Saturday Morning Flower Arranging Party!

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On Saturday morning, I had a little flower arranging party at my house. I partnered with Fifty Flowers and ordered a gorgeous box of ranunculus! They also sent along the sweetest box of white spring flowers. I added in a selection of local stems as well, invited a few friends over and we made bouquets while we munched on radishes, bread, and cheese and enjoyed the prettiest, sunny morning in the garden.

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We made hand-tied bouquets which you can see the instructions for right here.

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We had ranunculus, hyacinth, anemone, larkspur, buplerum, daffodils, dusty miller, myrtle, and queen anne’s lace.

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Waxflower always adds a nice wild flavor to arrangements.

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It’s so fun to see what combination each person comes up with!

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Here’s Elizabeth and her pretty pink bouquet of poppies, sweet pea, dusty miller, hyacinth and waxflower. The lovely larkspur from Fifty Flowers, on the right.

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Flower messes are always pretty, right?!

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Here Chelsea from Type A Press starts a bouquet of larkspur, scented geranium, and ranunculus.

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This is me gathering some flowers for my own little bouquet.

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Here’s lovely Alyssa with her bouquet of anemone, buplerum, ranunculus, hyacinth, muscari, and larkspur.

Thanks to everyone who attended the party! It was such a great way to start the weekend. Thank you to Fifty Flowers for sponsoring and to Lisa Warninger for the incredible photographs! Ad design by Scout’s Honor Co.

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A Workshop with Aran

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A few weekends ago, I traveled up to Seattle to teach a food photography and styling workshop with Aran of Cannelle et Vanille. It was so fun to collaborate with Aran and to share our process with a roomful of students! I styled two vignettes and Aran made food for them. The top one is an English-inspired tea party with a plate of Eton mess.

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Aran’s studio is just a dream of bright light and pastel colors.

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This vignette was inspired by saturated paintings in ink blue and berry red. Aran added a salad, roasted tomatoes and stacks of cheese.

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Aran and I walked students through a typical shoot. It was such a blast! Thanks to all the students who attended!

Photos by Elerflower Co. and top photo by The Bounty Hunter. Thank you to my intern Erica Gomez for assisting!

A Visit to Michael’s Cabin

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I love including posts here about people who are doing cool things. Making interesting things happen. And I don’t just mean that in a “find your passion” sort of way. I am inspired by people who live a life that fulfills them and is not heavily influenced by what others think, that might in some way contribute or add something interesting, beautiful, or thought-provoking to our world. My first conversation with Marie of My Life in Sourdough, you can read here.

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Today I’d like to share a visit to my little brother’s cabin. I had plans to do a proper story but was there last weekend with camera in hand and decided to just snap a few unposed photos. Michael and his wife, Audrey, have for a long time lived life way off the beaten path. Living an intentional, low-impact life influenced by travels to the countryside in Georgia, Mongolia, Siberia, Benin, Peru and, and many other places. I asked Michael to sum up his lifestyle philosophy in one or two sentences. He says, “My lifestyle is inspired by village life in the former Soviet Union. Specifically the republic of Georgia and Siberia where my friends build their own houses, grow their own food, fix their own cars and where previously, participation in the cash economy was minimal.”

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Michael teaches himself about lots of different things from carpentry to bird watching. He and Audrey built their house and the banya (sauna) next door to it.
Many of the materials are cast-offs from friends or family. The window sashes are built from reclaimed cedar steps and the glass panes are from an old truck cab.

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Michael still wants to add mud to the walls inside the cabin, which has a small living room, kitchen, and woodstove downstairs, and a sleeping loft upstairs. The house has an outdoor shower and an outhouse. They collect rainwater and try to keep their water usage to two gallons of water a day. They produce just one small plastic grocery bag full of garbage a month. They aspire to be self-sustaining, inspired by the former Soviet Union where until 2004, 70% of produce was grown by household gardens (that percentage was probably closer to 90% in the countryside).

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Nearly everything they own is recycled, thrifted, or bartered.

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Above, the Russian-style sauna, and the entryway to the house.

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Michael is passionate about living a life true to his values. He says, “It used to be that parents and community taught children the skills of subsistance and how to sustain traditional culture. Now we are taught in school how to build empires. I am trying to regain the old skills. I am not interested in building empires.”

Thank you, Michael for the visit! If you have questions for Michael, feel free to leave them in the comments!

Photos by Chelsea Fuss.