In this blog I will present commented discussions on the advantages and disadvantages of various art resins; discuss how to prepare flowers for use with resin and which flowers have worked best/not worked for me. I will be presenting interviews and discussions with other pressed flower and resin artists. I will have a "tip of the day" section.

I'm hoping that lots of you contribute; comments, arguments and disagreements are always welcome. Resin is such a complex medium that we all have something to learn. Besides, tweaks and even new resin products are coming out all the time.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

From Russia, A Wonderful Pressed Flower Jewelry Artist

Hi, today I'd like to introduce Mary Bu, a botanist/landscape architect/pressed flower jewelry artist from the Urals region of Russia; she has a shop on Etsy:

How did you get started in working with pressed flowers and with resin:
Since childhood I attracted to nature, plants, and liked to look at their tiny flowers, so I was educated landscape architect. But in our area is long and very cold winter, and I may work on specialty only 4-5 months a year. And the long winter evenings I can spend on art and search for new hobbies. When I heard about the resin, I thought of those tiny bouquet, which I loved to collect when I was a child and I wanted to try preserve it beauty in a clear resin.
So I tried and very inspired by this and now I have this "strange hobby" where I can use my biological knowledge and skills of collecting herbarium.

What are some of your major challenges in this work:
For me the major challenges is the short summer, for which are not able to gather enough herbarium, and also the problem of storage and the fragility of plants during the work.
Pressing flowers is very fickle, you can't say exactly how long it will remain it colors and also you can't replicate to a tee what is already done. Although the last is probably not a problem, but rather a virtue - the uniqueness of each work.

What advice do you have for newcomers to this art form:
Experiment and look for new material looking the world around you.
Nature's microworld actually very beautiful and enigmatic, but usually, people don't notice it. Just try to show them how it is wonderful!

What are your plans for the future:
I really want this summer to go round our Perm region, to visit again Visherskii and Basegi reserves, which I visited during my studies at the university and collect herbarium of the endemics of the Urals, and sure save them in resin. And in my dreams of course to go round the whole of Russia and then the whole world and explore all the plants, but I think it's only dreams :)

Thank you, Mary. I love your jewelry, and the identifications of all the plants. I am often unsuccessful in tagging the flowers in my jewelry thoroughly.
Mary's shop on Etsy: Ural Nature:

Resin hint of the day:
Allow at least 48 hours after your resin piece is hardened before you allow it to touch another resin piece; It takes 4 to 5 days for most resins to thoroughly cure, before which time they are easily scratched, indented, and bonded to other resin pieces (and shavings--I've learned the hard way, don't sand/shave resin pieces around newly hardened
resin jewelry.)

Thank you for visiting this erstwhile blog!  Chris

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spotted Dog Asheville Pressed Flower Jewelry--OH MY!

I am so excited to introduce a new (to me at least) wonderful pressed flower resin jewelry artist...her work is just amazing! 

How did you get started with pressed flower art

I actually got here in a rather circuitous fashion. I started as a cut flower farmer (and before that I was a corporate attorney - a whole different story.) I had all of these beautiful flowers, and eventually I started pressing some of them. And then I started playing with the pressed flowers, and started making some beeswax lanterns with the pressed flowers on them.

Eventually I had a few lanterns that didn't work quite right, so I cut them up and spent some time staring at the panels of beeswax and flowers. It was one of those times when you know there's something interesting that wants to be made, but it's hard to figure out what. Finally I started playing with making jewelry, and had my eureka! moment.

Now I make two different types of jewelry - the first uses a thin sheet of the beeswax and flowers (which I love because the beeswax provides a stable platform to cut the flowers, so I can frame out small pieces if I want). Then the beeswax and flowers are mounted to a glass tile and the whole piece is sealed in resin. I use this process to make pendants, earrings and rings. The second type of jewelry (mainly bangles, rings and pendants) is pressed flowers encased in resin.

What challenges have you encountered

I've definitely learned a lot through trial and error. Certain varieties of flowers hold their colors really well and others don't. Certain varieties are easy to press, and others - not so much. But for everything that hasn't gone the way I wanted, lots of those times turned into what I call happy accidents - where I didn't necessarily get what I was expecting, but I still ended up with something interesting or educational. It's all a learning process, and fortunately I enjoy the discoveries.


