My Eternal Question at the Moment

Jul 8, 2014

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Since I always have an eternal question, and somehow it always (often) changes.

How to make a floral something that mixes this:



With this:
And this:



But that still looks all wild and crazy and shiney-like. It's Stan Brakhage meets Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time"-- my favorite song EVER--  in Romi and Michelle's Highschool Reunion. Opal nail polish meets Europe.  ...In an arrangement.



A Hanging Orchid Garden in Buenos Aires

Jun 25, 2014

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My uncle's orchid garden in Buenos Aires is nothing short of amazing. I wish I could tell you that his expertise runs in the family, but he's actually my uncle through marriage, so... While I can certainly claim that I have NOT-a-black thumb, I am not the wizard that he is.



Read and see more images of his garden on Gardenista! (Family, because I think you may just be the only people reading this, click where it says "Gardenista!"). I also wrote a DIY that shows you how to create a hanging orchid for your home or garden. Check it out here.



A Walk Through Buenos Aires

Jun 1, 2014

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Until May, it had been almost 5 years since I had visited my family in Argentina. I used to go almost every year, so this is way too long to have been gone. I had almost forgotten how much I love it, how inspired I am by its landscapes, its lushness and beauty, and of course, my history there. Buenos Aires is old and grand, an urban city with a lot of character, a little bit run down and a lot a bit beautiful- Spanish and French architecture, lots and lots of lush green. So much to see. Here are a few shots of the city, and a link to a must see spot I wrote about on Gardenista. (It's also my dream space- a café, flower shop, tea shop, design store all in one. YUP.)

















Bringing the Outdoors In...with Photographs

May 19, 2014

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I'm very psyched about this post I did for Gardenista because, as you may have already gathered, I am just a little obsessed with photographs. I am constantly snapping them, for work and for fun, and they are, save a few special knick knacks, the only artworks that adorn my walls. I like my photographs BIG, so big they could almost be a window, a view onto a beautiful, luscious world.
So, for Gardenista this week, I wrote about bringing the outdoors in with large scale photographs. Check it out here. And what I would give for the photo that's featured, by photographer Emily Nathan.





Crocus, Strawberry Leaf & Magnolia Arrangement

Apr 23, 2014

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I just like the sound of it- Crocus and Strawberry; it can't get much better than that. Oh wait, yes. Yes it can. Throw in a big ol' cloud of MAGNOLIA in your face.

This arrangement & Gardenista story I worked on for Emily was a FUN one, a small but very inspiring day/project, and one I will write more about later, when I am not so tiiiiired- early morning at the flower market today and a long day afterwards; but spring is here, so many exciting and beautiful things in the works, and lots to share. Check out the full arrangement story on Gardenista. Also. I LOVE Gardenista.




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.



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