Petal & Pins

Category: Spring

An Invitation

“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck”
Emma Goldman 1869 -1940

Hobart designers Sandra Alcorn & Amanda Sheen celebrate spring, friendship and its connection to the garden at Salamanca pop up shop  from 22nd September – 5th October.

Designer Sandra Alcorn’s garden inspires her miniature flower couture and under the petal & pins label she designs and produces a range of greeting cards and art prints featuring these ephemeral dresses.  For spring 2016 petal & pins launch their Garden Party Collection and new print range Atelier Pétale featuring floral millinery.

Jewellery designer Amanda Sheen brings her hallmark style of organic shapes and playfulness to design a range of jewellery, objects and accessories using silver, gold  and mixed media from classic pieces to statement collars that will add an air of haute couture to the simplest little black dress.

Sandra & Amanda often spend time together in the garden – they celebrate summer days with a gin & tonic, autumn with fruit bottling sessions, their birthdays together in winter and spring with flower adorned teacakes.

No matter what the season there is endless conversation and most likely champagne! From all this sprung the idea of the shared pop up and they invite you to come and see their work.

Space 008 Salamanca Arts Centre Hobart Tasmania

22nd September – 5th October Mon to Sun 10 to 4

Opening night  Thursday 22nd  5pm to 7pm

petal & pins pink hellebore and purple iris cards

Atelier Pétale

Atelier Pétale by petal & pins

Last week petal & pins launched a new range of limited edition prints at the Life Instyle trade fair held in Melbourne.

I’ve designed hats with geraniums, violets and hellebores to grace one of my fashion illustrations – I invite you to take a look and let me know which is your favourite!

We ship worldwide from the petal & pins online shop and they will soon be available from some of our lovely Australian stockists (international enquiries about becoming a petal & pins stockist most welcome!)

 

View the collection –

Atelier Pétale Spring 2016 Collection

 

Stop & Smell The Roses

The pink hawthorn tree from my last post is now just a canopy of green leaves, when I photographed it just over a week ago in flower I also took some photos of roses around my  neighbourhood and I thought I would share some of them with you.

What’s flowering  in your neighbourhood at the moment?

pale pink climbing rose

street roses

neighbourhood roses

roses

apricot coloured rose

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

Glamorous Clippings

I’m joining in for Cathy’s weekly challenge of ‘In a Vase on Monday’ today.
Since this morning was an unseasonal wintery temperature and raining, I have cheated a little by using the vase arrangements I did last Wednesday.

The time had come to trim some of the low hanging banksia rose as you needed to duck to get down the garden path it so beautifully arches over. Mr Petal & Pins trimmed sparingly and I gathered some of it for vases.

banksia rose and peace roses
banksia rose flower arrangement
I added some peace roses to one arrangement and some elderberry bush and three flowers and leaves from a lily that perhaps someone can identify for me.

Last year I created several dresses with the banksia rose, one of which now features in my Red Carpet Collection of cards.

Spring floral display with a petal & pins greeting card
I was also delighted earlier this year to be commissioned  to create one of my Garden Fairy’s dresses as a life size one in a wallpaper panel and it was this dress the client and I chose.
It was a lovely project to take on and I was very excited to see it in place – hopefully it will lead to more commissions – enquiries most welcome!

petal & pins banksia rose dress wallpaper

An Imaginary Guest

white and cream flowers from my garden

A few days ago, I decided to pick a bunch of white and cream spring flowers from my garden and since the wedding season has begun they were perfect for creating a wedding dress for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe.

I used the Jupiter’s Beard centrathus ruber, Snow Ball Bush viburnum opulus, and Granny’s Bonnet aquilegia – all of which I have created dresses with before.

The Jupiter’s Beard reminds me of tulle and the Snow Ball Bush guipure lace flowers.

start of white dressSpring wedding dress 2015
I love white and green gardens, they are elegant and calm, but I’m too much of a lover of colour to ever restrict a garden to just that, besides my garden is a collaborative effort with ‘gardeners past’ and tends to reflect that.

If I were playing the game of ultimate dinner party guest-list, one of the guests would be the person who started my garden – a pre dinner stroll around the garden would be a must, with a glass of champagne of course!

Who would be on yours?

 

© Sandra Alcorn 2015 All words and images on this blog are my own work (unless otherwise credited) please ask before reproducing elsewhere.

A New Flower Blooms Every Day

At this time of year I love to walk around my garden each day just to see what is newly in bud, has flowered or where hints of green have appeared, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this spring ritual.

