Welcome to Two Stems of Joy! My name is Britni, and this blog is my creative outlet in the form of flowers and floral design. You can read more about me in my profile, but to give a quick summary, I’m a Montana native, Boston-based architectural designer who loves flowers. While working in the architectural realm is full of creative opportunity, I have realized in my first few post-grad years that this creativity is mainly expressed in digital forms. I build 3D models of the houses we design in BIM (Building Information Modeling) software, which then produces the 2D drawings we use for construction documents. Very efficient. Very accurate. And yet, I find it frustrating being tied to a computer all day, rarely picking up a pencil to sketch. I wish I could have entered the workforce 40 years ago when drawings were drafted by hand with thick stalks of graphite, a few plastic triangles, and rulers. I love working with my hands to express my creativity – whether it be sketching, painting, molding, carving, or any other art form. I am a perfectionist, I love paying attention to details, and all of my favorite art forms fall within the tactile vein. So this blog is my way of reconnecting to my creativity in a more tactile, personal way than my job has afforded me thus far.
It all started on July 17, 2015. My coworkers had brought back the leftover flowers used to stage a professional photo shoot for one of our completed projects, and the general rule is first-come, first-serve from the buckets of blooms and greens. That Friday, there was a lovely mix of hydrangeas, chrysanthemums, and veronicas along with a few swamp lilies, various greenery and even a branch from a fig tree (figs included.) I arranged the bouquet for the coffee table at the front of our office then riffled through the remaining stems to assemble my own arrangement. As I carried the jar of flowers home for the weekend, I couldn’t help but think how much nicer it had been to sit at my desk that day with an extra burst of color to look at when my eyes need a break from the screen. I put the flowers on our kitchen table when I arrived home and started chatting with my roommate Esther as we usually do when we get home from work. For the previous few months, Esther and I had often discussed how our passions weren’t always fully satisfied by our day jobs – almost hitting the mark, but not quite. Earlier in the year, Esther (a registered dietitian) decided to start a food blog as a way of marrying her love of delicious food with her skills and knowledge of dietetics (seriously, you should check her blog out – as the official guinea pig and taste tester of all of her creations, I can honestly tell you this girl knows what’s up!). She had often encouraged me to start a blog, but I never knew what I would write about. Architectural Styles in American history? Watercolor paintings? My love of unique cupcake recipes? None of them seemed to stick.
But that day as we sat at our kitchen table talking over the top of the purple blooms, it hit me. Flowers. I love flowers. And there it was – the idea was born, and it took all of five minutes to start dreaming of abandoning my other pursuits to study the art of floral design and opening my own florist shop. But let’s be real – I already spent five years in architecture school, live in the notoriously expensive city of Boston, and have no idea how to run a business. So blogging seems like a pretty good way to start working with flowers while not pulling a 180 on a career path that I’ve already worked hard to achieve. So join me in raising a glass (or vase, rather,) and here’s to pursuing a newly realized passion!