While We Wait …
May flowers have arrived in abundance and our daily walks have become far more vibrant. I love the spring foliage around our neighbourhood and, with summer fast approaching, now is the perfect time to preserve some of this beauty. I have a microwave flower press that has been in high rotation over the last few weeks, pressing our favourite finds within a few minutes. We collect blossoms from the nearby church grounds and imagine all the weddings and other events that have taken place there over the last 100 years and how many of these flowering trees and wildflowers might still be here from that time.
There are a number of crafts you can use pressed flowers for, but lately my favourite way to use them is in photographs. Inspired by the long history of our local church grounds, I started by adding colourful pressings to vintage wedding photographs of my grandparents and parents. I love how these dusty forgotten memories packed away in photo albums upon rarely explored shelves are given a new, colourful life in a digital format that can be shared widely. I also adorned old advertisements with pressings including an antique program from our very own Royal Alexandra Theatre!
Now that I’ve made a run for it — out of the city to take refuge at my family’s farm for the foreseeable future — my crafting materials have become even more abundant. Regrettably, my microwave press stayed at home. But no matter; fortunately, I had collected wild flowers from around the property last year and left them in a large book, where they have awaited my return for the past eight months. I am now using them to decorate old photographs from the many generations that have lived on this farm. What makes these images extra special to me is that the plants decorating these photos are the same plants that have been growing around here since the photos were taken. I even found an old pressing from my grandmother’s log book from the ’50s! How cool is that? I have also uncovered some log/sales books that date back to the late 1800s, written by my great, great, great grandmother. Adding pressings to these images makes me feel very connected to this place and preserving some of these native plants might be a history lesson to another generation down the line, especially if our rapidly changing climate affects the plants that are found here.
If you’d like to press flowers all you really need is a book but here's a link that gives instructions on how to make your own microwave press. The one I have was purchased from Lee Valley.
My guest sharers this week have given me so much inspiration I can hardly wait to pass the mic. Laurel Purvis and Eleanor Johnston are two women with such style and creativity I am not surprised that they have found the coolest artistic outlet to pass these crazy days. Laurel is here to tell us all about it!