Time has been needed to recharge from the previous months, a complete drain has reawakened a direction for the new year. This is a time to rethink, not reassure. I ask myself what is to be gained from these entries? This is not a practice to look for the reasurance of status, or for the validation of market culture. These thoughts have changed my floral pursuits, so with this opportune moment I put my business aside to learn from those greater than I.
A continued intent to share the essence of flowers, the subtle beauty that surrounds us and how we can heal ourselves and others. To the clients who have been dear, exceptions will be made as I am here to serve.
To see more pics of my trip home please click here>
The last smell I distinctly recall was a watery stack of Stephen Shore photographs, a putrid stench of chemical emulsion, flood water and mold. A similar odor while demoing wet sheet rock from a flooded home in Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn.
These being the furthest from the alluring dreamscape of floristy, with a general preference of keeping matters light and florid detailing each season with the scent of geranium leaf, peony and the antique fragrance of lily of the valley. A honeymoon encapsulated in perfumed bottles from the Amalfi Coast, the last waft of Shalimar as my mother left for a ball, or that sea of lavender in the South of France -all powerfully evocative.
'The Art of Scent 1889-2012' a show at the Museum of Art and Design has debuted this month with an unprecidented look at this scented art form. “The fundamental goal is placing scent as an artistic medium alongside painting, sculpture and music.” For however “brilliant” or “extraordinary” the greatest scents may be, they’re not recognized as works of art, and the artists who create them are not recognized as artists.”
The ritual of bathing, a dab of scented oil, a lotion can turn an ugly day into an instant escape. My daily ritual love is for Aesop's line of products. With an unfussy truthfulness to the products a jar can it turns any old day into an enightened experience.
On another note there are times when no added scent should used in order to breath in lifes trepidations.
- click HERE to see a gallery of Storm-Battered Photos
The name Sandy brought to mind a first childhood friend. He was a ginger haired glasses boy named Sandy, and all at once the nearest memory and distant past intertwine. Where is he now? What does Sandy do and look as an adult? Suppose lots of us have similar associations from named storms and people.
This is Memo, pretty certain he will get a storm named after him.
Hurricane Sandy brought something last experienced 11 years ago in September. Both occurences left the city on quiet lockdown and with no power or ability to leave, days were spent with my truely's Esme & Devon. They made it up to my place the day the towers fell and up to them I went after the storm.
"It reminded me of the way a friend described Manhattan after 9/11: Uptown was a color movie, downtown was black and white." Joyce Wadler "Lessons Gleaned in the Glow of a Giant Night Light"
Perched atop a hill my childhood home in Tucson, AZ would be moated from the monsoon rains. The bumpy dirt road a river and tiny bridge a pebble under the rapids. Looking out over our cliff to see a gushing body of water where desert was once, a thrilling site to see.
As an adult the scope of natures disasterous effects make the danger far from exilirating. Admittedly having not payed enough attention to reported catastrophies in distant places before, life quickly enough patches up and moves on. The nuisance of having no power for days is ok, but to those who lost a home, a life, or an artist life's work..
My post Sandy week has been saving drowned art works on tabled triages between sheets of bounty. What is to be saved and the sickening act of pitching a piece worth 30k into a trash heap. After the flood many Chelsea galleries are faced with uncertain reopenings.
To help where we can do the most and keep moving forward through the frustratingly slow recovery with the tenacity of any weather worn torn New Yorker. This Thanksgiving will be an especially important one for us as we have come together to warm those who are cold and feed those who are without.
Please consider a donation to New York Cares HERE.
Been doing much of everything, here is the attempt to share most of it with you.
The making of fall bouquets:
A respite in New Caanan, CT satiated the travel itch for an oh so brief moment.
- Philips de Pury auction of Murray Moss 'Dialogues Between Art & Design' The Michael Anastassiades 'kinetic light,' the slender Giacometti bronze a mere 30" in height sold for $3,000,000. Naoto Fukasawa's glass bench for a cool 15k had me transfixed to surfing the sea. My big take home was the auction catalogue.
