Spring, oh beautiful most wonderful time of the year for a person’s like me. Everywhere you look, you will see beauty. Flowers and plants will thrive while my creativity will run wild with new design that I am just so eager to try.
Now, I have spends years selecting and picking flowers that are just right for making my jewellery. It is not something you learn over one spring season. However, I like to share some of my tips here so that if you are interested in making your own jewellery, maybe you could use some of mine.
Flowers are not all made equal, so each flowers will need different treatment. Some of the worse flowers (but so beautiful) to pick and dry are roses, lilacs and carnations. Lilacs are almost impossible to dry them so instead, I just enjoy their bloom. Roses, should be pick at their best so that when you dry them, you can preserve the bloom. If you pick too soon, or those you get from grocery store, try putting them overnight in water (with flower food mix into it) so that you can choose the sizes of bloom that you want to dry. Carnations, you have to dry them as soon as you pick them. They are not forgiving for those that linger.
Among the best flowers to dry are Forget-Me-Nots, Heathers and Alyssums. Heathers and Alyssums are pretty much everywhere in spring/summer so you can keep trying to get that perfection you seek in dried flowers through these flowers. Now, Forget Me Nots is NOT an easy flower to dry but if you get it right, it is among the most beautiful dried flowers I have ever dried. I tried picking wild Forget-Me-Nots and tried to dry them, but it never turn out the way I like it. Now, I purchase them through nursery, grow them at home and once they bloom, I pick and trim each individual bloom. Every single jewellery that featured these soft flowing flowers had been catered to individually. You have to snip the bottom of the flowers, using a tiny scissors, and carefully spread them out. I usually pressed dried them instead of putting them in Silica gel, but both method are possible. The flowers required your full attention and patience in order to use them, so I like to say that the name, Forget-Me-Not, is definitely befitting it’s beholder.
Off all the flowers that I used in my creations, Speedwells will probably be the most challenging. It is so tiny and fragile to the touch that when I picked these flowers I use my tiny scissors to cut the stems off. These petals, they go straight into silica gel or flower presser because you cannot transfer them to a container for later drying. It’s not going to happen, because they will shrivel and dry up as soon as they are cut away from their stem. SO, imagine me, arm with either a box of silica gel or my flower presser or both, sitting in the meadow attending to these petals. Trust me, it’s a lot of work but the result, are priceless. Once they are dried, the flowers will come out looking as alive as they were before I separate them from their stems.
Now, when you go and pick these flowers, bring with you different types of containers and snippers. Cut them at the stem instead of breaking them. For those wild and big flowers, I just use a normal basket (I layered the basket with blotting papers). If the flowers are smaller and fragile, I have a separate small boxes for those (to preserve their condition and minimize damage before the drying process).
As the picking goes, I always just take what I need. I don’t pick all my need in one pile of growing wild flowers or bushes. It is better to let them pollinate so that more beautiful flowers can continue to grows. Always remember that we share the ecosystem with all other living creatures and the survival of some species (pollinators) such as birds, butterflies, beetles and small mammals depends heavily on the growth of the florals population.