Category Archives: Updates

Holiday Floral Design Classes in Chicago!

xmas-flowers-candles-on-xmas-tables Join us Wednesday, December 16th, 1:00 to 4:30 pm or 6:00 to 9:30 pm for an afternoon or evening of Holiday Floral Design Classes.

Pine, cedars and balsams with lots of berry.

Three designs and all materials included.

Bring a camera to take pictures and a basket to carry all your designs home.

We will also be offering classes in:

  • San Diego: Saturday, December 5th, 1:00 to 4:00 pm
  • Minneapolis: Thursday, December 10th, 1:00 to 4:30 pm or 6:00 to 9:30 pm
  • Milwaukee: Tuesday, December 15th, 1:00 to 4:30 pm or 6:00 to 9:30 pm
  • Chicago: Wednesday, December 16th, 1:00 to 4:30 pm or 6:00 to 9:30 pm
  • New York City: Saturday, December 19th, 1:00 to 4:30 pm or 6:00 to 9:30 pm.

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The Macy’s Flower Show Coming Soon!

Don’t miss Mr. Michael Gaffney at the Macy’s Flower Show in Herald Square March 27th, 2015! This year the Macy’s Flower Show is being held in NYC March 22nd-April 4th and Michael will be there doing flower design demonstrations, hosting a free book give away and plenty of flowers, flowers, flowers for all to see!

For two weeks, the clothing and accessories at Macy’s won’t be the only colorful items on display by the iconic department store. Outside in Broadway Plaza, beautifully bright floral arrangements will announce this year’s Macy’s Flower Show. Special events including live music, kids’ activities and seminars will take place throughout the show. For more information and a full schedule of events, visit

We hope to see you there!!

For additional information about our upcoming semesters, school locations and more, visit us at:

The Valentine’s Day Scoop

The Valentine’s Day Scoop

Well Ladies and Gentlemen, that special day is upon us….the day of L-O-V-E! Many people can be stumped on why the cost of flowers sky rocket during this most lovely of holidays…so I will be taking some time in this article to educate on why that is, as well as giving you some helpful tips to getting the arrangement that you want and try to save some $$ in the process.

The average American does not realize that there are several factors that come into play when it comes to shipping and receiving the massive amounts of product for the holiday. Here are a few factors as to why we, (Florists included), all pay more for flowers on Valentine’s Day:

1. Growers use manual labor for product development.
2. Transportation of the product costs more.
3. The demand for flowers increases.
4. Economy Factors come into play.
5. Paying for an expert to design the flowers.

After taking a look at these factors, I would suggest the following this Valentine’s Day as some money saving tips:
1. Take a look at the alternatives to the dozen roses vased. There are many other beautiful flowers available this time of year that are equally appealing, but may not be as expensive.
2. Request different colors such as pink, lavendar, purple, white or a combination of color. Red often is higher priced due to the high demand, etc.
3. Request a delivery date before the actual holiday itself. Some florists offer incentives for pre-order and different delivery dates.

Now, lets talk about buying LOCAL!!! Support your local florist this holiday. I cannot tell you how I cringe every time I see the commercials screaming at me from the TV…you know the ones, “ONLY $19.99 for 1 dozen red roses vased!” The truth is, the photos of those arrangements are manipulated to make the public think that they will be receiving a nice big full arrangement for the price listed. But unfortunately, that is not always the case. To get a big beautiful arrangement of roses in a vase, you will have to pay a reasonable amount. Remember the saying, “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.” This rings true for flowers on Valentine’s Day as well. I would suggest calling your local florist and placing an order with them directly so that you know exactly what you will be sending… and you never know, they may be offering some additional perks & incentives to buy!

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and remember to thank your florist! Many sacrifice time with their own loved ones and ‘special night out’ so that you can enjoy yours!

Winter Semesters Starting Soon!

At the Chicago School of Flower Design, founded by celebrity florist, Michael Gaffney, their students learn a large variety of different floral designs. Everything from traditional to contemporary design work is covered during their exciting 8- or 12-week semester. A gorgeous mix of fresh flower and green materials are provided to the students during each day’s class (all materials are included with the tuition cost), as well as live demonstrations, flower market field trips, instructor assistance and best of all, hands on designing by the students themselves. Michael Gaffney who has been featured on the Hallmark Channel, Today Show and Huffington Post states, “In my book Design Star, there are 100 tips to flower design, but in class there are 1000. Being in class and having that one-on-one access to an instructor is important to learning good design habits and techniques.”

Classes in Chicago are offered in the afternoon and evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays of each week during the semester. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. If you would like more information about classes and how to register, please call 1-877-32-BLOOM today or go to for details.

2014 Art Basel Miami

Michael Gaffney was in attendance at this years Art Basel Miami and it received rave reviews as being one of the strongest editions ever!

Art Basel’s 13th edition in Miami Beach closed Sunday, December 7, 2014, amidst strong praise from gallerists, private collectors, museum groups and the media. Highlights of the show included the introduction of the new Survey sector, which brought 13 art-historical projects to the fair, including many rare works never before exhibited in an art fair context; and Art Basel’s staging with Performa of Ryan McNamara’s ‘MEƎM 4 Miami: A Story Ballet About the Internet’ at the Miami Grand Theater. Solid sales were reported across all levels of the market and throughout the run of the show. Featuring 267 leading international galleries from 31 countries, the show – whose Lead Partner is UBS – attracted an attendance of 73,000 over five days. Attendees included representatives of over 160 museum and institution groups from across the world – and a surging number of new private collectors from the Americas, Europe and Asia.

