Butterflies, Shells and Flowers

When I think back to how Salt Flower Studio originated, I know it all has its roots in my childhood and my time spent in nature. I grew up in the 1970's, when there was no such term as "free range children" because that is how we all were allowed to be all the time. "Come home when the street lights come on" was the rule. Wandering off for hours to dig in ditches and fish around in ponds looking for tadpoles and minnows was how we spent our free time.

My dad bought a quarter acre of land on the edge of town where everything was still pine trees, and cleared just enough room to build a small DIY two room cottage we called "the country house". I spent hours and hours wandering the pine flats and became a keen observer of nature. Our neighbor was a French couple, and had eight dogs, lots of chickens and rabbits, a garden, and I learned to appreciate their wisdom about homesteading, cooking real food and the cycle of life.

Back in the city, I collected butterflies, something I now regret, and put them under glass to hang up in my room. I pressed our garden flowers and made little works of art. I collected seashells and looked up all the names and memorized them. I took out watercolors and painted nature: more butterflies, birds, seashells and flowers. Even now, I can't live without a garden or a view of nature and have created a home that fills my family with a feeling of peace and restoration.

I learned to be eco-conscious at a very young age. My mother is from Spain, and she grew up very poor. Food and clean water were precious and hard to get. In the US as a young wife, she lived sustainably when it wasn't even a thing, using grey water from the laundry to water her plants, throwing her vegetable scraps at the base of her plants to give them nurishment, reusing jars from pickles and olives for storage, cutting up old towels and sheets to repurpose them into cleaning cloths. As a child, I saw her frugality as silly, but now I know that even though she could have afforded to buy things to do these jobs, it was her ethos about wastefulness that kept her doing it. Now I see how even these small gestures had an impact over 85 years of her life on our resources and planet. I now understand that if we all do a little bit, it all makes a difference. I now understand how it intersects with my idea of wellness and holistic living.

I also learned from my mom how to make home a special place to be, and how important home is for our family's wellbeing. Lots of natural light, pleasing soft wall colors, bringing branches and flowers in from the yard, filling jars with seashells collected from our vacations all created a home full of beauty and memories. We bonded over hanging wallpaper, painting furniture, and making macrame hangers.

And now, I take this love of nature and home and fuse it into Salt Flower Studio. My way of bringing those things that bring me joy and peace to others who are longing to create that sacred and special place called home.

I hope you follow me along my wellness journey and find some inspiration to bring beauty and meaningfulness to your home through the choices you make.