Petal & Pins

Garden Cameo

We recently swapped our Australian Autumn for a bit of New York Spring. That required hopping on three planes and over 24 hours of travelling time from walking out our front door to reaching our destination!

The antidote to jet lag and such a long journey? Wandering around the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

This ‘cameo’ view is in the Cranford Rose Garden which first opened in 1928. It has one of the largest collections in North America, over a thousand kinds of roses are cultivated.

Although we were too early for the roses to be blooming we were there at the perfect time for the Japanese tree peonies and the bluebell wood in all its glory – a beautiful and gentle start to a whirlwind ten days of sightseeing, trade show exhibiting and catching up with friends!

The Devil Is In The Detail

March 2019 In a Vase on Monday

I think autumn is one of my favourite months to join Cathy from Rambling In The Garden’s Monday blog post project In A Vase On Monday

There’s always an eclectic mix of colour and shapes to choose from in my garden at this time and the end result is often bolder and more considered in the way I put things together.

This morning I’ve chosen to use my glass vase that has a swirl of crimson around the top thinking it would pick up the colour of the crabapples growing in our hedge.

The ones I could reach to pick are a much more golden hue, and with a trio of pink roses I also picked  some mottled hydrangeas to tie it all together.

A stack of magazines was a practical solution as a makeshift plinth to raise the flowers for photographing but I thought the gorgeous rich image on the cover of Flowbulous magazine also created a beautiful backdrop!

I bought the magazine in Japan last year and it’s full of incredible photographs and flowers by Atsushi Taniguchi.

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As I arranged my vase I began to realise I’d not picked nearly enough for such a wide necked vase and at that moment it started to pour with rain. My solution? the gum nuts sitting undercover on the verandah and some hydrangeas dried from last autumn in the palest of pink.

For Me By Dee print and vase of flowers

The gum nuts of course add a distinctive Australian touch to my vase so I decided to photograph it with Desmond the Tasmanian devil – a beautiful print from an original watercolour drawing by Melbourne artist Daniella Leo.

And that is what’s inspired this Monday’s blog post title!

Autumn Vase

autumn hydrangeas, antique silver rose bowl and cookbook

autumn hydrangeas

 

Ripples On Water

I’m a little late with my first blog post for 2019, our January trip to exhibit at Top Drawer London S/S had us on the go from day one.

But as February starts to disappear the beginning of a new week has spurred me to dive back in and what better inspiration for a post than participating in Cathy from Rambling in the Garden’s In A Vase On Monday!

I have a small clump of Amaryllis belladonna growing in my garden but this big bunch I was given by my neighbour.

These lillies are a bit ‘now you see me now you don’t’  – with warmer than average weather this summer and everything looking a bit dry and a little jaded, suddenly in gardens and paddocks up pop the ‘naked ladies’, prettiness that belies hardiness.

After using some to design a lily dress for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe I have arranged the rest with white agapanthus, some branches from a deeper pink flowering shrub and some greenery.

This time last year we were excitedly planning our trip to Japan and on the weekend we finally hung the beautiful drawings we bought at the Oedo Antique Market in Tokyo.They are actually technical drawings – designs for obi, the sash worn with a kimono. The market seller had a large pile of them with other trinkets laid out on a cloth. I hovered rather impatiently as someone before me went through cherry picking a lot of the most beautiful ones!

Of the two we chose I had thought the other one – a lush arrangement of peonies and chrysanthemums was my favourite but now hung, one each side of the fireplace, the simplicity and serenity of this one beckons me to pause, imagine myself on a river bank, glance through the over hanging branches and watch the ripples dancing on the surface of the water.

 

Busy as a Bee

bee in the magnolia

With several warm December days in a row the magnolia outside our studio window has been a mass of blooms. I glanced out at this one last week and it was perfectly open for photographing but a little high up for a good shot without the step ladder.

I hesitated for a moment and told myself not to get distracted from all the work I had to do that day and take a photo later…of course when I did go back outside the petals had started to close up and I’d missed the moment.

The next day the flower was less than perfect but a buzz with bees – so I grabbed my camera and the step ladder.

First there was one bee, then two, then three gathering pollen before flying off to another flower. No sooner had they left a bumble bee arrived and burrowed into the stamens.

We’ve been busy as bees in the petal & pins studio these last few months with Christmas markets, orders to get out the door and preparations for our first international trade show in the new year.

The ‘To Do’ list is finally starting to feel like it’s decreasing not increasing but as any small business owner knows it never stays that way for long.

I’m looking forward to a few days over Christmas doing nothing at all – hopefully the weather will be agreeable to lying on a blanket in the garden with a book!

Beguiled

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Spring & Renewal

As one of the earliest blooms of the season lilacs symbolize spring & renewal. It’s heady fragrance is unforgettably sweet, spicy and intense and it’s a cause for celebration when it returns to my garden.

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“The smell of moist earth and lilacs hung in the air like wisps of the past and hints of the future.” 

Margaret Millar (1947) Experiment in Springtime:A Novel, New York:Random House

 

Scribbled

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One of the things I love about stepping out in a big city is the fabulous window dressing you see.

When I was in Tokyo this mens shoe store display caught my eye, it’s deceptively simple but carefully and artfully arranged.

The suspended writing (a play on pinstripes?) gives a sense of movement and the nonchalant lean of the umbrella is positioned just so that you can almost sense an imaginary hand resting on the handle.

I photographed a Melbourne window display back in 2014 that also used script in a clever way, appearing in reverse you needed to look at the shadow to read it.

Anyone care to have a go at deciphering what the scribbly man says?!

 

 

Life Instyle Melbourne 2018

petal & pins at LIS rose card

For Spring/Summer I’ve created a brand new card collection with pretty colours and whimsical designs with apple blossom, jonquils, sea shells and Flemish butterflies!

I’m also delighted to introduce a range of linen tea towels and new designs to our popular Love Letters & Christmas Collections.

You may have seen some sneak peeks on the petal & pins instagram of these new designs and I’ll be showing the full range including our signature collection the Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe® at Life Instyle Melbourne next week at stand 2249.

If you are retailer you have a chance to win $1000 to spend at the event by registering to attend here.

The ultimate destination for all things in style.

“Life Instyle is a boutique trade event for leading buyers with a discerning eye for quality and style. With a strong focus on creative excellence and innovative design, Life Instyle has become a highly anticipated and sought after event within the retail industry and a centre of activity for buyers with their finger on the pulse.

Explore a mix of beautiful designer brands featuring premium homeware, giftware, lifestyle and kids products all within an inspiring and fresh sourcing environment.

With two shows per year, visitors, including leading local and international buyers, interior designers, stylists and the media, all come from around Australia and beyond to source from the most exclusive brands in the country and enjoy the relaxed ambience and open floor plans that have become the trade mark of Life Instyle.”

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Swept Away

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I’ve been procrastinating writing about our trip to Japan – where to start? A place of contrasts and beauty couldn’t be contained in one post.

There is intricacy and simplicity.

A riot of colour and then a tonal quietness.

This morning I decide to start with the leaf sweepers at Meiji-jingū, Tokyo’s largest and most famous Shintō shrine. The sprawling forested grounds contain some 120,000 trees collected from all over Japan.

I was facinated by the simplicity and make shift look of the brooms, they reminded me of the ones I’d seen street sweepers using in Venice, Italy.

They obviously do the job they’re designed for well – perhaps a reminder that sometimes we can over complicate things.

Besides they have such charm don’t you think!

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Here is a link for making a Japanese broom for sweeping your own cobblestones, gravel path or moss garden.

http://japanesegardening.org/reference/bamboo_broom.html

 

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