Monday, August 24

About a dream.

I sit beside the window which looks onto the garden. I see and hear nothing but rain falling from the sky. Under these grey clouds, I live and I wonder, what is it about rainfall that makes me want to slip underneath bed sheets and sleep until tomorrow? When the rain begins, I can feel my able body slowly beginning to sink into itself, as if I had drank a quart of moonshine. I want nothing, I need nothing, only the sound of rain as my lullaby and a pillow near my head. If you told me Mother Goose lives in the sound of raindrops, I would believe you.

This morning, I arose from a dream about a bone dry riverbed. I came to it unannounced like I often do in my dreams, no clue as to where I was going, all I could see was a long stretch of desert where water was supposed to be. I wanted to swim. I wanted to hear my own beating heart below the water, maybe catch a wild trout with my bare hands. I wanted all of these things, but I could not have them, not even in my own dream, because the river was empty. If those of us landlocked cannot dream of full rivers, if those of us sea bound cannot dream of the prairies, then our dreams become meaningless. What would be the point of a dream if it was painted with the same brush as our every day lives?

When I opened my eyes, the window which looks onto the garden was covered in rain. I could feel my able body slowly begin to sink into itself. I wondered how I could dream of a bone dry riverbed when the world around me looked like an ocean. C turned to me as he always does when the sun first blushes and asked me what I was thinking of. I tell him the story. As I began to speak, it made even less sense to me. What could be the meaning of a dream which only leaves you feeling empty?

I realize now, as I look longingly onto the garden, a place where tomato plants burst and bloom like tiny emblems of a passing summer. Maybe, the dream only hollers of my wish to be swimming, to always be summer bound, and to be free as the apron which flour spills onto. Maybe, the dream is less of a dream and more of a tiny siren song warning me to live a little louder before the riverbed dries.

Here I am. Here is where I'll always be. The only thing that changes is the way I see it.

The Outfit
 Dress Chicwish*
  Shawl/Scarf Mum's Closet
  Heels Thrifted at Value Village


The Location
Ravine behind my house
 
Tuesday, August 18

If I were going back to school

I remember every August of my childhood. It was the time where beanstalks were their fullest, sunbeams were their brightest, and every newspaper declared three of the most dreaded words in the English language, Back To School. Every sunset, I would climb the blue fence in our front yard, using all of my baby might, I would tell the moon not to come. I only wanted one August day and I wanted it to last forever.

When I thought of returning to the schoolyard after so many days spent in the garden and by the daisies, I could not stomach it. All of my dreams were the color of a summers day. All of my waking moments were born to explore my world, to find myself and to squish my toes against the grains of sand in life's hour glass. If I sat inside all day with my nose in a book, I would miss watching the ladybugs climb the beanstalks, I would forget the lullaby of an ice cream truck roaring through the neighborhood, and I would long again for daylight spent in the wilderness. When the moon finally came, I would cry out like a hungry coyote, why must the summer come to an end?

Now that I have seen the length of many years far from the schoolyard, how I have watched the flowers and people grow towards the sky and soon after drift away, it is upon me to accept the moon's arrival. At once, I was a child dreaming of stopping the world from turning. I wanted to fill my cup with an endless August day. I haven't changed much. I often continue my dream of discovering a way to turn life's hour glass on its head, but one thing has become new to me. I have learned the beautiful lessons time has taught me. What frightened me yesterday does not frighten me today, what kept me under my bed sheets no longer keeps me there.

Back to school was always made easier by finding new clothes. In September, I could dress up as anything I wanted. The old year was forgotten and I was free to be a new girl. In collaboration with CrossIron Mills, I've dressed up as an ode to my "back to school" ways. It's a little bit of Matilda meets Mori girl. I found the dress at Forever 21, the boots at Journey's and the bow headband at Aldo Accessories.

The Outfit
 Dress Forever 21
  Bow Aldo Accessories
  Boots Journey's
All purchased at CrossIron Mills

The Location
Griffith Woods, Calgary.

http://www.crossironmills.com/en/

 

Thursday, August 13

how to press flowers [step by step guide]

Step 1.
 [Ready your supplies & gather your flowers.]
Whether you want to press wild flowers, garden varieties, or a leftover bouquet, have your supplies ready. You'll need parchment paper (the kind you'd use for baking), scissors, and a hard covered book or flower press. You don't want to pick flowers after rainfall, my rule of thumb is at least one day of sunshine before I pick my flowers. Always forage midday (1-3pm), morning dew counts as a wet flower and evening flowers may be tired from the sun. You want happy & healthy flowers to press, pick your best blooms. 

Use scissors to gently cut your desired flower just below the petal. Pulling from the top can add stress to the flower. Feel free to include stems and leaves too.

 
Step 2.
 [Place parchment paper between two pages in a hard covered book or flower press.]
 You can use a hard covered book (example: dictionary) or an actual flower press for this step. I have used both with equal results. Open your book, place one piece of parchment paper on selected page, put your desired flower on top of it, press your flower down with your fingers and shape it to your liking, place second piece of parchment paper on top of flower and then close your book. You can add multiple pressings, as long as they are separated by parchment paper.

Step 3.
 [Close your book and find a cool & dark hiding place to store it.]
Once you have actually pressed your flower, you'll need to wait four weeks before reintroducing it to sunlight. Find a dark hiding spot for your book such as underneath your bed or in your basement. Stack other hard covered books in between. This will ensure your pressing has time to dry and shape itself into a pretty pressed flower! The most difficult step of them all is trying not to peek.
 
 Step 4.
 [Time to reveal your pressed flower.]
After four weeks of patiently waiting, it's finally time to see your pressed flower! Carefully open your book to the desired page and let the simple joy of a preserved flower consume you. You are now free to use your pressed flower in crafts, paintings, or whatever you desire.  

 
 Additional tips:
  • When picking your flower, make sure to check and see if any critters are living there. You don't want to intrude on the home of a ladybug or bumblebee. 
  •  Flat faced flowers are the easiest to press. If it's your first time pressing, try using flat petals like daisies or pansies. As you get more acquainted with the art of it all, you can try pressing more uniquely shaped flowers. Start small.
  • Flower presses can be ordered online, bought in store, or hand built. I found both of mine at Value Village.
  • Do not be discouraged if the pressed flower is unsettling or if it's not the image you wanted. These things take time before you can discover what works and what doesn't. Don't give up. Try another hard covered book, store it in a different location, pick a new kind of flower, try a different technique or type of wax paper.  
If you are lost or curious for more, ask me your questions in the comment section below this post. I'll reply as soon as I can!

 Welcome to the wonderful world of flower pressing!