What advice do you have for newcomers to pressed flower jewelry

Don't be afraid to jump in! But also, find a mentor or some good books - that can save a lot of frustration. Overall, though, I think there's a lot to be said for just having fun and experimenting.
What are your plans for the future?

I'm going to keep playing and see where it leads me. I've got some new molds for the resin jewelry that I'm anxious to try. I went on a tear earlier this summer and made molds out of any shape that looked interesting to me. When I get a little time in my schedule I'm going to sit down and play with those new shapes and see what I end up with.

I'm also hoping to expand my online presence with etsy. Since I started as a farmer, I was very used to going to outdoor markets and have continued that trend as I transitioned to art. But as my son gets older and the baseball games get more frequent on Saturday mornings, I'm putting a lot more emphasis on finding an online customer base as well.

Thanks for the interview, and good luck to all of the other flower artists out there!


Isn't her work wonderful?  Here's her link again:

Hint of the day: there are a whole bunch of new "icepick" bails which work wonderfully
with thicker all-resin jewelry. Only a very tiny hole through the piece is needed, and the bails don't interfere with the design of the piece. Here's an example:
I've found bails as wide as 12 mm grip length, although the above one has a 6 mm length.
I very much appreciate your comments and  suggestions.  Chris

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Different View: Unique Pressed Flower Jewelry and Art

Hi! This summer in southern Oregon is turning out just gorgeous!  I've been able to gather and press more new kinds of flowers than any previous year.
I would like to introduce you to a pressed flower artist who uses stained glass with the flowers in a very unique way:  Chrys from aDifferentView

1) How did you get started with pressed flower art:
The short Version:
Quite by Accident.

The Details:
My art has been in a constant state of evolution until the last year or so. I have always dabbled in one form or another, from painting (all types), to sewing, to pen and ink, and so many other media in between. I even went so far as to pursue a BFA in graphic design, but I have made my career in ophthalmology research. About 4 years ago my father taught me the basics of stained glass. I made a few sun catchers, tea-light figurines, and now have completed 2 pet-portrait panels. Unfortunately, my pieces were not selling well enough to warrant keeping dozens of breakables around my house, especially for how often I move. So I went smaller, and began making glass bookmarks and little glass pendants. Those also were quite stagnant on my Etsy.

I have always been a "nature girl" and when things seemed to be going nowhere with my Etsy, I began trail walking more often and renewed my interest in herbalism. I began collecting flowers and herbs with the thought of trying out handcrafted incense blends. As I dried the herbs and flowers, I noticed how lovely the St. John's Wort and Cinquefoil flowers looked, even though they had not been put through a press. I had a thought to try preserving one of the St. John's Wort flowers in glass, and making a medallion from it for a birthday gift. That was when I knew I had found my little niche in the art-world! I have been creating my 'floral cameos' ever since.
2) What challenges have you encountered / What advice do you have for newcomers to pressed flower jewelry

The main challenges have been working through what will and will-not press well, and learning a whole new level of patience.

For the most part, if I try a flower and it does not do well in the press it's a case of "no worries, give her back to nature" and I toss the petals outside. Every once in a while it has happened that I have not been careful enough, and I put a damp flower in the press (it's been raining nonstop this spring, making my harvest season difficult!!). Twice now this has ruined several sheets of flowers from molding. It was a hard lesson, but I have been extra vigilant since the 2nd incident to make sure that when it's been raining, I blot the flowers and allow them to fully air-dry before pressing. And when I can help it, I wait a day after a rain to go harvesting. I have also started keeping a little record of what does press well so I can advise customers seeking original creation.

A note about pressing: flowers WILL look different when they come out of the press. It's inevitable, so I also try to keep a note of what has been put in so I will know what I am taking back out. I like to be able to tell people what they are wearing and there have been a few times I opened the press and had no clue what I was looking at! Sweet Williams are one flower that is very unusual after pressing.

