Style Court

Nine Years of Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes


Flowers, Birds, Branchs and Trim

I'll be honest, I think I'm as drawn to The Gables' antique wood-handled tools used for making millinery flowers as to the finished product. (Although Dulken & Derrick's silk camellias do look amazing on the back of a wedding dress.) I'm not certain how many of the 19th-century flower presses are left, but initially some were priced under $50. On the whole the tools range from $45 to $225. And while they kind of fall into that "for-the-person-who-has-everything" category, I can imagine some of my creative friends really using them. It would be interesting to hunt for vintage versions with character (but less age) that might not cost as much.

Another gift idea for an artistic nature lover is a back issue of Bloom. (Thanks Miguel for the lovely reminder!) Lisa's husband should order issue 12, unless our favorite Bloomsbury enthusiast already has it. That said, Bloom is expensive. Just under $100 for U.S. buyers. A used copy of Bloom Book: Horticulture for the 21st Century, published by Flammarion, is more budget-friendly and usually can be found for under $50.

I know gift wrapping isn't supposed to be as serious as Project Runway but during the process I do find myself stripping away trim that I first thought would be great. In the pleated ribbon category, the less expensive, narrow double-faced satin trim is more pleasing on packages, at least to me. So far the chunky velvet is, well, way too chunky.

I still like how the box pleats are suggestive of the detailed clothes in Bright Star and even the ruffled edge of Miles Redd's curtains (photo by Paul Costello for domino, October 2005). However the thick trim might work better on gift tags for little girls' presents.

Something inspired by the frilly plackets on the Crewcuts cardigans.

Paper Source in Virginia Highland, Atlanta, sells card stock mittens in pale blue and red. These look good left plain but recycling ribbon scraps into little cuffs is a fun holiday project for kids.

Now if the last few images feel too fussy for you, take a look back at ideas from Hollister and Porter Hovey.

Remember Amanda Talley's tea paper from Pearl River bound with twine and a twig painted gold? Last year she told us, "I just get a small limb, spray it gold, and then break off a little piece for each present."

The fabric camellia shown toward the top is from Dulken & Derrick. To order Bloom, click here. To see the photography, click here.

Update: 7 p.m.

Barnes & Noble continues to offer 30 % off beautiful holiday cards including Elum Designs' Joyful Birds.


Laura Casey Interiors said...

I love your holiday posts. Those mittens are too cute.

Style Court said...

Laura, I'm so glad! I think we'll have fun with the mittens :)

Mrs. Blandings said...

The flower presses are charming and unique. As is the pleated ribbon; you are getting me in the spirit of the season, even though it is 75 degrees here.

Style Court said...


Tonight my sister saw a house with a Christmas tree and lights!

No decorations out at my house. Not before Thanksgiving. Just prep work. Fun experiments, mailing a few packages.

Sounds like the weather in KC was as great today as we had. Beautiful day.

Sanity Fair said...

Love the leaf presses.

Karena said...

I love the pleated trim, and the flower presses are so unique. In Kansas City it can be 75 one day and 33 the next. said...

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Thank You For Asking said...

There are only about 6 weeks left before Christmas. Hard to imagine. Thank you for getting into the spirit!