How To Support Small Business and Aid in The Local Economy

This is my girl's bee condo. They are pollinating like crazy. I just bought another huge bag of sugar the other day. The bag is so big I can hardly carry it. In fact I left the bag of sugar in my car until I can get someone to help me carry it up my three flights of stairs. ;) In the spring I feed them a sugar syrup with a bee tea of minerals, vitamins, and essential oils until the full nectar flow happens in the summer. The Bee Tea keeps their immune systems strong and deters mites and pests that would try to weaken and kill them. It is nothing for the bees to go through an ice cream pail of sugar syrup in two to three days in the spring. In each ice cream pail there is about nine cups of sugar! So you can imagine just how much sugar the bees go through depending on how much honey stores they have left over from winter. In addition to this I feed I feed them pollen patties which encourages them to lay brood, build, and forage.

This is my girl's bee condo. They are pollinating like crazy. I just bought another huge bag of sugar the other day. The bag is so big I can hardly carry it. In fact I left the bag of sugar in my car until I can get someone to help me carry it up my three flights of stairs. ;) In the spring I feed them a sugar syrup with a bee tea of minerals, vitamins, and essential oils until the full nectar flow happens in the summer. The Bee Tea keeps their immune systems strong and deters mites and pests that would try to weaken and kill them. It is nothing for the bees to go through an ice cream pail of sugar syrup in two to three days in the spring. In each ice cream pail there is about nine cups of sugar! So you can imagine just how much sugar the bees go through depending on how much honey stores they have left over from winter. In addition to this I feed I feed them pollen patties which encourages them to lay brood, build, and forage.

These giant peonies are most likely a direct result of my bees pollination efforts. In the bee yard there are numerous old fruit trees; for the first time last year, dormant trees bloomed and bore fruit. My bee hosts said they had never witnessed so many blooms on their trees in years. The whole neighbourhood is benefiting from the work my bees are doing. It is a really cool thing to see!! Bee keeping is not an inexpensive hobby in supplies or time. I work with my bees at least three times a week to make sure they have enough food, room, and for mite and pest control.

These giant peonies are most likely a direct result of my bees pollination efforts. In the bee yard there are numerous old fruit trees; for the first time last year, dormant trees bloomed and bore fruit. My bee hosts said they had never witnessed so many blooms on their trees in years. The whole neighbourhood is benefiting from the work my bees are doing. It is a really cool thing to see!! Bee keeping is not an inexpensive hobby in supplies or time. I work with my bees at least three times a week to make sure they have enough food, room, and for mite and pest control.

Some of you may know that I was in a car accident almost two years ago (not my fault); due to the injuries incurred, I have not been able to work full time, and certainly have not been taking any weddings which is my main bread and butter. It is hard for me to lift heavy things, stand for too long, or look down, all things my work requires. I have not been able to take dance lessons or dance to my fullest capacity at all. (My passion). I am most certainly getting better, but have been incurring horrible, debilitating headaches as I recover, and neck, knee and elbow pain which keeps me up some nights. I never ever had headaches before the injury. I'm used to being strong, healthy, and independent. So this is absolutely no fun for me, and a blow to my pride, finances, and independence. I have been living off my savings these past two years. Hard earned savings. ICBC gives a very low wage supplement which you absolutely have to jump hoops to receive, and barely covers rent in a city like Victoria. It is further complicated by my self employment. Very stressful times.


I wanted you to know I am most grateful for your support. Those who have bought honey, soap, or jewellery the proceeds have gone directly into the upkeep of my bees. Those rare few who consistently share my posts. Bless your hearts. <3


Facebook and Instagram constantly change their algorithms and limit the posts my followers can see; so even though you may have liked and followed my page you may not see many of my posts.


So how do you help small businesses succeed? How do you drive the local economy? How do you prevent the rich from getting richer and the poor from getting poorer?


1. Wherever and whenever you can buy local. Go to farmers markets and local craft shows. Buy from local farmers and artisans. Support local shops instead of big box stores. Buy from individuals instead of large corporations. When you buy from a local artisan you are directly keeping profits within the community. You are helping feed a local individual or family. You are then enabling that artisan to support their local economy as well; by putting their child in local dance classes or horseback riding lessons, to buying their bread and eggs from a local baker and farm. It is the trickle down effect in practice.


