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.
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.
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!
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?!
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.”
I was excited for our lapel pins to arrive, just in time to wear at our upcoming trade fair in Melbourne!
Have you heard of the Just A Card Campaign? It came about when British artist & designer Sarah Hamilton saw the quote “If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought ‘just a card‘ we’d still be open” by store keepers who’d recently closed their gallery.
This prompted a call to action! Designer/Makers and independent shops and galleries needed a voice and so in 2015 Sarah started the wonderful Just A Card campaign.
Sarah says “when you buy JUST A CARD, just a book, just a gift etc from an independent shop or creative business you’re not just buying a card…you’re supporting passion, skill, creativity, originality and community” – I couldn’t put it better myself!
Many of the shops that sell my work are small independent stores with passionate owners, so my sucess is also linked to their sucess.
While the Just A Card Campaign started in Britian it’s message has resonated globally with designers, makers, and independent shops and galleries and next week is a 3rd Birthday celebration of just how far it’s come.
Coming from a small island off an island (my old atlas doesn’t even name it!) by necessity gives me a “there’s a whole world out there” focus on where I’d like petal & pins to be so I’ll be participating in their Five Day Instagram Challenge and I invite you to follow along – @petalandpins
How can you get involved?
And finally as Sarah says – by all means compliment people, it makes the world a far sunnier place, but if you can, please, buy ‘just a card‘!
I must confess I had to google Galentine’s Day to know what exactly it was when it started popping up in my instagram feed and on the artwork of fellow card designers.
Was it a fancy pants way of saying Valentine’s Day? a Galician or Gaelic tradition?!
Having never watched the television show Parks and Recreation I was in the dark to the 16th episode of the second season (first aired in 2010). Amy Poehler‘s character Leslie throws her annual “Galentine’s Day” party for her female friends, celebrated the day before Valentine’s Day.
Like so many things Galentine’s Day has apparently transcended from the television screen into everyday culture. While it started out with the character Leslie going to brunch with her female friends, the unofficial holiday is now not just celebrated by fans of the show, it has turned into an optimistic celebration of friendship to be celebrated on the 13th February.
Yesterday I received a Valentine’s card in the mail from an admirer – a fabulous female friend, I doubt she’d heard of Galentine’s Day either and I love that over the years we’ve found our own ways to celebrate friendship with no popular culture prompts needed.
So happy days of love and friendship to you, whether you’re choosing to partake in old traditions or new or blissfully ignoring them!
Designed with the lovely Cécile Brünner roses from our garden there are currently four designs in the Love Letters Collection and three are available as signed giclée prints.
I’ve written before about this pretty rose, it’s a favourite of mine, and I chose to pick sprays of them to combine with ‘Naked Ladies’ (amaryllis belladonna), snow berries and camellia leaves for a sophisticated elegance… and let’s pretend just out of view is a ‘Schiaparelli’ pink velvet chaise longue, a gorgeous art deco ice bucket with champagne chilling and French doors with a view of the Seine.
Two of the highlights of my year have been about collaboration.
In April Lisa Britzman, a ceramic artist and sustainable boutique farmer in the Huon Valley of Tasmania got in touch to see if I would be interested in having some of her autumn blooming saffron flowers to design my minature botanical couture with.
Mr Petal & Pins and I drove down to Campo de Flori Farm which is picturesquely located high in the hills. It was facinating to see saffron growing and Lisa showed us how it is harvested. I brought a basketful of the striking purple flowers home and designed a mini collection of dresses that has kicked off the Farmgate Project by petal & pins.
Recently we went back to the farm for olive blossoms and culinary lavender – and of course we were only too happy to come home with some freshly baked lavender shortbread biscuits too!
The other wonderful collaboration began in the Spring of 2016 when Carolyn Turgeon editor-in-chief of Faerie Magazine interviewed me by skype for the The Faeirie Handbook – ‘an enchanting compendium of Literature, Lore, Art, Recipes and Projects’.
In winter this year I got a sneek peek at the proofs for the pages featuring my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe® and the beautiful cover featuring Euphaeidae from the Wonderland series by Kirsty Mitchell Photography but of course had to keep it a secret until its release.
The book launched in November and I was very excited when my copy from publisher Harper Collins New York office arrived!
It’s an exquisite hardback book with silver edged pages and I couldn’t be more proud to be featured within it.
There’s something for everyone who loves a bit of whimsy and magic of any age with chapters on Flora & Fauna, Fashion & Beauty, Arts & Culture and Home, Food & Entertaining.
So let me know if you see The Faerie Handbook in your local bookstore…or if you have a suggestion for a collaboration why not get in touch!
The Faerie Handbook is available from bookshops worldwide and online through Amazon, Booktopia, Dymocks and the Faerie Magazine online store.
In November Mr Petal & Pins and I headed to Adelaide to do our 4th Bowerbird Design Market.
We love this event for all sorts of reasons – and although it’s work it’s also lots of fun, although not so much the 4am start to catch our flights (2) to get to Adelaide in time to set up!
We get to share our story and products directly to consumers and chat with other designers and makers from all around the country running creative businesses just like us.
And then there is the food…our favourite this time was from The Seasonal Garden Cafe. Their endeavour is to celebrate seasonal produce serving simple, peasant food that is guided by what is available from their cafe garden and from the gardens of local growers – and they certainly delivered that in a very delicous way!
Equally impressive was their stand display so I took some photos to share with you.