Wood + Flowers

Happy Wednesday! Wednesdays are my favorite week day because there's no alternate side parking in my neighborhood. Also because I have the morning off and can sip on Turkish coffee and write blog posts instead of finishing up my taxes.

Today I want to talk about my two current favorite materials, wood and flowers. With the flowering trees in bloom, I feel like this is the perfect time to explore their creative connection.

magnolia

As plants, flowers and trees are so similar. They both come from the ground and carry water up and down a long stem to give nutrition to the branches/leaves/fruit/flowers. And as plants, there is so much variety! Different flowers and woods have different coloring, aesthetics, and structural uses. To give examples of both: If you want a curved element in a floral arrangement, you'd use a tulip or other softer stemmed flower, not a rose (which has a stiffer stem). For a curved element in furniture, you'd use ash or oak (with wider more flexible grain), not maple or walnut (which have tighter and less flexible grain).

Creatively speaking both woodworking and flower arranging use an additive and subtractive process. Both require a keen eye for layering elements while maintaining clean lines and attractive shapes. And like wood, once cut a flower is cut. Flowers are a bit more forgiving. So long as the end reaches water it's all good. But cut wood too short, even by half an inch, and that's one lopsided chair. That's why there's a saying "measure twice, cut once."

For me, it's ultimately about the tactility and immediacy of both materials. When carving a spoon I see a plain old block of wood, through my hand (and tools), become a beautiful and useful object. When arranging flowers I see, in real time, separate elements come together to create a pleasing and uplifting presence. The intuitive and emotional place I am in while making translates across materials, though I hope to one day combine them to one unified element. Until then, I'll be enjoying the spring!

Yours truly,

Naomi

Motivation - Or Lack Thereof

Motivation on a Monday?! That's too silly! (AKA I spend a lot of time with toddlers.)

This past year has been rewarding and challenging in many many ways. In my private life, I got engaged, my fiancé moved in with me (after two years of very long distance, like oceans and continents apart), and got married. So much happy, as seen below, but it was a big shift for us both.

Yacov, my then fiancé, now husband, and me at our engagement party.

Yacov, my then fiancé, now husband, and me at our engagement party.

Career wise, I was introduced to the floral and event industry and had the privilege of working with a great team of people. All this excitement in my life opened my eyes to new things but took up 99% of my energy and time, leaving Overlook Woods on the back burner. It's been so hard getting motivated and back in the swing of things. Sometimes it feels like this lull was colossal, and that I should just go in a new direction. But I've put so much time, love, and effort (not to mention money), that I'm not ready to give up yet. I'm looking to make thoughtful changes to help lift me out of this funk and give me back my spunk. (Disclaimer: get used to the cheesy puns, alliteration and rhymes, because they are my jam.)

To start off this change, I'm doing a major overhaul of the studio: getting rid of junk and clearing space for creativity. When I walk into the studio and it feels messy and overwhelming, how can I get anything done? I won't ever claim to be a super neat and tidy person--I enjoy having a bit of mess around (it keeps things real, ya know?)--but too much visual clutter is a real damper for my creativity. It's interesting to see how it varies person-to-person; how much visual clutter can you stand?

Next is prototyping lighting ideas, and conceptualizing new additions to the home and kitchen collections. As much as I love the pieces of the HeartWood collection, I'm ready to try something new.

Sketching out some lighting ideas.

Sketching out some lighting ideas.

Another direction I've decided to pursue, under the umbrella of Overlook Woods, is floral design. Working for a florist for almost a year, experiencing both the Spring and Fall wedding seasons, as well as a Mother's Day and a Valentine's Day, was a real whirlwind. I learned so much about flowers, design, and working with clients to execute their vision. Also coming from woodworking, a predominantly male industry, it was a pleasure working in a female driven industry and being surrounded by baller ladies. Having both woodworking and flower arranging under one roof feels like a perfect fit, and brings balance back into my life.

If only my world could be filled with Japanese ranunculus every day!

If only my world could be filled with Japanese ranunculus every day!

So that's what's up. I'm really open to all kinds of ideas right now, so if anyone wants to collaborate, hit me up. If you have a creative business and want to give me some advice, hit me up. If you want to learn about wood, hit me up. If you're throwing a party and need some flowers, hit me up. Basically, I want to hear from you. You're the reason I'm here and doing this.

Yours Truly,

Naomi

Lazy Sundays

Finally a lovely weekend of gardening and cleaning, while catching up on podcasts. And a whole day outside!

I can't wait until it's consistently nice and I can spend a days at a time, sitting in the grass reading a book or doing something crafty. Or going for a long bike ride. Or taking a stroll through one of New York's a million and one outdoor markets (or vending at one of them).

Today particularly stinks since it's warm but not yet sunny! You think, oh, warm Spring is here! So the sky has gotta match, right? Wrong! It's still so stinking grey. At least I can use my bike for transportation now, but I still have to layer properly to avoid the rain.

Still, it is still Spring which means more hours of sunlight. Which means happier, faster growing plants. Look at all the babies sprouting off the echeveria! And look at all the babies that are turning into little toddler plants.

That's it for now.

xoxo Naomi

Welcome to the new site

I am pleased to announce my new website redesign! I have successfully (after much hair pulling) switched from Weebly to SquareSpace and so far so good! Hopefully I will be a bit better about blogging on this incarnation of my site, and will use this blog as a place to showcase all the plant, dog, landscape and personal photos that don't make it onto my Instagram.

(Like this photo of afternoon puppy snuggles)

(Like this photo of afternoon puppy snuggles)

Stay warm to all those dealing with the lingering effects of winter! And those in warm weather right now...I envy you!

Always,

Naomi