently spotted  at the Oscars on the jackets of Tom Ford and Forest Whitaker. Historically carnations and roses were used to create a boutonniere. 

Today’s boutonniere or bout (boot) for short, has so many more options.  This is especially true for proms.  Just because it’s to be worn by a guy, doesn't mean boring and plain!  Au contraire!  Let’s face it, which peacock is the flashiest? Sometimes it is okay for a man to shine, especially on his prom night.   The simple bud or small bloom now comes tricked out with decorative wire, beads, feathers, ribbon and more accouterments than ever before. You boutonniere is another way to express yourself and your personal style at prom. 

When placing the order for a boutonniere, it is essential to know the color of the clothing it is to be worn on or next to (as in the date’s dress).  Be adventurous with the selection of flower.  It should be something that’s sturdy and can handle abuse.  A rose bud, dendrobium, miniature cymbidium, orchid, carnation, or even a cluster of berries and foliage make for excellent choices.  The key to success is size!  In this case, bodacious (Southern for “big and beautiful”) is not necessarily better.  A tastefully sized boutonniere doesn't rip the lapel or dwarf the wearer.  If it approaches something that Bozo the Clown would have worn, then you might need to re-evaluate. 

Finally, how to attach it to the lapel?  Originally, as earlier pointed out, the stem of the flower was simply stuck through the buttonhole in the lapel.  Today, most jackets don’t even have button holes, so this has necessitated the use of sharp instruments like pins.  This has frequently resulted in flowers flipping and flopping around and unfortunately even the shedding of blood!  Thankfully, there are now wonderful little high powered magnets that allow for less stress and bloodshed.  A small metal disc is attached to the bout.  Then, once the bout is put in place on the lapel, the magnet is placed behind the lapel to magically hold the flower in place. Voila!  Choose wisely my son, and you will be sure to catch the eye of every belle at the ball!

Robbin Yelverton AIFD, CFD, MCF, PFCI
Blumz… by JRDesigns Floral & Events
Detroit & Ferndale

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Blumz by JRDesigns: Everything You Need to Know to Plan the Perfect Graduation Party

Those final exams may not have been taken yet, but thoughts of mortar boards and tassels are already in the minds of seniors everywhere!  That means that it will not be too long and Graduation Parties will be kicking soon.  

So, let’s get the party started!  Here are the basic steps:

Step 1:  Pick a Date.  Keep in mind all the other grads will be doing the same.  Planning around other family events may allow out of town guests to “double dip” the trip!

Step 2:  Set a Budget.  Be realistic, parties can be expensive.  Each person invited represents an expense.  Outline all the options available in regards to locations, food and beverage, decoration, entertainment and rentals such as tables, chairs, tents, etc.  Consider the costs for each of these elements and select based on your abilities.

Step 3:  Pick a location.  Will it be at home, at a public park or at a commercial venue?  And depending upon which location you select, what will need to be provided?  If you pick your home, then you may need additional tables and chairs.  A public park will require all the food preparation and service equipment to be brought in.  A commercial venue will be more expensive, initially, but they will have all the necessary items from tables and chairs to food service already provided.  So for each location being considered, map out all the items that will need to be provided, assign costs for each and add it all up to see which is actually the better option.

Step 4:  Create a Guest List and Mail Invitations.  Make a master list of all those you would like to invite.  Then based on your budget determine if the number in question will work.  Adjust the list if necessary.  If you are mailing an invitation confirm and correct all mailing addresses.  Select and order the necessary invitations and while you are at it, go ahead and get your thank you cards, too!  Be creative with your invitation.  It can set the theme of the event.

Step 5:  Pick a Theme and Plan Décor.  Will it be school colors, a favorite hobby or sport, your college of choice or future occupation?  Selecting a theme gives you focus and a goal for making other decisions such as décor, menu and entertainment.   Enlist the help of family and friends in assembling any items that work into the theme.  School memorabilia, family photos, awards and achievements, uniforms and more can add to the fun.  Whether the décor is simply crepe paper and balloons or actual floral centerpieces and props, this can be the most fun in the whole process of planning the celebration.  Don’t forget a guest book or some other way of getting guests to leave comments, best wishes or advice for the future.

