Thursday, November 26, 2009
Rust color Chrysanthemums and Velvet variegated Carnations
Happy Thanksgiving!! These are two mini vases of Chrysanthemums and Carnations I have arranged today. The vases look filled to the brim, but each one has only two stems of flowers. I have cut them really short to fill the 3" and 4" glass containers.
I have chosen 2 matching dark brown glass vases of different heights to complement the wintry hues of rust and velvety purple. The colors of the flowers have such a presence about them, I think this simple arrangement befits them most.
Although a wreath would be nice, I think this frugal arrangement also has its appeal. Happy thanksgiving!!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Red Roses Dome Posy
White and Pale Green and Sweet Peas Posy
Petit Sweet Pea Posy for Flower Girls
Mid-size Red Rose Posy for bridesmaids
Red and Green make a nice contrast
During the last week of October, we had a flower shoot done by Terry Bear. We were worried about the weather because the whole week had been cloudy and murky. We wanted the flowers shot under natural light and we were so thankful on the day of the shoot, the weather was fine and there was abundant lighting.
After a couple of test shots, Terry decided against the commercial style shooting, where the bouquets were upright and shot rigid as a statue. I was thrilled with the resulting photos. The lighting highlighted the layers and textures of the posies. The greatest part was the composition of the photos. They were artful, but at the same time Terry created a laid back, non structured ambience.
I hope in the coming days, more flowers and posies will be featured here.
(All Photos by Terry Bear, a very big thank you to YY)
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Sprig of flower by Terry Bear
Ivy by Terry Bear
Heart by Terry Bear
Sunday, September 13, 2009
A friend dropped by and gave me a really nice gift. Wrapped in light ivory paper were two bouquets of jasmine. The fragrance was heavenly, light and fresh. She said the flowers were not much, but I think it's the thought that counted.
Too bad jasmines were such delicate flowers that could last only two to three days max, but I guess the fragility just made them more precious.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
White Lily Posy with generous greens for adornment
Finally there is a posy with my favorite color scheme, white and green. The white lilies were adorned with 3 kinds of greens. First, we had to gather the lilies into a flat-topped circle, then we had to make a loop with the ophiopogon leaves, which incidentally looked a little like spring onions. The tips were left as sprays.
Lastly the posy was enveloped by big hosta leaves. We used another deeper green leaf, the aspidistra, to wrap around the stems of the lilies to hide the flower tape and anchor it with a pearl pin. Voila, this is the White and Green lily posy!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Champagne roses with red berries
Sheathed in matching organza adds a softness to the posy
Red roses and African berries make a lovely wintry bouquet
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Cymbidium orchids, pink roses, wax flower posy
Posy full view
It doesn't seem that long ago when I enrol in my flower course but I am already three quarters into my course. There will be only 5 classes left in the upcoming weeks. I miss my weekly class already.
This is a Cymbidium posy I made last Friday. It might not be obvious, but aside from the orchids, roses and wax flower blooms, we had to use two kinds of foliage to separate the flowers and fill in the little gaps, to make the posy fuller and rounder.
The teacher told us now that we have a firm grasp of the basic techniques, we have to focus on the little details. It's the little details that count, that make the difference. How true!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I made this posy for a pre-wedding shoot. It's been re-scheduled for the fourth time because of the rainy season. Originally, both the bride and I wanted to use peonies, but we had to change the flower choice since peonies were very late in the season and would not last in the hot weather.
The whole day shooting will be done outdoors. After discussing with the bride, we decided to choose the much sturdier white roses. However, I knew the bride was not too partial to roses, so I decided to add some pale pink hydrangea and musk to add some dreaminess and fragrance to the posy.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
The bouquet is made with pink and green sweet peas, red spray roses and eucalyptus leaves. I think this snowball is more for flower girls than bridesmaids because it is too cute, especially with the pink ribbon tassles. They reminded me of the ballon strings.
I could imagine a flower girl swinging the snowball in the sunlight already. It would make a lovely photo. Awe, so sweet....
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Peonies, Calla Lilies and Lotus Pod in vase
I have been receiving flowers from a friend without fail on Valentine's Day and my birthday for six years. This year's belated because my friend was out of town. The nicest part was that even though it's belated, my birthday was not forgotten. Thanks for the thought.
I bought the vase at a bazaar near my place last year. It was such a bargain I also bought a porcelain umbrella stand. I mainly use this vase for heavy bouquets, since it's pretty heavy itself; big flowers would not tumble out of the vase so easily. The vase was perfect for the peonies pictured here since the blossoms were bigger than rice bowls!!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Dome Rose Posy
The front of the posy, as seen, was actually the top from where we had to create the dome. All the while, we had to balance the three roses which hung vertically down.
