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.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


This holiday season was pretty weird for me. Good news, lots of action at my shop; good times with family. Not so good news, health problems, so I'm semi-retiring from work, down to two 12 hour shifts from 3 a week and taking my Social Security a year early.  However, I will have more time for indulging my crafty nature, which is great news!

  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

How did you start working with gourds?
 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.
 Connie's shop at Etsy is:

 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


  1. Beautiful work, Connie! I especially love the "patina" on the gourds and flowers. Love your enthusiasm for learning and the fact that you went to college instead of taking meds. I'll check out your etsy account! God bless the work of your hands!
    Annie Fentz ~*

  2. Oops...meant to ask a question.... What product do you decopage with?


  3. Very inspiring I have gourds I have dreamed of doing that with. the gold trim around the flowers is a nice touch. Also love the great trim work on the first gourd . Very lovely works Connie , I will check your etsy out too.
    Chris Thanks so much for finding these great Resin and Pressed Flower artist . Hope You get feeling better soon. peace

  4. Annie,

    Thank you for your nice comments.

    I use Mod Podge gloss to attach botanicals. Let it dry for an hour or so. Put on a good smooth coat and let that dry for at least a week. Seal with clear acrylic spray. My favorite is Patricia Nimmock's (sp.) by Plaid.

    Be sure to visit my Etsy shop and tell all of your friends!

  5. Beautiful work! I tried growing gourds this last summer but just couldn't find the right space in my yard. This year I will try again and hope to try pressed flowers on them. Thanks for sharing.

    Annie Stevens

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  7. I LOVE these! I bought one from Connie last year and the color is still amazing! :)