Monthly Archives: September 2013

Walking the walk- the incomparable John Geddes

I want to take a break from flowers and weddings and kittens this week, and introduce you to a guy who kicks unbelievable amounts of ass.

Photo credit: johnageddes.com

Photo credit: johnageddes.com

I had met John Geddes a few times over the years at parties for community theatre projects. I knew him well enough to say ‘hi’- he was that doctor with the deep voice who sometimes did Shakespeare, but that was about it.

I really got to know John last summer when I was costuming a fake Shakespeare Coarse Acting Show. I’ll never forget our first non-small-talk conversation: in the back room of the rehearsal space, with lasagne-pan armour and feather hats and fake boobs everywhere, John regaled me with tales of a trip to Amsterdam, including a visit to a fairly raunchy cabaret and spotting some of the performers at breakfast the next morning.

He was wearing tights and trying out various flouncy handkerchiefs and fake goatees at the time. The first rule of wardrobe, especially when dealing with tights and undergarments, is to behave as professionally as possible…but honestly, I wasn’t sure how serious I could be. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

When he isn’t travelling the western world, exploring and photographing our own city, writing articles for the local paper, or playing a role onstage, John can often be found travelling in East Africa.

He is on the board of directors for CanAssist African Relief, a charitable organisation to build and improve infrastructure in East Africa. These guys don’t just raise funds. They take the funds and supplies over there and help build things. One of their donors has actually covered all admin costs for the year as well- so they take ALL of the funds and go over there to build things. No overhead costs.

Pupils at the Kyabazaala Primary School in rural Uganda

Pupils at the Kyabazaala Primary School in rural Uganda. Photo by John Geddes


Those of us lucky enough to be on the good ol’ facebooks with John get to see his gorgeous photos of African wildlife, landscapes, flowers, and the people he meets on his travels. On his facebook feed and blog, we see how the people he visits are working to improve sanitation and education in their communities.

You need someone to come to your rural school and help build a latrine, building, or water catchment system? You need help building the actual school first? Need someone to get $250 together and help fix your well? Better call John. I think there’s a family outside Harare who named their baby after him!

Johnny Jr?

baby Johnny? John’s facebook profile photo

When I heard about the Westgate attack and murders, my first thoughts were of John, who is travelling in East Africa this fall. As it turns out, he was in Uganda at the time and nowhere near Nairobi. I shot a few dollars over to the International Red Cross, went back to my day-to-day life of flowers/weddings/kittens… and didn’t feel quite right.

Obviously when you are so far away from a disaster, there isn’t much you can do, but I’ve found myself falling into a real trap of complacency this year. I thought I should at least try to learn more about what would be helpful.

I messaged John to get his opinion.

His reply:

“If Westerners want to help Kenya, one way would be to continue to support the tourism industry here rather than give in to what terrorists want which is to invoke fear and panic and economic repercussions. Come on safari. Africans, in general, are beautiful, gentle, respectful and welcoming people. Karibu Kenya…
It is only horrible in Nairobi for a square kilometer around the Westgate mall. The rest of the city is in shock but not unsafe. Unfortunately cities or countries get branded as unsafe. Even the Boston Marathon had an attack but people still go to Boston to vacation. I hope they continue to come to Kenya.”

This one is blatantly stolen from John's facebook photos :)

This one is blatantly stolen from John’s facebook photos 🙂

You can read about John’s adventures- in Africa and closer to home- at his blog.

http://johnageddes.com/

And you can learn more about CanAssist’s projects and donate at
http://www.canassistafrica.ca/

john and the biebs

Safe travels, John!
And a happy weekend to all!

1 Comment

Filed under actually not flowers, Good People

Sage Flowers’ new online shop

I have finally joined the 2000s- my online shop is live and open for business

(You can also get there via the link at the top of this page, at http://sage-flowers.myshopify.com or from the main site at http://sageflowers.ca)
facebook announcement

The shop uses ecommerce software by Shopify and credit card processing by Chase Paymentech, so you can be confident that your information is being transferred securely.
blog announce banner2

I’ve got to take care of some wedding and community theatre business for the rest of September, so stay tuned for grand opening hoopla in October.
For now, the first 50 customers receive $5.00 off a hand-tied bouquet with the discount code EarlyBird.

hand tied banner blog copy

Let me know if you have any questions or feedback about the site.
Can’t wait to help you out with all your 2am, flannel-zebra-jammy flower shopping needs.

