Is it Spring where you live?  I'm in the midwest and it's really crazy.  In the space of 9 days, I froze in the stands at 2 soccer evenings, and got a sunburn at a third event between the two!  And Monday I woke up to the sound of the snowplow at four in the morning!  Mother Nature, make up your mind!

IMG_4479If you are at all familiar with my work, you know I make a lot of molds, especially of leaves and foliage.  I'd noticed a couple days ago that the maple tree in my yard was in bud.  Here's bit of the new growth.  Looks like flowers not leaves!  Oh goodie!  Follow along and we'll make a mold that looks like tiny flowers.  First, cut the blossoms off the woody part.

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If you have a steady hand and are so inclined, you can lay out the flowers in rows or in some ordered pattern.  Think of rosebud calico quilt cottons... Or, as I did, let them scatter on a sheet of clay (again this is my 1:1:1: mix of Bake and Bend, Ultralight, and Premo):

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Next roll them into the clay.  The density and size of your plant material will determine how thick your mold can be.  These delicate little flowers are pressed into a sheet of #4 thickness, about 1mm.

IMG_4484Pick out as much of the leaf or plant as possible without marring the surface and bake.  If there is a little bit of plant material left, that's okay.  It might brush out with a toothbrush after baking or be so fine as to not matter.

Here's a turquoise clay rolled into my new mold.  Looks like tiny roses.

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And finally, a finished bead:

IMG_4487Enjoy!  Patti