"Boondocks" Deconstructed

“Boondocks” deconstructed….
”How do you get from here to there?”

Good question!
Now that I have been home from Michigan for a few days I have had a chance to unpack, on many levels….
the experience, the lessons, as well as the laundry!

My friend Mandy Majerik, AIFD, PFCI accompanied me for this journey.  
She is the fabulous owner of Hothouse Design Studio in Birmingham, Alabama.  
A true southern gal, she is a terrific designer with a great sense of style and panache. 
She is a great travel companion!
AND she laughs at my jokes. Always a plus.

Her creative input and friendship was the *highlight* of this Natures Creative Edge for me.
We had a terrific time together, which she blogged about here
I know there are many future floral jaunts awaiting us!

Getting “from here to there” involves relationship and creativity.

The creative process is different with everybody. 
When I am approaching an art instillation, I sketch and dream. 
I look everywhere for inspiration. 
You never know when it will strike. 
Its always a treat to plan & plot a creative exercise.
Every time I get to do floral art, I so enjoy the process.
My process was different this time—my life has been in major transition.  
We moved into a very old home in the country from my nice city home. 
It has been a study in contrasts. 
My new existence is very rural and rustic. 6 acres of big trees, prairies, fields of beans and corn. 
And a pond. No traffic. Dilapidated barns. 
An old, old, bad bungalow that has been unloved for years. Very Boondock-ian. 
So given the environment AND mindset I was in as Natures Creative Edge crept into the calendar, 
all my other sophisticated, edgy concepts fell to the wayside.
 I will shelve them for another day. 
My country existence would not be denied.
It was one of those
 “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” kind of moments.
This time, it was to be all about the Boondocks.  The song is by Little Big Town, and the video is here:
The video has always reminded me of the Natures Creative Edge experience.
 From the old red truck, 
to people appearing from the woods, (seemingly out of thin air!) 
The video reflects a true gathering, 
a coming together to celebrate something larger than all of us.
I wanted to avoid being kitch-y and create an atmosphere.  
I wanted it to be floral art, 
an interpretation of the song’s emotion. 
An old tin sign, part of a billboard reclaimed from my barn, was the beginning. 
I drug it alll the wayyy from Norris City to Fruitport.

 A line in the song proclaims “Give me a tin roof, a front porch and a gravel road. Thats home to me”  
So the sign morphed into the roof.

When I got to Bob Frise’s wooded estate, I found more inspiration.
 I discovered wood planks, wire baskets that became a light fixture, 
interesting wooden forms, 
and an old fan with no blades(!?!)
WHO would want an old fan WITH no BLADES?

(raising hand high…MeeeeEEEeee!)

Sheets of bark from old logs were harvested, 
all too willing to give up their covering. 
These became elements for my wall,
as well as the edge for a small table, 
paved with yellow cushions.

A chair was procured from the generous, gregarious Walter the Wonderful!  
Mandy actually spotted it on his cart and asked if we could give it a home. 
Thanks to Walter J Klimek, AIFD for letting me kidnap your vintage chair. It was perfect!
These all became vital elements of the vignette.

And I *do* love a vignette.  

It’s something I miss about being freelance and not having a retail shop. 
Merchandising is one of my favorite things.  
‘Boondocks’ turned out to be a way to scratch that persistent itch.

There is something else you should know.
I love, 
 the store “Anthropologie
 It is my all time favorite retail experience.  The tension between decomposed, deconstructed, weathered items and the shiny, glass sparkle, the metals, the textiles! It makes me shiver! 
(By the way, Anthropologie, 
in the slim to none chance that you are actually reading this) 

~~If you ever need someone to teach merchandising 
or decide to get into the floral market, 
I AM your girl!~~

Moving on.
We incorporated lots of cool elements that you might discover in Anthropologie.  
Like the fan with the blades of newspaper and cardboard. And an abstracted sunflower center.

As for the flowers:
I chose a monochromatic pallette.  It seems I gravitate toward monobotanical and monochromatic expressions. I think its because I like texture so much, and it gets lost in colors if its not very, very clean.  This line of thinking makes me think of Phil Rulloda, the fabulous educatior/designer. I have heard him say that your design should be so clean, if an ant was to walk through it, he could be seen all the way through. Or something to that effect. (Sorry if I goofed up your quote, Phil!)
When choosing color, yellow seemed happy, celebratory, and would be a great contrast surrounded by natural elements.

Speaking of natural elements, this yellow mushroom literally appeared overnight, cheering me on. It was to the right and just behind my instillation.

Sheets of bark from old logs were harvested, all to willing to give up their covering. 
These became elements for my wall, as well as a small table, paved with yellow cushions.

We make a bouquet of lilly grass, crafted into “squibbles”. 
Thanks to Catherine Epright, AIFD for showing me “how-to” in Boston!   Your squibbles live ON! 

The bouquet handle was wrapped in newspaper and topped off with a ball of twine. 
Perfect for that shotgun wedding?
An old wire basket with a bare, clear lightbulb became a porchlight. I repeated the lilly grass element…repetition is another favorite design element of mine.

Oasis Sculpting sheets were soaked to capacity in the creek behind my exhibit.

I pounded rebar into the ground, then attached and stacked 3 oasis sheets. This made a wall for me to pave’ the flowers,
 in groupings, sort of a quilt/curtain. 
A cool piece of wood propped at the side appeared to take the shape of a person, 
peeking out to see what the ruckus was all about.
So the grouping was created. The journey complete.  I shared my Boondocks experience.

“…..one thing I know, no matter WHERE I go, I keep my heart and soul in the Boondocks…”
Should you be looking for further information with regards to the other exhibitors and their projects, Flora magazine will be covering the exhibit in depth in an upcoming issue.  
There is also a CD of pictures for sale by the NCAIFD Chapter.

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