For me, growing flowers in the garden has become one of life's great pleasures. For most of the year, there is a parade of ever changing spots of color, viewable through the large glass doors from my kitchen. In early spring, there are daffodils, muscari, and crocus, followed by tulips, blueberry, and strawberry blossoms in mid spring, and in late spring, iris and lily.
Being a collector of vintage home decor items who also enjoys creating seasonal displays with them, I decided to grow a few varieties of flowers that would complement an Asian design aesthetic. As May came to an end, I was anticipating the blooming of the yellow irises in June, and planning how I would style this beautiful flower in my home for this month's Styling The Seasons. To make it happen, I assembled these items: a single stem of yellow iris, a ceramic vase, a paper banner I had crafted, a framed poster, and a tray with a red bird statue upon it.
For this styled surface, my vision was to choose various items that would create a color scheme of gold and white, with seasonal pops of color. I also wanted to complement the two large metal birds and the black iron 'artist palette' shelf with Fiestaware on it, that are always on display here, bringing all of these items together to create a simple arrangement that celebrates the season in a place where family and friends gather.
One of my favorite flower arranging techniques is Ikebana - a simple yet elegant Japanese style that focuses on the inherent beauty of whichever flowers and plants are used. The iris in our garden grows to about four feet tall, so in order to show off its natural beauty I had to cut quite a long length of it, then trimmed it until it appeared to be growing spontaneously out of the vase.
The white ceramic vase, with a painted scene of a flowering tree, is made in Japan, and while I don't think it is necessarily vintage, it is probably from the 1980s or 1990s. Still, I am fond of its traditional shape and beautiful screen print.
The paper banner was created using a sheet of 12" x 12" scrapbook paper from the Nest collection, designed by Brandi O'Neill for Webster's Pages. It's a map themed paper that has a white background and the continents are brightly colored in a 'crazy quilt' fashion. To employ the gold color I was seeking to incorporate into this vignette, I decorated the edges of each flag with gold embossing powder, then strung them with white tassels on gold and white cording. Banners are a nice way to add a celebratory flair to your decor, and I enjoy making them in different themes, styles, and colors.
The poster is from Flow Magazine's Book For Paper Lovers, which was published last fall. According to Flow, it has 'More than 300 pages of paper goodies', and it truly is a thick book with a wide variety of paper delight! I matted the poster with green card stock, then placed it in a gold frame. It's nice to have a reminder to always look for the good in every day.
Can you tell that I am a bit 'bird crazy'? I have loved birds for as long as I can remember, and enjoy looking for ways to display them. This vintage Japanese ceramic bird is a special favorite of mine - I love its bright orange color and the way the brown paint blends with the orange paint to give it a beautiful natural look. I placed the bird on a vintage decorative paper-lined tray, also made in Japan, along with a doily that was given to me a very long time ago by a neighbor who loved all things Victorian. I placed one stem from a Tuesday Farmer's Market bouquet at the base of the bird, because I like how the natural flowers blend into the ceramic leaves of the statue, giving the appearance of a bird sitting in a real flowering tree.
It was a pleasure to style this seasonal month of June, bringing together nature, collectables, and color as an expression of life, and as a celebration of the good things in it.
If you are interested in styling a surface in your home and then sharing it, and if you would like to know more about Styling The Seasons, visit Katy Orme's blog Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte's blog Lotts and Lots. You can also search their hashtag #stylingtheseasons on Instagram. Either way, you will find a plethora of inspiration and ideas. And if you have any questions I can answer, leave me a comment!