Debra Prinzing

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The Flower House Virtual Tour Part 3 with Liz Andre-Stotz and Holly Rutt (Episode 224)

December 16th, 2015

The Flower House's "A Little Michigan Magic," a gorgeous, fantasty-like expression of all four seasons in Michigan state.

The Flower House’s “A Little Michigan Magic,” a gorgeous, fantasty-like expression of all four seasons in Michigan state.

I snapped this photo of Liz Andre-Stotz, inside the room she designed and fabricated with two other Michigan designers. Love the natural light spilling through the windows.

I snapped this photo of Liz Andre-Stotz, inside the room she designed and fabricated with two other Michigan designers. Love the natural light spilling through the windows.

Holly Rutt, of Sweet Pea Floral Design, posing with the marigold "shower curtain" in "In Loo of Flowers"

Holly Rutt, of Sweet Pea Floral Design, posing with the marigold “shower curtain” in “In Loo of Flowers”

Today’s podcast brings you Part 3 of our coverage of the Flower House, a fabulous, groundbreaking floral art project that designer Lisa Waud instigated in the city of Detroit.

Today, we continue the miniseries with more conversations recorded with designers who came together for this visionary project that opened to the public for a 3-day run beginning on October 16th.

Here are links to Part 1 and Part 2, my prior episodes gathering the voices of some of the lead designers who executed individual rooms in the Flower House.

First, I’ll introduce you to Liz Andre-Stotz of Parsonage Events, who teamed up with two other Michigan designers to turn the first floor bedroom of the Flower House into “A Little Michigan Magic.”

The room was a true Michigan collaboration with Jamie Platt from A.R. Pontius Flower Shop in Harbor Springs, Michigan, and Jennifer Ederer, owner of Modern Day Floral in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Then we’ll pivot to Holly Rutt of Sweet Pea Floral Design, another Michigan designer, who chose the first-floor bathroom and called her installation “In Loo of Flowers.”

MEET LIZ ANDRE-STOTZ

Seasons in Michigan, expressed by Liz, Jamie and Jenn, three friends who teamed up to create a room at The Flower House

Seasons in Michigan, expressed by Liz, Jamie and Jenn, three friends who teamed up to create a room at The Flower House

Winter is expressed against the fading robin's egg blue walls in "A Little Michigan Magic"

Winter is expressed against the fading robin’s egg blue walls in “A Little Michigan Magic”

Based in Clarkston, Michigan, Parsonage Events is a family affair. Liz runs the full-service floral design studio with mom Susan and her husband Bill Stotz.

Summer in Michigan, expressed in local flora

Summer in Michigan, expressed in local flora

On the Flower House website, Liz shared this inspiration:

“I love walking up the stairs of an old building and seeing a worn dip in the treads where thousands of people have walked.  i can’t help but think of all the history old buildings hold.  when I wandered through the Flower House, I imagined all the families who once called this house their home.  It was a place where likely many toddlers took their first step, families celebrated their holiday traditions and the old passed away.

Everyday I’m inspired by flowers. I am inspired to help give this little square space in Detroit one last time to be alive. What better way than to fill it with flowers?

What I plan to do in the Flower House changes daily. I love the concept of filling a space from top to bottom with flowers without much thought of creating a space with “meaning,” but rather the idea of creating a large-scale and voluminous flower installation.

But then I start to think of designs that have a subject like using salal leaves to create scales on a Michigan rainbow trout or covering old furniture with moss and mushrooms as if it popped up out of the ground on its own. I really can’t say for sure what I’m going to do but I know I’ll have a great time doing it!

What floats my floral boat?  Standing in front of a big pile of beautiful, loose flowers – knowing that I can create anything I want – that’s what floats my boat.”

Enjoy some of these beautiful Parsonage Events projects, which Liz sent me to share with you:

This arrangement was made completely of American grown boutique roses from Rose Story Farms in California. "I love the imperfections of these vintage style roses," Liz says.

