Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Springing forward

With daylight savings being just a few days away, something fantastic has also re-set its seasonal clock around here. The abundant winter rain that dumped this year made our funky succulent-ed entry really bust out with big time juiciness! Once shriveled jade plants, aeoniums, echevarias and aloes are now thick, thriving and fat with moisture. And, along with their new found lust for life, these plants are also hosting a variety of critters. My darling cat "Bones" (aka "Itty Bitty"- not so bitty any more) has made many new chewy friends and has thoughtfully introduced them to the rest of the household; usually when and where we least expect it. Examples - like right after dinner, or at 2:30am via the bedroom window (over my side of the bed, of course) or placed orderly next to my gym bag where her victim lays maimed, wiggly or dead as a door nail.

Her favorite new friends include: earthworms, some up to 6" long; alligator lizards, usually missing a limb and/or tail and the real fun novelty of late is a 3" long potato bug, ewww! This link should do the trick for those unfamiliar with this elusive, mysterious bug-thing... http://uploadwikipedia.org/wikipedia/ommons/1/1e/mahogany_Jerusalem_cricket.jpg . Darwin, my friend, I guarantee our crazy coastal niche would have impressed you!

But seriously now - cats, critters and natural selection aside, the important thing to share with my blog followers is that I often harvest succulents from our rain-soaked front yard. I find they make a fine ingredient in many a floral recipe. From boutonnieres to centerpieces - their effect is stunning, surprising and always invites both touch and comment. Heck, talk about shopping "local', eh? Lucky me! Oh, and my cat too. Photo courtesy: http://www.barnettphoto.com/


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Window shop

Whenever I need new ideas for floral creations, I look to window displays. In college, my favorite art classes were Color Theory and Exhibition Design...so no surprise that I find new color trends in their retail settings down right fascinating. Some people watch gobs of TV (my husband refers to this gizmo as the box with the little people inside), I watch out for color relationships -everyday! Yes, I totally agree, nerd alert.

One of my favorite places in Southern California to go "window shopping" is Anthropologie http://www.anthropologie.com/ . For those not familiar, this is a women's apparel/home furnishings store specializing in the modern-bohemian-chic aesthetic...amazing textiles, fashion designs, unique jewelry/accessories and inspired store displays. Beyond the impressive use of color, their merchandising gurus often focus attention on repetitive textures and shapes. Last week when I saw their recent display utilizing two other of my favorite things - recycled products and bicycle wheels - I blew a micro chip getting super snap happy with my little green camera (ask my pretty gal pal, Dawn - think I may have embarrassed her!). The tops of plastic water bottles were cut into flower blossom shapes, then airbrushed and splattered with mixed pastel colors , then layered and mounted on to chrome rims and spokes of old bicycle wheels. And then lastly, layered upon themselves...so damn clever!!! Check this YouTube video to get the gist of it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBmXMol9Qus

I have always wanted to teach art. Perhaps someday my crazy class will be called 'Color Theory - Recycle Scratch and Sniff 101' - a course combining light industrial design, recycled goods, methods & materials and lots of glorious colorama! Are you in or are you out?

Auf Wiedersehn,