2016 The year we go *Wild*

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After 2.75 years in business i finally feel like I am getting my groove in what this thing is all about.
I remain as madly in love with my creation as the day i imagined it- but woah nelly it has taken it’s pound of flesh (and given a few too)
I will title year 3 “making the same mistakes for the last time”
Going in to year 4 I feel like I have returned to the seat of creativity of this and rather seamlessly the math and the magic are *finally* starting to gel.

The biggest thing has been getting back to what I want Spellbound to be…a little travel back in time is required, indulge me.
I worked in kitchens for 7 years of my life. I started as a dishwasher but quickly fell in to cooking and it became an intense passion – if not obsession.
The right ingredients and right spices- the risk paired with the science of the elements and time – were always worth the reward of of a delighted customer, a happy sweetheart, friend, beloved… The efforts and planning were always worth the *yum*.
I feel the same way about my flowers-my obsessive efforts to seek out brilliant product, present it uniquely and create unexpected and deeply personal work for people- are always worth the *yum*… Or in this case the *wow! *
I have struggled with how to run Spellbound for a long time- it just never made sense to me. It’s not a normal store or flower shop- and I never wanted it to be, but when you look at others as business models and take the advice of business advisors who only see growth/expansion as moving forward- well you make bad decisions and detour yourself from the viscera.
I found the more I expanded the less I touched flowers-the more staff I added the more I spent time managing and not making.
I am a maker, not a manager.
(i repeat this like a mantra again and again. It is a lesson I certainly do not want to learn again… Nope, nope, nope.)
I fell in to a very dark part of my heart with the business-it hadn’t been satisfying and financial challenges
and poor choices left me in a nasty place filled with hurt feelings, debt, put out people and well…. Everything but the beauty that should be my focus.
So I let myself consider letting go.
I thought about shutting down/shuttering the doors and letting it join the ranks of something I once was.
Here’s the funny thing about passions- they are stronger than us.
In trying to shut it down and close it out the seeds and spark of what made me want this, pushed through to bloom and blaze.
I’m not often n one to use another’s words in place of mine  but this beautiful quote summed it up perfectly:

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me,within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”

-Albert Camus

I am in love all over again and my hunger for seeking out and bringing you the wow is tenfold.

This lead me to find the words for the mission statement I was egged to write but had been choking on for *months* but perhaps because this is greater than a mission- to me it’s a revolution and me,being the girl I am, mission is much too tame a word- I am about manifestos.
So here you have it, the land where I stand and the compass that I heed.

The Spellbound Manifesto

“We do not believe that flowers should be orderly and polite.
We believe that much like life, the magic is found in the Bedlam and chaos.

The best beauty isn’t well-mannered, it is brazen,disquiet and rebellious.
And we believe in the best.

We are unbehaved, unmanageable,uncontrollable, unrestrained, unequalled, unprecedented and unrivaled.

We are Spellbound-
And we are *wild*

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I am so looking forward to all the new that the year has in store for me and the company.
I am overfull with new ideas..

Thank you for being here/there and I wholeheartedly wish a happy 2016 to all our friends, fiends and fans, stay tuned, it’s about to get very exciting….for you and for me.

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Mother’s Day 2015

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Hello Friends, fiends and fancy flower fans,

I haven’t had a lot to say since Valentine’s Day ( we finally have been able to say the V word without heavy sighing or shuddering..it was awesome but oof…)

Sunday May 10th is Mother’s Day and we will be open ALL week long to get your orders ready.

We will be delivering Friday/Saturday and *SUNDAY* so you can send a custom tailored bouquet to the Queen Bee of your family!

As always we offer our basics ( dozen roses, tea rose teacups, tulip spirals ect…) but because your one of a kind Mommy deserves a bouquet as unique as she is we encourage to use our bespoke design studio to create something perfect for her.

Here’s how the bespoke studio works- you give us a budget and tell us about who we are designing for – What are their favorite flowers, favorite colors or a story you want us to translate in to the language of flowers-and we make it marvelous.

Easy Peasy.

So What kind of flowers does your mother love? Do you have a meaningful message you would love to send her?

Let us translate it in to flowers!

Here’s some examples of last year’s custom creations

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And if you have a Blazer fan in the house..perhaps one of these?

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For those of you looking to get creative this year – Saturday May 9th and Sunday May 10th

we’ll be opening up our Build A Bouquet Bar on The Square.

from 10-5 we invite kids and their adult sidekicks to come build 1 of a kind bouquets and arrangements for the Moms, Grandmas and Mama figures in their life.