This arrangement was made completely of American grown boutique roses from Rose Story Farms in California. “I love the imperfections of these vintage style roses,” Liz says.

A compote piece filled with Michigan grown dahlias from Summer Dreams Farms in Brandon Twp., Michigan. Liz also used foraged vine and tree seeds from Parsonage Event's studio yard.

A compote piece filled with Michigan grown dahlias from Summer Dreams Farms in Brandon Twp., Michigan. Liz also used foraged vine and tree seeds from Parsonage Event’s studio yard.

This centerpiece was designed so the food could be displayed with the flowers and still create a cohesive tablescape. Liz added Michigan grown peaches from Romeo, Michigan and all the dahlias and greens were from local markets and greenhouses. Photo credit: Jill DeVries Photography

This centerpiece was designed so the food could be displayed with the flowers and still create a cohesive tablescape. Liz added Michigan grown peaches from Romeo, Michigan and all the dahlias and greens were from local markets and greenhouses. Photo credit: Jill DeVries Photography

A low centerpiece filled with Michigan grown hydrangea, dahlias and Queen Ann's lace. Photo Credit: A Girl In Love Photography

A low centerpiece filled with Michigan grown hydrangea, dahlias and Queen Ann’s lace. Photo Credit: A Girl In Love Photography

Almost everything on this arbor is Michigan grown or foraged - even the actual birch arbor, which came from a Northern Michigan tree farm that provides birch, dogwood and evergreens to wholesalers. This wedding was held on one of the state's beautiful farm venues called Misty Farms in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Photo credit: Jess & Nate Studios

Almost everything on this arbor is Michigan grown or foraged – even the actual birch arbor, which came from a Northern Michigan tree farm that provides birch, dogwood and evergreens to wholesalers. This wedding was held on one of the state’s beautiful farm venues called Misty Farms in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Photo credit: Jess & Nate Studios

Here’s how you can find and follow Liz Andre-Stotz, Parsonage Events:

Parsonage Events on Facebook

Parsonage Events on Twitter

Parsonage Events on Pinterest

Parsonage Events on Instagram

MEET HOLLY RUTT

Absolutely LOVE the "blue water" tub in Holly's bathroom installation at the Flower House.

Absolutely LOVE the “blue water” tub in Holly’s bathroom installation at the Flower House.

Just a little moment in the corner of Holly's room ~ the details are inspiring!

Just a little moment in the corner of Holly’s room ~ the details are inspiring!

The bathroom, reinvented with a floral motif like you've never seen before!

The bathroom, reinvented with a floral motif like you’ve never seen before!

My second guest is Holly Rutt of Sweet Pea Floral Design, who will tell us all about a charming little bathroom installation, which she called “In Loo of Flowers.”

Her voice may sound familiar, because last month I interviewed Holly about her separate business, The Little Flower Soap Co., for our special Slow Flowers Holiday Gift Guide episode.

There’s a great connection between her life as a soap-making entrepreneur and her life as a floral designer. The two worlds come together beautifully as you will hear in our conversation.

On the Flower House web site, Holly shares this statement:

“Flower house is such an opportunity to be really creative and think outside vase. Who wouldn’t want to be involved in a living fresh flower house?  I loved the idea right off and knew I had to offer to do whatever I could to be included!

I’m really hoping to design a bathroom because one of my first flower memories is as a child gardening with my mom and her showing me the bleeding heart which she called “lady in the bathtub” . . .  if you took of one of the hearts and flipped it over and pulled it apart from the seam a little woman with arms and all popped out!! So I will design the bathroom thick with flowers and a surprise tribute to the lady in the bathtub. I’ve also always wanted to make it appear as though flowers were flowing out of a tap when you turned it on.

What floats my floral boat? My specialty is texture for sure and my floral boat floats on the marriage of pretty flowers with weird unexpected earthy woodland textured flowers and foliage. I really love when I hand over a design to a bride or client and they keep taking a closer and closer look and have to ask what is this; what is that.  I love the unexpected but delightful.”

