Featured Artists: Lilywinkel: the Bridal Blossom Shop on Etsy
1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
There are two of us: a grandmother and a granddaughter. We specialize in designing fine-quality silk and real-touch wedding floral arrangements. My grandmother, Suzanne, is very sweet and lady-like, has an artistic touch that comes out in all she does, including how she writes her letters and how she makes fudge! She has Dutch ancestors, and displays cute delft china in her kitchen and deep azure glass knickknacks in her kitchen window. Every day she prays for her children and grandchildren, and she encourages us continually to trust in the Lord. Suzanne has been creating custom bouquets and wedding floral arrangements for family, friends, and customers for over thirty years, both in a brick-and-mortar florist shop and at our kitchen table. I am her granddaughter, called Annie after Suzanne’s mother (my great grandmother). I don’t have any of the credentials that my grandmother has, except that I have always loved to design beautiful things and I’ve been learning so much from watching her. I am on the administrative and customer-service side of the business, but I also come up with some of the new designs or product lines.
2. What inspires you to create your work?
Beauty! My grandmother and I had been at a bit of a stand-still in our creative process one day, but the moment we walked into the flower shop, we instantly had the beginnings of four bouquets in our hands. We just couldn’t help but fill our arms with clusters of hydrangea, ranunculus, orchids, roses, lilacs, ferns, and lilies! We also love to clip photos and scraps of magazines, as it helps us visualize what flowers and textures will complement each other. The styles we love could be defined as traditional, fairy-tale, Victorian, shabby-chic, and anything that reminds us of an English country garden.
3. What is your favorite thing to make/sell?
My grandmother loves her Sweet Pea Bride’s Bouquet. The whimsical tendrils of the sweet peas are part of a line of “natural touch” artificial flowers that are so real that Suzanne said she kept wanting to smell them as she was hand-tying them together. My personal favorite is the Calla Lily Bouquet because it’s so bright and full of life. A reviewer recently called this bouquet “atypical”… like something from a fairy fantasy wedding…” I guess that’s probably why I like it too!
4. What is the best part about being a Christian artist and seller?
God exists, and He governs our lives with wisdom. We live day by day with that fulfilling knowledge! We seek the beauty of the Lord to establish all that we do (Psalm 90). That means that God’s law is in our hearts and we answer to a higher authority than our own artistic instinct. God’s standard is far more beautiful, righteous, and relevant than anything we could come up with on our own. God created the first beautiful things, and all we do is rearrange them so they are displayed to best advantage.
5. Why do you do what you do?
We love being surrounded by beautiful things. Some days I feel like I’m living in a perpetually blooming flower garden! We also just love brides and getting to know their stories. This is a special time in their lives and we are rejoicing with them.
6. What are your hobbies?
Suzanne sings in her church choir, bakes amazing cakes that don’t fall in Colorado’s high altitude, and loves spending time with her loved ones at tea shops, antique stores, or used bookstores. She also loves pansies and has two gigantic whiskey barrels planted full of their cheery faces all summer long.
Working is actually really fun for me, and my happiest days are when I have plenty of profitable tasks to complete. I live with my parents and two brothers, and I love it when everyone is home and we can get out a game or all sit by the fire on a cold evening and talk or read together. Writing, sewing, drawing, playing the piano, and being outside in the mountains are some other things I love.
7. What is your favorite book/movie/music?
My grandmother and I both love the Jane Austen books and movies and the Anne of Green Gables series. I also like to read puritan writers, C. S. Lewis, Charles Dickens, G. K. Chesterton, R. J. Rushdoony, John Calvin, David McCullough.
Our music tastes are varied: we both love Handel’s Messiah and Vivaldi’s Gloria. Other favorites are anything choral, celtic, folk, big band, and Nat King Cole, Debussy, Bach, and Beethoven.
8. What is one of your most well-loved Bible verses?
Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.