Sweet Bouquets…

Posted in My Blog on August 4, 2011 by blessingsinparadise

Some bouquets that I made for my dear friend, “Kimosan”‘s( I was in HER wedding many moons ago!!) daughter, for her wedding about 2 years ago…I love the combination of the orchids and succulents!!!  Her sister is holding the golden calla lily bouquet…( you can click on the images to see them a bit better).

PS>>> The happy couple had a beautiful baby girl this Spring & I had the pleasure of meeting her last Saturday!!  Her name is Olive. She is most certainly: ALL~LOVE!!!!

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Thanks!

Posted in My Blog with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2011 by blessingsinparadise

One of the best parts of my job comes after the work is done.

Here is a beautiful thank you note I received from Rachel and Tor… Their wedding took place last autumn, at  Alice Keck Park in downtown Santa Barbara, though it looks as if we held the ceremony  in a lush, tropical rainforest!

Nancy,

I wanted to thank you for making our ceremony so special. You did such a wonderful job making it personal, romantic, funny and perfect. We received many compliments on it throughout the evening. Several people told me they even cried( I am surprised I was able to hold it together!)

You were so easy to work with and to get to know. We loved how down to earth, funny and real you are. And you were able to take our fairly boring lives and spin them into a touching ceremony-all the while including our dear cat, Cheeto!

Many thanks! Rachel and Tor

Thank You Rachel and Tor!

Wedded Bliss in a Forest

Posted in My Blog with tags , , on January 10, 2011 by blessingsinparadise

It was an autumn wedding made mystical by the soft veil of misty rain. The bride, full with two babes in her belly, was protected by a wall of sturdy Italian men.  The couple’s friends and family watched with rapt attention. Between the words I spoke to bless their future children, we could hear the gentle sounds of the nearby creek. The silence of the land reigned.  It felt as if we were in some primeval forest, in some far off land in a fairy tale.  Yet here we were, not 5 minutes away from downtown Santa Barbara, tucked away in the arms of the oaks at the Museum of Natural History!!  Dreamy!!!

If you’re interested, call Meredith Moore 682-4711 ext 112. It is a gorgeous place to visit on any day!!! And tell her I sent you!! : )

Oh, did I tell you, I LOVE FLOWERS???

Posted in My Blog with tags , , , on June 8, 2010 by blessingsinparadise

Well, if you couldn’t tell by my website design, I LOVE FLOWERS!!! I love how they look, how they smell. I love wandering through fields of them.  I love how they are just these incredible works of art all by themselves and then masterpieces when put together! I love the energy they add to a room! I love wearing them in my hair, and around my neck and on my wrists when I dance hula (or even just dancing through life!)  I love the joy that they bring people.

I have had the extreme fortune to assist my BFF, Tricia Fountaine, AMAZING Mistress of Event~ Floral~Costume Design, with creating floral designs for many weddings and events. It is beyond words what I have learned from her!!! Please check out her FABULOUS website: http://www.triciafountaine.com .

We ALWAYS have so much fun together, surrounded by (you guessed it!)  FLOWERS, music, cats, tea, Pirate Booty (her fave) and never ending LAUGHTER!!! I could go on and on about the funny stories, joy and creativity that oozes out of us when we are together… she is the Best!

With Tricia’s blessings and encouragement, I offer couples that I perform ceremonies for, the added service of creating bouquets and boutonniere’s for them. Here are 2 pictures of a wedding where I did both the ceremony and the flowers. You can click on the photos to enlarge them. Shannon and Ken’s beautiful wedding took place at Alice Keck Park under  sunny skies.

Shannon chose white callas and oh-so-tiny but fragrant, lily of the valley, for her bouquet. She also chose to tie into it, a horseshoe, which is a personal touch that had meaning for her and Ken. I encourage my couples to bring to their ceremonies objects, rituals, poetry, music, and stories or anything that is deeply meaningful to them (some couples bring their dogs!)  I love being the facilitator of GREAT MEMORIES and creating beauty!!!  With words and FLOWERS!!!

Pat “Good Times” Milliken…

Posted in My Blog on May 26, 2010 by blessingsinparadise

My dear, sweet friend Pat Milliken passed away on Good ”Times” Friday,  April 2, 2010. It was a few days after he had an EPICALLY GRAND TIME seeing Paul McCartney in concert.   He was only 42 years old.  I call it “Good Times” Friday because  “Good Times” is something he always said upon greeting someone. I had to rename the day to commemorate him!

Also strong in his vocabulary, “Vividly” “ Epic” “Grand!” All words filled with positive energy, inspiration, and joy. He spoke them, he lived them, he embodied them!

