Sunday, March 30, 2008

maiden hair fern journal

My blogging activity has been light lately due to spring break, but the kids are back in school this morning, and I'm feel a little bit guilty, because I'm glad!

We had a great week together, visiting friends, running errands, baking cookies, having aunts and grandparents over, and shoveling snow (well, that part wasn't great), and celebrating a 97th birthday (not mine).

But now the house is quiet and I am eager to get back into some kind of creative routine. I have a few "one-of-a-kind" handmade journals I want to put up on etsy today, and I also need to work on my giant paper cast leaf - I've been putting off working on it for way too long because I painting isn't something I'm very experienced at, but I finally have a plan and I think I'm ready to try.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

strange flowers

Here's the flowers from my unusual air plant I mentioned last month. Purple tube flowers, ending in long stamens with neon yellow pollen. Strange!

Speaking of strange, lots of things are strange around here in Wisconsin. We had 15 inches of snow on Good Friday, but thankfully it's been in the fifties lately and most of the snow is gone. However, we are supposed to get 6 more inches tomorrow.

My crocuses are nowhere in sight. Last year at this time, I was busily pressing crocuses, and making pressed crocus cards. If you've been blessed with crocuses where you are, here's a tutorial on how to press crocus flowers - they press beautifully with the Microfleur flower press. I hope to be able to join you in pressing crocuses soon!

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008


After spending the day at the Milwaukee Public Museum with my son's second grade class yesterday, I feel relieved to be able to quietly stay at home and catch up on several orders for my pressed flower cards today. The trip (except for the 50 mile bus ride) was great fun. The group of boys I was in charge of happily enjoyed the dinosaurs and all the gory hunting/predator panoramas, and, bless their hearts, they were patient with me as I lingered in the butterfly exhibit - brimming with real butterflies and flowers.

When I got back home after the field trip, I had about 20 minutes before my kids would be home from school. As I thought about how to best use those few minutes, I found that all I really wanted to do was enjoy the quite peacefulness of my empty house. After spending the day with a total of 60+ second graders, the silence was absolutely golden.

I'm thankful for something that my Mom was always grateful for - peace and quiet.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

"Waiting Flowers"

I know I showed you a scan of this picture two weeks ago, but here it is framed.

I looked long and hard at this picture, trying to figure out what to call it. It finally occurred to me that these flowers look like they are trying to see what's ahead - they're waiting for something...anticipating something.

I love this verse: "In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you, and wait in expectation." Psalm 5:3

I'm so amazed that every morning (and whenever I want through out the day) I can go and lay out all my requests, concerns, and frustrations out before Him.... to the God of the entire universe - and He actually listens! And, He actually acts on our behalf, if our sights are set on Him (Romans 8:28). If you really think about that, it is absolutely mind boggling, and incredibly humbling all at the same time.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Container Gardening Tips

One of the seminars I went to at the Chicagoland Flower and Garden Show was about a huge interest of mine - container gardening! Here's a few of the highlights:

1. Pots are hot!
Classy ceramic containers are in this year, especially in cobalt blue, red, and chartreuse.

2. Bigger is better!
If your income is limited (and whose isn't these days!) invest in a large pot as opposed to several smaller pots. Larger pots make a more dramatic statement, allow for greater creativity, and are easier to care for.

3. Cram and jam!
Those of us that live in the north know that our container gardening season is all too short - so plant your containers generously from the beginning. You can always edit your container during the season if need be.

4. Have a lotta terra cotta!
Sorry, I think the bad humor of my pastor is rubbing off on me. While colorful ceramic pots are the latest trend this year, terra cotta is an enduring classic. Terra cotta goes with anything, and it's now available in many new shapes.

5. Thrillers, fillers, and spillers!
Your containers should include a plant with drama or height(thriller), plants of interest that are the main focus of your container(filler), and a plant that hangs down and softens the hard edges of your container (spiller).

6. Plant your veggies!
Ornamental vegetables are the new hot container plant trend this year. Try colorful veggies such as Lollo Rossa red lettuce, Bright Lights swiss chard, red cabbage, and Lavender Touch Eggplant. Edible nasturtium would add a nice dash of color as well, and of course herbs are a container gardening classic.

7. Pressed flowers are in!
I confess I made this one up. However, flowers that press well and look great in containers include pansies, osteospermum, lobelia, calendula, just to name a few. Add some colorful foliage plants to your pressed flower containers so that no one notices that you've snipped away a few of the flowers! Here's a comprehensive list of flowers that press well in case you're interested.

8. Have fun!

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Chicagoland Flower and Garden Show was wonderful! Not only was the convention center brimming with greenery, and thousands of bright flowers, but there was also many interesting displays brimming with my kind of eye candy.
Here's my top 5:

5. The Potting Party - For only $20.00 you could pot up your very own spring container, filled with ivy, mini daffodils, and other spring bulbs. For only $20.00!

4. The First Flower and Garden Art Show - Over 100 artist displayed their garden themed art (well it was mostly flower/garden related). There were no pressed flower artists. Hmm...

3. Garden Conifer's - There was an incredible display of the most unusual conifers I had ever seen. I never knew there was such diversity in color, texture, and shape. The dwarf conifers were amazing.

2. The Seminars - There are free seminars running almost nonstop through out the week, as well as "Garden Gourmet" cooking demonstrations. I went to two excellent seminars, one of which I'll share about later in the week.

1. My favorite thing about the show? The flowers! They were every where. Their spring like scent was heavenly, and they gladdened my winter weary heart.

If your anywhere near Chicago, try to get to the show - it runs through this weekend.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Odds and ends

Here's a quick scan of one of the pictures I made the other day on that particularly dreary, slushy day, when I was in need of a bit of color...

Thankfully today is a brilliantly sunny day, and despite the cold temperatures here in Wisconsin, I know spring is not far behind. I've been hearing sandhill cranes in the fields behind our house. I haven't seen them yet, but how great it is to know they're back!

I heard from Ryan Garrett Fine Art Consulting regarding my pictures yesterday. Apparently the presentation with the Montage Hotel went well but ultimately they decided to go with a different design concept. I'm disappointed, but what a blessing to have been asked. The fact that a major art consulting company even noticed my art is amazing to me. It seems to give my art a sense of legitimacy - which is something I struggle with from time to time, especially when I compare it to the art of other artists I know (I know I shouldn't!)

Saturday is the start of the Chicagoland Flower and Garden Show. I've never been there before, but my husband (bless his heart) is treating me this year. If you go, he'll be the one patiently trying to keep three kids occupied hour after hour, and I'll be the one drooling over absolutely everything. I'll be reporting my "Top 5" of the Chicagoland Flower and Garden Show on Monday.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

In need of color

Wave after wave of sleet is pounding against my windows this morning, The pristine white snow in my backyard and in the cornfield beyond is now a grey slush lake, which perfectly matches the sky.

I am in need of color. I am longing for spring.

Today was to be an "office day," so that I could catch up on my book work, send out some card samples, as well as work on the new template for my Elizabeth's Flower's website, but that will have to wait. I need to immerse myself in my pressed flowers for awhile.

For those who have been wondering, I still haven't heard anything from the art consulting firm (please see previous post). I'll let you know when I do!