Thursday, November 23, 2017

NOVEMBER WEDDING FLOWERS; WHAT HAPPENED TO 2017?

Wedding Flowers From Our Farm
November Wedding Flowers
I remember in January thinking how many months I had until I needed to worry about weeding and watering. Then February with all the rains and the evacuation of Oroville, Gridley, Live Oak due to the erosion of Oroville Dam and the terror we all felt for weeks and weeks of not knowing; the flooding; checking each day the level of the dam.
Then I remember thinking I better get those seeds in the ground before it is too late.  The heat of most of the summer.


And occasionally I was thinking that the holiday season was so far off.  If I was smart, now would be a good time, middle of summer, to buy the gifts so I didn't have the last minute worry and rush to get everything done.
Did I do it?  I think I bought one gift.
Wedding Flowers
 I actually remember saying more than once, that I would really, really look forward to rain, cooler temperatures after such a hot year.  It was in the 80 degree weather when I was picking pumpkins to sell in October.
Now we have rain.  The leaves all around our house are beautiful gold and about half on the ground.  Not as much red in the trees as we used to see when we lived in Nevada County.  But you definitely know it is fall.
But what happened, I lost the year and it is officially, the Holiday Season because today is Thanksgiving.

I am such a planner, a list maker, a future thinker that sometimes, I think, misses enjoying the moments.  I work so hard to get each crop in and to be the best that it can be.  I work so hard to plant my flowers so that when they bloom, they will be so beautiful, nobody can resist them.  I plan all my farm classes in such detail, in hopes that not one of the participants thinks it was a disappointment or that they wasted their money to attend.  That they learned a lot; had a great time; took home with them a finished product and will want to come back to Windmill Farm again and again.
Do they?  I am not the best judge, but everything we do here, we work the hardest we can to make them a success and that our produce, our craft classes and our flowers are the most beautiful, the most delicious.  Our standards are high, on ourselves.
But maybe, in 2018, I need to appreciate what we have already done to our property.  To see the beauty that so many people say is here when they come to attend a class or stay for a visit.


At my last class, the Indigo Dyeing class, a wonderful lady (who brought their daughter and grand daughter) sent me a message on Facebook "it was a fun day for all..!!! It was so lovely to be out in your yard...the fall leaves, crisp air, and sunshine are good for the Soul. My kids both enjoyed their day with you and everyone. I think the class was a huge success..!!! Looking forward to attending some more classes in the future."

For 2 days before the Indigo Dyeing class, I was fretting about where to have it because the uncertainty of the weather. Whether inside Frank's shop, inside my shop or outside at my Sorting/Design Studio where I have a sink, running water, outside to make messes. I kept looking at the weather, should I or not. The day turned out actually beautiful, a little cool but crisp, clear, lovely. More than once, a person mentioned how beautiful it was out back; how the flowers still looked wonderful; how quiet and peaceful it was; what a lovely spot to work during the year. All compliments that I almost missed because I was too busy trying to make everything perfect. Too absorbed in the "doing" instead of the "enjoying".

Now that 2017 is almost done, I plan on changing my ways, to re-think the moments. To try and enjoy the few days left of the year and to really, really change my perspective for next year.
I can, at least try! I still have 3 classes left before Christmas to try and practice on.
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. What a great title for a holiday, Thanksgiving. Perfect.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Wedding Flowers and Knitting For Christmas

First of all, I want to say that our pomegranate season is finished.  We sold our last 4 cases yesterday.  A few days previously, a lovely young girl contacted me to purchase as many cases as I had of the splits.  She purchased poms from me last year also because she makes the juice, freezes it and later makes pomegranate soaps.  She took home 6 cases of splits and non-splits.
This last week has been busy getting ready for one flower event on Friday; and the flowers for one wedding on Sunday.  The plant for this year that just about EVERYONE wants is EUCALYPTUS.  Seems people have fallen in love with how it moves in arrangements; how the silver tones blend in so well with so many flower colors.  These two customers were no exception, they both wanted silver eucalyptus in the bride bouquets, in the table arrangements. 
Both the seeded Eucalyptus and silver dollar Eucalyptus are the most popular.  And the prior event customer wanted it in every table setting along with the silver leaves of the olive tree.  Those arrangements turned out wonderful because the pallet was white, a blush rose; green hydrangeas; white dahlias and silver with just a pop of dark blue from the Sea Holly Blue Thistle flower. 
It has the silver petals around a dark blue center. She also wanted a flower cuff which I LOVE to make instead of the traditional corsage.

 

I had the wonderful help from my friend Sarah on Saturday and together we put a lot of flowers together to make a beautiful finished group of bouquets, boutonnieres, flower cuffs and table arrangements.  I will show you those flowers next time because I don't like to show the flowers until the bride or family posts the wedding photos themselves.
Frank has been painting the walls of his remodeled shop which is bringing this project closer to being finished.  It all needs to be done so we can transform it to hold all my December 5th, 6th, and 7th fresh greens wreath and garland classes inside his shop.  We decorate it all for the holidays, lights everyplace, great food, music and loads and loads of different types of locally foraged Holiday greens for people to make and decorate their own Christmas wreaths.

