A one sentence tribute to this little place and the invaluable knowledge I gained there, both about people and wellness. So many powerful women have made a home here among the Ivy.
Pockets of spring are showing up here in Wellington, and with the ushering in of a new season I find myself reading Melissa Ambrosini’s latest blog post titled ‘ my 27 life power statements’. A beautiful and intelligent post consisting of statements that are woven into your genetic makeup and which determine the direction you choose to walk each day.
So in the season of spring and the season of cleaning out all the dusty corners of my house and mind, here are a few of my power statements. Directed at nourishing hope, purpose and awareness. I would absolutely love to hear a few of yours.
- Trust in your purpose and your passions.
- You have time.
- Understand the media for what it is.
- Respond with love.
- Make friends with loneliness, depression and anxiety.
- Circumstance and opinions do not determine worth.
- You have a responsibility to contribute to this life.
- You have a responsibility to rest and nourish yourself.
- Change the content of your argument not the volume of your voice.
The one piece of advice I wish to relay to you along with this collection of beautiful images by Anahita, is to give depth to your styling. A bit of sentiment, history and belonging. Do not warrant any occasion as an excuse to deck your lounge or dinning room table with new ornaments, crockery and cutlery. Encourage genuine conversation by incorporating your grandmothers crystal glasses, the geometrical jam spoons or the shell napkin holders from your family batch.
It is far better to have fewer things of quality then too much expendable junk.
The following photos are from a recent Twig & Arrow styling workshop that I was lucky enough to observe. Total credit given to those who it is worthy of and who are lovingly captured below.
I have been busy settling back into a different city here but rest assured there are a number of blog posts on the back burner, one of which is a short and hopefully helpful review on a couple of popular products found at the beautifully presented store, Mecca. Reviews coming in a few days – stay tuned.
You may have noticed that up there, in the left hand corner of this page, under the floral and fauna logo a sentence reads ‘aspiring event designer & creative individual’. I feel like this blog has captured the ‘creative individual’ parts of me well, the ‘aspiring event designer’ claim however, not so much. I feel that this claim to fame has been hovering in mid-sentence without any concrete declaration for the last few years so I thought I would write a short post about what being an aspiring event designer means and how I am currently achieving my goals.
To achieve dreams, the hard yards and ground work has to be achieved first and foremost. I am a strong believer that if you haven’t built a solid foundation then how do you expect a beautiful house to withstand the test of time? So for the last three years I have been living and studying in Auckland. Auckland University of Technology offers a Bachelor of Arts in event management and it is with this degree in mind that I picked up, packed up and moved to Auckland. I think university is equally about the experience of creating home in a foreign city and networking with like minded, talented individuals as much as it is about learning and ending up with a degree. That being said, I want to write the next couple of sentences to briefly describe my degree incase any young hearted individual out there is considering a career of similar taste.
The core papers AUT offers in this degree follow along the lines of event production, event planning, an event perspective, contemporary issues in event management and cooperative learning – an industry/internship based paper. Of course this will be muddled up with other minors and majors, for example, I chose to do business and sustainable design.
The majority of my lecturers were solid in both their understanding and teaching skills. The frustrating thing about University is that as far as I understand you don’t have to have achieved a teacher’s certificate to lecture, you just have to have done the research. Unfortunately this sometimes affects the quality of a paper, although I only had two relatively bad tutors, the others were top notch, knew their stuff both academic and practical, and were everything from quirky, charming and downright hilarious. The core event papers were definitely catered towards big/mega events, Fifa World Cup, The Olympics, Cultural and Sporting Events.
Because I am a creative individual who was attracted to small events because of their personal nature, I found this difficult. However, I do think that this learning and knowledge will give me an edge in the small event design industry and give me a point of difference as opposed to someone who is simply just creative. It will be interesting to see how I can apply event knowledge such as creating an operation manual or feasibility study, risk management plans, event evaluations and business proposals to a small intimate wedding or product launch. Nonetheless learning and gaining knowledge is such a privilege and asset that it will be up to me to work aspects of these skills into small event designs.
If you are just starting to get curious about studying events or have been for awhile I would suggest work experience or even creating your own experience before jumping head first into a student loan. Previously I volunteered with two event design companies. Both were really different, one focused on large corporate design and the other was a small Auckland based prop hire / design company. It wasn’t until my second year summer break that I fell in love and found a little floral studio based in Brooklyn, Wellington. Here I found that I was desperate to learn and soak in the creative brilliance that I was sure was in abundance. Working for this company over the summer really solidified my choice of study. If I can encourage one thing to any other aspiring event designers it would be to put value in industry experience, classroom learning and personal ventures.
