La Pampa & My Epic Grandmother

Oct 17, 2014

This is going to be a long one. How can it not be when we're talking about La Pampa, the Argentine landscape where my grandma has her farm. It's a special and crazy place, miles and miles and miles of flat land. Cows. Horses. Golden fields, and clusters of trees. (OK, a couple hills here and there.) So different from the landscapes I'm used to in New York, and even different from those in California. These farms are never ending flatlands… you think it's over and then there is more golden, more cows, more trees, more land.

I wish you could all zoom into this photo and see the gang of grey geese waddling there, and feel the texture of these fields, the light, and the air. I think if you drag it onto your desktop you can. Zoom in and pretend you're in this grey haze; it's not too cold, but just enough.

My 82 year old (83? who's counting?) grandma driving her manual, 4x4 through cities and muddy roads, chatting with us.  She's a maaahnstah.

First things first for a late afternoon arrival.

 Typical brother.

Typical moody frenchman. (Except he's not at all moody.) Bartó you're amazing and hilarious.

Typical potatoes and egg moodiness. FARM LYFE.

Typical grandma's carrot. And radio. A soft and scratchy radio (can't you tell it's scratchy) is always on at my G's and I love it.

Typical that Matias made the fire with ant repellant/killer liquid (thinking it was liquid fuel or whatever you call it). Of course we did not notice until we starting eating our meat and it tasted weird. Grandma was sassy and mad, and taught him to look at the labels, nene.

Me and ma G, from Matias' vantage point.

Just another morning with G and Mati-ass. (What I used to call him when we were little and he- or I- was being a little poop.) Yes, my grandmother is dusting her perfectly clean house.

This is reaaaally typical. My brother signs this in my grandmother's guest book in 2001 (i.e. he was a 12 year old rascal); he writes about hunting and fishing, and what to sing to the fish as you reel them in once you've caught one: "I told you, I told, I told you mother f*cker." (This was of course, taught to him by my dad- the man who thinks the pigeons outside our Venice Beach family restaurant should be shot with BB guns by our staff. Great idea.)

Typical flower foraging.

Baby grandma. It's actually a term (when you look like a baby, act like a G.)

Typical gong that I have heard loud and clear one too many times, thanks to my brother 15 years ago.

Same arrangement, different day.

Typical that my mom was a BABE. And I know she'd be laughing real hard right about now with that goofy and round, slow giggle of hers.

Babe x 2.

Babe squared + parthenon. (plus babe me on the right.)

In the background here, a painting my grandfather made.

The pampa's that inspired his grey horizons and golden field.

My grandma, queen of the land, and a woman that inspires me.

El Biguá.

Té after a walk. (and crumpets.)

A little bit of French, since my grandma was once a French teacher (as well as a quail egg entrepreneur and now, a cattle farmer lady). And this is where my love of Paris and all things proper originally stems. 

Typical that I hate goodbyes (or, 'the house seen from the back of the truck.')


I read this poem recently that I love, by Rainer Maria Rilke:

How very strange the world can appear, 
blending and breaking, far and near:
friendly, a little bit unclear.
how good.

Flower Bundle Dyeing & Healing Tea Workshop at ETF!

Oct 10, 2014

Remember this? Well, Cara is teaching a natural dyeing class at Emily Thompson Flowers in the Seaport, NYC! Her friend Jessa Blades will be teaching a tea workshop about healing flower teas & elixirs! CANNOT WAAAAIT. OCTOBER 25th 2-5 ! Get tickets on her website, here.
It's affordable, and you can turn your old ugly white shirts & stuff into some amazing floral-esque textiles!

No Longer a Prelude to Autumn

Oct 8, 2014

We're in the thick of it. Autumn. And I've got some big changes up my sleeve. Am I ready? NO! Am I ever? NO!

I've been so hectic, moving apartments, and New York>>Boston>>New Jersey>>New York [Jet Setting to the Jersey Shore, you know], and trying to have AS MUCH FUN AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE, that I haven't had time to write about all the beautiful flower related projects I've been lucky to be a part of! So here's one, near and dear to my flower heart.

A collaboration between Emily and Frances lead to these INCREDIBLE, weird and wonderful vases.[Apologies for the all caps, clearly I'm feeling very enthusiastic, what's new.] I wish I could explain how much I love these vases, and how much I loved making arrangements for them; even as a florist, I didn't know one could love a vase so much.

Aaaaanyways, this is what we were up to during the dead of the summer. Preluding to Autumn. Scheming for a photo shoot to use these vases and attempting said photo shoot, only to realize that it looked nothing like our initial idea. And finally, after some frantic hair pulling, OMG I'm OVER IT moments, loving the project even more (there I go with the enthusiasm). I got really into it. Isn't that how it always goes?

My favorite. That pink.

I died when I saw these weird, tropical, spiky stems at the market. They dictated the entire arrangement. Red and purple? Who knew we'd like it so much.

The cubbies of curiosities- my lifelong obsession. 

And, because it's not fun with out it, some behind the scenes and the initial thoughts for the project….

And, actually, I am pretty ready.

I'm learning that the more I work on creative projects, the easier it is to work on them- the less frustrating, the more open I am to failures, new ideas, trying things over and over, but with less attachement. More flow. It used to be tough for me, almost like, (here we go): creative constipation. That feeling where you have so many ideas and energy and wa wa wa buuuut I caaaaan't geeeet it ouuuuut-- what if this, that, bla bla bla, but the more you do, the better you get at the process, and the more you can enjoy it, I think, which is the whole point. of liiiiiving. JEEESUS.

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