A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to attend the Inspiration Design Days Workshop hosted by Florabundance and Flutter Magazine. Lucky for me, this meant escaping subarctic temperatures of northern NH, to spend a week in beautiful Santa Barbara, California. What drew me to this workshop was the all-star line-up of presenters, including Alicia Swede, Amy Merrick, Holly Chapple, Sarah Winward, Francoise Weeks, Amy Osaba, and Tricia Saroya. As someone who is 100% self-taught as a designer, I couldn’t wait for the chance to learn from these industry greats! This adventure ended up being so much more than just a learning experience, and I am happy to share a little about this trip here on the blog today.
This workshop offered 3 days of intense hands-on design experiences at Lotusland in Santa Barbara, CA. We were given a tour of this indescribably beautiful 37 acre garden on our first day. I have never been to a place that sparked such inspiration and made me long for summer— and a chance to bury my hands in the dirt… Lotusland has varieties of trees, species of flowers, plants, insects and birds found nowhere else in the world. If you ever get the opportunity to visit this amazing place, do yourself a favor and go!
Design classes covered a range of topics like organic and garden-inspired bouquet making, large-scale floral arrangements, centerpiece & tablescape design, color story, floral-tree making, foraging design materials, large-scale installations, and woodland-style design.
Presenters did an awesome job of demonstrating techniques and providing structure, while allowing attendees to contribute their own ideas and questions as we went along. After each instruction, we created our own designs using gorgeous botanicals sourced from both local California flower farms and Florabundance Wholesale. To top it all off, Flutter Magazine was busy photographing our creations all week, which they plan to share throughout the year on their website and in their print magazine. This was truly a designer’s dream come true— I felt like a kid at girl scout camp!
I met people from all over the world at the conference, including new friends and potential colleagues— I know we will continue to support each other and share with with one another as times goes on. I was away from my kids for the 1st time in 2 years, and my youngest, Simon, had never even gone a single night without me. A special thank you to my amazing husband, Dave, for holding down the fort while I fed my creative spirit and kicked off what is going to be another awesome year! My biggest achievement from the Florabundance experience is realizing the value of my work, and the new-found confidence and pride that comes with it!