Jul 232016
 

I have a black thumb, so flowers never survive around me. Nonetheless, I love blooms of all kinds, so I surround myself with flowers that won’t die—silk flowers, paper flowers, floral scents, floral-embellished bed linens, and so on. In one of my Etsy shops, JN Originals, I sell crocheted flower brooches.

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When I started binding my own books and selling them in Mister PenQuin, I knew the covers would be embellished with flowers. At first, I purchased packages of paper flowers. I particularly appreciated the dainty ones made by Prima, but gradually I began altering purchased paper or silk flowers.

Altered Store-Bought Flowers

Today I most enjoy fashioning handmade flowers from paper, fabric and fibers, but I can’t justify tossing away my remaining store-bought collection. As a result, I am still working my way through the flowers I have purchased.

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Still, it’s fun to experiment with different kinds of handmade flowers.

Handmade Flowers

A few weeks ago, a customer approached me and asked if I could make her a password book using a flower from one of my gratitude journals, but the paper from a password book. Obviously, I couldn’t take apart the two books to meet her request, but fortunately the paper she liked was a digital one I had purchased from a graphic designer who allows you to sell handmade items using her digital papers. The flower, on the other hand, was from a package I had purchased from Hobby Lobby. Not only was it no longer available, but I didn’t want to buy yet more pre-assembled flowers. I offered to re-create the flower so that it would be similar to, but not exactly like, the purchased flower adhered to the book in my shop.

The customer asked for the flower on the left, but the paper on the right.

The customer asked for the flower on the left, but the paper on the right.

To re-create the flower, I stamped white Bazzill card stock with an Old French Writing rubber stamp by Hero Arts and brown Hero Hues Latte Chalk Ink, also by Hero Arts.

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Then, I cut out flower shapes in graduated sizes using Donna Salazar’s Carnation Creations die set by Spellbinders.

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I layered the flowers, glued a wooden ball to the center, and adhered it to the cover of a book. My buyer was pleased, as you can see.

Final Password Book

Designing handmade flowers is time-consuming—you probably won’t be paid for your time if you sell the items you embellish with them—but it is infinitely satisfying. It also gives me a chance to use my overflowing collection of dies, inks, stamps and papers. If you also like to create paper flowers, you may be interested in reading the following tutorials on my blog, which include links to other resources.

An old nursery rhyme asks, “Mary, Mary, quite contrary: how does your garden grow?” My answer, of course, is with paper, fabric, fiber and glue, all wrapped together with a little imagination and a lot of love.  That’s the story behind my flowers!

© 2016 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.

 

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6 comments on “The story behind my flowers

  1. Pamela Baker on said:

    I have long loved your handmade journal adorned with such beautiful flowers – now I can full appreciate them even more. I now completely admire all the work you put into each one down to the last detail!

  2. LeAnn on said:

    Your paper flowers are beautiful! And are those crocheted flowers in the basket? I also have a black thumb. My brother once observed that all my house plants are candidates for last rites. Sad, but true. Perhaps that is why I am drawn to floral fabrics.

  3. Splendid Little Stars on said:

    Your flowers are beautiful, Judy! The new password book is lovely!

  4. Zuda Gay Pease on said:

    Love your flowers!!! I have a black thumb, too. 🙁 Your handmade flower is lovelier than the packaged one, in my opinion. Well done!

  5. Sarah Beth on said:

    Black-thumbed flower lovers unite!! Quite a bit of work went into that little flower — and it was worth it! So sweet — love the script stamping. And, of course, you know I love the crochet ones!

  6. Natasha on said:

    Lovely flower! Much nicer than the store bought one. =) I almost always prefer to make things myself, whether they’re edibles like bread or something for an item I sell, because I enjoy making things and like having more “creative control” over the product. Plus they’re usually way nicer!

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