I’ve had a long-time fascination with pansies. I’ve also been a long-time fan of all things Disney. I think my pansy-thing began with the Alice in Wonderland movie:
As a little kid, flowers with faces intrigued me. Were there real people inside the flowers? Could they talk? Were they friendly? I think the answers to these questions in my youthful imagination was yes. Afterall, in the Disney movie, they sang!
Another person with a fascination for “flower people” was the French artist J. J. Grandville. In the 1840s he painted a collection of 40+ lithographs called Les Fleurs Animees Animées (“The Flowers Personified”).
The drawings were based on the symbolism of flowers and what the Victorians called the “language of flowers.” Some are romantic in nature; some are whimsical; and some are flat out weird — in a demented way — with anthropomorphized insects and animals. Grandville was later dubbed the “Father of Surrealism.” I don’t think that’s a compliment.
Grandville’s pansy lady drawing is titled Wishful Thinking.
The word pansy comes from the French word pensée: meaning thought. Botanists thought the pansy flower resembled an old man, head bowed, deep in thought. In Victorian times, a pansy left by an admirer meant, “I am thinking of our forbidden love.” The three colors — purple, yellow, and white — symbolized memories, loving thoughts, and souvenirs.
Pansy history: In Biblical times, a pansy’s three petals represented the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. It was sometimes referred to as the “herb trinity.” In King Arthur times, pansy petals were used to tell the future. In Shakespeare’s time, the juice of pansy blossoms was used to make a love potion.
In 1926 Georgia O’Keefee painted “Black Pansy.” I have no idea what she was thinking. (Does anybody?)
To me pansies represent the importance of thinking. Because without a thought in your head you’re rather useless.
I collect a lot of pansy stuff — maybe to remind me to have good thoughts? Because I believe you are what you think. Or maybe I’m just as nutty as Grandville? (He died in a French lunatic asylum at the age of 44.)
My front porch:
In the entry way to my house:
My pansy handkerchief collection:
Vintage hand-embroidered pillowcase:
Pansy decorated boxes:
Soap dish and dried pansy candle:
Pansy thank-you notes:
Pansy coffee table book:
Dried pansy laminated bookmarks from Etsy.
A mug of Java? A cup of chamomile?
Pansy socks by Betsey Johnson:
If you must go out in the rain:
Vintage pansy greeting cards:
Vintage pansy books:
Textile art pansy crochet ribbon scarf:
Vintage pansy hand-embroidered glasses case:
Hand-made pansy slippers and pansy socks by Hue:
Pansy clock. Don’t think it works. Don’t care.
Hand-made crochet pansy bookmarks from Etsy. In the middle is a painted enamel metal pansy bookmark:
Pansy stationery and Suzy Zoo post-its.
Ceramic pansy border picture frame. Big decision — who to frame? SF Giants pitcher Timmy Lincecum or rocker Billie Joe Armstrong? Was listening to Green Day when I posted this — had to go with Billie Joe. “Don’t wanna be an American idiot.” Rock on! (“Gotta be rock-in-roll music, if you wanna dance with me.”
Vintage woven straw pill box hat with pansy adornment:
Green satin vintage half-hat with pansy decoration and veil:
In case you’re invited to the Opera — a pansy print green and gold metallic vintage opera coat circa 1950s will do nicely.
Pansy jewelry — rings, pendant necklaces, brooches, and sweater clips. In the middle — vintage rose and pansy hand-painted sterling silver lipstick case with mirror.
Pansy jewelry box:
On the left, a hand-made crochet and embroidered pansy bib from Juliana on Etsy. On the left, a handmade keepsake box with a reproduction of “Windflowers” — a painting by British artist John William Waterhouse (1902). In the painting I believe the young lady is picking pansies.
From the FuchsiaWoman closet:
Pansy leather belt from Nordies on a pansy sweater by Ann Taylor.
Wacky pansy print platform oxford shoes by “Ecoté” from Urban Outfitters. (Chances of ever wearing these shoes? About the same as attending one of J.J. Grandville’s garden parties.)
Little black dress with beige pansy bib collar:
Pansy print skirt by Jones New York with vintage Christian Lacroix blazer with floral embellishment on the left sleeve:
Pansy hammered-metal necklace on purple pansy tank top:
Pansy-ish purple and cream color St. John Knits duster coat:
Jones New York silk pansy print skirt with vintage Ungaro tapestry pansy-ish blazer:
Pansy sequined top by Karen Kane with Jones New York watercolor print skirt.
A few items that I’d like in my closet — 3 pansy dresses on Etsy:
A few items that will never make it into Fuchsia’s closet because it’s ridiculous to spend that kind of money — no matter if you have it — no matter how cool:
Judith Lieber jeweled handbag:
Badgley Mischka gown:
Valentino pansy dress:
More pansy stuff on the Internet…
Dress by J. Crew:
Coat by Anthropologie:
Coat by Sarah Jessica Parker:
Most fun/soothing/therapeutic use of pansy prints — a NuggleBuddy aromatherapy pillow with the fragrance of “Sweet Lavender.”
You haven’t lived until you’ve curled up with your Buddy! Pop it in the microwave for two minutes and plop it on your body wherever you’d like heat and TLC.
They come in many prints and different scents (aloe, eucalyptus, cherry blossom, lilac, rose, green tea, peppermint, rosemary, sea daisy, citrus splash, etc.) that render different psychological/physical effects: like calming, revitalizing, centering, relaxing, uplifting, etc.
They make wonderful gifts, too. I am single-handedly keeping this company in business — sending them to all my pals — like the Daschbach Girls, Aunt Shirley, Diane, Laurice, Gaylen, BriBri, Jeannette, Denise, Georgene (in May), JoAnne (in July), Jo (in August), and Kristina (in September).
NuggleBuddy + “Downton Abbey“= Heaven!
MOST FAVE PANSY ITEM in my house:
Original oil painting by Claire A. Daschbach. I call it “Pansy Dream” for two of my favorite words.
My moto: One cannot have too many pansies.
Think good thoughts!