birthday love bouquet

Celebrating a big birthday this week. Picked this little bouquet last night and it feels so vibrant, so fresh, so festive. My favorite flowers nowadays take a few minutes to put together.

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‘I brake for wildflowers’ bumper sticker by Maria Schoettler, take a look at my visit to her studio last summer.

eating flowers

Edible flowers are so popular now, they are dripping off of plates everywhere! Even if they aren’t the main focus they are pretty as a garnish. One thing floral designers have always run into is using fresh flowers to decorate wedding cakes. Clients will show photos of cakes decorated for a photoshoot, not really to be eaten and want to do something similar. It can be tricky, but do a little research BEFORE you use flowers in or on your food. Is it edible? Was it grown to eat?

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These were just for photos, not meant to be eaten and include things I wouldn’t eat. Always check it out BEFORE you use them. Flowers on the side of the road are beautiful, but covered in toxins and should never be used with food.

easy flowers

I am a daisy lover, any kind is a favorite of mine - they are so joyful and remind me of a sunny day. Feverfew is an easy cut flower to come by and is also very long lasting. I found this antique English platter at my local thrift store for two dollars. It’s a celebration of spring and I thought it would be great to use for a centerpiece on my kitchen table. I tried bottles with different heights of spring flowers, but it looked too messy, so I simplified with these yogurt cups clustered tightly together. The violas are from six packs I bought at a local nursery, they are a quick shot of color outside in the cold months and look really nice as a cut flower too.

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Simple vessels are good to have around, I’ve gotten so much use out of these yogurt cups!

May

First half of the month;

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Flowers in a mason jar for my son’s teacher.

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Blackberries are blooming and I love my new silver clogs!

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This moth came to rest on our back steps, then we found her dead and dried and tattered a few days later. I thought she might like a ring of flowers around her.

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Always looking for the magic, here through a dandelion.

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I love, love, love that my son likes to cut flowers. Here a little glass full with his crayola scissors!

Speckled Eggs

Easter is almost here. I love decorating for it with all the spring bits that are coming to life. The great spring mash-up where all the colors and flowers go together and are beautiful!

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I bought a dozen quail eggs from a local farm that my beloved produce store carries, the speckles are wonderful and celebrate the season. I’ll decorate eggs with my son just before Easter, but I do love decorating with and photographing bare eggs, like these previous years.

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Doing flowers or any other kind of decorating is an expression of you and doesn’t have to be hard. Use what you have, a little goes a long way and experiment.

Some Easter decor from other years, Kashmir eggs, egg cups, or floral rings.

Cake Plates

What could be sweeter than a plate full of flowers? Chocolate cake (maybe)?!

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This is a very simple old stand-by chocolate cake I’ve been making for years. It can be dressed up with frosting or eaten simply as an afternoon snack. It’s a depression-era cake which means you probably have all of ingredients in your cupboard and it doesn’t call for eggs or dairy so, it’s vegan.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

preheat oven to 350

1 1/2 cups flour

3 tablespoons cocoa power

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 cup cold water

1 tablespoon vinegar

In a large bowl, sift all of the dry ingredients together. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients. Stir until there are no lumps. Bake in a greased 8 inch pan for 35 minutes.

All photos & styling Silvanie Farmar Bowers

fairy flowers

I absolutely delight in the idea that there is magic outside, unknown spaces of play and imagination.  When I was a child, I dreamed of seeing flower fairies, after my mother's suggestion that they were fluttering around the wild orchids on the drive up our wooded road.  If only I could be quick enough to see them for just one second!

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This spring, I started making bouquets of wisps of leaves, fruit and flowers small enough for a fairy and turned into an almost weekly ritual (#fairybouquetfriday).  

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Just a few minutes and just a few flowers, and of course a few photos!

All photos and flowers by Silvanie Farmar Bowers

What do we look for?  How do we see? What do we focus on?  A capture in time and fleeting moment, an embodiment of that moment. Sometimes you just need a blast of color.  Bursts of bright pink.  

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Long before I was married, I used to watch (a lot of) movies with my husband and we said if something was filmed well, you could press pause at any moment and the still would be great.  We used to do that so much and time and time again it proved to be right.  That maybe all of this hurry up and get on to the next big event or mile marker in life is missing so much. Lets press pause more often.

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Finding Creative Space

The idea of creativity during motherhood has been circling around.  

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Before having my son, I was always working on creative projects both for work and myself.  I've always taken photos as a hobby of sorts, since I was about sixteen.  After twenty years, I'm taking a break from "working" as a floral designer and I'm noticing that now that I'm not "working" as a floral designer, I'm taken a lot more photos of flowers than before.  Melding my work into something else of sorts.  Flowers have always been a tremendous part of my life and I don't think I will ever stop working with them - just in different ways.  Anyway, I got lost along the way of talking about motherhood and being creative and finding the times and the tug-of-war one can feel.

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As to finding space, I have to make it in a house with a five year old where every space needs to change during the day for the next project or meal - I tend to set up things to photograph on my kitchen table when I have time.  It's got the best light in the house and easy to have a little undisturbed time and a fast and easy clean up.  Life is messy and constantly moving with children.  You can't be too precious, you just have to find a way to push through.

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blissful blues

I love the iridescent glow in the blues (and merging into purples here).  Blue, the color of quiet; still or crashing waves.  I come to water for calm, for reflection, for peace. 

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The sweetest little powder blue forget-me-nots that pop up along my fence.

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Floral on floral, I remember playing with scraps from my grandmother's vintage Liberty of London fabric stash when I was little.  One of my favorites was one of their iconic florals in blues and greens similar to this one.  

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Looking for more color?  A post about summer color and rainbows.

 

All flowers, styling and photography by Silvanie Farmar Bowers