Step 6:  Plan Menu.  Get creative!  Keep the menu simple but tasty; many people come to the grad party just for the food!  If you are on a strict budget, consider asking family members to bring a dish to pass... but be specific so that you don’t end up with mostly desserts and very little else.  If you are using a professional caterer, discuss your options and what they can do to coordinate with your selected theme.

Step 7:  Plan Activities/ Entertainment.  Will it be just a mix and mingle, or will there be games, activities and music.  A friend with a great play list on their IPhone and a simple sound system can go a long way. 

Step 8:  Be the Host/Hostess and Enjoy the Party.  As the guest of honor, it is your place to serve as host or hostess.  Greet all attendees, welcome them, and give them guidance.  Be gracious and thank them for their attendance.

Step 9:  Plan for Clean Up.  Every party must end.  Be prepared for that by making sure that you have plenty of supplies such as garbage bags, boxes and clean up supplies.  This is especially true if the party has taken place in a public park or outside venue. 

Step 10:  Send out Thank You notes!  Finally, get “old school” quick and follow up with a heartfelt, handwritten thank you card to all those that attended.  Your courtesy will be remembered!

The designs featured in these photos, combine beautiful flowers and festive thematic additions.  The tallest design, suitable for a food table uses a glass cylinder as a lift with a black container placed on top looking similar to a mortar board.  Off the edge of the container hangs a tassel and in the design is an inflated graduation theme beach ball.  Hot pink roses, white snaps and fuchsia dendrobium orchids are the primary flowers. 
Additional arrangements were created to be used on the side tables and as centerpieces, they showcase similar flowers and decorative wire.  Additional color theme relevant decorative accents such as the congratulatory ribbon, bead wire and colored glass vase help pull the look together.  Metallic confetti and a pair of gold glittery “Grad” glasses adds to the fun!   Throw in some balloons in black, white, and hot pink, some hot pink linens and black napkins and you have a great party look. Of course, this particular color scheme can be easily changed to reflect your personal choice of colors.

Follow the steps outlined above and with the talents of your local floral designer, create a party to remember for years to come!

J Robbin Yelverton AIFD, AAF, CF, PFCI
Blumz… by JRDesigns Floral & Event Professionals
Detroit & Ferndale, MI

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Blumz Wins Metro Times Best Florist In Detroit!

Blumz by JRDesigns is pleased to announce that we have once again been awarded a Metro Times Best of Detroit Award. This year we were voted the “Best Florist in Wayne County”.  These awards are especially important to us because they were voted on by the people of Detroit and the surrounding communities.

Blumz by JRDesigns prides itself on being a forward thinking florist who caters to the needs of their clients. We are much more than your typical florist, we are also a one stop wedding shop catering to couples in need of linens, tenting, lighting, tuxedos and tuxedo accessories, bouquets, centerpieces, invitations and more. We also have gift shops inside both of  our locations (Detroit and Ferndale) that feature greeting cards, candles, chocolates, purses, scarfs and more .  Additionally, we have a full service remembrance room inside our Ferndale location to make funeral plans and arrangements as easy as possible during a very difficult time in our customers lives.  

Blumz has been serving the Metro Detroit community for over 14 years, we are honored that our customers have recognized our dedication to hard work, great service, and high quality products. Thanks for voting us “Metro Times Best Florist” year after year, we are honored to continue to hold this title.


~Blumz by JRDesigns

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Scoop on Fashionable Prom Dresses and Flowers for 2015

This year prom dresses continue to trend away from the traditional big multi-layered full ball gown and toward the form fitting, lace and jewel encrusted fantasy numbers seen on fashion runways.

Mermaid silhouettes are joined with fun and flirty two-piece separates that let teens express themselves by mixing and matching. No more having to worry if someone else will wear the same dress.

Cap sleeves, one shoulder and high necklines have made a showing this year. This has provided a bit of variety to the typical sleeveless/strapless evening look.

