“The life of man is a self-evolving circle, which, from a ring imperceptibly small, rushes on all sides outwards to new and larger circles, and that without end. The extent to which this generation of circles, wheel without wheel, will go, depends on the force or truth of the individual soul.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
The circle is without beginning and without end. Ripples on the surface of the water, emanating out from a single source—a raindrop, a pebble, a water strider as it glides impossibly on the surface of the pond.
Since the ancients gazed upon a full moon with wonder, mankind has been fascinated with the circle, its perfection and the timeless mystery of that perfection. Mandalas are circular designs from the Buddhist and Hindu traditions that symbolize the entirety and utter completeness of the universe.
The recent eclipse is a fleeting moment in a dance of heavenly orbs—one circle passing in front of another.
I have spent countless hours drawing and painting circles in the hopes of coming as close to perfection as possible. Dipping the brush in ink and swirling around on the paper is meditative and satisfying. Circles are in us and of us and around us physically, metaphorically, spiritually.
When I begin to design a circle collage I feel the tension between being bound within a one foot diameter and the freedom that comes from allowing the beauty of the petals to guide me as I pay homage to the love they represent.
Large and small, light and dark, cool and warm elements balance and harmonize, like the balance we strike in marriage. Separate, but together. Two people, one and one—now, each more than they were alone.
Constant and unbroken. Unquestionably whole. The Circle is a beautiful and fitting design to preserve your wedding flowers.
The Flora-Ly Studios Walk series began with a walk in the woods.
In 2016, I created a series of botanical collages for the Mount Grace Conservation Trust. I would walk their land and gather flora along the way to bring back to my studio and press. The long, horizontal stretch of the resulting pieces reflects those walks. They were an abstract recreation of the Mount Grace trails.
When I hung the pieces for exhibition, my goal was for each guest to relive those walks in the woods. I wanted each person who viewed the pieces to be moved to remember their own thoughtful meanderings down those same trails. Or, or perhaps the collages would bring to mind the sun dappled forest paths of their childhood. The pieces were meant to be evocative of the smells, sights and sensations of walks from the past. By joining the past with the present, I intended to create a timeless feedback loop of memory and emotion.
A woodland trail is much like the aisle you walk down to join your true love in marriage. Both are a procession through a sacred space; both showing the way down an oft-trodden path—the direction marked by the footsteps of those who have gone before us. Rather than wander directionless through the forest of life, you have found your path, your way, and you are ready to walk it.
Carrying a bouquet down the aisle on your wedding day is a tradition that goes back centuries. During the time of King Henry VIII, brides carried a bouquet of herbs that were later used in a celebratory feast. When you choose to preserve your wedding bouquet in the Walk design, you honor the path that guided you to the discovery of love; the grace of tradition; and the beauty of commitment.
To hang a Walk botanical collage in your home is to give yourself the gift of revisiting that walk down the aisle, a daily reminder to cherish the events that brought you to this life. More than a memory, it serves as a reminder that this path is a life-long journey and while there may be challenges along the way, there is much beauty—if only we’re wise enough to stop and appreciate it.
Flora-Ly Studios’ Walk is 36” x 10” of floral meandering, a timeless work of art that represents the way you once walked alone and celebrates how you now walk side by side, mindful to stop occasionally and appreciate the moments of beauty along the way.
This Walk is comprised of Dahlia, Queen Anne's Lace and Hydrangea. Three flowers balanced in a thoughtful and rhythmic way.
Have you heard the news? Flora-Ly Studios now offers hand painted wedding invitation suites! Do you have any paper lovelies that could be elevated with the stroke of a paint brush? Below, I’ll show you HOW I do it, but first, let me tell you WHY.
I don’t remember a time when a paint brush didn’t feel like an extension of my soul. Long before I thought to call myself an artist, painting was second nature to me. And so it made sense that I should go to art school. After studying fine art at Syracuse University, I went on to work with fiber, flowers, and more traditional mediums, making murals and commissioned pieces in the hours between teaching art to children and raising my own. When I took over my mother’s business, I relegated painting to my personal time, not thinking to incorporate it with the work I was doing with pressed flowers.
Last year, my son Keegan proposed to his then-girlfriend Emily and the two began to plan their wedding. In the glow of their joy, the universe took a break from bigger doings and took a moment to speak to me. What it said was unmistakable. My gift to Keegan and Emily would be made of botanicals and brush strokes. Of course, I would do their wedding flowers (and press them afterwards), but I would also hand paint their wedding invitations!
