Saturday, May 29, 2010

Introducing HeyDay Design!

I'm so pleased to introduce another incredible artisan, Claire Madill of Heyday Design.
I obviously have a thing for porcelain cast jars and bottles because as you know, I carry beautiful porcelain pieces by Pigeon Toe Ceramics. Claire's pieces are completely unique and totally Canadian and we love this!

Claire's porcelain jars have been slipcast with molds made from the original vintage glass canning jars. All jars have been glazed on the inside as well as the outer lip with a clear glaze that is foodsafe and watertight. What is most amazing is that you can safely use your jar as a cup to drink from or as a vase for flowers! How convenient!
For the month of June, if you purchase one of Claire's beautiful porcelain jars, Coriander Girl will give you ten dollars worth of free flowers to help fill it!
Yay! I think that deserves a Julia Roberts style fist pump and holla!
Alison xo

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Container planting tra la la

I'm not sure if there is anything I enjoy more than container planting. Perhaps I'd like to dance while container planting, eat a fine meal while container planting, travel Europe with a container and some plantings and I'd be pretty darn happy.
I think it's the immediate reward, the boundary of an edge and it doesn't take days to accomplish. That's why I was never a good knitter unless I was using giant needles, like the size of baseball bat and the thickest wool I could find. I really mastered the one hour scarf. It was the same with sewing, if it can be done in under an hour, I'd make fifty of whatever project I had taken on.
I'd like to think I'm a journey kind of a girl but the destination is always so rewarding. Process for me seems to inspire my inner eight year old, "are we there yet?" When I do arrive I never seem to stay long is the problem, on to the next one and so it goes. Perhaps I should consider that I've plugged in and maybe need to let things percolate awhile before thinking 'now what?' List after list with things left unchecked.
Maybe we could all stand to let things be? Resist crossing it all off. At least just for tonight.
Alison xo

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wedding season!

If you're wondering where I've been all your life, I'm held up prisoner in my little shop arranging flowers for all those gorgeous brides to be. Wedding season is in full swing!
This past week end for Shira and Chris was a special one. Shira and I had taken acting classes together when we were young. We hadn't seen each other since we were 14 or so. She and her fiance randomly walked in last fall and less then seven months later I'm at The Berkley arranging flowers for her wedding. I did this one all on my own and I was really proud to see it all come together so beautifully.

Fresh cut ontario delphiniums in the most perfect light blue, white peonies, poppy red anemones, rich red ranunculus, feathery queen annes lace and creamy white tulips for the centre pieces.

The bouquets were fresh and whimsical, giant dutchess peonies with a few sprigs of lily of the valley, veronica, blue and red anemones, ranunculus and dark red berries.

Today being one of the hottest days of the year so far, I recommend a cold beverage on a sun filled patio. After my work after work tonight, not a typo, there is always two hours more at home! You know like, 'after the party, it's the after party.' Well, after that, Tyler and I are going to spend some good quality time in our bare feet on the balcony with some home made iced tea, preferably spiked and the tunes pumpin. Honey, break out the gin! I'm thinking MC Hammer. Stay cool little doodles. And something else to consider, AC is a luxury and should not be abused. It's summer, but if you need AC for sleeping or keeping your bunny rabbit alive, that's okay but we shouldn't need sweaters inside. If you want to see Ms. Westlake angry, go to a restaurant with me that is pumping AC and requiring me to put on another layer. I might even cause a scene.
Be bold people, live loud! Dance like it's your last time on the dance floor!

Alison xo

Monday, May 24, 2010

Oceanic flight 815

I'm terribly emotional when it comes to endings. After the final episode of Six feet Under I called every family member in tears telling them how much I loved them and didn't tell them enough.
Last night was another tearful goodbye. Oh Jack Shephard, you were such a good man. The whole gang, Kate and Hurley, Sawyer and Locke, Jin and Sun, Sayed and Desmond, Claire and Charlie, I even miss 'the others.'
I'm LOST with out all of you.
And in perfect LOST form, the show left me with just as many questions going out as I came in! I've got my theory though and I feel very good about the way it ended.
xo RIP

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Alison in Wonderland

And here's the white rabbit!
The flower shop has been wildly busy and tomorrow is my first day off in a long time. I'm gonna snuggle the bun and the hun and hopefully sleep eight whole hours! I don't think there is anything better than that moment before you drift off into a deep and peaceful sleep, I'm wishing that for all of you tonight, a deep and restful sleep because the world is much more pleasant when you're well rested. Napping is also great. Permission to nap!! Nap lovers everywhere unite!
Alison xo

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dance and you'll feel better!

I am a firm believer that when stress starts to build, dance it off!
I forgot to dance this week. I knew there was a reason I've been feeling like poop.
The radio is full blast and I'm dancing up a storm! What a stress release!
This is a good one to get you out of your seat and who doesn't love New York? It might be overplayed but I'm still really enjoying it. Click here.
Good night friends.
Alison : >

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Introducing Sarah Selecky!

I am so thrilled to introduce you to Sarah Selecky and her new book of short stories This Cake Is For The Party.

It's become my evening ritual to curl up with her book before bed and read one of her delicious stories. She is a brilliant writer and a phenomenal woman and I'm so happy to know her. Sarah will be taking her book on tour across the country but don't worry, Coriander Girl has a good stack ready for purchase. Actually, the stack is growing smaller by the day, hurry!
Did I mention how lovely Sarah is?
Lisa Moore, author of February and Alligator writes, "Selecky's stories are ultra lush and wise, wickedly wry. She is uncannily accurate about all the tender, blasted-open moments that change us for good. This Cake... is delicious."
Amen sister! I'm lovin' every morsel!
Alison xo

Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and gosh darnit...

