Thursday, June 12, 2014

Peonies! Yes! + The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers Book Giveaway

It is peony season here at the farm. And as usually happens, rain is always a threat to the life of the blooms. 

 

After working in my gardens some yesterday, I harvested as many peonies as I could for the house. 


There really is no other flower that rivals the peony - the incredibly short bloom period makes them extra special. 


 And that smell. Just incredible.


I wish you could smell them through your screen.  Here are my bouquets that I will be spreading around the house to perfume our rooms.


With all this talk of flowers, it is a perfect time to introduce you all to a fantastic new book called The The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers: A Guide to Making Unbelievably Realistic Paper Blooms published by STC/MelanieFalick Books. You can see a small slideshow with more photos here.  


Paper flowers are having their time in the sun right now and it is because of incredible artists such as Livia Cetti, the author. You can see a Studio Tour of her place here on Design*Sponge. She has taken what could be a hokey kind of craft and turned it into a real art. And the best thing is she wrote a book for all of us to learn her tricks from. 


The above photo is the chapter opener where Livia lets you in on what kinds of paper to buy and all the other little things you will need - many of which you already own. She goes very indepth - giving brand names - which is quite helpful if you want to have the success with making the flowers. 

 

The instructions look excellent - with all kinds of tips. I have not had the chance to actually make any paper flowers but I am hoping to get to it this summer.  Get out the crepe paper, the tissue paper, the glue gun and the bleach! You'll have to read the book to find out about how to use the bleach.


Aren't these flowers amazing? They look so real. Here is the step by step how to to make the cherry blossoms above. 


I think this book would be a great start to a summer of crafting with children or with friends. I can only imagine how many brides will be using The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers to make decorations for their tables. 

 

The book is laid out very nicely. It begins with the basics and then moves onto individual flowers which are photographed in pretty vases as shown below. There are 26 different flowers featured.

 

At the end of the book there is 18 different projects that use paper flowers including the flower garland below that is just incredible.  They call it 3-D wallpaper. Cute. Directions are included for all of these projects. At the very end are templates of the individual leaf and petal shapes that you would use as patterns.


Check out Livia's stunning website here. It is really hard to believe the flowers are not real and are actually made of paper. Livia Cetti also teaches on Creativebug. Check out her on-line classes here.  

One of you lucky readers is going to win a copy of Livia Cett's The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers. Here's how you enter.....

Answer the following question In the comments section...... What is your favorite flower? If you have the time, let us know why. It is so much fun for all of us to read through your stories. 

Contest ends Monday June 16th.  
As always, leave an easy way to get a hold of you. US addresses only. Good luck everyone. 

Contest is over. The winner is Carol who wrote:
Lily of the valley...we had them in profusion in the back yard of my childhood home, and my late mother wore Muguet perfume...when I smell them I am instantly transported to a different time and place...memory. Carol, ceejay on Rav



And here is a little art history for all of you. Did you know that the artist Vanessa Bell often painted photos of paper flowers? Here is one of her paintings from the Tate Museum. The Omega Workshop also made and sold paper flowers back in the 1910's. Here are some of the other paintings that feature paper flowers.

43 comments:

Kimberly said...

Just one, I sat here for a moment trying to work out in my monkey mind this a.m. which flower I love best. I'm still not positive. I love the color of poppies and was found often as a toddler in the middle of my uncles beautifully groomed circular poppy bed. Color seemed to be important to me even then.

The heady fragrance of a gardenia captures me daily right now as we have two bushes full of them! The blooms are so beautiful to stare into.

Peonies have always been a favorite too. One of the first places I rented as a new out in the big world 'adult' had a circular drive and the center was filled to the brim with these beautiful blooms. The first house bought also had and that was where I learned never to knock all the ants off the plant. The man we bought the home from was a world famous entomologist who gently told me the ants were necessary. Lesson learned and remembered to this day :-)

I'm currently stitching up a new design with cone flowers, another favorite for their color.

Thank you for sharing your blooms with us today!

Cynthia Nicole said...

Thanks for the offer, Kristin!
My favorite flower...
but I can't choose between peony & lilac!

Cindy said...

What a gorgeous book! I'm having trouble choosing a favorite flower, but I'll choose roses. My husband and I have enjoyed growing them for many years.

Jules Means said...

Oh what a pretty book!
And yes, Kimberly, I just learned that the reason the ants crawl all over them is so they can lick the sticky nectar off which then helps the petals to open. I used to knock them off, too :)

Patricia said...

for me it is Hydrangeas. Mine survived this terrible winter, barely. I guess I like them because it is so easy to change their color and they are stunning in their own way.

