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Read about simple things you can do to make someones day! http://daymaker.net/top-50-ways.html

I know I’m an idealist but I can’t help it….I was intrigued when I recently heard about this movement.  The author is David Wagner, the book is called~ Life as a Daymaker.  The book was published back in 2003, but it’s still so timely for society today.  I don’t know why I haven’t heard of it before now, maybe I’ve just been too busy earning a living.. but  I find so much wisdom in the concept of making someones day.  I practice it every day in my flower shop.  I think it’s something we could all practice, if we only gave it a thought once in a while.  It has the power to change the world and move us towards kindness, love and joy.  I thought about David’s comment that ” it’s hard to focus on your own problems if you are living life as a Daymaker. ”

It reminded me of a time many years ago when I worked in a nursing home. My friends used to ask me how I could do it.  Everyone found it depressing, but I always found that it helped me to be more positive.  When I looked around each day it made me realize that there was always someone who had it worse than me.  I learned to count my blessings in small ways.  I made a difference in a life, in my own small way, and that always made me feel great.

A woman came into the flower store one day a number of years ago, and she asked me to make a corsage. She came back the next day, she paid for it, and asked me to give it to the next person who needed a corsage.  I couldn’t believe it.  You can imagine my surprise when another woman called later in the day and asked if she could order an inexpensive corsage.  She explained that she didn’t have much money, but that she really wanted to get this corsage for her mother for an upcoming special occasion.  When that woman found out that she was going to be the recipient of a free corsage, paid for by a prior customer, she became so emotional.  I’m not even sure that she believed the whole thing was true.  She kept thinking that I was the one giving her a free corsage.  I kept trying to explain to her that it was paid for by a stranger, who wanted to be a “Daymaker”.   It’s a movement we could all engage in.

In the words of David Wagner “ Just be Kind,  it only takes a moment to make someones day. Each of those actions can sustain us. Those moments can even change lives”.

You can read excerpts from the book on Amazon, or purchase the book here:

Park Place Books~ A local Kirkland Bookstore

http://www.parkplacebookskirkland.com/

Thirdplace Books~ An Independent Book Seller

http://www.thirdplacebooks.com/book/9781588720757

Amazon.com an online book store:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1588720756/qid=1049320392/sr=1-5/ref=sr_1_5/002-3281715-6728801?v=glance&s=books

Honestly,  I have to admit that I borrowed the saying  ” Have a Cool Yuletide”  from one of my customers!  It really made me smile today,  so I had to share it.  I hope she doesn’t mind.

I felt the need to stop tonight & just take a breather from the hectic pace that we are running at the studio. I wanted to share my blessings with everyone.

It’s the season when everyone I know gets to send their love, their thoughtfulness, and express their joy with the people they love & appreciate. I have to admit that sometimes during a holiday I feel a little touch of sadness at what I think I am missing out on.  When I have days where I barely have time to get a drink of water or eat during the day, it makes me stop and ask myself why I love being a florist,  but yet I still come back  to JOYFUL!

One of my customers asked me today if anyone ever sends me flowers during the holidays.  It really made me stop and think…..Life is different in a floral design studio this time of the year!  We are so busy and running at such a fast pace, that we do not even have time to shop for gifts for our children, our family, or our friends.  We have no time to do Christmas cards,(unless our friends want to receive them before Thanksgiving or before Valentines Day! :>) )  Most of us don’t have time to attend Christmas parties because we are busy designing beautiful flowers for the parties & celebrations that are going on with all of our friends & clients.  But I have to say that I have indeed been blessed many times with gifts from my customers and it has given me much JOY!

Now please don’t think I am complaining, because being a small business owner is a labor of love!  We love what we do, and we experience a lot of  JOY from sharing our talent and making people happy!

Our business brings us close to the circle of life in which we  share love, sadness & JOY. We share in our clients life events!  This week alone,  we were able to share a little in all of the things that life can present.  For each of us, the view of the season is different. There is of course, a ton of holiday cheer, but also for some a very sad suicide, or a natural death celebrating a loved ones very full & long life, a sudden loss of two people you loved,  the birth of a brand new life, a congratulations on a new successful business venture, a wedding, a birthday celebration, a sickness, happiness at a loved one  recovering  from an illness, an anniversary, a few apologies, and a couple of  “just because”  I love you dearly!  When I look at the scope of what we do…this covers a whole lot of life!

