Tulipina Victoria

Over the past few years I have hosted many floral design workshops around the world, and I've come to the conclusion that I want these classes to be more than just about learning the art of floral design. At their core, they are about a uniquely beautiful experience getting to know like minded people - often in wonderful locations, with lovely muses (both flowers and models), new friends made, new portfolio images, and new skills learned. Ultimately, what I hope that people walk away with is an overwhelming sense that they can achieve more than they might have imagined coming in.

For all international workshops, we do an editorial shoot on day two, and creating a gorgeous editorial has to have the right photographer. Corbin Gurkin is more than just a photographer, she is a scene creator and harnesser, wringing light out of darkness and capturing beauty in a way that few can accomplish. She is, in a word, a rarity. I love it when I get to work with Corbin, and we brainstorm ideas and bring the best out in each other in a very effortless sort of way. Plus, she'll go to the ends of the earth to get the shot. 

For this particular workshop in Victoria,  I asked Corbin if she had anything in particular that she had been wanting to do, and she said that she had been wanting to shoot some "pattern on pattern”. I loved the idea, and so we decided to pick some monochromatic color themes for the flowers, ultimately creating four different vignettes. 

I will readily admit, as gorgeous as Victoria was, it was not easy for me to pull it off, as acquiring flowers was a bit of nightmare. While there are some lovely locally grown varieties, most flowers are imported, and tend to be very expensive. To achieve the style and abundance that goes into one of my workshops, I ended up picking up gorgeous ranunculus and anemones from Erin at Floret Flower Farm in Washington, ordering from New York and California, visiting local flower shops and nurseries, and smuggling flowers in my suitcase. There were some import issues, and half of the shipment arrived on the morning of the first day of the workshop, which was a bit stressful. However, in the end, it all came together beautifully. That said, I couldn’t have pulled it off without a couple of key people - Polina from Studio Floretta in Vancouver for hours and hours of preparation and assistance, and Vanessa of Verbena Floral Design in Victoria for amazing support during the class and for acquiring a bunch of local varieties to fill out the floral beauty.

The venue: Villa Marco Polo

I visited this gorgeous little villa about 10 years ago with my husband for a babymoon, and had a lovely time, so when the time came to pick a venue, there was no other consideration to be had. The villa and gardens are beautiful - ornate and lush. We had the workshop in the garden, but did most of our editorial shooting inside. If you have the chance to visit Victoria, I highly recommend it - and it is sure to be the penultimate bed and breakfast experience for you - with Diana and Alex, the innkeepers, taking care of you just as they did our eclectic group.

In the end, there were 22 of us at the most beautiful venue, with perfect weather and flowers, delicious food and even a sweet little baby boy (Corbin’s baby Emerson) to keep us all entertained. I couldn't have asked for a better outcome - as these images will surely show!

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

My demo arrangement in red.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Beautiful student work.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

More beautiful student work.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

My statement piece demo.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Beautiful Marco Polo Inn.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Maybelle Imasa can do no wrong.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

My demo bouquet.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Every room at the Inn tells a different story.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Beautiful student work by Polina of Studio Floretta.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Gorgeous Claire with Clematis Montana.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Credits:

Floral Styling and Design: @tulipinadesign
Photography: @corbingurkin
Event Coordination: @studio_floretta
Paper Goods/Calligraphy: @maybelleimasa
Fashion: 

Event Rentals/Furniture: @whiteeventstudio
HMUA: @makeupbydespina
Model: @claire_mccann for @option_models
Venue: @villamarcopoloinn

 

The Mrs. Box no. 5

Back in February I styled The Mrs. Box shoot in Solvang along with some other lovely creatives. This was such a fun project as it allowed me to explore a different realm of floral styling. Who knew that styling flowers with tiny ring boxes could be so much fun?

Here are some of my favorites:

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com for The Mrs. Box | Photography: Jose Villa / josevilla.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com for The Mrs. Box | Photography: Jose Villa / josevilla.com

The urns, in particular, were fun for me as I tried to make them as 3D as I could on a flat surface, and I really treated them and placed the flowers as though I was creating a real life arrangement in water with lots of different textures and complementing hues. 

