I was recently sent a lovely flower pressing kit by my buddies at BigJigs to review. As an expert flower grower I had plenty of choice of pretty flowers to pick in the garden and see how they looked once they pressed. Read on to see what I thought of the flower press and what you can make from your pressed flowers…
The kit from BigJigs is made of a lovely wood with some pretty flowers and bugs painted on the front of it. It comes with some cardboard pieces inside to help you do your flower pressing, just add some parchment paper in between the cardboard and the flowers.
First you need to cut some flowers. You may need to ask a grown up to help you with bit, partly because they may not want you cutting off their prized roses but also because scissors and secateurs can be dangerous if you are not an expert like me!
Once you have chosen a selection of flowers, lay them out on your cardboard pieces ready to be pressed.
Next you need to tighten the screws really tightly and leave them to flatten – I left them overnight.
The next morning I had some really pretty, really flat flowers to see!
I decided I would like to make them into a bookmark so I chose a piece of card and then glued my flowers on to them.
Other ideas include making cards, decorate the front of a notebook, make pretty gift tags or just make a lovely picture.
It was a lovely thing to do during the summer holidays and a great way to preserve your pretty flowers. You can of course just use a large, heavy book to do your flower pressing but the kit is really handy, can be used again and again and is not expensive.
The flower pressing kit is available from BigJigs for £5.49.*
*Price correct at time of publication
Jupiter Artland, squirrelled away in West Lothian, is aptly named as it is truly out of this world. From the moment you arrive, the attention to detail of every single element of the garden is quite breathtaking. We were lucky enough to be accompanied by our good friend and talented photographer, Julie Howden from Julie Howden Photography. Using the wonderful bartering system, she paid for her garden design by taking a few “snaps”. We definitely got the good end of that deal…
There is a mixture of permanent and visiting exhibitions at Jupiter Artland. It was 2011 when we last visited and there had been a lot of changes since then, both in the gardens and for us. This time we had our girls with us, Lulu (4) and Tilda (1) so we saw the gardens through different eyes and it did not let us down. There was plenty to do whilst we were waiting on Julie to join us – we mooched around the courtyard, looking at the visiting exhibitions (we loved Hayley Tompkins colourful roof and we had our heartbeats recorded for the Christian Boltanski installation), drank coffee and ate cake and the kids had a lovely time doing some drawings in the art hut.
You enter the sculpture garden into a beautiful woodland, which was dappled with sunlight, luckily for us. You are immediately met with amazing artwork such as “A Forest” by Jim Lambie and the unnerving “Suck” by Anish Kapoor.
We all loved Firmament by Antony Gormley, both for the sculpture as well as the wonderful views beyond.
The weeping girls were popular with everyone. Whilst the adults felt there was a sadness to them, the girls decided that the sculptures were actually just playing hide and seek. Which then sparked a wonderful game of hide and seek, the perfect place to play it!
Our next discovery were some artworks by Ian Hamilton Findlay. The girls had a dance in the Temple of Apollo:
Then Lulu got some inspiration from the XTH Muse:
In between all these wonderful works of art, there is the most beautiful of woodlands, great for foraging for raspberries and perfect for taking some photos:
We have been admirers of Charles Jencks’ work for a long time so the “Cells of Life” landforms were a highlight for us as well as the girls. We spent a lot of time winding our way up and down them all, as well as just relaxing at the bottom.
On the wander back to the courtyard area there are animals to see, the amazing “Love Bomb” orchid to wow over as well as the new installation by Alec Finlay, “A Variety of Cultures”. We can’t wait to climb the ladders into the pruned canopies in a few years time!
Back at the courtyard it was time for some food (it was fabulous!) and a browse around the shop. It’s a shame picnics are not allowed in the grounds as it would make it a much more child-friendly and appeal to many more families.
We had a wonderful day out with Julie and her family. We highly recommend a day out to Jupiter Artland. We also thoroughly recommend the wonderful talents of Julie so please get in touch with her to discuss wedding photography, family portraits, corporate work and much much more.
Thanks for reading,
All at Vialii