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Holiday Planning: Mother’s Day 2016

Posted on by BelleFiori

Mother’s Day is such a beautiful holiday–one I hold near and dear to my heart as i think of all that my mom has done for me throughout the years. Whether it be a shoulder to cry on, an extra bit of encouragement, or even begrudgingly accepted advice, my mom is someone I can always count on to be there for me throughout it all. While it may seem a bit overdone that I gift my mom her favorite yellow roses every year at Mother’s Day, it’s a ritual that never loses meaning. My mom is my rock, year after year, and though I often mix up holiday gifts with other fun trinkets and vices, those yellow roses remain as constant as my mother’s unwavering support throughout my life. I never look at a yellow rose without thinking of my beautiful mother, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I hope you all have a special place in your heart for this beloved holiday whether your own mom is present in your life or not. So many times, we have clients walk in to Belle Fiori’s Milwaukee shop and order beautiful bouquets and floral arrangements for someone other than ‘mom’ around Mother’s Day. And that makes us so happy. Mom is someone who loves you unconditionally, who you look to for comfort and support, and regardless of biology or proximity, we love when people embrace the broader concept of ‘mother’ this time of year by gifting florals to aunts, special friends, and even dads who fill that special mom role in their life. We encourage you to celebrate the mother figure in your life this Mother’s Day and know that special someone will forever treasure your thinking of them.

Remember, Mother’s Day is coming up quickly and, at Belle Fiori, it’s one of our busiest holidays of the year. Give us a call today to order your arrangement or custom floral order to ensure it’s ready for May 8th!

“These are always my mom’s favorites…what about yours?” -Emily

Compost Crusaders

Posted on by BelleFiori

For years, Belle Fiori has been working on a way to compost our piles of stems, leaves and spent flowers (They do pile up around here!). The solution was discovered by our administrative assistant JoAnn Bishop, a committed composter herself, in Milwaukee’s own Compost Crusaders.

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Belle Fiori owner Emily Neubauer met with Crusaders founder Melissa Tashjan early in March, and a few days later we had our first compost tote, which we immediately filled. Emily realized that we needed to commit on a larger scale, and soon our beautiful two yard dumpster was delivered.

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Our staff created “trash only” and “recycling” bins in the shop and we soon discovered how much of our waste could be diverted into compost. “Our goal is to divert 50-70% of an organization’s compostable waste” says Melissa.  We think we are well on our way to meeting that goal. And for every 20,000 lbs of raw material collected, Compost Crusaders will donate one yard of compost back to the community!

Belle Fiori joins several notable Milwaukee businesses and organizations in the quest to compost, including Braise, Outpost Natural Foods, Fuel Cafe and the Urban Ecology Center. For more information and to meet the Crusaders team, visit www.compostcrusader.com

 

Custom Funeral and Sympathy Arrangements from Belle Fiori

Posted on by BelleFiori

Belle Fiori designers are known for their unique and innovative creations, but we are also becoming known for beautiful and unusual funeral and sympathy arrangements around the Milwaukee area. Our designers enjoy helping customers put together the perfect floral tribute for their loved ones, custom created to celebrate the life and unique characteristics of each individual. Stop in or call us at 414-272-2234 for a private consultation with one of our flower artists, we are happy to help with anything from simple vase of sympathy flowers to an elaborate funeral tribute.

Here are a few examples and ideas:

An assortment of tropical arrangements by Erika Herman for a gentleman who had been stationed in Hawaii.

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A custom arrangement in blues, creams and apricot for a well-known pottery artist. Designed by Erika Herman.

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A gorgeous easel arrangement showcasing a fall color palette by Erika Herman.

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A spring themed casket spray and urns from designer Alex Covert, featuring peonies and sumptuous garden roses. The funeral home claimed that these were the most beautiful arrangements they had ever had for a service.

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This custom urn arrangement was created by Erika Herman for a “very unique and quirky” gentleman, including cymbidium orchids, protea, star of Bethlehem, kiwi branch, parrot tulips, artichokes and air plants. The actual urn was a burled wood globe that looked right at home in this earthy, lovely environment.

