Nova Scotia·Video

Vintage seed catalogues and packages inspired this artist's new work

Halifax-based hand-lettering artist Kristen De Palma is looking to her garden and vintage designs for her current inspiration.

'We're all so desperate for winter to be over and to start seeing those pops of colour in the province.'

Artist Kristen De Palma was inspired by the 'really ornate and beautiful designs' from the Victorian era. (Kristen De Palma for CBC)

Right now, we're going through a period of uncertainty and change. We asked a few East Coast creators to reflect on their own transformations, in the past or present.

Halifax-based hand-lettering artist Kristen De Palma wasn't feeling very inspired at the start of the pandemic. 

"People were baking cinnamon buns and bread and yeast was sold out everywhere, and everyone's starting new hobbies and taking online courses," she said.

"And for myself, like I just felt a little bit paralyzed by what was going on because it is ... such a unique circumstance."

Creativity, it was hard to feel motivated, she said. 

Until an idea blossomed. 

De Palma is a marketing manager and hand-lettering artist based in Halifax. (Justin Lee)

De Palma is a huge fan of antique shops. In normal times, she and her husband check out spots across Nova Scotia. 

When they started their garden this year, she started looking up vintage seed packets and catalogues. 

"In the Victorian era, they would create these really ornate and beautiful designs," she said. 

Inspired by this care and detail, De Palma began creating hand-lettered designs of the flowers she was planting in her own garden. 

She's sharing the artwork on Instagram, and people are chiming in with their own excitement over spring blooms. 

"As Nova Scotians particularly, like we're all so desperate for winter to be over and to start seeing those pops of colour in the province," she said. 

Kristen De Palma turned Nova Scotia's provincial flower into a special design for CBC. 


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