Before those classes, I have one class scheduled in November, the 18th.  That class will be learning to use the Indigo Dyeing process called Shibori.  Indigo is a natural plant dye and we will be using 100% cotton kitchen towels to create all types of designs using rubber bands, folding and string.  Loads of fun if interested, sign up now.  Cost is $30 and we supply everything. 10-Noon.
On a couple of raining days, I have been working on my Christmas knitting projects, a Shrug for my grand daughter, hat for my grand son;
crocheted fall leaves for a swag on the mantal; and a shawl for myself!!!  

Believe it or not, I still have beautiful flowers growing in my gardens but colder and more rain is in the forecast so I am sure, the 2017 flowers will be finished soon.  That doesn't mean my Windmill Farm Flower business is done!!! 
We use fresh greens, pine cones, red berries and special farmed flowers from my fellow flower farmers who use greenhouses or tunnels to grow flowers. 
We trade or purchase from each other so that we keep the small flower farming business alive!!!  So for the holidays remember us if you have any flower needs.  Our arrangements are always creative and special, nothing ordinary comes from our farm!!!

Talk to you before Thanksgiving and thank you for continuing to come back to read our blog.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

LOVE OF WRITING AND FLOWERS CHANGES COMING????

In the air I feel the changing of seasons. 
It may have been in the 80 degree heat this last week, but the trees are turning yellow and oranges.  The evenings are cooler.  The air smells differently.
 I feel like knitting instead of planting seeds. 
I want to stay in bed just a little longer instead of bouncing out at daylight to head out to the fields. 
The citrus on the trees are turning from green to yellow.

We have been picking and selling our pomegranates and making some juice. 
 The last 275 pumpkins were bought up in one bunch by a pumpkin patch in Grass Valley. 
The price was extremely reduced but happy because I had already picked, moved and sold that many already one-by-one.

A Pumpkin/Flower arranging Class in October
My thoughts have been to the last of our Windmill Farm classes of 2017, setting dates, deciding on what classes to try and schedule before Christmas. 
And asking myself what will be in store for Frank and I, Windmill Farm in 2018.
My biggest concern is "TIME".  Having the time to do all that I want to do; what Frank and I want to do; what Windmill Farm should be doing.
I love to write.  My life has revolved around writing for the 28 years with the Nevada County Superior Court. Writing for the United Way campaigns when I was chairman; writing gardening tips and letters in Nevada County; writing articles in antique journals (I have always been an avid antiquer and at one time, owned an antique store); writing proposals, articles about designs and spaces; I wrote for a year on farming and gardening for the Edible Shasta Butte magazine; I wrote a blog for The Gridley Herald newspaper on gardening and farming for a year; I contributed a year long sequence of articles for the Farmgirl Flower's special project, Field To Vase website on gardening-flowers-marketing-flower farming. And I have continued writing my blog here since I started it in 2009.  It sure seems like it was just a few years ago, but now we are talking 8 years.

I always secretly dreamt some magazine would ask me to write consistently for them either on the topics of Interior Design; Antiques; or Gardening/Farming/Vegetables/Fruit/Farming topics. Maybe everyone hopes for that to happen, I always felt I express myself better in writing than speaking in person.
Blogging has been an excellent outlit of sharing about our mini life here doing crafts, projects, farming, DIY, animals, children, just plan LIFE. But blogging has become an avenue for many people to move into a business; to careers; to selling lots of products.  There are techniques, but I have had no TIME to venture into that and my daily reading numbers show that.  
A string of Crocheted Maple Leaves I made for fall.
I guess my point, is, even though I have a minimum of 200+ people view my blog every day, I feel that my presence of my content is, well fairly interesting; barely relevant; basically not that exciting enough for people.  After 8 years investment of my TIME, I am feeling like I should have 1000 people views a day.  And I think, from my point of view, my writing is too long. People only want to SEE things; in seconds of videos.  To see and hear it; experience it and then move on.  People may go back and follow someone over and over again, but most people don't have TIME for the READING part.  Life has become a visual reality. YOUTUBE and INSTAGRAM are the new frontiers.
Indigo Dyeing Last Weekend
Since in this 8 years I haven't become a STAR; haven't been featured in any magazines; haven't made a million dollars selling products that we make or grow; and rarely is there ever at least a slight comment from someone; I am thinking for 2018, it may be time for me to say goodbye to my blog.
I think, at least right now, starting in January, 2018, I will use the TIME I used to use preparing for the blog; doing my research; downloading photos, that I will work harder at our Windmill Farm presence on YouTube and Instagram and of course, continue with Facebook.
A new Indigo Dyeing Class coming up soon.
It does make me sad to think about this.  I love to write, to share, to express myself. Not everyone does do all these other social media, there are people that I do reach that like to read!!! These people are like me, we still buy magazines to touch and feel and read paper. To read actual paper books instead of on a technology tool. 
I love flowers and I love showing how beautiful flowers can look together, hence I try and put photos of our Windmill Farm flowers on every blog. 
And I love the classes we host here and enjoy sharing that experience with you for those that weren't able to be right here with us.
So the season maybe changing here in my fingers and my mind. What can I do with the TIME not spent here?
Maybe you all will find my short videos on Instagram more entertaining, more informative??? Maybe you would move over from reading to watching a short YouTube video of my classes?

We still have 60+ days left in 2017 to post here so don't leave yet.  Stay tuned to what I finally decide to do and hope you will continue to find the TIME to stay with me here at Windmill Farm to any new adventures we do end up doing.





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