First, we had to choose three rose buds, place at an angle in the foam, then wire to steady them. Next, we pick the biggest bloom and put it in the middle as our focal point. Actually, when we were making the posy, the rose was on top.
I totally blanked out the first few minutes, when the teacher said we had to measure the length of the other roses and foliage to make the posy into a perfect dome. I was so glad that after a few stems, I got the hang of it. Another challenge was that the foam break apart easily, so we had to be pretty accurate as to where to put the stems.
We ended up standing up and stooping down to see if the posy was rounded for two full hours. I was tired, but happy to have learnt yet another technique.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Lakers and LA fans were devastated by last year's humiliating defeat by the Celtics, they lost by 39 points at home court. It was a defeat the Lakers vouched to avenge. Ever since the Lakers nailed the Western Conference Finals this year, we were waiting for a comeback, one that would silence all the cynics.
Could Kobe Bryant win a Championship without Shaq? Today, Lakers rule, Kobe rocks and Shaq drools. Today, Lakers took Game 5, 4-1, to take the NBA Finals Championship. During the playoffs and finals games, critics said Kobe was so focused on winning the Title, he had a permanent scowl on his face. His daughters called him "Grumpy" after the 7 dwarfs. Today he smiled, a broad grin.
As the Lakers players donned their championship caps, Kobe's 2 daughters came out in their gold Lakers dresses with mom, in Lakers purple. You could see the relief and the exultation on his face. Playing as he did, he was the Finals MVP, but he did not forget to give credit to his teammates. Kobe has matured. It's not a one man show from before, it's team work.
Derek Fisher, the only other player who had won 3 championships with Kobe back in 2000-2 was tearing up when he was interviewed. He said that winning this time around meant a lot, because they had been on the highest and seen the lowest. To have comeback from the lowest and be on top again is truly amazing.
Incidentally, this year's NBA theme is "Where Amazing Happens". "Amazing" was sung by Kanye West.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
It's a beautiful movie.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
He would serve them tea and oroshi-mochi, a sticky rice usually eaten only on New Year's. Shige is also a counsellor and he would listen and talk to the these people. He said that amongst men who commit suicide, it's almost universally work related, bounded by debts or unemployment. With women, it's health problems. As for youngsters, he would accompany them to their parents and make the parents "write a promise to change, and hang it on the wall".
For most of the past 5 years, he has funded his "organization" with his own savings or donations, to pay the rent of his office and sometimes help those he has "saved". Recently, the Japanese government pledged $100 million over the coming 3 years to organizations similar to Shige's. They have been petitioning for 5 years.
Japan has the highest suicide rate in the world, 23.8 per 100,000 person. Shige's reason behind serving the oroshi-mochi to those he has saved is bringing memories of loved ones celebrating the New Year's to their minds, reminding that they are not alone.
The article ended with Shige reading a letter from a man he has saved 5 years ago, thanking him for a second life. Then Shige's cell phone started to ring, the ring tone is the Amazing Grace. How great is that?
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
After taking a well deserved rest, we prepped for the Bridal session of our shoot. Zoe did a brilliant job transforming a casual makeup into a bridal one. Still the makeup was not heavy at all. I had several blooms of Gardenias and Zoe skillfully gathered them on one side of Pascale's swept up hair. As for Leigh, Zoe put a little flower on one of her two ponytails.
Then, it's putting on the dress!! Leigh was so cute with her white dress. It had a flower in front and she's the cutest flower girl. Pascale's dress was organza with a dash of embroidery, and it was pretty heavy because of the train. Zoe was a great help fixing the dress (secret) and when Pascale emerged from the room, it was "wow".
I gave Pascale the posy and Gothic did a test shot. Pascale told me afterwards that she was feeling kind of uneasy in the gown. Then she told me what made her soften up and relax. Not in a million years would it cross my mind that Gothic would say to her, "imagine the first time you looked at Leigh's ultrasound."
I did not know about this till much later, when Pascale was back home in Japan and one day we just chatted about the shoot. Gothic then said to Pascale, "just do whatever you are comfortable, but do not look into the camera". I guess that sentence really worked on relaxing Pascale. You could definitely see the softness in the photos where Pascale was holding the posy.
