March 30, 2012

Birthdays and Bernie

I am in the midst of prepping for a few big events coming up this week and am surviving on caffeine, but feeling psyched. We just moved our studio from a really fun, albeit kinda gritty, work space in Red Hook to a REALLY large, incredibly exciting new work space in Greenpoint. It is exactly 1.5 blocks from my brother and his pregnant wife's apartment which means a few things. 1. Glorious breaks from work to play/feed/bathe my future niece or nephew. (They're waiting to find out. I vote nephew.)  2. I will be eating dinner at their house most nights. 3. They have cable. Need I continue with that thought?

I am getting very excited about this coming Spring and Summer. The new studio feels really good. Some spaces have that air to them and this is certainly one of them. It is brightly filled with beautiful natural light. Is is also HUGE. Like, enormous. I didn't even have a studio this big when I lived in Portland, OR, so we are talking big. Square footage like this is a completely foreign concept to me in this town. I am elated to be sharing this space with the ever so motivated, positive, and wonderful Nikole Nelson who is a rare talent. She knows how to make EVERYTHING and what is about to go down in our work space is insane. Here's a hint: A retractable 2nd level under a custom built table that allows bucket stacking on multiple levels. Um, holy crap.

I have a "milestone" birthday coming up in exactly 2 weeks and 6 days. Any guesses? Really? Shucks. You're too kind. It's nerve wracking and exciting. I am fond of getting older and all the learning it brings. I am a lot smarter and much more aware of the lots I have to learn than even a year ago. Hopefully I'm heading in the right direction. I feel luckier than ever to work with flowers. Even though I've been at this game for a while in different facets and in different cities, it's starting to make more sense to me than ever.

Last weekend on a jaunt to Hudson to see this gem, I met a older gentleman named Bernard (my middle name, in fact. Truth. Parents!) who was very interested in all things flora. I found myself telling him that I liked the juxtaposition of working with such fragile, beautiful, natural materials in such a hard, fast, concrete-filled city. At first I surprised myself with that thought and wondered, am I totally full of &$*%? But no, I'm not. It's true. It's weird in so many ways to be discussing ruffled tulips on 28th street between 6th and 7th avenue, but it's so awesome, too. These flowers keep us cool while everything else is so nutso. It might be more work to schlep them down crowded streets and across bridges, but once all those stems are trimmed and the buckets lined up, it all gets real awesome.

March 18, 2012

blur town

New York feels a little blurry these last few weeks. Running from meeting to coffee date to grocery shopping to proposal writing. Not feeling focussed. I had an astrology reading (yes, I did. And I loved it. Don't judge.) and was told I'm the kind of person who has a million ideas at once that end up all fighting each other and become hard to accomplish. Um, yeah. Thanks, Pluto and Jupiter for being where you were when I was born and for making my brain want to explode on a daily basis.

Time to start small. Make manageable lists. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Ha! We can try at least. Tomorrow I'm going to play with my nephew in the park and not worry about the rest of it. Even though I'll be going to see him straight from a meeting. Do what you can, right? Then get a massage and a tarot card reading.

*zinnias from last summer. Recently met with a friend of mine who has a livestock farm upstate and is going to experiment growing flowers for me this season. We tore through seed catalogues while our waitress poured us a couple glasses of wine. I did a lot of scribbling and starring of flower seeds that got me a little too excited. Over the moon about potentially growing our own persian carpet zinnias. Ambitious farmer friends are good friends to have. 

March 11, 2012

nod to travel

A quick hello in effort to keep myself on track here. The water is starting to bubble over. I can feel the busy-ness approaching. Lots of emails. Lots of meetings. Rewrites. More rewrites. Add this, subtract that. Peonies! Dahlias! No, garden roses! Ahhhh - brain exploding with flower ideas, color combinations, orders to place.

I recommend a quick stint in Hawaii to anyone feeling borderline about flowers these days. It'll fix that. It'll fix everything. Everything.

And to those of you wondering about Costa Rica and who silently cursed my name when riding crowded subways, go there too. I really mean it. Costa Rica is not undiscovered. Expats galore, that's for sure. But there's a reason for it. I've been fortunate enough to travel a bit (which is fueling an urge to see even more hopingtogotothailandbalivietnamsydneynew zealandtonameafew) But there really is something magical about Costa Rica. I've found in my two surreal visits there (both circling somewhat arduous times), things just make sense. Life is simple without being simplistic. The Pura Vida* is legit. Smiles are abundant. Friends are waiting to be met. I drank the kool aid and I liked it. And I'd like to offer you some, too.

*For those unfamiliar, wiki says, Pura vida literally means Pura = pure and vida = life, but "Pure life" in Spanish would be "Vida pura" instead, so the real meaning is closer to "plenty of life", "full of life", "this is living!", "going great", "real living","Awesome!" or "cool!" It can be used both as a greeting and a farewell, universally known in Costa Rica and it has been used by many Costa Ricans (and expatriates) since 1956. 

March 7, 2012

Double Rainbows and Pura Vida

I'll ignore my delinquency with this blog and immediately launch into tales from tropical places. I went to Maui (as in Hawaii. Ahem, HAWAII!!) a couple weeks ago to take a flower workshop with the even-lovelier-in-real-life Ariella Chezar. For the flower peeps out there reading this - yes, I did it. And it was incredible!

While at first I hemmed at hawed at the expense, the travel, the why does it have to be all the way in Maui - it took me all of 35-55 minutes after landing to realize HOLY SHIT THIS IS AMAZING THAT IT'S IN MAUI!

Go to Maui. All of you. It is crazy. Whales flap to say hello, rainbows pop up every five minutes, the fruit is so delicious and prevalent you can pretty much pick anything and eat it and freak out, cab drivers talk your ear off and hug you goodbye, you can hitchhike and it's awesome, the rain feels like heaven, THE FLOWERS ARE INSANE!!!!! Don't get me started on the mai tais. Actually, do get me started on the mai tais. That was a fun night.

Sometimes when you travel, it feels like everything lines up, works out, and you can really slow down and let it all take shape. I am a bit of a control freak - allowing things to take shape is not my forte. But added to my list of things I learned on vactation: let that shit happen. It's so much better.

There are more photos and many more tales. And there was an entire week in Costa Rica that followed this magical week. Lots of lessons were learned and a general feeling of bliss is sticking around this time. I am full on declaring that I am now a travel florist. I excel at arranging barefoot and beachside. 

p.s. have you seen THIS? I don't know how I missed this one, but I just about peed in my pants laughing when my friends first showed it to me in the back seat of a car in Maui. And then the next day, we SAW a double rainbow and I shared this jewel with my dear friend Courtney. Needless to say, watching this with a mai tai in hand leads to falling off chairs and convulsing with "ugly laughter." It's so intense.