Peter Beales: classic English roses

Last Saturday in between the showers we set off to visit Peter Beales nursery, which so happens to be only 20 minutes drive from our place. Peter Beales, sadly deceased earlier this year, was very well known as a rosarian, author and lecturer. Beales was considered one of the leading experts on roses, especially species and classic roses, preserving many old varieties and introducing 70 new cultivars during his lifetime.

Our humble collection has one of Peter Beales’ roses and we’ve got our eyes on another one for next year.

Coincidentally last weekend the nursery held the 3rd annual rose festival with garden tours, draws, competitions, workshops and much more. And although we did not manage to win a free rose plant we did have a lovely time and enjoyed spectacular rose blooms. We took pictures too!

I have to say that such places are a heaven for silk flower artist, and Peter Beales nursery is not an exception. 
Every rose bloom I saw was crying to be recreated in silk. The colours were amazing, the shapes   were so diverse. Suddenly everything I studied on silk rose making started to make sense: the form of the blooms, the colouring, the shape of petals etc.
Peter Beales roses are very different in shape and colour but most of them do have scent. In the catalogue the scent values from 0 (no scent) to 10 (strongly scented).
A lot of varieties produce large double blooms so packed with petals (see the picture above) one might mistake them for some other flower. 

More conventional shaped blooms can be found too.

I particularly liked the varieties which produce numerous clusters of small pompon-like blooms. The one above looks almost like a cherry blossom to me.

Large open flowers with a simple shape looked equally impressive and inspired me to be repeated with fabric.

But best of all I like double flat roses in pastel colours like the one above. They are delicate and fragile and irresistibly beautiful.
After this visit I returned home inspired and full of ideas for the weeks to come. I hope you enjoyed the pictures of beautiful rose blooms too.

silk rose choker

Bridal choker necklace with a silk rose

There are many ways to use silk flower for decoration that have developed over the long period that the silk flowers have been around. Some of them are more obvious like brooches, corsages, hair clips, some are less. Another direction I am constantly working on apart from the diversity of the floral  form  is the diversity of application of these gorgeous creations. Here is one more way of using a handmade silk flower: a silk choker or a necklace.

This silk rose choker necklace is a perfect addition to a romantic bridal image “a la Marie Antoinette” and will work particularly well with an strapless corset wedding dress. As always I have created the rose from scratch and it can be customised to a wedding theme in terms of colour. The size of the choker necklace is regulated by silk ribbons at the back.

Here is the picture of the silk rose choker:
silk rose choker necklace
And that is how it looks when I am wearing it:
Similar chokers can be seen in the Ian Stuart collection named Revolution Rocks.
To make a similar silk rose choker make use of my detailed tutorial on this piece which you can find in my shop HERE
silk marie antoinette rose choker tutorial

Bridal hat with a gorgeous silk rose and a birdcage veil

When I finished assembling this rose I immediately thought of it as a millinery flower. Called Bride it is a gorgeous large silk rose of nearly 70 petals and is indeed meant for weddings.
I had the hat idea in my mind as well, I just needed some time to get hold of all the necessary supplies to start creating. And the supply list is rather extensive: sinamay base, viscose velvet, hat elastic, crin, coque feathers, dupioni leaves, birdcage veil with spots and of course the silk rose.
Here is  the picture of the finished hat:

And to give you an idea of how it looks on a head I acted as a model 😀 in these pictures:

The bridal hat is available for purchase at at my store on Etsy

A large tea-coloured rose

I must say as an artist I am attracted not so much by the colour but more so by the shape in silk flower making. I salivate at the perspective of learning how to make a new type of flower whether it be a humble lilly-of-the-valley, hydrangeas, fuchsias, plumerias, a grape leaf  or a twig of a fur-tree. All of them sound equally attractive. Of course one must not forget roses. Firstly, people seem to be fascinated by this flower which makes it first choice for weddings, birthdays, other important events. Secondly the rose has so many faces, so many different shapes and sizes ranging from a small 5-petal simple flower to a complicated layer-upon-layer-of-petals rosette. This diversity of rose shapes is also very appealing to me.
Here is my latest rose. It is quite a large flower and despite the fact that there are only 40 petals it gives the impression of a dense flower.

Please click here for more hand crafted roses
Large silk rose

The petals are made of silk crepe and for the leaves I used Indian silk called dupioni, which has some natural imperfections as well as some soft shine.

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Roses, roses, roses

Rose is the queen of the flower world or so it seems. And although I personally like a lot of rather different flowers it is very difficult to resist the fascination the rose possesses. Especially if it has a nice flower shape. Especially if it has a scent. Especially if it has a historic charm about it. This is all true about the Old English rose as it has it all: great shape, smell, heritage and diversity.
Here is the English rose in silk.
The rose is hand made from scratch of pure silk fabrics (crepe and dupioni) and hand painted using colours for silk.
 The Old English rose with an open flower shape would look beautiful as a hair accessory or a wedding dress embellishment.
 Other colour options are possible as it is hand painted
The rose can be mounted on a hair clip or a comb, made as a brooch etc.
What do you think about it? Does it look an Old English rose to you?

What’s new?

After having received 3 books on silk flower making by world famous Japanese masters in the post I was thinking with what to start. Well, I must admit, the lack of Japanese does not help when I try to understand sophisticated instructions having just a couple of photos at my disposal. So I decided to start from a stem of tiny little roses or even rosebuds. They seem to be OK to make, and besides i have been approached before by my friends who were interested in very small roses.
So far the petals are ready and they are tiny! Here is a photo of a pile of silk petals featuring Fimbriata our new garden rose as well ☺

handmade petals, silk rose petals, hand painted silk rose petals, handmade flowers, silk flowers

One pattern two roses

Here is how the assembling process influences the final shape of a flower. I made these 2 roses using the same  pattern but they look quite different. The white rose is meda out of silk tafetta which I personally found a bit stiff to work with. The pink rose has got nicely coloured pastel leaves