Flowers at Worlds End Farm

Worlds End by Katie Kukulka

Lately, I’ve been revisiting my memories looking for stories to share here. One, in particular, came to mind about the time I spent at Worlds End farm where I attended an intensive floral design symposium with Sarah and Nicolette of Little Flower School. Both women were generous with their knowledge, and I left feeling well educated in the art of arranging flowers. I was told I have a great eye for color and scolded for death gripping bouquets (also realized this was probably a metaphor for my life, lesson learned ladies).

But what made the time I spent in rural upstate New York special was the atmosphere. Worlds End was, like Sarah’s work, simultaneously wild and refined making it an aesthetic inspiration. After touring her home, I found myself jealously longing for peeling paint, exposed lathe and a kitchen the size of a closet with only a sink.

If you are an aspiring florist or, like me, get your thrills from learning new mediums in which to express your creativity, I suggest enrolling in one of their classes. In the two years since my visit I’ve watched Worlds End change, as all works in progress do, through Sarah’s updates. I hope one day I can visit again and see how far things have come.

Poochi at Worlds End Farm  Bouquet by Katie KukulkaNicolette and Sarah by Katie KukulkaBouquet by Katie KukulkaWorlds End Farm Worlds End ChickensFlowers at Worlds End

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Sarah and Eric’s Greek Revival farm house, Poochi, my bouquet, Sarah and Nicolette with their finished sample bouquets, my bouquet again, leftovers, a few friendly and ornery hens, flowers supplied for, then devoured by eager learners.

 


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Shopping for French Antiques

Paris_Book_6unspecified-1Antique shopping is one of my favorite activities, especially when visiting Europe. The last time I was in France, I hopped from puce to brocante all the way from Paris to Provence. Nearly everything I encountered, from sofas to soap dishes, was influenced by the historically opulent French design aesthetic. This made browsing endless collections of eighteenth and nineteenth-century bric-a-brac a visual delight. I found some beautiful things and had a wonderful time.

PARIS

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Flea Markets of Paris by Katie Kukulka  Flea Markets of Paris by Katie Kukulka
Flea Markets of Paris by Katie Kukulka

PROVENCE

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Images 1 and 2 were taken at our Paris Airbnb. Images 3-5 were taken at Marché aux Puces St.-Ouen de Clignancourt in Paris. Images 6-10 were taken at Villeneuve-Lès-Avignon Flea Market outside of Avingnon in Provence.   

 
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10 Days Old

My Son Edward Willaim My Son Edward William  My Son Edward William

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Edward is wrapped in an Indigo Kantha blanket gifted to us by a dear friend.

 
My son Edward William was born January 20th at 4:04 AM. He weighed 9 pounds 6 ounces and was 22 1/4 in length. The story of his birth is dramatic and I’m still processing the event. Simply put, it was dreadful. Perhaps at some point I will share the whole story. Luckily time heals and as it turns out, so does holding a newborn baby. His sweet temperament and calm demeanor has made these first days incredibly special. I took these photos when Edward was 10 days old. In the time that has passed he already seems to have changed so much.

I have miraculously already lost nearly the entire 35 pounds I gained while pregnant since his birth. I didn’t believe the stories I read about breastfeeding and weight loss but for me they came true. I am also surprised that he is sleeping up to four hours at a time which has allowed me to rest and recuperate rather easily. I am so thankful for this since I desperately needed to feel like myself again.

Obsessed With a Man I Haven’t Met

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A handmade bear by Russian toy designer Sasha Pokrass and antique indigo dyed blanket in his crib, an attentive and curious Beatrix, and an antique Swedish wooden doll cradle.

 
Lately my life has revolved around a man I have yet to meet, my son. I am currently 34 weeks pregnant, my official due date is January 11, 2016. I’ve spent the last 8 months preparing for his arrival in one way or another. I’ve contemplated his name; attended childbirth classes so I am educated enough to make informed decisions; enlisted the help and expertise of an excellent doula; unearthed boxes of my old Brio trains and baby books buried in storage for the last 20+ years; prepared his nursery and drafted an absurdly long 50 item long list of things I intend to pack in my delivery bag. I’ve also inadvertently purchased my son and my husband matching navy, black and gray wardrobes.

All the while this little man has been growing and growing which has been a strange and interesting experience. I think all women have a general idea of what to expect when pregnant, but even with that knowledge every single thing about this pregnancy has surprised me. From feeling him move, to how heavy he is, to the fatigue I feel, to the extent of my new physical limitations. I’ve been taken aback by each and every new pregnancy experience, maybe because it feels very surreal. I also didn’t expect to turn into a cliché pregnant woman, but I have. With one exception; I have not been visually documenting this pregnancy.

A while back I was persuaded to take a bump photo for out of town friends. Thanks to a tripod and wireless remote a single photo exists so far to document this belly (if you subscribe to my newsletter you saw it a few weeks ago). I find posed maternity photos awkward, but I know I would regret not taking a few really lovely ones at some point. In the meantime the photos I have to share are glimpses of his nursery.

Click Image Details above for info about each image.

What I Love About Sweden

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I love being able to walk into a second hand shop and leave with armfuls of vintage monogrammed hand towels, an antique trophy once awarded to the winner of a grenade throwing competition, and regretting not being able to fit a tabletop mangle in my suitcase. Dining on fresh smoked salmon in my favorite red cottage by the sea. Laughing, dancing and drinking with friends during Valborg in Uppsala. Learning to Tunisian crochet from the wife of a local fisherman, while sitting on her front porch overlooking the Baltic. Walking down the streets of Gamla Stan recognizing the same shops I visited as a child. Learning so much from the Swedish women I greatly admire simply by being in their company.

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Uppsala, a monogramed pillowcase on a bed in my favorite seaside cottage, traditional Swedish folk costume jacket and ribbon repurposed for modern wear, the oldest cottage in the village, Birgitta’s enviable Upsala Ekeby collection, that armful of hand towels I was talking about, a kungsängslilja (fritillaria) flower, our breakfast table, silver & pewter for sale at an antique shop (I regret not buying both sets of those candlesticks), vintage 1940s snakeskin platform pumps in my size, the hand lettered sign of a charming antique shop in the countryside.