We had a specific shot in mind. It was for Pascale, with her back to us, turn and lift her gown a bit to show the tip of her shoes. All this time, I was guilty of giving bag after bag of snacks to Leigh, to keep her from running to Pascale. I guess poor Leigh missing her nap and was tired after so much activity made her want to run to mommy for comfort and security.
The peeking at Gothic continued and the photo above was just that, captured on camera. We had a few great photos of Leigh holding the flower girl posy. By now, Leigh could not stop looking at Gothic's camera, so the three of them sat on the sofa, with Gothic showing Leigh frame after frame of "Oh, who's that?" I clicked a couple shots away.
After that Pascale held Leigh in her arms and there were a few shots with their heads touching and Pascale smiling and looking at Leigh. It could not be any sweeter than this.
This is it, the bonding, the love. True to our theme, we did it and I could not be happier. Happy Mother's Day!!
(Photo by Gothic Heart/Artistic Direction Bonnie Wong)
Everything was ready. The shooting was scheduled at 1pm. Zoe, the makeup artist arrived first. Then came Pascale and Leigh. We were all anxious to find out if Leigh would find my place comfy enough to explore, so when it came to the actual shooting, she would be her natural self. First things first, lunch for Leigh, seaweed rolls. I tried to feed Leigh while Zoe did Pascale's makeup. I was so happy because Leigh let me!!
Gothic arrived with his gears and Zoe nailed Pascale's makeup, minimal and natural, with her hair set in soft curls. Our first set was on the sofa, with Pascale singing, reading, looking at a glass bowl of leaves, etc with Leigh, everything in our armor to capture the playfulness and bonding between them.
The second set was in bed, with more reading, tickling, plus Mickey. The picture above was one of my favorites. It speaks volumes of a mother's love looking at her laughing girl and the best part is that it's so natural.
By that time, smart Leigh knew that Gothic had that big black thing that kept flashing. Today was no ordinary reading and playing. She kept peeking at him when the camera flashed. He kept clicking away, but Leigh kept looking at him out of the corner of one eye to see when he'd click. We had a time out because it was too funny and we had a ball laughing.
Gothic showed us the photos he had taken and we agreed that they were good. The casual session was a wrap!!
(Photo by Gothic Heart)
The first day I attended my flower class, my teacher asked me if I had brought a notebook to mark down the notes. I said that I didn't know...I felt like an idiot. Yes, although it's only a flower class, it was still a class. He then reminded me to take a picture of the notes on the white board with my cell phone before I left class....I did not exactly go hunting for a notebook, because you could get it at any stationery store.
One afternoon, I was early for an appointment, and I went browsing at a nice store. There was a stationery section, and there I saw "the" notebook that I wanted. It's designed by Tricia Guild and on the footer of every page was emblazoned with the line "Designer's Guild".
It was love at first sight. Obviously, I bought it. It was around US10. Yes, pricey for a notebook, but I love writing in it. The first section is reserved for my flower class notes. The back section is reserved for my musings, ideas that would pop up here and there for my blogs. I carry my notebook with me everywhere now. Well, it measures only 10.5 x 14.5cm, purse size and perfect.
For more on Tricia Guild please visit www.designersguild.com
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
I have always wanted to watch The Kite Runner. I read the book last year. It was not easy reading beacuse it raised a lot of questions about morality.
The Kite Runner was about the friendship of two Afgan boys, Hassan and Amir. Hassan was a hazera, meaning flat-nosed, an inferior tribe. Hassan's father had been working for Amir's father for over forty years. Amir and Hassan were inseparable. Hassan was illiterate, so Amir always read to him and told him stories that he had made up.
Every year, there would be a kite flying tournamnent, and the last remaining kite in the air would be the winner. Hassan would always run for Amir's kites. He never disappointed Amir for he always knew where the kite would land. That year, Amir won and as usual Hassan ran after the kite that Amir had cut off as the trophy.
A couple of bullies were teasing Amir why he would hang out with a hazera. Hassan had always protected Amir when they were bullied. This time, the bullies cornered Hassan demanding the kite. Hassan refused to give them the kite because Amir had won it and out of his undying loyalty to Amir, he was raped by the bullies.
Amir hid behind the wall, saw everything, but he did not help or asked for help. One day, Hassan and his father Ali left. Then came the Russian invasion and both Amir and his father had to flee. Amir's father entrusted his house to his good friend, who incidentally encouraged Amir to write.
After they arrived in the U.S. Amir married and became a writer. One day, he received a call from his father's good friend and told him that "there is a way to be good again." Hassan and his wife were killed by the Taliban, leaving their son, Sohrab, in an orphanage in Kabul.
