Flower Arrangement, Volunteer

Random Acts of Flowers – Silicon Valley

How would you feel if someone hand delivered a fresh and beautiful made bouquet to one of your family member who stay in a hospital or assisted living when you and your family were living too far away or too busy to visit as often as you wished?

當你的家人因病住進醫院或有老人家住在安養院, 而你和其他家屬因為住的太遠或是太忙, 無法如願常去探望, 這時若有義工替你送上一束美麗的鮮花給你的家人, 我想收到這束花的人, 應該會很開心吧??!!

Random Acts of Flowers (RAF) did just that!!!  They recycle flowers and vases donated from local flower shops, retail stores, weddings and parties, and volunteers will then deconstructed and rearranged them to create beautiful bouquets, and hand deliver each of them to individuals in healthcare facilities.

Random Acts of Flowers (RAF) 的宗旨很簡單, 就是讓不常有親友探望的病人或老人知道, 還是有人關心他們的. 這個非營利組織回收來自當地花店或超市, 婚禮或喪禮的花材和花器, 義工們會整理花材和花器, 然後發揮每個人的創意和美感, 將這些回收的花材, 變成美麗的花束, 然後送到醫院或安養院, 親手將每束花送到病人手上.

RAF currently has 4 locations in the country – Headquarter in Knoxville, TN; Chicago, IL; Pinellas, FL; and Silicon Valley, CA.

目前RAF在全美四州有設據點 – 田納西州, 伊利諾以州, 佛羅里達州, 北加州.

RAF Silicon Valley is located in Menlo Park and is celebrating its First Anniversary with 8000 bouquets delivered into 4 hospitals, 23 senior care facilities, and 3 community health organizations.  Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month from 10:00 to 12:00 is the Orientation.

RAF 矽谷據點位在Menlo Park, 四月份正在慶祝一週年, 一年來已經送出八千束鮮花到四家醫院, 二十三家銀髮中心和三個社區健康組織.  每個月的第一和第三個星期三的上午十點到十二點是義工訓練.

IMG_7309I invited my talented friend Roberto to attended the orientation today.  We had so much fun.  Sara, the program manager told us the history of the organization, where the flowers and vases came from and where they are going to, what they need volunteers for, and what they have done so far.

我邀請我在Filoli上插花課認識, 很有插花天份的朋友Roberto和我一起去今天的義工訓練, 能夠和志同道合的朋友一起做一件事, 真是美好.  莎拉 (活動經理) 告訴我們這個非營利組織的由來, 花材和花器從哪裡來, 插好的花束上哪去, 義工們可以幫忙哪些事項, 目前他們完成的階段.

Then we start by helping out deconstruction the flowers they have pickuped this morning.  We went through different type of flowers, clean them up, keep the good condition ones and separate them by color.

接著我們把其他義工今早送來的回收花材檢視挑選, 修剪, 只保留狀況不錯, 還可以存活五天的花材, 然後按顏色分類.

IMG_7320IMG_7321We have a florist come to show us how to choose a right size and shape vase, choose two to three different shades of colors with some greens, how to arrange them in hand, and then cut to the length of the vase, and drop it in.  Then write up the card with the name who donate the flowers and who arrange the flowers.

然後有位花藝設計師來教我們怎麼選擇花瓶, 選擇二到三種同色系但不同深度的花, 先握在手上, 剪成花瓶的高度後插入, 在略做調整, 最後將捐贈花材的廠商名字和插花者的名字寫在卡片上後, 就算完成.

IMG_7314Finally, it’s our turn.  We get to do the fun part, play with flowers!!!!!

最後就輪我們了. 有這麼多不同的花材讓我們挑選, 選擇太多也會讓人一時之間不知從哪下手呢!!!

IMG_7324IMG_7328IMG_7317IMG_7326I made two bouquets.  I don’t think I had the talent but they are not picky which is good!!!

我插了二束, 我覺得我還真的沒什麼插花天份, 好在他們的要求也不高就是了.

Volunteer weekly schedule:

Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:30-12:30 is Floral donation pickup.  From 12:30-3:30 is Deconstruction.

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-12:30 is Floral arranging.  From 1:00-2:30 is the Delivery to healthcare facility.

