Notes From the Office: Fresh-Cut Flowers

I’ve been wanting to share with you the fresh-cut flowers I’ve had in my home office lately. They brighten up my office, especially on days that are overcast and gloomy.

fresh cut flowers for fall

fresh cut flowers for fall fresh cut flowers for fall

I brought home three packages of gerbera daisies recently from the greenhouse where my mom works. The sales staff was going to throw away these daisies because they couldn’t sell them anymore. They only lasted about a week so maybe they weren’t as fresh anymore. But I’m not picky!

gerbera daisies for the weekgerbera daisies for the week

This next bouquet lasted over two weeks before I had to replace them with the above fresh finds.

fresh cut flowers

It turns out having weekly fresh-cut flowers also provides wonderful inspiration and drawing reference, especially this time of year when nature in my yard is slowing down and going dormant for the upcoming winter months.

fresh cut flowers in green fresh cut flowers in yellow fresh cut flowers in red-yellow fresh cut flowers in red

I was happy to learn that a local grocery store sells fresh-cut flowers for a great price and a great selection. It’s such a treat to have flowers on my desk these days!



Photo of the Week

I recently spent a day at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, soaking up lots of sunshine, plants and color. There was such a wonderful variety of trees, shrubs, flowers, statues, and structures to admire so I took lots of photos. This photo is one of my favorites.

The flower is called a Celosia Intenz, thanks to my mom for helping identify it for me.

I especially love the color but also the shape of the flower stem. It normally grows in zone 10 climate. Since I live in zone 4-5, this is an annual, which grows well in full sun and adds great height and texture to containers.


Inspiration Wednesday: Mother Nature

Instead of sharing one of my latest art crushes on an inspiring artist, I decided to share some of my pictures of flowers that are inspiring me lately. This is the time of year when Mother Nature inspires me more than anything or anyone else, since everything is back in full bloom in this part of the world.

yellow daisy





pink gerbera daisy

Some of my favorite things to draw are flowers and leaves, so this set of photos will provide reference for some great doodling and brainstorming future projects. Their petals all have similar shapes but their structures and centers are quite different.

What or who is inspiring you these days?


DIY Basket Liners

Every year, we fill baskets hanging on our backyard fence with a coco moss liner and a few plants. They look so welcoming on the gates to get into our backyard.

September gate basket

IMG_1045After a rough winter and birds picking away at the moss liners for supplies to build their nests, the liners from last summer were falling apart. We couldn’t find the right size liners at the garden stores this spring, so we decided to make our own. We found burlaps sacks for $1.00 at the home improvement store.

burlap sackWe pressed the sack inside the basket and poured dirt inside to help the sack form the shape of the basket. Then we filled the baskets with geraniums, climbing petunias and a fine fern.

new Garden gate basket

We trimmed up the burlap sack so there wasn’t so much excess hanging down, and tucked in a few corners.

new garden gate basket

It was fun to figure out a new way to fill these hanging baskets on a budget by repurposing burlap sacks. Coco moss liners can be expensive so we are loving these new liners.

Happy gardening!



From My Sketchbook – Nature-Inspired

I have a few new pages from my sketchbook to share with you today, inspired by the nature right outside my doors.

I’m always picking things up when we’re out and about, in the backyard or on the trails, things like pine cones, wildflowers, even weeds that look pretty and interesting to draw.

I rearranged the composition on my sketchbook page, just for the challenge. Man, I love how page turned out! It makes me want to do more compositions like this. I think it’s because I’m a nature lover, so I’m passionate about this subject matter. And it’s good drawing practice for me, which I’m always trying to find more time to do.

Thanks for stopping by!

Weekend Reprieve

My interim class has ended, so it was wonderful to have a couple days off to relax before my next summer class begins today.

We spent Saturday exploring the zoo and a new brewpub in town.

Our local micro brewery recently open a new tap house, so we had to try it. I love sitting outside on a beautiful day with a bloody mary and great food.

We spent Sunday lounging in the yard, watching the flowers bloom, watching the butterflies flutter in the wind, listening to the busy birds.

Hope you’re out enjoying the summer beauty too. Thanks for stopping by!

Farmers Market – May Update

We went to our infamous farmers market over the weekend.

Our weather was so gorgeous, making it a perfect morning to be outside browsing fresh bakery, cheese, produce and flowers.

As usual, we don’t buy much, mainly because we don’t want to carry it.

We got a breakfast sandwich, some monster cookies, lettuce, and some cheese curds.

This time of year, there’s just early season produce to be found, things like onions, radishes, rhubarb, and lettuce.

I always end up stocking up on pictures of some of the most beautiful flowers I’ve ever seen!

I hope the farmers don’t mind I’m sneaking pictures of their goodies.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sketchbook Page: Flower Doodle

I want to extend a special thank you to those of you who have been kind enough to take the time to leave comments over the past few weeks in support my new sewing patterns! Who doesn’t love getting comments, right?! (and I love to leave them) It makes my day to receive your friendship and encouragement for my new adventures.

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I have been doing a lot painting this semester with acrylics for my Color Theory class, so it felt great to get my beloved watercolors out last weekend to work on a flower doodle in my sketchbook. I was full of inspiration after spending a day at the botanical gardens. The best part was that it was a no-pressure page, no due date, no project parameters set by someone else.

I love how this turned out because it feels like my style,  so I definitely want to do more pages like this. I also want to doodle more. It’s such a great process to work out solutions to ideas that might be stuck in my head. Thanks for stopping by!