We are artists at heart and we love sharing the JOY  in your lives through  our flowers!  I wanted to take a minute and thank you all for this past year, all the blessings and support you have given us.  All of the JOYOUS moments you have shared with us are cherished & we appreciate you so much.  Have a wonderful holiday season,  & we hope you get to experience the same  JOY in doing all of the things you love!   Pass the JOY on!

Thanks for the reminder to my friend Tim. Check out his upcoming event! http://events.seattlepi.com/bellevue-wa/events/show/175239945-tap-for-joy

Laugh! Smile & enjoy the sunshine in Seattle! It may only be here for a moment!

We recently held an interesting event at the store.  I opened up my design studio to a friend whose daughter was getting married. Professional  wedding flowers weren’t in the budget, so I decided to offer them the use of the studio and the cooler so they could make their own bouquets.  The morning of the work party, they were running around collecting flowers from local growers, farmers markets, and friends yards gathering all the dahlias they could find.  Much to my surprise, they showed up with 10 buckets of flowers.  I agreed to give them a few quick pointers, but each girl had to make her own bouquet, plus they had 21 mason jar vases of flowers to do for the tables.  Watching this whole thing unfold was fantastic.  It was a great reminder to me of just how much skill it requires to design flowers.  I was a little uncomfortable watching the whole process, and I really wanted to jump in there and save them, but they were having so much fun,  I just had to sit back and watch the whole creative process happen.  What ended up happening was that each bouquet had the uniqueness of each person making it.  I helped with wrapping the satin on the bouquets, the professional in me wanted to take them all apart and make them right.  They laughed at me when I asked the mother of the bride if she wanted that flower sticking up out of the middle like that???  She replied  “yes, it looks cool, I like it!” I guess beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder.  :>) I learned that the beauty for me wasn’t the flowers, but it was the joy they shared while doing the whole bouquet making process together.  The party took 6 people, about 3 hours to complete everything.  It inspired me to want to rent my shop out to bridal parties who are lacking a budget but have the creative spirit and sense of adventure to give it a try.  Everyone agreed that it was really  much harder to do than what they imagined it would be.  They all wondered how I could do this job every day.   I have to agree with them,  that it is a tough job, but I love what I do.

Oh, I forgot to mention, that the professional in me couldn’t stand it, and I had to make the brides bouquet.  She picked out her favorite colors and styles from the dahlia buckets, and I created a bouquet for her.

One of the guests who was participating in this fun event is a writer, “Linda is a writer and an educator who holds classes in Intuitive Writing on the Eastside. Check out her website www.intuwriting.com or contact her at linda@intuwriting.com for further information.”  Linda sent me this recap from her perspective:

Dahlia: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dahlia is a genus of bushy, tuberous, perennial plants native to Mexico, Central America, and Colombia. There are at least 36 species of dahlia. Dahlia hybrids are commonly grown as garden plants. The Aztecs gathered and cultivated the dahlia for food, ceremonies, as well as decorative purposes,[3] and the long woody stem of one variety was used for small pipes.