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com for The Mrs. Box | Photography: Jose Villa / josevilla.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com for The Mrs. Box | Photography: Jose Villa / josevilla.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com for The Mrs. Box | Photography: Jose Villa / josevilla.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com for The Mrs. Box | Photography: Jose Villa / josevilla.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com for The Mrs. Box | Photography: Jose Villa / josevilla.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com for The Mrs. Box | Photography: Jose Villa / josevilla.com

Can we talk about this girl's hair? I mean, does it get any better than tulip petals for your hair?! :)

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com for The Mrs. Box | Photography: Jose Villa / josevilla.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com for The Mrs. Box | Photography: Jose Villa / josevilla.com

I had saved a number of potted poinsettia from the holidays, and they still looked really beautiful in February. Plus, I'm quite obsessed with their peachy colors, so I thought it would be perfect to incorporate them in one of my designs. They really look like watercolor.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com for The Mrs. Box | Photography: Jose Villa / josevilla.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com for The Mrs. Box | Photography: Jose Villa / josevilla.com

Jose told me this one looked like a painting! I would have to give most of the credit to those beautiful tulips and their incredible colors.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com for The Mrs. Box | Photography: Jose Villa / josevilla.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com for The Mrs. Box | Photography: Jose Villa / josevilla.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com for The Mrs. Box | Photography: Jose Villa / josevilla.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com for The Mrs. Box | Photography: Jose Villa / josevilla.com

It was super fun to make this very tiny bouquet (less than 2 inches all around). When I am choosing the florals for projects like these, I make sure to procure as many different flowers in different sizes, shades, and textures as possible...because to me, that is what makes these images so interesting. Of course, it goes without saying that Jose Villa's photography is impeccable!

Credits

Images by @josevilla with @joelserrato, floral design by @tulipinadesign with co-styling by @maemae_co @greylikes and @kalebnormanjames featuring @shapirodiamonds rings.

Workshops: Richmond 2016

The first major domestic workshop of last year - 2016 - was an east coast adventure in Richmond, Virginia. Non local workshops (for me this is usually San Francisco) are a logistical challenge, as the coordination to get vendors - venue, catering, furniture, etc., as well as flowers shipped, everything prepared and ready to go - and get some sleep the night before - is an exercise in the stars aligning. That said, the stars usually do align, and everything goes off without a hitch. If I ever need to move into wedding or event planning, I think I'll be well prepared.

I love Richmond. It is a vibrant city, and has the same east coast southern charm one will find in Savannah or Charleston. We were beyond fortunate to find a great venue - Paisley and Jade - who also provided all furniture and setup. Their vintage furniture collection was both eclectic and amazing, and they worked tirelessly to get everything set up to create a really special space for the workshop.

Once again, Corbin Gurkin joined me to document the floral magic, and we came away with beautiful images full of texture and bright pops of color, which, of course, I love.

Take a peek below at our two days in Richmond, and stop by Paisley and Jade if you are ever in the Richmond area.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

I was able to get us some amazing flowers shipped from Brannan Street Wholesale as well as some lovely azalea plants from a local nursery in Richmond, along with some wonderful farm grown products from my friends Jenny and Mara. With all of this, there was an abundance of beauty and color to work with!

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

The group hard at work on creating their works of floral art.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

My demo centerpiece. Spring offers such a beautiful variety and the coral charm peonies really stole the show here.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

A bit of student work mixed in with the amazing vintage furniture and chairs of Paisley and Jade.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

A beautiful and unique gown made by Hayley Page that we were able to borrow through wardrobe stylist Annie Cavallo. This particular dress already had some silk flowers on it, but we added some real flowers as well to give it a little more pop.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Our dinner table for the end of workshop day one.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

My bridal bouquet demo. I'll admit that bouquets drive me a little crazy. Centerpieces are never an issue, but I find myself fighting the urge to keep touching my bouquets to get them perfect. For some reason I am never quite happy with them (but thank goodness others are!).

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Beautiful student work!

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

At the end of workshop day two we created this installation with our leftover flowers....and the results were unforgettable.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Corbin Gurkin / corbingurkin.com

There were so many gems at the Paisley and Jade warehouse that we kept bringing more and more stuff into the space. This antique baby bathtub was a highlight for me!