Author Archives: Lesley Graham

tastemaker tag sale with one kings lane

SalesEvent_35243_Lifestyle_1  I am so excited to be a featured Tastemaker on One Kings Lane this week. I’ve been organizing and prepping some of my favorite finds to go up for sale. I will be selling tons of fabulous props like galvanized trays and linens from my book: Picture Perfect Parties. The sale starts on June 2 at 6 pm PST and runs through the 7th. Click here to shop!

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DIY Wedding flowers with victory blooms


A few weeks ago Megan from Victory Blooms came over to my house to share her process in creating a bridal bouquet (you can see my bouquets here!). I thought a step-by-step tutorial would be helpful for brides-to-be on a budget or anyone that is curious about what goes into creating a gorgeous bouquet. Megan keeps things effortlessly gorgeous with this loose, hand tied bouquet.

For this arrangement you will need:

– japanese ranunculus
– garden roses
– micro spray rose
– hellebore
– peony buds
– queen ann’s lace
– rice flower
– passiflora


Step one: prep your flowers. You will want to remove almost all of the leaves leaving only pretty ones at the top of a few of the stems. You will also want to remove any bruised, torn or wilted petals. And, if working with roses be sure to snap off any thorns by placing your thumb at the base of the thorn and pressing it to the side. The thorns should break right off. Once your flower is prepped cut the bottom of the stem at an angle and place it in water until you are ready to assemble your bouquet.



Step two: build up the center of your bouquet with face or focal flowers. Here Megan began with japanese ranunculus and garden roses. It’s always a good idea to follow a rule of thirds with your arrangements. Clustering three face flowers together helps to create a soft, less structured look. Another way to achieve the just picked from the garden look is to play with scale and texture. Choose lots of different flowers, berries and greens to create a natural bouquet.



Step three: start building out around your face flowers with your textural and scale elements. To this bouquet Megan added micro spray rose, hellebore, peony buds, queen ann’s lace, rice flower and passiflora.



Step four: even out the stems by clipping them all to the same length.



Step five: loop a rubber band around a sturdy stem, wrap the band around the bunch and loop again. This secures the bouquet without making it too tight and bunching your flowers together too closely.



Lovely, no?



Step six: select a pretty ribbon. We’re loving silk at the moment. No fancy bows are needed. To keep this soft, natural look, opt for a simple knot and lots of bare stems. For an afternoon wedding short to medium tails are perfect and go all out for evening with a couple of feet of flowing silk tails. This will create lots of drama and elegance.




Victory Blooms is a Metro Atlanta event florist that creates organically structured, romantic arrangements which incorporate whimsical elements and vintage touches, drawing inspiration from the ethereal beauty of flora and floral still lifes. Come check out Victory Blooms in person at a Mother’s Day pop-up shop located outside Sun In My Belly opening at 9am Sunday May, 11th!

photos by Lesley W Graham for Annette Joseph

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Mother’s Day :: Wedding Season :: DIY flowers 2 ways.

IMG_2456 Hello Spring! Flowers are blooming all over Atlanta, and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

In the spirit of wedding season and Mother’s Day I thought it would be the perfect week for all things floral. Megan Dunlap from Victory Blooms will also join me later in the week with her own spin on a romantic wedding bouquet. It’s easier than you think to arrange your own flowers. So if you’re hands-on and your event isn’t too overwhelming then this post is for you! If you have too much on your plate for your big day… do the smart thing and call a pro like Megan.


Nothing gives me more pleasure than to arrange flowers for my own events and for some special people in my life who ask me to help with their weddings. Here are two beautiful and easy bouquets to decorate your spring gatherings. These would also make lovely tabletop arrangements at a wedding.


Let’s get started! When beginning the design process I start with spring stems, then pick a strong color theme like pink and lavender with touches of pale yellow. I am absolutely crazy about the idea of using a navy and white windowpane fabric as tablecloths. It’s fresh, bold, and chic.

For this arrangement you will need:
– Lavender
– Ranunculus
– Queen Anne’s Lace
– Baby’s Breath
– Hyacinth
– Chalkboard garden markers DIY 
– Enamel Pitcher


Step one: clean the bottom of the stems, and make a fresh cut.


Step two: place all the fillers in the pitcher. The fillers in this case are Queen Anne’s Lace and Baby’s Breath.


Step three: add in the Ranunculus and the Hyacinth, working your way around the vase or pitcher.



Step four: place the chalkboard garden markers into the pitcher and place on your reception tables.


The second arrangement is a little more tailored and formal. While the loose wildflowers and enamel pitcher in the first bouquet would be perfect for a free-spirited bride or party, this bouquet is a little more dressed up and classic. It’s amazing how the same flowers can be transformed with a different vessel and technique.

For this arrangement you will need:

– Lavender
– Ranunculus
– Queen Anne’s Lace
– Hyacinth
– Pink Roses


Step one: this bouquet begins with hand arranging.* Start by gathering a few flowers in a spiral pattern in one hand, adding one flower at a time. Continue to go around and around alternating flowers until you have a nice half dome arrangement (about 6-8 inches in diameter).

