Interested in learning how to make pressed flowers?
Get the whole family involved in holiday cards this year! While posing for a family photo does have a certain caché, making your own own botanical greeting cards with pressed flowers is a fun way to spend some time together this season, without the drama of matching sweaters. (You can always include a photo if you want!)
If you live in a place where things are still green, go on a walk with the whole crew and source materials from your own garden or local park (just make sure you’re allowed to take it). If you’re somewhere without much in the way of live vegetation, try picking up a few stems from your local florist, or snipping a few springs from your indoor herb garden. (We like using rosemary, as it not only looks appropriately icicle-like, it also smells amazing and seasonal.)
We used the Armhino Herb Press to create the materials for our cards and used traditional snowflake shapes as inspiration for our patterns.
Enter into this environment Jimmy Beans Wool, a one-stop shop for knitters who offer beautiful Shibui skeins made with recycled silk, fine merino wool, and cashmere.
Offered in a wide variety of freshly picked, earthy colors, the company’s offerings of tweedy lace-weight yarn are complex, tonal, and unique– perfect for color work, lace, and a variety of garment making applications. It’s also super soft, which is a key attribute when it comes to preparing for sweater weather and the Fall harvest.
The company’s Shibui Knits Bouquets (shown in the banner above and the image below) are the latest incarnation of this sumptuous tweed bundle, which adds a plush feel and rich depth of color to any fabric.
We also love the wholesomeness of purchasing fresh bundles of yarn from a trusted retailer– especially one who makes an effort to incorporate recycled materials. (As of this writing, 85% of textile waste goes straight to landfills when much of the fabric and material could be recycled.)
For beginner and experiences knitters, we recommend ordering your first Jimmy Beans Wool products in a variety of colors in order to experiment with the look and feel of the resultant fabrics. The colors are rich without being in-your-face, while the textures have a beautiful tactile appeal– the slight variation in individual skeins makes each product feel special. What more could you want?
The art of sending letters might seem nostalgic in the digital age, but gorgeously made paper goods are like a solid black dress: they never go out of style. Whether you’re sending a handwritten birthday card or a heartfelt Thank You, nothing says sincerity quite like a beautiful card– and given the rising popularity of houseplants among millennials, botanical stationery is more trendy and appealing than ever before.
Below, we highlight some of our favorite botanical artists of the moment, with examples of the beautiful cards they make.
Janelle Sing (For Bespoke Monograms)
Janelle Sing’s materia medica of letters makes us wistful about the bygone era when monograms were de rigueur. We love the delicate line weight that Sing articulates on her bespoke cards, which are ideal for weddings and events– but we also think they’re worthy of framing in their own right (perhaps as a letter on the wall in a child’s bedroom). Increasingly in this era of tech, people want cards that feel unique and handmade, and the artist’s gentle hand and her relaxed sense of composition impart this exact feeling of old-meets-new sentimentality. Lovely.
The Mint Gardener (For Haute Watercoloring)
Sarah Simon, aka The Mint Gardener, favors dark, moody tones in her romantically saturated watercolor cards, which are among our favorites in the genre. Her eye for detail and precise renderings of some of our favorite flowers– the regal poppy, the humble artichoke– make her perfect for art lovers and plant lovers alike. We adore the density and drape of her bouquets and the rich hues she uses to shade her foliage. Each plant rendering is like a baroque version of the real thing.
Melbourne-based Botanical Designer Helen Kleores knows a thing or two about beautiful floral specimens that feel quintessentially Australian: bright-orange banksia, bottle brush, red waratah, flowering gum, and ferns are just a few of the many plant subjects she photographs and transforms into chic, minimalist cards. Her White Nature collection includes flowers and flora of every season and color, always photographed on a smart, clean background. Great for greetings and decoration.
Vincent Jeannerot (For Old World Elegance)
Vincent Jeannerot is a famed peintre aquarelliste membre de la Société Française d’Illustration Botanique— one of the most prestigious botanical art societies in the world. Based in Lyon, France, his refined and realistic renderings of onions, peonies, ferns, and other garden staples reminisce of leather-bound textbooks and turn-of-the-century ethnobotanical drawings, with beautiful color grading and a keen eye for depth, texture, and light. A true botanical artist, Jeannerot also teaches the craft of botanical illustration and painting at various workshops around the world.
Catherine Lewis (For Gorgeous Saturation and a Handmade Feel)
Catherine Lewis‘ “Houseplant Collection” and “Species Collection” cards prove that there’s always beauty in simplicity. We love her Monstera Heart ‘Love You’ and her house plant patterns– the gentle depiction of light on every leaf in her designs makes each card feel special and handmade. The cards, in turn, make lovely gifts for housewarmings and heartfelt Thank You’s– and her intricate illustrations have been translated onto pillows, wrapping paper, iPhone cases, and the like. Get ‘um while you can!
Hackney & Co (For The #PlantFolk in Your Life)
Katy Hackney’s penchant for simplicity and detail make her hand-illustrated watercolors a joy to behold– especially for those of us who love botanical illustrations and all of their styled minimalism. Hackney & Co‘s Orkney botanical cards are little recordings of the natural elements found around Hackney’s studio in the Orkney Isles, an archipelago off the northeastern coast of Scotland. Some specimens include Marsh Mallow (Althaea officinalis), White Nettle (Lamium album), Comfrey (Symphytum officinale), Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) and Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum)– but all of them are lovely keepsakes, especially for those who have travelled around Scotland.
On the back of each card in the botanical series Hackney also includes detailed information about each plant, including where it grows, its medicinal uses, practical applications, and any folklore surrounding the plant. What’s not to love?
Sonia Cavallini (For Pretty Patterns)
Sonia Cavallini‘s patterns remind us of the whimsical wallpaper of our youth– or at least an imagined wallpaper from the 1950’s that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Prada scarf. We love the reserved hues that the Lyon-based artist tends to favor, and the fact that her cards’ shiny surfaces bear the unmistakable stain of watercolor. Those looking for a more refined message will appreciate her “Je T’iame” postcards, while her “Girl Power!” cards are a nice way to say hello to a niece, daughter, or someone in need of a pep talk.
Lou Baker Smith (For Wanderlust and Color Harmony)
Lou Baker Smith‘s images have an inimitable wistful quality that we can’t get enough of. The moments of what we’ll call “slow living” that she captures so eloquently in her scenery– a pot of geraniums, a vase of ranunculi, a lemon on a cutting board– remind us of the most exquisite subtle moments in our own travels: smelling fresh produce at a local market, or treating oneself to a bouquet (ideally foraged from some sort of Edenic oasis in the Cyclades). We also love the delicate color palettes of Smith’s cards and the ways in which they are layered to create texture while maximizing emotional impact– lovely!