3) Adding in a question here - Production Notes:
You can't rush this craft. People often ask me "how long a piece takes" and I can't honestly answer that. I find it easiest to work in 'batches', so I will make a dozen or so pendants at a time. But it's all in stages. You have to collect the flowers, press the flowers, wait and find which of those flowers can be used. Then there's cutting the glass and getting 2 pieces that match well (it is ridiculously difficult to cut a perfect circle out of glass. The circle cutters available do not work at the small size I need!) Then there is creating the arrangements, wrapping and soldering. And THEN the finishing. I have found recently that the more popular pendants are the ones that I put *less* into the finishing process... which surprised me. But it's a joy to give each medallion its own persona, so I will continue both forms.

4) What are your plans for the future?
I am currently working on an ACEO series, and some framed floral panels. The panel ideas was inspired by an Etsy team challenge, and my first attempt has gotten some wonderful feedback! I enjoy the larger pieces, and it will allow me to put larger flowers to use when I could not do so with my pendants. I am still trying out colour combinations and attempting to trouble-shoot how to preserve the flowers' appearance if they are to be hung in windows; but this is sure to be the next phase of evolution for my shop.

Thank you so much, Chrys

She has done things I hadn't even seen before, with the stained glass and flowers

Hint of the day:  I've tried every glue recommended for use securing resin to metal jewelry findings.  The only glue I've found totally dependable is two part epoxy glue. I use the 15 minute formula for heavier jewelry and the 5 minute formula for the lighter findings. It really is important to clean and score the two surfaces to be glued. I use a coarse sand paper.

Thank you for visiting.  Please leave comments and support the artists I feature.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Watch This Pressed Flower Artist! Introducing Anita

I'd like to introduce Anita from Purple Petals Studio, Etsy shop  and her other shop,

How did you get started with pressed flower art?
My sister-in-law had a pressed Queen Anne Lace framed in an arrangement in her living room. I loved it and decided that I could make one of my own, instead of buying it.
That opened a whole new world. I planted flower beds, where previously I hated gardening. I ended up pressing anything and everything and making pictures that I gave away as gifts. My friends and relatives encouraged me to sell them, so I did art & craft shows and eventually preserved wedding bouquets and memory pictures.
My first framed flowers were very simple and have now "blossomed" into intricate pieces of art. I still try to press any type of flower and some turn out and some don't, but the challenge is always moving me forward.

What is your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is convincing my customers that the flowers won't fade. I pick and press them in a certain way that keeps the color strong and I frame and seal them so they won't fade. Of course, if they are in the sun, they will fade just like your furniture would fade. If the pictures are taken care of properly, they will last for years. I have one customer that has had one for 20 plus years and she says that the colors are still beautiful.

What advice do you have for beginners?
For someone just starting to press, the best advice that I could give is to have patience. If you don't, you could end up with moldy flowers or poor coloring of the flowers. Some flowers you have to take apart and press each petal separately and then put them back together to look like the original flower. This takes mega patience!!

What are your plans for the future?

I also buy and sell antiques and vintage. To have a shop with those and my pressed flower artwork, would be the answer to a dream that I have had for years. We recently moved from Iowa to Tennessee and once I get my "act together", hope to open a little shop. I also want to build up my Etsy business. I have never taken the time to really read and take advantage of all that Etsy has to offer and I feel that if I would, my business would "blossom".

 Anita, thank you so much! Your work is wonderful.

Two hints for today!
I have always used waxed paper for my work surface. Recently, several resin artists I know have suggested silicone mats, which can be very inexpensive (mine is $9.00), doesn't have to be replaced after each pour, and lies flat.

Now that summer is here, I have to make sure the house doesn't get too warm. (We use the air conditioner but sometimes try to save money by waiting until it really gets warm).
Resin in a too-warm house sets about twice as fast as normal!

Thank you for stopping by. I really appreciate your comments and suggestions, and support of the artists I introduce!  Chris

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Garden Gifts Jewelry Shop: an interview with a fantastic pressed flower jewelry artist

I have the honor to present an interview with Cindy, from (non-Etsy!) shop Garden Gifts Jewelry.

