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Fun stuff!

Artemisia absinthium ~ la fée verte” (the green fairy)

By | Fun stuff!, Language of Flowers, Sentiments in flowers | No Comments

There is so much to learn when it comes to the use of flowers and plants throughout history.  Not only the language and symbolism of plants and flowers, but also the medicinal and culinary uses of virtually every plant you can think of.  Artemisia absinthium is one of those notorious plants that have been associated with everything from witchcraft to divine healing and everything between.  In the language of flowers, Artemisia absinthium, also known as Wormwood or Absinthe, have several meanings;

absence, not to be discouraged, affection, bitterness, comfort, protection for travelers

Now, let’s break down these meanings –I love doing this, it’s amusing!

absence; yes, after consuming ‘the green fairy’ drink of Absinthe, you will become absent (from your mind?) and/or according to La Fontaine (the French poet and man of letters), absinthe is the worst of all evils. Therefore, artemisia was chosen to be an emblem of absence.

not to be discouraged; I’m not sure about this one, but perhaps eludes to the fact you’re super happy when you’re sipping absinthe

affection; you could become very affectionate toward others, again, after it’s consumption

bitterness; it’s a very bitter drink, as no sugar is added, which makes it not a liqueur, but a spirit.  Wormwood is the bitterest herb known and it’s symbolic association is with ~bitterness of spirit

comfort; it’s a body-warmer.  The alcohol content in Absinthe is 45-74% (!!)

protection for travelers; wormwood has long been considered protection from disease for travelers.  A recent article from World Health Organization recommends artemisia in low-doses as protection from malaria.  Artemisia is now cultivated in east Africa as a low cost and effective alternate to other costly pharmaceuticals for prevention of malaria

An 18th century French physician living in Switzerland created the plant-based all-purpose remedy. But absinthe as a casual drink soon caught on with distilleries in Switzerland and France. The three ingredients in absinthe are wormwood, licorice-flavored green anise and sweet fennel. Wormwood has a compound in it called thujone, which in high quantities can make one convulse and have a heart attack, but there’s only small trace amounts of it in absinthe, therefore it’s considered relatively safe. But, this is the reason absinthe, at one point, was banned all over Europe and U.S. Still today, absinthe is still a drink that strikes fear into the heart of many a spirit lover. During the days of La Belle Epoque, absinthe acquired a reputation as the mind altering choice of drink for Van Gogh, Zola, Rimbaud, Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec and a host of other bohemian artists and writers in Paris.

The ‘Lady Wings Absinthe Set, available from www.absintheonthenet.com

Absinthe isn’t for the faint of heart, but in moderation it can be enjoyed just like any other spirit. Traditionally, it’s served à la Parisienne — an elaborate ritual centered around an absinthe fountain, which is an ornate jar with spigots, resting on stand.  From this, ice-cold water is dripped through a sugar lump perched on a slotted spoon lying on the rim of a glass of absinthe. The moment the water is added the spirit turns cloudy.

Absinthe is enjoying a renaissance with many small, family-run distilleries blending their botanicals in the traditional absinthe heartlands of Switzerland and France.

 

On stands now—Country Gardens Magazine

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Available now on stands, my feature in the Early Spring Edition 2018 of Country Gardens Magazine! wow!  This was super exciting for me, and I’m so fortunate to have had this opportunity. Written so perfectly by Debra Prinzing, it’s a story called The Language of Love.  I am just so happy at how this turned out because sometimes, when you’re giving a story interview, it isn’t interpreted exactly how you articulated it.  Debra did a fantastic job at this, partly because she knows me–we are friends, but mostly because she’s a really great writer, she listens.  Debra nailed it here, and this story really captures the essence of what I’m trying to do with my business, the upcoming book, and Posies!

Teresa Sabankaya, Country Gardens Magazine Spring 2018

Here I’m am being photographed in the garden for the story,  All the photos in the magazine are by the fantastic photographer Erin Kunkel.

