When you walk up the stairs to my apartment, the first thing you see, is a nook. It sort of glows and it's one of my favorite things about my apartment. My dad had the genius idea of adding a skylight above it, creating THE PERFECT light box. Since then, it's been the place where I photograph many things/all the things, aka flowers.
At first, it had old plywood as a base, and I loved this weird unfinished look. (It's that imperfect/perfect balance that I always crave). At this point, I wasn't paying too much attention to it, but I would put leftovers from work there- a spare branch, a lonely flower (less is moremoremore). It's the first place I can set down what I'm lugging up the stairs (heavy buckets, bundles etc. etc.). And I loved the way things look there. Its sparseness, and empty, deconstructed feel.
The plywood was replaced by a nicer piece of wood, and then while I was away, my brother had white stone installed, really making it into a light box. The way the white reflects the light....OY.
I love the way the light changes- the afternoon is pretty magical (y'all know I'm a light chaser!)
I'll be selling bouquets and arrangements at Lunya's Sleepwear Showroom in Santa Monica on Friday, May 8th, from 10-7pm. You can pre-order here: http://www.lunyacompany.com/collections/all and if you'd like a Saturday delivery, you can email me! firstname.lastname@example.org
I went a little camellia and magnolia crazy this winter. The magnolia is no surprise; but the camellia... I hadn't been in California at this time of year in a while, and forgot how insanely amazing these beauties are. The real winter rose. Camellia plants like to explode with blooms; the bushes/trees- whatever you want to call them- were covered in pink, white, stripes, deep fuchsia/red. It's incredible.
Lately I have been working on so much restaurant/hotel stuff that I haven't had enough time to work with flowers. (At the moment, I am helping with my family's business- organizing, restructuring, remodeling etceteraaaaaaAHHHHH). AH for real. It's intense, and while I miss working with flowers, I am also really excited about the changes that are coming for the hotel and restaurant. !!!!! And I'm adding to my GIRLBOSSness and learning some hardcore lessons in business and life.
It's a bit ( hmm, very) stressful because it's a steep learning curve and a million other things I won't go into (mortgages & operating agreements?! no thanks). Since I haven't been able to work with flowers lately, I have been enjoying daily twilight walks, during which I drool over all the crazy Los Angeles plant life. Succulents are blooming like I've never before noticed; the rain followed by sudden heat has made the wisteria go bonkers....eucalyptus trees and their fuzzy bright blooms, passion vine. It's all too much, and I am scheming and planning the first garden I will plant in my adult life (how is it even possible that I haven't yet done that?!). Not working with flowers gives me space to think about why I like them so much (& long for them). For me, they are healing (slippery slope, here I aaaaaam, riding the avalanche). They're so real and unreal and they make me feel connected to the present and at the same time in tune with some magical otherness. (I think they do it to us all, even if you're not aware of it). They mark the seasons and if you pay attention to them even just a little, they can add smell and shape your memories and periods in your life. In my dreams, I create an epic, large, wild garden where I host events that are all about flowers and food, and where people come to play with flowers and chill.
When I was in Boston, I met one of the head gardeners of the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, Taylor Johnston. She is so inspiring. Warm soul. After a degree in horticulture, some time working at flowers farms and botanical gardens, she got a Master's in Philosophy, and then went back to working as a gardener. I love her perspective and thoughts on gardening, plants and flowers, and I wish I could really describe it here for you. Formalism and informalism, communicating the ethereal, the special and the extraordinary; perfectionism; sustainability vs. artful choices. What an inspiring visit.
Just layin' it out on the table.
aaaand that concludes my Friday-night-fried-brain philosophy session.
A few rainy Sunday's ago, the light was perfect for photographing these violets. They have been so hardy and have lasted forever (at least a month, plus however long they were in bloom before I bought them). I've always loved them, but even more so now. Everything in Los Angeles continues to bloom and blow me away- a flower punch smack in the face. Right now the jasmine is insane- flowering everywhere, and stanking up all the neighborhood blocks. I love it. One small snip makes your entire room smell. I may be slightly exaggerating but I can't remember.
After a long week of sourcing materials- crazy drives, hardcore adventuring, and yes, highly necessary In-N-Out lunch breaks- Brittany and I had an amazing time teaching the workshop. It was, hopefully, the first of many. I am actually very obsessed with the materials and colors. They're so Los Angeles, and I can't even believe I ever thought I'd possibly not be inspired here. What an INSANE thing to think. INSANE.
We held the workshop at Sophie's beautiful studio. The walls are covered with her father, John Okulick's art.
This was one of my favorite pieces from the workshop. Isn't it incredible!?
Brittany Asch (BRRCH) and I will be teaching a floral workshop in Venice Beach at Sophie Monet's amazing art studio this coming Saturday, February 7th. You can buy tickets here: http://shop.brrch.com/product/los-angeles-flower-workshop-february-7th-2015 . I am veeeeery excited. I've been obsessed with the flowering magnolia that we've been getting here in Los Angeles, and you bet we're going to have it. And some striped ranunculus from New York. And roses. Because they're still blooming in LA.
Back in Los Angeles and things are way greener than when I left. It's a little magical. This wild cucumber vine is growing all over the hills. It smells so fresh and a little sweet. And this drawing. It appeared in my apartment-- it's one of the many random things that my dad has dropped off without notice. Once a week or so I receive a food or plant related item, usually. Sometimes it's a cookie, or a bunch of Eucalyptus, or a left over octopus ceviche in a styrofoam cup; sometimes an economy or business related newspaper article, entirely crumpled, and maybe it has chocolate stains all over it. Like many things in his car. And there are many things in his car. This drawing looks a bit like my mom and it's my muse right now.
This tumbleweed is inspired by the hills of Los Angeles, since they are something amazing this time of year.