- Hearing from landscape architect Ken Smith one of many projects is the East River Waterfront Esplanade. Built into the shoreline is a diagonal construction of concrete and stone for a mussle waterbed, a unique feature to rebuild ecology and clean the river water.
- Then to toast an evening with a book launch for Rose Hartman's Incomperable Women of Style
Next moring the spring bulbs were planted deep in the earth and we give a few more horrahs before the bitter cold sets in.
"Cities are like gentlemen, they are born, not made. You are either a city, or you are not, size has nothing to do with it. I bet San Francisco was a city from the very first time it had a dozen settlers.” -Will Rogers
Growing up the preference was for San Francisco, suppose until a parents visit during the big quake of of '89 a day before an 8th birthday shook out such dreams. Daring that 10 years later Manhattan became home. Whenever SF transplants make the move to NY I wonder.. why have they left? Without much explanation the reason is understood and such conversations solidify where these chips have landed. However, the 'left coast' holds a dear place in many of our hearts. Mind that ground beneath our feet...
This weekend took us 70 miles north of San Francisco to Bodega Bay. A small town Alfred Hitchcock put on the map for filming 'The Birds', being more of a Vertigo kind of girl kamikaze crows are too outlandish for my likes, but the quiet fog was unsettiling. Remaining attentive to the birds they payed us no mind and we went along our way identifying the forget-me-not, dill and fushia flowers.
A nice wedding weekend it was, but from it all the greatest enjoyment was driving across the Golden Gate Bridge and noticing its color of International Orange Red, a flash of my father and understanding as to why he chose to paint 71000 square feet of his 'Process Museum' in this famed reddish sienna color. I can see it out there burning in the desert sun I left.
*Previous posts from San Francisco HERE
Fitting how things re-connect as I listened to Bittar speak at Creative Mind Salon debates 21st century design.
We are constantly bombarded with the new and demand for the 'cool' which can be a struggle if we choose to keep up with, ultimately it has to come from within ourselves. Alexis Bittar got his enteprenurial start selling flowers from a handpainted cart in Brooklyn at the age of 10. By the age of 22 Bittar focused on jewlery and found his greatest design inspiration from the period of 1903 the Wiener Werkstätte movement in Vienna, vintage lucite and the Deco/ Art Noveu jewlery designer Theodor Fahrner. Elated beyond belief to share these periods as my design obsessions, especially as I chip away at the Age of Insight by Eric R. Kandel.
That which was the biggest take away from the evenings discussion was the geniuneness with which Alexis presented himself. "A hatred for style" a lover of fantasy and abstractions towards the future; for a designer that produces over 400 pieces 3 times a year, he explained that art and commerce is a balancing act and slowing down is equally important to the speeding up.
The fall is New York's time to shine and with the semblance of crispness in the air we headed out for an adventure through Westchester county, up past Albany to hip little Hudson and over to one of the many small towns, a destination spot that could be overlooked is Sharon Springs, New York.
We saw old friends along the way and excitedly welcomed a day with the fabled Beekman Boys. Sharon Springs is a place they discovered less than a decade ago, and with unbelievable hard work and tenacity they have shared these experiences and breathed new life to a dwindiling farming community.
The mansion is spectacular as are the 30 acres of pristine land they share with goats, pigs, turkeys and one ilama, Miss Polka Spot.
On Sunday as we headed back in the direction of the city reflecting on a full weekend of things we liked best, out of it all was this heart shaped rock on the Beekman property.
How did it get to be that way? Was it carved purposely as a profession of one's love? Simply discovered that way from nature? Or a bit of both...being the perfect stone to sharpen a tool and thus carving its corners to further the heart shape.
My previous post concluded with the thought of sharpening a dull edge and while the focus was on the sharpened edge, the stone is equally important and beautifully whole; with those two objects and the strenghth of carving perhaps the ultimate goal is to being the truest we can to ourselves and others.
just a thought...now as to the object recieving the sharpened edge, how about the neck of this turkey for Thanksgving?