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We can also create an arrangement of fresh seasonal blooms that can be enjoyed at home. Check out some of our favorite creations…

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Beautiful Memories of Art in Bloom 2016

Posted on by BelleFiori

Belle Fiori has happily survived our 8th Art in Bloom week at the Milwaukee Art Museum, where we created both an artwork inspired floral installation, as well as a gorgeously detailed floral dress for the Saturday evening fashion show. Belle Fiori has been featured at this annual event since it’s beginning, and we always look forward to seeing the artwork through a florist’s eye.

This year, we had two teams of designers for each of the projects. Team #1 was given “Untitled, 1960 by Joan Mitchell”, an abstract piece that included vivid bursts of intense color and thick, textured brushwork. Designers Alex Covert, Jennifer Nolan and Amy Reese used various concrete vessels layered with a variety of plants, using the Japanese Kokedama technique so that plants could be easily positioned. Air plants and succulents added bits of texture, color and interest, while lush groupings of blue, yellow and copper flowers drew the eye upwards. One of our favorite comments was from a museum staff member who said, “Your piece makes the painting look better!” We were also honored to have our design featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal on March 21st.

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Team # 2 consisted of Erika Herman, Tama Roberts and Cecilia Zea, who put an incredible amount of time and creative energy into a beautiful floral dress for the Beauty in Bloom fashion show. The team began researching and  sketching up plans, ultimately designing a long tunic to be worn over a voluminous tulle skirt. Tama designed and constructed both garments, with the entire team spending over 40 hours hand sewing galax and ti leaves onto the tunic, then gluing individual flowers and petals into intricate, tapestry inspired patterns. The design was topped off with a lush floral headpiece created by Erika and the whole ensemble was modeled with beauty and grace by Sinceree Dixon. We could write a whole book about this dress, but we’ll let the pictures tell the story.

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Art in Bloom 2016-Begins Tomorrow at the Milwaukee Art Museum!

Posted on by BelleFiori

It’s almost here! One of our favorite Milwaukee area events of the year begins tomorrow!

The designers at Belle Fiori are busy getting ready for Art in Bloom, the annual floral/art exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum featuring lectures, shopping, a fashion show and over 40 art inspired floral installations in the newly renovated Collection Galleries. This year, we have design teams working on two separate segments of the show.

Our “painting” team consists of Alex Covert, Jennifer Nolan and Amy Reese, who will be interpreting a Joan Mitchell abstract, with the finished installation on view from March 17th-20th.  We can’t show you our piece yet, but here is some of our past work for Art in Bloom!

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Our “dress” team consists Erika Herman, Tama Roberts and Cecilia Zea who are creating an innovative work of wearable floral art for the Saturday evening fashion show in Windhover Hall. This year’s dress design is top secret till Saturday, but feast your eyes on last year’s amazing creation! This is the second year for this fabulous addition to Art in Bloom, tickets are still available at www.mam.org/bloom

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Peonies: A Belle Fiori Favorite

Posted on by BelleFiori

Young women arrange their wedding dates around the peony’s peak growing season. Young men seek peonies in romantic hand-tied bouquets, because they’re their girlfriend’s favorite. The designers at Belle Fiori swoon when these lovely blooms are available, usually mid-May through early June. What is it that makes these flowers so appealing to our Milwaukee are clients?

Peonies can represent wealth and riches, romance and romantic love.

In China, the word peony translates to “most beautiful” and is tied to royalty and honor. They are also widely used in holiday and religious ceremonies. Chinese peony paintings are often hung in the home for good luck and in the office for good business.  The ‘complementary of opposites,’ is another traditional Chinese meaning associated with the peony, which is often understood as a positive influence for woman and man living harmoniously together.

