The Blog

Mexican Sunflowers Are Easy to Love

Mexican Sunflower

This is the first year that I have grown Mexican Sunflowers, but they are easily my new favorite. My original intent was to use these as nutrient accumulator in order to help improve my garden. I believed that the flowers would be an added bonus, but did not fully understand HOW BEAUTIFUL they would be. They are very easy to grow and withstand the blistering heat of south Alabama without flinching.

Once these sunflowers began growing, I realized that I could enjoy them as cut flowers on my kitchen table. This inspired me to gather together a small amount of cut flowers from the garden to experiment. The result, to me, was beautiful. I even tossed in some asparagus leaves for good measure. This has definitely sparked an interest in me to begin growing more flowers and making more arrangements…. hopefully improving along the way.

For now, I hope you enjoy my first attempt at an arrangement from my garden.

If you are interested in growing Mexican Sunflowers, I got these seeds from Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

/ / Blog, garden

The Wabi-Sabi of Soapmaking: Embracing the Art of Imperfection

In soapmaking, rebatching is the process of taking a previously made (usually irregular) batch of soap, melting it down in liquid, adding additional scent or color, and spooning it into a fresh mold. It is a beautiful process, because it takes what was once undesirable in some form, and turns it into a whole new product. As a soapmaker, I have made enough mistakes to know the value of rebatching. I have learned the process and it has given me solace. Although I aim for perfection, I know that in the face of failure there is still hope. I don’t have to discard flawed soap, I can rebatch it.

This simple idea is actually life altering. It gives me the confidence to jump into something that might initially seem intimidating. It also teaches me to find the beauty in the imperfection. Still, in the process of soapmaking, I find it reaches further than that. Handmade cold process soap is raw and beautiful. For me, the roughness of the edges is a celebration of non-conformity in a paint-by-numbers world. This traditional process puts me in touch with the simplicity of our existence long before modern conveniences. It gives me something solid and practical to explore. It helps me to embrace the art of imperfection that we often try to polish over.

/ / Blog, handmadelife