In the floral ‘world’ there are strong ties to what is trending in art, as floral design is considered a form of art as well. Mr. Gaffney believes that to be a successful designer, it is important to stay informed on the trends and ‘whats hot’ when it comes to the newest art craze. As a designer, staying up-to-date on the different looks will help you tailor your floral designs to incorporate the different textures and colors in accordance to compliment what is hot, etc.

A tip to remember when working in the Art of Floral Design: An out-of-date florist, or one who becomes stagnant in the designs that they offer, will quickly lose the public’s attention as someone who will be able to suit their needs on any type of event, etc. that they are wanting to plan.

Tips & Tricks, Holiday Designing on a Dime

During the holidays is when I like to ‘wow’ my guests with beautiful centerpieces during parties and for hostess gifts as well. This can be a bit tricky, especially when working on a budget. The following are my tips and tricks for what I call ‘designing on a dime’:

1. During this time of year everyone loves their evergreen foliage, so this is my greenery of choice when starting my arrangements. Don’t spend tons of money buying greenery when you can either trim some from your yard or (with permission) from the yard of a neighbor. Some people do not know that Home Depot also gives away their Christmas tree trimmings for free. (There is usually a big bin in the tree lot area that the staff throws the clippings in)…So why buy when you can get it for free!

2. Evergreens last a long time especially when it is cool, so you will want to pick items that will last as long as your greenery when thinking about the color/theme of your arrangement. I would suggest going to your local Dollar Tree, Family Dollar or 99 Cent Store. Use ornaments, glittery sticks, berry picks, candles and the like to incorporate into your design. You can also re-use these items year after year. Don’t forget that you can use seasonal fruit & pine cones too, it doesn’t always have to be flowers as the ‘point of interest’ or ‘focal point’!

3. Container Choices….if you would like to use a nice decorative container for your arrangement, you can also find a variety at the stores listed above as well, but don’t forget your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. You can buy a container and help a local charity all at the same time! Also, keep in mind that you can use a plastic dish or plate to place your floral foam on and ‘build’ your arrangement so that you cannot see the container at all. This is another affordable option.

Sometimes it just takes a little bit of ‘thinking outside the box’ to get those creative juices flowing…you get the picture. It doesn’t have to break the bank to decorate your home for the holidays! (and there’s no harm in letting your friends think that you did…what they don’t know won’t hurt them) ;0)

The American Schools of Flower Design offer classes at 9 locations across the country to help educate people in the art of floral design….you too can become a ‘Design Star’! For additional information click on the ‘About Our Schools’ tab on our website.

Don’t Miss Out!!

Hey all!! Ever bought those great magazines at the register in your local grocery store and flipped through all of the pages full of beautiful holiday decor & flower arrangements? Have you ever thought to your self, ‘Man, those are beautiful, I wish I knew how to make my arrangements look that good..’

Now you can!! Don’t miss the Chicago School of Flower Designs annual Holiday Design Workshop! During this exciting event, students will create 3 popular holiday designs using a variety of fresh evergreens, beautiful flowers, berries and more!

All tools, flowers and materials are provided. The cost of this event is $200 per person and pre-registration is required. Space is limited, so don’t hesitate to reserve your seat today!!!!

Date: Dec. 6th, 2014 (1pm-4pm)

To register, call; 760-310-3193 today!

Fall Masters Classes Forming NOW!

Well what can I say other than “Time flies when you are having fun!” We are headed into the 4th week of the fall semester at the Chicago School of Flower Design and it is time to start taking registration for the Masters portion of the course. The Masters course takes what you have learned in the ‘Design Star Complete’ program and kicks it up a notch. You can expect to learn large ‘showy’ event design, cascading bridal bouquets, breath taking sympathy design and much more!!!

Don’t hesitate to reserve your seat in class and get ready to expand that resume!

Chicago School of Flower Design Demonstrates Flower Designs at the 2014 Ultimate Womens EXPO

The Chicago School of Flower Design was present at this years fabulous Ultimate Women’s EXPO demonstrating several designs offered & taught at the school.

The Chicago School of Flower Design was present at this year’s Ultimate Women’s EXPO in Chicago, catering to the masses. To say that this years EXPO was exciting, would be an understatement. Not only were there 100’s of vendors selling everything from blouses to nail polish, they provided stages for exciting demonstrations through out the day.
The Chicago School of Flower Design was the focus of the ‘Flower Design Stage’ providing several beautiful demonstrations through out the event on Saturday and Sunday. Women from across the country began seating themselves 30 minutes prior to the scheduled demonstrations to make sure that they got the best seat in the house. As the day progressed it was standing room only for these demonstrations. Ozzie Meza and Ann Hanna, graduates of the School, demonstrated to the crowd several different styles of design, including a European Hand-tied Design and an All Rose Hand-Tied Bridal Bouquet. At the end of each day, the Chicago School of Flower Design drew names to give away the day’s flower arrangements as the women anxiously crowded around to see if their names would be drawn. It would be a crime to say that they were anything less than ecstatic as each name was called, cheering for each winner.
If you were not present at this years EXPO, make sure to put it on your calendar for next year. You will not be disappointed. The Chicago School of Flower Design offers flower design classes year round. For more information call 1-877-32-BLOOM.

2014 Fall Semester has begun!

The fall semester at the Chicago School of Flower Design has begun! If you were unable to sign-up or forgot to enroll, there is still plenty of seat availability in class! Do not hesitate to enroll online or to call Michael or Kim to place your deposit and register.

If the fall semester is not a good time for your schedule, please check out the other dates that we offer classes in Chicago throughout the year. In addition to regularly scheduled classes, we will also be offering a Holiday design Workshop in early December.

It is never too late to learn a new skill or try something fun and new!