Friday, April 22, 2005

How to Press Flowers volume 1

Welcome to my first Blog entry.

I've been thinking of doing a blog for quite some time, but must admit I had been dragging my feet. I'm not the most dynamic writer in the world - my writings and musings don't have the "snap, crackle, and pop" that so many bloggers have, but for the sake of SEO, (search engine optimimization), I'm jumping in. Besides, I've got things to say!

I plan on touching on an array of topics, including pressed flowers and handmade paper, of course, but also using herbs (another passion of mine), running a home business/website, incorporating more of God in my life, and what ever else comes to mind that I think may be of interest to the viewers of my website. Please come by every so often!

I'm going to begin with one of my passions - you guessed it...Pressed Flowers!

Pressing Flowers

There is a wealth of information on the web about pressing flowers on the web - (see my Pressed Flower Links for a number of my favorite pressed flower sites), but I want to give you some of my tried and true tips for you pressed flower enthusiasts out there.

* My most used press - I love the "Microfluer". This press is a microwave press, essentially two thick pieces of plastic grid, 4 clips, and thick fleece liners. I use this press the most, because it's so FAST and easy. I can press about 15-20 decent sized pansies in about a minute. The color is exceptional - often the color seems richer after the microwaving, but there are a few flowers that turn strange colors, or don't tolerate the microvave at all. Also, the timing can be tricky, i.e. how long to zap the flowers, but it just takes some patient trial and error. Please practice on some "not so perfect" flowers first.

* Gently flatten the flowers - before placing them in your press. That way they have a better chance of pressing perfectly.

* Don't forget the leaves! - it's easy to get so carried away while gathering flowers, that you forget to snip a few leaves and stems. Find young fresh leaves, they press best. Also, if the stems of a certain flower are thick and bulky, substitute a more slender stem from another flower.

* Cultivate a sense of wonder - Take a moment to look...really, really, look at a flower. See the intircate handiwork of each flower - the precise symetry, the irridescent glowing colors on such a tender canvas. How kind of our Creator to sprinkle such beauty at our feet!

* Cultivate a sense of humor - I try to gently knock the bugs off each flower I gather, but those little pests are persistant! Can you believe God made so many odd looking bugs? I try to be patient and carry those little bugs back outside, but after the millionth one..

* A few of my favorite flowers to press - Cosmos, osperspermum, pansey, viola, violet, verbena, coreopsis (there's a new coresopsis hybrid called "Heaven's Gate" that I can't wait to try), calendula, transcantia, borage, edelweiss, mallow, lavender, etc. There are more, which I will add at a later date, but the flowers listed here are easy to press, and retain their color well.

If you haven't pressed flowers before, please try it! If you have any questions, just e-mail me. I'd be happy to help get you started!

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