The room was filtered in lacy light that threw a patterned counterpane across the worn wood floor. Its cast shadow corner landing a square of light onto the center of the massive oak roll top desk. This simple and only source of light in the room highlighted an aged hand bound book that lay askew. On top of the book rested a pale fabric flower.
The observer was barely aware of the rooms surroundings save the desk and its highlighted focal point. A quick glance about revealed an ornate ink well which held an uncapped bottle of ink. A pen with its dark dripping tip plopped splotches onto the green felt blotter that lay beneath it. A sheath of paper with spidery writing was stacked nearby, illegible from the observers position. A spent yellow tallow candle sagged from much use, dried dripped wax having slid down its sides into the bowl of the pewter candle holder it rested in, a burnt black wick crooked like the top of a cane poking out of its center. The waxy smell of its recently being extinguished lingered about the room.
A few battered and what appeared to be well loved books leaned one against the other like they were slumped there, tired in their old age, under the small cubby spaces at the back of the desk. Gilded writing, having faded from much handling, decorated the red, blue, green, and brown covers. The small cubby spaces were stuffed with all manner of odds and ends and of little consequence to the observer.
The tilt of the sturdy wooden desk chair indicated that someone had just been sitting there. It seemed as if their presence was still felt in the room. The observer felt a whiff of a breeze that moved the shadow pattern of lace and drew her attention back to the book and flower. There was something very mesmerizing about the scene, almost a familiar feel, like the observer knew to whom the flower and book belonged.
She longed to reach out and lift the lifelike flower aside and touch the book that lay underneath but something held her in place. She could only look intently at them just beyond her reach. The flower was the palest of lavender, an iris so life like and vibrant, it held such contrast to the book it rested upon. The books front looked to be handmade, dark and aged with washes of color in earth tones. Its spine was bound in faded worn away velvet in a brick red color. The book was thick with what appeared to be handmade paper pages.
More than anything the observer wanted to thumb through those pages because suddenly she knew without a doubt to whom they belonged. No matter how hard she tried she was unable to move any further into the room or any nearer the desk save for a longing gaze. The room began to pull away and fade into a haze, a spotlight of counterpane still highlighting the flower and book until...
A flickering flutter of my eyes, where dreams and shades of night fade into the breaking dawn of a new day, I slowly awoke from the dream of the old desk, flower, and book. The dream stayed with me for days in great clarity and I found myself wishing I could have just held and opened that book but from some reason the flower weighted it down and kept it closed to me.
The dream was inspiration to try using the method of flower pounding to recreate the petals of the fabric flower and reassemble it as I had seen it in my dream. I used a simple white cotton sheeting for my flower base and an iris from my grandmothers garden to create my petals. Note that certain flowers carry more moisture than others and the dye from the petals may spread more than you anticipate.
Once dry, I sketched my petal shapes onto the fabric and cut each of them out. Natural dyes like this will fade a little over time, exposure to sun, or washing so I decided to lightly tint my dyed areas with a light kiss of color using a watercolor wash with thinned down acrylic paint. I misted my petals lightly with water to dampen them then lightly touched my color around the outside edges, letting the paint bleed naturally towards the center giving them a more realistic look. I stippled a little yellow acrylic paint down the center of the petals to mimic the "beard" of the iris. I also pounded a couple of plants leaves in the process, washing over them with a light green wash. I then dyed some thin ripped muslin strips to match the leaves to use in wrapping the stem.
I used a heat gun to lightly singe and curl the outer edges of the petals to give them that natural looking ruffle of the live flower. Using white coated florist wire I glued a piece of wire to the back of each petal and repeated the process with the leaves using green coated wire. I shaped each petal to mimic the natural flower and attached each one using green florist tape until I had the flower head secure. I wrapped the ends of the flower wire around three sturdy floral wires to give the flower stability. I glued a strip of the hand dyed muslin at the flower head base and tightly began wrapping the stem, adding a drop of glue every three or so wraps, inserting leaves as I moved down the stem until I reached the end of my wire, securing the last wrap with glue and cutting away the excess.
I was actually quite amazed with the result, it very much resemble the flower in my dream. If only I could have gotten my hands on that book! I am absolutely positive that it contained some sort of amazing art work and that would have been something to recreate.
I hope you each enjoy a beauty filled day!