2. When a local artisan or business shares a post. Like, love, comment on, and share that post! It is such a simple thing to do and costs you nothing. By doing this it helps others to see that business's post in their feed. It makes it more relevant in FBs or Instagram's eyes, and they allow the post to be seen by more people. When you share the post add a personal comment as well. " This is my friend_____. I have purchased _____from them. I have found them to be _____." or " This is my friend _____. S/he is an amazing_____. Please support their ______."


3. Personal references go a long way. People are more inclined to purchase from someone with a friend or acquaintances' recommendation. Talk the local artisans up in your personal community. Leave google reviews, star ratings, and online recommendations. This is huge! Reviews help people find the artisan. It helps google's search engines find that business, and lifts them in the search engine ranking so that the business can be found by seekers searching for that service.


With this in mind, I have a favour to ask. If you have purchased anything flowers, jewellery, soap, honey, if you are one of my past brides or grooms, please go and leave me a google review. It seems that google, much like FB did a few years ago, has gone and removed all my past reviews.🙁All the comments by my amazing customers and brides over the years. Gone.😢This will extremely help my Google search engine optimization before Mother's Day as I start to work more after my injury. I would be ever so grateful. 🙏<3 Thank you. 💐🐝🍯xox Sarina

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We Make Jewellery Did You Know?!

We love gemstones and sterling silver jewelry! Sometimes we use other metals but sterling silver is our preference. We think a little beauty and a little sparkle never hurt a soul.

Sterling silver heart locket with 18 inch Italian sterling silver box link chain.

Sterling silver heart locket with 18 inch Italian sterling silver box link chain.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

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Sterling silver mermaid pendant with peridot, moldavite and pearl…of course we can provide a chain too!

Sterling silver mermaid pendant with peridot, moldavite and pearl…of course we can provide a chain too!

Did you know all our jewellery with a bee themed motif goes directly into the proceeds of keeping our bees healthy and happy? Sterling silver and citrine drop hexagon earrings.

Did you know all our jewellery with a bee themed motif goes directly into the proceeds of keeping our bees healthy and happy? Sterling silver and citrine drop hexagon earrings.

Floating Lotus Necklace with sterling silver and micro faceted amethyst with matching earrings. We make everything with love and think jewellery is the perfect add on with flowers!! Check out more jewellery on our Wildflower and Honey shop page. On Instagram @wildflowrandhoney and on Facebook Wildflower and Honey. We’d love to help you pick the perfect gift for you or a loved one!!

Floating Lotus Necklace with sterling silver and micro faceted amethyst with matching earrings. We make everything with love and think jewellery is the perfect add on with flowers!! Check out more jewellery on our Wildflower and Honey shop page. On Instagram @wildflowrandhoney and on Facebook Wildflower and Honey. We’d love to help you pick the perfect gift for you or a loved one!!

Introducing Our New Gilded and Honey Soaps

Introducing our Gilded Honey Soaps with honey from our own hives! All the proceeds from the sale of these soaps goes directly back into the upkeep of our hives. You may not want to keep bees yourself but you can help us pollinate!

Kylie and Brandon

The bouquets just waiting for the main event.

The bouquets just waiting for the main event.

Awww! Someone is happy to be there!

Awww! Someone is happy to be there!

Married!

Married!

The lovely ladies.

The lovely ladies.

The handsome men.

The handsome men.

That is one good looking bridal party!

That is one good looking bridal party!

The cake all dressed up for the celebrations.

The cake all dressed up for the celebrations.

The lovely centerpieces I created which were completely illuminated from the bottom up once it got dark.

The lovely centerpieces I created which were completely illuminated from the bottom up once it got dark.

It all looks lovely doesn't it?

It all looks lovely doesn't it?

Bringing your altar pieces to the reception to help dress up the venue is always a good move, as is placing the wedding bouquets in vases to dress up the head table. I always recommend this to help with the floral budget.