Fridays from 8:30-11:00 is SF Flower Market pickup.  From 12:00-3:00 is Deconstruction.

Saturdays & Sundays are closed.

Since RAF Silicon Valley is only one year old, they have only two staff members to run this location so the hours are limited but they are hoping to change that in the near future to allow people who want to help after work.

Here are ways you can help:

1. Donate your time, be a volunteer

2. Donate money Now or put RAF on your Trust as a beneficiary (Tax ID#26-3006360)

3. Donate vases or flowers (if you are having a wedding or funeral or you own a floral shop)

4. Shop at AmazonSmile by going to your account > Change your Charity > Search for Random Acts of Flowers > Select Random Acts of Flowers

5. Ask your company to Hold a vase drive; Sponsor an event or initiative; Bring your group on a team-building day; Speaking engagements.

6. RAF will receive a $1 contribution from FTD for every specially marked bouquet purchased between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016 (remember to use EBATES to get 12% cash back).

If you want to do some volunteer work, you can check out Volunteer Match, create your own profile (location, skills, interests), and it will pop up current volunteer work that match your profile setting, then click on “I Want To Help”, someone from the organization will contact you.

1/23/2018 Update:

Dear Random Acts of Flowers Supporters,

Since opening two and a half years ago, you have helped bring the simple mission of Random Acts of Flowers to life in Silicon Valley. Because of your commitment of time and resources, RAF has been able to improve the health and well-being of over 29,000 people in hospitals, hospice and assisted living centers.

Undoubtedly, you have changed many, many lives in this community – transforming fear, anxiety, and loneliness into happiness, hope and the awareness that we are never alone.

Our mission has flourished here, yet this branch has struggled against financial challenges driven by increasing facility rent and other operational expenses. The local RAF board members have worked closely with the National RAF team to explore every opportunity to decrease costs, increase our funding base and/or other alternatives to continue our mission – but to no avail.

Unfortunately, we have come to the collective conclusion that the Silicon Valley Branch is not sustainable over the long term given the rising cost structure and the small, but generous donor base that has so passionately supported us. For this reason, the decision has been made to shut down our operations this spring. We will be making some changes immediately to maintain deliveries to those hospitals and nursing facilities that represent our core community in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Please accept my sincere appreciation for each and every one of you. I am so proud of all many smiles we’ve delivered and the lives we’ve positively changed. Although today’s announcement is a sad one, I’m convinced with your help we can hold our heads high and be proud of how we nudged this community with compassion and kindness.

Thank you again for your passionate support of Random Acts of Flowers.

Sincerely,

Larsen.

LARSEN JAY

FOUNDER / CEO

Random Acts of Flowers

“Recycling Flowers…

Delivering Hope and Encouragement”

Office: (865) 248-3045

Cell: (865) 384-2656

Larsen@RandomActsofFlowers.org

Flower Arrangement

Cactus and Succulent Sale

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前幾天一時興起, 去買了一些肥肉植物和仙人掌, 還有小石頭和一包Cactus Soil, 用家裡現有的Containers, 就開始玩起另類插花, 成品我覺得還挺不錯的.  所以當我得知有肥肉植物和仙人掌的展出和販售時, 一大早就跑去瞧瞧.

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The Cactus and Succulent Society of San Jose (CSSSJ) is having their 9th Annual Fall Show & Sale this weekend (9/27 from 9-5 & 9/28 from 10-4) at 1380 Rosalia Avenue, Sunnyvale. 在一個學校的室內展示廳.

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This Fall SHOW and SALE will feature rare and unusual cacti and succulents, pottery, planting mixes, and other related merchandise for sale. Checks, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover cards accepted. FREE ADMISSION. Experienced and knowledgeable society members will be available to answer your questions.

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(上圖是我當天的戰利品) 各種品種, 尺寸, 價錢都有, 品質很好, 喜歡肥肉植物和仙人掌的人不要錯過喔. 現場有準備紙箱讓你裝, 手酸了也有寄放處讓你暫放, 建議先逛一圈, 比較一下價錢, 因為每張桌子上的植物可能屬於不同賣家, 所以有可能類似的植物, 但價格不同. 每盆植物都有價格標簽Barcode, 註明賣家名字, 價格和品名, 可以統一結賬.

