Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Founders Garden Club Flower Talk Luncheon

Letitia Baldrige once said to me there is no good taste nor bad taste, there is only "taste" and you either have it or you don't.  This was as she was riding in my car up to the Tampa airport after a Reading Festival appearance when I was her escort.  Well, I will have to say that Sara Bailey has an abundance of taste! 

Event chair Sara Bailey and Founders' president Ann Moore
I attended a most beautiful luncheon yesterday at the Sarasota Yacht Club and Sara Bailey was the one in charge.  I was told she worked 14 months on it and it showed.  Starting with the lovely, simple but elegant invitation and program book, to the placecards, to the centerpieces by Becca McFadden, to the cupcakes for dessert, it was a most charming event.  Even the song, Flower Girl from the Cowsills was playing in the background! (And yes, I am old enough that I knew all the words to that song.)  You really could tell the amount of thought and effort that went into each part of the event.  I adore attention to detail and I was duly impressed!

As you entered the Yacht Club, you were offered a "Sparkling Lavender" which was champagne with a hint of Florida-grown lavender.  After previewing the raffle baskets, we took our seats for a marvelous floral arranging demonstration by the renowned Natasha Lisitsa from San Francisco.  She was chosen for her flower design point of view and also, when Sara was doing an internet search of art museums who had hosted floral designers, Natasha's name came up again and again.

You can see photos below of Natasha's creations, though I doubt if they do them justice.  She is a bit quirky, as you expect an artist to be - she names all her vases, just like Susan Jones names all her handbags.  She used many unique vases and lots and lots of trimmings she cut right from Sally McFadden's yard, even tangerines and lemons.  One of the most interesting items she used was some brown packing paper.  A couple of thoughts/tips from Natasha - Black Magic is the best red rose, put a straight stick/dowel up through the amaryllis stem for strength, birds of paradise like to be on their own, and one particular dried fron-type thing she called the "Bo Derek" for its many corn-rowed looking things hanging down is particularly intriguing as a base for an arrangement.

A nice lunch followed and then a short live auction with auctioneer, Cliff Roles and a raffle drawing.

I left with that special Sarasota feeling I often get when I have had attended such a gracious event.  It makes me feel so happy and lucky to live here with so many talented and giving women.  I really appreciate when someone has put their best foot forward.  I had a smile on my face all the way home! 

In addition to those already mentioned and photographed below, others attending were Debbie Partridge, fresh from planning her daughter's glorious wedding, Katherine Harris, Marjorie North, Chris Lindsay, who hosted Natasha and her assistant, Carla Parkinson at her home, Glenda Miller, Sandy Strom, Susan Featherman, Cerita Purmort, Patty Bettle, Linda Mansperger, Sandy Werft, Marsha Fottler, Mary Evelyn Guyton, Laura Shukovshy, Irene Page, Rita Steele, Jacki Boedecker, Ann Gamble Blechta, Lee Ann Gladding, Alice LaFollette, Patty Sullivan, Sue Benjamin, Jeanne Russell, Lue Stryker, Marlene Blalock, Selden Sutton, Mary Lou Couch, Ellen Hashagen, Judy Veale, Harriet Stieff, Janelle Befuff, Majorie Floyd, Fluff Thayer, Judy Nimz, and Linda Firkins.

Diane Hazelwood, Lelia Windom, Peggy Wilhelm, and Nancy Boyle

Donna Baker, Stephanie Kost, Barbara Hansen, Nathalie McCulloch

Audrey Pinney and Alice Rau

Elizabeth Nace and Tammy Taaffe

Beverly Beall and Tana Sandefur

Margarete van Antwerpen and Emily Walsh

Julie Delaney and Pauline Joerger

Gina Gregoria and Mary Beth Goddard

Maureen Zaremba and Natasha Lisitsa

Margarete van Antwerpen and Cornelia Matson

Laura Peter and Carmen Baskind

Karin Gustafson and Pat Johnson

Kathy Coffey and Elizabeth Haynes

Margaret Bell and Karen Griffith

Liz Cavedo and Carla Parkinson

The centerpiece by Becca McFadden

The cute-as-a-button cupcakes!

Floral displays - the center one with citrus and peonies

More floral arrangements - these are both around 5 ft. tall!

The floral arrangement in blue vase had packing paper in it!

Orchids and lilies - how pretty!

My favorite arrangement with "Bo Derek" in it.

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