Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter & Colour Palette Design reveal

Hello everybody! Happy Easter to all who celebrate today! May you have a blessed and joyous celebration!

Today is the reveal for Bonnie's Colour palette challenge - she presented us with 3 gorgeous palettes and we had to design something with one or more.

I had to participate and I had to choose this palette:

Look at those little birds! How can one not fall in love with them?! And the colours... absolutely delicious!

I had big dreams for the piece - unfortunately life happened (March was almost empty of jewelry making, due to way too many sick days in the household... and when sick days happen - work piles up... you got the drift).

But I did one part of it - with my newly found love, Kumihimo:

I know what the pendant will look like and I will finish it sometimes in the next couple of weeks (I want to wear it :) ). Until then - I keep this happy-looking spring-calling necklace part on my desk: it makes me happy!

Thank you, Bonnie, for organizing this fun event.

Thank you for visiting - and please remember to check what the others have chosen from Bonnie's palettes!

Our host: Bonnie Coursolle

Roberta Fauntroy
Alicia Marinache <= you are here
Leah Curtis
Cheryl Dunham
Andrea Trank
Shai Williams
Penny Houghton
Maria Rosa Sharrow
Nancy Smith
Neena Shilvock

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bead Soup cafe #7

The day is here!! Lori's amazing annual event, Bead Soup Party #7 (1st reveal) is today.

If this is the first time you've heard about the Bead Soup party and you wonder 'what is that?!' - it's quite simple. Participants from all over the world are paired up and they sent each other 'soup ingredients': any beads, findings, elements they choose. Mandatory: a focal and an art clasp. Upon receiving your 'soup ingredients', your partner needs to 'cook it': there usually is lots of simmering, because it's always interesting to work with someone else's ideas :) Then on the reveal day - everybody gathers and shows their resulting pieces.

So you're here for the reveal day :)

My partner this year was Stacy Pomerleau of Craft en Ville and she gracefully gifted me with beautiful ingredients, as I described them previously right here.

I loved every piece - and I was especially enamored with the little birds. However - I never worked with brass, well, actually I did, and I didn't like the results :) So now it was my chance to prove that brass is lovable...

I kept the ingredients on my work table and starred at them daily... nothing... Then a few weeks back I decided drastic measures are to be implemented if I want to have it done before the reveal. So drastic measures were implemented: one evening I just printed the picture of the ingredients, took the notebook out and... designed the piece!

Bead Soup #7: Spring (brass, ceramic, wire wrapping,kumihimo) :: All Pretty Things

Can you believe I actually drew the design?

And look what came out if it:

Bead Soup #7: Spring (brass, ceramic, wire wrapping,kumihimo) :: All Pretty Things

I am quite proud of myself - and the reason it doesn't look identical is a very funny one: after I drew the design I happily went to sleep. The next day - leaving the notebook on the bed table, went into the studio and created the piece from memory. Yeah, I know, I am strange :)

As I am allergic to base metals - I needed a more friendlier way to 'hug' the neck... for some strange reasons I didn't even think of leather, the first thing that came to mind was 'Kumihimo' (probably because I've wanted to try it for some time). So try I did: that is my very first try at Kumihimo :) I *loved* it! I didn't have any silky thread, so I used some embroidery thread (luckily for me my house is full of pretty much every shade you can think of!) - but I like the end-result, the extension has just the perfect texture and width for this piece.

So this is my story (and I'm sticking to it for sure!)

Bead Soup #7: Spring (brass, ceramic, wire wrapping,kumihimo) :: All Pretty Things

Please make sure you visit the other participants (start with Lori, she's so wonderful and puts so much effort into this event!, then make sure you visit my partner too, Stacy) and see what everybody's journey has been!

Thank you for stopping by - if you celebrate Easter this weekend I am wishing you a happy one!

