Tag Archives: Boston Flower & Garden Show

Today: What I made | 005

So, we know I both fear and loathe Las Vegas going to the dentist, right? And that I semi-accidentally didn’t go for several years?  And that, ironically, I broke a tooth (more accurately: an old filling fell out) while flossing, prompting an emergency visit to that place of fear and loathing?  (If you didn’t know those things, consider yourself fully caught up.)

its a good day to have a good day

Materials used: Pentel brush pen (pink)… and, um… that’s it.

It’s been a year, and I’ve stuck with regular cleaning appointments and approximately 800 other appointments to replace various old dental work and (shame on me) tend to one or two… fine, three cavities.  I have one more visit to go and then I’m done with my treatment plan, which feels mostly good.

The last couple appointments, though, have been especially uncomfortable and annoying.  A temporary crown fell out twice in one day.  Oh, and a dental assistant tried to pull out a permanent tooth instead of the loosening a different temporary crown.  It was all I could do to not flee the office and cry in my car.  Or stress eat an extra gluten-y donut.  I know it’s silly, but I can feel my heart rate quicken even thinking about being in the dentist’s chair.

If you’re wondering what the H the dentist has to do with art-making, welp… Not much. But I did find my mind wandering away from the drill and that annoying suction thing and toward my sketchbook.  I thought about what I would paint or draw or paste if I wasn’t, you know, at the dentist.  Much of what I made in the last week or two was cooked up there.  And that cooking up (along with a pair of noise canceling headphones and some Led Zeppelin) got me through those appointments.

This is a super roundabout way of saying that you don’t need to be sitting before an easel to be creative.   And creative thought can be just as powerful and transformative as the actual act of creating.  You simply need to be open to possibility.  (Dental insurance doesn’t hurt though.)

Anyway…  Here’s what I made.

What I made | 005

rumi quote heartMaterials used: Gifted scrapbook paper, Sakura Gelly Roll pen (white), gel medium (matte), scissors (obvi)

I come back to this poem often.  When Graham (a fellow Get Messy member) sent me a beautiful packet of pink papers, I started snipping and doodling away.  Sometimes pages feel like they make themselves.

I weirdly enjoy drawing hearts and regret not being a better student in biology.  Just think what else I would be able to draw if I had spent more time paying attention and less time being grossed out and/or fainting.

wendell berry peace of the wild things

Materials used: Strathmore Artists Tile (black), Sakura Gelly Roll pen (white), magazine pages (Edible Boston), Winsor and Newton professional watercolors, random alphabet stencil, Micron 01 (black)

This is an old work (and one I’ve shared before, I think),  but it feels sort of like a cousin to the one above.  And I get the same comfort from reading Wendell Berry that I do Rumi, so I thought it worth sharing again.  I recently came across this recording of Berry reciting the poem quoted here.  It’s just perfect.

  • Other writers and poets that I constantly return to: Thomas Merton, Mary Oliver, and Hafez.

this too shall pass

Materials used: Starthmore Artigan paper (black), Sakura Gelly Roll pen (white), gel medium (matte), magazine pages (WSJ magazine).

Another collage, and more evidence that I don’t really know what body parts look like.  For the record: that’s a head.  With ears.  And a neck.

Moving on: How divine are these words?  They sort of stop me in my tracks.  And I have a crush on my own handwriting.  

watercolor pattern

Materials used: Winsor and Newton professional watercolors, round brushes (2 and 6, I believe).

Just some good ol’ watercolor doodling while watching The Americans.  (I am convinced Clark, who came to us by way of Russia, is a spy waiting to be activated.)

root down to rise up

grow up

Materials used: [top] Micron 08 (black), acrylic and watercolor paints, colored card stock, glue stick [bottom] Magazine image (Real Simple), black acrylic paint, colored card stock, gel medium (matte), glue stick

I really love how these two turned out.  They’re sort of half flower show, half yoga class inspired.  

P.S. The next Get Messy Art Journal season starts next week — it’s a collaboration with 30Lists and should be really interesting.  A new season is a great time to join Get Messy, especially if you’re looking to jump start your own creative routine.  No emergency trips to the dentist required.

Also On Tap for Today:

What did you make this week?  Which poems or stories or quotes do you keep coming back to?

Today: Organic patio gardening and can’t-wait-for-summer gazpacho.

This post brought to you by Organic Choice. All opinions are 100% mine.

When Nick and I started looking for a new condo (we were expecting Grace and I imagine she was expecting… to not share a room with her parents and dog), outdoor space was at the top of our wish list.  With spring in sight (sort of… right?), I can’t wait to make the most of our new patio, which is conveniently located just off the kitchen.  While bundled up in sweaters, layered with other sweaters, I’ve been day dreaming about growing our own herbs, vegetables and flowers.

Nothing says “Adios, polar vortex!” quite like homegrown produce.

I recently learned about Organic Choice, Scotts’ line of fully organic gardening products, and look forward to incorporating their products into my plans.  Better for the environment than conventional products, Organic Choice is perfect for edible gardening and is available at major retailers.

