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
The big voluptuous blooms from the tree peony started to slump in the cut glass vase and as the petals started to dry the colours intensified.
I left the vase sitting on the cocktail cabinet and every day more petals gathered around the base of the vase looking like a decadently dishevelled ball gown discarded by my garden fairy.
When it became more mess than beautiful I scooped up the petals to design with – their texture like silk paper taffetta and each one uniquely shaped and coloured I almost got lost in admiring their detail.
There is beauty in decay.
I’ve been wanting to make some handmade paper again for ages.
I’ve been collecting loose threads from silk fabric scraps to add to a recycled paper pulp mix, storing the lustrous strands in a heart shaped chocolate tin from Maxim’s De Paris until I had that elusive spare moment to do it.
Sunday morning I finally got around to it having decided that soaking some shredded old bills and correspondence earlier in the week would be a way of prompting that elusive spare moment to appear!
I went for a fairly rough mix – I like how you can spot the odd hint of a typeface and I also threw a handful of geranium petals in…and some glitter too!
At the beginning of 2016 we hit the ground running with preparations for our first trade fair in Sydney and that busy pace kept going – but all in a good way!
We attended local & interstate design markets, had two pop up shops and showed at a second trade fair in Melbourne. By Christmas time we were ready to flop on the couch with feet up, and although we did a little of that, while looking towards the new year we decided petal & pins was elbowing for more space so two days before New Years Eve we decided to swap some rooms around!
This was a big task to undertake and included painting one room and some clever problem solving of what would go where – so we took a collective big breath and got stuck in.
My sewing room is now in the smaller room – newly painted ‘Imperial White’ and petal & pins has a lovely light filled studio overlooking the garden with a desk for me and one for Mr Petal & Pins, stock on shelves instead of in stacked boxes, a place to put orders together and most importantly a space to be creative.
2017 I’ve got plans for you too!
We’re having such a great season for roses in Hobart and one of my favourites is the sweet Cécile Brünner.
I love to pick petite posies of them whilst still in bud and their size is perfect for creating my miniature flower couture!
It rained all day yesterday, so today as everything was rather drenched I’m going to cheat and share a picture of a rose that I picked recently from a friend’s garden for In A Vase On Monday.
I have another motive for doing this – just like my rose from the previous blog post – this one’s name remains a mystery.
Happily blooming for well over thirty years apparently even the local rose society has not been able to identify it – so I thought I’d share it here on the off chance the mystery might be solved!
It’s ruffled texture was what caught my eye (it made me think of vintage swim suits) and that luscious colour!
The shape of the blooms are quite distinctive and as you can see by the loose petals the red is streaked with an almost burgundy colour.
‘What’s my name?’ – do you know!
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.
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.
Today is the last day of winter in the southern hemisphere and I couldn’t let it pass without a post inspired by one of my favourite winter flowers!
Hellebores have become one of my favourite flowers to design with for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe and I couldn’t resist buying a new variety recently when purchasing some hedging plants to cover a side fence, so you can expect to see more of them appear in the petal & pins range of cards and prints!
If you love hellebores as much as I do and are on instagram I have started the hashtag #helleborehappiness and invite you to share your favourite photos.
I’ve always loved strolling past or into a fabulous flower shop, what passionate flower lover doesn’t!
Long before I started creating my miniature flower couture I would take photos of flower shops that caught my eye on holidays, Flowers Vasette was one and I have a photo taken of their storefront from about twenty years ago.
So it’s not surprising that in the fledgling beginnings of petal & pins I declared I would love to have my cards stocked at this iconic Melbourne florist and we were excited in March this year when that wish came true!
I took these pictures of the wonderful abundance of flowers and our Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe cards on display and bought a bunch of pink runuculus – often referred to as the rose of spring – to help make our apartment feel like home when we got back from long and busy trade fair days.
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 –