As one of the earliest blooms of the season lilacs symbolize spring & renewal. It’s heady fragrance is unforgettably sweet, spicy and intense and it’s a cause for celebration when it returns to my garden.
“The smell of moist earth and lilacs hung in the air like wisps of the past and hints of the future.”
Margaret Millar (1947) Experiment in Springtime:A Novel, New York:Random House
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’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!
Here is a link for making a Japanese broom for sweeping your own cobblestones, gravel path or moss garden.
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‘!
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.
I’m joining Cathy from Rambling in the Garden for In A Vase On Monday albiet with one I arranged on Saturday night as it’s raining this morning.
It’s been raining on and off for the last four days – not that I’m complaining because the garden needs it and it’s the perfect excuse as the mornings get darker to pull the quilt up tighter and ignore the alarm clock for a few minutes more.
I love this time of year when summer gives way to autumn, it feels like life slows a little and reminds you to take a moment to just breathe and be still – which is funny really because as the days get shorter you would think it woud bring a sense of urgency that you have less time to do all that needs to be done!
The hydrangeas have just about finished for the season but their late season faded colours are a favourite of mine and I’ve been leaving them to dry in vases around the house.
On Saturday evening after a day of grey skies and rain I decided to add a bit of autumn style to the mantle piece by filling a large cylindrical glass vase with dried hydrangea heads intertwinded with fairy lights.
Want to try making your own ‘Flower Lamp’ vase? This is what you’ll need.
I have used Down To The Woods battery operated LED string lights that are on malleable wire that can be twisted and scrunched. The small battery box can be neatly tucked out of sight behind the vase so you can easily turn it off and on when you want!
I love the soft cozy effect the twinkling vase creates and I’m now keen to try out the idea with autumn leaves.