Ridgely said...

Hmmm, I have several favorites, all of which are known or their fragrance: peonies, sweet peas, lily of the valley; gardenia. For sheer fun you can't beat the sunflower!

Anne said...

I read through the other comments and now I'm confused! I agree that gardenia's are amazing; the glorious aroma and the simple perfection of the flower. Plus, my date brought me a gardenia corsage for my prom almost forty years ago and my mother put it in my hair, just behind my ear. I could smell it all evening.

That said, it's the peony. The extravagant petals, the aroma, size, and colors. I love this time of year! I plot raids on plants I see around town (I don't carry them out) and I love that they'll appear again, briefly, in floral shops in 6 months.

Sue Mc said...

Anthurium--it was one of the first flower names I memorized as a child. I remember being fascinated looking at my Mom's 1954 wedding photos and seeing this strange but simple beautiful deep maroon "flower" in her bouquet. Plus it's fun to say!

Patty Lee said...

I love daffodils. My birthday is in late March and it is so much fun each year to see if they will be in bloom on my special day. Some years they are almost bloomed out. This year we were lucky - the first one opened on the very day.

Nancy said...

Favorite flower? I'm having a nasturtium moment right now -- I bought a mix of colors called "whirlybird" and am anxiously awaiting the blooms. But even their leaves are beautiful, especially when they cup a raindrop or dewdrop. The books looks fun; thanks for the giveaway. nancywalters44@hotmail.com

PghCathy said...

Omigosh! Just 1? It's so hard to choose between lilacs, irises & lilies of the valley. But I'll say lilies of the valley because I remember as a child my mom would put them in colored water & we'd watch the white lilies become striped. I thought mom could do magic...then I went to science class.

Auntie Shan said...

Irises, Orchids, Lilacs, Violets, Anthuriums, Pansies... Pretty much any flower that comes in purple, blue or dark red... Although, I am sooo Horticulturally-CHALLENGED! Afraid my Sister got all of the Gardening-Genes from both of our Grandmothers... However, I am good with PAPER...
:-D

Maria Ida said...

My favorite flower lately is the tulip. I love how it welcomes Spring and how beautiful and artistic they look when you arrange them freely in a flower vase.

Queen of the Tea Cosies said...

Just beautiful.

Anonymous said...

My favorites....peonies...we have a yard full of them..pink ones and I love poppies. thanks, Mary in cincinnati

Chris said...

I love flowers, grow them, pick them, paint them, make art quilts of them. I always have some kind of bouquet in the house. I guess I'd have to say dahlias are my favorite. Although I can't think of a flower I don't like.
Love your work.
chrisjohnsonquilts@gmail.com

Sally said...

Right now my fave is moonflower, as I am craving those fragrant blooms and it's been too long since I've seen/smelled them. Thank you for this lovely post and the chance to win!

Anonymous said...

Lily of the valley...we had them in profusion in the back yard of my childhood home, and my late mother wore Muguet perfume...when I smell them I am instantly transported to a different time and place...memory.

Carol, ceejay on Rav

shortoldlady said...

My favorite flower is the Tulip! The Parrot Tulips are stunning with their colors and edging. They remind me of when I was young and my old back-yard.

JoBleudeMaine said...

Just one? I love blue cornflowers and lobelia for the color, but lily of the valley, lilacs and hyacinths for the fragrance. I probably would have to pick blue hyacinths for the combination of that deep blue and the beautiful smell.

NancyP said...

Kristin, thank you for your offer to share this book. Every season in the garden brings a new favorite flower. My husband and I moved to the lower eastern shore of Maryland where spring comes a little earlier than your area. Although our peonies have come and gone, we enjoyed their blossoms all over the house. Peonies are the real reason I love cut glass bowls as nothing is lovelier than peony blossoms floating in them.
Spring bulbs of all kinds are some of my favorites. Everything in the daisy family are great favorites. Zinnias top the list for annuals and cut flowers.
NancyP

aggie325 said...

Gosh, that's a hard one. Like many others I don't think I can just pick one....Spring starts with one of my favorites, hyacinth. I love the color and shape of baptisia next, followed by lily of the valley, peonies, zinnias and then dahlias for the end of summer.

knitster said...

I think for me it would be geraniums. Love the colors and it is not summer until I have a pot full. My grandmother lived in LA and her geraniums bloomed all year long in her front flower bed. It was great at Christmas to have them blooming.

adodds said...

This is easy. Snapdragons! They reseeded themselves in a rock border along side of our house. They tolerate the wind, do not see fussy about water.qq I love the variety of colors and heights. They are truly glorious.

mary i said...

