Category Archives: nature

Make Your Own Pressed Flower Jewelry Box

Would you agree that there is something enchanting about pressed flowers? They dazzle the eye with vibrant color and exquisite detail, all the while evoking gentle feelings of nostalgia. Perhaps best of all, pressed flowers cost nothing.

Preserve Your Favorite Spring Flowers by Pressing Themimages

Do you love flowers? Do you hate to see things go to waste? Are you great at crafting and making things beautiful? If so, our pressed flower jewelry box project is for you. It is the perfect Springtime craft, and also makes a thoughtful gift.

Before you begin making your jewelry box, gather the needed materials:

  • Small wooden box
  • 2 pieces of white paper
  • Acrylic paint (your choice of color)
  • Small paintbrush
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Several blooms of your favorite Spring flower (small blooms work best)
  • Krylon anti-UV clear acrylic sealer (comes in a spray can)
  • A hardback book

Altogether, these materials should be very inexpensive.

Directions for Making Your Pressed Flower Jewelry Box

Once you have gathered your materials, you are ready to get started making your pressed flower jewelry box. Follow these directions to get a beautiful result:

  • Carefully place your live flower blooms onto one piece of white paper; do not let the blooms overlap. Open your hardback book and place the white sheet loaded with blooms into it. Cover the blooms with the other sheet of white paper and close the book firmly. Now comes the hard part: leave the book alone for at least a week; this is how long it takes for the flowers to become thoroughly pressed and dried.
  • In the days you are waiting for your flowers to dry, paint your wooden box with the acrylic paint you chose. You may need to apply 2 coats of paint. White is the perfect showcase color for your vibrant pressed flowers. Allow box to dry totally.
  • After the week long period, open the hardback book and carefully remove the dried flowers with tweezers. They will be as thin as tissue paper, so be very gentle.
  • Using tweezers, arrange the pressed flowers into a design of your choice on top of the box. Be as creative as you desire. Remember, this is your creation!
  • After your flowers are arranged atop the box, carefully lift each dried bloom and dot tiny amounts of school glue (use a toothpick to do this) on the backside of the flowers. Then, lay the flowers on the box and gently press down on them. Do this until all your dried flowers are glued in place. Let arrangement dry.
  • The last step is to spray your completely dry craft with Krylon clear acrylic sealer. Be sure that the top of your jewelry box is open when you do this; otherwise, the spray will glue the images-1box’s lid shut. You may want to spray another coat of sealer after the first coat is dry. Allow box to dry. Your Springtime pressed flower jewelry box is now finished and ready to be enjoyed!

We would love to see your finished product. Please share a photo of your Springtime craft with us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/segmation).

Is there a specific craft you love to make that uses pressed flowers? Please share with us in the comments section below.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Paint by Number – The Original DIY Project

Colorful Flowers to Plant this Spring

Easy Ways to Prepare Your Home for Spring

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Color Icicles without Going Outside

Color Icicles without going outsideWinter is quickly approaching. Some appreciate this season but most people seem to dread cold weather. With blustering temperatures, leaving the house is hard and developing “cabin fever” is likely. To ward off such an effect, it is important to remain creative.

Fun, artistic activities are great for cold weather. If snow skiing and sledding don’t sound appealing, making a snowman ought to be enjoyable. Or, try this cold weather craft: color icicles.

The best news about coloring icicles is that this activity can be done outside or inside. Segmation SegPlay PC offers a variety of icicle pattern sets. This program can be played in the comfort of a warm home.

Another option is to bundle up, go outside, and dye actual icicles. Here is how it’s done:

Coloring Icicles

Icicles reflect the world around them. As weather causes snow to fall, melt, and freeze, icicles form. Sometimes, even when snow is all gone, icicles stick around to remind everyone that winter is still in the air.

These natural creations beautifully reflect the world around them. But there is a way to make them even more special. Once icicles form, color them with food dye.

The blog slowwatermovement.com shows readers the fascinating process of coloring icicles.  According to this blog, food dye can be applied to the top of an icicle and move throughout the piece of hanging ice – even in its frozen state.

Watch it work:

How is it Possible to Color Icicles?

As the blog name suggest, this author is fascinated by the movement of water. Upon purchasing food dye, the blogger went in search of moving water in unlikely places. When discovering the food coloring moves throughout icicles, the author credited it to diffusion.

Diffusion is a natural transport phenomenon. According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, diffusion is “the process whereby particles of liquids, gases, or solids intermingle as the result of their spontaneous movement caused by thermal agitation and in dissolved substances move from a region of higher to one of lower concentration.”

Using this definition, it becomes clear to see why a highly concentrated liquid, like food coloring, would slowly color the water molecules that exist inside an icicle.

