Pressed Flower Power and a Sunny Spinach Pie

It is SUCH a blessing to have a mother who is an artist! My mother recently hosted a workshop where we made flower presses and feasted on home-made goodies. I had never given much thought to the process of dried and pressed flowers before, but I learned quite a bit! Did you know that back in Victorian times, pressed flowers were considered one of the “acceptable” past-times for women? They would trade them, make “Old Maid” cards with them, use them to decorate serving trays by putting them on the bottom of the tray and then placing a piece of glass over them to keep them in place and protect them! You can do the same kind of thing today, of course, or they can be used for bookmarks, hand-crafted greeting cards, even decoupage gift boxes.  There are scads of good ways to use these free gifts of nature. 🙂

Bought Flower PressMy mom got the idea after buying some blotter paper on sale and seeing the different types of flower presses available out there in the world. She got a couple off of e-bay and decided that they were really simple to make, so she cut up some scrap wood she had in the garage, and bought some hardware and invited us all to come learn about the process.

Materials for Flower Press

She made it easy for us by providing all of the materials.  Each press has two pieces of wood for a top and bottom, four long bolts with washers on each side and four wing-nuts, and then as many pieces of blotter paper and cardboard between as you can fit into the press.

Finished PressPress Close-UpThere were several of us who attended, and we each got busy sanding the edges off our own presses. We had to use wood rasps/files to get the big splinters and rough pieces off, and then we graduated to sand paper.  Each top and bottom had holes (pre-drilled, thanks to Mom) in all four corners to line up for the bolts and wing-nuts.

Cutting PatternsAfter that, it was cutting out the cardboard patterns to go between the blotter papers (which had already been graciously cut and provided). You can use any paper (even regular copy paper) as your blotters but we suspect that the acid content may have something to do with preserving the original colors of the flowers.

Pressed HybiscusPressed Nellie Moser ClematisThe next step is to place your flowers between two blotters and stack them as you get more of them, so that eventually, your press is full of flowers! You then have to be patient and leave it alone for about 6 months, so that the flowers have a chance to fully dry and stay stationary.  (This part will be the hardest part for me, as I am not known for my patience and I know I’ll want to keep checking on them). This is what my finished press looked like. I may paint it on the top and bottom, and I glued down the washers at the corners to keep them from sliding around when I added more flowers.

Pressed Jackmani Clematis

It’s important to get the flowers early in the day, after the dew is off of them, but before the sun has had a chance to wilt them. Moisture is bad, because it can cause your pressed flowers to mold.  The thicker the flower, usually the longer it will take for it to dry, but don’t be afraid to try them all! You never know!

As for the “Sunny Spinach Pie”, I got the recipe from here and it looked so lovely that I decided to try and make it. I thought it would be the perfect dish to bring to our get-together. I ended up making two. The first one was what my boyfriend delicately called a “Pinterest Fail” (I’ll leave it to you to Google that phrase). It didn’t look very good but it tasted fine. The second one, however, came out a lot better. It was a success at the workshop, too. Everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Sunny Spinach PieWorkshops like this are a good chance to get together with other creative individuals, share the ‘creative energy’, good times, and learn something new at the same time.  If you have a passion for a certain type of creative project, why not consider making it into a workshop and inviting others to participate? 🙂

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About dragonkatet

Regarding the blog name, Dragon’s Dreams ~ The name comes from my love-affairs with both Dragons and Dreams (capital Ds). It’s another extension of who I am, a facet for expression; a place and way to reach other like-minded, creative individuals. I post poetry and images that fascinate or move me, because that’s my favorite way to view the world. I post about things important to me and the world in which we live, try to champion extra important political, societal and environmental issues, etc. Sometimes I wax philosophical, because it’s also a place where I always seem to learn about myself, too, by interacting with some of the brightest minds, souls and hearts out there. It’s all about ‘connection(s)’ and I don’t mean “net-working” with people for personal gain, but rather, the expansion of the 4 L’s: Light, Love, Laughter, Learning.
This entry was posted in Art, Cooking, Creativity, Flowers, Food, Friendship, Home-made Gifts, Nature, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Pressed Flower Power and a Sunny Spinach Pie

  1. This is a brilliant post, Corina! I’ve pressed flowers with stacks of heavy books, but that’s not ideal. And I’ve sized and priced up commercial presses but they tend to be flimsy and quite small. So I’m going to make use of your Mom’s instructions and make one of my own. I also love the idea of getting together with creative friends and workshopping techniques and skills ~ it’s an idea that’s just forming in my mind as I regenerate my own artistic pursuits. I might try your recipe too ~ if I can manage to organically protect my tender spinach from the slugs! And I have to laugh about ‘Pinterest Fails’ ~ I’ve had quite a few! 🙂

    • dragonkatet says:

      Thanks, Jacqueline! 🙂 You know, I had always pressed my four leaf clovers in books, too, and never really thought much of pressing others, but there are so many beautiful types of flowers out there! It was such a simple press to make, which is awesome. The recipe was yummy, although I admit I did add artichoke hearts to it, which made it taste delicious. Good luck with yours!

  2. I remember making flower presses with my Girl Scout troop, and it was really cool. The spinach pie looks fantastic! I’m so glad you can share this all with your mom.

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