Sunday, 3 January 2016

Flower of the month - January

For 2016 I've decided to produce a new range of flower of the month greetings cards. Each card will be handmade with handstitched flowers presented on a fabric background. They will be available to buy in my Etsy shop

January's flower is the carnation, cultivated for thousands of years and available now commercially in a huge variety of colours.

I love their petals with frilly edges!  This is my crochet version stitched onto a linen and cotton fabric and surrounded by a border of embroidery.  The little flowers in the corners represent the buds.


Over the years the different solid colours of carnation have come to have associated meanings, although (with one notable exception) these are generally positive and associated with love and beauty.  On her wedding day in 1952 my mum carried a large arrangement of red carnations, appropriate as a symbol of love and affection.

Pink carnations symbolise the love of a mother and have become the perfect floral gift for Mother's Day.

I am personally always drawn to the variegated or striped carnations (and yarn and thread!).  These can mean a refusal or 'I cannot be with you'.  It was the colour chosen by a friend of mine for her mum's January birthday card - most appropriately as she was going to be far away on the day.

For my home I also frequently choose lavender or purple coloured flowers.  In  carnation terms this means capriciousnes or impulsiveness (maybe less of the first and definitely quite a lot of the second in my case) but can be given by way of an apology or to patch up a friendship.

As with many flower varieties white symbolises innocence or pure love and can be given as a good luck offering.

Finally, one not often seen is green.  It seems that Oscar Wilde chose this as a buttonhole for the opening of his play Lady Windermere's Fan and asked that his guests wore the same.  There was no apparent meaning.  Maybe his choice should have been the purple for capriciousness! This is my interpretation.

Having looked at several websites it seems that yellow must be chosen rather carefully - sadly it is associated with rejection, disappointment and even disdain  I've decided that I will not be making carnations in that colour except in the variegated version.

If you would like a carnation card for a January birthday (or at any other time) just drop me an email at with a note of which colour you would like and I'll be happy to make it for you.

Next month: Violets and primroses

Lots of love
Alison x

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