The three of us spent a few evenings around a table with paints, paper, excitement and joy as we planned out the design. Emails, sketches and more excitement followed. And then, the plan was complete. I was going to create one hundred and twenty 5”x7” invitations; RSVP cards; event cards; envelopes (sending and return); thirty rehearsal dinner invitations; place cards and table numbers; each a unique piece of their vision. Every single one, painted by my hand.
Over the winter, after my work was done, I painted. I laid in branches, then leaves, blue hydrangea and wispy, baby leaves. Mesmerized by the rhythm of painting, I meditated on my son, his love, the enrichment of our family and the new chapter that lay ahead for all of us.
Here is a few minute video of the making of 1 out of 120.
When the entire suite was finished, Keegan and Emily were thrilled to send each person on their list an original painting made just for them, inviting them to share in their happiness.
The joy of this creative act was deepened by the love I have for my family, but it began with the feel of the paintbrush in my hand, the colors at my command. It felt natural and RIGHT.
When something feels so right, you want to repeat it. Over and over. Lucky me! By offering this service to other couples, I can!
I get to paint and you get to send your guests an invitation as unique as your love, hand painted with the same care you’ve taken to choose every detail of your wedding. And they’ll know, the moment they open that envelope that something very special is about to happen and it’s your wish to share it with them.
So, let’s talk, email, sketch and sit around a table (real or virtual :). I’ll listen and interpret your ideas with brush and color. I’ll help you create original paintings to call your loved ones to your celebration. Painted just for them.
Your special time is now. Let’s get started!
Whether the medium is pressed flowers or watercolor, my passion is your love.
A glimpse of a sample of every piece created, from envelope to place card.
Flora-Ly is now Flora-Ly Studios - Artisan Pressed Flower Preservation for Your Wedding Bouquet.
We are now Flora-Ly Studios!
Why have I changed the name of my business?
Because life happens, change happens and sometimes old labels can hold us back. Flora-Ly Studios is a name that reflects my growth and respects my roots at the same time.
Not only am I updating the name of my business, but I’m updating my botanical designs too! (GAH! I’m SO EXCITED!)
How are my pressed flower designs changing?
My new designs are a departure from the more traditional ones I’d adapted from my mother when I inherited her business. Prior to taking over Flora-Ly, I’d studied fine art at Syracuse University and worked as painter. With the initial effort of getting started in the business behind me, I’ve been freed up to listen more to the artist within. (Hello, beautiful!)
I’ve given myself time to play with new shapes that create space and movement in my pressed flower pieces, and I LOVE it!
What will you see in my new botanical collages?
Look for circles and all that is metaphorically attached to that ancient, organic shape; gallery collections that showcase the beauty of a single stem, one leaf, a pressed petal; wide landscape botanical collages that feel like a walk down a secret garden path; tall pressed flower designs that allow the petals to flow like waterfalls. *sigh* What you’ll see is the movement and shapes of nature being invited in to play with the botanical beauty of the wedding bouquets entrusted to me.
I’m letting my imagination loose and it feels wonderful. Come along, we’re going to have some fun!
Introducing Hand Painted Wedding Invitations!
I’m just bursting to share my newest product line with you!
I now offer custom designed, hand painted invitations for your wedding. (It all started when my son got married this summer, but that’s something we’ll talk about another day!) Over the next weeks I’ll share a video peek into my studio, to show you how I create these custom wedding invitation suites. I can’t wait!
Change can be unnerving, but don’t worry!
Flora-Ly Studios is still grounded in its original mission!
My passion remains connecting with couples who want their carefully chosen wedding flowers transformed — just as marriage has transformed them — to become something new; something elevated; a timeless work of art that will hang in their home for years. My calling is still to create truly unique, bespoke, botanical collages that celebrate love in all its infinitely beautiful forms!
The Elements of Change and the Elements of Nature
These elements of change - new name, new designs, new products - like the botanical elements in a bouquet are each exciting and beautiful in their own right. And these changes, like flowers, when thoughtfully pulled apart, reexamined and rearranged, compliment each other, becoming greater than the sum of their parts. They create something unique, exciting, deeply personal and unapologetically honest - like the pressed flower collage I hope to create with you and for you.
I invite you to follow here and on social media (@floralylinda on Instagram and @floralyflowers on Facebook) and come along on this creative journey as Flora-Ly Studios continues to grow and evolve and strive as ever, to serve and preserve the ephemera of love, commitment and memory.
Woohoo! You make the memories and pick the flowers! I’ll press those blooms and make some art!
Let’s create something beautiful together! (I CAN’T WAIT!)
I'm Linda, keeper of the flowers.