Petal & Pins

Tag: silk

Butterfly Wings & Other Things

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

I have been wanting to do a post about butterflies for a while now.

Ideas and inspiration swirled around gathered momentum and somehow got away from me – just like a butterfly flitting, just beyond reach.

There are silk butterflies from Paris pinned on my notice board that were given to me several years ago. Occasionally I ‘release’ them from the cellophane bag to contemplate a myriad of possibilities.

The teacups I bought for my serendipitous friend and I are adorned with flowers and butterflies.

I stumbled on this quote –

‘Happiness is a butterfly which, when pursued,is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you’

And I photographed some real ones in my garden.

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

One summer many moons ago my cousin was given a butterfly net. I don’t remember catching any when my sister and I trailed along but I do remember the ones he’d already caught pinned and displayed.

Years later, visiting a National Trust house in Sydney I was mesmerized by a picture of a floral arrangement which was created out of butterfly wings on black velvet.

I wouldn’t advocate butterfly collecting now and I feel very lucky they visit my garden and simply delight in the random moments when I get to observe one.

I reminded my cousin of his butterfly net and it elicited a smile – he’d completely forgotten about it. The hobby I suspect only lasting one summer. We pondered whether there are less butterflies about these days and I said I thought we are less inclined to stop and notice such things as adults.

Soon after that conversation I heard a fascinating interview with a butterfly farmer on the radio.

And then butterflies seemed to be everywhere – from Jean Paul Gaultier’s Spring 2014 Haute Couture collection shown last January, ‘ Miranda Kerr for Royal Albert‘ tea sets, to fabric prints and an invitation to a birthday party.

I decided it was time to finally do my butterfly post before the moment escaped again.

Spring is tantalisingly close in Tasmania so picking from some of the early arrivals I made a flower arrangement inside my teacup and set the silk butterflies free.

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

Are there butterflies in your garden?

Easter Greetings

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

Happy Easter

Felices Pascuas

Buona Pasqua

Joyeuses Paques

Wesolych Swiat

Spilt Wine

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

My silk macaron project isn’t complete but it has progressed.

The Ladurée box I brought back from Paris that sparked the idea for the project had a little mishap with a glass of red wine.

By way of explanation, evenings in the winter months are usually when I work on projects like this – free of my work deadlines that fill summer and spring – a bit of fireside stitching and a glass of red are very complementary – as long as you don’t bump your glass!

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

I think La Belle Miette in Melbourne is the closest thing  to a Parisian macaron experience I have found in Australia and their boxes are just gorgeous so I’ve swapped to using one of theirs.

It’s a smaller box but I do have a larger one for when my collection – or should that be selection grows.

So when the last of this season’s brides is complete I’ll dive back into my silk scraps and boxes of beads….and be careful where I place my glass.

Embellish And Adorn

© Sandra Alcorn

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

In my last post The Beginnings Of A Dress I had embarked on dying the fabric and fitting the toile for my niece’s leavers dress. We’ve got a lot done in a week, including making and beading some of the flowers to embellish the dress.

We also made time to visit my friend Amanda – I made a Garden Fairy’s Dress out of Rhododendrons from her garden last October. This time she had baked a delicious tea cake soaked in a brandy syrup and adorned it with fresh flowers.

Despite the wintery temperatures, wind and rain this week – all the flowers – both real and silk have allowed Springs festive air to shine through.

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

Petal Hearts & Silk Roses

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

Noir

 

organza jacket silk satin bow neck dress sequined bag silk and lace bodice silk and french lace dress  beaded feather hair comb embroidered tulle drape flower brooch georgette ruffle shirt

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

Macarons, Memories and Momentoes

My June trip to Paris continues to inspire ideas for work and plant seeds for various projects.

One that I have started is filling an empty Ladurée macaron box with handmade silk ones. I can never bring myself to throw out an exquisite box and I have a collection of special boxes that once contained chocolate or champagne and now are full of handwritten letters, cards and trinkets whilst also being a reminder of the occasion their original contents were part of celebrating.

The Thai silk I frequently use in my studio is the perfect texture and lustre for the macaron so I have been rummaging in my scrap boxes and matching up the colours with the flavours on the Ladurée selection card which is like a miniature paint chart of delicious colours.

Jean-Paul Hévin was actually my favourite shop for macarons in Paris, particularly the fig and chocolate ones and the orange gingerbread. But on the last day I just had to buy some from Ladurée to bring a bit of Paris home to share … and have one of their beautiful boxes!

Update: You can see how this project has progressed in the post Spilt Wine.

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