Over several recent posts I have shared the early blooming blossoms in my neighbourhood and the exquisiteness of my pink tree peony. They have been just wonderful this year and inspired some new designs for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe.

The colour (and inspiration) has been abundant this spring and I have designed a whole collection of dresses with the grape hyacinths and the purple iris too – I was pleased to see my efforts in dividing the iris have given such splendid results and added new colour to a previously rather neglected area.

We’ve had rain and some unseasonably warm weather so I’ve had to be quick thinking to photograph those that flower fleetingly.

Before a trip to Sydney last week the cherry tree was a mass of white blossom, freesias scented the air and the lilacs were just starting to bud. I returned to a heady scent of lilac as I walked in the gate, roses flowering, apple blossom, and the cherry tree the bright green that comes with new leaves – so plenty of colour to pick for a bountiful spring vase.

‘A new flower blooms everyday’ – it could be a proverb to inspire optimism and isn’t that something spring always brings.

daffodils and grape hyacinthspurple irischerry blossomyellow lillycrabapple and japonicacamelliaspring flower arrangement from my garden

Oh So Pretty!

tree peony

Following on from my last post I thought I’d share some  photos of my tree peony – aren’t they just the most gorgeous of flowers!

There are a lot of this variety in gardens around my neighbourhood and I am lucky to have two growing in mine.

Just like when the blossom is out they make a Springtime stroll a very pretty one indeed!

A Garden Fairy’s Birthday

Spring 2015

petal & pins celebrated a birthday yesterday! It was the third anniversary of starting my petal & pins blog and about four years since creating the very first dress for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe.

When I made my first garden fairy’s dress it was on a whim on a sunny day in a moment of daydreaming in the garden, a break from cutting or sewing a real life creation, and then the next day I made another … and kept on making them!

I started my blog as a ‘home’ for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe and other musing from my studio and garden. My first blog post featured a dress made from a peony flower and very few words so I decided a new peony dress was perfect for this birthday post.

peony birthday dress

Three years on and I’m pleased that I’m still blogging. Like most people who start a a blog I wasn’t exactly sure what I was starting, where I was heading or who would be reading but it has been so much more than I imagined when making that first post.

It has been a lovely journey of finding people with shared passions and an interest in what I do, discovering other blogs on everything from the travel adventures of a boat dwelling cat, vintage glamour and the joys and tribulations of gardening in a different hemisphere to me.

To my surprise I also found great enjoyment in writing to accompany my photos and something I never expected – some solace when my father died.

I had dreams for my Garden Fairy from the beginning of my blogging journey and it has been fun bringing some of those to life and dreaming up new ones.

The first was creating a range of greeting cards featuring flower dresses from my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe. There have been twelve collections to date, five of which are currently available, with the newest being my Christmas collection of five holly dresses.

This year Mr Petal & Pins created my gorgeous online shop, I was commissioned to do a life size dress for a wallpaper panel and the local weekend magazine asked to do a feature on me!

It’s been great to meet some of you at the local design markets and to see my cards available through a growing number of retailers.

So thank you for your part in it all – your comments, encouragement or just following – and now I’d like to be bold and ask a favour.

If you have a moment, please visit my online shop – take a look around, give me some feedback, you may even see something you like! Perhaps you could share a link to my website or blog with someone you think might enjoy discovering my garden fairy’s wardrobe because that would help the dreams to continue to grow!

Thank You
Sandra x

P.S.  To celebrate petal & pins’s birthday I’d like to give you a special offer of Free Shipping worldwide until the end of September 2015 on any purchase from the petal & pins online shop.

Visit the shop here and enter the discount code HAPPY3 at the last step of the checkout.

The Second Act

It is a year since my far North Queensland holiday and there are still things from that trip I haven’t shared with you that I wanted to!

Tropical flowers that offered new inspiration for garden fairy dresses – some realised, some just conjured up in my mind while admiring them (it’s not always appropriate to be a flower thief in someone else’s garden), or the romantic story behind Paronella Park and it’s decaying beauty and lush gardens.

I did share my Tropical Ballet which features Barringtonia Asiatica – a night flowering tree whose flowers by morning have fallen to the ground.

So without further ado here is the second act…

barringtonia asiatica flower dressspent Barringtonia Asiatica flowers on Radical Bay beachI like to think you will add your own imaginative take on the storyline of  my tropical ballet but take a look at the beautiful nighttime costumes in act one before you do!

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