Palm Springs Cactarium

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Just when you thought our work here was done, I found a lost roll of film under my bed from Palm Springs. 

I had a pulled pork sandwich at the Ace Hotel that day, we took some photobooth pics and as it started to rain, Michael and I ducked into the Moorten Botanical Garden, a homespun 1 acre plot jampacked with 3000 desert plants. The day was finished off by a banana date milkshake and the long drive home to LA. I think the catci should be flowering soon, and I'd really love to go back to see it. 

California part 2

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Before we move on from California, (how does one do that, ps?), let's talk for a minute about eye-popping west coast vegetation. Citrus, cacti, jasmine, eucalyptus, and date palms. Succulents, agave and avocados. Pomegranate trees in parking lots.

One morning, we snuck two ruby red grapefruits from tree branches so heavy that they seems likely to break. Back over the kitchen sink, we didn't even bother with plates or knives to eat them. A revelation for a girl from the mid-atlantic.
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The most bizarrely wonderful thing about Southern California is that you're within two hours of the truest of deserts, the Mediterranean countryside, an overgrown jungle, a palm oasis or a snowy mountain top. Or Beverly Hills with a convertible full of shopping bags like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.

I'm eager to go back and take it easy the next trip. Eat a few more tacos, go to the farmers market and Rose Bowl Flea. Sleep a bit later and sun a bit more. I won't be holding my breath for the convertible and shopping combo though, a day in the dirt always wins here.

Joshua Tree

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I spent 10 days in Southern California at the beginning of the year. New Yorkers have this thing about California. We've internalized Annie Hall to the point where we're convinced that the effervescent sunshine out west must be hiding deep, dark secrets because how else could the weather be so damn nice all the time?

The only secret I found out was how happy and at ease I felt there. It was in no small part because of my tour guide and his highly selective greatest-hits tailored perfectly to a country yet city girl who likes getting dirty but more often than not needs a nice americano in the morning and wants to inspect up-close every cactus, leaf and flower under her nose. It was a whirlwind, and I think I felt the most inspired and energized during our time in Joshua Tree.
UntitledThe Mojave and the Colorado deserts join forces in Joshua Tree and visiting it's rocky terrain is something of a pilgrimage for artists, hiking vagrants and U2 fans alike. I fell hard for the desert, so unfamiliar and fascinating. It was cold, even by East Coast standards. As we scrambled from rock to rock, our toes froze and required a thaw courtesy of some spicy indian food and the car heater on high. The next day it snowed, shattering many Southern California conceptions. Happy surprises, all around.

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To describe the beauty in Joshua Tree as subtle, especially in winter, seems the easiest solution. A rocky abyss, brown, brown, brown and dusty enough to camouflage the blackest shoes in a matter of minutes. But subtle doesn't remotely describe the huge cactus spikes, hazy mountains, coral wildflowers and chartreuse lichen. Little fighting plants everywhere you look, huge boulders balanced, seussical trees for miles and banana date milkshakes at the local diner.

It's put me in the mood for geodesic domes and cactus gardens and while it couldn't be further from all of the things that speak of home to me, I somehow felt at home there, too. When expanding your horizons, an expansive horizon is always a beautiful backdrop.

Valentine's Flower Workshop

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I'm hosting a Valentine's Flower Workshop on next Tuesday night, February 12th at my studio. Champagne, flowers, cheese, lots of inspiring ladies and gentleman- it's the Valentines Day present I've always wanted to give myself. The class is open to all skill levels and limited to 8 students. Handmade valentines included!

I've been trolling the flower market and forcing forsythia in preparation. Also doing intense creative calisthenics, my kitchen table is covered in vintage ribbon and hearts and flower scraps. Glue sticks. Last night's red wine. I'm ready for you.
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For the past few years, I've fought celebrating Valentines Day. Hiding behind flower jobs and beating myself into the ground, running around past the point of no return. This year, I'm feeling relaxed. Happy. No beating. No running. No hiding. Just celebrating flowers and fun, and finally passing the halfway mark of winter.

I'm hoping to see some of your happy faces on the 12th, here is how you can sign-up for the class