He “ epically” touched SO many people’s lives.  On the Facebook site, set up for him after he passed, 650 people signed up the very first week to share stories, and to read about his life. At the memorials, I spoke with many people who shared with me how they all cried endless rivers of tears over their keyboards for him. Though the computer served a great purpose informing us and bringing us together, we were so glad to actually be able to hug each other and share the warmth of the friendships and love that we all shared with this amazing man.

Pat had suffered since his teens with many serious health issues. They ranged from a brain aneurysm ( for which he had brain surgery), to open heart surgeries and heart valves. He had major seizures, which on a scale of 1-10 were very often 10’s or 11’s. They were powerful and it took everything he had to deal with them.  Every night he had to take a myriad of pills to keep him alive. All of us felt his fragility, but it didn’t stop him from living fully.

He frequently visited friends, and invited them to join him at the Cajun Kitchen for breakfast or Playa Azul for dinner. He loved spending time in the park, any park or any natural setting made him feel at ease.

People connected with him immediately. He was open and present with whomever he was with in the moment. He was known for laughing so hard that he would double over into the fetal position. He was such a joyous and funny man!

He was extremely passionate about music. He played his guitar all over town, and he jammed with countless musicians for over 3 decades.  He had mastered a special style of playing called DADGAD. A complicated style for most musicians, but Pat made it his own.

He played his guitar for the patients as well as the staff at Cottage hospital for many years. He cherished the staff there, since he had spent many months of his life living there, while under their loving care.

I was lucky enough to have him play at some of the weddings I performed.  Since we usually performed our ceremonies outside amongst the flowers and the trees, his music was a beautiful enhancement to such romantic settings. His presence there, for me, was calming and pure FUN!

Beyond the working relationship, we had a great friendship. We would often go for Chinese food, and then come back to my house and play Chinese checkers on my livingroom floor. For years, since no one could beat me, I was the Chinese Checkers Queen. That was until Pat showed up! He would have such a big ol’ grin on his face when it came down to the last moves where he knew that he was the champ.  And oh, did he love to poke fun at how much he was winning. He got such a kick out of that!

He always had me laughing. We could just look at each other and start cracking up. He could tell the best and funniest stories, that would really get everyone rolling. He LOVED telling funny stories( especially the one where he was chased by Chester the Buffalo!!!!)

His memorial was EPIC!!!  Fifteen of his closest musician friends got up on the stage, and together played his songs with their instruments, most of them guitars.  I cry as I write this, remembering this moment.  I can clearly remember the feeling of his music multiplied by fifteen hearts pouring out their love of/to him. OH! I will never forget it. They also played the Beatles( his fave!) song “All you Need is Love” and had everyone singing…crying and singing…

One of his sisters shared a beautiful story about Pat.

She had become ill at the beginning of this year, and had to go into the hospital. She felt that she was the lucky one, since she got to see him daily for 4 months ( before he died) while she was there.  Her illness handicapped her. She was having an especially hard day, worried about her future life as a handicapped person.  She asked Pat” How am I going to live like this?” and Pat replied,” Full On Fearless, Full On Fearless.” She shared this to encourage all of us to live our lives FULL ON FEARLESS, inspiring us with his words of wisdom and LOVE.

I am so thankful to have been blessed with Pat in my life. I am so thankful that he lives on in his music and in my new friendships with his friends and family. Most of all, I am so thankful that he lives forever in my heart.  I feel him there everyday…VIVIDLY!!!

My Blog

Posted in My Blog on April 5, 2010 by blessingsinparadise

This past Valentines Day, I cracked open a hard boiled egg to put into my tuna salad, and I got a beautiful Valentines day wish!!! Look closely and you will see what I mean!!!! I thought it was just perfect  to post this LOVE EGG on my Easter blog…

Easter 2010

Easter Madness at my sister’s house… about 50 of us… lots of great food, lots of NOISE, lots of laughter.  My daughter and I have been looking forward to this gathering all week. In the midst of the mayhem, I marvel at how all this began.

My parents were in Love and got married.

And they brought together their 2 families. Here we are in the presence of my Mom and Dad, my Dad’s aunts (one who just turned 97),  my Mom’s sisters (one is 90), my Dad’s sister, and all my cousins, second cousins, their husbands, wives, kids, fiance/e’s, boyfriends, girlfriends, family friends… not to mention my own sisters, (my brother is away on business) and all of the kids and spouses between us!!  The generations of family connections (ancestors, present and future) created from this one powerful bond between my parents. And it continues on and on and on into eternity…

Pretty amazing what Love can do!!!!

And the deviled eggs were  pretty scrumptious, too!!!

Thanks Mom and Dad!!!