Petal & Pins

Category: Photography

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

 

The Inbetween

horizon

There is always a moment on a long haul flight that I like to just gaze out the window and get lost in my thoughts.

It’s the inbetween, when I’m hours from my departure city and still a way from touching down at my destination.

If it’s on the way to somewhere as opposed to heading home it’s laden with anticipation of new experiences and inspiration.

This was that inbetween moment on our way to Japan in May.

Maggie Hannaford

 

dahlias

Let me introduce you to Maggie Hannaford a fairly recent addition to my garden and a bit late to the party flowering but I’m not complaining – isn’t ‘she’ a beauty!

There are enough blooms this year for me to pick for my botanical art and still have some in the garden to admire.

Autumn Ikebana

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Just Out Of View

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With Valentine’s Day just around the corner we’ve been busy sending cards from our Love Letters Collection out to stockists and I’ve been having fun with some romantic styling for social media.

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.

Summer Shadows

geraniums in Venice

 

The Fairy & The Farmer

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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!

My limited edition prints can be purchased from the petal & pins online shop and selected stockists. Wholesale inquiries welcome.

The Faerie Handbook is available from bookshops worldwide and online through Amazon, Booktopia, Dymocks and the Faerie Magazine online store. 

Sunday’s Garden

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On a recent trip to Melbourne we went back to Heide – this time with friends, picnic supplies, and time to linger.

These are a few of the photos I took of the Heide II kitchen garden in which Sunday Reed worked daily until just before her death in 1981. It’s a beautiful serene garden so I can imagine the joy of being in it daily – despite the sign warning to be aware of snakes!

 

 

Dream a New Dream

Friday Quote

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”

                                                                                                                            C.S.Lewis

For Every Season

greeting card designed by Tasmanian botanical artist Sandra Alcorn

While I may be enjoying Spring, you may be somewhere watching the leaves turn and fall.

I gathered leaves earlier this year in my Autumn to design some dresses for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe® and this design has just been released as a card and limited edition print.

In this picture it’s surrounded by some of my vintage pieces including a very special bag.

It arrived one day in the post with a lovely note from a friend, the bag belonged to her mum and made her think of me and so wanted me to have it.

“…You bring me fond memories of my mum when you talk about her. I don’t mean for it to be a bag you would carry – it just feels as if it would be more at home with you!”

Now I’ve always been attracted to vintage bags, from ones in my childhood dress up box to the op shop and flea market finds I collected as a fashion design student so it was easy to see why she thought of me!

I was delighted with both the bag and the sentiment from a friend I see all too rarely  (we live in different parts of the country) and this lovely gesture shows we will always be kindred spirits. I will use the bag – in fact I already have, I’ve also been leaving it sitting on my grandmothers dressing table that we use for a hall stand so I can glance at it every day.

You can see all my card and art print designs here.

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