Change of Day


My partner, Max, introduced me early on, to a ritual that now crops up at our house multiple times a week. It was a term he started saying while he poured a glass of sparkling wine, or brought out a block of cheese. And like learning a new language, you say it too for a while until the full meaning really sinks in. “Change of day” at its simplest meaning, refers to a small pre-dinner snack sometimes involving a sip of wine or cocktail. It’s never elaborate, but it is considered – the best, simple ingredients – cheese, fruit, olives, roast nuts, cured meats – may make an appearance.

In a deeper way, it always refers to a resetting, a time when the happenings of the day are suspended and left until tomorrow, when the light is changing, and night-time is coming. A change from the outward focus with the world, to inward with family. It feels like a tiny piece of an old-world culture brought into our modern house. We could be in Italy, Spain, France for those 20 minutes. Sometimes we talk, sometimes an article is read. It is a moment to shift the mood, appreciate the dusk hour, each other and transition.

As rituals develop over time, and gestures reflect those participating, I add a simple arrangement of flowers to the change of day routine. It is a gesture that brings awareness and beauty to our space, and elements of nature to our home. For this late summer change of day, I used garden roses, dahlias, and geum. These vibrant flowers quickly fill the room with bold color and faint sweet aromas.

  28945473342_c4595259f8_o  29018070316_bbcd6e7323_o28764727750_81f2edd916_o 28433258173_da05be94c1_o 28433247103_7707858158_o 28433195533_7bb611d0d2_o 28430136504_1daea91bff_o

28430085024_044262862f_k 28945595542_e51db58329_o

Roses: Obsession & Creation


Rose Petal Jam

The great thing about making rose petal jam, is the way the roses perfume the air as they heat up, steam, steep, and boil. A single rose can give off complex aromatic notes, from floral, to citrus, to cloves, to honey, to tea. The result is an enveloping sensation that causes one to pause and breathe deeply for a moment and acknowledge something special is transpiring.


Rito-ito + Chris Kallmyer

In collaboration with artist, Chris Kallmyer, Rito-ito created a rose installation at San Francisco Symphony's SoundBox. It consisted of 3 parts: a rose petal jam tableau (for a live recording of the sounds of jam making), a large arrangement to accompany the violinist, and a small arrangement to anchor the space.



The recent show, titled, Obsession & Creation produced by LA group Chromatic, provided an evening to explore art, sound, performance, video and flowers. Kallmyer envisioned an installation as an homage to experimental composer and musician Harry Partch. The installation would highlight one of Partch’s loves: gardening and rose petal jam at his home in Petaluma and one of his hates: Bach. He asked if Rito-ito would participate and I jumped at the chance to create something with roses in an unexpected arena.


Rose Harvest

Kallmyer and I harvested 3 types of roses for the performance. 2 grocery bags full of rose heads and petals. We arrived at the farm at 6AM, the morning dew still on every petal, the fog lifting off the Sonoma Valley in Healdsburg. We had to be there early because roses retain their most fragrance when cold, after a long night of low temperatures. As they warm up they give off their scent. It was an incredible experience to be surrounded by roses on a cold morning and smell nothing, only later to be blown away by their scent as they rise in temperature.


The first rose, a soft magenta color, flat in shape and ruffled with petals was the Kazanlik, from Bulgaria. The rose is prized for its floral, woodsy scent that makes much of the world’s rose water and rose oil when distilled.

The second rose, a deeper redder pink, and a large specimen was the Souvenir de Claudius Denoyel. A rose from France and cultivated in the 1800s known for its sweet citrusy smell.


The third rose, a variety that greeted us in the dirt parking lot, called Gertrude Jekyll is an English variety known for its old rose fragrance.

As we drove away and the sun warmed the car, the smell of the three roses started to emerge. We would later find it was a fraction of what we’d experience in the orchestra pit of the SoundBox. A space seemingly devoid of smell, its massive concrete beams and pillars, the sterile but highly technical sound equipment ready to delight the crowd – its vacuous space would later be filled with the sweetest, romantic, heady scent of roses.


The 2 bags of petals we harvested would amount to 2 drops of rose oil if we were distilling it. Rose oil is worth more than gold per ounce. And for the performance those two bags of rose petals amplified an experience of delight and intrigue that perfumed and set the stage for an unexpected special evening.

Obsession & Creation: Show credits
Obsession & Creation: Notes on music

All Colors Make Black


Black is the liaison which connects art and fashion
—Yves Saint Laurent

The Color Black, in Flowers
The color black has a long and symbolic history in art, culture, and power. Black can represent darkness, evil, magic, mourning, authority, law, secrecy, misfortune, falsehood, illegality. Black has another side; elegance, sophistication, solemnity, functionality, and authority.