Bringing your altar pieces to the reception to help dress up the venue is always a good move, as is placing the wedding bouquets in vases to dress up the head table. I always recommend this to help with the floral budget.

Candy bar at the reception. Do you like them?

Candy bar at the reception. Do you like them?

The full effect of the bridal bouquet with the dress. Yup, it was a stunner if I do say so myself :)

The full effect of the bridal bouquet with the dress. Yup, it was a stunner if I do say so myself :)

Congratulations Kylie and Brandon! I hope you are enjoying married life!

Congratulations Kylie and Brandon! I hope you are enjoying married life!

All the images are courtesy of Fetching Images Photography. http://www.fetchingimagephoto.com/

 

PUBLISHED: Steampunk Photo Shoot

Our steampunk photo shoot was published and I am just posting it now....(I know, I know, you can give me heck later).  You can view more images over at

Borrowed and Bleu 

where it was also one of the top ten blog posts for their 2012 year!

A close up detail shot of the bouquet which was created in a copper and pearl nest, with lace ruffle, purple velvet ribbon wrap, and stamped vintage keys.

I tried to incorporate a lot of steampunk details into my floral creations for this shoot which took place on the hottest day in May of 2012. It was absolutely sweltering and our poor models didn't complain once. Not once. I was trying to keep everyone hydrated including the flowers, but I was the only one who suffered from heat stroke that day! I didn't know you could drink too much water and flush all the electrolytes out of your system!!

 I incorporated copper, gears, keys, clocks, and peacock feathers into the designs. This is a little chapeau  I made for the bride.

Tuktu Paper Co. 

Provided all the lovely paper works.

Beauty Bride

Styled the shoot with vintage decor.

Ooh La La Cupcakes

Created this incredible cake.

 I created this garland on the vintage typewriter. I can't even begin to tell you how heavy this typewriter was...I could hardly lift it! It must have been seventy pounds!

 This I can say with complete surety is my most favourite boutonniere I have EVER created.

Deanna McCollum Photography

Last but not least our amazing, tireless photographer who captured all of these incredible images and who made this shoot possible for all of us.

Merridale Estate Cidery

The beautiful venue.

 A close up detail of the bouquet with keys, gears, a tiny bird cage and copper details. I really love purple with chartreuse. All of the iris were from the Bella Fiore gardens.

I would like to thank everyone who worked on this shoot what an experience! I now know how to prevent heat exhaustion ;)

Christy and Scott with Callas, Cars, and Cupcakes!

Meet Christy and Scott a beautiful couple in love and about to get married.
Every little princess needs bling. Aren't those dresses lovely!!
When the bride puts on her shoes you know the time is drawing near...oooh the shoes!
Here comes the bride!
Even grown up princesses need bling!
Ta da! Such a beautiful couple.
Yay! Married!!
One must never forget to smooch up the little princess :)


The absolutely gorgeous Christy.
Close up detail of the bouquet. White calla lilies, orchids, stephanotis, peacock feathers and bling. Click on any image to enlarge the picture.
Close up of the groom's boutonniere. The boys had mini white callas with feathers.
All of the lovely ladies. The girls carried white calla lilies with cream roses and peacock feathers.
All the handsome boys!
You can just tell when someone is trouble can't you? ;P
Christy's friend made these beautiful cupcakes with damask black and white paper accents. The cake and dressing was also DIY.
Family!
The complete wedding party in all their glory!
This is my most favourite image of Christy and Scott. So, so beautiful and you can just feel the love. Thank-you so much Christy and Scott for letting me be a small part of your beautiful wedding day. I wish you so much joy, love and happiness! xo
All these images are courtesy of Brad from Fetching Image Photography unless otherwise stated. Thank-you so much Brad for sharing your work with us.

Kristin and Aaron Get Married!

