Friday, January 31, 2014

turquoise mug, ivy

This is just a leftover sprig of ivy in a coffee mug I use all the time. They wound up together on the windowsill only because they were both near my kitchen sink! I like this combination, though. Turquoise is always pretty combined with fresh, dark green.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

gumballs and pine tags in baking dish

This is the same arrangement that was sitting in the windowsill yesterday, but I decided to drop the black pin cup (the container holding the pine tags and gumballs) into a little orange baking dish. Boy did that wake things up!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

gumballs and pine needles

This is a little concoction made of gumballs and pine needles. The gumballs and pine needles are sitting in a black pin cup. I put a white plate behind the whole thing only because the pine needles didn't show up against an outdoor background, but I like the way form of the round plate works with the forms of the other materials.

Monday, January 27, 2014

dead sweet gum leaves

Why is it the simplest things are always the most satisfying? I picked this twig of sweet gum leaves up on my walk this afternoon just because it was such a great, deep, dark brown. Then it took about 15 seconds to drop it into this little tin measuring cup. Finished. Viola. Fini. And I'm really enjoying looking at this!

 There are also some sweet gum ball stalks on this stem and one pine tag that was clinging to the stem when I found it.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

pine cone in a pin cup

This black pin cup has been sitting around the kitchen since I used it has this nearly dried ivy has this half-eaten pine cone. I promise, it was the squirrels, not I, who ate the lower scales on this pine cone!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

something green

This is what we all wish we had today--something new and green coming up in the yard. This is actually a hellebore floret I harvested from a larger Stinking Hellebore flower I picked before the snow. The stick is from a nandina shrub.

Friday, January 24, 2014

gumballs and pine tags

Thank you to everyone and everything that enabled me to take a walk at 5 pm today. The ground was crunchy with snow and I came home with VERY cold fingers, but my feet were warm (thank you, hiking boots!) and I felt better than a person with a bad cold should. The best things about the walk were: the sound of the snow/ice cracking under my feet, 2) the gumballs sitting in little wells of snow along the path, and 3) the pine tags arranged in all sorts of configurtions along the way--some lying prostrate across the top of the snow, some standing upright, piercing the snow like daggers. I carried a few gumballs and pine tags home, and here they are.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

dead leaf in medicine box

Actually, I feel so much better today, this is hardly relevant, but on Tuesday, this is the arrangement I thought I should make: dead leaf emerging from box of cold medicine. I like the snow in the background of the photo AND the fact that I felt well enough to take a walk and find this leaf today!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Linda's Lenten rose with cedar

This is a precious little arrangement I encountered at Linda Armstrong's house this morning. It was sitting on her dining room table and I moved it over to the windowsill to photograph it. Love the combination: Lenten rose flowers with some eastern red cedar.

 Here's the same arrangement in a different windowsill. I like the shadow of the cedar foliage in this photo.

Monday, January 20, 2014

dead paperwhites

The story behind this, and the beauty of what preceded it, are so much more interesting than this photo (taken with my cell phone). Mary Garner-Mitchell set a gorgeous table that included antique lace placemats and linen napkins held with napkin rings (little clay pots like the one in the photo, bottoms removed). And she embellished each little pot-napkin-ring with a tiny cluster of dead paperwhite flowers. They were the coup d'grace! They were the color of antique lace, the texture of old, thin tissue paper. And it was such a thrill to see their color and texture appreciated, their beauty celebrated in this way! Mary is a genius. I grabbed some of the flowers, dropped them into one of the bottomless pots, and photographed them on Mary's windowsill just to memorialize their beauty. They look sort of sad in this photo, but, trust me, they were gorgeous on those napkins!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

more of the same

I just added a couple of things--an orange and a hunk of hellebore foliage--to yesterday's array.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

bay leaves, pear, pine cone

Not much time or energy for windowsill arranging tonight, so I just lined up some things that were already nearby--a pear, a pine cone, and some bay leaves a friend had given me (gathered from her own plant, I think). It was fun snapping the bay leaf twig into couple of pieces, because the fragrance of the bay leaves filled the air (and communicated itself to my fingers!).  

Friday, January 17, 2014

orange, ivy, oven mitt

Well, this began when I wanted some yellow in an earlier arrangement and tried tying my yellow dishcloth to it. But the dishcloth was just too ratty! Instead I decided to prop this nice, clean oven mitt up in the windowsill and then, well, I just started playing with equally pure forms and colors. The leaf is a gigantic ivy leaf.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

tiny kale leaf in wooden vase (with snow)

This was actually more of a photography challenge than an arranging challenge. I put this tiny wooden vase up on the meeting rail of the window frame hoping I could capture the snow on a beautiful evergreen outside the window. That proved more than my photography skills could accomplish! I like this little arrangement, though. The leaf came from a wee kale plant that germinated in the dirt of a geranium I'm overwintering indoors.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

shuffled materials, plus orange and pear

How all this accumulated in the windowsill is almost too complicated to explain. If you look at this blog every day, you'll recognize all the materials but the orange, the pear, and the book. The book is something I used to stabilize the NewYorker magazine yesterday. It might as well have been a piece of cardboard yesterday, but this morning, as I was dismantling yesterday's assemblage, I actually looked at the book I'd used to stabilize that magazine and loved its spring green. Everything else (which I grabbed from previous arrangements and the frig) evolved from that.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

more purple

I can't seem to shake my current fixation on purple! And when this week's New Yorker arrived, it was purple, too. I decided to use it as a prompt for an arrangement. Here is with an "arrangement" created from the purple ornaments I used on Sunday and a shelf fungus (behind the ornaments). I harvested the shelf fungus from a log I photographed on the windowsill Jan. 2. Such lichens last forever, so I'm sure I'll use this one over and over.