Our host: Lori Anderson 

Alicia Marinache <= You're here
Amber Dawn Goldish

Barb Solem
Bev Breisinger
Birgitta Lejonklou
Breana Fry
Brenda Sue Lansdowne
Bridget Torres

Carol Dee Myers
Carolyn Chenault
Cassi Paslick
Cece Cormier
Cheryl McCloud
Cindy Wilson
Crystal Thain
Cynthia Riggs

Dana Hickey
Dana James
Darlene Fortier
Deana Hager
Deanna Cox
Deb Brooks
Debra Behrends
Denielle Hagerman
Denise McCabe
Diana Frey
Diana Welte
Dini Bruinsma
DiYana Alcalde
Dolores Raml
Donna Millard
Dot Lewallwn
Duane Clark
Dyanne Cantrell

Eleanor Burian-Mohr
Elisabeth Auld
Elizabeth Owens Dwy
Emily Greer
Enikö Fabian
Erin Grant
Eva Kovacs
Eva Sherman

Gina Hockett
Grace Rotenberg
Gretchen Nation

Hannah Rosner
Heather Davis
Heather Marston
Heather Powers

Ingrid McCue
Jacqueline Marchant
Jan Petek
Janeen Sorensen
Jane-Michael Stallings
Jasvanti Patel
Jayashree Paramesh
Jayne Capps
Jean Yates
Jennifer Cameron
Jennifer LaVite
Joan Williams
Jodie Marshall
Judy Riggs
Julie Anne Leggett

Kat Barron Miller
Kathy Lindemer
Kim Hora
Kim Houston
Kim Sparks
Krafty Max
Kris Lanae Binsfeld
Krista French
Kristen Stevens
Kristi Harrison
Kumi Fisher

Laren Dee Barton
Laura Bracken
Laura Demoya
Laurie Hanna
Laurie Keefe-Cecere
Lea Avroch
Leanne Loftus
Lee Anne Messerschmidt
Leslie Schenkel
Linda Anderson
Linda Djokic
Linda Murphy
Linda Sadler
Lisa Liddy
Lisa Suver
Liz DeLuca
Liz Engriser
Lola Surwillo
Loretta Carstensen
Lori Bergmann
Lori Bowring Michaud
Lori Poppe
Lori Schneider
Lyn Foley

Maddison Langford
Magdalena Sikora
Mallory Hoffman
Marcella Austenfeld
Marcy Lamberson
Maria Clark
Maria Rosa Sharrow
Marianna Boylan
Marie Covert
Marti Conrad
Mary Ellen Merrigan
Mary Harding
Molly Alexander

Nan Emmett
Niky Sayers

Pam Chesbro
Pam Farren
Pam Sandy
Pam Traub
Pamela Gangler
Patricia Buchanan
Patricia Johnson
Patty Miller
Paula Hisel
Peggy Gabrielson
Perri Jackson

Rachel Baron
Rachel Stanley
Rain Hannah
Rana Wilson
Renetha Stanziano
Robin Reed
Rochelle Brisson
Rose Rushbrooke
Ruth Szapa

Sally Russick
Sandi Volpe
Sandra Pendragon
Sandy Richardson
Sarah Small
Shannon Hicks
Shari Replogle
Sheila Daniels
Sheila Davis
Shiraz Biggie
Shirley Moore
Skylar Bre'z
Staci Smith
Stacie Florer
Stacy Pomerleau <= my partner
Stephanie Weiss
Sumi Rani
Susan Sheehan
Suzette Bentley

Tamera Norris
Tracy Choy
Tracy Stillman

Valerie Norton
Vicki Holliday

Friday, March 29, 2013

Focus on Life: Week 13 ~ Have Faith

Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime is hosting a year long challenge which is... sublime... as you'd expect with such a studio name. The challenge is named 'Focusing on Life' and every week Sally is sending a prompt on what should we focus the following week.

This week the prompt was... Have Faith

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. ~ Augustine

There are many of us who are religious and there are many of us who are not, but most of us religious or not have faith in someone or something. A faith that gets us through our day, a sickness or even a death. Faith is held by each of us, it is what keeps us believing that there will always be a positive outcome even if we can't see it at the time.

With Catholic Easter approaching (this year the Orthodox Easter is way far away: on May 5th!) - the prompt is one of pause and reflection. And that's what I found right in William's room (any room holds some icons, but his seems to have a huge collection, one he likes to add to every time he has the opportunity)

Mother & child icon (Orthodox) :: All Pretty Things

What better symbol of faith and focus on life than the Holy Mother & Child? This is his latest addition, right before Christmas.