Delivering all the flower pieces to the Brentwood Bay and Resort.
Kristin's bridal bouquet was so lovely with roses, hyacinth, dendrobium orchid florets, muscari and stephanotis with pearl and berry accents. I truly loved making this bouquet. It smelled divine.
Aaron's boutonniere to match his lovely bride's bouquet.
Kristin had ordered dresses for her bridesmaids online. They did not arrive in time for the wedding and she found these ones instead. I think they went beautifully with the bridesmaids bouquets I made.
The lovely wedding party!
Kristin and Aaron's wedding was an intimate affair of close family and friends. I arranged all the floral pieces with Kristin via email as they were coming from Edmonton for the wedding. We decided on these simple but elegant centerpieces of submerged dendrobium orchids with floating candles to help her stay within her floral budget. They were placed at intervals down the length of the banquet tables.
Sometimes, I just make the most beautiful bouquet for the bride to simply toss away ;) Her teen-age little sister caught the bouquet and when she did her father told her to toss it back!!
Kristin and Aaron got married!! I thank them both for letting me be a small part of their special day and wish them a lifetime of love and happiness. All these lovely photos are courtesy of Lara Eichhorn Photography.



The Truth about Keeping Cut Tulips

It is tulip season! Of course we haven't seen them poke their heads up from the cold, frozen earth yet, but hot house tulips and Dutch tulips are now available. Yay! There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding tulips and their care. I am here to set you straight.
Home remedies abound for keeping cut tulips fresh longer in the vase. Add pennies, they say, or aspirin, bleach or a dilution of 7-UP! This is all really false information and based on old "wives tales". The Dutch experts say that the best thing for tulips is clean, fresh cold water in a clean bacteria free vase. Are you really going to argue with the Dutch about tulips? Think of all the bacteria and grime on a penny....would you put that in your mouth? No, I didn't think so. Tulips don't want pennies where they drink either. Sure, you may have seen some instant perking up of your tulips with the addition of these remedies but in the long run and for the longevity of your cut tulips it is detrimental. Science has proven it. It's true.
Did you know tulips keep growing after they have been cut? That tulips take water in from their whole stem? So only give them a little cold, fresh water at the bottom of their vase and re-cut their stems every few days to help prevent them from drooping; eventually, nothing will stop tulips from drooping as they get older. Tulips do not like preservative solution (those little packets of powder you get from the flower shop). They are one of the few flower types that do not.
There! Now you know the real truth about keeping cut tulips. Please go fish those pennies out of your tulip vases.....and save them instead for a worthy charitable organization, or more cut fresh tulips :)

Sabrina and Kristian

Meet the beautiful bride Sabrina. She is originally from Argentina.
The close up detail of her bouquet with cream roses, wired fuchsia dendrobium and blush cymbidium orchids, and stephanotis with pearl inserts. Ultra feminine and romantic.
So beautiful.
The beautiful chapel at St. Anne's Academy.
The lovely orchid and rose pew dressing.
Here we go!
About to exchange vows....
Ta da!
Isn't she lovely?
The boys.
Orchids and roses for boutonnieres.
The ladies carried roses and orchids.
So cute!

The wedding party.
Close up detail of the centerpieces. I loved the pale pink mums because the colour was so delicate and soft.
Dressing up the reception tables.
All dressed.
Sabrina and Kristian married! I would like to than Trish Glab for sharing her photos of the day with me.
Congratulations Sabrina and Kristian! Thank- you so much for choosing Bella Fiore as your wedding floral designer. I wish you both a lifetime of joy and happiness together!

The Lovely Australians!

The lovely Australians are getting married.
The first thing I do on a wedding day is deliver the personal flowers to the wedding party.

Close up detail of the bouquets.
After delivering the personal flowers and dressing the ceremony site if applicable, I dress the wedding cake and reception tables. Notice the cake topper is of two grooms.
Meet my lovely Australians Jim and David. They are getting married. Yes, this is a same sex marriage, and if you have a problem with same sex marriages, you probably should not read any further. No hard feelings.
They have a beautiful kind of love and they came all the way to Victoria, B.C. Canada to get married! Yup. It's true.
Instead of groomsmen they had groom's women. The lovely ladies were supposed to be in black cocktail dresses, but, alas, something went wrong as it can do when you are traveling from another country. They look lovely all the same!
I made two matching bouquets for the girls. Jim and I worked together to create something the girls would love. He loves orchids. The man has good taste!
The exchange of the rings. Yippee!
One of the centerpieces.
Beginning to dress the tables with mokara blooms scattered, submerged cymbidium orchids and floating candles, and matching bouquets.
I love the series of following photos that photographer Mark from www.marksphoto.ca shot and I thank him for sharing them with me.
Love.
More love.
The boys running through Victoria with bubble wands makes me so happy!
Married and so adorable! Congratulations Jim and David may you have a lifetime of love, joy, and happiness! What a pleasure it was to work on your wedding!

