I’ve been a bit obsessive over tulips lately…
And although the flowers in my yard are a bit confused by the recent weather, I’ve been taking lots of pictures of these lovelies so that I can do a painting or two later on.

In celebration of spring, and in honor of my recent obsession, I decided to see what other people are doing with tulips. In addition to some beautiful art, I came across a ton of fun facts and info.

I’ve mentioned Etsy before–it’s such a great way to find high-quality, hand-made items of all sorts. I scoured around for awhile and found these fantastic items featuring tulips:

tulip tote - eneeFabricDesignsThis tulip tote from seller EneeFabricDesigns is a beautiful (and classy, if I may say so!) combination of textures and colors. The flowers are felted and painted, and the textured black serves as a nice backdrop for all that color. Visit this seller’s Etsy shop to find more wonderful fabric creations…in the meantime, I’m trying to resist buying this one for myself!

tulip earrings - Paw and Claw DesignsI’m also trying to resist buying these Tulip Earrings, from Paw & Claw Designs. The shades of green and yellow are perfect together, and the simple graphic image really works, as in “less is definitely more!” Visit Paw & Claw Designs’ Etsy shop for other great jewelry items, or visit her deviantArt gallery page to see a full gallery of works.

tulip necklace - Amy’s JewelryAs well as having a fantastic blog called Swank Show, Etsy seller Amysjewelry has this pretty Tulip Necklace that is right down my alley. I love sterling silver, and I would love to see the subtle texture on this in person. I also like how the flower is oriented sideways on the chain, adding more interest to the clean and simple lines. Of course, she also has a ton of other great jewelry in her Etsy shop.

tulip lamp - Jennifer JohMixed-media sculptor Jennifer Joh has this fun Red Tulip Lamp in her Etsy store, along with a few other flower design lamps. And I’m telling you, she also has a wonderful collection of photos of her work at her Flickr site, which include other fabulous wire sculptures and some clay works as well. Please take a look at “9 bananas in brown bag”…it’s one of my favorites!

fresh picked flower apron - Rebecca WeisI also like this Fresh Picked Flower Apron from Rebecca Weis–You just can’t go wrong with classic black and white polka dots! The flower is of course a pocket, which has a little red ladybug button. Her other designs include a wide variety of housewares, handbags, accessories, and jewelry.

tulips photograph - kosekolorphotosThis black/white/color photograph is even more inspiration for me to go out and paint some flowers of my own. Etsy seller kosekolorphotos has rendered these tulips to portray what feels like an intricate pen/ink sketch. The high contrast is also something that always catches my eye, and the splashes of color are like reading the notes of a musical flourish. Megan of KoseKolor Photography also has a flickr site and a MySpace profile where you can learn more about her work.

And, I betcha didn’t know:

*History House magazine has a great article about Tulipomania, which is the term for the initial introduction and subsequent hub-bub over tulips in Holland.

*In England in 1800, it was common to pay fifteen guineas for a single tulip bulb. This sum would have kept a labourer and his family in food, clothes and lodging for six months.

*In Charles McKay’s book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, he tells the story of a wealthy merchant who had paid 3,000 florins (280 pounds sterling) for a rare Semper Augustus tulip bulb, and it disappeared from his warehouse. After thoroughly searching his warehouse, he saw a sailor (who had mistaken the tulip bulb for an onion) eating it. The sailor was promptly arrested and spent months in jail.

*See the Wikipedia entry on tulipomania for more links and info.

(And you can always visit my Etsy store to see the TwistedWear for sale, although I do not have any tulip-inspired works yet…)