Orthodox icons :: All Pretty Things

Top: (made by mom) St. Peter;
2nd top row: Mary & baby Jesus; St. Stelian, commonly known as the protector of infants
2nd bottom row: St. Philip (his middle name is Philip, so he can have an Orthodox name-sake; little I knew back them we celebrate not one, but 3! we decided on the November celebration, of the Philip, one of the 12 Apostles); and another Mary & baby Jesus
Bottom: yet another Mary and baby Jesus

Although they aren't used a lot in the Orthodox tradition, we gathered a couple of praying ropes, I think my mom sent them as well.

Hope you have a wonderful and Happy Easter (if you celebrate it this weekend).
If not: wishing you a Happy and joyful Sunday!

Thank you for stopping by and chatting - if I never send you a reply to your comments it means one thing: your are a non-reply blogger - I have an article on how you can fix it (right in time for the huge Bead Soup parties, starting tomorrow!)

Please remember to check everybody's take on faith, I am sure it'll be a wonderful gathering - you can find us at Miss Sally's, as usual.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Are you a 'no-reply' blogger? [Tuesday Tips]

Lately I get a tad more comments on this blog (thank you all!) and while I would *love* to send an email reply to each and every one of them... I cannot. Why? Because the name (not Anonymous) is not linked to an email address, but rather to the infamous '[email protected]'. I can't tell you how many times I have actually edited the whole answer before I realized it will go... nowhere!

So what can you do? You can change your profile so the email is linked automatically to your Google profile.

Why? So people can connect to you easily - and because you won't feel lonely after you leave a reply on someone's blog and you get no attention.

How? This is an excellent article on how to do it.

Are there other technical questions you'd like to find an answer for? ask away - I might be able to help :) Even if I don't - I will find an answer for you.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The best song - ever!

No words needed - if you have at least one child you'll understand. If you don't (yet) - be prepared!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Focus on Life: Week 12

Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime is hosting a year long challenge which is... sublime... as you'd expect with such a studio name. The challenge is named 'Focusing on Life' and every week Sally is sending a prompt on what should we focus the following week.

This week the prompt was... Observe the Curves.

“In life, as in art, the beautiful moves in curves.” ~Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton 

We move, live and love in curves. Arms, legs and bodies curve to propel us into the life around us. Branches of trees curve to embrace the breeze. Letters curve and form words. Curves can keep things apart, hold things together or create a path. This week take a moment to focus on all the different kinds of curves that surround you everyday.

We are, indeed, surrounded by curves and it will be hard to imagine life without.

To mind came a funny memory about our first house. It was brand new and it wasn't even built when we bought it - so we chose every little detail ourselves. It was fun, but tiring at times - especially when hubby and I could not agree on colours :) But still - more fun than tiring. I had this idea of rounding all the corners (I tend to bump into corners a lot and it hurts most of the time) - and in doing so we wouldn't pay anything extra, so rounded wall corners we had.

In the wall next to the stairs the model had a niche made out of 9 square niches (a 3 by 3 square). It was beautiful and when the house was done it became my favourite place to put all sorts of little pretty things :)

We visited the house almost every day as it was built - and one day we were chatting with the painter. He commented something along the lines of 'I don't know why the builder started to make these round corners now!'. We asked him why - and he explained: the person who put the drywall was swearing out loud the day before: the way to make the walls round is to add a special edge to the drywall. On the normal walls - that's fine - cut a length of edge, attach it, move on (and if you look around you'll see that, in fact, very few walls will have an edge without a door frame :) ). For the 9 niches - he had to cut (at angle), match, and attache 9*4 little edges, then finish them all. Needless to say - he had to work much harder for the same money.

Since I don't have a picture of my special niches - I am sorry now that I realize it! - I started to look around for curves. I thought of the door knobs - but they didn't tell me any story... so I had to pass. Flowers - I've drowned you in flowers (and there is more to come :) ). Jewelry - I have nothing new, well, I have... but not "show-able" yet.

Without any ideas on what I will do about it we went out - we had promised William to take him to a Laser Tag place. I let the boys go in and I sat to read in a cacophony of sounds. Mind went wondering and eyes stopped on this:

Focus on Life: Week 12: Obverse the Curves: Laser Tag outing :: All Pretty Things

There are my curves! The carpet in the game room :)

And these are my boys - proudly showing their scores (if we are patient enough we'll see lots of curves in this picture too)

Focus on Life: Week 12: Obverse the Curves: Laser Tag outing :: All Pretty Things

Thanks for stopping by - I hope you had lots of fun this week! And remember to observe all the curves of this week's challenge, they are all gathered at Miss Sally's :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Published... again!

