Holy Long Sabbatical, Batman!!
So, I kind of, accidentally, took a long (okay, mega long) break from updating this beautiful beast of a website. It definitely wasn't on purpose- I swear. It's just that- and this is good news- I've been SUPER BUSY with awesome clients (if you're reading this, chances are you're one of them...HEY THERE!!).
What exactly has been going on? Well, for one, wedding planning. And not just, full-planning (though I've done that, too). But even smaller, more personalized plans. Venue visits, vendor research and acquisition. I even attended a bridal show with a bride who was new in town- yay! And of coure, one of my favorites- I did my first pet- attendant wedding (aside from my own, that is). If you're wondering what that is, it's basically where I supervise and cuddle on your pet(s) during the day-of and make sure they're safe and ready to go for ceremony time! I also tuck them in for the night so that you can enjoy the evening with your guests for a few hours, without having to worry about getting home to them quickly! (If you want to learn more about that service because, duh, it's amazing and probably my favorite thing ever, click here.)
To make up for my long absence, I'm here to tell you about something super amazing. Well, actually, it's someone super amazing who can do something pretty spectacular with your WITH. YOUR. WEDDING. FLOWERS! And, honestly...what better time to make a comeback than on a day with a little bit of spook and full-moon magic on this glorious Friday the 13th?
And, I know I know- if you're currently planning your wedding, what you're going to do after the wedding might be the last thing on your mind. I mean, you do have a to-do list about a million pages long. But, like it or not, your wedding day will be here before you know it, and it's always best to have a plan for your flowers after the big day. Re: don't wing it. (Plus, if you're anything like me, making decisions for your own wedding is extremely difficult, so thinking about ideas for after the big day might just be a welcome distraction. Procrastinators of the world unite! ....tomorrow.) So friends (especially newlyweds, OR family members who want to get their favorite couple a really awesome gift), this post is for you.
So, there is this pretty amazing artist named Caitlin Waugh, of Paraph Studio, who has over 12 years of professional experience with custom and restoration stained glass work. She reached out to me a few months ago to collaborate and create something special out of my wedding flowers. OF COURSE, I jumped at the chance (and not a moment too soon because my flowers had been on the back burner for AWHILE, but more on that later). Let me tell you, the final product was amazing!
But before we get to the details, let's talk a little bit about our girl.
An artist by trade, Caitlin really started getting into KILN techniques (what she uses to preserve your flowers) when she spent a summer session at Pilchuck Glass School. There she got to experiment with putting together several items between glass; it was through that trial and error that she became inspired by the plant matter tests they performed. When she returned home after her session, she started to play around more in her own kiln, using recycled float glass. It just so happened that a bunch of her friends were also getting married that year, so she brought home flowers from each of their weddings to make gifts for them. Thus, her Enverre wedding line was born! According to Caitlin, the best part about her Enverre line is that it allows her to blend her passions and strengths while forming deep connections with people. She loves being able to create beautiful, meaningful objects that invoke both emotion and nostalgia, while allowing her to explore the extraordinary world of plant medicine.
I know...aren't you already in love with her?!
So, How Does The Process Work?
Well, to start, you'll get together with Caitlin and come up with some dreamy ideas based on the options you have (and trust me- they're pretty limitless). Once you've decided on a design, you'll take your flowers out of whatever drying method you've had them in (see below) and give them to Caitlin. To make sure she gets a good range of results, she'll probably take at least a handful of your blooms so that she has a couple of options to work with. In my case, that meant that I still had/have some of my wedding flowers left over to play with for the future (not that I've found the time to do anything with them yet, but I digress...). Based on the design concept you've dreamed up with her, Caitlin will then get to work on finding, cutting, and preparing the glass panes to use for the project. Once that's done, your flowers will get inserted between two pieces of float glass and put in the kiln. In general, her kiln process is about a 12 hour cycle. Once complete, Caitlin will use her years of experience customizing stained glass work to join your panes with the appropriate medium (wood, metal, etc). And voila- your piece is finished! Ready to take it's place as a beautiful heirloom in your home.
How Do I Get Started?
