Petal & Pins

Tag: Tasmanian designer

Busy as a Bee

bee in the magnolia

With several warm December days in a row the magnolia outside our studio window has been a mass of blooms. I glanced out at this one last week and it was perfectly open for photographing but a little high up for a good shot without the step ladder.

I hesitated for a moment and told myself not to get distracted from all the work I had to do that day and take a photo later…of course when I did go back outside the petals had started to close up and I’d missed the moment.

The next day the flower was less than perfect but a buzz with bees – so I grabbed my camera and the step ladder.

First there was one bee, then two, then three gathering pollen before flying off to another flower. No sooner had they left a bumble bee arrived and burrowed into the stamens.

We’ve been busy as bees in the petal & pins studio these last few months with Christmas markets, orders to get out the door and preparations for our first international trade show in the new year.

The ‘To Do’ list is finally starting to feel like it’s decreasing not increasing but as any small business owner knows it never stays that way for long.

I’m looking forward to a few days over Christmas doing nothing at all – hopefully the weather will be agreeable to lying on a blanket in the garden with a book!

The Fairy & The Farmer

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Two of the highlights of my year have been about collaboration.

In April Lisa Britzman, a ceramic artist and sustainable boutique farmer in the Huon Valley of Tasmania got in touch to see if I would be interested in having some of her autumn blooming saffron flowers to design my minature botanical couture with.

Mr Petal & Pins and I drove down to Campo de Flori Farm which is picturesquely located high in the hills. It was facinating to see saffron growing  and Lisa showed us how it is harvested. I brought a basketful of the striking purple flowers home and designed a mini collection of dresses that has kicked off the Farmgate Project by petal & pins.

Recently we went back to the farm for olive blossoms and culinary lavender – and of course we were only too happy to come home with some freshly baked lavender shortbread biscuits too!

The other wonderful collaboration began in the Spring of 2016 when Carolyn  Turgeon editor-in-chief of Faerie Magazine interviewed me by skype for the The Faeirie Handbook – ‘an enchanting compendium of Literature, Lore, Art, Recipes and Projects’.

In winter this year I got a sneek peek at the proofs for the pages featuring my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe® and the beautiful cover featuring Euphaeidae from the Wonderland series by Kirsty Mitchell Photography but of course had to keep it a secret until its release.

The book launched in November and I was very excited when my copy from publisher Harper Collins New York office arrived!

It’s an exquisite hardback book with silver edged pages and I couldn’t be more proud to be featured within it.

There’s something for everyone who loves a bit of whimsy and magic of any age with chapters on Flora & Fauna, Fashion & Beauty, Arts & Culture and Home, Food & Entertaining.

So let me know if you see The Faerie Handbook in your local bookstore…or if you have a suggestion for a collaboration why not get in touch!

My limited edition prints can be purchased from the petal & pins online shop and selected stockists. Wholesale inquiries welcome.

The Faerie Handbook is available from bookshops worldwide and online through Amazon, Booktopia, Dymocks and the Faerie Magazine online store. 

For Every Season

greeting card designed by Tasmanian botanical artist Sandra Alcorn

While I may be enjoying Spring, you may be somewhere watching the leaves turn and fall.

I gathered leaves earlier this year in my Autumn to design some dresses for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe® and this design has just been released as a card and limited edition print.

In this picture it’s surrounded by some of my vintage pieces including a very special bag.

It arrived one day in the post with a lovely note from a friend, the bag belonged to her mum and made her think of me and so wanted me to have it.

“…You bring me fond memories of my mum when you talk about her. I don’t mean for it to be a bag you would carry – it just feels as if it would be more at home with you!”

Now I’ve always been attracted to vintage bags, from ones in my childhood dress up box to the op shop and flea market finds I collected as a fashion design student so it was easy to see why she thought of me!

I was delighted with both the bag and the sentiment from a friend I see all too rarely  (we live in different parts of the country) and this lovely gesture shows we will always be kindred spirits. I will use the bag – in fact I already have, I’ve also been leaving it sitting on my grandmothers dressing table that we use for a hall stand so I can glance at it every day.

You can see all my card and art print designs here.

Greenery

greenery

Pantone announcing Greenery as the Colour of the Year 2017 has inspired me to look at all the foliage in my garden.

I had fun combining leaves from about five different plants, focusing on texture and shape to design two new dresses for the Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe™ now available as limited edition art prints.

petal and pins

An Invitation

“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck”
Emma Goldman 1869 -1940

Hobart designers Sandra Alcorn & Amanda Sheen celebrate spring, friendship and its connection to the garden at Salamanca pop up shop  from 22nd September – 5th October.

Designer Sandra Alcorn’s garden inspires her miniature flower couture and under the petal & pins label she designs and produces a range of greeting cards and art prints featuring these ephemeral dresses.  For spring 2016 petal & pins launch their Garden Party Collection and new print range Atelier Pétale featuring floral millinery.

Jewellery designer Amanda Sheen brings her hallmark style of organic shapes and playfulness to design a range of jewellery, objects and accessories using silver, gold  and mixed media from classic pieces to statement collars that will add an air of haute couture to the simplest little black dress.

Sandra & Amanda often spend time together in the garden – they celebrate summer days with a gin & tonic, autumn with fruit bottling sessions, their birthdays together in winter and spring with flower adorned teacakes.

No matter what the season there is endless conversation and most likely champagne! From all this sprung the idea of the shared pop up and they invite you to come and see their work.

Space 008 Salamanca Arts Centre Hobart Tasmania

22nd September – 5th October Mon to Sun 10 to 4

Opening night  Thursday 22nd  5pm to 7pm

petal & pins pink hellebore and purple iris cards

Atelier Pétale

Atelier Pétale by petal & pins

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 –

Atelier Pétale Spring 2016 Collection

 

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.

A Bag Of Grapes

I’ve been making paper cut signage for my market stall inspired by the class I took with paper cut artist extraordinaire Miso last year.

petal & pins paper cut sign
Mr Petal & Pins translated this design into a rubber stamp for paper bags.

The stamp arrived just in time to use for the Spring markets, along with an abundance of grape hyacinths in the garden to decorate my stall and create some new dresses for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe.

grape hyacinths petal & pins grape hyacinth dressNow we’re making plans for Xmas markets including traveling  to Sydney for one!

You can find a list of market dates and card stockists here.

 

 

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