What to wear?

Now that I have the date set for my art show I must think about the most important* thing… WHAT should I wear?

I’ll never get to walk down a red carpet, have another wedding, or go to prom again (at least I’m assuming I won’t…you never know.) So now’s my chance to pull out all the stops, wear whatever says “ME!” and encompasses my art. Someone online said I should wear a little black dress..If it comes to that you’ll know it’s because my body has more of an “I think we should look eight months pregnant!” idea than my brain’s “let’s be a runway model in a garden” idea. The goal is to look as much like FLORA FORAGER as possible, whoever she is.

Here are some fun things I found while perusing the botanical underbelly of the womens dress industry.

This “I’m going to paint botanical prints by a pond” dress…

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This Briar Rose dress that would have me hearing Flora’s voice say “make it pink!” in my head all night.


This “I always wanted to be Miss Frizzle when I grew up” star gazing dress…


This “Someday I’ll go to one of the monarch migration spots but for now they can migrate to ME” dress…

This one I actually bought online and I wish so badly it looked as good on me as it does on this model…


This “I never got to be a flower girl so I must indulge my inner child” dress…


The Free People Magic Garden Party dress that Beau bought for me for my birthday last year, was the wrong size, and then sold out. :(

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No matter what I end up looking like, I hope I feel at ease. *Because I know it’s not really important at all….

(But what shoes should I wear?!)

Flora Forager Art Show!


On November 1oth I’ll be a part of the art walk on Capitol Hill! Journals and prints will be available (and some wine!) and I’ll be creating some pieces on site so you can see the creations in real life!

Niche Outside is a gorgeous little garden boutique run by the owners of Fleurish floral studio. It’s very posh…all gold and white and crystals and fancy pottery. There’s also a little ice cream/cheese shop and a restaurant next door, so you can make it a fun date!

Please do come! I’d love to see everyone. I’ll be super nervous and probably a little awkward or hyper but it will be wonderful to see what people think of my art in person and to celebrate all things floral! We ordered all the prints in larger sizes than usual, and printed on boards, and they are stunning!

See you there!




Of sunsets and joy.

Choose joy. It’s a little phrase my mother always says. Every time you leave she reminds you, “Choose Joy!” Though I may have rolled my eyes quite a few times in my youth, I’m sticking to those words like a bur today. I’ve had a phantasmagoria of anxiety lately. But I’m not going to dwell on the reasons. I believe positive thinking attracts good circumstances.

There are rainbows all around me as I write. Oliver made me a white paper bracelet so I can hold it up to a rainbow and it looks like I’m wearing one. On the coffee table there is a children’s book open to a page identifying flowers and a mug that I found in the fridge filled with the dregs from yesterday’s coffee…a burst of energy filled me as I added milk and exclaimed, “sweet deliverance!”

I’ve seen leaves falling like confetti from trees, sat under a big pine tree among pine cones looking up through feathery branches lit up by the sun, met many happy dogs, and delighted in the bright proud smiles on my boys’ faces after playing soccer.

I’ve had some really sweet fan mail from people whose children love to see my art, those who have been depressed and find solace in glimpses of nature, and someone actually made a cartoon portrait of me!

I have a dog who has the softest fur in all the world, who loves pets and fetch and doing tricks. I have three poppets who beg me to snuggle them every night. Who exclaim I am the best cook in the world when I make them top ramen. Who constantly need me, and isn’t it good to be needed?

My mom texts me a picture of the sunset every night. It has been a constant thing in my life for the last two years since I moved away from the sea. I asked her to send me a picture if there was a good one, and she has stayed true to her noble task. No matter what kerfuffle of shit is happening on any given day the sun will always set on it. Whether I choose joy or not. But isn’t it nice to be reminded?





I woke up in the middle of the night and started answering all the emails I ignored the day before.  Read, but ignored because I didn’t know what to say.  But then I couldn’t sleep because I knew they needed to be answered, and I didn’t want to go another day with them on the back of my frazzled mind. I texted my dad back about something and he wrote back, “Go back to bed!” oops! But my half asleep brain told me I had to finish.  I was in a frenzy. In my last email I felt so mean…I was a good business woman and had to say no to someone…but then I felt terrible and and couldn’t sleep some more. Beau turned over and asked, “are you alright?” I responded, “I need to be a shark.”  Screen Shot 2016-09-09 at 11.30.04 AM.png

Image by James Boswell

Yesterday I had one of those clairvoyant conversations with a friend, where you feel like every word spoken is a prophesy for your life. Insight and encouragement. And crazily enough, she said the same thing. Be a shark!

