|A greeting card is a good first project. To make the card you will need small scale, simple flowers, ones that can be pressed whole. (Some
complex flowers need to be taken apart to press successfully. This will be a later
project) What you find growing will depend on season and where you live.
You don't need to know the flower's name
to press it. Looking is half the fun. Flowers that still have their yellow
pollen are freshest;
fresh ones give the best
results. Check your houseplants, both for flowers and leaves, and as a last resort, see what your local florist has on hand.
Some flowers can be pressed with their stems attached; others are best pressed
separately. It is your choice for whatever you are using.
For every blossom, Nature
uses many greens: leaves, stems, tendrils, ferns and
grasses. You will need some of these as well as flowers to create a picture.
Some flowers can be picked attached to their small branch that includes leaves.
Press such a branch whole and some extra separate flowers to add to the branch after
Flowers may be pressed either face-up or down. Arrange them on computer paper,
spaced so they do not touch. Cover with another sheet and place in phone book press,
allowing 1/4 " of pages between "sandwiches."
Use a zip-closure plastic bag to gather your material to press.
When closed it will retain the natural moisture. If you cannot press as soon as you
get home, store the closed bag in the refrigerator. Do not add water. It is always
best to press promptly, but when necessary, the refrigerated flowers will last a
couple of days. Always carry a zip-closure bag in your pocket or purse; you
never know when you will find something interesting.
||Some flowers have leaves too large for use on a greeting card, but there
are many substitutes from which you can select. Buttercups have a wonderful assortment
of leaves - some of the basal ones being almost perfect medallions. Many
small weeds such as vetch provide tiny branches of leaves already assembled for you, with a tendril at the top for good
measure. Lamb's quarters (pigweed) is one of my favorites. Pick side shoots
before the seed develops fully. The seed tips curve gracefully, and the pointed
leaves make good basal accents in a picture.
Ferns press well, but need to be taken apart to make useful
sizes. Grasses that have begun to develop seed
heads provide the same "lightness" in a small picture that baby's breath does
with a dozen roses. Press a good assortment of green material in the same way as
flowers. Florists seldom use the flower's own leaves in an arrangement.
Unless you are doing a botanical specimen, you also can use whatever pleases your eye.
Many flowers do not have
useful stems, but you can pick extras of those that
are good. Buttercup stems are wonderful and I have used them on many flowers that
need better ones than their own. You will find others.