Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sorry right-clickers

I'm having issues, site-wide, with people hot-linking to my images. Since I don't like that (it messes with my stats and I'm tired of seeking out the offenders) I've rigged the page so folks can no longer do such a thing. I suppose more savvy web users will still be able to do it, but those folks know how to save a picture to their own server.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

25 years at the Glendale Hilton

I can't remember the last time I worked with yellow, but I sure do remember the Glendale Hilton well. It used to be a Red Lion, but in spite of the name change, it has always been the site of the annual GPOA Police Officers' Luncheon - an event I covered twice. It was a tad weird to be back in a totally different capacity.

I had about an hour and a half to decorate a sweetheart table, a backdrop and a cake table, but I was able to finish in time to make a stop at Porto's for potato balls and a steak torta sandwich. Hey, I don't live near Glendale anymore, OK?

It's not hard to dress up a room that's already pretty nice. The seat covers belong to the hotel, not us.

I love this new technique my mom has been incorporating, also - using a trumpet vase, putting flowers (orchids mostly) in and filling it with water. It's a classy, simple technique.

The colors were yellow and silver - a 25th wedding anniversary. Man - a 25-year marriage warrants a medal, or something, but I suppose a big party works too.

And the yellow and silver doesn't look half bad together, either.

I know my last post was in June, but I swear I've decorated other weddings - like one at the Marriott Long Beach and others I can't recall anymore. This is just the one I happened to have both before and after pictures of.

And, as I was leaving the hotel, I noticed a bunch of guys were walking through in biker's chaps - not a sight you'd normally see at the Glendale Hilton unless it was the weekend of the Love Ride. And it was. I would've taken a picture of the guys, but that would have been rude. So I took a picture of their hogs in the hotel garage.

All pictures were taken by Darleene Powells.

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

The bridesmaid edition

This past weekend - actually, these past six months - I've been sort of the bridesmaid of all trades. (Yes, I made that up all by myself.) Besides putting together my old friend Cathy's wedding website (with all the custom design done by my husband Trinity), I've decorated her bridal shower, her wedding and was her bridesmaid. That was one busy weekend, let me tell you.

This time, the wedding was at the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena. Decorating a wedding you have to be in is always an interesting experience. Last time I did it, I was maid of honor in my friends' Iliki & Mel's wedding, but their wedding wasn't as, um, huge as Cathy's.

Because it was a morning wedding and because I had to, you know, get made up and have my hair done between 5 or 6 in the morning the day of the wedding, there wasn't going to be any time to do all this the morning before the ceremony. So I had to start decorating the sweetheart table, cake table and backdrop the night before. Luckily, the Ritz Carlton banquet and catering department was very accomodating and had everything ready even at 3 p.m. Friday, when I was there for the wedding rehearsal. We went to a rehearsal dinner in nearby Alhambra at 5 p.m., and I returned to the Ritz Carlton by about 7 p.m. I finished decorating and got home by 9:30 p.m., but probably didn't go to bed till midnight - and even then I couldn't sleep. I probably got an hour's sleep that night.

One of the cool things about this wedding was that Cathy wanted alternating tall and short arrangements. And the tall ones were spectacular - a trumpet vase full of water, with one stem of Hawaiian orchids in it, topped with white and pink Thai orchids. Nice.

And I know it seems like all the weddings I've done lately - including this one - have been garden weddings, but that's not the only type we do. I promise we do a lot of church weddings too - just not lately. I didn't write about it, but I did go to the Almansor Court again this year. I just didn't write about it again, since, well, I just did.

I was just really happy that everything had turned out as nice as it did. Cathy is an old friend, one I've known since I was a sophomore in high school (more than 10 years ago!), so it was nice to be able to use my talents for someone I know and love.

Here is the master of the wedding flowers herself, Aida Barrientos. I love taking pictures of my mom as she works. Only thing is, I only seem to be able to catch her working on the cake tables. Go figure.

It's also always good to get candid photos of each other. Here's my brother, lost in the garland, after cleaning up the hotel's Horseshoe Garden. This garland was made of live, cut greens and had several humongous Colombian roses gathered where it met the row.

Here is the cake table. Now, please remember - even though I write sort of nonchalantly about doing this, I was a wreck approaching the wedding day, trying to figure out how the logistics would work. There's never any guarantees that the florist (that would be us) can get all the time needed to work on site. And even though I lucked out and got the time I needed, knowing that I was decorating a wedding that I was also part of threw me off a little. I even had to redo the backdrop twice! It's always hardest decorating the weddings you're also attending, which is maybe why I rarely attend weddings. Well, historically, anyway.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Idyllic garden wedding at Almansor Court

Almansor Court in Alhambra is not on my list of my favorite places to go decorate. But I guess on a fresh spring day between rain storms in Los Angeles, it can actually look idyllic. But let me tell you, it takes a lot of hard work to get to idyllic on a sunny day - I guess I'd been so used to the dismal, chilly weather, I underestimated the sun and wore jeans to this particular job. Even if its just an hour of decorating, if its in the sun, you're going to get sweaty and disgusting. Ah well.

Oh, and I worked here last Saturday. I'm posting late because I have not been feeling well and have been busy. So sue me.

The banquet folks, in the weeks before this particular wedding, had told my mom that she was going to be able to decorate in the morning, important for us since we set up so much for these weddings - all the draping, putting seat covers and sashes on, putting the flowers and lights in their final places. But that changed last minute because of some sort of Mary Kay gathering. Because I work the night shift, I was only able to decorate the gazebo for the wedding and the backdrop. At promptly 3:10 I had to book it to get to work on time.

This picture, by the way, is of the departing gaggle of women from the Mary Kay group. One of the women decided to break out her camera phone as we decorated, which we all know I hate. The first time around, I just stopped what I was doing and glared at her. The second time, I actually got into the middle of the path and began flailing my arms and yelling, "Hi! Hello!" Yes. I'm crazy.

But at least there were the turtles. Heheh. And the lake didn't even smell! Most other times I've decorated at Almansor Court, the lake has been stinky. Again, another perk about rain in Los Angeles...

And not only were there turtles, there were ducks and geese! Of course, none of them attacked me, thank God. I just took pictures of them from a safe distance - inside the gazebo.

I wanted to share this picture. Not because it's particularly beautiful (though it is), not because the stargazers look vibrant (and they do), not because it's difficult to hang a 5-pound flower arrangement from the front facade of a gazebo (and it is, so I didn't do it, heheh)....

...but simply because right after I took the picture, I tripped backwards over this light and fell on my butt. Gracefully. No, not really. I fell on my butt, then on my elbow, as my mom called to me to help her with something or other.

But yes. This was a lovely garden wedding - at least before the guests arrived. I didn't stick around, but hopefully the wind (which was quite strong that day) didn't knock over any of these stands.

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