Pick a small (10.00) Medium ( 20.00) or Large (30.00)Vase and fill it flowers for the perfect token of appreciation for your family’s Queen Bee, Big Mama & Boss Lady .

We will also have paper, glitter and pens set up so you may craft a one of a kind greeting card for Mom on her fancy day.

Here are 2 great customers from last year!

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*Yes big kids…you can do this too!

Call us at 971.533.7233 or email us @info@spellboundflowers.com to get your order started!

XO,

NB Your Floriographer

Bewitched, Besotted, Beloved…..*Be Mine*. Valentine’s Day 2015

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“The red rose cries, “She is near, she is near;”
And the white rose weeps, “She is late;”
The larkspur listens, “I hear, I hear;”
And the lily whispers, “I wait.”

― Alfred Tennyson

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“I gotta a feelin’ inside of me
It’s kinda strange like a stormy sea
I don’t know why, I don’t know why
I guess these things have gotta be
I gotta new rose, I got her good
Guess I knew that I always would”

— The Damned

It’s time Valentine’s- if you’ve got someone in your life that you wish to bestow with that in the words of Jay Z ” that funk, that sweet, that nasty, that gushy stuff” your Floriographer and her crew will be equipped with 2000+ roses and endless wonderful ideas to make your Valentine one of a kind.

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ROSES

 Yes it’s easy to say “bleh CLICHE!” but there is no flower in history more steeped in romance than the rose.  If you’re looking to break the mold this year and step away from Red Roses I have ordered over a DOZEN colors of gorgeous long stemmed roses.

From our leading lady the orange and red dazzler High & Magic to the ghostly grey’d out pink of Quicksand there is a color that compliments your feelings perfectly. One of the things we use to make our bouquets significant and meaningful is that we are well versed in the Language of Flowers- I know what every flower on my cart means and this is especially present with the roses I choose.

I am a passionate advocate of letting your roses speak for you and why not make the extra effort to write a love letter to your Valentine in flowers.

Here’s a little crash course in “The Rose Code”

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And this is just a small sampling of the stories you can tell….We can infuse your Valentine with *your* love story..or if your love story is still new or unknown we can use our dazzling design skills to start it off beautifully.

I’ll be posting more Floriography and Flora Stories all this week on our Instagram and Facebook Page– be sure to follow us ….

If you need to place your Valentine’s Order please phone 971.533.7233 or use the order form on our ORDER PAGE to start a custom order

If you are choosing to be more “Impromptu” ( that’s the fancy way of saying “cutting it close”)

We will be open 9am-9pm at The Square starting Tuesday.

If you are in need of some Inspiration– check out these recent bespoke designs….

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No matter what you choose to do be it a single red rose to a champagne bucket brimming with brunia and tulips there is zero doubt that the flowers from Spellbound will delight after all we are known for

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Kickstart My Cart Part 2: An Update!

We got updates on the build for the new Spellbound cart and WOWOHWOW is she GORGEOUS.

As you remember from our last cart update DJ from Woods General Contracting had loaded up our old  work table and was taking it back to his shop.

We had an idea of where to go- it needed to have  racks for the buckets, locking doors, a roof and work tables  so I could build larger designs in addition to handties.

I know DJ is a talented builder, he made the gorgeous planter I have in my studio from re-purposed pallets and I knew he not only understood the necessity of the cart being useful- but that Spellbound had a specific aesthetic it needed to embody-

Well, look at our worktable now!

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I can hardly believe it!

Just wait til she gets a coat of  *THIS*

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With my Witch Hats and Tshirt pre-orders I was able to raise HALF of what I needed to bring this baby home.

Now it’s Thanksgiving week and I am hoping that with sales of bouquets and centerpieces I can rally the funds I need to park this pretty on the square by December 1st and  kick off  the holiday month with the new cart in place.

With the new cart comes new extended hours of operation and  it *finally* means being open 7 days a week. It also means having the goods on hand to create gorgeous arrangements in addition to the  luxe handties and single stems we’ve been selling for nearly 2 years now!

If you wish to order Thanksgiving flowers please visit our Thanksgiving Blog for details.

XO,

Your Floriographer

Miss Nico B.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Centerpieces and Hostess Flowers

With Thanksgiving soon approach I want to give the early reminder to pre order centepieces and host/hostess bouquets.

