When I was photographing flowers up close and personal over the weekend, I was pretty intrigued with the flower stamens...especially the ones on the Japanese kerria.
I had never noticed just how cute, crazy and wiggly they were.
And I had completely forgotten until then that I had a collection of artificial stamens in the house...two drawers of them!
About ten years ago I took a decorative ribbon class with Candace Kling in San Francisco (she also teaches a class on how to make flowers out of ribbon). After the class, I bought a lot of these stamens and then went to Lacis and bought even more. I had every intention of covering just about everything with ribbon flowers because "more is more, less is a bore" you know.
Candace is an extraordinary artist. Her flowers and ribbon sculptures are exquisite. I consider myself a perfectionist but she's a perfectionist operating at a completely different strata. I remember saying something about aiming for 100% so that I could be satisfied with reaching 80%. She looked at me kind of funny with that one because when she aims for 100%, she gets 100%.
When I got back to Kansas City, I never got around to making the ribbon flowers because sadly, aiming for 100% was only getting me to 50%, if that. I am not a good ribbon flower maker....and so when I wanted to duplicate what was so inspiring in her class, I ended up using artificial silk flowers instead. Ha ha ha.
This is a lampshade I made that is covered with three different colors of dupioni silk. Around the bottom edge is a ring of artificial flowers that are sewn directly to the shade.
The shade was turning into such a garish girly thing, I decided to hang "garters" at the bottom. And would I possibly be putting my newly acquired ribbon folding skills in action? No...I wasn't too good at that either and ended up cutting the dupioni in strips with my pinking shears and then machine basting down the centers to gather them. At the ends I bent some wire and added beads.
Over the top garish, no stamens, no ribbons, no out of the ordinary sewing skills, but I still am rather proud of the thing.
Meanwhile, I've newly discovered those drawers of paper stamens and gorgeous ribbons in my house. I've got to think of something interesting to do with them.... :-)