Rompers, both long and short, and one-piece pantsuits have also brought a new style to the prom scene. Not only do they diversify the look, but also they are a great option for prom attendees that are not fond of dresses. Chiffon, lace appliques and prints provide an alternative to silks and satins.

With all these dresses to choose from, selecting the perfect floral accent can be a challenge but can also be fun and expressive.

For those dresses without shoulders or minimal straps, think flowers in the hair. Use flowers as a way to accessorize, through the use of jeweled hair combs, barrettes, or even a tiara. Your professional florist can add flowers to these bling-y creations and voila —awesomeness.

Floral bracelets, rings, necklaces and anklets add a fun fashion forward detail to the total ensemble. When selecting them, make sure they are comfortable to wear and not over-sized, as they get damaged more easily than pieces worn in the hair or on the shoulder.

Most of all have fun and make memories for a lifetime this prom season. Visit your local floral professional to have something custom made just for you.


Perennials, Can You Dig It?

This Saturday, April 25th Blumz by JRDesigns will be hosting a class courtesy of the Ferndale Beautification Commission.  Jan Coppola Bills from Two Women and a Hoe will be teaching attendees about spring perennials and gardening.  This is the perfect time for you to learn a little more about spring flowers before you head out to buy what you are going to plant this year. This is a great opportunity for you  to talk to the gardening experts and get all your questions answered. Flowers make everything prettier, let’s learn how to grow them together this Saturday!

Don’t forget that the Ferndale Perennial Exchange is also coming up soon. You can learn about perennials this weekend and come back to Blumz by JRDesigns on May 16th to be part of the “great perennial exchange”.  This is the 7th year that they will be holding the ‘ great exchange” and it just keeps “growing” every year. Attendees are asked to bring a perennial to donate and in turn they will get a different perennial to take home and plant!

This weekends class will take place at Blumz by JRDesigns Ferndale location from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event on the 16th will begin at 10 a.m.  Blumz by JRDesigns Ferndale is located at 503 E Nine Mile Rd. Ferndale, MI 48220,  hope to see a lot of you there!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Blumz by JRDesigns Mother's Day Contest

Did you know that every flower has a meaning?  The type and color of the flowers that you give to someone special can hold a lot of significance if you know the meaning behind the arrangement.  Flowers are always a great gift, but flowers that have a special meaning are even better!

In honor of Mother’s Day, we thought it would be fun to teach all of you the meaning of some of the most common seasonal flowers by creating a contest based on some of our favorite springtime florals. Blumz has compiled a list of the meanings below and we are giving all of you an opportunity to win a special arrangement for Mother’s Day.  Using the meanings of the different flowers listed below,write a paragraph describing what you love or admire about your mother, your wife, or someone that served as a mother figure in your life. For example, I would describe my mother as a Sunflower. She is bright, beautiful and resilient. My mother makes it through the hard times with incredible inner strength and a strong faith.

Now, it’s your turn. Describe your mom, or a mom that means a lot to you. To enter, please write a paragraph and post it on our Facebook page. Remember if you haven't “liked” our page we won’t be able to see your post. Please post it on our wall (not your own wall) and tag Blumz by JRDesigns in the post. We will announce the winner of this contest on May 6th.  The Winner will be able to come pick up an arrangement that will include a few of the flowers that they used to describe the special mother in their life.  Imagine how much it will mean to mom when she finds out the meaning behind the floral arrangement that you give her this Mother’s Day.

Roses- Grace
Tulips- Love
Babys Breath- Pure of Heart    
Alstroemeria- Friendship
Solidage- Strength
Statice- Remembrance
Stock- Happy Life
Snapdragon- Gracious Lady
Monte casino- Patience
Lily- Ambition
Liatris- Joy
Daisy- Hope  
Fuji Mum- Honor
Carnation- Lovely
Bells of Ireland- Good Luck
Hydrangea- Gratitude
Iris- Courage
Ranunculus - Radiant
Sunflower - Resilience
Aster- Elegance
Peony- Compassion