April 2009: Amy Tries Her Hand at Floral Arranging 

We all get bored with our jobs from time to time.Many of us get the urge to switch careers…even if only for a day.Our Amy Erickson has been trying her hand at different professions.She’s gutted deer in the woods with game wardens…even played barber with a straight razor.In tonight’s “Take This Job and Love It” report, she tries her hand at being a florist.When it comes to flowers, Mark Pellon is the master. He’s Chapel Hill Floral’s lead designer…and a Maine Master Florist.So when I decided to give the flower business a try, I asked him to take me under his wing.We started small…a single rose in a bud vase.”how hard can one rose be, right? Very difficult. Or not. We’re going to find out, though, aren’t we?”Piece of cake…until the floral knife comes out.Mark makes it look easy. “always cut at an angle so it draws up the water better, ok?””let’s cut right there. I think you’re supposed to keep your eyes open when you’re cutting. Way to go, I’m proud of you! Alright.”Once I finished the bud vase, I was ready for more of a challenge. “Amy, we have an order right here for a dozen roses for a nice little lady who’s turning 80 in Brewer. I did one, I can do twelve.”Or so I thought.Turns out it’s not as simple as shoving a few flowers into a vase. “what we’re going to do is called the lacing of the greens. It’s an age old technique…I know you can do it.” “we’re going to create a grid that all the roses are going to go through. And the whole thing is going to stay right in place. Is this scientific? It kind of is.”It’s more complicated than it looks. “Amy, we’ve gotta pick the speed up, valentine’s is coming. Cut me some slack! It’s only april! Oh, it just keeps bending.” “we’re going to be thankful that this woman is 80 and maybe her eyesight is a little bad. No, it’s gonna be great by the time we finish.” “ow, stinkin’ thorns. How are your hands not totally cut up? You get used to it.”And I did get used to it. I even found it relaxing. “this I like. I like this job.”Now, you’d think the finishing touch — the bow — would be the easy part.You’d be wrong.”no, no, no, that’s not good. You’d think I could do a shoestring bow. I swear I’ve tied my shoes before.” “you did it! 4 tries…but it’s perfect.”I turned my arrangement over to the delivery driver…and got my big assignment of the day…from Chapel Hill co-owner, Barb Frye. “now it’s time for you to show your own creativity. Anything? You can even name your own arrangement.” “lucky for you I’m good with a margarita. It’s true.”It was off to the cooler to choose my materials. “this is fun. It is fun!”And after some careful deliberation and strategic placement…voila! “i think that’s really cute.”But what does the boss think? “alright! A1!”the colors are perfect for what you’re trying to express.”I went to the Master for my end-of-the day grade.”how did I do? I think you did really good. We need to work on your knife skills.” “you’ve got a great eye for color. You picked the perfect color palette. You have an eye for color, an eye for texture, an eye for depth…so there is a future for you.”And not to brag…but I’m told a certain colorful creation may even be named after me from now on. “the Amyrita! From here forth it’s now now the Amyrita. Love it.”>Amy’s always looking for suggestions for her next job swap.If you have an idea, email her at [email protected]