A couple of months ago, I got a phone call from my friend Melissa Dodgen asking if I knew anything about her friend Natasha McCrary, who had a farm in Mooresville. Melissa told me that Natasha was looking for someone to teach classes at her farm and that she had given her my name. I really had no idea what kind of classes she meant, but was immediately intrigued. Within five minutes I was on the phone with Natasha and fully committed to the task.
|Natasha and me at our first entertaining class at 1818 Farms|
Once the date was set for our Fall entertaining class, I quickly had to figure out what on earth I was going to teach these people! The class was sold out and I knew that I had to make a good first impression in order for this to be a successful venture for both of us. The day before the class, Mama called to check on me. I told her of my plans to head to the wholesale florist to pick up some flowers, then on to get more flowers from Mary Frances Brosemer at the Greene Street Market and .... at that point she cut me off. "You are going to teach these women how to do flowers?!," she asked, seeming shocked. I wasn't wild about her tone, but answered with a firm "yes." She then asked, "LeeLee, do YOU know how to do flowers?" A little bit of panic struck in my stomach. "No...not really," I answered, "but I will figure it out."
Twelve hours later, my arms were covered in pumpkin gunk and you couldn't see the floor of my garage beneath the piles of petals, stems and leaves, but I was ready.
|Testing designs in pumpkin scraps|
|The first successful arrangement in my garage turned flower studio|
|Natasha introducing our guests to the animals|
|Cupcake being friendly|
|Ladies and Lavender!|
|1818 Farms Garden House- The perfect setting for our classes!|
|My Centerpieces - White pumpkin vase filled with Roses, Dahlias and Zinnias. Gourds from 1818 Farms were the perfect addition to the pumpkin arrangement. Extra flowers were tucked in as a final garnish.|
|A sprig of lavender from 1818 Farms made each place setting a bit more special|
Guests enjoyed a curried chicken salad in a roasted acorn squash, a salad of Natasha's lettuces and tomatoes in a citrus vinaigrette, and Dee's delicious homemade rolls.
|A fabulous Fall luncheon|
|Guests enjoying lunch|
|Working on an arrangement|
|My flower station in the garden house|
|Gorgeous apples were used as votive candle holders. I carve a small portion of the apple out, so that the votive candle fits just in the top. The apples look so pretty as the wax drips!|
|Pressing the votive candle into the apple|
|My massive masterpiece- So much more fun and festive than your typical wine cooler!|
|I literally found this leaf on the ground at 1818 Farms- Something so simple can be made into something very special|
|Tiny Pumpkins from 1818 Farms became festive place cards with just a little help from a gold paint pen!|
As we were all getting up to leave, Cupcake wandered in to clean up the crumbs!
|Cupcake wanted to join the fun!|