Thursday, July 12, 2012

Special Orders Don’t Upset Us

It’s true here at MilandDil Designs we love custom orders. The process for our special custom designs does not upset us at all. In fact, we love the idea of creating an arrangement or floral accent specifically for our clients.  Let me take you through the process to show you how it works.

Free in-home consultation

The first step is to meet with the client to see where the arrangement will be used.  It’s helpful to get a feel for the home décor to better select the materials.  Measurements are taken and photographs made for reference in the shop later. Then we discuss with the client any specific colors, elements, or types of materials they may want us to use.  In this case, the client had containers for us to fill, but we can also purchase or provide the container. This pre-design meeting is a complimentary service.
I just completed a custom order for two metal urns for a dining room side table. So let me show you how this particular design evolved.  The client had the two empty urns for me to use. Great! After seeing where they were going to be used, I knew they needed something tall. The color scheme in the home had muted browns, tans, and neutral colors. So now the design begins to take shape in my mind as to how it will need to look.
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Back to the shop where the magic happens

Back in the shop you'll see all the tools of the trade: glue gun, pan, wire cutters, foam, and tools. Because we are a stickler for quality construction, extra time is taken to properly prepare the container before anything else is done. Remember, it must pass the “FLIP” test.
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Gorilla Glue is one of my best friends. I generously cover the inside of the container with the glue. After letting it set for a couple of minutes, I begin adding floral foam to completely fill the container from the bottom up.
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It’s like putting together a puzzle for me. I use wooden skewer sticks to keep blocks of foam together.  I also use the glue gun and pan to keep the interior foam together. IMPORTANT: Gorilla Glue is only used on the outside of the foam where it touches the container because you cannot penetrate set Gorilla Glue with anything. This I learned the hard way! Flower stems will not go through it. So go easy on the glue on the foam, but make sure it’s going to stay in the container and is secure.
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Once the container is filled with foam, here’s the first FLIP test. Upside down the container goes to make sure it’s going to all stay put. Then I use the glue gun to put a swirl to keep the moss in place.  Another MilandDil rule: there shall be no foam showing!
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Design, create and build

Here’s where the magic really happens. I look through the mass of flowers and stems in the shop to pull what I think will look good. I usually lay them out on the table to see if they will work well together. I like to choose materials with a variety of textures, as well as looking for height, color and color tones to work for the design.
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There is no real set process from here as far as building the arrangement. But each stem or element is securely glued into the container. Remember, I cannot fail the final “FLIP” test when the arrangements are finished. Because I was creating two arrangements to anchor the ends of a side table, I built them together as I went along just for continuity.

Final “FLIP” test

This is not a trick where I flipped the photo. That’s one of the arrangements completely upside down. And yes, I’m happy to say both passed. Not one single thing fell out.

Delivery, setup and installation

The arrangement(s) are delivered and setup at no charge. This is the final check to make sure the arrangement was properly done and the client is happy with the result.
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Now you know a little bit more about how we take care of our special orders.  We know if you are an out-of-town customer, our in-home consultation is not an option. However, we can still design something uniquely special for you from a photograph, email or phone call.
While we may not be holding the pickle or the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Pleased as a Punkin'

It's been one whole week since our website launch. The response and suggestions have been great so far.

Is the site perfect? No. Does it need a little more work? Yes. Are all the products listed? No. Just like me, it is a "work in progress". So thanks in advance for your patience and for all the return visits you've made to the site. I'm happy you are keeping up with the new listings.

Today I'm happy to have made it a full week. I'm pleased as a punkin', or is that pleased as punch? Can't remember. I think I'd rather be pleased as a punkin'. That's what I called this arrangement last fall and it was a big seller.

I'm taking fall pre-orders for this arrangement now. Simply send me an email and it will be ready for your fall table or decor. The foam pumpkin container measures 12" wide and 7" tall with approximate finished measurements of 18" wide by 17" tall. The price is $129 plus shipping or it is available for local pickup or free delivery within 50 miles from our location.

Are you as pleased as a punkin' today? I sure hope so.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I’m Flipping Out

The MilandDil Design team takes time to create beautiful, well-constructed floral creations and home décor products for our customers. Each one of our designs must pass two important tests before we think they are ready for sale. First, we must feel so confident about the design we would be happy to use it in our own home décor. Second, we must literally “FLIP” over it!Woman falling off stool uid 1085351

The “FLIP” Test

What is the “FLIP” test? When an arrangement or wreath or product is finished, we flip it upside down to make sure everything stays in place. If the floral foam, stems, greenery, moss or any other materials stay where we put them in the first place, then IT PASSES and is ready to sell. That quality is only achieved because we take extra time to carefully glue floral foam to the containers, as well as individually glue or wire silk stems, greenery, or other materials into the design. Our goal is the money you spend for our products assures they will last for many years whether they are in your own home or given to someone as a gift.

Now back to flipping!

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Welcome to our Launch

I know it has been a very long while since I’ve posted. Many excuses but the main one is I have been working on getting our website completed for launch this past weekend.

DRUM ROLL PLEASE…………………So excited MilandDil Designs now has a fully functional website. You can browse our products, make wish lists, compare favorites and of course purchase anything you see through our secure payment system with PayPal.

Check back often as new products are being added daily. So many more you haven't seen. Even though the hot summer months are in triple digits, I'm excited about our fall items as you can see on our main page listed as new.

I know there will be a few little things on the site to tweek here and there. Let us know if you have any questions or anything that may not work for you.

Thanks for browsing and welcome to our launch!

Visit us at