November 19, 2013

Vintage Feelings

It was love at first sight. Something was dragging me to this section of the bookshop that I don't usually pay much attention to. "Vintage Flowers...", enough said, the book had me at "hello." I envisioned romantic floral arrangements of wild flowers and pink roses captured in dreamy nostalgic images... What can be more appealing to a flower and vintage style lover like myself? Diving into the book, turning page after page, I was slowly melting...
The author, florist Vic Brotherson, is the owner of one of London's best flower shops, Scarlet & Violet. "I studied Fine Art," she shared at the beginning of the book, "and knowing that I could never make a living out of painting alone, floristry seemed like the perfect job, it felt familiar. Now after 20 years of hard graft, I have started to appreciate all I have gained  along the way and this book is the result of that." There is no surprise that Vic creates exquisite, romantic and artistic flower designs complimented by a variety of vintage colourful containers from jugs, buckets, glass bottles and hand-painted vases to urns, pans and pots with cracked patina. She knows how to "paint" with flowers and her whimsical, easy (simple in a way) natural displays are a real feast for the eyes and soul. The writing is friendly and I truly enjoyed her nostalgic references to past times and her childhood. "Nowadays', she is convinced, "we have access to a much wider variety of flowers than our predecessors, and yet back then there was a far greater understanding and appreciation of flowers, probably because many of the blooms used would have been grown in the garden of the arranges..."
"Vintage Flowers" is not exactly a coffee table book as it might appear. The author shares original ideas, experiences, tips and instructions, such as, how to make a corsage, how to buy and prepare fresh flowers, how to choose the perfect vase, how to make a wreath, garland, and hand-tied bunch, how to use floral foam and chicken wire...
Feeling utterly inspired by the book and especially by the enchanting luscious photography of Catherine Cratwicke, I have been practising my flower design skills and flower choices, filling my vintage pitchers and vases with forgotten roses, hydrangeas and foliage from the woods. 

And, as Christmas is around the corner (I can't believe how fast the year comes to its end), put Vic Brotherson's book on your Christmas list for aesthetic pleasure and year-round inspiration.

(I wasn’t paid to write this review, and all opinions above are totally my own)

"Christmas is time that demands all of those who celebrate it to become involved in some sort of decoration-from a tree to a table centre. Every family has its own tradition: my mum has an amazing collection of choir singers, doves and glittery fruit that have become a family joke. It is no surprise that this has made me go the opposite way, looking to the things that are available to us naturally and evoke a real sense of the season, making and using decorations that will sit happily in the home without taking over. The making of your own decorations is something that I encourage, even if it just involves popping holly berries behind a few pictures and laying some pine on the table."
                                                                                                                                                    ~Vic Brotherson,"Holly & Ivy" chapter 

It has been such a busy month and I am truly sorry for not being able to read and write comments on my favorite blogs.  I promise,  I will soon find time for that. I hope life is treating  you well.


  1. This looks like a very lovely book. Your bouquet and vignettes are just stunning. I love the vintage photographs hanging on the old boards. Beautifully done Sylvia. Take care. Pamela

  2. I have been working on how to infiltrate Scarlet & Violet for a couple of years! Thus far unsuccessfully...I might just tie myself to the railings outside...Your arrangements are simply gorgeous, sending you love from the Lane,

  3. Силве, много красиво!Благодаря ти!

  4. I have missed you so much, but I come here and I find such pure thought and simplicity. Even your header space speaks calm to me, that you have left OPEN today. Sylvia, I wish you an even calmer and delightful season of making your own vintage memories. This book is gorgeous, and I have a couple of books that are similar. To thumb through them is a luxury these days of busy schedules. How I detest being TOO busy, but that's the speed at which our world goes in order to make a living. Too bad.

    MUCH LOVE to you Sylvia! Anita

  5. This book looks like its full of eye candy! Very romantic and cottage-y as well. Just lovely!

  6. The book looks divine Sylvia. What beautiful arrangements and photos of them! I love how creative and lovely they all are. Pages and pages of sheer delight!
    hugs from here...

  7. Looks like a gorgeous book perfect for the long winter months. I can tell you are truly enjoying your time with her artistry.

  8. What an inspiration indeed! Stunning, dear one! And....what about your arrangements and breathtaking photos?! You could have a book of your inspire US.....
    It has been a whirlwind Autumn for so many of us....I hope you enjoy the holiday preparations and savor the moments, dearest Sylvia...
    Much love to you,
    - Irina

  9. It's one of my favourite books too! From the first page to the last....full of inspiration!

    Madelief x

  10. The book looks inspiring - and so too are your own arrangements and beautiful images.

  11. Yes, this book seems totally
    YOU and you do it great justice
    in your lovely vignettes.

    Don't ever apologize for being
    away from blogging. You don't
    take adverts and you don't owe
    anyone your time, which is oh-
    so-precious, especially at this
    time of the year!

    Thanks for being you.

    xo Suzanne

  12. Just discovered your blog and know that I'll be a regular visitor. Thank you suggesting this beautiful book as a Christmas gift. I know just the person who will appreciate it completely! I so love this line from the excerpt you chose, "...looking to the things that are available to us naturally and evoke a real sense of the season, making and using decorations that will sit happily in the home without taking over." Absolutely!

  13. Thank you, dear sister, for your warm wishes!! :) I hope all is well in your world, and that you are enjoying the coziness and love of the season.
    Sending many hugs to you,
    - Irina


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