Last week was March break and we had a crazy week - I took off on Wednesday for a nice trip to Toronto with William (more on it later this week) and on Friday we went again for a beauty tour-de-force :) I don't have tons of pictures - but I will share in a day or two, along with the stories.

On Friday we came back home to a neat surprise: my Step by Step wire Jewelry magazine was on the table. And in it? My 2nd design - this time the original 'Autumn in Amber'. I shared the picture with my mom and she quickly corrected me: the amber is over 48 years old (which makes it older than I am!). I mistakenly thought it was bought during her visit to Moscow in 1980 (for the Olympics) - it was brought from Moscow indeed, but by her good friend, who was a violoncellist in the Symphony Orchestra. I grew up with stories about Lenutza (short for Elena) I just didn't realize it was a gift from her.

However - the amber is 48+ years old and it's still gorgeous and you can find it on page 13 of the April-May edition:

Step by Step Wire Magazine April-May, 2013 :: All Pretty Things

Until I figure out if I can publish a picture of the actual magazine page - this is the necklace we are talking about:

Autumn in Amber: copper, amber, wire wrapping, OOAK necklace :: All Pretty Things

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Holiday Bling Blog Hop #3

'Wait... what Holiday? it's middle of March!' - I can hear you exclaiming.

However - there is a holiday every day, in fact there are many holidays every day and because our minds are usually focused on 'big' holidays (and those are scarce) our 'Holiday Bling' hosts, Marlene of Amazing Designs by Marlene and Shelley of Tori Sphia, have decided we can have a spring party, no need to wait until December. Thus - the #3 HBBH with one simple rule: make a piece (of jewelry or not) for a holiday that will be celebrated in February or March.

As usual, I got lucky and my partner this time was Sandra of Creative Chaos, a fellow Canadian, a fellow Ontarian, in fact - we've met through Lori's Bead Soup and we're now moving in the almost same social e-circles :)  After a short chat we have decided to keep it a surprise.

I knew from the start which Holiday I will choose and if you've followed my adventures for the past few weeks you'd know too. It is a spring holiday (more of a tradition) that it's found in 2 countries only: Romania and Bulgaria. The roots of this tradition are old (over 8,000 year old) and you can read more about it right in my post about Martisor (pronounced Martzishor).

I knew what technique I wanted to use, but I wasn't sure what to make - in the end I settled on a key: it is used often in the charms for Martisor, sometimes combined with a lock, but not always.

Martisor: weaving wire, coral, silver, ooak pendant :: All Pretty Things

I have decided to put it on a simple black leather piece with an unusual (for me) closure: a knotted adjustable area, just like you use in Shambala bracelets. It's not pictured, but if you ask her nicely, Sandra might take a picture and show it to you :) 

Martisor: weaving wire, coral, silver, ooak pendant :: All Pretty Things

I couldn't resist - one of the orchids has the most fuzzy pastel petals :) 

I wasn't very sure about the key (I like it, very much, but somehow - wasn't sure Sandra will) so I decided to make her a little extra:

Flower pin: amethyst, swarovski, silver :: All Pretty Things

I made only 2 such pins so far - I don't wear pins! But Sandra gave me an idea - I might just wear the other one soon :)

You'll have to check with Sandra now to see how she received her gifts :)

I will tell you now about my gift from her. She made me the most beautiful spring-like necklace I've ever seen:

Look at those beautiful colours and the cala pendant: don't they make you feel the spring is here already?! I think it's the gold in the wire that makes it such a warm piece, cheerful and lovely. She made it for Easter but I put it on right there, when I opened the package (I was in the parking lot at the office :))

Apparently I am a difficult person (and if you ask my mom, my mother-in-law, and my hubby - they will all agree): in the sense that when you make me something it might kink or take you longer than usual. The focal is the 2nd she used - I'd love to know what the 1st choice was!

Difficult or not, I am a proud wearer of this beauty!

This is my story for today:  I hope you have enjoyed the visit (I sure do and I am honoured to have you over!) - please make sure you visit the other lovely ladies and discover what everyone made for this party.