In Greek mythology, they represent bashfulness and shame, as naughty nymphs would hide themselves in peony blooms to shield themselves from prying eyes. The English word  peony came from the word Paeon. In Greek mythology, Paeon was the physician of the Olympian gods and a student of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing. Asclepius was jealous of the popularity of his student; Zeus, the god of sky and thunder and the ruler of the Olympians of Mount Olympus, saved Paeon from the wrath of Asclepius by turning him into the peony flower.

Whatever the meaning, our Southeastern Wisconsin customers are in love with peonies (and so are we!) Peonies are full, fluffy and feminine, making them the perfect focal flowers for bouquets and arrangements. One more reason to fall in love with peonies is this gorgeous poem by Mary Oliver. Enjoy!

From New And Selected Poems 

by Mary Oliver

This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready

to break my heart

as the sun rises,

as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open —

pools of lace,

white and pink —

and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes

into the curls,

craving the sweet sap,

taking it away

to their dark, underground cities —

and all day

under the shifty wind,

as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies,

and tip their fragrance to the air,

and rise,

their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness

gladly and lightly,

and there it is again —

beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open.

Do you love this world?

Do you cherish your humble and silky life?

Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,

and softly,

and exclaiming of their dearness,

fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,

their eagerness

to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are

nothing, forever?

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Belle Fiori Wedding Trends: The Free Form Bouquet

Posted on by BelleFiori

Loose and airy, ethereal and romantic, the free form bouquet is a lovely and popular trend in bridal bouquets throughout Southeastern Wisconsin and the country this year. The look is soft and feminine and creates the feel of a freshly gathered bouquet with trailing foliage and interesting botanical elements, as well as gorgeous focal and accent flowers, finished off with streaming ribbons or lace.

Belle Fiori’s lead floral designer, Erika Herman, created this bouquet while taking a hands-on workshop at Floret Flowers in Mount Vernon, WA last fall. Naturally, we love everything Erika creates, but this is truly a work of art!

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A more recent design from Belle Fiori designer Alex Covert featured garden roses, heather, hyacinth, Blue Mountain thistle and succulents. This style of bouquet works well with a rustic chic, vintage garden or bohemian style wedding.

Belle Fiori will have examples of this look at the Milwaukee Magnificent Bride show this Sunday, March 6th at the Pfister Hotel. Come join us for a wonderful afternoon with some of Milwaukee’s top wedding vendors!

Check out a few more exclusive Belle Fiori free form designs below-we love how many different looks you can achieve!

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Wedding Trends 2016 – Join Us TONIGHT at Milwaukee’s Pritzlaff!

Posted on by BelleFiori

One of Belle Fiori’s favorite wedding trends for 2016 is the use of botanicals in ceremony and reception décor. Think sprawling greens and foliage swags draped across arbors, tables and chairs. Bouquets and boutonnières featuring succulents, air plants and other interesting greens. Centerpieces with unexpected earthy accents such as branches, pods, grasses and ferns and other decorative leaves come together to create the look of a sumptuous greenhouse or dense forest floor. This look will work for any season, as most of our greens and plants are available year ‘round. Here are two beautiful examples of Belle Fiori brides using botanicals.

This fabulous fall wedding wove a rich flower tapestry of blue, burgundy and creams. Fragrant table swags and hanging garland included bay and magnolia leaves and seeded eucalyptus. We created the garlands at the shop, tucking the flowers in last minute so that they looked their best all night long. Hanging tea lights along with candle and flower collections on the guest tables completed this warm and enchanting evening.

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This gorgeous, Southeastern Wisconsin summer wedding really turned up the greens with a large fig tree, Boston ferns, succulent planters, Cymbidium orchids and other delights. Belle Fiori teamed up with David Caruso of Dynamic Events to create a calm, cool urban oasis that also featured lush hanging ferns, plant and candle vignettes and a surprise pop of bright color from billy balls and protea.

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Both of these weddings took place at the historic Pritzlaff building, located at 333 N. Plankinton Avenue. Join us there tonight, February 24th,  for their Open House from 5-8pm, featuring some of Milwaukee’s top wedding vendors. Hope to see you there!