For other east coast explorations from the summer are these posts:
It's always fun being asked to go extra frilly on floral arrangements, it's a style I know well and looks great for babyshowers. Local dahilas, French ranunculus, blushing bride, Dutch tulips and a few pretty prink spray roses were the choice for a bellini themed baby day.
My friend who is quite the design authority, a true modernist at heart, says arrangements with mutiple floral varieties make her dizzy, to which she prefers simple clean arrangments, I too can understand that aesthetic.
A clean, graphic, structural juxtaposition to the organic colorful nature of most flowers. Fashion & flowers go hand in hand and the Spring fashion shows are those which I look forward to most being riotous with color.
But other ideas piqued after attending the Hervé Léger Spring 2013 show. This was a clean change from the usual look, a more grown up approach and one I look to incorporating through more structured, muted palated arrangements. All of it brought to mind Alexander Wang's show last year.
So stay tuned as I work on sharpening a softened edge.
I'm back with glimmers of inspiration captured before they fade.
A couple weeks spent in a different kind of Manhattan, the beach kind near Los Angeles, California.
Summer has come to a close and September is here with the demand to refocus with life's tasks at hand. Farewell to the sound of sea while drifting to sleep, morning caffeine replaced with cold jolting dips in the Pacific. It takes commitment to put on a wet suit and drag a board out each day and rewards like a job well done, great work without pay.
Suppose anywhere one goes a complaint can be heard, I scoffed when overhearing a couple of daft LA women complain of humid weather. In such a place?! Not a bug in sight! Best hair days of my life in California!
Yet the bed is too firm back home, a reminder that life in the city never gets comfortable, neither do the narrow spaces in which we inhabit. Mental sorting and simplifying of lifes clutter, we trick our nervous belly butterlies into exciting challenges and recharge from the fruits of our labor to welcome a new fight.
Slight changes bring smiles, the scaffolding is gone from the building next door, the roses have rebloomed and the cool breeze has our windows open giving the sputtering AC a break. A stack of party invitations and familiar faced hellos welcome us home.
I like you more while gardening your city spots.
But especially like you when I can explore places outside the city and to surf your seas!
...and time spent exploring the North Fork to see where your bounty is grown!
Bear with me as I disconnect from cyber world..
I will come back with better attention to turn those likes into love.
"Young at heart" the phrase may be cliché but it pretty much sums up my time out west with mom.
I could go on about the Clifford Still Museum in Denver and the fact that this slick museum for one artist has 15 years worth of rotations (that's what the guard said and lets face it they know best) or the James Turrell show and discovering artist Scott Johnson, can I be one step closer to Roden Crater please? but for now that would be sidetracking from the semi-important point i'm going to make.
When mom calls to tell you she's bringing you out for her Ikebana flower show you do as you are told. Yes, I may be a florist, but with zero experience in this style of arranging mama was there to show me how. Yeah it could be a bit of a stretch.. but what the heck.
Silly little square I turned out to be! Her rad accomplished friend has a geodescent dome! (which I would love to remind you from this POST) The husband is one heck of a beeman too! Loaded with this newfound hive knowledge I showed it by eating a bit of the pollen the drones collected from its hairy hind legs. It tasted sweet and pasty, no allergies for me!
I'm not sure what my parents were trying to prove but this over the hill gang is totally living full throttle. Don't mean to brag...much but my gal pal and I got to be co-pilots in steddad Jack's high fly ride!
Clearly one of the cooler experiences, gulping our enthusiasim the focus of the flight was on more somber pretenses to see the damage from the recent fires in Colorado Springs. Over 6,200 acers burned and 300 homes where lost, meanwhile six other fires blazed throughout Colorado. Some caused from lightning, many from arson. The state is scarred and saddened from it all. We may be young(ish) with teeny spans of cyber attention but this again puts nature in clear perspective.
So there you have it.. mom showed me how it's done. Keeping up in the plane, hiking her trails, sea legging it on serious sail excursions and growing those plump tomatoes. Sure the woman has a knack for the thrill, life of the party too, but she is far from careless and sweet as can be. I sure do love my mama!
