Petal & Pins

Blue

forget-me-notsLake Dobson Tasmaniatyre planterplum blossom

All Images © Sandra Alcorn 2014

A Lingering Reminder

Petal & Pins:

It’s been raining on and off since Sunday – sometimes a light drizzle and sometimes a heavy downpour so an umbrella was mandatory on my walk this morning.
Not that I minded at all as this previous post will explain.

Originally posted on Petal & Pins:

Venice Fabric

This morning it was raining.

When it rains in the morning it often takes me back to the last day of my first visit to Venice. It was one of the few days it rained on that holiday, and opening the shutters I looked out the window to a steady stream of coloured umbrellas heading over the Ponte Chiodo bridge below.

As everyone scurried to where ever they were heading I lingered at the window watching and promised myself I’d be back. I bought a length of fabric on that trip from a shop on Strada Nova in the Cannaregio district – it now hangs on my wall, a daily reminder of a few days spent in  a city I fell in love with.

Last year I made good on my promise and returned to Venice. Again I bought some fabric, this time from the Fortuny workshop on the island…

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Changing Hue

I let my vase of roses linger…I like the petals fading hues they remind me of my vintage velvet jacket the fabric bruised with wear and time only adds to its beauty.

The petals spill on the mantlepiece and I let them linger too.

As in Faded Glamour I’m inspire to turn them into a garden fairy’s gown.

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

Origami, Roses & Gardeners Past

It’s been lovely over our colder months seeing and reading about what’s flowering in the gardens of my northern hemisphere WordPress friends.
I must admit it made me a little impatient for spring to return to my own garden but it’s been worth the wait with just enough cold, rain and sunshine for everything now to be bountiful and blooming beautifully.

I live in an old house, circa 1920, and feel lucky and grateful that someone long ago started the garden and planted such a wonderful variety of plants.

There are many roses including a rambling deep red climbing rose at the side of the house. Thanks to Mother Nature and my ever improving pruning skills it’s currently a profusion of blooms. You can only glimpse them as you approach the front door and take a sideways glance beyond the verandah, so last week I decided to pick a big bunch to enjoy inside.

Roses from my gardenRoses on the Mantlepiecegarden rosesrose detail
I also signed up for Paperphilia’s Seven Days Of Paper Love last week and the ‘Day 1 Challenge’ was make a free-standing origami heart. First I made one out of origami paper and then inspired by my vase of roses I created one using metallic red embossed paper – a thank you token to the gardeners past who planted lots of loveliness that I now get to enjoy.

origami heart

PS – In the first photo you may have noticed the vintage flower cutters – they were my grandmother’s and truth be told they don’t cut so well these days and appear just as a prop. I have fond memories of her taking me into her garden as a child and picking flowers with them.
All photos © Sandra Alcorn 2014

#PaperLoveChallenge

www.paperphilia.co.uk

Fabulously Festive

Magnetic Island bougainvilleas

Bougainvilleas are among the most colourful of flowering plants. Named after French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville they originate from the tropics and subtropics of South America.

You occasionally see one growing in a sunny spot in Tasmania but in Queensland they put on a spectacular display that is fabulously festive.

bougainvilleas on Magnetic Island

This tangle of several colours I photographed while on Magnetic Island, and I picked some to play with for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe.

Now my garden fairy is ready for a Summer Fiesta!

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

A Tropical Ballet

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

On my recent trip to Magnetic Island a dip in the ocean was high on my to do list. It was 28 degrees every day I was there and the island has more gorgeous beaches than there are days in the week.

At Radical Bay I not only blissfully frolicked in the sea but I created this design for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe.

It could almost be a costume for a ballet don’t you think?

Unable to identify what the flowering tree was I turned to sleuthing on the internet and discovered the most wonderful website – Some Magnetic Island Plants.

Donald Simpson is the author and his website is fabulous!
You can search by botanical name, common name or colour palette. He has photos, botanical information and tells you where on the island you can see a particularly good specimen of each plant.

Delightedly  I got to meet Donald the following day – such is island life!
His website is a true labour of love and  I encourage all plant lovers to have a look.

And the flowering tree on Radical Bay Beach that Donald kindly identified for me?
Barringtonia Asiatica.

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

Barringtonia Asiatica at Radical Bay  © Sandra Alcorn 2014

It’s a night flowering tree and by morning the blooms have fallen to the ground  – I think the scene is set for my beach ballet.

A Fleeting Moment

Sitting on Picnic Bay Beach Magnetic Island

Sitting on Picnic Bay Beach Magnetic Island

I’m back from a Queensland holiday with lots of photos and inspiration for several blog posts and a whole new collection of tropical flower dresses for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe.

I bought a new camera before I went – more sophisticated than I had previously so I am still figuring out how to use it (meaning I’m a bit bamboozled by it all!)

I stuck mostly to the auto setting since I couldn’t go wrong with that but I did discover it has an ‘art’ setting for fancy effects hence this picture.

If you’ve been following my blog you will know from my recent post Butterfly Wings & Other Things I’ve been having a bit of a butterfly moment so you can imagine I was pretty delighted when I found the butterfly adorned sandals I’m wearing in a little shop in Ingham.

And this adorned the entrance to Paronella Park at Menna Creek.

butterfly scupture Paronella Park

I don’t know if I’m just tuned in to seeing all things butterfly or the universe is bringing them into my orbit but on Sunday, my last day on Magnetic Island I came across a boy probably only 7 or 8 years old with a butterfly net. He had just caught the most amazing butterfly I’ve ever seen – large iridescent green.

I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo as I’d been fixated on photographing the flowers of a jade vine. He was literally jumping for joy at his discovery and I was pleased to see he let it go after he took a picture.

Back home I pulled out a Vintage Shell Project Card Album Butterflies and Moths to see if I could identify it.

Shell project card album

It was a Cairns Birdwing.

Lucky me for a fleeting moment to share the excitement of seeing it too.

Cairns Birdwing butterfly

Pencil Sketch

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

Sultry & Stirred

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

 

I photographed this Garden Fairy’s dress made from Bergenia flowers with my iPad. I like the unexpected effect – a grainy vintage sultry summer feel.

I imagine her standing outside in the late afternoon sun with the heat radiating off the buildings, the sun casting long shadows. Martinis being stirred, palm trees and a poolside location.

Maybe she was swimming earlier in the day in her St Tropez style ‘forget-me-not’ bikini..

Miami, Florida. Photographer unknown circa 1950

Miami, Florida. Photographer unknown 1950

Or perhaps I’ve been daydreaming a little as I start to think what to pack for going to Magnetic Island later in the week!

 

Garbed In The Garden

© sandra Alcorn 2014

© Sandra Alcorn 2014

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the postman to deliver something special and today was the day!
Faerie Magazine Summer 2014 issue 27.

My Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe is featured along side the work of floral artists Pam Yokoyama, Vashti Cassinelli, Zita Elze and Francoise Weeks.

There’s also lots of other gorgeousness for inspiration in the garden, entertaining and some magical travel destinations.

You may recognise the article feature photo is similar to my blog ‘about’ page. The peony tree those peonies came from has just started to bloom again this week – Spring is on it’s way! Grape hyacinths are adding a splash of blue everywhere and the air is perfumed with the scent of jonquils.

Another exciting thing to happen is our new deck at the bottom of the garden was completed yesterday and it’s going to be a special spot.

I’m looking forward to lazy days and balmy nights.
Long Sunday lunches and drinks with friends.
Quiet mornings with a pot of tea.
Afternoons in dappled light.
Reading, writing, playing, dreaming.
Sharing laughter, conversation and just being.

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