This is real life: March's Flower

Mar 22, 2014

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And they are a type of ranunculus and I can't believe them. They are the never ending flower. One flower dies, and the little bud next to it lives on and blooms and it's wild! These colors...pretty insane. I'm dying, as I tend to do when things are very beautiful or very cute, or, as the old lady that I am, very quaint (small towns, you kill me). Anyways, look at this!


Can we talk about the flower in the middle up there- coral?! How are you so coral when the flowers around you are pink and faded?! STOOOOP. 




The Planthunter!

Mar 20, 2014

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I recently discovered a new website called The Plant Hunter, an australian based online publication that features stories that explore the connections between humans and plants. My plant and flower loving NERD self loves it. It's just the topic we need to explore. I love the glimpse it gives me into the lives of others who make plants a part of their every day life- from landscape designers, to gardeners, artists. It's interesting to see how nature becomes a part of different people's lives, and I like where my mind goes when I read this sort of thing. I love the endless possibility of things I could do with my life that are plant and flower related, and I wonder where I will be in 5, 10, 20 years. Also, it makes me REALLY want to visit Australia. Some of my favorite florists are there, and I hope I can one day visit and see what it's all about..........

Now that I've put it out there, can it happen IMMEDIATELY, please. Great, thanks.

I recently wrote a short bit about flowers, and of course, Cara's floral trash textiles. You can read it here. Here are some photos from the story-- I made this arrangement below inspired by some of Cara's work. Last month I had an affair with this purple hardenbergia. Yes, an affair; this is what I do in my spare time off of work. I go to the market and buy purple hardenbergia instead of doing my laundry and finding balance in my life. I two-time my flowers with more flowers. JAYSUS! Sometimes you just gotta. Because?...its color is unbelievable; the most intense POP bright amaaaazing vibrant ever.  I like that this one has different shades of purple all wrapped up in one tiny but powerful little flower.



Then I added these ranunculus and poppies to the arrangement, because the colors made me think of these Cara Marie Piazza textiles from the last couple of posts. But it made me not like the arrangement; kind of love hate it, or something like that. But that's life- sometimes you make something you very much dislike and you think, "UMMMMM who am I?! Did I just do this? Does my arrangement have a purple ponytail?! WTF." Better to experiment and hate than to stay bored, right? And I HAVE to show it to you because it was all inspired by this one particular textile, and the point was to reference it...and soon we can see what these floral leftovers will look like as dye!



Poopy's doin thair thang. Poppy's. 




Natural Dyeing with Cara Marie Piazza

Mar 18, 2014

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I recently visited Cara Marie Piazza in her natural dye studio; she let me in on some of her dyeing secrets and let me take photos of her amazing work.  I am so inspired by it! In my last post, I showed you some of her textiles; Cara collects floral waste and scraps from florists in NYC and uses them to create dyes.  I love the textures and color palates she creates; whenever I talk or think about the art of floral designing I always end up saying that it's almost like creating a 3D, sculptural painting-- thinking about color combinations, compositions, empty space, gestures, and contrasting shapes and textures...I could go on. Though it generally takes way less time, making an arrangement is a lot like creating an abstract painting (says the expert abstract painter. I'm absolutely joking, of course.)  Cara's textiles have this same painterly quality that I love so much and that I find when I create with flowers. I wrote an article about Cara for Gardenista, check it out! We also did an indigo DIY for them, so if you want to indigo everything in your life, like I currently do, go right ahead...








          





Ginger Sugar Muffins (with carrots)

Feb 5, 2014

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Sick and snowy in Brooklyn lately.  This means I have to bake with whatever ingredients I have at home because, lord knows, I am not stepping outside today with this week-old-cold.  This time: breakfast muffins with fresh ginger and carrots.  These muffins are GOOD, my friends.  Subtle, just sweet enough, and tender.  The fresh ginger with melted sugar is really the trick (thanks to Orangette for the tips)- it gives the muffins a tiny crystally crunch.  And I am just slightly patting my back because they have carrots AND apples in them (don't fret- they do not taste too healthy).  I will say that I can imagine they'd be pretty darn good with some cinnamon honey butter...don't mind if I do! Or maybe it should be ginger honey butter?!  For another day....