This is a great art project to try in the cold of winter. Although, when it’s too chilly to step outside, consider coloring icicles while curled up in a blanket. The only paint-by-numbers software has icicle patterns that need to be colored. Click here to view Segmation’s variety of icicle pattern sets.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Cold Weather Art Activities:

Create Beautiful Wintertime Memories by Building a Snowman

Icicles

Knitting Is More than an Art, It Is a Cause

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Preserving the Art of Earth: Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty”

Preserving the Art of Earth - Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty”Earth was the artist’s first canvas. Before paint supplies and art tools, individuals used natural settings as means to document history and express cultural identity.

After tools to create paintings, sculptures, and sketches came into use, some artists – like the late Robert Smithson – still chose to create massive artistic marvels using natural elements. Earthwork, as it is commonly known, consists of large scale artwork that is set in nature and composed of the elements.

The Spiral Jetty, located at Rozel Point in Great Salt Lake, Utah is the defining earthwork of Smithson. In 1970, he used “mud, precipitated salt crystals, and rocks” to create a 1,500 foot long, 15 foot wide water coil.

Any challenges the artist was confronted with when creating the Spiral Jetty may be comparable to the work that is going into conserving the art. As nature continues to recreate this work of art, the importance of documenting this earthwork is ever more important.

How Is The Spiral Jetty Being Preserved?

Both nature and man have made quite the impact on the Spiral Jetty. In recent years, because of drought, the earthwork has emerged from its safe home underwater. Smithson was said to have been, “fascinated by the concept of entropy…” and may have even “…welcomed this transformation.” However, less appealing are the man made changes that occur when visitors, who have access to the site, walk away with rock souvenirs.

Today, the Dia Center for the Arts, which acquired the Spiral Jetty from the Robert Smithson Estate in 1999, is partnering up with the Getty Conservation Institute to document the earthwork regularly. Only time will tell if there will need to be conservation efforts to keep the Spiral Jetty constructed in the way Smithson intended it.

The preservation efforts are inexpensive and consist of a disposable latex weather balloon, which monitors the vast creation from above. The images, captured with a Canon point and shoot camera, help conservationists see how the work of art is changing over the years. These photographs will be useful in continuing to weigh options as to how they may best preserve, and possibly restore the piece.

Why Is It Important To Preserve Earthwork?

As nature and people threaten the structure, there may come a day when portions of Smithson’s Spiral Jetty needs to be rebuilt. Though many of the existing earthworks were created to withstand the elements, they may need to be touched up and monitored to ensure they last for years to come.

For the sake of preservation, it is important to be mindful of how both art and nature impacts the world around us. One reason why earthwork captivates us is because these pieces are subject to the elements. This means they are always changing and reshaping, to create a unique type of art. When merging man’s abilities with the natural world, it is important to maintain man’s hard work and nature’s creativity.

References:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/arts/design/18spiral.html?_r=1&

http://www.robertsmithson.com/earthworks/spiral_jetty.htm

http://www.getty.edu/conservation/publications_resources/videos/focus/spiral_jetty.html

Read more Segmation blog posts about art beyond the canvas:

Travel Like an Artist

The Body as a Canvas

The Natural Side of Art

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Seeing the Soul of an Iceberg

Something or someone’s immortalization in a portrait is a testament to that individual or thing’s value and beauty. Down through the years people, some rich, some poor, and some of little consequence in the world’s view, have been captured in portraits. The artists that chose to portray these individuals have each seen something wonderful in their muses, something so worthy of attention that they wanted others to see it too. This is how portraitist Camille Seaman feels about her subjects: icebergs.

For eight years, Camille Seaman depicted icebergs in portraits. She first saw an iceberg on the Weddell Sea on a trip to Alaska. The sight of the iceberg shook Camille to her core and reminded her of her humanity and frailty. It also made Seaman desire to depict these mammoths in her own personal artwork and display them for all to see.

Photographing icebergs has become somewhat of a love affair for Camille Seaman. She doesn’t merely view icebergs as huge hunks of ice, as some do, but rather as living, breathing personalities. Seaman is blessed not to perceive things the way the average person does, or even the typical artist. Rather, she sees the way her grandfather instructed her to.

When Camille Seaman was a child, her grandfather taught her to view nature in a way that was consistent with her tribal heritage. He encouraged her to see the soul of an inanimate object. For example, he taught her to study a tree until it became as familiar to her as a “relative.” Ms. Seaman’s grandfather is partially responsible for her sensitive approach to her artistry and her depiction of icebergs.

Part of an artist’s job is to give people “new eyes” with which to see something. Giving others this gift enables them to venture beyond their own perceptions and journey into new possibilities of truth. An artist can give someone new eyes by presenting a subject in a fresh way. This is what Camille Seaman has done with icebergs, portraying them in such a manner as to give voice to their true personalities. This has helped many individuals see the true beauty and majesty that icebergs possess.

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/11/icebergs-frozen-in-time-by-portraitist/?hp

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