Friday, April 23, 2010

Everlasting Flowers... Everlasting Love ...

I inherited many beautiful things from my mama... not just material treasures that belonged to her, but wonderful traits from her heart and soul... she passed away almost twenty~eight years ago... much too young... and I miss her so... I do know though that she is always close by me, in my heart and at my side... one of my most precious possessions that was hers is this beautiful classic "Anne of Green Gables" ... gently faded and worn... yet still full of the love of my mama ...

When I received it, as I gingerly opened the pages, to my joy and delight was a beautiful flower my sweet mama had pressed... sooo very long ago... I am quite sure it is a Larkspur, one of my very favorite old~fashioned blooms... my mind drifted off today to my beautiful mama, reading one of her favorite books as a young girl, and carefully pressing a delicate flower out of her mama's (my grandmother's) cottage garden... just like my mama's love, this dainty flower will never fade... it must be handled with care... like life itself, it is very fragile...

My mama instilled in me and my sisters at an early age, her love of all living things, and taught us to love and take care of them... as little girls, my sister Jill and I would gather the spent rose petals from our mama's gorgeous rose garden... she would give us little snippets of lace and net and silk ribbons from her sewing basket and Jill and I would create pretty little sachets out of the petals... laying them amidst the net, then gathering them up and tying them with ribbons and lace... preserving their Heavenly scent and dried blooms... we were creating "Shabby Chic" treasures long before Shabby Chic was cool! ... this love I inherited from my mama continues to this day ... I love all living things, and preserve many of the flowers I now grow... I have two larger flower presses and one teeny little one, which I adore, that I use when I have an itty~bitty little flower, such as a Heartsease, to press...


Here are some of my flowers I pressed from last Spring... awaiting their turn at being made into a pretty bookmark, picture, put in my scrapbook... there are so many things you can create with these beauties... I also collect vintage flower frogs, and have shown some of my little growing collection in with my pressed flowers... the purple one below is pressed glass and over 90 years old... it was originally clear glass that many years back, but the glass contains manganese, which makes it turn the spectacular color of purple it now is... the longer it sits in sunlight, the deeper purple it will turn... (manganese was no longer used in the glass after about 1915) ...

There are so many flowers that press well ... below are a few of my favorites, along with some of my metal spiked flower frogs...

Purple and flowers just go together ...

Pretty crab apple blossoms, cherry blossoms, and purple flower...

Autumn leaves also press very well... here are some of my favorites I gathered last year up Mueller Park Canyon nearby... the pretty amber colored flower frog is carnival glass and belonged to my mama... it always held fresh roses lovingly gathered from her gardens... and placed about in our home...

I also preserve flowers a number of other ways... some I just hang upside~down to dry, some I place in silica gel in tightly covered containers, some in plain old sand in covered containers, some placed on screens to dry... there are lots of easy ways to preserve your favorite blooms... (unfortunately, I can no longer have dried lavender because of my allergies... and I so love it's Heavenly scent)...

These roses were in my friend's garden last year... we walk past her home every day on our Nature walk... they had frozen from the bitter cold last fall~early winter... I snipped them just "as~is" and placed them on a screen for several days to completely dry out, then put them in a pretty jar... Nature's own "freeze~dried" flowers...

When the blooms are almost all spent on my miniature rosebushes, I snip the flowers off and also lay them on a screen in our garage to dry out... they look so pretty in a jar, or in this case, scattered about the bottom of a glass cloche...

Here are more of my miniature roses in a pretty little apothecary jar... (the gorgeous postcard in my flower frog is from Heather Bullard's shop) ...

However I choose to preserve the beauty of blooms, I find peace and contentment in doing so... it costs me nothing... just my favorite flowers and my time... if you do not have a flower press, a large book will work just as well... take a walk with Nature on a dry day... pick your flowers about mid~afternoon, when they are in full bloom and free of moisture from rain or dew... be sure to press them promptly on your return so they do not wilt... I leave mine for about two weeks, undisturbed... then, just like something delightfully magical, they become truly everlasting... and carry sweet messages of eternal love... xoxo


"To see the world in a grain of sand
And Heaven in a wildflower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour" ~William Blake


21 comments:

Rebecca said...

Precious writings my friend. Oh how I can tell the deep love you have for your mama. She is with you.

Love, Rebecca

Marsha (Sassy Mini Dolls) said...

Such a beautiful post, Julie. The purple flower frog ("frog" doesn't sound so pretty for such a beautiful piece of glass) is fabulous!

xxoo

Dawn said...

Such a beautiful post and so gentle a read, thanks for giving me a soft place to look today. I have been wanting to pick up a flower frog for awhile but haven't seem to have found any on my ventures maybe this summer. I haven't dried flowers for ages.
Hugs sweetie!

BonjourRomance said...

Bonjour Julie Marie,
What a lovely and heartwarming post about your dear Momma. You are keeping her love and memory alive with your sweet words. SO glad you have her copy of Anne and here pressed flower.
Wishing you a good weekend,
Mimi

Vicki said...

Beautiful, beautiful post, Julie Marie! You inherited many things from your sweet mother it is very evident as you shared special things that once belonged to her. I love the dried flowers and leaves as much as the fresh ones. I am interested to hear about the manganese in glass. I have a very old cut glass pitcher and glasses, and they have turned the most beautiful shade of purple over the years. I thought they were from around the turn of the century. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, dear friend. It is always a pleasure to hear your memories over the years! Vicki

Shabbyfufu said...

