May 1, 2010

May Flowers for May Day

It's May 1st, Blog, the date when we Wisconsinites can finally assume winter is over!  Yes, it's safe to do things like buy patio plants, which I hope to do ASAP.  Being the first Saturday in May this year, it's also Derby Day which means DRINK MINT JULEPS!  But I digress.

A few weeks back I invited readers to send me their favorite images of crafts and creations that celebrate flowers, and they came through with some beauties.  Without further ado, let's enjoy these May Day May Flowers!

I'll kick things off with a couple of images of my own.  I took photos of a clump of our beautimous bleeding hearts.  (By the way, they are in a vase I bought in 1969 from Van Briggle Pottery in Colorado Springs, founded 1899.)  I like to fool around with Photoshop, and these two shots demonstrate that.

I must, however, bow before the awesomeness of my photographer friend Rebecca Nieminen Sloan, who sent me one of the gazillions of amazing nature photos in her collection:  Morning Glories After Rain.

Blog, no one can deny the gorgeousity of real blooms, but before we move on from them, let me remind everyone that sometimes flowers can be downright terrifying.  My pal Florian Maas sent me living proof of that, a photo of the infamous Titan Arum.  I'd hate to meet one of these in a dark greenhouse.

Wow.  Nuff said.

Well, what I knew I'd love about this little challenge was seeing the flower theme interpreted in all the cool arts and crafts that my friends do.  Here's an old favorite of mine, a watercolor painting created by Constance Pappalardo.  It was actually chosen as the logo of the 2007 Cary, NC Spring Daze festival, and you can see why.

My quilter friend Jen Buettner has been working on this "Amish Rubik Center" wallhanging and I couldn't help but gank it from her blog.  Absolutely gorgeous.

I don't know the creator of this next piece, but I discovered her recently.  She does a papercraft I dabbled in a little in high school, called quilling, which uses strips of curled paper.  In fact, Yulia Brodskaya has been very successful with her craft commercially, and you may see her work in print ads and the like.  This flowery example of her talent really blows me away.

My friend Erica Campbell is not a pro, but her work is dang professional if you ask me.  She does scrapbooking and makes greeting cards.  Check out the card she made for her mom this that's an heirloom!

I have another friend known as Corsetkitten Erica who customizes dolls for a hobby.  She's brilliant.  She also makes them amazing furniture and accessories, and recently used polymer clay to make this tiled table top.  Yes, those are all tiny bits of clay.  Unbelievable.

Which segues us nicely into my favorite medium!  Polymer clay is a great way to celebrate flowers.  My friend Dawna Marie Sharp just took up the hobby and look at the amazing things she can already do with "caning."  That's the process of making a long tube of clay that can be sliced into individual beads like this one...only the second flower Dawna made!

Personally, I love the shimmery, coppery colors of this one:

New friend Lorraine Vogel learned of the May Flower Challenge via Dawna, and sent me a few pieces of her amazing jewelry, also of polymer clay.  Lorraine is an old pro and sells her gorgeous work.  I've never seen anything quite like her designs:

And this delightful "Hawaiian Blue":

My favorite, a wooden flower!

Okay, Blog, that's enough flowery fun.  Thanks SO MUCH to all you contributors!  Now let's get our juleps on and toast the arrival of flower time and total takeover by that wonderful season called spring!


  1. Love all the different flowers! Very cool.

  2. Wow, Diana there's some really great stuff in this post! I'm particularly liking the quilling, and of course the quilting! I'm still trying to learn to quilt, but it's slow going for me (fiddly seam allowances yadda yadda). That Titan Arum is amazing! I would have thought it was a fake if you hadn't said otherwise!
    (oh, yea thanks for showing off my table! ;) )

  3. Erica, you found it! :-) I also do not have the steady hand for quilting, wish I did. The quilling is just so pretty. Anyway I just had to share your amazing table. And someday more of your stuff I hope!