Patty opened the cool workroom of her Brittany Flowers Shop to a sea of color. She had worked with flowers for a long time, yet still this sight overwhelmed her. Dahlias! Buckets of them! Everywhere! An unusual edginess nagged at her. What had she gotten herself into?
It was Labor Day weekend, and a friend’s daughter was getting married. When planning the wedding last winter, the bride told her mother, “I want those flowers that you grew in our garden and yard when I was younger. The colors, the sizes! They are perfect-exactly what I want.” So dahlias it was. The weather in the Northwest has not been the greatest this summer and the dahlias are not as prolific as usual this year. So the dahlias were collected in Patty’s warehouse cooler-from Lori’s garden, friends’ yards, and of course, Brittany Flowers. There were buckets and buckets of them, for bridal party bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, altar arrangements for the grotto, table arrangements-everything imaginable.
Patty’s friend Lori and the bridal party arrived to help. By the bride’s order, each of the five bridesmaids was in charge of making her own bouquet, and then would help with the other decorations. Patty held a quick lesson on how to cut, keep the flowers together and hints on arranging. Feeling rather nervous, her last request was this. “The bride’s bouquet is mine. I was there when you were born and your bouquet must be perfect. I am making it.”
So the work began. Patty listened, helped with all of her creative talent and experience, and watched. As she worked, the nervousness dissipated. She listened to the excited voices that became hushed and awed as they chose their own flowers. She helped when questioned on placement and tying it all together. She watched in awe as it all came together.
Each woman created a reflection of themselves in their bouquet. The tiny bridesmaid chose the smaller flowers of brilliant colors as if to say, “Here I am! Something small, speaking loudly!” The two who were mothers chose a great combination of sizes and colors as if to say, “Here I am! A combination of many things constantly changing hats to keep my family going.” The maid of honor, a tall athletic young woman chose strong flowers of vibrant colors and arranged them with confidence as if to say, “I am confident and in charge! Watch out world, here I come.”
It was amazing, awesome and inspiring. What was happening before Patty was a reawakening of what she was as a florist and an artist. The pride of her work has always been it’s uniqueness, and its tie to each individual that she created for. Here it was happening before her very eyes. It was not to the perfect degree that she always demanded of her work, but it reaffirmed the value of the extra time, individual attention and quality that she always put into her creations. Perhaps she could do some perfecting after everyone left-perhaps not.
The day of the wedding was a grey northwest September day, with rain threatening the outdoor wedding. The flowers were brilliant against the green of the setting and the dull grey sky. The bouquets were gorgeous and truly matched each woman who walked in. The bride’s bouquet, perfectly created by Patty, matched the beauty, happiness and fun in her face. Even the inevitable rain could not dampen the radiant beauty of the flowers and this memorable occasion.

I wanted to take a few minutes away from the mad dash to Christmas and thank all of my loyal customers. Really without all of you, we wouldn’t be here.  Dan & I spend every day all year long taking care of families and friends who need flowers in their lives. We are thankful for the blessing of those relationships.

I don’t know how we managed to get so lucky, but we are! Some of you might think you aren’t important because you only order flowers once a year, but it’s not true,  we appreciate every order from every one of you. This year we have gained a lot of new customers, and I can’t tell you how important it is to us to maintain our business relationship and become your florist for life!

If you’ve dealt with us in the past, you know we are always available for you.  If you are a new customer, here is a little story that show’s how much we value our customers..I remember one Christmas eve a few years ago,  we decided to close early and go enjoy the Christmas festivities with our families. When we left we put our cell phone number on the answering machine, asking people to call if they had a flower emergency.  We were only out of the store for about 10 minutes when a new customer called and said he had “a flower emergency”. We asked him what the emergency was, and his reply was, ” my wife is going to kill me if I don’t come home with flowers”.  Of course, we went back to the store, ho ho ho,  laughing all the way..and fixed him up with a beautiful bouquet.   That’s how important you are to us!

Enjoy the holiday’s, hopefully you will be spending it with family and friends.  We will be taking the week between Christmas and New Year off, but we will return ready to kick off the start to next years wedding season on January 4th.

Here is a little Christmas gift:

The highly anticipated poinsettia polar bears have been unveiled at The Palazzo in Las Vegas. The flower topiaries are made up of 8,000 ‘Polar Bear’ poinsettias, and the tallest stands 16 feet high. Very cool! Wish I could have been on that design event! The link below with show you the slide show of the floral event.

http://www.greenhousegrower.com/news/?storyid=2857

Kirkland, WA – June 11, 2009 – Guests will explore their passions and revel in the presence of true artisans at Kirkland Uncorked, a festival of art, style and taste July 17-19 at Marina Park.

Spend the weekend on the shores of Lake Washington tasting the best the Northwest has to offer in food and wine. Uncorked allows you to taste over 30 Washington wines from the comfort and luxury of Marina Park’s Tasting and Lifestyle Garden. Over 13 restaurants will serve over 10,000 free bite size feasts throughout the weekend. Sample the delectable flavors and see the preparation behind the delicious masterpieces with tips from the chefs themselves during Grilling Demonstrations by Russell Dean Lowell Catering, Tulalip Resort and Casino, Barking Frog, Emmer, and Trellis throughout the weekend. From a sip to a taste, uncorked will tantalize your senses.