Julie.....you always have the most touching posts and have quite the way with words my friend:-). By the way, I was at an estate sale today and passed up so many flower frogs for sale there. Was that a dumb move? ~ xoxo to you.....and doggie tail wags from Murphy

NicNacManiac said...

Everytime I ready your posts it really makes me slow down and just take it all in...just so beautifully written, you really make the reader feel deeply!
I also pressed flowers with my mother, usually in the large Webster's dictionary's that we had, they were about 3 inches thick and really made the flowers and leaves turn out wonderfully!
Take care and happy weekend xOxO

Tamerie Shriver said...

I love, love, love purple glass. I am fortunate enough to have some, but I love coming across it, especially on the beach.

Your post was lovely, as always. And thanks for entering my giveaway. There is a pretty good chance you'll end up with one since no one seems interested in winning. That's okay. The right people will enter and the right people will get a tulle girl.

Happy Weekend!

Love and hugs,
Tamerie

bunny, The Paris House said...

Hi Julie Marie, Your post is so heart warming, as always you get me to slow down and relax when I visit you...you make all of us remember all the important beautiful things in life. The "Anne of Green Gables" book is wonderful. All of your dried flowers, preserved flowers, vignettes you created and memories are beautiful and priceless! I hope you are having lovely weather, I plan to garden all day after we get home from Oliver's little league game. It is his first one today and I can't wait to see him in his little baseball outfit, I will probably be the only mom there crying ( I cry over everything!!)
xoxo

Zuzu said...

I read this, and slow down to let your lovely, sweet words soak in.
Happy weekend to you, dear friend.

Jonny J Petros said...

Gosh what a pretty post Im going to do that with my roses, I love how you have them in a jar I never knew all I had to do was put flowers in a book im going to try it, im going out to get some wild violets to try before their gone. What a lovely book you have from your mom. That verse by William Blake is my all time favorite!!! and goes so perfectly with your memories. Sincerely ,Jonny

Bunny Rose Cottage said...

Hi Julie! I am sorry I have been MIA. I just havent been much in to blogging lately. I think I just need a little break. Facebook is so much fun and so addicting that I spend too much time on it. I havent had too much to blog about either. I am hoping that will change soon and I can get motivated again! It feel like, since pretty much everyone is on Facebook that blogs, there isnt a reason to blog. You know what I mean? I will get back in to it. Maybe after we get back from Disney in June. I think I just need a break. This blog post is beautiful Julie!
Love ya sweetie,
Amy

Duchess of Tea said...

Julie Marie darling, I have said this before and I will say it again, I don't know how you do it, but you do it beautifully. You always know what to post about and how to word it to grab the reader's attention. You photos fill in the tiny blanks and the result is an eloquently written, memory evoking and captivating post. Darling, I am so sorry for the disappointment you are feeling. I see it as their loss!! As for me, you are a kind, gentle and loving person and I feel honoured to call you my friend. Luv, wishing you a lovely week.

Sleepless Blogger
Love & Hugs
Duchess

Blondie's Journal said...

This is just the sweetest post, Julie Marie, and a wonderful tribute to your mom. I so enjoyed it. You have such a special way with words that wrap around me like a trance.

Somehow I have been missing you on my blogroll and I don't do Facebook...just don't have the time. I guess it is just the start and stopping of blogging before I reach certain blogs. But I have MISSED you!!

xoxo
Jane

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Julie Marie,
Oh I love this post and the beautiful memories of your mama. I woke today thinking of my sweet mother too and like your sweet mother, she loved her flowers, old books and sweet treasures. I adore your flower frogs and the way you have displayed your dried blooms. I love to place mine in apothacary jars and cloches too. So pretty!

I can so relate to the love and memories you have of your mama. I miss my mother everyday too. But they live on in the way we carry their traditions, learnings and love. I love your beautiful writings my friend and the dear messages they hold. You are such a talent in all ways.
Thank you for sharing your sweet memories and dried flower treasures.
I always have a beautiful visit here on your lovely blog. Have a wonderful day.
Love ya,

Big hugs, Celestina Marie

Ana said...

Hi Julie Marie,
Your pressed flowers are all so beautiful, but how much more beautiful and special is the one you found in your sweet mama's favorite book...What a priceless little treasure you have found. Enjoy my dear friend. Have a wonderful new week.

Hugs and Kisses,
♥Ana

luisa said...

Hi,Julie Marie.Your blog is beautiful and sweet.I'm sorry for my englesh.But is very beautiful your blog what is imposible not visit your adorable space.Your picture and flowers,all beautiful.Thank for lovely blog,congratulation.Adios!!!

Barbara said...

What a lovely posting! And what a marvelous surprise in your mother's book!
I love your pressed flowers (which I have never done) and the frogs..of which I have a few old ones.
And I also own The Scented Room. It's a marvelous book! So enjoyed my visit here today!

tales from an oc cottage said...

What prettiness!!! And I ADORE that AOGG book!!!!

m ^..^

My Grama's Soul said...

Pretty post today Julie Marie.

I've never pressed flowers, but yours are lovely.

It is nice that your post was a tribute to your mother.

Jo

June said...

Oh your pressed flowers are so pretty. I love to keep flowers in all stages too. I think they are just as lovely dried as fresh.
The Anne of Green Gables you have is the prettiest shade of blue. How special that you were able to receive the copy from your mom.
hugs