Peaches!

Peaches and Cream

There I was in the grocery store, and there they were, lovely, luscious peaches. I had just spent the morning trying to help a bridesmaid pin and tuck herself into her dress. Technically, I was delivering the bridal flowers to the bride, but ever the helpful floral designer I was asked to help in this tricky endeavor. The bridesmaid had recently become pregnant, and well, things weren't fitting like they were supposed to....which got us to complaining about the bigger questions in life. Like why do sundress designers design with spaghetti straps, and these tiny little triangle bodices? Who could possibly fit into these things?

Later, I posted this very same question on

Facebook.

This is where parallels were drawn and comparisons to fruit ensued. I take absolutely no responsibility for this occurrence. I will just say that someone mentioned peaches ....which brings me back to the peaches at the grocery store...

I was thinking peaches as a summer wedding theme would be so lovely. If you added touches of cream, lace, rustic wood tables....wouldn't it be be divine? Of course, you would NEVER put your girls in bridesmaids dresses with spaghetti straps ,or tiny little triangle bodices because that is just cruelty to peaches and will cause a riot.

Wedding Bouquet Inspiration Victoria B.C.

Weddings we LOVE them!
Planning a wedding in Victoria, B.C.? We LOVE weddings and specialize in weddings of all styles! Consultations are complimentary and by appointment only.This enables us to give you our undivided attention to discuss all the details of your special day.
Some florists prefer to design in only one style. Not us! We love all styles and are able to execute beautiful designs from rustic to glam and all that falls between. We love working with you to make your vision a reality.
Whether you have planned a romantic garden wedding, or
a high styled dramatic evening,
from a rustic, vineyard
to feminine romance.....
We will work with you to incorporate any style your heart desires!
We have an excellent reputation but don't take our word for it! Read what our clients say about us here or here.


Want to see more of what we do?
You can view more wedding inspiration here in our wedding gallery.
Want to contact us about your wedding? You can send us a message here and our phone number is here as well.
We create beautiful one of a kind bouquets, for beautiful, one of a kind brides! That's what we do and we love it! So, let's start planning your wedding in Victoria!

Sunday at the Pattiserie

Pâtisserie

On Sundays one should:
  • dress like they are in Paris
  • or at least smell like they are Parisian
  • or maybe eat a croissant
  • this whole one bite thing is ridiculous
  • so is taking only two bites
  • eat the whole croissant
  • it's Sunday
  • pretend you are in Paris
  • eat lunch at the Patisserie
  • Say qui
  • It's O.K. if you say non
  • but don't hurt frogs
  • that's bad karma
  • even for the Parisian
  • Play Edith Piaf
  • drink coffee from a bowl
  • but not like a dog
  • that is not Parisian
  • on Sundays one should
  • pretend they are in
  • Paris

Spring Blossom

What did I do?

Came the spring with all it's splendor,
All it's birds and all it's blossoms,
All it's flowers and leaves and grasses...
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow~

Every one who knows me well, I mean knows me really well, knows I love poetry. They have known me to swoon over a well constructed sentence, a clever turn of a phrase, a metaphor that shines like the sun. They have known me to speak in rhyme for no reason and answer an email in prose. They say, it may be my affliction....like a weakness for musicians, or having to smell every rose I pass.
It is my firm belief that spring is the Earth's way of writing poetry. With every crocus, tulip and daffodil that pokes up from the wet earth, she says, "Look! Behold what beauty! Do you see?" With every cherry blossom that unfurls it's pink petals she whispers,
" Blossom. Go ahead. You can."
Every one who knows me well, I mean knows me really well knows I love spring. They say, it may be my affliction.....like a love for flowers and honey off the spoon.
Happy Spring! Blossom.Go ahead. You can.
~ Sarina xo~

