Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Practicing making flowers (Long post, lots of pics!)

Good morning everyone.
Towards the end of last year I bought myself the Marion Smith Bloom Impressions Tool and the Peony Petals Die from The Craft Barn. I enjoy making flowers and they are a versatile addition to a craft project. They also make great gifts for a crafter or scrapbooker.
Over the weekend and last night I had some time to practice so thought I'd share the process with you. I say practice because if there is one thing I have learned; it is that when you watch a video demonstration of a tool and see the fabulous results achieved and decide to invest in the tools. I can guarantee that most times you will be really disappointed in the results! It looks so easy in a video but what we forget is that that person is very experienced in using the tools and we are not. We have to begin at the beginning.....
So, here is the first batch of flowers made with the tool and Peony die (Looking very little like the flowers I saw in the video LOL)

Still, they do look like flowers and overall I think they are pretty usable.....
Here is my process and thoughts along the way

 First step, die cut loads of petals. Because these were in reality my first attempt I chose not to use my favourite papers just in case it all went wrong but chose a bunch of random paper that was nice enough if it worked out.
 Once you have your petals you need the tool and a spray bottle of water and this is where the fun (or frustration) begins......
 You need to wet the petal, place over the hollow side of the tool as seen.
 push the top piece in place, give a twist and remove and take out your beautifully pressed and shaped petal and put to one side before repeating the process with the rest.
 Leaving you with a pile of lovely petals which you set aside to dry.
Now, what they don't tell you in the video is that if you have too much water on the petal when you take it out and lay it down it has a tendency to flatten out again. That is of course assuming that, with the pressure you use to twist the tool you don't rip your moist petal into shreds! So; you need to get a feel for how much water you need and how hard you need to press and that will vary according to the kind of card/paper you use. It will also only happen with practice LOL So persevere..... and in the end you should have a pile of usable petals.
 For me, I tried assembling with glue dots but in the end found that hot glue and a craft mat worked best.
 Squeeze a blob of glue onto the mat and add the petals as seen, working fairly quickly so the glue doesn't set.
 The end result of the flower is this. There are 3 different size petals and I did each one as above keeping them separate.
 When they were cooled I took them off the mat and used more glue to layer them inside each other to build up the flower.
 You can see the finished flowers on this pic. I was not overly happy with them so decided to add some Distress ink to age and distress them.
 I decided to work fairly roughly to really get the ink coverage so working in a circular motion with a fair bit of pressure I let rip.
You can see what a difference it made. The bottom one had not been done yet.

To finish the flowers I added buttons from the Madame Payroud collection. which suited the colours.
There you have it, my first lot of flowers with the tool.
What do you think?
So, of you've looked at the tool and wondered if it is something you would find useful; perhaps this has given you more to think about. What I will say is that I think that shaping your petals makes all the difference to the finished flower and this tool (once you've got the hang of it) does help tremendously with that; so for me, it has been a worthwhile investment. Though I definitely need more practice!
(As this has turned into a mammoth post, I'll be back later this week to share the results of practice round 2; using the tool and a punched shape to create something totally different.)


Dorothy said...

Very nice Neil!!

ionabunny said...

Thanks Neil. There are so many products out there it's difficult to know where to spend the pennies. I like your first attempts and your mishaps were instructional as well as amusing, although probably not for you as you were experiencing LOL. Thanks for sharing. Hugz

dale Coven said...

Thanks for sharing this. I needed to make some flowers for my bath. Thanks.