The secret and fact was Hassan and Amir were half brothers. Amir went back to Kabul to find his nephew. Hassan had learned to read and write. Not only did he not blame Amir, he wanted to be a good writer so he could write Amir a letter some day. The letter had all the blessings for Amir and a photograph of Hassan and his son.
Amir finally brought Sohrab back to the States and the final scene was Amir teaching Sohrab to fly a kite. After cutting the last kite, Amir ran after it, telling the reclusive and abused Sohrab that "for you, I'd run a thousand times", echoing what Hassan said to him all those years ago.
The film touched me the most when Amir read the labored letter of Hassan. Hassan felt he was not "good" enough compared to the literate Amir. In fact, it was Amir who was not "good" enough for Hassan, betraying their friendship. This is the irony of it all.
In the end, although the Amir could not undo the past, he could move on with lesser guilt. Through Hassan, he had journeyed through love, friendship, redemption, forgiveness and ultimately "be good again".
The movie is a very good rendition of the book.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
The Reader was set in Germany, when Kate Winslet, in her thirties, had an affair with a fifteen year old David Kross. The affair lasted a summer and Kate disappeared, carrying her secret. David went on to become a law student and after all these years, he finally met Kate again, albeit on trial for war crimes as a former SS guard.
As the story unfold, Kate's secret began to unravel. It began with David remembering how Kate always loved being read to every time they meet. Her disappearance, her refusal to submit a handwriting proof all boiled down to her pride and shame to cover the fact that she was illiterate. Kate was sentenced to life in prison.
As David journeyed to Auschwitz to witness the horror of the camps, you could vividly sense his turmoil on the train back. How could a woman he loved be a part of this inhumanity, but did it mean he should do nothing and see her punished, just because she wanted to hide her shame?
This was the point when both characters amended the past. David had never forgotten his love for Kate, but his conscience could not forgive her. So David became the reader again. He read to her on tape, book after book.
After twenty years in prison, Kate eventually learned to read and write. I teared up when David received a one sentence letter from Kate telling him about the book, "The lady and the little dog".
The ending was how Kate and David finally chose to face their own worst demon, guilt. The span of over twenty years finally allowed them to forgive each other, forgive themselves and gave a closure to their love affair.
I loved the movie.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Pascale's White Peony Posy
We invited Pascale and Leigh to do a shooting with us in mid-May. Our initial concept was to have 2 settings, one being a casual, fun one and the other a bridal one.
Since Leigh is only 2 and a half years old, I wanted her posy to be cute and adorable, just like her. I decided to go with pale green spray roses, small white flowers and generous foliage, to make it a fun posy.
As for Pascale's posy, I have chosen white peonies. Peonies are large blooms and are perfect in themselves, I added only minimal foliage to bring out the delicateness and softness of the peonies, which turned out to be the exact effect we had with the bridal shoot, delicate and soft.
The first photo is a favorite of mine and it speaks volumes, where Pascale's wedding bands are placed next to Leigh's posy. The rings speak of commitment, dedication and love, which without, there won't be an adorable and playful Leigh making the day an unforgettable one for all of us.
(Photos by Gothic Heart /Posies by Bonnie Wong)
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Josh Hartnett in Armani Beauty's Perfume Ad
I just finished watching Black Hawk Down on tv. I was never into war movies because of the gore. The tv station kept advertising the film on prime time and a familiar face came up in one of the war scenes.
I knew he acted in Pearl Harbor, but his name kept eluding me. It's on the tip of my tongue, but I just could not recall it. I just remembered that I liked his character more than Ben Affleck in Pearl Harbor. Out of the blue, while watching some commercial after dinner, his name popped up, Josh Hartnett.
I looked up his biography. Aside from acting, he is also featured in ads. His most recent one being the first male spokesperson for Armani Beauty. It's a perfume by Emporio Armani, "Diamond". Well, he was voted the sexiest male for many years, so it's not a surprising choice.
I have only seen 2 of his films, Pearl Harbor and Black Hawk Down, but I really like his portrayals. What strikes me though, is the similarity in roles he's been casted. You can switch his character in both films and you will see the same guy. He will be the more sentimental, idealistic and intellectual guy, basically the good guy.
As an actor, being stereotyped is supposed to be a bad thing because the roles lack versatility, but Josh Hartnett is such a believable good guy. I guess it's the earnestness in his eyes, but I like him being the good guy and he is a very good looking one I might add.
