Friday, March 31, 2023

DIY as a beginner in flower arranging: Flexibility

     There is a comfortable Do-It-Yourself level for most adventures. Joe and I were in charge of flower arrangements for the altar at church this Sunday. Having grown up in the Dustbowl, I know not flowers. But in a painting, one often chooses two colors opposite in the color wheel; and I thought that would work with flower design. I knew to cut off dead ends from stems and whatever would be under the water line in a vase. We headed to Trader Joe's where I have watched people choose a variety of greens and the prettiest blossoms delivered each week. Only after choosing, buying and creating our arrangements did I think to Google "flower arranging for beginners!"

       Joe and I chose a pair of the church's bronze vessels to flank the cross. But only now am I finding one is to create a base with greenery. People enjoy odd numbers in designing, but this can vary. Sources suggest you think of balance, harmony, and emphasis. Google says to add to the base, focal flowers and filler flowers.  I didn't follow any order or design, but worked from the back forward.  Online you can even find numbers of particular flowers that should be in a particular size in arrangements. Ignorance is bliss. Arrangements may grow to several shapes, so dive in to discover your style.

        Last spring, we chose the colors of the Ukranian flag. This year, I wanted to copy Carol's irises which were in season. The store presented the most intoxicating white roses. The bouquets would be up against a flat background. We naturally had to design to fit our limitations; for instance, the back side of the arrangement is not visible. Mostly, I loved the thistles the color purple of the irises and greenery suggested by strangers in the store. I had wanted tulips, but the roses were compelling. I stuck in old tulips back home. Always be able to turn on a dime and don't be afraid of the dark. "Miracles are for beginners." (C.S. Lewis)

Friday, February 17, 2023

Tennyson: "So many worlds, so much to do, so little done, such things to be."

      Wanting  to learn something new daily (theme of this year), I find I am lucky to produce ANY thing. On Valentine's Day, for the first time, I PURCHASED rather than created cards for the grandchildren. I was inspired to do something because I ran across an elementary school "Special Delivery Love Truck" son Jim made that had heart shaped wheels carrying stuffed red lips (think Claes Oldenburg) with a tag to pull to show teeth. Caught up in the spirit, I stepped into one store to find cards and simple little gifts to wrap to drop off for the youngsters.Since poetry happens in February, I added rhymes for each grandchild. When delivering, I spied on a shelf a small round canvas in a Valentine box. I must have painted the lovebirds before or at the time Bill and Beth married in 2000. She is sweet to save.

       Grand Erika was born on Valentine's day and likes historical fiction. I had just discovered Marie Benedict's books on interesting women that are a pleasure to read. My favorite Book Bub introduced me to Carnegie's Wife;  and I had read her The Personal Librarian about J.P Morgan's helper. Joe and I piled  four paperbacks by this author to wrap:  The Other Einstein (Relativity), The Only Woman in the Room (Wifi),  Her Hidden Genius (DNA), and Carnegie's Maid. Some of these are in the stack on my table I have attacked. I am enjoying reading again, however distracted coming out of the pandemic with always too much to do.

       Next I was tempted by a Great Courses ad with seriously reduced prices. Three just arrived: Social Media 101, The Everyday Gourmet:The Joy of Medterranean Cooking and Writing Creative Nonfiction on DVD's that I can watch on my big computer. Joe says the noise won't bother him since I am always making noise in our shared study. 

Note: Unfortunately we did not know that cadmium had been found in dark chocolate and included a bar in the grand's Valentines!