Honeysuckle Hollow, LLC


Simple, Creative Gift Wrap Ideas

Winter, HolidaysSummer AmmanComment

It's so easy to get into a rut when wrapping holiday gifts - especially if you are wrapping up more than just a few! Even though I LOVE meticulously and craftily wrapping up gifts that I have carefully chosen for loved ones, over the years I have come to the point of doing the bare minimum in wrapping the gifts quickly and efficiently (short of putting gifts in bags - there are lovely gift bags, but it's so much fun to watch my kids tear into wrapped presents!). I find myself sitting on the floor and wrapping with some old gift wrap (probably leftover from last year or a birthday) and writing - in Sharpie - their names on the top. 

After seeing so many creative ideas for gift wrapping on different blogs and, of course, Pinterest, I've decided to step up my game a bit. And I've tested out some various methods for you below.

Here I used kraft paper, foraged items (either glued or tied on), twine, raffia, and baker's twine for some really natural looks that all coordinate.

No time to forage? Well, we'll have small greens for you to purchase at our Open House this Saturday that you can add to your gifts! Or, just tie whatever string you have available (twine, raffia, ribbon, yarn, baker's twine) around a gift multiple times and add a little message!

For those of you who enjoy some hands on craft time, you can make some poms or circle garland! (If you like the look of these, but don't have time to make them yourself, I've seen them available at Michaels Craft Store!) Here are a couple helpful tutorials: for poms and circle garland.

And, finally, here are a few ideas using gift wrap. The first is tied with coordinating tulle (picked up from Hobby Lobby). The second gift I just layered some wrapping paper over the kraft paper and tied off with raffia! And for the third, I tied on a sparkly ornament to serve as my bow.

None of these wrapping methods took long. (I have to admit, I already had the poms and circle garland created from past events, but I could have just as easily picked them up at the store!) But they add such fun elements to the gifts. If you'd like to pick up some items to use for your gift wrapping this season, we're going to have some beautiful options available for you at our Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 10 from 10am - 3pm. We will have all kinds of natural elements to tie on, tags, and some of the most amazing botanical (holiday themed) gift wrap! Hope to see you there!

Winter Photoshoot

Photography, Winter, WeddingsMercedes IvenerComment

Last month, we had the special opportunity of teaming up with Shane Monahan Photography for a winter photo shoot. It was just 20 degrees, but we had some beautiful bridal bouquets left over from our booth at the Bridal Spectacular and wanted to put them to use. Thankfully, Shane was game. He bought himself a new winter hat and some hand warmers, and we headed out to Adams Nature Preserve to capture some outdoor winter beauty. Our own Summer and her husband, Michael, were our models who were champs on that COLD afternoon. They had gotten engaged at Adams Nature Preserve some 12 years ago, so the location held special memories for them and brought a little magic to the shoot. 

Our goal was to provide some inspiration to brides who are considering a winter wedding. We brought along a variety of bouquets and boutonnieres to photograph. Our first one was a fun winter white bouquet with seasonal elements, including foraged evergreens and pinecones. 

White bouquet side
Summer and white bouquet

With this we paired a fun boutonniere for the groom made with an interesting leucedendron cone that matched his tweed coat. I often hear grooms say they don’t want to wear bouts filled with frilly flowers and ribbons because they aren’t manly. Let me tell you, guys, I have lots of options up my sleeve for you. I love to use berries, greens, and other interesting items to create a bit of natural beauty that still leaves you feeling masculine and dapper. No need for fancy ribbons if you don’t want them, how about this simple jute twine? There are lots of options for men’s attire. I also liked the accompaniment of Michael’s scarf with his tweed and the boutonniere. Thank you to my friend Ruth for supplying this wool scarf and many of the accessories for the shoot from your amazing closet of goodies. 

Close up boutonniere

Then here are a couple other photos featuring the winter bouquet that were cute! 

Summer walking boots
Walking away

Next we set out set out through the woods to photograph some of the other bouquets. It was so quiet and peaceful as we carefully trod through the snow towards the old barn. Here are two iphone shots I took of us walking in, and then of Shane photographing Summer. I will say thank you to all these folks, and my daughter Everly, for freezing their fingers and toes off on this journey in search of beautiful photos. You are the best!

Walking in the woods
Shane shooting Summer

We stopped in a tall stand of trees to photograph the orchid bouquet. Loved this more horizontal bouquet with peachy tones. 

Peach bouquet
Summer and Michael with peach bouquet
Tall trees

And I loved this veil shot of Summer capturing just the top of the bouquet:

Veil and peach bouquet

Then we arrived at the old barn in the woods. What a beautiful, rustic place to photograph. There were some fun windows and doors to stage our variety of bouquets and our bride and groom.

