A Visit with Kathryn

Kathryn's pressings (300 dpi)

It all began with you, Kathryn, when you gifted me with some of the most beautiful cards that you had made, all wrapped, bundled, and tied with ribbon.  These hand-made gifts that harbored your treasures from the last season always seemed to help me accept the dwindling light that accompanies winter solstice in Maine.  Leaves and flowers, pressed, dried, and glued to paper, opened this same heart that smells the summer rose, allowing me to re-experience nature while she sleeps.

You called.  You said, “Come over, so I can show you my flower press.  I think you should make these because I can’t find them anymore.”.  So I did, and then I did--make them, that is.  Now, less then 10 years later, I am visiting you through your pressings, page upon page, sorting, filing, seeing their beauty also through your eyes, finding the ones I want to use for your collage, the one made in memory of you.

As I open the pages of your collection, I am struck.  This is where you placed them on the page to dry that day.  My hands lay over them while I search for the essence of your energy, feeling both sorrow and gratitude as I imagine you with me, looking over my shoulder, making suggestions, and once again, sharing your vast, accumulated knowledge that so impressed me.  Someday, when the garden is put to bed, and the shortened days return, the muse in me has a plan:  a special marquetry leaf inlay added to the Heirloom Flower Press, which will distinguish it from the others and be called the “Stevens Press”.  This, in honor of you, dear friend, Kathryn Ann Stevens, for your inspiration, artistry, and encouragement which allows me to share this fine tool with others.