"Wild at heart" is the other phrase that suits you. The full gallery of photos can be seen HERE
We didn't have much of a season for roses this year in NYC. All of this heat has fried the flowers, so a tough gardening day was spent at Jefferson Market pruning the bushes, laying down buckwheat mulch to retain moisture and fertilizing with slow relese manure. Which is the stuff to use since regular fertizlier will burn with too much acidity.
It gets one thinking about this heat island effect and how crucial green spaces are to create pockets of shade to cool down a cooking asphalt city. Listening to talks from landscaping heavy weights of Hood Studio & Robin Key can really get one going on this topic.
But with all of that I now suffer from rose envy having seen London's Holland Park a few weeks back, those rosebeds were bursting!
Better luck next year..
If utopia exist it would be here, and its house would be the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art on the northern coast of Sjælland in Denmark. A statement which may change but thus far it takes the cake.
Have you been brought to tears from an exhibition? New Nordic-Architecture & Idenity did that. Left with regret for not purchasing the book, but as it goes the 2-d never achieves the actual experience, especially with architecture.
The city of Copenhagen is pretty much perfection & with 30 hours to knock through the suggested spots, lucky for us the sun sets past 10pm during the summer months.. La Glace for pasteries, a cortado at Coffee Collective & stroll through Christianshavn. Exactly 30 minuets was spent at Tivoli Gardens. Woohoo! Whirlwind!
The unexpected came from the weekend streets being swarmed with singing graduates aboard open busses, which is the customary 'to do' for highschool seniors. Remember that awesome feeling?
A city which has mastered bike culture! Making so much such sense why are most places slow to catch on? We returned thinking as to how we can instill a similar life here. Best solution so far is visiting again and devoting much more time to experiencing such a special place.
The rest of the pics can be seen HERE
The now turns into the recent past, then distant.. and as old memories fade new ones create.
Seeing a highschool best carving out an über cool life with her baby in Sweden makes for a wonderful excuse to see it all firsthand. Being with a faithful old friend fades any foreign feelings while strolling down cobble stoned streets recalling forgotten funnies with the loudest of American laughs.
May I also add the design houses we conquered which will be added to my interioirs wish list are:
and I especially have my eye on this swedish horticulturalist Coloni and this concept of indoor gardening..
A Scandinavinan life for me please!! The full gallery of photos can be seen here
Here is a citrus bouquet to bite your teeth into! Oh, and what a summer it's turning out to be!
A cool off Scandinavia style is next up and I will be eager to wow and amaze with pics of that my friends.
300 miles due south of New York and of equal distance of the Adirondacks we found ourselves in another rural spot: Cape Charles, Virginia.
Sipping Corona's on our low tide landing on this southern most tip of the Chesapeak Bay reflecting on the fact that this spot was formed from a 3 mile long comet landing here 35 million years before. Don't believe me? Read it.
A surprise weeeknd for a friends 40th spent pranking and partying, the most immature of college behavior reminds us we can remain young at heart.
Click HERE to see the full gallery of pictures.
It's been about time this city slicker see other portions the great state of New York has to offer.
Weekend trips spent discovering the endless pockets of seemingly untouched places, oh natures awesome beauty. One such place is Keen Valley.
The complete album of the photos I snapped can be seen here.
couldn't tell by looking but here's nyc shrouded in cloud
most of springs been that way..i'm not complaining though, especially when pruning these roses
this garden i've been tending to the symmetry is off a bit, but aren't we all..
Happy Memorial Day Weekend, here's to summer!
One of the only bouquets I snapped a photo of during the Mother Load of floral days.
Two clematis were my take home prize after the tidal wave at Sprout. The porcelain vase by Dutch designer Foekje Fleur van Duin evokes memories of my childhood kitchen as mom cooked and I cleaned the dishes. Like most of us I hated it at the time, if I could relive those moments now.
Hey Mom! Why don't give me a call when you are back from sailing the seas of Portugal?
*my mom is pretty badass