Organic Soil photo 72859510_22_zps758b34b4.jpg

 I can barely contain my excitement (it spilled over onto Pinterest, where I’ve started a board with all kinds of ideas for planting and potting) at the thought of fresh basil, ripe tomatoes, and fragrant salad greens growing just outside our door.  In little containers (we’re city folks, after all).

We’ve always taken advantage of my parents’ garden, making spicy gazpacho, salsa, polenta pizzas topped with fresh herbs, summer rolls and crisp salads with their tomatoes, greens, and vegetables.  I am hoping I can convince my dad to help keep our patio plants alive… perhaps in exchange for some of that gazpacho?

Can’t-wait-for-summer gazpacho


  • 3-4 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 large red onion, diced
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 handful of fresh cilantro
  • 1 handful of fresh parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add tomatoes to the bowl of your food processor or blender and pulse until nearly smooth.
  2. Add cucumber, onion, garlic, cilantro, and a drizzle each of olive oil and red wine vinegar and blend until you reach desired consistency.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Be thankful winter is nearly over.

Time to peel off a layer of sweaters, finish off a bowl of gazpacho, and start putting those gardening plans into action.

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Also On Tap for Today:

Do you have spring planting plans?  Or tips for city gardening?

Today: Everything’s coming up roses.

And daffodils.  And tulips.  And azaleas.  And flowers I can neither spell nor pronounce.

After getting caught in a stampede at last year’s flower show, I was very thankful when my dad suggested we go early in the day to this year’s Boston Flower and Garden Show.  My dad is quite the gardener, so it was fun to see what appealed to him, and take mental notes for a time when Nick and I have a yard of our own.  A few of my favorites this year included the rosemary border that lined the brick walkway above.  Imagine how lovely coming home would smell?  I also really liked these city-friendly succulent jars.  The moss and dirt add really nice color and texture, and I imagine this is something I could pull together with relative ease.  Unless my hand got stuck in there, or something.  That would likely happen to someone like me.

This back deck scene captured my imagination.  I think these knitted poufs would be perfect for the pool deck.  Unfortunately, shared space doesn’t lend itself to personal decor or furnishings. Heck, I doubt I could leave my towel unattended up there without being reported to the condo association.

I loved and all water features, especially a turquoise urn that we spotted.

I made a fountain (inspired by Swan Lake, no less) in my 12th grade art independent study.  The fountain part was surprisingly easy, as they sell easy to install kits online.  Or maybe it was from a catalogue.  I am not sure if the internet existed back then.  Regardless, the fountain part was easy, but putting my swans back together after one of the art teachers randomly re-fired them in the kiln, blowing them to bits, was quite difficult.  This same teacher once painted on one of my sculptures.  She was a weird bird.

Speaking of weird birds, these guys weren’t the only things making music at the Seaport World Trade Center.  In the middle of the flower show, a gorgeous exhibit featured Spanish guitar music and a really spectacular carpet of vibrant flowers and plants.

A few other highlights included a child’s garden, complete with the coolest fort I have ever seen, plus a display of handmade hats.

There was something interesting at every turn, I’d be stumped if I had to pick a favorite.

Just kidding.  My favorite was this stone with an inlaid glass mosaic.

I thought this was just gorgeous.

I’ll have to jump back to this post if and when we ever leave the city.  With so much to see and be inspired by, the Flower Show would be a great way to trick someone into moving to the suburbs.  Myself included.  In the meantime, I am quite happy with my vases of cut flowers.  And the crocuses along the Broadway bridge.

Also On Tap for Today:

Do you have a favorite flower?  Do you have a green thumb like my dad?

Today: Flower power.

Or, Today: Devoid of creativity.

Last night Nick and I swung by the Boston Flower and Garden Show.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but given that I spent Tuesday night crying like a (crying) baby while watching “The Blind Side,”* I was hoping it would be an uplifting experience.  I analyzed the risk, and assessed the depressing factor of a flower show to be quite low.  I assessed the allergen factor, however, to be quite high.

So I overdosed on Zyrtec.

It was amazing… the show, not the Zyrtec.  The exhibit hall featured gardens created by local gardening clubs, garden centers and landscape architects.  Tucked in the middle of the room was one of my favorite sections, the Garden of Cakes, which included a dozen or so garden-themed cakes.

I loved walking around each exhibit, snapping digicam photos (over a hundred, I got a bit carried away) and fighting the urge to touch and smell everything in sight.  In the back of the room, we checked out the floral design and amateur horticulture competitions, as well as a display of Ikebana arrangements.  There was a great vase that looked sort of like a macaroni… but that’s neither here nor there.

Regardless, here are a few highlights (I’ll spare you the full 127 photos… unless I emailed them to you last night, in which case, you have not been spared).

I really enjoyed myself.  And I didn’t cry once.

*Don’t get me wrong: The movie was excellent (the book, too).  And transforming.  I was transformed into a weeping willow.

Also On Tap for Today:

Have you ventured somewhere new lately?