(Photos : www.flickr.com & www.finchsaquarterly.com)
Monday, May 11, 2009
A silver sixpence in her shoe.
I was the maid of honor at a friend's wedding in New York. The bride-to-be told me she must have these four items ready on her Big Day. It's a wedding tradition and each one was supposed to be a good-luck charm for the bride. It's believed the bride would be married happily ever after if she had all these items on her wedding day.
"Something old" symbolizes continuity with the bride's family and the past.
"Something new" means optimism and hope for the bride's new life ahead.
"Something borrowed" is usually an item from a happily married friend or family member, whose good fortune in marriage is supposed to carry over to the new bride.
As for the colorful item, blue has been connected to weddings for centuries.
In the old days, brides wore blue to symbolize love, modesty, and fidelity. Before the late 19th century, blue was a popular color for wedding gowns, as evidenced in proverbs like, "Marry in blue, lover be true."
And finally, a silver sixpence in the bride's shoe represents wealth and financial security. For optimum fortune, the sixpence should be in the left shoe. These days, a dime or a copper penny is sometimes substituted.
I think the poem itself is sweet enough, but after looking up the meaning behind it, it adds to the blessings bestowed on the bride.
(excerpts : http://ask.yahoo.com/20031027.html)
(photo : http://gardendogs.blogspot.com/2007/12/winter-garden-color.html)
Friday, May 8, 2009
After I sat down and chosen a new color, we started our usual chat. Five minutes into our conversation, she suddenly blurted out that her boyfriend broke up with her. It was a week ago today. She said the day after the breakup, she went to work in a daze. She said seeing me was a relief because she could finally tell somebody while she was working. We had become good friends in the span of two years.
I couldn't see half of her face because she had to wear a paper mask whenever she's working. What I could see were tears welling up her big, clear eyes. Then, a tear dropped. My heart dropped, too. She then told me the details, but they did not register. In that two hours, tears swam in her eyes and an occasional tear would fall. She'd then say, "Sorry, I didn't mean to...."
I don't know if this is the breakup season or not. I still have a very vivid picture of that sad girl's faraway look in my earlier post. Today, seeing a cheerful and optimistic girl whom I know hurting is truly heavy. When she asked me to go for a puff, I could feel that every breath was painful. She was hoping exhaling the puff would let go some of the hurt.
I smiled a sad smile. I totally know how she feels. Again, this empathy comes from been there, done that. Getting older does not mean it hurt less. In a way, I think it hurts more, because "you [do] carry with you every relationship, every hurt, every joy, every pattern, somewhere embedded in your memory." You could even feel another person's pain.
The silver lining is that it makes me a better listener because I could relate to these feelings. I hope I'd helped a little listening to her story today.
(photo : www.thepissedoffbride.com)
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Last month, I received a really special set of wedding favor at a friend's wedding. It's a glass block cube of Lavender candle with matches and napkin. The table was set with tall Lavender candles. The glow and fragrance emanated from the candles accented the romance of the evening.
The candle is at the studio now. I don't think I'll light it because it's too nice. If I do though, it will definitely remind me of my friend's wedding, which makes it a superb wedding favor because it's so reminiscent of an unforgettable night.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Full Peony Posy View
Monday, May 4, 2009
One girl was telling her girl friend about how hurt she was, how she did not expect this, how there was this other woman....
Her girl friend tried to console her, to trash the guy, the other woman, it didn't help the case and the tears flowed....
The storyline was not what caught my attention.
What caught my attention was when the girl friend got up to go to the bathroom, the hurt friend just sat and waited, looking at the street with the saddest faraway look. She wasn't focused on anything, anyone. She just sat there with red rimmed eyes and looked into the distance, into the past. I could still see her pretty profile. That faraway look....what was she thinking?
In my previous post (the excerpt), it said, "When you love someone, you are also loving everyone you have ever loved before. You carry with you every relationship, every hurt, every joy, every pattern...." Somehow, sitting there looking at her, I could feel her pain, her longing, her tears, her trying to be strong, her wanting to go back in time, her wanting to do things differently if she had the chance, her wanting another chance with him.
I was surprised at my degree of empathy for this girl. I think it's akin to the feeling you get when you cry at a sad movie, only this is more acute because it's not fictional. Love wounds are the most difficult to heal because it's a third degree burn. The skin needs to grow over the wound and it takes time, plus, the process is painful. You have to revisit the wound each day to clean it, and feel the rawness of the pain again.
As I am writing, this quote by Alfred Lord Tennyson popped up, "Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."