Monday, 16 March 2015

The romantic language of flowers book review ...... amazing for embroidery!




Those will raise aloft  the milk white rose
with whose sweet smell the air shall be perfumed.

William Shakespeare.


This is such an enchanting book and it explores the language of flowers but not the horrible meanings, which when I am hand embroidering flowers I really do not want.  I am designing a sampler to stitch and I will tell you more about that later in this blog, for now the book!

There are some stunning watercolours from the nineteenth century an amateur artist and flower lover, Fanny Robinson and I must say the detail helps when deciding what stitch and colour threads to use for a embroidery flower, even tiny flowers..

In the early 1700's Lady Mary Wortley Montague, the resourceful wife of the British ambassador in Constantinople penetrated the royal harem and unveiled the Turkish secret language of flowers.  Beautiful blooms had long been romantic tokens in the East but now friends and sweethearts in the West began to send secret messages to each other!  Each flower had a specific meaning, dictated by its variety, colour and placement, with individual flowers, buttonholes, posies or bouquets conveying clear signals......
This book shown on the left has stunning watercolours and pictures of flowers and their meanings as well as poems and fun facts about lots of our favourites such as pansies, forget-me-knots, snowdrops, primroses and wild strawberries....

This darling book has an index of flowers and their meanings at the back as not all can be featured and in addition there is a section dedicated to National flowers and fascinating facts.....

The detail in the water colour paintings of the flowers is remarkable and for those of us who like to embroider it is fabulous to break down tiny changes in colours and shades, to be able to try and capture a delicate flower either in detail or on a much smaller scale....




For instance take this hibiscus on the left, you can see every detail and also in the book it states that this flower attracts butterflies, bees and hummingbirds .... this helps when designing a picture as to what you may add to be correct and to make it look beautiful.  It also states that a single flower from the hibiscus behind the left ear of a Tahitian woman marks her as eligible for love and marriage, whilst place behind the right ear tells a suitor that she is taken.......

This is a highly recommended book if you want to study flowers for stitching and I am over the moon with my copy... Now I bought mine at a local garden centre for £4.99 so be on the look out for it.

This book has helped me with my designing of a sampler which I have named 'The secret garden' and is based on the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  I have been sketching and adding a little water colour here and there and for this purpose I have used the water soluble pencils as you are able to get great detail on the flowers at such a tiny scale.  This enables me to copy this onto vintage French linen for stitching......

I have several projects on the go so this one is only in its designing stage but I can not wait to start it. I would like my secret garden to be filled with beautiful flowers with beautiful meanings and that way people who love gardens and nature will want to adorn their own wall with it.....



This is four photos of some of the pages in this wonderful little book.


Well I am away to my stitching and I hope you have enjoyed this little journey into delicate flowers and their meanings and that it has inspired you to take out your needle and thread!


Happy Stitching!



























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