By Dawn Krebs
PORT ST. LUCIE -- For more than 40 years, Linda Garcia has taken a craft handed down through her family and created memorable items for family and friends.
Now, she and her husband, Joe, want to bring her ability to make flowers, jewelry and other personalized items out of bread dough, ribbon and wax to the residents of St. Lucie County.
"Her grandmother was known in Mexico as a designer," Mr. Garcia said. "She taught my wife not only how to create beautiful decorations, but to make everything perfect."
The business, Creations by Linda, began in February, but area churches and nonprofit organization have been familiar with her work for years, because of her many donations to charitable events.
"We believe in giving back," he said. "We've always been blessed."
The creations are made with white bread dough mixed with a preservation chemical and then shaped into anything the customer wants.
While the main portion of the designs center around flowers, Ms. Garcia has also created hair pieces, earrings, pendants, ornaments, picture frames, wine bottles and antiques.
"We are only limited by the customer's imagination," Mr. Garcia said.
The dough can be formed into virtually any shape and color. Walls in her studio held a variety of examples, ranging from Madri Gras masks to floral displays.
One popular item is a shadowbox that contains a bride's bouquet.
Since real flowers were used in the original wedding bouquet, there was no way to preserve it after use. Ms. Garcia was able to replicate the bouquet down to the smallest detail, making every flower, leaf and stem by hand.
"As long as you keep it, it will maintain its original beauty," Mr. Garcia said.
The creations can take anywhere from three days to three months to make, depending on the complexity of the piece. Right now, Ms. Garcia is designing Christmas ornaments, prom corsages, Valentine's Day jewelry and Easter lilies.
An added plus is that the business can create beautiful items within any budget. She has made items for baby showers, funerals, weddings, bridal showers, anniversaries and quinceañeras. Her decorations have graced tables at fundraising events, Christmas parties and wedding receptions. Area businesses have used her creations as business and thank you gifts.
"We have tried to capture the heart of businesses, and recreated their logos in three-dimensional items to give as gifts and to display at their workplace," he said.
Their designs can currently be found in Dillards, as well as at both Heathcote and the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens.
While the work is a labor of love, Mr. Garcia is pleased with the community's response.
"Everyone has been so supportive of this unique product," he said. "Making someone's special moment or interest come to life is very satisfying."
Creations by Linda is located at 1950 S.E. Port St. Lucie Blvd. in Port St. Lucie. Consultations are available by appointment. For more information, call Mr. Garcia at (772) 485-7111 or go online to www.creationsbylinda.net.