Today I'm introducing a fantastic Gourd artist from Etsy.I think you'll really enjoy her work. Presenting Connie Vest of VestedInterest:
Gourd bowl with real Japanese maple leaves has a sleigh shape
How did you start with pressed flowers?
I really don't remember exactly how I got started. I most probably saw something in a magazine article and found it interesting. I went to the library and got as many books as I could find on the subject. I had my wonderful husband to make me a flower press. My first press was about 3 inches thick and made from 1/4 white paneling that we cut out of the kitchen in our house. It still had ugly wallpaper attached. I just started gathering and pressing. Things looked pretty rough when they came out of the press. Just kept trying. Now I have 15 presses that my husband made and each one is 8 inches thick.
Extra large basket, real pressed flowers and leaves, buckeye stem tip
I had grown a few gourds one year and had them sitting around waiting to be cleaned. Had some foot surgery on both feet the next summer and wasn't able to do anything. Back to the library. Got as much information about cleaning and using them as I could find. They were so much fun, I love the look and feel of them. When I started messing around with them I had already started decoupage with the pressed flowers on anything that didn't move. So I thought the flowers and gourds went well together and experimented with that. Lots of trial and error, some flowers bleed, some fade, some too thick, some too stiff, etc. Some products work together, some don't. Lots of playing around and finding what works.
What are your favorite flowers to work with?:I love pansies, larkspur, bougainvillea, spirea, cosmos, English daisy, verbena, columbine, all variegated leaves I can find. Fall leaves are great.
What are your future crafting plans?
I have been teaching myself through books how to do things since I first read about macrame in 7th grade in 1968. The first project I can remember doing was a macrame purse using a zipper that I salvaged from an old Bible. It had a little brass cross on the pull tab; I got a lot of compliments on that purse. I wish I still had it. My bucket list has lampwork bead making, stained glass, and throwing pots. I will always do something because I have a great "need" to create, it is inborn and unavoidable for me.
What advise do you have for someone just starting out?:
Keep trying, read and learn, ask questions, experiment, piddle, look around, pay attention to detail. I went through a period of depression years ago. The doctor's solution was to put me on medication. My answer was to go to college. I signed up for every horticulture class I could jam in and loved it. I have always loved plants, but I learned so much about the structure and type of plants, I was hooked again into the plants around us. The up close and personal view you get when pressing and working with the pressed plants usually goes unseen by just having plants in the garden. The veining, spotting, color, cells, etc. is another view of God's amazing hand in it all.
Tip of the day: A new You Tube video on Colores epoxy resin that I found very helpful:
I really enjoy your comments and questions. Thanks, Chris