How did you get started working with real flower jewelry?
My in-laws, Bev & Lawrie Garvin, are the ones who taught me everything I know about pressing flowers and making beautiful jewelry.  They also make this jewelry and sell it wholesale to the Gift shop in the famous Butchard Gardens in Victoria, BC Canada.  It  is a lot of fun to get together with Mom and Dad and trade ideas, plants and pressed flower.  There is a lot of experimentation involved in our process so it is always fun to learn from each other whenever possible.

When I first started making the jewelry I sold it at all the local Farmer's Markets.  As I started to feel more confident I expanded to Christmas and Artisan shows.  Every year I would see repeat customers.  If I did not show up at a show customers would contact me at my home.  But that takes up a lot of time.  After about 5 years of doing that  I decided to open an on line or web based store.  I also have another web based jewelry business with my husband.  Re-Cycled Accessories is a line of jewelry made with recycled bicycle parts.  So two websites, a full time job and a passion for cycling, running and swimming keeps me pretty busy.

What are your favorite flowers?
My favourite flowers to work with are Delphiniums.  I love the deep colours and the different varieties.  Roses and Pansies are also nice to work with and
are a favourite of many people.

What can you tell people just starting out?
My advice to anyone starting out is to start with fresh picked flowers, preferably ones that have just opened.  The pressing is the most important part. If you don't get a good press you may as well forget about going to the next step.  If a flower does not come out of the press looking 100 percent then don't use it!  There are a lot of flowers that do not press well.  Don't be disappointed.  Just find out which ones work best for you.Succulent flowers are very hard to press because they are so full of moisture.  Play around with different kinds of presses including the microwave type.  Practice, practice, practice and take notes, lots of notes.

Check out my flower jewelry at
check out my recycled jewelry at
 Thank you so much, Cindy. I think this is the loveliest flower jewelry I have ever seen!

Instead of a "hint of the day", I get to pat myself on the back a little. Yesterday I received the catalog from the Korean International Pressed Flower Competition. With it came my certificate indicating I had  placed as a finalist in the competition. Since this is the only competition I have ever entered as a jewelry artist, I am astonished and supremely honored!  Here is the piece of jewelry I entered:
 Thank you for stopping by. I love comments and questions.  Chris

Monday, May 16, 2011

Do You Believe in Fairies?

I'm honored to present published artist's Tauna Anderson's, with  works from Etsy shop Pressed For Time:  as well as some unpublished works. Her art is so incredible I keep going back to look again.

How did you get started in your art?
I was a little girl when I pressed my first four leaf clover between the pages of my favorite book and sandwiched it tightly between the others on the shelf. I enjoyed spending time with my Mother outdoors in the yard and garden. She loved growing things and had a green thumb that I envied.


Many years later, my own passion for flowers began when my sister invited me on an “adventure”, to pick and press flowers for a local business. I and my husband exchanged roles and I left for most of the summer while he stayed home with the kids. An adventure indeed!

Both of my parents are very artistic and I had always been supported and encouraged to be creative. At the end of the season I could not wait to make my first pressed flower picture. It was a simple wreath I entitled “Summer’s End”. I worked and played with my sister and the flowers for another summer and upon my return the business of Pressed for Time was born. I added my name to a growing number of individuals and companies who were exchanging pockets full of posies for an income.

What other type of art work have you done
During the next 15 years I was able to stay home and help support my family through my floral creations. I started out with a dozen designs and added cards, bookmarks, soap and candles to my growing business.
I enjoyed the summers with my children gathering flowers from our own gardens and the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

I always had a flower press in the trunk and if something was growing and I liked it, I would try and press it. During that time I wrote and published a book entitled “Pressing Flowers for Fun and Profit.” I outlined the steps I had learned and some of the “tricks” to picking, planting and pressing perfect flower petals. Also included was advice on what kind of flower press to use and ideas for pressed floral gifts.

How did you start making fairies?
A few years ago, I was inspired to experiment with my craft and created a series of angel and fairy images. I was very pleased with the outcome and continued to let my imagination and nature inspire other magical creations including mermaids, dragons, frogs, and elves, all made from pressed flowers, leaves and greenery. I call this unique artwork “Petal Painting.”

    Eventually I was able to have my work photographed and offer prints of many of my designs. The affordable prints captured all the vibrant textures, colors and magic of the originals and I soon turned my attention to making one-of-a-kind designs. Last summer I wrote a children’s book and illustrated it with the fantasy flower images that had been inspired by the fairy tales my mother told me when I was young.

