Good golly, it’s a BIG day today, and we aren’t even at the end of the release yet. When I say “big,” I mean a day of terrifically beautiful card samples by the Bloom Brigade — all featuring a large scale flower that you just might recognize! But first, some background.
Earlier this year, Finn and I ventured to the St. Louis Art Museum to check out their exhibit, “Cross-Pollination: Flowers in 18th-Century European Porcelain and Textiles.” Girl, you know that kind of thing is right up my alley! We learned how botanical engravings and paintings influenced housewares, fashion, and textile design in the 1700s. The image above of Hibiscus flowers is from a massive tome called Hortus Indicus Malabaricus, published in 1686, the first book sharing the flora of India. I found this link if you’d like to see more drawings from these pages — there are multiple volumes and the drawings are quite exciting! I love how gigantic these flowers are, sweeping across the layout spread.
Seeing the intricate image of huge Hibiscus flowers got me in a huge flower state of mind! I decided not to draw a Hibiscus on this go ’round (to quote the show Hamilton, “Just You Wait!”), but I have been captivated for some time by the prettiest pastel Dahlias I see on Instagram that are grown by Erin Benzakein of Floret Flowers in Skagit Valley, Washington (@floretflower — Erin is a MUST-follow, her sun-splashed photos of life as a farmer-florist delight the soul!). After geeking out on Erin’s photos for hours, I got to sketching, adjusting my pencil to a “go big or go home” state of mind.
One of the varieties grown at Floret that’s positively incredible — so beloved that it’s now a huge trend in the garden world — is called ‘Café au Lait’. The flower heads are stunning in size, and would be referred to as Dinnerplate Dahlias. Perfect as a model for an “XL”-sized stamp! What a multitude of glowing petals that twist and turn in a frenzy of beauty.
|Source: Floret Flower|
I’ve not grown large Dahlias before — I stick to the smaller ones I can grab our local St. Louis nurseries. If you’re interested in seeing some photos that will make your head spin, along with sharing invaluable Dahlia growing information, here’s a wonderful post from Erin at Floret to read when you have a few moments.
Café au Lait Dahlias go through a number of color phases, and can be shades of pink, peach, vanilla, rose, creamy yellowy apricot — all the way to lavender — sometimes all on the same flower! I tried my hand at painting my first impression from our new stamp set — Dahlia XL — in these beautiful rosy-peach tones.
I can say from personal experience that this flower was a BLAST to color. The shading in the petals shows you exactly where to put your deepest shadows and your midtones, leaving the remaining areas for highlight. You’re almost guaranteed great results. The flower is so large (4-1/2 inches across!) so you can really get your coloring medium inside the petals without trouble. I didn’t even have to dig out my teeniest tiniest paintbrushes, I used an “0” sized sable brush rather than the “000” that some of our images might require. And you know what? You can color this thing in SOOOOO many ways.
Dahlia XL is a LARGE SCALE flower, it comes on a 5" x 5" canvas, and is complete with a few leaves and sentiments! It will be available to purchase on Sunday, July 30. Hey, that’s TOMORROW!!
Now to see what the Bloom Brigade has made to help get you in the mood.... please, remain seated while viewing these cards. For it is possible that you could topple over in a shear state of swoon-osity.
Folks, we have ONE MORE adorable set to share tomorrow — and THEN, you can start shopping! If you are a fan of the vignettes in our Short Stacks and Cozy Cupfuls clear sets, then this new design will be right up your alley.
We’re launching a special promotion to be announced tomorrow — if you’re planning on getting multiple sets, you can save big bucks, so stay tuned.