Enjoy some of these lovely Sweet Pea Floral Design projects, which Holly sent me to share with you:

Suzy and Joe's wedding was the perfect opportunity for Holly design with locally grown flowers from Detroit farms like Fresh Cut flower farm and Ann Arbor's Seeley Farms. "These have got to be some of my all time favorite centerpieces and bouquets with lush textured foliages including home grown jasmine vine, wild blueberry, variegated pittospurmum, rosemary, explosion grass camellia, ferns, and olive branches," Holly says. "The giant poppy pods gave each piece its focal point and the wild scabiosa and ranunculus prettied it all up."

Suzy and Joe’s wedding was the perfect opportunity for Holly design with locally grown flowers from Detroit farms like Fresh Cut flower farm and Ann Arbor’s Seeley Farms. “These have got to be some of my all time favorite centerpieces and bouquets with lush textured foliages including home grown jasmine vine, wild blueberry, variegated pittospurmum, rosemary, explosion grass camellia, ferns, and olive branches,” Holly says. “The giant poppy pods gave each piece its focal point and the wild scabiosa and ranunculus prettied it all up.”

Holly made this piece using a European bouquet holder and glue techniques that Francoise Weeks taught. (c) First Comes Love Photography in Ann Arbor

A woodland headpiece that Holly says “was soooooo much fun (just so different).” This one included tropical leaves, succulents, and herbs: mint and sage. She cut the tips of the leaves off of the tropical foliage and used them to create the feathery front; then used the remaining core to make the fan in back. “I was going for a golden spiral/nautilus type movement.” (c) First Comes Love Photography in Ann Arbor

When Danielle sent her inspiration photos along, Holly knew right away they were going to get along fine. "This is far and away my favorite palette with rich dark plums and red mixed in with pops of coral, peach and softness of white and blush," she says. "Like a feast for the eyes allowing each bloom to show off rather then blend in." The head table garland was her favorite design of the day featuring 24-plus feet of foliage garland adorned with hundreds of locally grown dahlia from Summer Dreams Farms.

When Danielle sent her inspiration photos along, Holly knew right away they were going to get along fine. “This is far and away my favorite palette with rich dark plums and red mixed in with pops of coral, peach and softness of white and blush,” she says. “Like a feast for the eyes allowing each bloom to show off rather then blend in.” The head table garland was her favorite design of the day featuring 24-plus feet of foliage garland adorned with hundreds of locally grown dahlia from Summer Dreams Farms.

Holly made this bouquet using a European bouquet holder and glue techniques that she learned in a Francoise Weeks workshop. The design includes hanging red amaranths, succulents, lacey leaf hydrangea, burgundy ball dahlia buplerum, wild harvested foliage and sweet pea tendrils (c) First Comes Love Photography in Ann Arbor

Holly made this bouquet using a European bouquet holder and glue techniques that she learned in a Francoise Weeks workshop. The design includes hanging red amaranths, succulents, lacey leaf hydrangea, burgundy ball dahlia buplerum, wild harvested foliage and sweet pea tendrils (c) First Comes Love Photography in Ann Arbor

Here’s how you can find and follow Holly Rutt, Sweet Pea Floral Design:

Sweet Pea Floral Design on Facebook

Sweet Pea Floral Design on Instagram

Thanks so much for joining me today. I continue to be inspired by all of the talented individuals who I crossed paths with during that four-day visit to Detroit, Michigan two months ago.

The conversation and passion continues in the body of work captured by Flower House’s photographer Heather Saunders, which you can find at her site and on the Flower House site.

This week marks a major milestone with the Slow Flowers Podcast reaching its 75,000th  download. I thank you and others in the progressive American-grown floral community for supporting this endeavor.

Until next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto Itunes and posting a listener review. THANK YOU to each and every one of you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing. It means so much.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Wheatley and Hannah Holtgeerts. Learn more about their work at shellandtree.com.

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