Toward the end of last year, I was asked by DreamWorks to submit a concept for their consideration using pressed flowers as my medium. I chose a very challenging image (for me) from the movie Shrek ll. It turned out to be the best work I felt I had done although it was not chosen for licensing. I surprised myself with how far my artistic abilities had come since I pressed my first four leaf clover.

My latest project has been a portrait of Christ that I finally decided to try after the image kept coming to my mind. It was my first attempt at trying to capture something that needed to look as close to the subject matter as possible. With a desire and much inspiration, I have been able to bring my feelings about Jesus and my love of flowers together in another pressed floral design. Last year I pressed some white lilac and was disappointed that they turned dark brown. However, I have learned to never throw any "mistake" away. The deep copper color and texture ended up being perfect for the hair and beard of Jesus.

Currently I would like to find a publisher for my children's book and a place to display my original art. I am working on making a series of mandalas from pressed flowers and listening for inspiration for my next project. I would also like to learn more about computers and marketing my work on the Internet.
Pressed flowers and the art they have inspired have come a long way since their early popularity during the 1800’s. Now, everyone can enjoy this revived craft with the desire to preserve a flower memory and a phone book. Almost any growing thing can be pressed but for beginner’s success, start with something simple like a violet or pansy. Removing the moisture as quickly as possible is the secret to bright true colors.

What is your favorite flower?

I have enjoyed working with so many different flowers it is hard to decide on a favorite. One of those however is Columbine. One fresh or pressed Columbine is a piece of artwork in itself. I use their "curly tails" in a variety of my fantasy art for that perfect delicate accent to a mermaid's hair or a fairy wing. I adore the brilliance and color of fall leaves and the soft hues and fragrance of rose petals.

I still love opening a page of pressed flowers and being flooded with the fragrance and memories of those early years and the everlasting beauty that pressed flowers represent. There are certain icons that are universal and timeless in their meaning and flowers seem to have always been the perfect symbol of love and caring. What is more original and unique than the single petal of one of Mother Nature’s creations?

To plant a seed in the ground, take care of it and watch it grow, is a spiritual experience for me. Along with the enjoyment that flowers bring, I have been grateful to the little beauties over the last 20 years for helping me be able to support myself and my family and satisfy my creative urges. If you would like to see more of my work, please visit or my Etsy shop.

Tauna, than you so much. Your art is awesome!

Hint of the day:
 When I pick flowers for my jewelry, I generally gather a whole bunch, and press them. I always have some left over at the end of the season. However, I've found that  with some, only the most recent flowers do well in resin. After the flowers have been sitting in their envelopes for a month or two,  buttercups and  pink verbena degrade and every flaw is shown in the resin.  I have started putting the flowers in the jewelry right after I take them out of the press; once in resin, they stay looking good.
Thank you so much for visiting my blog.  I really appreciate your comments and your supporting the artists I interview.  Chris

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pressed flowers under Lucite: Beautiful Jewelry

I would like to introduce you to a pressed flower artist who does things differently!  Her jewelry is really lovely!
1. How did you get started working with pressed flowers and your jewelry
I‘ve always Loved “making things”…even as a child.  For as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed giving one or two of my ‘handmades’ as gifts for family and friends. So every year it’s an enjoyable challenge to come up with something new and different to give. There’s something very special about working on an item and presenting it to a relative or friend as a birthday or holiday gift.
I love Nature, being outdoors, and gardening. I’ve enjoyed pressing flowers for many years so it was a natural progression for me to utilize pressed flowers and greenery from my gardens to create one-of-a-kind Garden Jewelry as well as my Earth Lights and Luminaries (candle holders), Bookmarks, Hang Tags and Note Cards that I sell in my other Etsy shop ’paperplanet’.

