Monday, May 2, 2011

Amazing Women

Greetings friends! Today I am debuting my new Amazing Women series with my very own little sister. I feel so blessed to have so many amazingly creative, talented, wonderful women in my life and I want to share them with you. My favorite articles in magazines use the Q&A interview format. I find it easy to read, personal and engaging. So that’s how I am planning to present these amazing women to you, from time to time. I hope you find some inspiration yourself from reading about them.

 Jill Mason
My sister, artist, florist, businesswoman, mother, wife.
Portland, OR

Q. From a very young age, you have always been a talented artist. How did you choose flowers as your medium?
A. I feel like the flowers chose me. My first real encounter with the flowers was when I was 6 or 7 years old. The Bennett's (our next door neighbors) garden that was adjacent to our side yard called me in one day. The sweet peas growing on the vine were my first true infatuation with the natural world. I remember so clearly the act of picking a little bouquet of these blooms and putting them next to my bed. It was the intoxicating smell that invited me to begin my intimate relationship with flowers.
Q. What is your favorite color for this spring and why?
A. I have a combination of colors that I like all together rather than one particular color. Coral nestled with butter creme yellow and deep velvety purple (see above).
Q. Where do you get the inspiration for your amazing floral creations?
A. My inspirations come from nature. I study the way organic elements naturally move together through the seasons. I don't really look at fashion magazines, but subconsciously I pick up on trends by just observing what I see out in the world in my day-to-day life.
Q. What trends in colors and flowers are you seeing for weddings and other special events this year?
 A. I am not seeing any consistency in color choices so far this year. There seems to be quite a variety of colors happening with brides this year. I am seeing trend towards looser bouquets… a more wild look, less tight and more movement with textures.

Q. OK, let’s change gears a bit. What is your approach to gardening?
A. My approach to gardening right now is planting with a low maintenance designs. I would eventually like to have a zero scape garden with all native plants, but that transition will take some time and money. Right now I just plant with color contrast as a focus. For example chocolate foliage next to silver artemisia, next to a lime green oak leaf hydrangea.
Q. What is your favorite garden flower and why?
A. My favorite garden flower is Solomon seal. I love the little elegant white bells that stagger up the stem. So feminine and a gorgeous, long-lasting cut foliage in arrangements.

Q. What is blooming in your garden right now?
A. In my garden now I have lots of tulips. I would prefer to just have the pink tulips, but my daughter really wanted a rainbow of tulips. I also have an amazing bleeding heart, also one of my all-time favorites. I also have hellebore, morning star, tulip magnolia and many others that are peeking their way up through the ground.
Q. Anything else you would like to add about color, art, beauty, flowers?
A. I get really attached to flowers in each season and find that my favorite flower and favorite color is constantly changing depending upon what is going on in my life.

More about Jill and Starflower
Starflower is a floral design studio located in Southeast Portland where Jill Mason, professional floral designer since 1997, swirls her lifelong love of flowers, background in fine art, and natural aesthetic grace into vibrant botanical delights. From weddings to special events to hotels and restaurants, Starflower is consistently rated one of Portland’s top flower shops and is regularly featured in Portland Bride and Groom magazine.

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