Wednesday, 25 May 2016

100 Simple Paper Flowers, by Kelsey Elam. Review.

100 Simple Paper Flowers

By Kelsey Elam

Ivy Press 2016

Paperback £ 14.99

ISBN 978-1-78240-308-1

Star rating: *****

Have you been watching the magnificent floral designs at the Chelsea Flower Show? Kelsey Elam’s fab new book is a papery celebration of all things floral – ideal for those of us who have crafty hands rather than green fingers (a green thumb)! There are plenty of paper flower titles out there – but this new one is distinctive for its designs and for the content and planning of the book. First off is Kelsey’s delightful style. Her flowers are realistic --- but recognizably papery. They are not fake anything – they are beautifully designed, well-thought-out creations, most of which are made of tissue paper with textured paper leaves Especially stunning are the hand-dyed blooms.

The author, Kelsey Elam, is a paper artist whose company, Moonflora, sells paper flowers. The designs in her book showcase her expertise and share her floral construction secrets. The flowers, marvels of paper engineering with carefully observed components, are showcased in a gallery section.  These are paper flowers for grown-ups – Kelsey has designed the subtle details, so you don’t have to. The flowers are simple to construct, as promised in the title. 

The book is divided into three sections, Gallery, Techniques, and Templates. In the Gallery section, the flowers are simply photographed, propped in a non-fussy but thoughtful way (appropriate no-frills container on a plain background). The Techniques section is a goldmine of flowercraft info – illustrated step-by-steps on hand.Topics include Paper Dyeing and Painting, Petal Styling, and the lowdown on Plant Structures.The aim is to impart an understanding of how are flower are put together, so you can go it alone with confidence.The author shares an abundance of tips. 

All the designs are superb, but some of my personal faves include the Philodendron (love those waxy, textured, well-cut leaves), the Jasmine (elegant lines with bursts of hot pink), and the Mallow (beautiful brushwork petals plus clever-fold leaves).

The four projects are all basic things that you would actually use your paper flower-making skills for – a bouquet; corsage boutoniere & hairpin; a flower chain, and a floral crown.  All suitable for occasions , special or small.

Full-size templates are in the back.  Another plus - the book has a quality stitched binding – so it will stand up to repeated use.

Note:  I was given a review copy of this title.