2. What are some of the challenges you have encountered with your art
Even flowers have their own  personality and getting to know each flower better has taught me a lot about pressing and using flowers in my work. Some flowers press and dry much better than others. I’m always experimenting…trying different methods and products to press flowers as flat as possible, retain their natural colors and beautiful shapes. I like the pressed flowers I use in my work to look as fresh and graceful as they are in my gardens and containers.
. What advice do you have for beginners working with pressed flower jewelry
Experiment, experiment, experiment!
Press and dry all kinds of flowers, leaves, and greens. When a particular flower doesn’t press as well as you’d like or doesn’t retain its beautiful natural color, keep trying. Try different pressing methods, cut and press flowers at different times of the day, take flowers apart and press the individual pieces then rebuild them once everything is dry and flat. And above all enjoy what you do.

4. What are some of your plans for the future
I love what I’m doing right now so in the future I’m sure I’ll still be working with flowers and handmade papers, discovering new ways to make use of my materials, continuing to experiment, and always learning more. You can’t go wrong when you work with Nature and the possibilities seem endless. I have several notebooks full of ideas and thumbnail sketches of new projects I want to try. I just need many more hours in each day!

 Thank you so much:

Hint of the day: This hint is from karamae, on Etsy: protect photos from looking blotched from resin:)
I paint them on both sides with a paintbrush (holding with a popsicle stick), then put them down and put the topcoat of resin on.

I tried this with printed images for a custom order, instead of using mod podge. It worked wonderfully!

Thank you for visiting my blog. I welcome comments. 

Friday, April 15, 2011


I'd like to present an established pressed flower and stained glass artist:   
How did you get started working with stained glass and pressed flowers?I got started using flowers after I had been travelling and was at a farmers market and saw someone selling little framed stained glass pieces and- to tell the truth - I don't remember exactly what they were of or what artwork was in the pieces - it was just the idea. I was producing various jewelry items with wirework, beadwork, etc. with most of my work being a little 'higher end' in price and quality - this was a few years back when the economy was heading downward and so sales were slowing a bit. Upon seeing her little pieces, it occurred to me that maybe I could learn and do something small with stained glass that would offer customers a lower priced, but attractive and unique item......I immediately thought of all the possibilities of what could placed in the stained glass.....and thought that little pressed flowers would probably be well liked and make for a pretty piece. Understand that I had never done any stained glass work at all....but I do have a degree in Art and taught art, so I had done soldering, etc. in my jewelry. So...... I dived in and learned as I went along!!! I enjoyed the rhythm of the process and learning to 'present' the flowers as well as getting a smooth and nicely finished solder. I also liked the idea that I could press my own grown or collected flowers and leaves!

What are your favorite flowers?

 My favorite flowers are the tiny wildflowers, as well as early budding apple blossoms. I also enjoy very very young leaves as they just bud out. My favorite colored flowers are blue, followed by very pale pink, but I have grown to appreciate all the beautiful colors nature provides! Every flower has it's place!!!
What are some of the challenges you encounter?
 There are many challenges in making small pressed flower jewelry pieces. Because of their size, I have to use a very small soldering iron - and at first I kept burning them out - finally I got a regulator and that helped a lot. Also, making pieces this size requires a lot of tiny cut pieces - both of regular stained glass as well as the slide weight glass - which also involve a lot of grinding, etc. to match the two pieces. I also discovered that I really had to use the smallest(size) of flowers - which greatly reduced the number of options I was finding - and I also found some flowers were just plain too 'fragile' or 'delicate' for use. I collect and press many of my own flowers, but have also found a few places from which I can buy some as well - as they come into 'season', etc. Flowers are carefully arranged on the glass, glued in place, and then the taping, fluxing and soldering process takes place. Might I add that the small size seem to make these processes harder on the hands and despite my best efforts, I often end up with very rough and damaged skin/nails on my hands!! While I have used regular solder since beginning, in the interest of being a bit more 'green', I am working toward converting my work to lead free solder - kind of difficult as the lead free solders flow a bit differently and don't have the bright shine that most people enjoy. All pieces have to be handled carefully so that nothing slides into the glass sandwich, and they all require considerable cleaning and and a protective polish. I also include a care sheet with each of my pieces so people understand how to take care of the piece...No..please do not go swimming with your pressed flower pendant on!! :) Some people want to maintain the bright, shiny finish, while others enjoy the natural oxidation that inevitably will take place over time - if nothing is done to prevent it. Also I have found that I tend to avoid dyed flowers - there are a few that maintain their color, but many of them fade totally 'out' - very disappointing if you had liked the color!!

