This Thoughtful Thursday Giveaway I partnered up with Sandra Alcorn from petal and pins. I met Sandra and her husband Simon at Sydney’s Life Instyle show and I was hooked! The creative prints and cards married my love of flowers, style and cards altogether. As I chatted to Sandra, the story grew even more interesting. She is from Tasmania and had a fashion background. The floral dresses were created from the very flowers grown in her backyard. I was blown away. The time, precision, patience and creativity it takes to make a floral dress of this detail is astounding!
I bought a print on the spot and was keen to share their story and pretty products. What I love as well about their range is that the images are taken of fresh flowers not dried petals which is often easily to work with. Hats off to Sandra for combining her passion for fashion and her love of her homegrown flowers and creating such gorgeous work! Just goes to show that inspiration is all around us. It reminds me of very early days of Pretty Up! when I would walk and photograph flowers that came my way. Nature is such a source of creative inspiration, isn’t it? Below are some questions I asked Sandra in hopes to further learn how petal and pins came to be. Its definitely a Pretty Up! Pick for me so I encourage you to check out their products and grab a unique floral creation for yourself! See more of their range here. Also, don’t forget that you can bag a gift pack valued at $55 for a friend when you enter our Thoughtful Thursday Giveaway on Instagram. You too get a sweet treat as well for just being thoughtful. Click here for more details and enter away before 8pm Sunday, May 29, 2016.
What inspired you to start petal & pins?
My background is in fashion design and I live with my husband Simon and Agnès the labradoodle in an old house with a rambling garden full of ‘old fashioned’ flowers like roses, peonies, violets and lilac so it was only a matter of time that my passion for design and love of flowers would intertwine to become petal & pins. My studio looks out onto part of the garden that is perfect for wandering into for a reflective moment in my working day and it was in one such moment that I created my first miniature dress from aquilegia flowers in the spring of 2011.
The ephemeral nature of designing a dress with flowers was such a delightful experience -the immediacy of being able to transform an idea into reality was both meditative and whimsical so I continued to make them almost daily (and still do). I began photographing the dresses simply as a way to document them and then in 2012 Simon and I launched petal & pins with our first range of greeting cards featuring the Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe.
Our range now includes notecard sets and art prints that are available from the petal & pins online shop and selected retailers.
What is your favourite flower to work with?
Oh I could never narrow it down to one! The seasons dictate what I have to work with – obviously Spring is lots of fun – I have designed dresses with peonies, iris and hyacinths, in summer it’s hydrangeas and geraniums and winter violets and hellebores are some of my favourites. When flowers are scarce I use leaves, with a few exceptions it all comes from my garden but I have also taken my little coat hanger on holidays with me and you will find some tropical flower dresses from Magnetic Island on the petal & pins blog.
Have you ever dried or pressed the flowers?
No, their ephemeral nature is intrinsic to the idea behind them and I think part of their charm.
What is your favourite piece to assemble?
I do love creating ball gowns – one of the current ranges is the Red Carpet Collection, but my garden fairy is a social butterfly and her wardrobe reflects that – ball gowns, cocktail dresses, coats, a sassy shorts suit and even a ‘St Tropez’ style forget-me- not bikini – though not all of these currently appear in our product range.
What is your most popular piece to sell?
We are seeing some dresses as stand out favourites at design markets and with our retailers – the hydrangea dress, the fuchsia and all the dresses made from roses. There are several designs only available as prints at the moment and we are constantly being asked when will they appear in the card series so I think it’s safe to say the pretty Cécile Brünner rose and some hellebore gowns will make their debut as cards at Life Instyle.
Meet Sandra and see her range up close at Melbourne’s Life Instyle in August! Otherwise check out their online store and blog for further information and shopping. Enjoy! www.petalandpins.com Thanks to Sandra for sharing her story and donating her gift pack for the Thoughtful Thursday Giveaway. Here’s to getting inspired and creative in whatever environment we’re in.