Last thoughts on the last bouquet of 2016

Uncategorized

mums-80thMy Mum would have turned eighty today, and here is the bouquet I made for her. I’d wanted to the roses to be a little more vibrantly peachy-orange, but the variety I ordered called Magma did not arrive.  This was the next best alternative.  Mum was a darked eyed beauty who positively glowed in those sorts of gold tones.

The rest of the bouquet is made up of two types of chrysanthemum, yellow daisy and green button, and my long time favourite, limonium. The mint, cerinthe purpurea, parsley and stokesia were all from my garden.  It’s also the solstice tomorrow, so these golden tones paired with blues speak to me of Australian colours at the beginning of summer.

For many people and for many reasons, this time of year can be particularly difficult. I am one of them.  It’s no secret amongst friends that I didn’t have the best of relationships with my Mum, and that my marriage failed at this time too.  I find the rammed-down-the-throat family togetherness messages only adds to the discomfort of the time.  I am thinking also of all those who have lost people in the last year and who are facing the first Christmas with their absence looming over them.  There have been two deaths recently in my world, and I am particularly thinking of my aunt and cousins, and my friend’s daughters right now.

This is not easy to handle. Nor do I have any particularly good advice on how to weather it.  I took plenty of walks in the cool of the day, had a few trusted friends on standby and avoided large crowds and noisy places.  That’s what worked for me, a classic introvert whose heart sinks when the door bell rings.  You’ll have to figure out your own sanity preserving strategies.

Frankly Christmas is mystifying to me. For actively committed Christians it is obviously central to them.  But for the rest of us?  It’s a crazy making, financially draining, calorie laden marketing ploy which relies on cheap foreign labour to make goods that we don’t really need and which probably won’t last the distance.

Sorry to be a downer there folks.

I’ll be going home, shutting the door and getting some much needed rest, no decorations, no special cooking, and a bunch of rented DVDs until all the Christmas specials, movies and advertising finishes.

However you chose to spend this time, I hope it works for you. Thanks for reading and may all your good wishes for yourself, your family, friends and the world come true.

Namaste.

Small (and scrounged) arrangements

employment, Floristry, Uncategorized

Having just lost my job, I have to review my approach to flower arrangement. Small arrangements with minimal purchased flowers and plenty of scrounging in my now abundant spare time would seem to be the order of the day.  This is my first experiment.

nut-dish

The vessel is one of those odd party dishes that only come out at Christmas. Never figured out what people use them for.  Nuts perhaps?  I selected this two dollar bargain from the opshop for its length (about 30cm) and shallow depth (about 4cm) and its fluted edges giving greater scope for keeping the material in place.

I bought one bunch of pure white chrysanthemums, because they are so long lasting, and everything else comes from my garden. I planted the pinks last year and they are still going strong.  The sea holly was planted in winter and the white one here has flowered.  I am still waiting for the blue.  The foliage is mostly herbs, springs of rosemary and oregano with its flowers, along the flower buds of the cotoneaster that hangs over the fence from the neighbours.

This is a very pretty pastel arrangement, dictated by the fact that after our odd weather of late there’s almost nothing in flower in my garden, beyond the trusty pinks, at the moment. Actually, there was one bloom on the radicchio that has gone to seed.  It’s the most exquisite blue colour and this year I will try to use it and see if it lasts.

The point is that with the white and green base, it’s infinitely variable. If you wanted zing you could try green chyrssies with orange calendulas, or bold red dahlias with scarlet perlargoniums.

The long slender shape makes it suitable for window sills and, I realise as I sit in front of my computer, it could replace the usual paraphernalia that clutters the desk.  Wouldn’t this little nut dish of flowers be a better sight?

computer-clutter

Year’s end

creativity, Floristry, PhD, Publishing, Uncategorized

I feel like I have a very great deal to catch up on!

It’s been a very busy spring. Between a major garden expansion, the continuation of my floristry night classes and getting my thesis accepted for publication, I have barely written a thing.  I also got my first floristry client too, and her reaction to the flower crowns I made for her gave me sufficient internal fortitude to enrol in professional floristry training.

My main priority between now and when classes start next year has to be revising the thesis in order to meet my publication deadline. This is a strange process.  I haven’t picked up my PhD since I submitted it and reading it again now in depth is highly illuminating.

Part of me is still astonished that I passed. I feel like I am falling into a tunnel as I read it, and that’s exactly what it felt like to write it.  I was in an ever shrinking world.  It is true what they say about specialisation. You get to know more and more about less and less.  I see how, as I leap from one highly esoteric point to another, how far gone I was.  Stress will do that to a girl.

It feels good to be making something more beautiful and accessible out of that raw material. But I still have to wonder.  Why does this process have to be so punishing.  I am currently watching two women friends walk this same path, and it’s not right.  Learning should not be this stressful and this painful.

Processes of learning are significant right now given that I am a student again. I went back to look at all the photos I have taken of what I made in classes this year and what I have practiced on my own.  Quite apart from realising that it was indeed a busy year, I also realised that for the VERY FIRST TIME EVER I kept my new year’s resolution.  I wanted 2016 to be a year of creativity.  It sure was.  And here’s a few photos to prove it.

Thanks to everyone who has followed my adventures this year, have a wonderful rest of the year and joyful start to 2017.  May all your dreams come true.