I love hanging baskets. I wish I had more room in my greenhouses to start these really early. This article has some really nice tips.
Flowers play a big part in my life. I decorate my house with pictures of them, put vases of them on my tables, I wear them on my clothes, and of course I garden with them. My gardens are not of the “botanical garden” caliber but they reflect me and my personality. In crafting, I stamp and color them, make clay flowers, use bejeweled enamel and metal flowers in my jewelry making and I collect and dry them and use them to embellish cards. Dried flowers is what I am going to talk about today.
Drying flowers is pretty easy. Some are able to be dried as a whole flower like alyssum and lobelia. Others have substantial centers and need to be pulled aprt or they will never dry. Geraniums, impatiens, snapdragons and pansies are good flowers to start with. I’ve disassembled roses and dried their petals and their stamens and their leaves.
Pick them after the dew has dried, (preferably on a warm day in the early afternoon) any moisture will encourage it to mold and that is not pretty. there are flower presses you can make or buy but all you really need is some a phone book, newspaper or even bond paper and some heavy books. Lay your flowers flat or take them apart, have them spaced so they don’t touch each other and separate them with sheets of paper. Place 4 or 5 heavy books (depending on how heavy they are) on top and leave them for a couple of weeks. Your goal is to get them to flatten and release their moisture into the paper. Check every them carefully fromt ime to time for dryness. There are other ways to dry them but this is my method.
A note about colors: In my experience, pressed flowers will all eventually fade over time. That makes them even more special because you need to enjoy them in the moment. Some reds will turn almost black, most colors will darken and become more intense.
To adhere them to cards, I use a standard white glue like Aileens or Elmers. I apply a dab with a toothpick, it doesn’t take much. One other thing, before I glue anything I lay out the flowers where I ant them to be and then glue. Once they are glued down and dry, you won’t be moving them as they are pretty fragile.
You can spray your artwork with an acrylic spray, just be sure to spray from about 16-18 inches away and just mist them, otherwise they will get wet and wrinkle. You can also use clear contact paper or laminate for more protection on something like a bookmark.
So, the only creative things I’ve done lately are making signs and tags for my tomato and pepper plants. I am lucky to be a graphic designer which means I can do my own work. The bad thing is…I can do my own work! Ok, so I am tired a lot. This is tomato season here in Spokane Valley, WA. I sleep, eat and even dream about different varieties of tomatoes and peppers. Not only that, I am busy potting up the dahlia tubers that made it through the winter and transplanting and growing flowers for my own personal use. I also lead a woman’s gardening group called The Sisterhood of the Traveling Plants. Cute, huh!? We meet first and third Fridays of the month from April through September and learn things from each other, make hypertufa pots, leaf castings, container gardens, plant herb seeds, look at each other’s garden and travel to nurseries and events, etc. Gardening itself is a creative endeavor. I love color, the more the better. When I quilt, I find a lot of inspiration in the garden. I suppose when you are a creative person it overflows into every aspect of your life. At least it does in mine.
This is my version of the card mentioned in the last post. it is pretty laborious to make but fun. It involves taking the membrane out of soaked eggshells, crushing them on the base shape, applying mod podge, using droppers of alcohol inks to splash with color etc. If you want to make your own, see my previous post for the link.