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.

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.