Friday, June 29, 2012

Petal Play and More

As I was out walking the other day, I decided to pick a few wildflowers to play with.

When I got home, I put some on a piece of watercolour paper, folded it shut, and hammered it. 

and here is what it looked like when I opened it..... well, after I removed the smooshed bits of plants.  Lots of colour, but not too much definition.

I liked how the leaves turned out the best, so I hammered one between this page that I made the other day. 

And then I decided to put it away, and work on things that I was supposed to be doing.  But then my hubby walked in the door, after being away working on a forest fire for the past week.  On the 7  hour drive home, he had stopped and picked me wildflowers.  But because he knows me so well, he didn't pick me a bouquet, rather, the flowers were jammed into a plastic bag.  He handed them to me saying "I am sure you can do something with these". 
So I started right then and there.....

I pulled the flowers apart, and had wild rose petals, bits of wild lupines, and the lovely yellow from some false dandelions. 

I soaked some paper with tea, so the paper wasn't so white, and laid the petals on the paper.

I stacked 4 or 5 pages on top of each other, covered it with a piece of wax paper, and rolled it hard with my rolling pin. 

I then stacked the two bundles up, tied them, put them in my steamer, and let them steam away for an hour or two. 

It didn't look like I was getting too much colour out of my petals, so I found a few rusty washers that I had.  Only 2 of them were flat, so I snuck those between some pages.  The other 3 I laid on top of the bundle, and let it steam for another few hours.

Here is the finished bundle when it came out of the steamer

and the pages laid out to dry.

and the pages when they were dry, and the petals were removed.

The petals worked as a resist, leaving lovely marks on the pages.  Some of the yellow bits, don't want to come off, which is fine.
The inspiration for doing this came from Jennifer's blog.  Check it out here.  Her work is stunning!

And just because he is so cute, here is the little squirrel that is enjoying time in one of our empty bird feeders. 


  1. This makes me want to run out and buy a steamer and get myself some wildflowers. The wildflowers here aren't quite so nice. Wonderful backgrounds you have created.

  2. oh wow , i have tried the smashed flower technique buty i love that you took it so many steps further, great results....:)

  3. What a lovely array of petals. I love the way the papers turned out, can't wait to see what you do with them.

  4. Oh! I laughed with delight at the photos of your smashed petals and thought the results were wonderful. Need to give that a try sometime.

    It's interesting how the wildflowers steamed. Your results look more like how my paper looks when I put rusty bits on and leave it all out in the rain. I wonder if somehow the rolling pin squeezed too much moisture out of the petals? Or if submerging the bundle would have had different results? Just thinking out to speak.

    I'm having so much fun watching your experiments and seeing the results! What's next?

  5. Stunning pages! I wouldn’t have the patience to wait that long! As for the squirrel, there is only one response, AWWWWWW!

  6. Beautiful! I'd like to try that. Such sweet photos of the squirrel too!

  7. They are gorgeous! I never thought a hammer could produce such delicate, wonderful results. I'll have to give it a try.

  8. okay you have inspired me. I have been down and out today, sitting around watching Tv or reading. I'm putting my shoes on and heading out the door to look for plants. We need rain bad...the grass in my yard is brown. there has to be something in the woods!

  9. I saw this technique on a gardening program once but boy you have taken it to the enth degree, really beautiful. With the pages yu didn't think worked (I liked them;) you could add a little trusty gesso maybe?

  10. Kim, I've just read your past few posts and feel totally inspired to begin dyeing again....if only it would stop raining so I could actually go outside. Your paper and books and bundles are all gorgeous. Thanks for the link to Jennifer. Happy Canada Days to you!

  11. I pounded flowers a couple of weeks ago and had the best results with pansies and a rubber mallet. And whacking them directly - mallet to pansy straight on the paper - worked a lot better than sandwiching them. Check out my blog going back about 2 weeks, you'll see what I mean.

    I love the steamed paper - it looks almost like a sun print.

  12. the colours in most flower petals are heat sensitive and so if heated for a long time will tend toward brown. i developed a technique i call "ice-flower" for extracting the dyes. works rather nicely.