I so need this book! Ok after much thought,Zinnias. My mother grew them where ever we lived.She always told us to plant flowers and that made a house a home. They always come back so I feel like I am leaving a bit of love in my wanders. I am not a blogger so here is my e-mail. m.bartels65@yahoo.com Thank you.

Frances said...

Kristin, it was fun to see the mention of Vanessa Bell and the Omega folks. I'd forgotten about their paper flowers.

xo

Anonymous said...

Terry G--Surely there is a gardenia---the smell makes you want to have them all the time. The first one usually blooms for my daughters birthday--would love to make her a bouquet

grammynan said...

My fave....so common, so easy to grow: zinnia. I love to plant a row in my vegetable garden and revel in all the colors. They last quite long as cut flowers too. Being a flower lover give one the option of changing one's mind every couple of years though.

Anonymous said...

I had giant white spider mums in my wedding. They are so fun, modern & unusual but.......
Who can resist pansies with their cute "faces" & amazing colors? Or hollyhocks made into little "fairies"? Or columbine? Or...the list is endless & I love 'em all.
Rav ID : Ettenna

Amy said...

My favorite flower: pansies! I've always loved them. They're all my favorite colors (especially the range of purples) and they last forever. We've still got some in a flowerbed in the Washington,D.C. June heat--when they wilt, we'll put in the summer blooms, but they just won't quit. Love 'em! (Amy at schwartzwq@aol.com)

Lisa Morton said...

I love poppies - carlifornia, shirley, iclandic, oriental, blue tibetan - they are all so happy and fun. I love seeing them in the wild in desserts and mountains and how they pop up randomly in my yard from time to time (from plantings and seeds that I've forgotten about). I tried to get my high school class (20 years ago) to use them as our class flower but no one went for it. thanks for the offer lisa (lisa.f.mort@gmail.com)

Anonymous said...

My favorite is a lilac because of that wonderful smell!
Lee (mamagiff on ravelry)

Anonymous said...

Choosing a favorite flower is akin to naming a favored child but I'll give it a try.

How about sweet peas; they're old-fashioned, smell heavenly and come in exquisite colors!

Roxanne
RASmartWay@gmail.com

Wanda said...

Peonies - my great grandmother had peonies in her garden - and that was a part of my wedding gift - a root for a beautiful pink peony. What a wonderful gift. Each time they blossom they give me the gift of memories......the scent so sweet...

Casey said...

My favorites change with the seasons, spring time, violets, lilacs and peonies. Early summer, daisies and lupines. Summer dahlias and zinnias. Fall, asters and mums.Winter, anything I can get my hands on.
ashefamily@yahoo.com

Lizy Tish said...

PEONIES!!! My favorite favorite favorite. Hands down. Just love them. Carried them in my wedding.

Diane Ellis said...

Thank you for the giveaway. I want this book so much. I have two favorite flowers Peony and Primroses. I love all the petals the peony has and I love the colors the primroses have. I imagine an old English cottage garden. How wonderful would that be. I also have a paper flower at my desk in work that my daughter recently made. So much fun making paper flowers together. Enjoy your summer. Rav Id dianeellis2012; email 2012ddedde@gmail.com

Barb T. said...

I can't think of a bad one, but I'll go with the Hydrangea. I have 3 here in my Maine yard and want more!
barblt99 Ravelry ID

Gerri said...

Hard to choose one flower. Am living my peony-scented dining room at the moment. I think, though, I'll pick the zinnia.

I used to make tissue paper flowers at one point in my childhood. Cut out all sorts of different petals, etc. was great fun! Greenboatgb@netscape.net

Sheila said...

I don't know that I have a real favorite flower, but I love the wild iris that bloom in the forest here in the springtime.

MB Isaac said...

My favorite is lilac - we had 3 lilac trees in the back yard growing up and the scent always reminds me of home

Anonymous said...

I don't have a favorite flower- just too many flowers and it depends on the season! I love lungwort because it grows in my shady yard and it is one of the first to bloom in the spring. I have a simple yellow tulip that glows in the sun and is fragrant. Doesn't last very long but is magic for a few days. I love the smell of dame's rocket in the evening. I love the old fashion bee balm. Makes great earl grey tea when added to regular tea and the humming birds love it. Love sunflowers! I have volunteers popping up in the garden. Some times I find a blooming witch hazel in October. I love being surprised by a flowering tree in October in the middle of the woods! gnlmutti at gmail.com

tjf said...

I love peonies because they grew all over my grandmothers yard. Their blooms and scent always bring back memories of her. I also love the scent of lilacs and tulips and gerbera daisies are so pretty.

Tricia
tfankell6@gmail.com