My Sweet California Poppy: Cards, Stamps, Prints & More

When it comes to flowers, I like to think I don't play favorites- there are so many to love, in so many different ways! But every time a poppy pops off its fuzzy pod to and unfurls its delicate petals, I gasp, as if in the presence of a brand-new butterfly, the world's most brilliant ballerina, and the prettiest dress ever, all in one...

How is their color so super-saturated, without being aggressive or even bright? How can such a teeny stem support such a flounce of a bloom? How does such an insect-like plant become such a frilly, graceful beauty? There have been poppy round-ups on Apartment Therapy before, and I'll probably want to do another one in like a week, but for now...

  • I love Terrain's graphic poppy card from the early 1900s, and especially the sentiment: we turn newer everyday! That's the plan, poppies! I'm trying. At 5"x7", this card would be lovely framed.
  • If you buy this Jen Corace painting (for $1,500), can I come over and look at it? I have a print of the painting from her 2010 calendar (still available for only $20 and so beautifully printed) and plan to frame it someday. But just imagine how wonderful the original must be..
  • This is a little stamp I made my friend for her birthday last year. There's more information over on my long-neglected blog Myrna May, but the thing I wanted to tell you is how easy and fun it is to carve floral stamps- if you find the right image to work with. It can be overwhelming to just try to carve a flower (so many intricate parts & proportions), so I find Art Deco and Art Nouveau images to be the perfect guides. For the poppy stamp I was inspired by this 1897 poppy wallpaper, featured in Plants and Their Application to Ornament from Chronicle Books. I will own that book someday.
  • The bottom three images are all from the May 2011 issue of Martha Stewart living. It is a riot of floral enthusiasm, and I recommend checking it out if your local spring is a little less springy and a little more rainy than you might like. First there is a poppy block-printing tutorial, great for tablecloths or tea towels. A sweet story about a baby shower includes free downloadable bookplates, bookmarks, and invitations, featuring bunnies and poppies (eee!), by Rifle Paper Co. Finally, there are orange poppy seed cupcakes that look so difficult to decorate perfectly and so easy to eat. Can someone make them to share with all of us? Thanks!

Images: Card from Terrain, Jen Corace painting from Art Star Philly, Stamp by Tess Wilson, and Block-Prints, Bookplates, & Cupcakes all from from Martha Stewart Living May 2011 (unfortunately, no Photographer/Stylist information is available online!)