Our lovely hosts:

Marlene Cupo 
Shelley Graham Turner 

Alicia Marinache <= you're here
Catherine King
Chris Schlicht
Cynthia Machata
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell
Gina Hockett
Jennifer Reno
Laura Reed
Leanne Loftus
Lennis Carrier
Lori Bowring Michaud
Marti Conrad
Mary Govaars
Renetha Stanziano
Rita/ Toltec Jewels
Sandra McGriff
Sarah Goode
Sherri Stokey
Sonya Stille
Tammie Everly
Therese Frank
Tiffany Goff Smith

Friday, March 15, 2013

Focus on Life: Week 11 ~ the Possibilities are Endless

Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime is hosting a year long challenge which is... sublime... as you'd expect with such a studio name. The challenge is named 'Focusing on Life' and every week Sally is sending a prompt on what should we focus the following week.

Week 11~ the Possibilities are Endless 

“In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility." ~Victoria Moran

Last Saturday it was a gorgeous spring day. At this stage we call spring-like day anything that goes over 2C and is sunny ;) so the 8C the thermometer showed and the splendid blue sky were just calling me outside!

After getting the child dressed and packing the backpack with the 'absolute necessities' (read: camera, snacks, a bottle of water, and seeds for the birds) we drove to one of the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Arboretum. At this time of the year it's the only outdoor garden open - and only because it holds part of the Bruce Trail, thus making it a wonderful hiking spot.

I took tons of pictures - so this will be a looong post [you have been forewarned :) ]

Would you follow me? There are so many trails we can pick: endless possibilities!

Would the chickadee stop by? or maybe another little bird?
(we once had a woodpecker come to be hand-fed)

When the snow melts, what would we find under those leaves? 

Where does this stream go? What will it discover on its way? 
Is the deer still hiding close-by? Or it came to drink from the pond and went back?
Was it by itself? One thing is for sure: it was here recently :) 
Did the woodpecker find the food it was looking for?
Does it have a family who needs to be fed?

Will the previous year owners come back to this nest?
Will it be inhabited by a new family? Will it be inhabited at all? 

In the Burlington Bay there is an island, called Hickory Island, that was not so long ago covered in beautiful trees. Black Cormorants inhabited the island and because their drooping is very high in nitrogen - the trees eventually died. The island is bare of trees right now and the colony of Cormorants had steadily declined. A sad story of how a species has destroyed their own habitat by over-population.

Would the Hickory Island re-generate its tree sometimes in the future?

Would the Cormorants repeat the same mistake?
What today is a sad-looking area will soon be a majestic place:
RBG is home to the largest collection of lilacs in the world (over 600 plants)
In the spring - the possibilities are endless and the place becomes
a natural miracle of colour and scent!
Would we be able to finally find some gosling this spring?
It eludes us every year - and I love those golden soft babies :)  
William saw a cow (2 eyes at about 1/3 from top)
I saw a sea-horse (profile, one eye, at about 1/3 from bottom)
What do you see? endless possibilities :) 

"My" sea-horse
Are you coming back? 
Are you running away?
Are you tired?
Whatever you do - remember: smile and enjoy this moment!
It is the only one it matters and it's special :) 

I have tried to warn you it's a long journey :) I hope you have enjoyed it - please make sure you visit the other possibilities @ Miss Sally's.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Focus on Life: Week 10 ~ All Wrapped Up

Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime is hosting a year long challenge which is... sublime... as you'd expect with such a studio name. The challenge is named 'Focusing on Life' and every week Sally is sending a prompt on what should we focus the following week.

This week prompt sent us in search of the many meanings of 'Wrapped Up!':

You have a prompt that has many different meanings, grab the camera and show us how you are interpreting "all wrapped up"!

Sally's challenge is one of the first that fits me like a glove: almost every week I had such a close relationship with her prompts, such a joy in finding and capturing the moments. But I think this week was beyond expectations - without even realizing, on Saturday, shortly after receiving her prompt I went in the attic and created this piece:

Wrapped up: copper, stabilized turquoise chips, OOAK pendant :: All Pretty Things

It is 'Wrapped up!' on many levels: of course it is a wire wrap (my first of this type), in the most explicit definitions. However - it has a deeper meaning for me. You see, inside, there are 2 turquoise chips (most likely hematite or stabilized turquoise): they are a gift from my precious love, my son. He bought himself one of those 'gemstone' vial (because just like his mama and grandma he's just nuts about stones) and when he got home he opened it and put a bunch on my desk: "Here you go, mama, these are for you, I am sure you'll make something nice with them!"