Monday, January 13, 2014

quiet ivy

Sorry this is so out of focus. I took the photo in low light with hand-held cell phone. Anyway, this is quite simple and quiet--just a couple of variegated ivy vines in a bottle. Suits my mood (and energy level) tonight.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

purple ornaments, discarded soft drink can

I knew there was a reason I didn't want to take these Christmas balls back to the shed! I didn't even use them in decorations this year--they were leftover from some other year--but they somehow made it from the shed to the house and sat in my utility room until today. I guess my subconscious somehow knew that I would run into this discarded soft drink can on my walk today, that it would be as simple as pie to drop the cluster of Christmas balls and a hunk of green hellebores into the can, and that the result would make me smile!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

geraniums + fog

The fog this morning was so beautiful, and here's a photo to prove it. Took this from my bed this morning--geraniums blooming on the windowsill.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

cure for seasonal affect disorder--pansies

I think you're supposed to take Vitamin D to counteract the effects of long, low-light winter days, but here's a floral remedy: pansies. How could anyone look into the face of this pansy and not feel cheered?

Better yet, take two doses of  pansies!

If two doses of pansies don't cure you, take three. 

Truth be told, the pansies growing in my winter garden don't look this good. I needed pansies for a photo a friend is taking tomorrow, and I picked these at Ashwood Nursery this afternoon. They had several plants growing under cover and were happy to let me pick a few flowers. "The more you pick 'em, the more they bloom," as my mother used to say. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

eternal euphorbia

I had to look back in my own blogposts to see how long I've been playing with this sprig of euphorbia. It seems I first put it in a vase on the windowsill on Dec. 18. As its lower leaves have faded, I've kept shortening it and shortening it until today, it's quite short, but looks fresh as can be. I'm astonished by how long this one stem has lasted--and it looks nowhere near death even now.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

demitasse with pine cone

This decorative little cup and saucer was headed to Goodwill, when I decided I should use it as a windowsill container at least once first. Dropped one pine cone into the cup and--Voila!--a new take on something that used to belong to my grandmother. Maybe I should keep it!

What I really wanted to capture this morning, though, was the frost on the windows on the north side of the house. So beautiful. Here's my attempt, not very successful.

Monday, January 6, 2014

bottle brushes

This began with a note to self: "need a better bottle brush photo." The photo below is one I took for an arranging book I'm working on, but a friend who looked at the manuscript said she thought I could come up with something more interesting. "What would Martha do?" she asked, meaning what would Martha Stewart do to make this subject more interesting. I have no idea. Suggestions welcome. The best I could come up with was to use the brushes as if they were flowers (photo on the left). I combined them with some collard ribs and fern foliage in an olive oil bottle. But, used this way, you can't tell they are bottle brushes.

Just had an idea--reshoot what's above with a fern lying flat on the brown counter with the brushes. That might be sort of Martha-esque. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

solidarity scarf

It wasn't all that cold today in eastern Virginia, but I did wear this scarf on a walk. Decided to use it in my arrangement in solidarity with those experiencing bitter cold. It was easy to wrap around a jar, but I immediately wished I had a kilt pin (when was the last time I thought of one of those?!) to hold it together. I used a hatpin instead. The greens are osmanthus and laurel; the red berries are winterberry (salvaged from an earlier arrangement).


Saturday, January 4, 2014

carrots, such as they are

Had I known I was going to use them in a windowsill arrangement, I'd have been much more selective in my choice of carrots! Knowing I was going to use them in a windowsill arrangement, I'd have looked for  carrots with nice narrow bases and graceful tips. Instead, here's what was available from the plastic bag: of carrots in my crisper drawer.All this was inspired by the Territorial Seed catalog.  The blue vase is a plastic vodka bottle with its top cut off. The green flowers and leaves came from a stinking hellebores (Helleborus foetidus) growing in the garden.

Friday, January 3, 2014

when a lichen becomes a cauliflower

I always love the Territorial Seed Co. catalog covers, and this year is no exception. Does their cover artist have a beeline to my brain, knowing just what colors I'm hungry for? This year, it's blues, yellows, oranges. So: I set the catalog up in the windowsill and decided to use it as a prompt for an arrangement. Here's the result (using only natural materials and a vase I already had in the house). The vase provides orange, a piece of variegated holly some green and yellow, and a piece of shelf fungus (torn from yesterday's log) looks remarkably like the cauliflower in the photo. Tomorrow I may try this with a blue vase, because I could play with these colors forever!

A mistake--I put water in the vase and it is leaching up into the shelf fungus changing its color.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

lichen-covered log

I found this pretty lichen and shelf-fungus encrusted log in the woods a week or so ago. I've had it sitting outside on the front porch, but today I decided to bring it in and display it on the windowsill. So pretty!  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

collard greens, on exterior windowsill

It was so pretty outside today, I couldn't resist doing my windowsill arrangement on an exterior windowsill. It was catching warmth the same way I wanted to! In this little black, cup-like pinholder are two ribs of collards (leftover from leaves I stir-fried for breakfast) and one collard leaf I scrunched up into sort of a rosette.