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時間剛好的人也可以去聽聽種植示範.

http://www.marthastewart.com/914866/ruth-bancroft-garden-succulents-and-cacti#914866

沒跟上這次活動的人, 可以考慮十月份去Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek. The Ruth Bancroft Garden is a nonprofit public dry garden that was planted by Mrs. Ruth Bancroft in 1972. The Garden was opened to the public in the early ’90s.

他們十月份有幾個活動:

10/4 Container Gardening which Learn to create succulent arrangements in natural materials.  Two sessions available. 10:30am – 12pm or 1:30 – 3pm ($25 需事先報名);

10/11 from 11-3 Plant Sale, Free admission to the Garden all day.  Garden open until 4pm;

10/18 from 1:30-3:00 Fruit Tasting – The Garden has an abundance of fruit-producing plants which we will sample on this special tour including palm fruit, dragon fruit, and other unique cactus fruits ($20 需事先報名).

 

註: Cactus and Succulent Care for Beginners; How to Plant SucculentsPropagating succulent Plants;

 

 

Books, Flower Arrangement

Flower Arrangement Books & Websites

買了很多插花的書來看, 這裡分享一下各本書的特色.

EPSON001The Art of Floral Arranging by Eileen W. Johnson. 這本書是由Floral School New York的創辦人Eileen W. Johnson所寫, 書中有六款花型, 皆由她所聘請業界最好的花藝老師示範 – Michael George, Chris Giftos, Charles Masson, Remco Van Vliet, Meredith Waga, Felipe Sastre.  每款花型都有列舉所使用的花材名稱和數量, 步驟圖和文字說明, 還有注意事項. 書的最後有將常用的花名按照顏色分類列出.

EPSON002The Flower Recipe Book by Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo (Studio Choo in SF). 這本書應該可以歸類為插花聖經, 因為它是少數會把花的彩色照片和名字一起呈現 (多數只列出花名), 不但貼心的把所有的花和葉, 以Base Foliage, Base Flowers, Focal Flowers, Secondary Flowers, and Bits, and additional Textural Ingredients的方式分類排列 (有照片), 還將不同的花器分類並做簡單的解說, 也有基本的Flower care, cutting techniques, wiring, stabilizing, etc.

書中以常見的43種花, 各做三種插法 – 單一種花, 搭配別種花, 特殊場合. 不但列出花的種類和數量, 還有使用的花器和步驟圖. 所有的照片簡潔美麗, 我很感謝作者和出版社的用心. 如果你是插花新手, 這本書會很有幫助.

EPSON003Flowers for the Table: Arrangements and Bouquets for All Seasons by Ariella Chezar (SF Floral Designer). 這本書按照四季分類, 除了鮮花, 也將水果含括進去當素材, 美麗的照片搭配作者個人的故事, 適合給有經驗的花藝者當作靈感來源.

 

 

 

EPSON005Garden Bouquets and Beyond by Suzy Bales. 作者本身喜好園藝, 她以自家的花園為出發點, 按照四季生長的花來介紹, 除了插在常見的花器以外, 也有介紹花圈, 但是沒有製作步驟, 所以也是比較適合有經驗的花藝者當作靈感來源.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 6.20.22 PMSimply Elegant Flowers by Michael George. 他的花藝特色就是Monochromatic – a single variety of flower in one color (with vases normally clear and square). 單色的單種花材 (例如黃色海竽, 白色鬱金香, ), 但用的數量多, 插起來的感覺可以很優雅, 也可以很震撼, 我挺愛的. 書中前幾章有教你怎麼插出Michael George的風格, 後面就有混合花材 (包括使用水果), 使用不同花器, 整體上屬於較為複雜的花型 (也是按四季分類); 除了玻璃瓶, 有幾篇介紹插在綠色泡棉的.  書中還包含一些他成長的故事 (父親開花店), 他買東西的店, 一些技巧等等, 雖然大部份都是美麗照片居多, 有介紹步驟的算少數, 但是還是蠻值得一看的.

