12/02/13 10:00am
Sat December 7, 2013
Step up your gift game this year by attending Brooklyn Craft Company's DIY Gift Bootcamp on Dec. 7. Photo: Brooklyn Craft Company

Step up your gift game this year by attending Brooklyn Craft Company’s DIY Gift Boot Camp on Dec. 7. Photo: Brooklyn Craft Company

Escape the madness of holiday shopping and get in touch with your creative side at Brooklyn Craft Company’s DIY Gift Boot Camp this Saturday at its new space in Greenpoint we wrote about in September. Sign up for one or several classes designed to help you produce handmade, personalized presents for lucky friends and family members, including leather business card holders, terrariums, charm necklaces and glass etchings. Each class is $45 or $65 and includes all the materials necessary to complete your project, instruction by a qualified teacher, use of Brooklyn Craft Company’s free gift wrap bar, hot cocoa, music and a swag bag full of crafty treats. You can sign up for as many classes as you like—just be sure to register in advance so you are guaranteed a spot.

06/07/13 9:09am

Classes at Stems include two botanically-inspired cocktails. Photo: Nadia Chaudhury

Classes at Stems include two botanically-inspired cocktails. Photo: Nadia Chaudhury

It’s nearly impossible to stroll the streets of New York City without coming across a bounty of gorgeous blossoms, buds and stems, from the lush peonies dotting sidewalks in front of bodegas right now, to the quirky petals and poms that will light up the farmer’s market a bit later in the season. There’s an art and a craft to creating next-level arrangements (though we’re consistently delighted just to walk past a mason jar filled with lilacs) and a number of floral designers around the city are sharing the tricks of their trade.

We tip-toed through the tulips checking out different floral classes, from arrangements to bouquets, to crowns and boutonnieres–DIY brides, take note–and here are our faves:

Stems Flower Shop at Sycamore Bar
1118 Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Park
Stems’ owner, Suzanna Cameron, describes herself as an “architectural florist,” which to her means floral shapes that are asymmetrical and variegated. Though the classes are a relatively new addition to the shop (she held her second in April), they offer students the opportunity to get their hands all over the flowers. “There’s a science behind how you process flowers,” she says. “I want to teach people basic design. There’s a way of arranging stems in a jar to create the shape.” Classes include an introduction to the flowers students will be working with and the basic fundamentals of arrangment. Students work at their own pace while Cameron offers advice. And, since Stems is Brooklyn’s only flower shop in a bar, classes come with two botanically-inspired cocktails. Bridal parties often arrange for hands-on workshops with Cameron for their weddings. She plans on offering floral crown, boutonniere and terrarium classes in the near future as well.

Class details: $50 including flowers, vase and two drinks. To inquire about upcoming classes, call 347-240-5850 or visit www.stemsbrooklyn.com.

Blossoms awaiting arrangement at LIttle Floral School. Photo: Nadia Chaudhury

Blossoms awaiting arrangement at Little Floral School. Photo: Nadia Chaudhury

Little Flower School
Location changes
Nicolette Owen of Nicolette Camille Floral and Sarah Ryhanen of Saipua, the duo behind Little Flower School, immerse their students in a grand flower experience with their five-hour classes. “We want it to feel like a day full of flowers,” Owen says. A name tag attached to a bud and a blossom, floral shears and a cast-iron-footed urn were waiting for each student at the beginning of a recent peony study. The class opened with an introduction to each and every flower students would be working with–there were at least 20 different varieties of peonies, as well greenery, filler flowers, roses and ranunclus. The classes are “a guided exploration, so people can feel creative and fulfilled, and make something really beautiful and amazing,” says Owen. The pace is deliberately leisurely–students are encouraged to take their time selecting flowers and arranging, developing a distinct style along the way. Each session ends with a photography shoot.

Class details: Next class will be held sometime in the late summer, $500, including flowers, clippers, vase, snacks and drinks, email to inquire.

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