I am drawn to this duality of black. On the one hand, black can be defined as the absence of all light and all hue—an absolute nothingness. On the other hand, a black pigment can also be defined as the appropriate mixture of all pigments—a total amalgamation.

Since 1984, The de Young Museum, in San Francisco, has hosted an annual Bouquets to Art exhibit, pairing floral designers with the permanent collection to interpret a work of art through botanicals. The 2016 florists were already chosen, however I decided to participate anyways, and I created a floral installation as an interpretation of the piece of art I look at every morning, Make Black, a print by Shaun O’Dell.


Make Black, 30 1/8" x 21 3/4", an etching from 5 aquatint plates by Shaun O’Dell. His piece was made during a residency at Island Press in St. Louis in fall 2013. I’m drawn to the piece for many reasons: its bold use of nuanced color, the way it shows process, and the slow patience required to execute the work.


img_0849Seeing Color
I have always been sensitive to, and curious about color. My senses are soothed and uplifted when I experience moments in the world of pleasing color harmonies. I am often drawn to dark, moody, full-bodied color with intensity, depth, and saturation. I always get excited by the bold and rich colors nature provides.

I remember drawing with my father as a child. We would look out into nature– the hills in Marin– and he would say, “See how many shades of green there are. There are purples, and blues, and oranges, and reds, and blacks in all those greens.” His drawings would be alive with contrasting and complimentary color, even though we were just looking at a swath of green trees. Its with this lens I look at Make Black and interpret its color through black calla lilies, plum branches, and willow all naturally occurring in their dark hues.


Contemporary Art & Flowers
Contemporary art and flowers are both luxuries, aesthetic pursuits, and at times, seem trivial in the big picture. However, I have spent much of my life in both worlds, and am fortunate to do so. Lately, I have been thinking about how flowers and art fit together. I was enchanted to read a recent NY Times article about a contemporary art gallery and flower shop pairing in London. I immediately felt a kindred spirit.

I think it's possible black is the liaison which connects art and flowers.



  • Black calla lillies
  • Brown willow (2 varieties)
  • Yellow forsythia
  • Red tulips
  • Oxblood plum branches
  • Orange ranunculus and geum
  • Violet lilac
  • Blue cornflower and hydrangea
  • Green palms and poppy pods


Post Pop-up Show and Tell: Thank You!

Rito-ito had a great time popping up at Erica Tanov for Valentine’s Day weekend and loved sharing our floral designs with the public. I was honored to be hosted by such a beautiful and thoughtful host and are grateful to all who came out to support Rito-ito. Thank you.

I wanted to share a few images of the pop-up event here:



Marin Country Mart Set Up



With ceramicist, Takashi Fukuda



Detail, Marin Country Mart



With Max



Berkeley, Set Up



Detail, Berkeley Set Up


Thank you:

Erica Tanov and staff, Max La Riviere-Hedrick, Nicholas Franco, Wendy Stamm, Stacy Boyington, Takashi Fukuda, and Mike Costifas for your support making the pop-up a success.



Rito-ito is popping-up at Erica Tanov

Valentine's Weekend Pop-up floral shop at Erica Tanov


Image courtesy of Erica Tanov

Rito-ito is thrilled to be partnering with the Erica Tanov stores to celebrate Valentine's Day. 
Stop by either location to get flowers for your Valentine!

Saturday Februrary 13th: Pop-up at Erica Tanov, Marin Country Mart, Larkspur

Sunday February 14th: Pop-up at Erica Tanov, Berkeley, 4th Street

Noon-5PM both days.

FLOWERS + Limited Edition Porcelain Vessels by Takashi Fukuda
Available in two styles at the pop-up.


Rito-ito is pleased to collaborate with San Francisco ceramicist, Takashi Fukuda. Take home flowers in hand-crafted, thrown porcelain vessels, designed for Rito-ito. The vessels will live on after the flowers have faded and be a reminder of simple beauty. 

Matte black velvet finish & celedon sheen finish.

Flowers for Sale for Valentine’s Day!


Rito-ito offers Valentine’s Day floral arrangements for pre order and delivery in Marin and San Francisco!

Ritual: flowers help us celebrate love of all kinds.
Intention: share a moment of natural beauty with a loved one. 
Rito-ito is offering flowers in 2 styles:



Magenta and red to celebrate pretty love. Bountiful blooms spread adoration, appreciation, and attraction. Spring is near.

  • lush
  • full
  • vibrant

Delivery in San Francisco and Marin on Sunday Feb. 14 ($20 delivery fee)

To place an order, email here.



Reeds and branches to celebrate handsome love. Linear, lasting elements show adoration appreciation and attraction. Spring is near.

  • elemental
  • sculptural
  • lasting

Delivery in San Francisco and Marin on Sunday Feb. 14 ($20 delivery fee).

To place an order, email here