Rosa di San Valentino

Rosa di San Valentino

Well, Valentine's Day has come and gone and I didn't get to do a Valentine's Day post because as a floral designer one gets a little busy around this day....just a little :)
I was noticing in Valentine's Day blog posts around the wedding/events community that all the details were red and white, red and white, red and white. Oh, and chocolate, chocolate cupcakes, chocolate hearts, chocolate covered strawberries. Also, all the blog posts were " cute". I honestly can say I didn't see a unique one anywhere, or really romantic, or even sexy. I mean it is Valentine's Day, somewhere someone should be doing something romantic or sexy....no? Am I the only one who thinks this way? Why can't you be sexy, romantic and sweetly stylish? Is there some law in the wedding/events community that for Valentine's Day you have to have red hearts and red everything? Don't get me wrong I LOVE red, but I want an adult red. I want it paired with black not white. I want bling. I want champagne or at least red wine....sure let's have chocolate but in a fondue or mousse. I quite possibly may be in the middle of a full blown rant....so full blown....I've turned pink, and I'm not even really a fan of pink....but pink works for Valentine's Day, and people will always love roses for Valentine's, and well, I had to add some of my bling feather pins, and instead of chocolate some of my soap because baths are romantic....and....I think run on sentences are sexy.... (hee!!)
I hope you had a fabulous Valentine's Day and I hope it was a little grown up, unless, of course you are fourteen :)

Business to Business LOVE

A little business to business LOVE to celebrate Valentine's Day in Victoria, B.C. Win one custom floral arrangement delivered to your business for three months!! Valued at over $300.00 What do you have to do to enter:
  • Like my facebook page and get two other friends to like my page as well. http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Bella-Fiore-Custom-Floral-Design/317149355690
  • Post on my wall that you have liked me. Get your friends to post on my wall on your behalf.
  • Already like me? Get three friends to like me and post on my wall on your behalf.
  • You must have a legitimate business with either a shop,studio or reception area to qualify.
  • Your business must reside in Victoria, B.C.
  • This offer is not redeemable for cash value nor negotiable.
  • The floral arrangements are designed according to Bella Fiore Custom Floral Design's aesthetic. We will take into consideration your business aesthetic as well. They will be beautiful :)
  • One arrangement will be delivered to your place of business once a month for three months. Starting in February 2011 ending in April 2011.
  • This contest will close Friday February 18, 2011 at midnight.
  • The winner will be chosen by random draw and notified on Facebook by Saturday February 19,2011.
It is a known that fresh flowers in the work place lift staff morale and boost productivity. Please share this post with businesses you know in Victoria, B.C.
Happy Valentine's Day! Good Luck!

Valerie and Jack Married!



Valerie and Jack got married on a very hot summers day at the Laurel Point Inn. Valerie's bouquet was a jewel toned delight of roses,freesia,gardenia,greens and berries.
Her dress had beautiful detailing.
I made these huge altars pieces of colourful roses,lily,delphinium, and various greens. They were so heavy, I could hardly lift them! Thank goodness my "Muscles" was helping me (aka my son)!!
The flower girl tossed jewel toned rose petals from a simple basket.
I also made this beautiful fresh flower hair clip for her out of deconstructed freesia petals, hydrangea florets and greens embellished with chartreuse fine wires and a little crystal.
Aaah, the boys made an entrance with those sunglasses! They had boutonnieres of rose,freesia and greens. Each corresponded with a bridesmaid bouquet.
Here come the girls in their stunning jewel toned dresses with complimentary bouquets of roses and freesia.


Close up detail.




The flowers in the thick of the action. I really did love that fresh flower hair clip!
It was a cocktail reception so I did a mix of high and low centerpieces.
One of the tall centerpieces through the window. Dark purple delphinium with a chartreuse hydrangea cuff.
I really love how this cake turned out. I love adding flowers to cakes. I even add flowers to our birthday cakes at home!
There is the happy couple! I would like to thank Jen Steele Photography for sharing some of her images of this special day. I would also like to thank Valerie and Jack for allowing me to be a part of their wedding celebrations and wish them a lifetime of love, joy and happiness!