Note* This is the same technique you would use to create a wedding bouquet as well.


Step two: cut the bottom of the stems so that they are even. I like to leave about 6-8 inches. If you were making a hand bouquet this is where you would use a rubber band to secure them and then finish with a beautiful silk ribbon (more on that later this week!). Otherwise, place the arrangement into a glass vase* filled with water (as shown above).

Note* make sure you measure the height of the stems before you trim them if you’re placing this arrangement into a vase


Step three: add more flowers once your bouquet is placed into the vase to add dimension and texture. Be careful not to overload your vase… just a couple stems will do. That’s it!



Speaking of flowers… one of my dear friends and blogger/author Holly Becker, was kind enough to send over her newly released book from Chronicle Books , Decorate with Flowers  as a giveaway to one of of my sweet readers!


Hope you win it! And I really hope this has helped all you brides out there, of course all these tips are perfect for all your gatherings and celebrations. For more flower arranging DIY buy my book Picture Perfect Parties, there are so many great party flower ideas throughout the book. Good luck and US residents only please!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

photos by Lesley W Graham for Annette Joseph

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Setting the easter table + a giveaway


This week I am over on Annie Selke’s (a lovely sponsor of our Atlanta Workshop) Fresh American talking about setting the Easter table as well as sharing some of my favorite picks! It’s a really fun interview and you can find the sources to these pretty things over there.

I am really excited to be giving away two sets of Chevron Fuchsia napkins from Pinecone Hill to one lucky winner. US Residents only please. You can enter below. Giveaway ends this Sunday at midnight. Good luck!

Annette Joseph Blog Composite

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workshop atlanta

COVER Cassandra's Space

Food and Prop Styling Photography Workshop Atlanta
with Annette Joseph Photo Stylist and Author of Picture Perfect Parties – Rizzoli NY
Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn Lifestyle and Food photographer

Cassandra's SpaceAnnette

With more that 20 years experience styling interiors, food and lifestyle for TV and national magazines, advertising campaigns, cookbooks and The Today Show. Annette will show you how to style food for the camera. Your images will make your readers want to take a big bite out of each image. All the tricks and all the stylist secrets revealed! You’ll walk away with the tools and knowledge to make your food jump off the page.

What you will learn from Annette:

Stylist Resources: Where she likes to prop shop.
Plating: Tricks and tips for the right composition.
Tools of the Trade: Tour of a stylist’s kit, what you need to style like a pro.
Production tips: How to organize a photo shoot like a pro.
Art Direction: How to make a feature hang together visually.

Cassandra's SpaceCassandra's Space untitled-20 Deborah

With more than 20 years experience photographing food and interiors for national magazines, advertising campaigns, cookbooks and Paula Deen Enterprises. Deborah will teach you to make all your images look like the images she shoots everyday. Bring your cameras and learn all the technical skills to take your photographs to the next level.

What you will learn from Deborah:

Technical information about your camera ie settings.
How to use lighting, natural and technical.
What you will need in your camera bag: discussion of lenses
Camera angles
Shooting tethered
Post production information

*bring a tripod
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** Included in the fee: is a signed copy of Picture Perfect Parties, Annette’s cookbook from Rizzoli, this book was photographed by Deborah.

Breakfast: great coffee served with pastries and fruit.
Gourmet lunch
Snacks and treats! Enjoy cupcakes that will also be styled and photographed.


Date: Saturday- June 7, 2014

Time: 9:00- 4:00

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Where: Lowden Photo Studio located in the heart of the fun Virginia Highlands neighborhood. VH is a super hip in-town location, with everything in walking distance. It’s in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia.

Address: Scott Lowden photography

634 N. Highland Ave
Atlanta GA, 30306

Please email me with any questions:


9:00-10:00 am: Photo talk with Deborah with a light breakfast.

10:00-11:00am: Styling talk with Annette.

11:00am-Noon: Walk through vintage prop shop with Annette where you’ll get to pick props for your afternoon of shooting.

Noon-1pm: lunch

1:15pm-2:30: Photo shoot session with Annette and Deborah. Watch as we style and photograph two set ups.

2:30-4:00 pm: Snacks and hands on photography and styling. You will each be able to plate and photograph several shots with guidance, tips and advice from Annette and Deborah. We will answer all questions and work with you to achieve your best images ever. There will be lots of props and food on hand for you to choose from.

4:00-4:30: Book signing and goodbyes

Get ready to learn everything you’ll need to know to make your blog and food photos shine!

Hotel Accommodations:

The Highland Inn: very quirky hotel, right next door to the photo studio, walking distance to shopping and restaurants.

The St. Charles Inn : Also in walking distance to the photo studio, very charming Bed and Breakfast.

Cassandra's Space

Thanks to our goodie bag sponsors:
Raw Materials
West Elm Atlanta

Thanks to Scott Lowden Photography for his super cool space and gracious hospitality.
Thanks to Annie Selke Textiles for the cool napkins.
Thanks to Blue Eyed Yonder for the fabulous props.
Thanks to Justin for Eventstagram and DJ skills.

Click here to buy your ticket!

For a fun recap on our Seattle Workshop, check out The Parcel Blog.

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