Inspired by the designs I did for Lan Su for the Ninth Moon Floral Design ShowcaseI will be adding Manzanita Branches, Chrysanthemums and luxe Mango/Papaya Calla Lilies to my usual array of roses, thistle, kale and and greens

I steer away from offering “pre made” designs so that YOU can dictate your budget, feel,size and scale of the arrangement.

I will be offering pick up AND delivery both Tuesday  the 25th and Wed. the 26th and will be open early and closing late Wed. November 26th.

Use the handy contact form at the bottom of this page to get your order started-

Ninth Moon Floral Design Showcase

With running the flower cart at the square and spending my days being the bike based florist it’s sometimes a little easy for me to forget that large scale design is one of my great *passions* when it comes to floral.

In September I applied and was accepted in to the First Annual Ninth Moon Floral Design Showcase at  The Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland.

I proposed an idea that would travel through 2 feels one more natural and the other more gilded and ornamental.

My design was based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Nightingale”. I chose it no so much for it’s relevance to Ninth Moon or Chrysanthemums but for it’s significance in my life as an introduction to Chinese imagery.

I was a fairy tale addict- still am for all intents and purposes and when I was a kid,Fairy Tale Theater on Showtime was one of my OBSESSIONS. I had tape upon tape of recorded episodes and when I went to my Grandparents house they were immediately in the VCR- do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars.

One of my favorites was the telling of The Nightingale with Mick Jagger starring as The Emperor. It profoundly affected me and set off an interest in Chinese design and culture in my kid brain.

The full episode is on YouTube, enjoy!

I wanted my design to reflect my love of the story, plus embrace my lyric “fairy tale flowers” style.

I also had to make certain that my design showcased our leading lady  Chrysanthemum but I personally felt the need to be  VERY careful to not appropriate things of cultural bearing without proper education about them

I named the design “Don’t Forsake What’s Real” reflecting on the lesson at the core of the story-  I won’t give you the readers digest version,if you want that go HERE ( or, go to the library and read the lovely story.)

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I will be in the Garden this Sunday November 16th at 1 PM with the Petal Pusher doing a demo- a chrysanthemum and rose filled flower crown is certain- and perhaps an ornate handtie.

Thanks again to Leanne Kesler , my mentor and teacher at Floral Design Institute for egging me on and convincing me I had what it takes to dive in the big water..

* When I was researching my Fairy Tale I wound up doing additional reading on Hans Christian Andersen and I found a quote from him I found very fitting for this time in my life.

“Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.”

2 years ago I hadn’t yet fully decided if I would start school at Floral Design Institute or not.

Last Friday night I was under a big bright moon in the Chinese Garden sipping champagne with world class designers…whom are now my peers.

A fairy tale indeed.

Kickstart My Cart…with my art!

Hello Friends, fiends and fancy flower fans-

It’s the last day of Summer and Saturday marked the end of my wedding season- *whew* WOW!
I cannot wait to write the recap of this summer’s enchanting weddings that I had the honor of designing.
In was my second year as a wedding designer and I have to say I have really found my stride and style as a florist and my brides were the *BEST* in town ( and out of town…that Bellingham brood was RIDONK! XO!)

With the ushering in of Autumn comes a welcome wave of changes at Spellbound namely- that after 1.75 of daily duty the Petal Pusher is being curbed so that I may launch a larger cart and offer full service floral at Pioneer Courthouse Square.
The process had been plagued with stops, starts and “OHMYGODHOWMUCH????es
But everything went in to fast forward motion when I found a diamond in the rough worktable up for grabs outside of Green Drop Garage- I called my friends Hannah and DJ @ Woods General Contracting and said “so hey…I’ve got a project for you”
As of last week the cart in in DJ’s custody for a great big makeover where our shared passion for working with re-purposed materials is being blended with my needs for the cart to be safe, functional and yes, AWESOME.
Here’s DJ loading the green beastie up:

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With the new cart being built and a new version of Spellbound on the way (easy custom ordering online, more custom items) I am in need of some capitol to move it all forward.

I looked in to Kickstarter but it is hard for me to justify using a service that takes so much off the top. I don’t want the money people put towards fees- I want it to buy you more stuff! SO with that I am launching Spellbound’s own self sponsored “KICKSTART MY CART” campaign.