1/3 cup of fresh ginger WITH the skin on (minced in a food processor for best results, or by hand) -- I would've actually added a liiiittle bit more because I can't get enough of that gingery, almost buttery taste- and no, there's not even butter in these bad boyzzz
1 cup of grated carrots (2-3 carrots)
1/3 cup of grated apple (about half a medium sized apple)
1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of lemon zest (depends on how zesty you want it- I used 1/2)
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 1/3 cup white pasty flour (or all purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
(makes 12 muffins)

Grate your carrots, apples and zest your lemon, and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Cut your ginger into large chunks, leaving its skin on (it keeps the ginger from falling apart in the food processor- and I did not taste any ginger skin in the muffin, FYI!); mince in food processor or by hand.
Using a small skillet on medium heat, heat 1/4 cup sugar with your minced ginger, until the sugar just melts- it should only take a minute or two; continuously stir.  Set aside to cool. 
In a small bowl, beat your eggs vegetable oil, and vanilla extract, just to blend them.
In a large bowl, mix your dry ingredients (including the rest of the sugar- 1/2 cup). 
Mix your lemon zest in with your ginger mix.
Fold the wet ingredients in with the dry- careful not to over mix- just enough so everything is blended.
Separate your batter into your cupcake tin and cook for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  I used cupcake liners, but if you don't, butter or oil the pan.




Flowers and Textiles

Jan 29, 2014

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I have a little obsession.  With color and texture and beautiful natural everything. DUH.  That's part of why I am a florist.  This friend's textile line is a HUGE inspiration; she's a natural dyer and her name is Cara Marie Piazza. She makes magic out of old onion peels, dying flowers- your trash, basically.  Her works are like paintings, they are so incredible!

Look at these beauties!




While in California, I made this arrangement thinking of her textiles.  I think we've got a project in the works..... !!!! Stay tuned!


Look at these bad ass textiles and clothing pieces she makes!




This is Cara's website: http://www.caramarienyc.com/
and her Tumblr: http://caramariepiazza.tumblr.com/, where I found all of her images.



Poppy Love

Jan 22, 2014

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Poppies.  Siiiiiiiiiiigh.

One of my all time favorite flowers.  Maybe it's because they are the California state flower, or maybe it's their Mediterranean descent- give me anything Mediterranean and I melt: sun, food, flowers, landscape, story.  Maybe it's that I once came across a house in Israel, on the beach, that had a full field of wild poppies for a front lawn. Maybe it's that their stems have the craziest shapes, and they grow in their vase, even after you've cut them.  Their smell, their paper thin petals, the fact that you have to peel away their furry outer green layer, to reveal the mystery color inside and to allow them to bloom.  I could definitely go on, but I will spare you.




I recently did an arrangement DIY for gardenista that features these amazing flowers.  These are some of my favorite images; for the full story, check it out on gardenista!

A Wild Holiday Arrangement

Dec 19, 2013

California roadside materials make amaaaaazing holiday arrangements- Bottle Brush (the puffy red branch below) is what dreams are made of, and castor leaves are STARS.  I love you, California.

Check out the rest of the images on Gardenista, and a DIY to make your own arrangement!!


Winter Moon Magic

Dec 15, 2013


where awareness goes energy flows
... 

I read this here and I like the sound of it.  I like the idea that the mere awareness of your desires, goals, and hopes can bring forth change and growth; it's comforting to think that growth occurs even when you feel at a loss for words and action- that by simply living with awareness, you are, in a way, embodying the change you need.

The first week of December started with a bang; an unexpected situation brought me back to California, to help my dad recover from a serious fall.  Long Nights Moon- also called the Cold Moon or Big Winter Moon- is the last moon phase of the year, and happens in early December, when the days are the longest.  It's a time for spiritual alchemy, a time for re-evaluation.  My dad's accident brought a lot of upheaval into my life-- definitely a time of re-evaluation and new beginnings for me and my family.  I like to think that things happen for a reason; this might just be wishful thinking, but at least when I look at it this way, it helps me move forward.  In this case, my dad's fall gave him the chance to slow his life down, take a break and breather, and spend time with MEEEEE :) He still has his life.  It's crazy to me that his accident happened on the exact night of the Long Nights Moon, and while part of me has sincere doubts about this sort of spiritualism, I just can't help but think that it's all somehow connected!  MOON MAGIC, of course.

Momma Love


The week I moved everything out of my mom's house, I spent most of my free time making arrangements from her garden.  It was my way of creating something beautiful from what she created, nurtured and loved.  Her essence and vibrancy are in these colors, flowers, and textures.  I wanted to document it all in the house that she and my dad designed; it is a special house that I love so much.  I will miss all of its little details- the wooden floors that came from the roof, the bathroom door that my dad and his friends painted in the early 90's (that looks like a baby scribble meets Basquiat meets crazy South Americans letting it all out; its beautiful light, its clean woody smell, the scent of the herbs, flowers, and wisteria wafting in at night; BBQ's, lazy quiet days on the couch with her and my brother.  These flowers are a reminder of her beauty and the beauty she brought to this world.





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