Friday, July 25, 2008

Where have all the pressed flowers gone?

Although I would like to believe that Purple Raincoat invented the concept of framed invitation keepsakes, the truth is that people have been decorating and framing invitations for many years. One popular style, which has been around since at least the 1970s, involves using pressed flowers as decorations for invitations.

Crafting with pressed flowers first became popular during Victorian times. The creation of modern pressed flowers involves – no surprise here – the use of a flower press to flatten the flowers and remove all moisture. A pressed flower has a beauty all its own; for example, the pressed version may be richer in color, and have a different “geometry”, than the live version.

A beautiful dried pansy (in my favorite color, of course). You can see other examples of pressed flowers at the Pressed Flower Store.

Pressed flowers can be incorporated into invitations themselves – see how a pansy is used in this elegant invitation, one of a series of pressed flower invitations by Pressed Petals.

I think pressed flowers are beautiful and I think that many beautiful framed invitations have been made using pressed flowers. If that style appeals to you, that’s great. But it’s not my style. From my perspective, in many cases the floral designs are beautiful but it’s not always easy to see how the design are connected to the “tone” of the invitation.

One reason I started Purple Raincoat was my belief that each invitation uniquely reflects the personality of the person (or people) behind it. Consequently, each invitation keepsake should be uniquely designed to capture and preserve the spirit of that specific invitation. To achieve this, I use a broad range of materials including paper, ribbon, mesh, metal brads and eyelets, wire, buttons, skeleton leaves, and silk and fabric flowers. So far, no pressed flowers, but I promise to keep an open mind about incorporating them into my design should the right invitation come along.

I do love using flowers when they are appropriate to the spirit of the invitation. Here’s a recent Purple Raincoat wedding invitation keepsake that incorporates small pearl-centered silk flowers as well as a beautiful stephanotis floral accent.

The invitation itself has two layers of paper, white (with hunter ink) and navy. Beneath the invitation are a hunter green vellum, a textured glossy white paper, and an embossed navy paper. A subtle blue and green printed paper is used as the background, topped by a textured white vellum anchored by white metal accents. A vertical strip of textured green paper is accented with dark blue mesh. A double knotted piece of hunter green ribbon tops a horizontal strip of embossed white paper. White silk flowers with pearl centers decorate two corners of the invitation. The design of the framed invitation features a beautiful stephanotis bouquet as an accent. The washed blue frame softens and completes the design.

And take a look at the statement made by the large pink flower on the birth announcement featured on our homepage. Read more about this birth announcement and see many more examples of our work to get a better idea of what the Purple Raincoat style is all about.

The bottom line: Diffferent strokes for different folks

Just as some people like to listen to National Public Radio while others prefer oldies or current popular music, different styles of preserved invitations will appeal to different people. If you’re looking to preserve an invitation in a way that is unique, contemporary and timeless, and you’re not insistent on dried flowers, you’ve come to the right place – visit our ordering page to get started.

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