There are so many reasons to love Spring. Seeing the sun after months of gloom, turning off the heat and opening the windows before it’s time to run the AC, and picking flowers.
Especially the flowers.
There’s something particularly beautiful about Spring blooms. Unlike Summer flowers that seem to last for weeks, Spring flowers appear in a flash of color and fragrance and disappear with no warning.
When I was a child, my grandmother taught me how to save these flowers so we could enjoy them all year long. My grandmother also canned seasonal produce and made jam and jellies, so it wasn’t too surprising that she’d find another way to save the beauty of her present so she could savor it later.
Pressed flowers have been found around for centuries. According to a Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/29/AR2006062901769.html?noredirect=on)
article, archaeologists discovered pressed laurels and garlands in the 3,000-year-old coffin of Tutankhamun’s mother. In 16th century Japan, artisans developed Oshibana, the art of pressing flowers to make a complete picture.
A few centuries later, Victorian England picked up this art form. Victorian women and men of all ages filled scrapbooks with different types of pressed flowers and herbs, often adding bits of ribbon and other trimmings.
In the early 1990s, there was a resurgence in the art of pressed flowers after Nobuo Sugino traveled the world to collect these Victorian pressed flower collections. In 1997, Mr. Sugino publication “The International Pressed Flower Book” encouraged people of all ages to try this simple-yet-lovely hobby.
The great thing about pressed flowers is that, because it’s so easy and inexpensive, it’s a perfect activity for kids. Here are some basic directions for pressed flowers novices.
Step 1: Pick the flowers when they’re at their freshest and completely dry.
Step 2: Press flower between two sheets of wax paper, then place within the pages of a large book (I use an old Encyclopedia Britannica). Leave 1/8-inch of pages between flowers being pressed. When the book is full, close it and weigh it down for four weeks.
Step 3: After four weeks, check the flowers to make sure they’re dry. Some herbs and flowers may take longer, depending on their thickness and how much moisture they had on them.
Step 4: Glue the flowers into a scrapbook in whatever design you like!
There are more advanced ways of doing this, some that include expensive equipment, dyes, and chemicals. But for a quick and fun way to preserve Spring’s beauty, try pressing a few of your favorite flowers between an old book. Next winter, when you’re wondering if you’ll ever see the sun again, you can pull out your scrapbook and remember that the flowers will always return.
Every Deep Desire
He's taking back his honor, his freedom, and the woman he loves.
Rafe Montfort was a decorated Green Beret, the best of the best, until a disastrous mission and an unforgivable betrayal destroyed his life. Now, this deadly soldier has returned to the sultry Georgia swamps to reunite with his brothers, and take back all he lost. But Juliet must never know the truth behind what he's done...or the dangerous secret that threatens to take him from her forever.
It took Juliet Capel eight long years to put her life back together after her husband was taken from her. Now Rafe is back, determined to protect her at any cost, and it's not just her heart that's in danger. The swamps hold a secret long buried and far deadlier than either of them could have imagined...
Sharon is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes of novels of suspense, adventure, and love. A wife, mother of twins, and caretaker of Donut the one-eyed dog, she’s addicted to snapping photos and eating Oreos. She writes about the men in her Deadly Force romantic suspense series where ex-Green Berets and their smart, sexy heroines retell Shakespeare’s greatest love stories.
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