Just a little. I’ve been so SO lucky to have whirlwind success with Flora Forager, but I am scaling the learning curve of business very slowly. I’m trying hard to make good decisions, learn how to say no, and pace myself. I feel so guilty when I refuse offers, and at first I would say yes to everything and anything that came my way, but I am only one person. And I’m still a full time mom! I get several emails a day and it takes me hours to respond, and I have lots of collaborations and custom orders to work on. I am having trouble catching my breath! Just today I was looking over a contract, made a cover for a magazine, a logo for a business, did three interviews, added new products to the shop and advertised them, and made some of my own unique pieces that I was excited about doing. Oh and I also took care of my kids. It’s just crazy!
So my blog is getting shuffled to the side a bit. Not that anyone is keeping tabs, but to be honest my true love is right here, writing and blabbing about random things. I am not cut out of organized cloth!
Like for example: I feel haunted by Klimt’s Three Ages of Woman. I am so worried that I’m turning into the third age. The second stage is so beautiful, a brightly colored full woman with flowers in her hair, and the third stage is decrepid and depressing. I realized that I must counteract that image in my mind. I must create something beautiful for the elderly. The wise, sage, and seeding beauties. Darn it, Klimt, those are the GOLDEN years! You ought to have given the third stage more beauty.
It makes me want to write poetry about long lost memories. To paint silvery hair with moonlit flowers. To imagine ageless spirits held inside aging vessels. I want to give that thought precedence over all the rest right now.
But I need to get some work done. When I get it all figured out I’ll be back!
I awoke with a view of Mediterranean Islands, palms, cypress, and citrus trees. We are staying on the grounds of the summer home of a noble Renaissance family, now an arboretum. This port used to be where ships from all over the world would bring seeds. 500 species grow here.
We are staying in the little cluster of houses to the left on the hill.
Beau made crepes with local eggs and we are eating them with waxy, crystallized honeycomb and lemon straight off one of our garden trees. We look down off our terra cotta balcony to the jeweled sea below. It is silent save for the centuries old aquaduct rushing past and the sound of birds.
Today we shall explore sea castles and get lost in Dubrovnik’s winding streets. As they say in Croatia, Bog!
Remember this little series? Africa, Bavaria, Scotland, India.
I think I pooped out sometime around when Oliver had his surgery. Yesterday Jamie, Oliver, Harry, and I went to the bluebell wood to take some pictures. It feels so good to have her here. She is such a caretaker and as much as I hate to admit it, I truly need caring for. Since she’s been back she’s cleaned out my fridge, taken my kids on adventures, babysat, done my dishes, and now taken some beautiful Flora Forager head shots. She never asks for anything in return. There’s nothing like a good sister…and I have two!
But back to the past and her more nomadic days…these are a smorgasbord from her posts on Vietnam and Thailand. You can see more on her blog.
I am so in love with this Russian girl’s photography! She uses trained animals and a fantastic imagination to create dark, magical, and hauntingly beautiful scenes. I’m enchanted!!
My three wild boys and my dear friend Sarah’s sweet little girls went on a foraging adventure for Stella Kids! See our pictures and shop the new spring line at Stella McCartney.
They dressed up in the most darling designed clothes inspired by the English countryside, and then went on a jaunt to the arboretum and the conservatory. They had the sillies for sure!
I can’t tell you how delighted I was when Stella Kids asked me to collaborate. I adore them! I made some pieces inspired by their new spring line, choosing to work within a fantasy theme.
Hazel wore a unicorn dress, so of course I made a unicorn.
Harry wore the little froggy cape so I made a frog prince.
I made a dragon simply because my son Finn asked me to make one for him, and children have the best ideas! And I felt it coincided well with Stella’s whimsy.
A red castle for the castles in the English countryside.
A crown for Stella’s perfume. It has peony, amber, and rose. And the bottle is purple! How could I resist making a piece inspired by that?!
Afterward we came home to make a rainbow out of some flowers I had “foraged” from the market. We had so much fun!
Thank you Stella, for inspiring such a fun, flowery afternoon! xx
P.S. Harry and Fiona were born the same day, (one in Scotland and one in Seattle). We call them “the twins”.
Remember how I planted Fleur De Lawn last year instead of traditional grass? Well my very first English Daisy popped up today. I’m so proud!
I’m still a little in shock. I started the instagram account just four months ago! I can’t believe how well it’s been received, and all the kindness I’ve been shown by its followers. I can’t wait to see what the next four months bring!
I’ve been gardening. I was sluggish about it this year so I sat down on my front stoop drinking coffee on saturday morning until I could. not. stand. it. any. longer. I pulled one weed, which turned into two, then more, then all of the garden patch along the path. Then pruning, and fertilizer, and slug bait, and then the desire for the scent of cypress and lavender and tall italian sunflowers…
Now I have some frilly silver lavender, hidecote english lavender, and “snow white” cypress ready to go in, three different varieties of sunflower seeds: sunzilla, multicolored, and chocolate.
I’ve been watching the British murder mystery series Rosemary and Thyme and not only do I love a fun mystery and those two dear ladies, I adore the gardens! It’s so inspiring to see an unruly plot of land turn into an organized, beautiful spot in the span of one week. I figured it was high time I took some of my own English garden dreams into my hands. I’ve always opted for the meadow flower approach with flowers going every which way, from seeds I scattered without any care. But lately I’ve been craving more symmetry and balance.
Here are some examples of my last house. We called it The Collins Cottage: Granted, this was when it was at its most beautiful. It didn’t always look so colorful and meadowy! In fact, as soon as everything started to die, it was a huge undertaking to clean up! And with a newborn on a blanket crying for me in the grass it was nearly impossible to ever feel like I could do it justice!
So. I’d like to have a bit more control over my current garden. The lavender and cypress trees will flank the path at the front, then my box hedges will shadow them, and in between I’ll put my fillers and creepers and more cottage-ish fare. I am always so eager to see it all grown at the start that I put everything much too close together. I’m going to space my plants out and let them grow into each other. We’ll see how it turns out!
I happened across this beautiful instagram feed today. @byvanessaleigh It was too good not to share!