Hi I'm MARY, a multi-disciplinary designer and stylist based in Winter Park, Florida. Previously a Creative Director at Bonnier, I'm currently running a boutique floral design business called Violette (site coming very soon!), teaching a college course on web design, working on freelance graphic design and styling projects as they come, and sustainably restoring a 1930's Florida bungalow.

I started this blog in 2008 for no reason really, other than to save and share things that I loved and occasional peeks at some of my side projects. I'm bringing it back now as a journal of all the creative endeavors I'm working on, in hopes of (maybe) discovering which I like best.

7:08PM

New Flower Work... And should I keep this blog?

Hi friends! I posted some photos of the florals I did for a wedding back in April on my new website's blog. I'm having a hard time deciding whether or not to have a blog that is attached to my website or to keep Olivet. I know it's better for SEO and marketing, etc, etc to have your blog be on your business page. But everytime I come here ready to dismantle this one, my heart breaks a little and I just can't do it!

I'd REALLY love and appreciate any comments or advice on this subject if anyone has any. Please, take a look at my new one and then this one and let me know -- Should I keep it seperated, does it even matter? I'm sure I'm over thinking it...

Photos by Mike Potthast, edited by me.

12:24PM

Field to Vase: Wild Rain Lilies

It's been storming like clock-work here every afternoon for the past month or so, and the vacant lot across the street has sprung up with sweetest patches of wild rain lilies - literally over night! They took me by surprise when I was driving home one evening and have totally transformed our little street-scape! As soon as I saw them, I knew they'd be perfect for another "Field to Vase" post. (You can see the first post in this Florida wildflower series, here.)

The Rain Lily is one of the easiest bulbs to grow in Florida. It's incredibly climatically diverse and, in the wild, usually pops up after a good rain (hence the name). The blooms generally last for one to three days and can be seen along roadsides and in pastures throughout Central Florida during warm weather. While they are incredibly charming in the wild, Rain Lilies also seem to be quite happy under domestication, and can be planted year round in Central Florida. (They thrive in conditions not favorable for true garden lilies.)

As with many wild flowers, Rain Lilies make decent cut flowers, lasting one to two days in the vase. Be sure to clip them first thing in the morning (while they're still covered in dew), trimming the stems at a 45 degree angle. Rain Lilies can be thirsty flowers, so fill your container up mid-way and check the water levels from day to day.

For this post, I decided to make a Rain Lily bouquet tied up with string! I think this would be perfect for summer brides or bridesmaids and would pair nicely with ivory roses and jasmine vine. As a bouquet, the blooms held up very well. Just be sure to keep your stems in a vase of water right until your event begins. You can use a soft hand towel to dry the bouquet's stems before use.

Photos and floral styling by Mary Stonecypher Maslow.

8:04AM

Recent Flower Work: My Brother's Oahu Wedding

Last summer I did the flowers for my brother's wedding in Hawaii (in addition to being a bridesmaid!) It was a very quaint, beautiful, intimate wedding and I was so happy they let me help out. For the florals, my brother and Natalie (his now wife) wanted yellows, whites and greens. So, the goal was to keep it in this color scheme and use as many locally grown, native variates as possible.

Everyone who came to the wedding stayed in a big house on the beach, where the reception was hosted. The grounds of the house were dripping with yellow-y white Plumeria, legendary Kaunaoa, and other lush native greens, which I sourced and combined with locally grown white Dendrobium Orchids and yellow Cymbidium Orchids for the bridal bouquet and table arrangements. The boutonnieres were made up of a few locally grown white Dendrobium Orchid buds and Kaunaoa leaves.

For the maid's bouquets, I tied simple handfuls of locally grown, white Dendrobium Orchids loosely with ribbon, and we each pinned a single Plumeria bud in our hair.

I spent the entire morning the day of the wedding putting everything together. It was a tad exhausting, but also very exhilarating. I love being in the moment like that. 

All photos taken by the talented Chelsea Scanlan.

3:51PM

Nature in Central Florida: Biking the West Orange Trail

A few weeks ago, Tim, my sister-in-law Natalie and I went a long bike ride down the West Orange Trail. Natalie's dad is an avid cyclist who rides to-and-from work everyday, and has even competed in a few races. After turning my brother on to cycling last year, they convinced Tim and to try it out as well. And after just a few rides we were hooked. It's a great way to diversify our workout routine, with a (high calorie-burning!) low-impact exercise. Plus, you get to cruise around outside and enjoy the fresh air.

Since starting cycling we've tried a few of the paved trails in the Orlando area and our favorite so far, hands-down, is the West Orange Trail. 

Roughly 60% is covered with a canopy of old live oaks draped in hanging moss, keeping the ride very cool. And there are little pit stops with nature centers, gardens, water fountains and playgrounds every few miles or so. Here are some photos from our last trek along the West Orange Trail. (You can get the full details of the trail right, here.)

A jasmine wall covering a very long fence around a large industrial compound. It smelled divine.

In addition to running along side and behind several schools, the trail cuts directly through the center of the main street in Winter Garden. It also runs straight through the very tiny (but very charming) downtown of Oakland, a rural hamlet.

If you live in Central Florida, I highly recommend this trail. It's such a great way to escape the buzzing, crowded sprawl.

3:47PM

Simple Plant-Based Tacos (Gluten Free and Vegan too!)