As always the best way to support Spellbound is to BUY FLOWERS- However, your Floriographer is more than a florist- she is an artist and maker of things, really good things..really good things that you might very well want in the upcoming fancy dress and gift giving season.

So with that, here are your treasure purchase options!

Spellbound Witch Hats

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It is the witching season and I thought what better way to pass the cauldron than to start a witch hat drive!
Orders are being taken this week with a delivery date of October 15th (if you need it sooner, do ask) and I can ship anywhere in the country
Every hat is 1 of a kind, as bespoke as the bouquets I sell- if you are a lover of spooky luxe you will most certainly be bewitched.

Floriographer’s Choice ( color request allowed) are $50.00

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards
Completely Custom are $60.00

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

Here are some examples of previous creations

 The Monarch’s Tiny Crown

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For all my aspiring Queen Bees ( or in my case Queen Bey) this crown design was created for the PICA Critical Mascara Ball in Homage to Beyonce’s Mrs. Carter World Tour promo materials.

Made with satin covered wire loops to easily pin in to hair or wig- *for especially short hair – I can make it on a headband

This is completely hand formed and decorated- I can make it to any color specifics and even add LED lights so you can rule in the dark!

Standard Tiny Crowns are 65.00 ( color request for metal and velvet allowed)

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

Custom with LED or rhinestones, please inquire @ info@spellboundflowers.com

Spellbound Tshirts/Prints (OMG!)

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I have been waiting nearly 2 years to make my own merch! Now not only do I have art that is *right* it is also art that is *mine*. It makes me absolutely wiggle to get to share this with you.

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Shirts will be printed in a pencil-like finish on light grey and pink distressed tshirts made by Bella+ Canvas
Each shirt will be finished with hand painted details.
Prints will be 11×17 on coarse paper with hand painted details and a hand-lettered flower story.

T Shirts ( specify S,M.L.XL or 2XL and color in purchase notes)  $27.00

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

Prints $15.00

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

Nouveau Sketch Flower Story

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A  one of a kind sketch paired with a handwritten flower story from The Floriographer.

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

So there you have it- a whole shopping mall of witchy, bewitching and prettypretty delights for you to call your own while helping me take Spellbound to it’s next adventure

I am starting here!- How quickly can I fill this beast up?

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The phone lines are clear and we are open for business…..

Best,

Nico

In Memorium : The Floriographer on Sympathy Flowers and “Nanoo Nanoo”

I have been a little stuck on my blog as of late- all the change that I *thought* would be liberating and allow for more composition and construction has just would up leaving me tired and feeling without direction.
I guess 10 months of 70 hour work weeks *did* take a little toll- huh..well, lesson learned!
I have a whole list of seasonal lovelies that I want to show you pictures of and tell you stories about but this week I feel compelled to write about sympathy arrangements. I had an order for one from a client and it gave me cause and pause for a little rumination about the nature of my work and how deeply personal it can be.

We wanted the piece to be respectful, gracious and reflective of the loss but at the same time be a celebration of this mans life, it was a beautiful conversation and gave me the tools I needed to create a suitable piece.
In the midst of pulling containers and designing I read the news on Facebook that Robin Williams had made his exit and I was wrecked- I instantly started to cry and audibly muttered  “No,no,no,no” as I looked on Google to see if it was a hoax.
Much to my, and millions of other peoples dismay- it was not, it was true- it was true and it was terrible

All of this melded with my thoughts I have on creating sympathy work and I find this blog entry wanting to say so much more than the usual “heylookatwhatidocomeherebuythis”.

As a kid raised on Mork, Popeye and Garp ( my grandparents NEVER monitored what I watched on Cable, it still is one of my favorite movies)  and an angsty teenage artist who deeply, deeply connected with Dead Poets Society, this did not feel like a salacious Hollywood death.
This felt like the loss of a friend, a neighbor or an uncle- it felt personal. To have it revealed that he took his own life and have that pull the curtain on his pain and suffering, well- it just made me feel so sad for this poor man who brought so much to the world, so much that I gobbled up. It made me feel a little greedy and ashamed.