I am currently in my last year of this degree and the little floral studio I just mentioned above has very generously and lovingly arranged for me to work for them and complete my co-operative industry learning paper. To be able to work in an environment that is creative, encouraging and safe is a massive blessing. If you can find the right people to guide you, inspire you and correct you, you are on the right track to success. Also a quick note, make sure to look for authenticity. In the last couple of years I have heard of and come across people who leave out the ‘aspiring’ in event designer and just claim their interest and hobby as professional. Although there is nothing directly wrong with this, and I have met many a wonderful individual who has turned their passion into their work, there is also great value in experience and authenticity. Find a boss, mentor or future employer who understands that they themselves are always learning. And if for some reason you can’t seem to get your foot in the door do not be discouraged, people are busy. Be different, be genuine, honest and excited and business owners will see your radiance & remember it.
If you are still cautious about University and/or are curious about event design, then have a little look at the list of books below. At University the supplementary reading lists are as long as the towers outside my first year apartment window. They are also very expensive and very intense. The following is a short list of books I have/ or want to read in regards to events. I also want to extend an invitation to any curious creatures to flick me a message if you wish to hear more about starting out in the event design industry. I have only just tipped my toes in this industry and although my practical knowledge is small my encouragement is abundant.
- The Accidental Creative – How to be Brilliant at a Moments Notice – Todd Henry
- Reflections of a Successful Wallflower: Lessons in Business; Lessons in life – By Andrea Michaels
- Confessions of an Event Planner – Judy Allen.
- Special Events: A New Generation and the Next Frontier by Joe Jeff Goldblatt (University recommended reading).
- Into the Heart of Meetings; Basic Principles of Meeting Design – Mike Van Der Vijve
Photo credit Moon flower photography x
One of the beautiful girls at work had a birthday which she almost kept hidden, and yes we may have been late but we still took time to celebrate, and what better way to celebrate than with a Raw Banoffee Pie.
A recipe from the talented Elenor Ozich was used to create this scrumptious cake. When it comes to raw desserts I am always hesitant at trying new things. I believe there is an art to this delicacy and even after witnessing this talent first hand for two years at Mondays Wholefood, I still only make a few trusted and trailed recipes. For this one I substituted almond butter with peanut butter and decorated the top with flaked fudge not cacao nibs. It’s a solid beautiful recipe, the only thing I would comment on is the texture. It may have been because the blender I used wasn’t top notch, or I didn’t blend the cashews for long enough, but the cashew-vanilla layer was still a bit grainy-fast melting. I also think I’ve reached the point in which I need to introduce/try different flavors in my raw desserts. I always stick to vanilla, caramel, coconut, salted or chocolate. Perhaps a cherry ripe, cranberry & pistachio or mint will be more satisfying. For now though, here are some pretty pictures of this Raw Banoffee Pie, which may have a slice or two missing.
Creating delights such as this make me home sick for Mondays. However, celebrating today, and planning, crafting and dreaming over the last week of the things this floral season promises to be full of, makes me feel even more certain that my heart belongs in Wellington at this Grey & white signed florist studio, with three hilarious women and one little puppy who is almost as scrumptious as the cake above.
It dawned on my at exactly 11.24 pm last night that although I am surrounded by the art of slow living, I have not the faintest hint of how to implement the ideal. It seems that when my life is busy, moving and organized chaos I know how to make time to breath, relax and reflect. But when life hands me breathing space with no full schedule, no due dates and no commitments I am in a fluster to seek out the ‘hectic’.
I have not yet been back in Wellington a week and I am already hunting for a second job and feeling like a bit of a failure because I haven’t yet found a house to call home. Most flats in Wellington that are affordable are home to mold or moss and the sun seems to have forsaken them.
I can not seem to grasp the fact that I have time, that I am financially stable and it is okay to take some time to just be. The problem with this is that I think my generation has forgotten how to relax. Not only that but we do not know what to-do when we have time? I have been blessed with time for the next few months and all I can think of is getting rid of that time by committing to different ventures or simply scrolling through my Facebook and Instagram feed for days on end.
So how does one learn to live slowly when it feels un-natural and uncomfortable? I would applaud any tips you happen to throw my way?