Positive self affirmations are especially necessary after working completely alone in your flower shop on MOTHERS DAY! What was I thinking? I actually thought I could do it all seamlessly? It turns out I'm not a super hero. I did not have a moments rest from early Friday morning until late Sunday evening. I experienced extreme emotional shifts from nervous anticipation, panic, hysteria and that lovely bit of giddy relief that comes after the mayhem has subsided. The Coriander Dad was my delivery man and moral support. At one point he practically shook me and said, "Remember that you want this." At dinner last night he also offered this thought as I scarfed down my quarter white with fries and a side of rib sauce, "Imagine the stress you'd feel if no one came in?" Isn't that the truth.

For me the stress comes when I feel unprepared, not being able to accommodate everyone and sadly having to let a few people leave without flowers in their hand. I had made a good bunch of pre-made bouquets that were gone in the first ten minutes. There I stood looking down at buckets of flowers and wondering, "How am I going to do this all on my own?" At some point I've got to let go and allow for people to come in and help me but I'm so afraid. I'm not sure what I'm afraid of exactly, probably just giving up 100% of the control that I currently have 100% of the time. Maybe, I'm afraid to let someone see just how much of this is me winging it every single day. Maybe I'm afraid of change. I don't know.

One thing I am sure of is the need to assess, make plans, and set some serious goals. I thought Valentine's Day was the big one, heck that was a cake walk compared to this week end. For every person that came in, I thank you for your patience and kindness towards me while waiting for your arrangements. Many of you popped across the street for a coffee and waited while I prepared something for you. For everyone who said, "No worries, I'll be back in an hour." only to come back and wait an additional twenty minutes, thank you. Coriander Girl is learning and growing and making mistakes and trying her very best to please all of you and to make you feel as welcome in my shop as you would be if I had invited you into my home. Might I suggest in future to those seriously perturbed, pre-ordering will definitely help me help you next year. And for those of you who ordered and didn't come back, shame on you.
Thanks for listening.
Alison xo

Friday, May 7, 2010

Coriander Girl loves your mama!

Put your hands up in the air for mamas everywhere!
Happy mothers day week end to all of you beautiful mothers out there.
A special shout out to my amazing mama and to dear Nana and to Tyler's awesome mama Penny and her adorable mama Cecile. Thank you for your endless support, friendship and love! xo

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tea party and Pottery party = Dance party

Coriander Girl hosted a very successful tea party last week. Thanks to everyone who came out. I think we all learned a lot and had the chance to taste some pretty phenomenal teas. Thanks to Melanie Ollenburg of Korechanges for teaching us all about the wonderful world of tea!

Amanda smelling Earl Grey de la creme.

Next Coriander Girl hosted a pottery party called Pots and Plants by local potter Frank Trotz. The show is on for the entire month of May. His vessels make a perfect gift for mothers day. I'll fill it with flowers and you're on your way!

Coriander Girl is hopping these days with events and art openings and occasionally I throw in my own little dance party to relieve the stresses of daily life as a shop owner. There's nothing a good booty shake can't fix.
Can I get an AMEN!?
Alison xo

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Saturday night I feel the air is gettin' hot

Today felt like I was in a movie montage, but near the end of the montage when the shots start showing the new flower shop owner with line ups of people waiting to buy flowers! I think I've turned a corner!! I don't want to jinx it but man, I'm so very excited!

I couldn't be more thankful and humbled by the support of my community and the surrounding areas. I know the trials and tribulations that come with starting a business. It isn't easy. In fact, a woman today came in for a visit to share with me her sad news that she recently was forced to close the doors on her young flower shop in the beaches. Her chin wiggled a bit and I suddenly found myself hugging a complete stranger. I rattle on and on about pursuing your dreams and you cannot fail, the universe will support blah blah blah. This woman followed her heart and she gave it her all and things didn't work out. I'm convinced this is only the beginning for her. How can anyone prosper straight out of the gate with rents over $2500 a month? The universe is good but maybe it's still paying off it's student loans?

I say, Caroline, you are warrior and you will make arrangements again! And people, you need to stop supporting the flower trade that delivers to your local grocery store. These flowers are $5 a bunch because they come from a company in Columbia or god knows where else, where the workers aren't allowed bathroom breaks, the women suffer extreme sexual harassment, and the flowers are grown in tubes, in doors- producing no natural smells of loveliness because there are no bees to attract! They sit on a cargo plane for days, then on trucks for hours, and then get to the auction and then get sprayed with aerosol cans that read 'rose scent', 'freesia scent', it's non scents!!! Stop the madness! And consider why your flowers are so cheap. I assure you some sad Sally out there is paying the price. I'll climb down off my soap box now.

I think I've been building this resentment because recently a woman came in and demanded I sell tulips like they do on Roncesvalles for $5 a bunch. She owns an Italian restaurant across the street. You know when you experience a serious, "I should have said" and it eats at you in your sleep. I should have said, "Lady, have you considered 3 for 1 pizza? Because just a hop and a skip from here I can get 3 for 1 pizza. I demand you start selling me three pieces for the price of one in your fine Italian restaurant." That would have shut her up pretty fast. Instead, I said, "Thanks, I'll consider it."

All the woulda, coulda, shoulda's
Layin' in the sun
Talkin' bout the things
They woulda, coulda, shoulda done
But those woulda, coulda, shoulda's
All ran away and hid
From one little did.

Shel Silverstein "Falling up"

Let's all raise a glass tonight to Caroline for taking a risk and pursuing a dream. Don't give up warrior lady!
Let's all look back on our lives and say, 'I did that." No more 'shoulda's.'
Who's with me? I said, WHO'S WITH ME MUTHA $%&*@#! (say this like Samuel L Jackson, and it will be much more affective)
Good night lil' doodles.
xo Alison