I am profoundly grateful for the amount that I got to enjoy his talent. I took myself to go see Dead Poets Society with the money from my first paycheck from my first job at Mikes Drive In. ( I also bought a bottle of LouLou perfume and the cassette single for “In Your Eyes” with John Cusack on the cardboard sleeve..it was a big day)  I was starting high school the next year and I walked away feeling so inspired and less alone- I bought books full of Whitman, Emerson and Thoreau and I scrawled their lines all over my PeeChees in calligraphy– all because of that movie. A year later in Denver on a hot summer night I watched it on cable and said “I want to be an actress.” it’s even written in the Childe Hassan day journal I bought at the Denver Art Museum earlier that week..that year I started a new school and well…the rest is history.
That movie changed my life, twice.

So thank you Mr. Williams, you gave a  sad 14 year old hope and passion with the “Carpe Diem” you introduced in to my life and I took to heart your urging to  “make your lives extraordinary” and for that O Captain, this 39 old thanks you.

 

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So, now we return to flowers- we will all face Death and loss in this lifetime and as a florist- I knew that a long with designing flowers for many of life’s great occasions, I would be called on to create work for the last big party, the “final bow” as I have come to call it ( in honor of the Eddie Vedder song “Man of The Hour” from Big Fish).

I have found it to be one of the sweeter parts of my work- I have had people say “oh isn’t it sad?” and yes, in a way – but it is also so very filled with love- in fact in some ways it is most love filled work I create. Memorial Flowers serve two purposes: to pay tribute to the person who passed and to give a beautiful gift to their loved ones. Of course nothing alleviates the pain but there is something to be said for things of beauty being a gift of grace and comfort while mourning.

I always design with the person in mind and I create with their story so significant flowers, colors, numbers, hobbies and interests are always welcome in the order. Because we are Spellbound we also use Floriography to include flowers that signify “Strength”, “Grace”, “Optimism”, “Peace”, “Remembrance” and “Lasting Love”.
One of the things often requested in memorial arrangements is living plants and flowers- the sentiment being that sending something that will wilt and die seems a little insensitive and it is important  to be as sensitive as possible when it comes to someone who has experienced a loss. I find designing with plants a little limiting so I have found a place in my design where cut flowers can intersect with re-plantable components.  it’s a way to gift gorgeous cut flowers and a gift that can live on because life goes on for the living….

Here are some examples of my work. If you are in need of significant flowers I urge you to give me a call and tell me a story, I will make you something thoughtful and lovely.

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My Pretty Peony.

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We are in the throes of magical, marvelous, heady luscious Peony season here in Portland, from the flower market to the farmer’s markets you can spot buckets of these ball shaped beauties *exploding* in to fragrant bloom.

I have always enjoyed them, but I have to admit, this season I am obsessed.

OBSESSED

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I feel like a kid with my allowance at flower market pulling my last dollars together to get *one more bunch* and when I get to the shop Shannon and I ooh, coo and awe at their splendor…I’m surprised they make it to the cart.It fills me with a bit of an ache knowing the season is already coming to an end with the early blooming colors in their last days.

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It is believed that Peony is named after Paeon (also known as Paean), the healing deity who healed Hades’ and Ares’ wounds.

Paeon was a student of Asclepius son of Apollo and Coronis and the god of medicine and healing.

The myth of Paeon’s transformation in to the Peony is rooted in jealousy and spite. Leto (Apollo’s mother and goddess of fertility) knowing of Paeon’s gift for healing called on him to obtain a magical root growing on Mount Olympus that would soothe the pain of women in childbirth.

Asclepius, jealous of his healing abilities and his being given this charge ( after all, Leto was Asclepius’ grandmother) threatened to kill his pupil so, to save him from the wrath of Asclepius Zeus transformed Paeon into the Peony flower.

(Oh those gods and their jealousies! There’s a whole garden’s worth of transformed nymphs and mortals!)

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Because of this the Peony has always had an association with “healing” and in magical purposes has always had a close association with cleansing by bringing freshness and healing to the emotions and physical body by removing old blocks,old patterns, and challenging attachments

If you are in a period of change you might try keeping a bouquet of peonies near your bed or desk or adding Peony blossoms to your bath.

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I have been having a wonderful time designing with them this year  and have knocked myself out a couple of times with the lush,romantic textures they have added to my designs.

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If you could hear me at market ooh-ing and coo-ing over their pretty faces and yelling “OH! look at her!” you would probably think I was a little (read : lot of ) crazy!

Oh such a sweet and fleeting season, how lucky I am to get to design with beautiful blossoms from local farmers!

We’ve only got a few weeks left ( bring on the dahlias!) so place your orders today and we’ll  build you something bewitching.

XO,

Your Floriographer- Miss Nico