For my Bride Posy, Country Gardens Magazine

From the Heart-  A Posy for a bride to be ~

Love Letters Posy, Teresa Sabankaya

Love Letters Posy ~

Erin Kunkel photographing Teresa Sabankaya

This has certainly been a highlight for me, and I hope you were able to grab a copy of this beautiful magazine, or better yet, it landed in your mailbox!

 

Natural Dye Ribbon

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While in Seattle for the Slow Flowers Summit, I attended a natural ribbon dyeing workshop hosted by Susanna Luck of  Nettle Textiles.  Check out her website!  It’s so beautiful 😉

It’s been so long since I did something like attend a workshop for a beautiful skill like this!  What a delight it was, and Susanna led the course with ease and humor and was full of information and knowledge she was eager to share.  I learned so much and feel inspired and ready to begin my own dyeing now.

 

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Cute vintage clothespins with calligraphy were provided along with a sweet set of ready to go ribbons.  It’s always a nice touch to gift workshop attendees with a gift box of items conducive and complementary to what they’re there to learn.  That’s a lesson for myself!  I’m going to start creating a beautiful gift box for my workshop guests too!

Natural ribbon dyeing is catching on and there are some beautiful web sites that offer their ribbons.  I am excited to begin a new collection of perfectly dyed ribbons for our Posies!

Silk and Willow

Lancaster and Cornish

Froufrou Chic

And of course,  Nettle Textiles

Some of my favorites from Nettle Textiles

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Floral Fashion Styled Shoot -American Flowers Week!

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I have always loved a good styled photo shoot, but my heart soared and excitement set in quickly when Debra Prinzing asked me to create a floral fashion shoot in preparation for American Flowers Week, as well as a feature story she wrote for Florists Review magazine.

Wow, ok! All American roses are grown practically in my backyard by Paul Furman of Pajarosa Floral, and they’re sustainable too.  This project was right up my alley because it can be high fashion and it can be slow, organic and sustainable as well. Paul also supplies a growing assortment of other florals, such as the Ranunculus in the headpiece.  The Pieris and that AMAZING tree Peony is from my cutting garden.  There are also some grevillea tucked in there too.  I love the textures and colors of this, and it all magically sits on top of her head…right.  It’s actually a cheap headband from CVS to start with.  Then I wove some mesh wire from Oasis around it and molded it to somewhat of a fronted crown.  Then, lots and lots of floral adhesive!

 

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This spectacular beautiful girl happens to be my youngest daughter, Antalia.  Yes, another reason I adored this project! She’s been dabbling in modeling for a couple of years now and she absolutely loves it.  She seems to have nitch for it!  Some people have a natural gravitation toward the camera and Antalia has that, she always has. Her features and sculpted face seem to pop, and from childhood she’s always shined in front of the lens.  I have some absolutely stunning photos of her being her little self on the camera when she was 5 years old.  And now look at her!

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That tutu though!  My idea for a floral tutu came from Pinterest –a pin I had seen a while back and felt inspired by.  It turned out my finished product does not resemble it too greatly, but I think it is so much better!

Antalia already had the corset in her possession from a previous photo shoot, so I dialed in on that tutu I had been inspired by and the idea of the tutu and corset was born, and it was the perfect match if I say so myself!

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The mechanics and construction of the tutu and headpiece are what kept me awake for a night or two.  Actually, this is the same night-time anxiety that takes hold before any big display gig I’ve ever done.  Bouquets to Art was always a heavy-on-the-mind project.  What sometimes happens is that my visions and ideas don’t always hold up to the actuality of making the mechanics work! But I’m getting so much better at mechanically formatting my crazy floral visions with installations and now for the first time- fashion!  Oasis’s new wire mesh and flat metallic ribbon is what the skirt is formed of and then I used some foam pipe covers I found in the garage right at the top (around her waist) to help hold up the weight of the skirt.  That gave it the nice arc at the top.  I know—it’s genius. Thanks!