The Gardener's Journal







Card Stock
I use n
atural parchment paper, but any fine card stock will do. If you plan to use envelopes, be sure matching envelopes are available. 8 1/2" x11" stock quarter folded makes a standard size card. When folding, be careful to match edges and use a bone for firmly creasing. For a perfect matching edge, trim with paper cutter.

Colorwash -
Make a stencil by cutting an approximately 2"x3" rectangle opening in a card stock scrap that is at least 4"x5". Thin watercolor, craft or metallic paint the color of your choice. Firmly hold the stencil in place on your card and using a half inch flat brush, quickly stroke paint unto card. Work from the outside in. Create texture by not smoothing the brush strokes. It is good to practice this on scrap paper before doing your card. Let dry thoroughly.
Torn Paper - Tear a rectangle about an inch or so smaller than your card face. Hand made papers provide great texture. Other possibilities are brown paper bags, wrapping papers, blotter paper or shopping bags.
Plain - If you will be mounting large leaves, or a combination of fine leaves, you may wish to leave the background plain. Lay your mounting objects out on the various backgrounds to see which you like best.

Collecting and Pressing leaves and flowers
Collect fresh leaves and flowers of your choice. Most leaves and thin flowers press quite nicely in a big phone book. Stack additional books or a board with bricks on top for additional weight when pressing. I flowers or stems are very thick, either carefully slice off part of the back side or use a regular flower press that is tightened with nuts and bolts. Continue tightening as plant material dried. Drying will take about two weeks. Check around your garden for already dried additional card making possibilities. Grasses. reeds, small twigs and seeds or pieces of seed pods have great possibilities.

Carefully lay out your pressed and dried material until you have a design you like, then glue in place. Spray-mount works good with fine materials but because it can be messy, stick and hold the leaf with an exacta knife or long needle and spray over a box. I prefer using water-thinned white tacky glue and applying it with a soft flat paint brush. Use an old catalog so you can just turn a page when one gets sticky. Place a piece of wax paper over you finished card and press down any loose edges. Put entire card covered with the waxed paper back into your phone book to dry, usually about a day. Then seal your finished card using a matte clear art spray. Let dry.
Share your card with someone special.