Silk roses

Autumn is taking its toll on nature. The trees are showing their bare branches as the last leaves fall onto the cold wet ground. The grass is not as green any more. The days are short, grey and full of drizzly rain. Gardens seem to be hybernating and apart from a lonely pink nerine or a yellow spike of mahonia the eye does not see any bright colours.

Fortunately for us, handmade silk flowers are still there where the fresh ones might have gone. They please our eye and lift our spirits. Old English roses continue to flower despite the autumnal darkness.

Old English Rose brooch

I am often asked to do a rose tutorial. To be honest, roses are one of the most complicated flowers to be created out of silk and before  one attempts to try and make a complicated silk rose dozens of less complex flowers have to be made to gain enough experience, get to know the tools and properties of the silk, learn coloration techniques and flower shapes. Obviously a .pdf tutorial will not suffice in this case. Although a one-to-one session is ideal, in the modern world of technology the Skype lesson is next best. And now let’s concentrate on Christmas pieces!

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.

Realistic looking silk roses

The rose is often called queen of all flowers. And indeed who can resist its variety of form and colour, the velvety petals and sweet scent?
I love roses, both real and made of silk. In our garden we have 5 potted rose bushes and 3 old  climbing plants. David Austin varieties are probably the best for spectacular blooms and they are  often  scented. Just flicking through the pages of his catalogue provides endless inspiration for a silk flower designer!
Last week I finished two pieces with English roses, a hair clip and a corsage. They are both multi petaled flowers but look rather different, one being open with stamens and the other being packed with small frilly petals.
This English rose hair clip can add a romantic touch to your summer look or your bridal image. 

Made of pure silk of several kinds, hand shaped and hand painted the rose hair clip is a unique accessory which can be customised in colour and size to match your outfit or your wedding theme. It can make an equaly nice brooch, or a hair comb, be mounted on a headband, sewn onto a dress or your favourite summer hat. Being hand crafted the rose hair clip is an exclusive one of a kind accessory.
The other English rose looks equally spectacular with its swirl of petals in the middle and a circle of outer petals.

Again made of natural fabrics and painted by hand the rose is customisable and can make a versatile accessory. Here I have it in rich mauve and burgundy colours set against shiny leaves and finished with a brooch base. It makes a great and unique gift too for any rose lover.
As with all my creations the English rose brooch is shipped in a gift box ready to be presented. In addition I can offer a complimentary gift wrapping service on any gift order and post it on your behalf to your addressee.
I would love to read your comments about my roses and ideas you have on where else they can be used either as accessories or decorations.

A pillbox hat with silk roses

It is natural to use my handmade silk flowers to decorate hats and fascinators. That is why I would like to master the art of hat making and from time to time I try and create a hat which I can then embellish with my flowers.
As I am in the process of getting ready for a Wedding Fair with a vintage twist I have decided to make a wedding pillbox hat.

As you can see the hat is made of buckram frame covered with silk dupioni and finished with hat elastic. For decoration I created an English rose with a bud and foliage (several types of silk fabric) as well as goose biot feathers and a couple of diamonds of French veil.

The diameter of the pillbox hat is 15 cm.
The hat is available for purchase from my Etsy shop

I would be pleased to read your comments about the hat and the flowers.

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

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?