This year for Cinco de Mayo, Tim and I made our favorite, go-to veggie tacos. For health benefits, we usually try and eat as many plant-based meals as possible, with vegetables as the main feature, and limit our meat and refined grain intake to once or twice a week. We started eating this way a few years ago (after reading this and seeing this) and quickly discovered Mexican dishes to be the easiest and simplest to make totally plant-based.

This particular recipe is such a staple in our house, so I thought I'd share!

Simple Plant-Based Tacos:

Ingredients:

  • Corn Tortilla
  • Black Beans
  • Refried Kidney Beans
  • Dino Kale
  • Diced Tomatos
  • Fresh Gaucamole Mash (Avocado, Onions, Garlic, Tomato and Lime Juice)

Step 1: Prep all of your produce, including Gaucamole.

Step 2: Mix both the Black Beans and Refried Kidney Beans in one saucepan to cook. (We normally buy the boxed beans from Whole Foods to cut down on cook times.) Warm your tortillas to your liking (stovetop or oven) at this time as well.

Step 3: Pile all of the ingredients, starting with the Bean mixture on your Corn Tortilla and enjoy!

9:29AM

Emily Ulmer and Other Non-Cheesy, Baby and Kid Photographers

I was so happy to discover the work of Emily Ulmer this morning via a darling post by Elizabeth at The Littlest. It's so refreshing to see natural photos of infants and kids that aren't propped out, staged or posed. I also love, love her "In My Room" series - a collection of portraits of kids in their bedroom. I think it's such a brilliant idea. When I was a kid my room was the ultimate expression of my child self. It was a space where I felt I had total reign and freedom, and I'd spend hours upon hours, re-arranging, decorating and styling it. I'd even get excited when my mother would send me there for acting up. My room was my haven. I've actually been searching for any sort of photos of my room when I was little for the past few months, at my parents' houses, but haven't found anything. Wishing I had some, makes me love this series even more.

I really think capturing babies and children in their true element, without a bunch of fuss, is one of the most beautiful luxuries of modern time. I've been developing a short list of "non-cheesy" newborn, infant and child photographers for a while now and thought I'd share.

My Favorite Editorial Style Baby and Family Photographers:

Credits: All photos by Emily Ulmer from emilyulmer.com.

9:31AM

Summer Soundtrack

I'm currently obsessed with this song by Real Estate. I don't know what it is, but everytime I hear it I'm instantly transported back to the early '90's and put in a good mood. I could just listen to it over and over again. In fact, their most recent album, Atlas (which this song is on), is pretty great overall. I got it a couple months ago at Park Ave CDs and haven't put it away since. It's the perfect summer soundtrack.

PS. Listen to the video, above, all the way through. You won't be disappointed, I promise. The end is my favorite part!

PPS. Check them out on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series.

4:19PM

7 Camp Essentials Made in the USA

Every summer growing up, my family and I would drive from Florida to camp in the mountains of West Virginia (my mom's home state). My mom is one of fourteen (seven boys, seven girls) so these trips doubled as our family reunions, with aunts, uncles and cousins traveling in from all over the country to camp, hike and picnic together.

Memories of these trips are some of my most cherished, but I haven't been back since my grandfather passed away in 2004. So, this year, we're planning another camping trip and heading back to the mountains. But, instead of sticking to one forest (like we did when we were kids) we're traveling to several different spots to hike and see as much as possible. Since I've started planning I've come across a lot of neat finds, from flower farms to scenic highways and epic overlooks, all of which I've been pinning, here. But this week, I'm on the hunt for classic camping gear. And, much to my surprise, I've found a number of timeless, well crafted products made in the USA. Of course, I had to share so here is a round up of my favorite 7 Camping Essentials Made in the USA.

 

1. Springbar Canvas Tents | 2. Classic American Sleeping Bag by American Discovery Outdoors (This Option by Butler Bags is equally cool. ) | 3. ORCA Coolers (Hot Pink!!!) | 4. Mess Kit and Other Camp Cooking Supplies by Open Country | 5. LED Flashlight by MAGlite | 6. Kerosene Lantern from Coleman | 7. Duluth Pack's Utensil Roll

3:00PM

Chickasaw Plum Tree Blossoms

The Chickasaw plum tree blossoms were simply incredible this year. I wanted so badly to clip some branches, but never had the time or the reason to do so. Maybe next year. At least I was able to snap a few iphone pics before they were all gone. I can't believe how quickly they disappear. Before I know it, we'll be picking the fruit again!

12:06PM

Slow Fashion Favorites

Have you seen the ad that Zady took out in the Wall Street Journal recently? I was so impressed when I saw it. I've always had a love-hate relationship with the fashion industry. On one hand, I really believe that owning and wearing well-designed, thoughtfully crafted pieces can make such a difference in the way a person feels and functions, but on the other hand, I can't stand fast fashion, and the constant creation, marketing and over production of cheap clothing for the sole purpose of profit, profit, profit and at the expense of human life.

Beacause of this, when I'm not thrifting, I'm on the hunt for sustainable clothing companies that produce and create well designed, timeless, long-lasting and semi-affordable pieces without compromising on ethics. After stumbling across a very neat brand this morning, called the IOU Project, I thought I'd round up a few of my favorite slow fashion pieces that are available right now.

1. Sustainable Sunglasses / 2. Chambray Pull-Over / 3. Madras Espadrille Wedge  / 4.Vegetable Wash Jeans / 5. Colorful Short Shorts / 6. Not a piece of clothing, but classic braids fit perfectly with classic clothes! Not sure of the photo source...

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