While Tasmania based artist Sandra Alcorn began her career as a designer in the fashion industry, she traded fabric for petals when she established …Floral Couture by Sandra Alcorn of Petal & Pins
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?!
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‘!
I must confess I had to google Galentine’s Day to know what exactly it was when it started popping up in my instagram feed and on the artwork of fellow card designers.
Was it a fancy pants way of saying Valentine’s Day? a Galician or Gaelic tradition?!
Having never watched the television show Parks and Recreation I was in the dark to the 16th episode of the second season (first aired in 2010). Amy Poehler‘s character Leslie throws her annual “Galentine’s Day” party for her female friends, celebrated the day before Valentine’s Day.
Like so many things Galentine’s Day has apparently transcended from the television screen into everyday culture. While it started out with the character Leslie going to brunch with her female friends, the unofficial holiday is now not just celebrated by fans of the show, it has turned into an optimistic celebration of friendship to be celebrated on the 13th February.
Yesterday I received a Valentine’s card in the mail from an admirer – a fabulous female friend, I doubt she’d heard of Galentine’s Day either and I love that over the years we’ve found our own ways to celebrate friendship with no popular culture prompts needed.
So happy days of love and friendship to you, whether you’re choosing to partake in old traditions or new or blissfully ignoring them!
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.
On Saturday it was my 5th blog Anniversary! A big thank you for following along and a warm welcome if you’ve just joined me.
If you have your own blog you are likely to agree the enjoyment can be twofold – spending time composing a post and the interaction with your readers and other bloggers you follow.
The raison d’être may or may not change over time but written with your own authentic voice there will always be a thread that strings it together and connects you to a reader somewhere else in the world. But keeping a blog going can be easier said than done, sometimes time and topic conspire to stay a suspended idea in your head. (I have many of those but Butterfly Wings & Other Things was one I didn’t let get away!)
Last year I was invited to write a guest post for Create & Thrive and I gave a couple of my tips for blogging – and I’d like to add this one to the list.
It sits on the mantlepiece in my studio and I’m finding it a good reminder that there are times when you need to get things perfect and times when done is better than perfect.
So start that blog, write that post, act on that idea because as they also say – “Practice makes Perfect”.
Being in a different city is always fun and although there wasn’t time to go exploring when we were in Melbourne last month for the trade fair the walk each day back and forth to the Royal Exhibition Building from our air bnb pied-à-terre was down Gertrude St Fitzroy with it’s wonderful and eclectic shops.
Always closed at the times we were going past we could only window shop and take pictures – but the great restauarants, bars and cafes were, so we ate well and after four days we had some new favourites we hope to get back to on our next visit!
We’ll be making a few market & fair appearances this Spring so why not come and say hello!
First up on Sunday 17th September is The Market. Hobart – this curated design market of local Tasmanian artists + makers is held in the charming old Masonic Temple 3 Sandy Bay Rd from 10 to 3.
On the 23rd & 24th of September we are excited to be heading to Launceston to be a part of the Blooming Tasmania Flower & Garden Show held in Princes Park & Albert Hall – there is a terrific program planned for this event and you will find us at stand 46 inside Albert Hall so do come and have a chat and see all our new designs.
Sydneysiders we’re heading your way too so pencil Sunday 8th October in your diary! We will be at the annual Made By Hand Market at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery 782 The Kingsway Gymea. Always a lovely event with stalls in the gallery and gardens -why not grab a friend and make a day of it with lunch at the gallery cafe too.
November you will find us at the Bowerbird Design Market in Adelaide – a hand picked selection of independent Australian designers. With over 160 stalls, it’s the perfect place to seek, explore, find and collect unique high quality wares. Held over three days from the 24th to 26th at the Adelaide Showground Fri 4 – 9pm Sat + Sun 10 – 5pm
Hope to see you at one of these events – we love getting to meet and chat!
Hello! this is me in our Life Instyle trade fair stand at the beginning of August.
In a few weeks it will be five years since I began this blog – I would never have thought then that I would be showing my designs at a trade fair (or sharing a photo of myself!)
Some people start a blog with a pronouncement of what it will – or won’t – be. I didn’t really have a plan but I knew it was about taking the seed of an idea that was playing in my head and letting it take shape and grow.
Of course writing this blog has done that and more – loosely around the themes of my garden and design work with a bit of life, loss, friendship, and travel thrown in.
And now here we are. I’ve spent the last two weeks sleeving cards and packing orders to send to stockists and Mr petal & pins has made multiple trips to the post office and is updating the online shop with our new collections (all while juggling the start of a new job!)
So thank you for following along, I’ll continue to write and share snippets from my garden and studio here but I also invite you to subscribe to our petal & pins newsletter to be the first to hear about new releases, design markets where we can meet up and special VIP offers (Subscribe now and receive 15% off your first order!)
petal & pins stationery and art prints
‘Our stylishly playful stationery and art prints are designed with flowers and foliage from our Tasmanian garden.
Sandra draws on her background as a fashion designer to create ephemeral artworks that she photographs for the petal & pins collection including our signature range the Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe®.
Established in 2012, our studio looks out onto the rambling garden that inspires our designs and a ‘live in the moment, find joy in the things around us ethos.
petal & pins stationery and art prints are imaginative, unique and always enchanting.
We invite you to share our story…’
Sandra & Simon X