What are your plans for the future?
As for future plans.....having CFIDS and FM tends to 'curtail' really ambitious plans,(you know - where your brain has zillions of ideas, but your body can't keep up!!) but I occasionally am inspired with new ideas that will hopefully keep things interesting....using multiple, repeating flowers in one piece - kind of like modern pop art! While it has nothing to do with pressed flowers, that is where my background in jewelry wirework resulted in my pieces with wire designs, etc. I have also used my pieces to make stained glass mobiles as gifts for a few relatives and friends, and would like to make a few of those to have in my Etsy shop - I love the movement and the ability to use more colors/flowers together. I am always on the lookout for new flowers and new possible ways to use them.

Design and be Mary:

Thank you so much!  Your work is wonderful.

Tip of the day:
Use gloves when working with two  part epoxy resin, such as Envirotech Lite,  Colores, KastEZ. In their liquid state they can severe skin irritants and incite allergies. (in their hardened, finished mixed state they are non toxic and non irritating.
However, with  two part polyester resins (Castin Craft’s Clear Polyester Casting Resin) use a good mask  and gloves.  These resins can be irritating to the lungs when inhaled, and irritating when they have skin contact. Again, when the epoxy is cured and hardened, it is inert.

Thank  you for visiting my blog. Comments, questions and critics are always welcome.  Chris

Friday, March 18, 2011

HANDGROWN JEWELRY: A newly discovered flower/resin artist!

Hi everyone. I found someone who makes really lovely jewelry totally different from mine--I don't even know how she does it, but it's beautiful.
Handgrown Jewelry:
 1: How did you get started with resin and flowers?
I got started with resin a few years ago, after seeing how versatile it is! You can make great funky jewelry, repair surfboards, fill molds and layer it on flowers! I started experimenting with dyes and filling little bezel cups and bottle caps. The flowers came into play when I was a kid. I've always been surrounded by my moms gorgeous gardens and flower displays, which turned me into a huge flower fanatic.

2: what are your favorite flowers and materials to work with.
I love skeleton leaves. They have a totally delicate And intricate natural design which i find mesmerizing. Orchids are also total show stoppers, I am in complete awe of them. I love the entire growing process. Watching a stalk pop out from the roots, seeing it sprout little buds then waiting with extreme anticipation for the buds to bloom. It's especially exciting when you don't know what color or type of orchid is going to be revealed. Flowers are by far my favorite material to work with. Every single one is different, which make each piece of jewelry that comes from them unique, like a fingerprint.

3: what are some challenges you've encountered working with resin and flowers?
 Tie your hair back when working with resin, this stuff does not shampoo out! Lesson learned:)

 4: what are your plans for the future?
I have my website up now, and I do several craft shows around the Sarasota and Tampa areas. I am also involved in a Sunday morning market which is once a month year round. I love doing shows and talking to people about the jewelry and anything crafty. So I'll continue doing what I'm doing now, adding more shows as they come along. I have some new processes I'm working on involving my lovely little skeleton leaves, and also have some cute new cuffs coming out this month!! There is always new jewelry being handgrown at my house!

 Thank you so much!

Tip of the day: I've started to use one of those tiny metal bottle tips when I have to
pour resin on a small space (as usual, suggested by the Colores video; but who ever follows ALL of the directions!) and am having much less problem with resin running over the sides of my pieces, IF I don't get too greedy with time and try to avoid 2 or three
pours on the piece. I did find that I have to do the small pieces first and then remove the metal tip; as the resin cools it gets thicker and won't flow through the tip. I just toss it in a little cup of rubbing alcohol and it's good for the next time.