Wrapped up: copper, stabilized turquoise chips, OOAK pendant :: All Pretty Things

I moved them on my desk from place to place for a good few weeks now - knowing I want to make a special container for them. And a few days before Sally's email came, I had the idea forming in my head.

I'll be honest with you: when I went into the attic to make this pendant, I wasn't thinking of Sally's 'Wrapped Up!' (in fact I had something else in mind :) ). However, when I was done I was surprised to find myself holding this week's perfect piece. And to have to wait for a full week to show it!

Wrapped up: copper, stabilized turquoise chips, OOAK pendant :: All Pretty Things

Thank you, Sally, for this wonderful challenge: every week I find new things about myself :)

And thank you, my friends, for stopping by and having a nice chat! Please remember to visit the other participants - I'm sure it will be a fine party, wrapped in love and beauty! As usual, the gathering is at Sally's

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thursday Tip

I have stumbled upon a great (I mean G R E A T) blog article on coiled wire - it tells you how much wire of a specific gauge you need to wire a specific length on another specific gauge.

That's a totally life saver if you like coils as much as I do - when I experiment I used copper directly from the coil. At the end of the experiment I usually scratch my head wondering how much wire was it really in there?! 'Cause if you don't know how much wire you used you cannot do one of 2 things (equally important):

  • You cannot properly price a piece - you don't know what went it, how can you decide how much is worth it?!
  • You cannot write a tutorial for that piece
But now I can (without unwrapping the experiment and measuring the wire, that's it) and you can too:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My little boy...

... is not that little anymore! He turns 10 today - double digits! My little boy...

It has been an interesting journey so far: I think I learned as much from him as he learned from me. There are lots of fears I conquered because I was now in charge of a little human being. There are lots of adventures I embarked on just to show him more than I saw myself. We won't even count the creatures I handled over the years. It's a two-way road: I handled worms and frogs and snakes; he's crafting with me and coming to flower shows and other places a boy might consider 'girly'.

He's blessed in many ways - and he knows about most of them. Does he have everything? God, no! He has what's most important, tough: his family's love and his health, as well as his multiple talents / skills. The rest - it's up to him to grow his 'talants' and multiply them (Matthew 25:14-30).

The other love of my life: William @ 10 :: All Pretty Things

May God give you... 

For every storm, a rainbow, 
For every tear, a smile, 
For every care, a promise, 
And a blessing in each trial. 
For every problem life sends, 
A faithful friend to share, 
For every sigh, a sweet song, 
And an answer for each prayer

Happy birthday, my son! 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Burlington in Bloom

Sometimes in March there is a huge flower show and exhibition, called "Canada in bloom". This past weekend our Royal Botanical Garden (which we are blessed to live next door to) hosted an Orchid Show. The local chapter of the Orchid Association hosts this event once a year, and for some unknown reasons I missed it each and every year. As I say: I wasn't ready yet!

On Saturday I packed everybody in the car and we traveled the long 5 minutes to the Gardens :) I thought the child will want to go through the dinosaur exhibit as well - but... nope, an almost 10 yo boy was content to smell and admire and buy flowers. Oh, yes, you read it correctly: buy! The 4 store-bought orchids suddenly didn't seem enough and should I had won the lottery prior to this show I would have bought each and every one of those flowers. As it stands - we simply admired all and talked to the growers. A very friendly bunch of people: ready to explain at length what each flower is, and how to care for them, and where to find a specific one and on and on.

The funniest part is they had a raffle going every hour. We arrived 10 minutes before the draw for noon. The nice gentleman holding the tickets asked William to pick a ticket... and picked he did: one of our own! So we won a lovely orchid, and we received a bunch of papers on how to care for them :)

My new obsession is officially Orchids! Look at them, wouldn't you be obsessed as well?

The one we won!
One of the exhibits: there was a huge room full of arrangements like this
The blue frog (a very believable prop)
The child, checking names and fragrances