Red bouquet doorway
Summer and Michael at barn

We then headed back into the open with the prairie grasses as our backdrop. There was such variety in landscape at Adams Nature Preserve that we had fun deciding where to shoot next. It was getting much colder and darker, so we tossed a beautiful blue coat on our bride along with some fur accessories for fun and captured the last of the light with a bright bouquet of reds with streaming silk ribbons trailing off the stems.

I think this photo would be a great cover for a winter publication!

Summer with red bouquet and fur

And then here are a few more fun ones:

Summer and Michael light
Summer in fur
Red bouquet on fence

All in all we decided that it was well worth the effort to capture the cold, winter beauty. If anyone is looking for a very talented, artistic, kind, professional photographer for your wedding, I cannot recommend Shane Monahan from Sioux City enough! He hauled all sorts of lighting equipment along to get some really amazing light on our subjects. His creative talent left us humbled and grateful that he was willing to do this shoot with us. Check out his website at www.shanemonahanphotography.com to see more of his amazing work. 

We are already dreaming up our next stylized photo shoot….I’m thinking flowering fruit trees in the spring and maybe a horse or two with our models….who knows. Natural beauty abounds in the spring, so we hope to capture some of it for our portfolio.

Thanks for stopping in to our blog. If you have a favorite of the above photos, would you tell us in a comment? We will be uploading some favorites to our website soon so we would love to know which ones you would choose!


January Orchid Sale

Shop, Foraging, Winter, FamilyMercedes IvenerComment

Last month we opened our doors for the January Flower Sale. We brought in a ton of orchids; there were orchids in pots, along with a myriad of loose stems in a wide range of colors and varieties. We also had the oh-so-fragrant hyacinths and flowering white quince branches. It was a dreamy treat amidst the cold, dreary days of January to see all these beauties in the shop! We had dendrobiums, tiger tales, mokaras, cymbidiums, Phalaenopsis, and even the brilliant Vandas. We paired the orchids with unique ferns and blooming quince branches for simple, elegant combinations. Most times you won’t see orchids at florists’ shops because they are too expensive just to put in the cooler and hope they will sell. That is what made our large display so special. If you missed it this year, don’t despair, we will do it again next winter. 

Something that we still have in the shop after the sale are the Fantasy Orchid DVDs and fertilizer. Fantasy Orchids is an world-class orchid nursery in Boulder, Colorado that comes highly recommended to me for its orchid care products. You have to see it! There is so much fascinating and extremely helpful information that I have never heard before. I am very excited about being able to get my orchids to rebloom this year with the instuctions and the orchid food they suggested. We have little Orchid Lover's Gift Sets with the DVD and the orchid food all packaged and ready at the shop, and we will try to keep it in stock for the next few months. It was so helpful to demystify orchid care for many of our customers. 

Here are a few pictures we took. One of the highlights was that we had some really beautiful vessels for the orchid plants. No ugly plastic pots here at Honeysuckle Hollow. We always like to send you home with something that will make an artistic statement in your homes. We used vintage vases, awesome palm wood containers, pottery vases, wooden cubes, and terra cotta pots to name a few. 

And then there were the cut flower stems:

And lastly I would like to put out a big thank you to my parents who were in town that weekend and helped me with my kids and with preparations for the flower sale. I love them dearly, and we had such fun together.

Here is my Dad helping me forage some fresh evergreens for a corporate party we did while he was in town. We always have the best time out in nature together, and it was a pleasure to spend his birthday together this year. 

And my Mom, the master gardener who planted the seed for my love of flowers, here she is potting some huge Dutch amaryllis bulbs a few nights before the sale. 

It really is a family affair at Honeysuckle Hollow. We are a small family business, and it takes everyone to get it done. I love being able to bring my kids to work and show them how to run a business, create beauty, and do what you are passionate about. My son, Cale, spent his day off school driving to Omaha to pick up orchids that were flown here overnight so they didn’t freeze in a truck. He unloaded all 10 boxes with me and melted my heart as he ooh-ed and aah-ed over each different one. He will make some woman very happy one day with all his flower knowledge and appreciation, I hope! 

And my daughter, Everly, is at almost every sale running the check out, baking the cookies, and doing anything we need. Unfortunately this sale was on Friday so she was studiously attending school, much to her dismay. The next few sales will all be on Saturdays so she will be there! My hubby was out of town over our January sale (hence my parents needing to come to help out), but he is always the biggest support to me from business advice to helping to hold down our household during busy events when I am at the shop late. Even my Mother-In-Law and Father-In-Law play a huge part in me being able to do this business. They grow lots of flowers and let me use them in my designs, and they help care for my children when I am busy.  I’ve said it before, but it sometimes takes a village. This blog is dedicated to my family who helps me on this crazy, exciting adventure that keeps me up at night with anticipation and lights my heart with a creative spark. I love you guys.