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 6.19.13 PMFresh Flower Arranging by Stephen Wicks and Mark Welford.  這本書應該歸類為插花聖經之一, 書中從Theory (vase, color, shape, tools), Care, Maintain, Basic arrangement methods (vase, hand-tied, foam, wired, tying, wrapping), 然後用許多示範來做例子, 每款示範都有包含使用花材及數量, 可以替代的其他花材做變化, 使用的花材常見, 取之容易, 選擇多, 還有步驟圖以及彩色大張的成品照片, 風格非常現代, 讓人看了會非常想自己動手試試. 書的最後有列出花藝相關的組織, 幾個大城市的花市, 花藝產品網路商店.

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 6.19.37 PMBringing Nature Home by Nicolette Owen. 這本書以四季分章節, 以家做拍照背景, 選用不同花器, 且以比較隨意自然的插花風格來呈現.  

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 6.19.29 PMPaula Pryke’s Flower School by Paula Pryke.

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 6.45.18 PMFlowers: The Complete Book of Floral Design by Paula Pryke.

 

往後有再買新書, 會陸續加進這篇文章.

網路上有許多網站也值得一看:

Martha Stewart Flower Arrangements – by season or by color.

Flower Arrangement, Photography

Floral Design by Roberto Valerio

Floral Design by Roberto Valerio from sabrina huang on Vimeo.

Roberto是我在Filoli上Home Floral Design Program認識的同學, 也是班上唯一的男生, 他剛好坐在我後面, 所以幾堂課下來就變很有話聊的朋友了.  他很有趣, 也很友善, 聊了幾次後, 我發現他對推銷自己不太行, 所以我跟他說, 我幫你拍花藝照片, 順便錄一段插花過程, 這樣你就可以開始弄個網站, 設計名片, 開始接單做生意啦!!

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在Filoli上課的時候我就發現, Roberto很有創意, 很會挑選一些一般人不太會想到的花材, 例如蔬菜或肥肉植物 (上面三款是Roberto在Filoli的回家作業).

他收費算低廉的 (花材費就很貴了), 因為他沒有店面或人事等成本開銷, 所以如果你有生日派對或小型婚禮需要花藝上的協助, 不妨找他.

Roberto Valerio 415-559-3959

Flower Arrangement

Filoli – Home Floral Design Shapes and Containers

傳統歐式插花有分幾種基本造型 (都使用Oasis/需要事先泡水的Foam), 而其使用的花器也有所不同. Shapes and Containers這一堂課一共教六款造型, 分三個全天上課.

第一天教Oblong and Parallel Arrangements.

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老師先示範三種不同花材搭配的Oblong Arrangements.

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以上是下堂課大家帶來的Oblong回家作業, 最後一個是我的.

中間吃過飯後, 下午教Parallel Arrangements.

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老師先示範四種不同花材搭配的Parallel Arrangements.

第二次課教Crescent and Vertical Arrangements.

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老師示範往上翹的半月形, 往下的半月形, 和滿月弧度的All-around.

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以上是下堂課大家帶來的Crescent回家作業, 最後二個是我的 (右邊是在課堂上做的, 左邊是回家作業).

中間吃過飯後, 下午教Vertical Arrangements.

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Vertical Arrangements有分二種 – 一種是裝水的玻璃瓶 (no Foam), 但是我覺得老師示範的作品都不好看, 所以我一張照片都沒拍.  另外一種就是用Foam.

第三次課教Facing and L-Shaped Arrangements.

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老師示範Facing Arrangements. 我覺得Facing Arrangement和我之前在California Flower Art Academy學的基礎歐式插花裡的圓錐型(Cone Style)有點類似, 也有點像三角型 (Triangle Arrangement), 所以我不是很確定到底怎麼插.

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我在課堂上Hands-On插的Facing Arrangement.

午餐後, 下午教L-Shaped Arrangements.

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老師示範三款L-Shaped Arrangement

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我在課堂上Hands-On插的Facing Arrangement.

我現在開始覺得有一點點心得, 在課堂上的Hands-On插花, 從一開始趕不上老師示範的速度, 而且搞不清楚要插在哪裡, 到現在可以差不多跟老師同步, 而且成品都讓老師多加讚許, 心裡還是蠻高興的.  不過鮮花在美國真的不便宜, 每次為了交作業去買花, 都覺得貴的嚇死人; 想到花店插好的花是以3-5倍的成本價賣出, 更是滴血啊. 不過也是得想想人家也是花了很多錢去學插花, 知識, 時間, 體力, 都是成本.