Friday, June 4, 2010

Flower pounding fun and backlinks

Before I show any art today, I wanted to update everyone on what Blogger calls "back links." After reading Blogger's "help" on Links, I realized that links are those that we highlight in order to send someone to another site. I use "Links" everyday when I highlight a blog of the day. I also use the same link setup on my "Daily Links" page.
So, in true Blogger fashion, I was sent to the wrong spot and this was not what I wanted.

What I actually wanted was information about backlinks. They are intended to link other pages to your post. If you click on the above screen capture, you will see what they are intended for. And yes, it's exactly what I thought it should be: to link something of relevance between the two blog posts.

However, some enterprising folks, especially (as I found with backlinks on my blog) those whose blogs are set up to advertise their wares on E-bay or esty, have found a way to get free exposure from other, art related (or whatever medium) blogs. So, check the back links on your blog. If you don't find the post relevant, or if you find, as I did, that backlinks are soliciting people to the linked blog for some type of exposure, just remember that you have the option to not allow them. Just thought I would clear that up, although I'm not sure Blogger helped me understand the meaning or motivation behind backlinks. Again, Blogger has caused me to ask more questions than receive answers. But I guess this will have to do. I hope I've helped a few people look at their backlinks and decide if they want to keep the "allow" option or not.

Now back to my regularly scheduled post.

My online art group, ABC Altered Book Club, had a flower themed challenge for May in which members were asked to create something with a floral theme. There were some incredible entries, some of which are posted on my art friends blogs. I created mine the last day of the event, because I was waiting for flowers, any flower, to bloom in my yard. Tired of waiting, and running out of time to submit something, I bought a live plant with some lovely flowers. I'm not sure what they are, because the tag is missing. I do know, however, they were juicy and perfect for flower pounding.

I started this project without ever thinking about documenting the process. Then I realized why I have this blog: to show my projects and processes, whether they are good, bad, or indifferent.

Supplies I used: card stock, flower petals, iris leaf, rubber mallet, newspapers for padding.

I began by placing individual petals on a piece of cardstock. This is not like pressing flowers, where you can leave the flower whole. The secret to good flower pounding is separating each petal and gently laying it in a pleasing arrangement.

When you have the arrangement you want, fold the card stock in half, or place a separate piece over the bottom piece, as I did in the one you see in the first photo at the back. Place on newspapers or a phone book. Pound away. Once you have your desired impression, you will know, because it will show through on the back side of your card stock. I prefer to pound my flower, then add my leaves and stem.

Gently lift or remove the top piece. Remove the now pulverized flower and/or leaves. If any pieces flake off, or stick to the paper, DO NOT REMOVE THEM until they are dry. That's what happened on the left side of this piece and that's why there are trails of dark lavender on the page. Wait until the pulp has dried, then gently remove it with a soft brush.

Admire your handiwork. These can be cut and used in projects or used as is. If you want multiple flowers, do them one at a time.

Don't expect your finished flower to look anything like the one you started with. They will always be darker, as you can see from this comparison of an original petal and the finished piece.

Here is the finished project when I scanned it. For once, I think I like the photo better than the scan.

More tips I learned along the way: begin by gently tapping the flower into place. When you have it "seated" on the paper, begin pounding until you see the image through the back. That way, the flower won't "walk" on you and create shadows. Of course, this is something you may want, though.

As with flower painting or stamping, the back side of the leaves will produce a better image. Position your leaves so the back side is the important side of your image.

The front side of the flower petals produce a better finished image.

And finally, don't pound flowers on any card stock that has been sprayed with color mists. The color mists reactivate and bleed around the wet flower petals and leaves. That's what happened to my first piece I made, which can be seen in the first photo above.

I hope you find time to do a little flower pounding this summer. It's lots of fun and can relieve frustration.

I have no idea where today's blog came from, but it was one of those that started with a click here and a click there and ended on a blog called Ms Artist Sew Crafty. Ms Artist Sew Crafty is Theresa Huse, who lives in California in the US. Her blog banner says it all: "Crafts, sewing, scrapbook, paper crafts, recipes, fashion, color inspiration, photography." And to top it all off, she's one of co-founder Martha's (Martha's Favorites, my blog choice for January 24) Tea Cup Tuesday participants. "Sew" hop on over to Theresa's blog and see what all she's up to.

9 thoughtful remarks:

Dianne said...

very informative, as always! your flower pounding piece turned out lovely. thanks for the info about the links...I am having trouble on my blog with spam "comments" that are just trying to generate traffic also...don't want to have to monitor comments, but it may come to that... thanks for all you do!

Msartist said...

Thanks for stopping by and the feature of the day~ I am so glad you found me and now I have found you because of your visit! Happy creating~ Your newest blog friend, Theresa

Joanie Hoffman said...

Thanks for the flower pounding tips! I just did a search for info on this on Monday, now I know a little more.
Happy days,

Halle said...

I didn't understand the linking thing either. I saw one of my posts linked on someone elses site and I didn't do it. It was really odd.

Terri Kahrs said...

This reminds me of an article I saw in a magazine many moons ago, Elizabeth! The results of flower pounding are immediate and fun! I'd totally forgotten about the process. Thanks for another great tut! Happy Weekend to you and Bleubeard! Hugs, Terri xoxo

Marilyn Rock said...

Elizabeth! I've tried flower pounding and my result wasn't quite like yours but I enjoyed it. A stress reliever :) Love your posts! xxoo

Kimmie said...

you had beautiful results with this!!! it's a fun activity for getting the grrrrr's out :)

Lynn said...

Looks like you are having fun again, and again, and again!!!!
The flowers are pretty.

Marlynn said...

STunning! Elizabeth - those flowers are wonderful. However, I did chuckle when I saw the hammer.... nope, don't give me that because I don't have a light tap! I think it is my Oklahoma upbringing. : )