I’ve been fretting and worrying lately.  The big, scary word PRIORITIZE keeps coming up and it makes my insides turn to goop. How to say YES to the things that rush you down the river of prosperity and peace, and how to say NO to the things that keep you in the stagnant water of disillusionment and anxiety…I still haven’t figured it out. But I got some great advice yesterday.  HONESTY. I think much of my internal wrestling comes when I’m afraid to speak the truth.  If someone asks me to do something I don’t want to, but I feel bad about letting them down I seize up and don’t know what to say… the emails pile up, my heart starts hurting, and I end up finding ways to check out of my life.  If I’m bothered by things but don’t know how to say what’s on my mind I get more and more irritable until I lash out. I need to be more of a cool headed shark in relationships and professionally. If I can’t figure out how to be a good shark then I’ll just be a shark in frenzy, or worse, lurking in the dark in eternal restless, sleepless frustration.

And the end goal is to not have to be a shark at all. The end goal is to learn to be a shark when I need to be, and the rest of the time be some beautiful creature of the air, barely touching down to earthly matters for a few moments until I can rise up and start living creatively and freely again. Like an owl or a moth. My friend gave me the vision of a spider weaving magic, spirituality, and wonder. I want to be someone who knows how to be entirely honest, then moves on to the important task at hand. I have always felt a deep purpose, almost like a burden, to unveil and cast beauty in this world. I don’t have time for demons, addictions, bad juju, or not knowing how to say no. Sometimes I need to be a shark.

The Flight of Butterflies

The boys and I just watched this sweet documentary on Netflix about Fred and Norah Urquhart’s quest to find out where the monarchs were flying to. Theirs is such a sweet story of a lifetime of scientific discovery and the cinematography of the butterflies is so breathtakingly beautiful!Collages168

I’ve always wanted to go to the “secret” spot they go to hibernate. Just imagine millions of butterflies swirling around your head!  Oliver is determined to go too. He said, “we’ll catch fish at the river, so we can have some food to barbecue when we live there.” I love his little optimistic mind! I told him we’ll plant flowers butterflies like so they can come to us instead.

I painted these pieces a couple of months ago. I’m a monarch lover!

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There is nothing new under the sun

The theft of artistic expression is a common theme among artists. I’ve had conversations with many friends about what they think is and isn’t acceptable in the way of copying or plagiarism in art. One of my friends had to hire a lawyer to get someone to stop selling the exact same jewelry design. I’ve had a friend ask me what I was writing about for an article for a magazine, then miraculously write a piece with the same thesis and submit it to the same magazine, making me look like the copier. A unique friend of mine had a friend start dressing exactly like her, styling her hair in the same exact cut and color, and suddenly she no longer had a fun friend she simply had a lot in common with, but was looking in a mirror. And a florist friend creates some of the most original breathtaking floral arrangements, then gets copied by high profile artists, who then get the credit.

But the line is a blurred one, because we’ve all been living in the same world, with the same ancient poets and writers and painters. Try to create something entirely original and it’s impossible.  You’ve seen it before. Unless you lived under a rock your whole life and suddenly picked up a paintbrush there is no conceivable way you’d be able to create something new. I’ve copied the styles of my favorite artists countless times, trying to make it my own but loving a color scheme or a brush stroke that I saw worked well. And if Keats were alive and one of my friends today, I’d have a lot of explaining to do for my romanticism tendencies. Look at Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac. You can hardly tell their paintings apart, and during their time there was a bit of a jealous rivalry going on. Edmund on the left, Arthur on the right:Desktop59

Some things you have to just let go of.  Copying is the highest form of compliment, they say.  With Flora Forager it’s almost been like a fun workshop we’ve all been playing around in online. Floral art is new and exciting and if someone else makes something similar to me then, great, we’re having fun with the same idea.

And some things are genuinely thought of at the same time. I wrote a book a couple years ago about moth fairies who weave magic carpets.  Come to find out, there’s already been a book written with the same premise! Some of my friends say that even if someone steals an idea, no two people can write it the same way. “No one can be just like me anyway,” as Pink sings on the radio. As much as I would like to think I am the only one who comes up with something, I am proven time and time again that that is impossible.

And the copiers are also an important cog in the creative wheel…if you want to stay relevant and growing, you’re going to have to come up with new ideas.  There’s no room for stagnant water in the creative life. You gain tantalizing ideas and new expression when the zeitgeist flood rushes in. Time to reinvent, try something new, and come up with a new idea. There is nothing new under the sun, but you can learn to keep a few eggs in your basket, secret from the world until publication. I’ve sort of learned that the hard way but I truly think the copiers are a part of life. I can be aggravated by an idea being stolen, or I can say…hey! I’ve got another idea! and move on. It’s not an easy thing, but frustration can be the spark that fuels the creative force. Eventually it will become obvious who’s shining with talent, and who’s glittering with fool’s gold.