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BraceletAnother 7.5 inches of snow, another sub-zero dive, a few hair-raising life complications––together they conspire to erase the lift we got from our week in Florida. But I won’t allow it. So I’ve been thinking about the part of Florida any snowbird can have without heading south: flowers.

Remembering my junior high geography, it occurred to me that Ponce de Leon named Florida on Palm Sunday. Florida is Spanish for Feast of the Flowers.

“Hey, if you can’t be in Florida,” I thought, “Why not bring Florida to you?”

Spring bouquet

On my swing through the grocery, I bought two bouquets––one for my office, one for the dining room.

I packed away the brown wool cape project on my sewing table and prepared to work on a sleeveless floral shift for next summer.

I opened my morning yoga and prayer with mental picture of every flower and color I could imagine.

I wore a new floral bracelet, gifted to me by Ettika, a Los Angeles jewelry maker that designs unique, vintage-inspired pieces like this ribbon, trimmed with rosebuds. As a vintage fan, I was agog over a whole series of bracelets that have a 1930s Bakelite influence to them. In exchange for this post, Ettika is offering my readers two great deals: 1) An immediate 25 percent discount with the coupon code EXCL25, or even better 2) a shot at a $100 giveaway every time you share this link in your social network. The link again is: http://bit.ly/1awmfR8 Every time you share, your name is entered once again.

And finally, I mined the universe for floral fashion lore.

Think about this. The artist Frida Kahlo is never shown without flowers in her hair. As a side note, Frida, who made 55 self-portraits between 1925 and 1954, was the original selfie queen. She loved being photographed––always with flowers.


Traditional Japanese costumes for women always include a few flowers tucked in hair. The students at Florida College reminded me of this last Friday night when we saw them in The Mikado, an awesome performance in Temple Terrace, Florida. You would be amazed at the professional performances given by these students. Keep in mind, FC is a small private college with only 500 students.

Two wow factors from the performance: 1) my young friend Jesse’s portrayal as one half of Pishtush (it’s complicated to explain), and 2) the sumptuous kimonos, expertly made by costumer Laurie Moyer. The fabrics and designs were stunning and I wondered what it might be like to make one. Next?

More floral lore

Marcel Proust’s nickname was “the bee of heraldic flowers” for his sensual literary references to flowers. One of his portraits shows him wearing a cattleya orchid in his buttonhole, the perfect picture of Belle Époque tastes.

Not that he was the first to use the buttonhole thusly. The locals in Naples gave King Charles VIII of France a bouquet of violets pinned to his buttonhole as he marched into the city. Potato flowers (who knows what they are like?) were the ornament of choice for King Louis XVI. Flowers on buttonholes were also a huge trend in the 18th century by European nobles.

Before World War I, carnations, roses, gardenias and camellias were worn round the clock in Europe. Later they were used as political statements. Monarchists wore white. Socialists wore red carnations.

And, once upon a time, Brits and Americans wore poppies on May 1 in remembrance of the veterans lost in World War I. Today, in towns all across America, you’ll see them sold by veterans organizations on Memorial Day weekend.

How often do you wear or buy flowers and what’s your favorite species? My mother’s is a daisy, but during summer, the poor thing has to make due with a daily bouquet of fresh assorted roses, the product of my dad’s green thumb with roses. If you met him, you’d never suspect him as a rose gardener.

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.