Thanks for coming by. I love to hear comments and ideas!  Chris

Saturday, March 5, 2011

IT'S ABOUT TIME!!! Interview with Terica

Terica, of the World Wide Pressed Flower Guild, has been doing wonderful interviews with the guild's "Heirlooms,:" those who really formed the guild and in some cases,  ushered in the last 50 years of the various arts of flower pressing. Her own site is:

How /why /when did you start pressing flowers

Since I was young I have always loved flowers . My Grandmother always had
 something growing in the house all winter and outside the rest of the year.
My Mother was a crafter. Always coming up with something out of nothing , she was truly
the first UP-cycler I knew  .
I can't imagine not seeing flowers growing and 4 leaf clovers ! The clovers are truly the first thing I remember pressing.
I remember finding one and being told it would bring me good luck and to put it in a book so
I could keep it ! I lost it ? that was not good luck? But I kept finding more and that was luck enough to me .
Well after finding many and hearing other people say they had never found one ?
I decided it would be nice to put them in other peoples books ,then that would bring them luck!!
I continued this though my twenties , sometimes spending an hour searching before going to the library .
I have always tried to grow something where ever I have lived. I like the feel of dirt and the smell.
I would rather walk through the woods than any Mall.
I love making birdhouses and yard art to decorate my garden.
Then I met Rebekah Smith , she was decorating Rocks with pressed flowers !
She started doing this with the extra resin left over from doing other projects .
Then she would hide them in gardens for people to find .
I was hooked ! I wanted to do this ? I imagined my yard covered in these rocks with flowers !!
here are some of mine;

I was filling homemade presses made of everything .Since then it has went from craft to addiction.

What is your favorite thing to make with the flowers?
This is a hard one for me , it matters on the flower ?
Some fade quicker so they tend to become bookmarks or cards.
Violas , daffodils , mini roses ,dogwood and wildflowers have to be my favorite . I like things easy to press .
As I progress with classes , I find I truly love to use leaves to paint landscapes .

Do you grow all or most of your own flowers?
Here in mid North Carolina we are blessed with lots of blooming things . Dogwood is everywhere!
We grow most of what I press , but I am also blessed with gracious neighbors ,that love to see me deadhead
their flowers for a few good ones too! We have 1 acre attached to a pipeline field that is mowed once a year
with literally thousands of wildflowers too! That doesn't stop me from planting more!
I hope to sell flowers soon , I have been pressing too many for me alone.
My son gave me my name for my etsy site & web " Flower Impressions " because I was always saying
" Come see what Flower I'm pressin' "

How long have you been with WWPFG?
 I joined World Wide Pressed Flower Guild  in 2006, which I credit my true talent to the guild .
 I have learned so much in the discussion group there . Plus the encouragement You get from fellow artist
whether they are masters or beginners are outstanding!
The online month long classes there , are taught by Master teachers from all over the world.
I have learned to make lovely landscapes with things like banana peels and Fall leaves.
I have been an Ex Com member for nearly 3 years now and helped with becoming a non profit org.

What is your biggest challenge in flower art ?
Keeping Whites white is a big challenge and Hydrangeas to stay the color they start out !
I gave myself a Big challenge this year and entered the Philadelphia Flower Show competition in 2 themes !It was a big challenge for me . Learning the rules and realizing I use a lot of flowers I could not identify ?
 I realized after signing up that if my work passes the guidelines and
actually gets hung on the wall there for competition , I have won!
I am expecting a ribbon just wanted to know I could pass the test !
I would recommend everyone to compete in an event just to challenge Yourself !

What advise do you have for newbies in flower pressing art ?

1.Never think there is a Perfect Press , experiment .I press a LOT. I have several sizes and styles.Mostly homemade made from Up-cycling !
For ideas feel free to go to my blog where I tell how to make several presses from mini to 12 x12 .Just type ,'How to make presses' in the search box.Ask any questions You like on any post I will try to answer asap;

2.Don't be hasty to throw away a flower because it is not perfect ,
 the tans and browns they turn can become a skin-tone or landscape piece.
"Ask the flower what it wants to be ?"

3. Go to my blog and read interviews from Pressers around the world giving tips weekly.  ( look for the March 3rd blog with Chris's interview too)

4 . Have fun with it and teach a child how to press too !
Of course I would definitely recommend joining:
Peace and Happy Pressing, Terica /

 Thank you, Terica! 

Here's the tip of the day: 

Don't discard your messed up pressed flower resin piece if the front has a hair or piece of dust or bubble; often you can sand down to the error and repour the resin. It will come out just fine!