The sun won’t be the only thing heating up Marina Park. Watch as Master Chefs Aaron Valimont of Oceanaire Seafood Room, Franz Junga of Il Fornaio, and Scott Lents of bin on the lake go head-to-head in quest of grilling glory during the third annual Grilling Competition Saturday at 5:00pm. Watch as the culinary masterminds turn up the heat and battle to hold the title of “Master of the Grill.”

For those looking for a break from the grape, or in need of more horsepower, both can be found at Kirkland Uncorked. Take a stroll down Kirkland Avenue to view over 60 plus artists. From jewelry to paintings, the street will be turned into an art lover’s paradise. The Seattle Boat Show makes port at Kirkland Uncorked’s Marina Park all weekend; these posh yachts welcome guests aboard for tours and a sneak peak into a floating life of luxury. Also sailing to the shores of Marina Park will be the Tall Ship Lady Washington, known as the official ship of the State of Washington. Guests can purchase Sunset and Adventure sails on the historical ship throughout the weekend. On Sunday, the Kirkland Classic Car Show will feature hundreds of classic hotrods painting their own pictures of style and power.

Even local hotels are getting on-board with the Uncorked festivities! They’re offering guests unique “Uncorked Staycation” packages and amenities such as a complimentary water taxi to the festival.

To learn more about the Kirkland Uncorked wines, restaurants, art and hotel packages, or to purchase advance tickets for the Tasting and Lifestyle Garden visit www.kirklanduncorked.com.

Everyone always thinks I have the best job in the world, but I don’t always agree with them. When someone asks me about getting into the business, my first question is always, do you like washing buckets?

No kidding, I never dreamed that washing smelly bacteria laden buckets would be such a big part of the job!  Flowers are always coming in and going out, and I am always dumping old water, adding new water, and changing water for freshness  to keep bacteria growth at a minimum.  It can be pure drudgery some days.  During the holiday’s  I think I’ll scream if one more bucket of water gets tipped over and has to be mopped up. Then there is the pure stress of dealing with a living product, that sometimes has a mind of it’s own and doesn’t want to perform the way we expect it to. There you have it..the dark side of being professional florist.

But the bright side….  the customers, the ones that make it all worthwhile! All of the friends  that you end up developing life long bonds with because you are there for them during all the major life events in their families.  Births, deaths, weddings, parties, all the sad and happy occasions alike. I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world!

Today I was reminded of why I like my job, I was invited to participate in an upcoming magazine project, and it was exciting to see it all come together thanks to many talented people.  I was so surprised when the photographer said “you guys must have a FUN job!” She was referring to myself and the event planner who were setting the props in place for the shoot.  Here I was thinking that the photographer had a FUN job. She was so creative, had a fabulous eye for detail, she gets to  go on location and shoot beautiful photographs.  I loved her vibrant energy and talented approach to her art!

After the stress of the shoot was over and I had time to reflect on the day, I realized that this is exactly what I get to do every day! I am living the life that I found so interesting and enchanting! It’s just that I sometimes lose focus  and forget to see the big picture.

One of my customer’s gave me a beautiful white brocade chest, and for the past six years I’ve  been filling it up with the special moments from this journey of life.. I opened it up recently and was so surprised at all the special items that I have stored in it. It is full of newspaper clippings about happenings of customer’s,  cards expressing thanks for special things we’ve done,  pictures that customer’s have sent us to share their special occasions, graduation announcements, charitable benefits that we’ve participated in, 100 year old birthday parties.  I even found a greeting card company that sent me a beautiful card they sell with one of my arrangements set on a grave at a national cemetery.

I was blessed today to be able to enjoy sharing in a once in a life time experience, being  surrounded by caring friendly people, who  allowed me to be able to  express my creativity to the world.  I realized that stress is just a matter of perspective and that I am really truly living the life that many wish they could be living.

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