Flower Designs

Liken’ the Lichen

As you’ve seen from previous social media posts, I have thoroughly enjoyed photographing lichen and mosses this rainy winter season.   I’m not quite sure how or why I’ve become a little obsessed with it.

What I once considered a plight between the cracks in the pavement, I now have an appreciation for the beauty and fortitude of moss and lichen.  Maybe it was seeing it’s use in floral design that made me see it in a different light.   Or maybe it was my walks around my neighborhood wanting to find any plant life that I could photograph for social media.  Heck, it could stem from my love of Richard Ayoade (some of you will get that). Whatever the catalyst for my new found appreciation, I am so happy that it happened.

Lichen is a composite organism that forms from algae or cyanobacteria living amongst multiple fungi species in a mutualistic relationship.  Lichen are not plants and come in a variety of colors and structures.  Some may be small leafless branches, flat leaf-like structures, flakes that look like peeling paint, a powder-like appearance or other forms.    (sourced from Wikipedia)

Moss are small flowerless plants that grow in dense green clumps or mats in damp or shady locations.  They do not have seeds but have stalks that contain a single cell filled with spores for use in fertilization. (sourced from Wikipedia)

Lichen and Moss are fascinating and add a patina in our everyday life that goes unnoticed.  So next time you are out for a walk, eating al fresco, or just simply out shopping, don’t just stop and smell the roses, look at the moss/lichen that is growing on the side of the building, in the cracks of the pavement, or the branch of the tree.  I know you’ll see the beauty in it, too.

 

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May your day be filled with flowers!

Image from channel4.com
Business, Classes, Flower Designs

Teaching

I have mad respect for people who teach for a living. The ability to give someone knowledge is awe inspiring no matter the age of the student. It’s not just imparting your expertise on those wanting to learn, but there is so much work that goes into making sure that just one class goes smoothly and that you capture your student’s attention.

I have always had a fascination with teaching. I would play school when I was a child. In elementary school I was a teacher’s aide during the summer. Even when I was taking Floral Design classes, I was a teacher’s assistant. So it’s only natural that I incorporate classes into my business plan. Mind you this is not an easy task for me. Standing up in front of others speaking, engaging and teaching is very hard for this introvert. However sometimes the joy or desire of doing something out weighs the scary stuff.

Just about this time last year, I taught a wreath class…this was my first class I had ever taught on my own. I loved it. I felt good, it felt natural and it felt satisfying. So this year I vowed to myself to hold more classes. Yay, me!

My lovely, talented students!

Great…so there is my commitment but that left me a quandary. What do people want to learn? Finding projects that are interesting, yet easy and fun is not a simple thing to do…at least not for me.

So once I’ve come up with a lesson I have to plan it…which means I get to do a little playing in my studio. This is how I came up with my April class of a Spring Basket Arrangement. I’ve been wanting to make birds nests for a while and had thought it would be a good class. But just making a birds nest wouldn’t make for a very intriguing project, so I thought it could then be applied to an arrangement. The perfect spring decor.

Coming out of this very rainy winter season, it was so wonderful to be able to work with the spring flowers. Pussy willows, larkspur, tulips, heather and ornamental kale was a dream to work with and made for a colorful, bright display. (Though the lighting in this picture doesn’t do it justice.)

Once the subject of the class is determined there is still work to be done. Marketing, ordering, organizing and prepping before students arrive. While this can be a little daunting, I do enjoy this process as much as the designing.

Just like any job, there is much behind-the-scenes work that goes into teaching just one class, so I can’t even imagine tackling a full semester curriculum. And I don’t have to grade papers! Like I said, mad respect for the teachers out there.

You will learn so much in this class…easy flower arranging, nest building, and bow making. I could teach a class just on making bows!

If you would like to take my spring basket arrangement class, please email me at marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com. Class details are below. And if you aren’t able to attend this class but would like to hear about upcoming classes, please follow me on social media.

Spring Basket Arrangement

Sunday April 14, 2019

11am-1pm (snacks provided)

RSVP by Friday, March 29 to marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

As I work on scheduling more classes for this year, I’d love to hear what type of classes you’d like to attend.

Follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs
Blog post: marmaladeskyfloral.com
Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day be filled with flowers!

Flower Designs, Travel

Portugal – Sintra

On our last day in Portugal we finally made it to Sintra to visit Palácio da Pena (Pena Palace). Sintra has four palaces that you can visit. Each one different and all beautiful in their own way. We had plans to visit both Pena and Quinta da Regaleira, but due to the very dreary weather we only visited Pena.

