Hollyflora Market & Courtyard

Dec 7, 2014

I've never really worked in flowers in LA until this last week. The landscape is sooooo different from New York; a completely different vibe and aesthetic, and getting used to it is weird. New York has that lushness and greenness that really inspires me; there's an abundance that I love. LA is very dry at the moment. While it's lacking in that lush abundance, it has some really amazing plants- like the camellia's I showed you last, and the garden roses that you find here and there. Wild castor on the side of the road, giant graphic leaves whose names I don't know; agave's, spikey plants, and daturas. Of course the bougainvillea is what dreams are made of. But, the feeling is very different. The hikes here are bone dry, and all brown and crunchy because of the drought. I've been in such a different landscape for the last three years, and now all of a sudden, there's a completely different backdrop and environment, and it'll be interesting to see how that affects what I make.

It's rained a few times since I've been here and it's so insane to see how quickly plants and trees sprout new green with the first drop of water. My dad tells me it's because all the plants are like "water! life! Gotta grow and flower, and spread our seed now, in 4 days since it just rained and we have no idea when the next rain will come." Duuuuh?! I didn't quiiiite know that-- I'm no plant expert, though hopefully one day I will be!

One highlight of the last couple weeks here has been meeting the ladies of Hollyflora, Becky and Holly. I've been stalking their work over the last year or so; they've been doing this flower thing for a long time- real deal florists with an amazing aesthetic. And they are soooooooo AWESOME. !!!

I wrote about them and their newly opened shop for Gardenista last week. Below are some photos from my visit; you can see more here.

On another note. This website has some really amazing mixes to listen to. Very California, somehow.


This bleeding heart vine. I had never heard about it until now. LOOK UP IMAGES OF THIS AMAZING THING. 

Autumn Two Ways

Nov 29, 2014

New England and California autumns are quite different. Branchy, leafless rose hips in Connecticut and rose bushes in full bloom in Los Angeles.


A few things: 
People don't change unless they want to; don't waste your energy. I've learned this lesson a million times. 
That car up there- the baby pink mustang- has a license plate that says "TULIPS." Yes.
Los Angeles is 80 degrees in November.
Camellia's are the most.
So is making lists of what you want your life to look like.
If you put vetiver essential oil on hair, your locks will smell so good for days and you'll feel a little bit like a gold dust woman witch.

Bundle Dyeing

Nov 3, 2014

As you all probably know, I am addicted to flower bundle dyeing. If you see me in head to toe silk fabric that looks like its been tie-dyed in some crazy way, you'll know why. We recently hosted a natural dye (and tea) workshop at ETF with Cara and Jessa. WHOA. I won't say more, because the photos below speak for themselves! 


Cara's amazing silks:


Oct 29, 2014

I live in a world of neutrals; I like my apartments to have lots of white, tan, wood, and maybe some French inspired stripes here and there. (Ok, maybe a crazy textile once in a while.) On a daily basis, I wear a lot of black, jean, and grey. But when it comes to flowers, I love color. Bright, bold, saturated. I can't help it. There are just so many amazing flowers and different hues-- having to work solely with a minimalist palette would be unfortunate.

I recently did a Belgian Masters inspired still life DIY for Gardenista. I went all out color-wise. Below are some outtakes.

For the full DIY and final arrangement, go here.

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 truck through cities and muddy roads, all the while chatting us up.  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 fields.

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.

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