Happy Tuesday!

PS. I may have joined this century, but my heart is still in the 90s.

Leave a comment

Filed under Day-to-day

Richelle and Matt’s wedding flowers

Happy Thursday, all!
TGI almost-F, right?

Want to see some detail shots of Richelle and Matt’s wedding flowers from the other weekend?

calla bridal bouquet 1

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was pretty excited to tackle these calla and peacock feather designs after my first meeting with Richelle.
I’d been online-stalking bouquets with feathers all year, and their wedding venue, the Renaissance on Queen St, has the perfect art deco, Great Gatsby vibe to compliment the architectural flowers and tall feathers.

Richelle made peacock feather fans for her bridesmaids to carry in place of bouquets, and she also made peacock feather bouts and corsages for groomsmen and family members. I think she bought every photo frame, birdcage, and peacock feather in town to create her own centrepieces– most of the decor was already done before I came on the scene!

Richelle carried 7 callas with peacock feathers. I loved the green stripes in these flowers, and found ribbon to match!

Richelle carried 7 callas with peacock feathers. I loved the green stripes in these flowers, and found ribbon to match!

I took care of the bride and flower girl’s bouquets, the groom’s boutonniere, corsages for mothers of the bride and groom, and venue decor.

calla lily peacock wedding bouquet boutonniere

The Renaissance was built in the 1800s and used to be a church- but the colour and materials remind me of the 30s.

The Renaissance was built in the 1800s and used to be a church- but the colour and materials remind me of the 30s.

We used a garland to frame the couple as they said their vows in front of the fireplace.

We used a garland to frame the couple as they said their vows in front of the fireplace.

Garland and fireplace detail.

Garland and fireplace detail.

Garland close up- the father of the bride made gold letters to spell the word 'always'

Garland close up- the father of the bride made gold letters to spell the word ‘always’

I was chatting with the venue manager Denis while setting up, and he says giant potted palms look great with all that crystal and marble, too. (He commented on the originality of our window urns and garland- I consider that a pretty big compliment from someone who sees two or three weddings per weekend!)

Urn inserts of curly willow, fern, eucalyptus, and ruscus

Urn inserts of curly willow, fern, eucalyptus, and ruscus

Everyone I met at the Renaissance was friendly and helpful, and I hear the whole day was amazing. Get yourself over there if you’re looking for a Kingston event venue with a bit of 30s sparkle.

Three cheers for the newlyweds- thanks again for letting me create the flowers for your big day!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

1 Comment

Filed under Good People, Wedding

Fall in love

Screw Valentine’s, so far this September is all romance all the time.

Nothing but weddings and anniversaries, friends.  I love it!

I had the pleasure of sending out some surprises for anniversaries this week:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And September 7 was the wedding of Richelle and Matt. They chose the gorgeous Renaissance venue on Queen street for their purple and gold, calla lily and peacock themed wedding.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Of course I only got photos of the boutonnieres and corsages before my camera ran out of batteries. I have a few more on the way from an emergency borrowed camera, and I’m online-stalking their photographer as we speak. I’ll let you know when I get my hands on photos!

Congratulations and many happy years to the newlyweds!

And in non-flower love news, I’m just smitten with my new kitten.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

His name is Mr. Bingley, and he loves trying to bite the buttons off your clothes. When we picked him up at the shelter, they said black kittens are usually the last ones to be adopted.  😦 Glad we could give a crazy little animal a good home.  I promise not to let him eat your flowers.  And he promises to keep on trying.

Happy Thursday!
PS big big thanks to everyone at The Kingston Humane Society for what they do. Everyone there is helpful, knowledgeable, and so dedicated to finding a great home for the shelter animals. Adopt your very own jackass button-chewing cat today!

3 Comments

Filed under actually not flowers, Day-to-day, Wedding