First off, let me say that Pena Palace is beautiful and something out of a fairy tale. Inside the palace the décor is amazing and the architecture is stunning. However, you are herded through like cattle. While we made friends while in our cue, there were times we were being pushed along by others. You can pay only to walk the grounds and not go inside the palace.

That all being said, it is so worth a visit if only to walk the beautiful grounds and see the stunning vistas (not that we could see them due to the weather).

Mind you, I was having a blonde senior moment and wore my sandals. I had put them on to walk down for breakfast and forgot to change into my tennies. Silly me. We were in the Uber half way there when I finally notice…of course it was at the same time the rain started. Oh well…I don’t melt.

If you love photography, Pena Palace is the place for you. Even with my very amateurish abilities I was able to get some great shots of the grounds. And these were just from the path to walk (uphill) from the ticket booth to the palace. Most Instagram pictures of the palace are when it’s bright and sunny out, but I actually loved this moody, mysterious vibe that the drizzly rain gave to my photos. It did prevent us from exploring too much though as the pathways were a bit muddy.

Ok less talking…more pictures. Please note these photos are unfiltered.

First the palace. While it’s not flora, architecture is important in design and is a fascination of mine.

Look at these cute little cyclamen. It’s hard to tell from the picture because I zoomed in but these are itty bitty. I’ve seen small cyclamen in like two inch pots but these seemed even smaller. Could just be that they were in a massive forest. No matter…they are precious.

It was told to us by our tuk-tuk driver (we took a tuk-tuk back down the hill) that King Ferdinand II collected trees and plants from all over the world (including sequoias from North America) and planted them on his property. His collection is so vast that it created its own ecosystem and that the weather we were experiencing was more common than the sunny skies you see of the palace in all the pictures.

While I was a little disappointed that we didn’t have views from the palace overlooking the town of Sintra and seeing the other castles on neighboring hills, I have to say the artist in me loved how these photos turned out.

 

And…because I’ve become moss obsessed…some close-ups. 😍

 

Follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
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Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day be filled with flowers!

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The dreaded sandals on a rainy day.

 

Flower Designs, Travel

Portugal

Last year, I was so lucky to be able to travel to Portugal with my very best friend, Heidi. She is my soul sister and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate our 50th birthdays than this trip. She did have to put up with me taking a million pictures and yes, dear readers, I took many of the plant life there. Mind you, I was truly fascinated by the architecture…so beautiful and intricate. The tiles were colorful and awe inspiring.

Honestly, thinking back on the trip I was remembering very few trees and plants throughout the streets of Lisbon. I was thinking of the praças (plazas) that were located every few blocks that had maybe one tree next to the coffee/beer huts with tables scattered underneath them. But even in the more residential areas that were we staying in there were very few trees or flowers. And then I went back and looked at my pictures and realized, I wasn’t wrong, very few trees along the streets but just as many Jardims (gardens) as there were stony praças. And two were right in our neighborhood…three if you include the Botanico.

Our first day there, we visited the Jardim Botanico which was only a few blocks from our apartment. The grounds were beautiful and we took a leisurely stroll through. I hadn’t ever seen this lovely pink blossomed tree before… called a Chorisia Speciosa or silk floss tree. A relative of the baobab tree which you can see in the way the bottom of the trunk is shaped.

In the Jardim do Príncipe Real (which was the district we were staying in) there is this gorgeous Cyprus tree that sprawls out so wide that they placed a iron arbor underneath to hold it up. Spectacular!

Of course I had to find flower stalls, shops, and wholesalers.

Lisbon is so large that I think we could have spent another month there and not see a quarter of it. But, we left to explore other cities. Our next stop was Coimbra which has a large university situated at the top of a hill. We, unfortunately, could not visit the university’s Botanico because of a hurricane that had come through the week prior and damage was done to some of the trees. Which I had noticed on the train ride up, seems a lot of trees were affected throughout the region.

Check out these massive Kokadamas hanging in a window of a vegan restaurant we ate at in Porto…yes, I ate in a vegan restaurant and lived to tell about it. Lol!

Our final city that we visited was a day trip to Sintra. But I think that will be next week’s post as the gardens there were magical…especially because the day was dreary and foggy…giving it a very mystical feel. But you’ll see that in next week’s post.

P.S. For those of you who are following along, I’m happy to report I did my financial audit and my desk is still a mess!

Follow me on social media:

Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign

Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs

Blogpost: marmaladeskyfloral.com

Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day we filled with flowers!