Petal & Pins

Category: Childhood memories

Pussy Cat Pussy Cat Where Have You Been

vintage postcardI discovered this postcard amongst some things at my mother’s house last year.

Sent to my grandfather when he was five, it’s postmarked December 23rd 1917 and the handwritten greeting from an aunt is delightful.

With good intentions of letting those playful kittens deliver a Christmas greeting again I photographed the card so it could arrive in a very different type of mailbox via this blog – 100 years after it was first sent!

I pondered where one of our petal & pins greeting cards may turn up a century on from now and thought it was the perfect example of why a handwritten card will always be so much more meaningful than tapping out a text.

So my apologies for it being belated –  I hope you had a jolly Christmas and Best Wishes for 2018!

Sandra X

 

Unexpected Colours

vintage flower dress

We were sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers at the end of May and I put them in the hallway to enjoy in passing and to avoid the rapid decline that a vase of flowers can have in a room that is heated during winter.

I try to remember to change the water and snip stems regularly but sometimes it’s easy to forget in the bustle of life. I also like to let a vase linger past its prime – there is beauty in decaying flowers – shapes change and unexpected colours appear.

Ahead of the weekend I decided to empty that hallway vase and another, but not before turning the aged beauty they contained into a Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe dress.

In my Meet The Maker interview I spoke about my childhood ‘dress up box’ and my inspiration for this particular Garden Fairy’s dress was the idea of it coming out of such a box or an old suitcase – transformed with age and time into something quite different with a special beauty.

There are bergenias, lilies, proteas and gerberas in the mix, can you imagine it brand new!

floral decay 1
blue tinge

Little Joys

At the top of the hill there is a roundabout that peels off in several directions past which my street becomes a dead-end.  If you walk right down to the bottom you will discover a path that follows a creek bed.

It feels like you are in the countryside, not a city suburb with all the hustle and bustle that entails, and so it is a favourite route when walking with Mr Petal & Pins and Agnes.

At this time of year a pink hawthorn tree adds an extra air of romance to the entrance, the flowers are so pretty they look like bunches of miniature roses and I can’t help but dream of garden fairy dresses when I walk by.

pink hawthorn tree

petal & pins dress from pink hawthorn flowers

Walking somewhere regularly I think you discover a favorite route that isn’t always about the shortest way but more about the little joys that things along the way can bring.

In primary school I would cut through a vacant block that had wild freesias growing and my sister and I would often stop to pick them.

In high school it was walking past a large overgrown garden with a mysterious old house that you could just glimpse through the corner gates that fed my imagination (helped along with a few urban myths).

Passing that garden nearly everyday for five years felt like a glimpse of  ‘otherness’ – how I would have loved to explore it.

These days it is home to the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre  thanks to the generous bequest of the original owners and so it feeds the imagination and brings joy in other ways.

On Sunday I am taking petal & pins to the Wild Ones Art & Design Market held at Hazelhurst and a little smile of joy is bound to cross my face at the memory of those days peering in.

Wild Ones Market

pink hawthorn flowers

Rock Pools & Moonflowers

I’ve recently been up to Sydney for a holiday.

I don’t normally use the word holiday when I make trips to Sydney as it’s my original ‘hometown’ so in a sense it feels more like returning.

But this trip Mr Petal & Pins and I played tourist with a visit to the Botanical Gardens, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and a day exploring the coastline in the Royal National Park.

Knowing that when we got back to Hobart the cooler nights and crisper mornings of autumn would have set in, we were determined to take advantage of Sydney’s still summer like temperatures to spend lots of time at the beach swimming and lazing in the sun.

We spent several afternoons exploring around the rocks and venturing as far as we dared to watch the waves breaking. I’d forgotten how wonderful the rock pools in Sydney are with their miniature sea gardens. It brought back memories of exploring them as a child, eyes on the lookout for red centred sea anemone, crabs and the notorious blue ringed octopus.

Sydney rockpoolssydney rockpools Sydney rockpools

With Blackwoods Beach on our doorstep, we wandered down at dawn for me to draw in the blank canvas of sand left by the tide while Mr Petal & Pins took photographs. We were treated to a colourful sunrise and a double rainbow.

sunrise Blackwoods Beach Sydneyrainbows over South Cronullasand drawing
It was so much fun we decided to do it again the following morning, inviting a friend to join us. Marg turned up with a rake as her drawing implement and a bunch of Moonflowers that had opened the previous night for me to turn into Garden Fairy dresses.
Collaborating with her on the beach drawing proved to be even more fun. Our activity piqued the interest of early morning walkers on the cliff top path above and Mr Petal & Pins photographed our progress.

dawn at Blackwoods Beachsand drawing at Blackwoods Beachsand drawing at Blackwoods Beach

Butterfly Wings & Other Things

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

I have been wanting to do a post about butterflies for a while now.

Ideas and inspiration swirled around gathered momentum and somehow got away from me – just like a butterfly flitting, just beyond reach.

There are silk butterflies from Paris pinned on my notice board that were given to me several years ago. Occasionally I ‘release’ them from the cellophane bag to contemplate a myriad of possibilities.

The teacups I bought for my serendipitous friend and I are adorned with flowers and butterflies.

I stumbled on this quote –

‘Happiness is a butterfly which, when pursued,is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you’

And I photographed some real ones in my garden.

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

One summer many moons ago my cousin was given a butterfly net. I don’t remember catching any when my sister and I trailed along but I do remember the ones he’d already caught pinned and displayed.

Years later, visiting a National Trust house in Sydney I was mesmerized by a picture of a floral arrangement which was created out of butterfly wings on black velvet.

I wouldn’t advocate butterfly collecting now and I feel very lucky they visit my garden and simply delight in the random moments when I get to observe one.

I reminded my cousin of his butterfly net and it elicited a smile – he’d completely forgotten about it. The hobby I suspect only lasting one summer. We pondered whether there are less butterflies about these days and I said I thought we are less inclined to stop and notice such things as adults.

Soon after that conversation I heard a fascinating interview with a butterfly farmer on the radio.

And then butterflies seemed to be everywhere – from Jean Paul Gaultier’s Spring 2014 Haute Couture collection shown last January, ‘ Miranda Kerr for Royal Albert‘ tea sets, to fabric prints and an invitation to a birthday party.

I decided it was time to finally do my butterfly post before the moment escaped again.

Spring is tantalisingly close in Tasmania so picking from some of the early arrivals I made a flower arrangement inside my teacup and set the silk butterflies free.

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

Are there butterflies in your garden?

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