The Flower Crown

Posted on by BelleFiori

With our busy Valentine’s week finished, our Belle Fiori staff is looking forward to spring flowers and wedding season in Southeastern Wisconsin!

One of our favorite looks for brides this year is the flower crown. Belle Fiori featured several crowns at this year’s Wonderful World of Weddings, and they were a big hit with prospective brides. Our designers created some beautiful hair garlands in 2015 and it looks like this trend will be big in 2016 as well.

Depending on your style, venue and season, here are a few tips for rocking the crown at your wedding!

Bring photos of your favorite looks to your initial consultation. We can guide you towards the best seasonal flowers for your wedding month, colors, textures, as well as the best style for your face shape, hairstyle and dress.

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Have a sample crown made.  You want to feel like a Goddess on your wedding day, so knowing how your crown will look and feel in advance will give you one less thing to worry about. We recommend having a sample made 3-4 weeks before your wedding and trying it on in the shop to make sure that it fits, is comfortable and is the look you envisioned. If you are working with a hairstylist, let them know your plans as they may want to do a trial run with your sample crown prior to your wedding day.

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Order two crowns. Depending on your flower type, season, or venue (especially if you are outdoors) it is a good idea to have a fresh back up in case of wilting. You may also opt for a different style for late night dancing! romanticspringweddingbellefiori

Bridesmaids and flower girls. How about some co-ordinating crowns for your bridesmaids, or sweet circle of petite blooms for your flower girl?

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We are also getting a lot of requests for bachelorette party flower crowns, a fresh and pretty alternative to the tiara/veil theme, and much more fun to wear!

For a bit of flower crown history, check out this fun and informative article from The Knot.

https://www.theknot.com/content/history-of-the-flower-crown

From simple circles of bayleaf and seeded eucalyptus to full, gorgeous hair gardens, Belle Fiori will create a look that is perfect for you. Come visit us at the Pfister Hotel for Milwaukee’s Magnificent Bride show on Sunday, March 6th. Our designers will have some gorgeous bouquet and centerpiece on view, and will be available to answer any of your floral and decor questions. Hope to see you there!

What’s Your Valentine’s Style?

Posted on by BelleFiori

The flowers are arriving by the bucketful at Belle Fiori. Valentine’s week is finally here and our talented designers want to know, “What is YOUR Valentine’s style?” Here are just a few examples of what we have in mind, but we are also able to create whatever your heart desires!

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Girly and sweet: How about some feminine spring blooms in one of our keepsake vases, or a dozen beautiful pink roses tied with a satin bow. New at Belle Fiori this year is our “Sweet and Stylish” arrangement, featuring 6 red roses, a little bling, and 3 fresh baked cookies from The Cake Lady.  As a finishing touch, we love the pink grapefruit Eco candle.

 

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Classic:  You cannot go wrong with a dozen red roses, artfully arranged with and assortment of greens and delicate accent flowers, along with our best selling Rose Petal candle. Might we also recommend a 1 lb box of delicious locally made chocolates from Ultimate Confections? Classic and so classy!

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Crafty and Quirky: Is your love into local craft fairs, Etsy and DIY? Check out these great mugs and planters from Beth Eaton Pottery. We are in love with this heart shaped succulent planter, robot sweetheart mugs and mini planters. Belle Fiori can fill these with plants or flowers at your request for a unique Valentine’s presentation. The  Northwoods Moss Eco candle is the new Belle Fiori favorite, and would make a fresh addition to these local handmade gifts!

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Exotic: Your sweetie loves tiki bars, Thai food and the Tropical Dome, and they would love something colorful and exotic to remind them of warm faraway places. We have a gorgeous array of tropical flowers and greens in the shop for a high style design they are sure to adore. And for that extra special flare, a Love Spell Eco candle will add a little spark to your Valentine’s Day.

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Whatever your style, Belle Fiori has you covered! Stop in at our Milwaukee area shop to select your gifts today!

Belle Fiori
2014 N. Farwell Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53202
414-272-2234
888-380-7708

 

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