-Your wedding flowers
No, really, aside from an open mind and the desire to create an heirloom from your blooms, you mostly just need your wedding flowers.
Confession: I was a little nervous to give (aka show) mine to Caitlin. I'm a little ashamed to admit that, directly after the wedding, I didn't save my flowers in the most proper of fashions.... Shocking, I know! But I caught the flu a few days after my wedding. THE FLU. Let's just say it wasn't pretty. And in my delirious state, I expressed to my husband my concern over preserving my flowers, and how 'I'll never be able to make something beautiful from them! sob sob' So what did he do? Well, in regular man fashion, he decided to take the most direct route he could think of and, after wrapping my bouquet (ribbon and all) in Saran wrap, he tossed it in the freezer! (In case you're wondering, that's really not how you're supposed to preserve flowers.) Of course, I eventually moved them into silica gel (one of the more popular methods out there). But, why don't you take the advice of an expert on this one. In Caitlin's own words, here's how she suggests to ready your flowers for her process:
After enjoying the blooms for a day or two after the wedding, lay the flowers out and press them between cardboard. This will resolve any time pressure, so that they can dry and be used when ready. However, great results have also come from bouquets that were just hung up and dried as well. I also use fresh flowers when I have the chance.
My advice? Don't wait too long to start drying them, and contact Caitlin sooner, rather than later!
What Are My Options?
Well, really, the sky is your limit when it comes to the possibilities for your flowers! The panes that your flowers are encased in can be prepared in many different ways, so you really have the ability to design whatever fits your style. A few options include:
Glass Stained PanelsThis is what I chose! These stained glass options can be hung in a collage and framed between metal, wood, porcelain, copper, or zinc. And you can really choose just about any size, color, dimension, or design. They start at $50.
Since my house has a lot of black (like my soul) and hints of teal inside (such as my awesome woooden Louisiana shaped guest book!), we opted to use a similar scheme for the panel. I really love all of the different shades Caitlin came up with!
Reclaimed WoodIn case you didn't know, I'll tell you right now- there is a whole mess of old wood to be found in New Orleans. To that end, you could easily capture a slab of reclaimed wood- perhaps on that has sentimental value to you?- and Caitlin can affix your finished glass to it, making you a unique piece. This also starts at $50.
Memory BoxesIf you're looking for something that you can put to use, how about selecting the memory box option. Made from reclaimed (sanded and stained) cigar boxes, this optin can be an awesome gift for the bride and groom, or their supportive family members (re: Mom!). Prices start at $55 per box.
Jewelry BoxesGeared more towards women, but just the same, jewelry boxes are also an option. These boxes are created by Beau Crotch, and can be crafted to include your flower panes on almost any area of the box- on the top, on the bottom, as shelves, etc. You could even do full furniture! Like all of the other options, you can chose any shape, size, or design.
Standoff HardwareThis is where your flower panes are erected in a fasion that allows them to be affixed to your wall, standing off just it bit, preventing them from laying exactly flush against it. This can start at $45, and can be done in batches.
Archetectural AccentsHere's where you really have options a wide range of options. In the past, people have had Caitlin install panes into their cabinets, create masterpieces out of reclaimed window settings, and erected beautiful side lights outlining their front doors. Check out this page to see examples of her work and get some inspiration!
Picture Frames and Photo AlbumsCaitlin is still in the process of designing a few protypes for both picture frames and albums, but be on the lookout for new things to come! Picture frames have a lot of possibilities, including wood, metal and stained glass. Her photo album options will have Enverre panes framed onto the cover and can be custom ordered now.
Here's a few more pictures of my pane!
Pretty amazing, am I right? Ours is currently hanging in our pool room so that it catches the light by the back door. I couldn't have dreamed up a better keepsake for my wedding flowers! Thanks, Caitlin!
You can find Caitlin online at her Paraph Studio Website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram (@caitlinezellwaugh), and Pinterest. You can also find her at various local art markets, such as Where Y'Art, or you can visit her at her shared retail space with Dado Wood Work at 5700 Magazine Street.
Go check her out, ya'll!