Petal & Pins

Category: Whimsical

Romantic Decadence

tree peony flower

I was quite enamoured by this peony when I saw it, the velvety centre ‘fringed’ in gold and those streaks of magenta on each petal (perhaps applied by a garden fairy’s paint brush!)

The bushes were covered in blooms and my friend gathered a bunch for me to design with.

My own tree peonies are also in the midst of their annual display of romantic decadence which  serves as a reminder that my blog has a birthday – number 4!

Thanks for following or simply stumbling across it and stopping to look around and if you happen to know the name of this peony variety I’d love to know.

peony centrespetal & pins peony dress

Return To The Source

It’s yet another rainy day in Hobart so since it’s not inviting to be in the garden picking flowers I thought I’d share some photos of making a dress with the hydrangeas from my autumn post gathered.

starting a petal & pins dressdesigner Sandra Alcorn starting one of her Garden Fairy's Wardrobe dressesleaf detail on a petal and pins dresspetal & pins autumn hydrangea dress

If you’ve been following the petal & pins blog for a while you may remember that back in February we were planning for our  first trade fair, well now we’re busy preparing for our second – this time in Melbourne!

The theme for this one is Return To The Source and it was inspiring to hear futurist, curator, event designer Genty Marshall talk about the inspiration and motivation behind this seasons event theme at a workshop in June.

‘provenance – what is true – materials – tactility – essentialism – legacy – the idea of journey’ – all these things are important to us and what we do at petal & pins from the designs I create, the paper stock we choose and the decision to print locally in Tasmania.

Our garden not only inspires but also  provides the materials for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe dresses, so the seasons, and like today the weather influence when and what I have to design with but that unpredictable and sometime elusive nature is part of the charm for me – it inspires me to try and ‘live in the moment’ more.

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We’ve added some new dresses to The Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe card range and last week I went to see them start to roll off the press – I can’t wait to share them and some of the other creative ideas I’ve been working on!

If you’re a retailer who  loves flowers, fashion and a bit of whimsy we’d love to show you through the petal & pins range – come and say hello – you’ll find us at F24 in First Instyle.

To know when the new designs will be available online and in stores subscribe to our newsletter here.

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

De Rigueur

flower glove

There has been a distinct chill in the air this week in Hobart so there is no mistaking winter is almost here. I’ve delayed walking the dog until late morning hoping for a little sunshine – but I’ve needed to be quick to catch it. A coat is now de rigueur and its time to bring out the gloves too!

Books & Botanicals

books and botanicalsI’ve been enjoying looking through the instagram hashtag #booksandbotanicals and occasionally creating a tableau of my own.

These minature shoes have teamed up with a few volumes of the New Hamsworth Self-Educator before on the petal & pins blog, notably in my post Minarets & Lion’s Tail  – take a look to find out more about these facinating books and just what a minaret and a lion’s tail have to do with each other!

Hemline

hemline for regerade luxe

Hemline detail for the Renegade Luxe dress.

You Make Me Smile With My Heart

For weeks months we’ve been busy preparing for petal & pins debut at our first ever trade fair next week in Sydney and if that wasn’t excitement enough, tomorrow we have our first design market appearance for 2016 at The Barn Market.

Being the day before Valentine’s Day there is sure to be a little love in the air and I’ve been making paper ephemera love tokens to sell along with the Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe cards and prints.

paper ephemera

I chose our beautiful Elliot Erwitt’s Paris book to style a photo with. On a trip to Venice a few years ago we saw a wonderful exhibition of this famous photographer’s work at the La Casa Dei Tre Oci gallery on the island of Guidecca.

petal & pins paper ephemera

My love tokens have various little salutations, some romantic, some cheeky!

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day I dedicate this post to Mr Petal & Pins – as Ella Fitzgerald sang in My Funny Valentine – ‘you make me smile with my heart’.

let's fly awayPS. Let’s go to Venice again!

Sandra X

Behind The Scenes

DIY lightbox

Yesterday Mr Petal & Pins and I made a light box for photographing the petal & pins cards.

We had the perfect size cardboard box for the job – which just happened to be the one that we brought Agnès home in – so petal & pins is truely a family affair now!

There are plenty of instructions on the net for DIY light boxes and we are quite chuffed we finally got around to making one.

Some of our photographic session took place on the front verandah, the lowering sun in the early evening illuminated the light box and I swapped work for play.

shadow play

My post about the ‘anniversaire de mariage’ dress  explored the beauty of shadows too – you might like to take a look.

 

 

Renegade Luxe

Jean Paul Gaultier catalogue prêt-à-porter S/S 08Some fashion collections stay with you long after the season has past and the designer has presented others.

It could be the silhouette, the fabrics or the combination of colours – which is what it was for me with Jean Paul Gaultier’s prêt-à-porter Pirate Collection from Spring/Summer 2008.

We were in Paris that Spring and went to the Gaultier boutique on avenue George V.
I lingered at the pieces that caught my eye to drink in the details and gently run my fingers over the cloth. Khaki, brown and olive green in plains, stripes and camouflage prints were given a touch of renegade luxe with the combinations of fabrics and embellishments.

This summer, while looking out my sunroom window down onto the plum tree and the ripening elderberries that memory was stirred by the similarity in colours and contrasting textures.

I pulled out the catalogue brought back from Paris to revisit the collection and was also inspired to design some plum leaf and elderberry dresses for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe.

plum tree foliageelderberriesinspiration from Jean Paul Gaultier's prêt-à-porter collection S/S 2008petal & pins Garden Fairy's Wardrobe dress

Short & Sweet

hydrangea mannequin

I had  planned to write about something all together different – I’ve had a post half written and something new from my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe to share for well over a week… best laid plans and all that.

So it is just going to be short and sweet – a bit like this dress I created this morning on the miniature dressmaker’s stand that usually sits on my workroom mantle piece.

 

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