In case anyone has been wondering why it’s been so long since I’ve blogged, my dad has been really poorly, and has been in and out of hospital, and is now in a residential home, although he is now quite a bit better and may even be well enough to return home, with an appropriate care package. Mum has been on her own and my poor hubby has been rushing around like a fly with the proverbial blue rear end, trying to sort them out as well as continuing to work, and looking after me, and he’s got pretty exhausted with it all. I’ve been very stressed out with all that’s been going on, and especially being concerned that my hubby wasn’t going to burn himself out, and it all took a bit of a toll on my health and I have had quite a bad dip recently, which meant I could do even less than the small amount I could have done to help my hubby. We are also in the throes of trying to sell my parents’ house, and we’ve been house hunting, and it’s all taking a lot of time.
Anyway, I am starting to feel a bit better now, and may even manage to return to my ARTHaven and do some creative stuff soon. I simply haven’t felt up to it lately – what small amount of energy I have had has had to be used for the aforementioned activities, and I haven’t felt inspired creatively at all for weeks!
Now for the main reason for this post – to share with you something really special. My friend Judy in Australia (do visit her wonderful blog – it’s amazing!) is a highly creative lady, and also has a heart of gold, is great fun, and I feel as if I’ve known her for years!! When we had the recent ATC swap with the WOYWW blog hop (What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday, where we share a photo of our work desk every week to satisfy all our nosey cravings and have a good snoop around each other’s creative spaces, and where I originally “met” Judy) – it was the 3rd anniversary of WOYWW and we all had a wonderful time swapping all the gorgeous ATCs. (I will do a post about mine soon!) Anyway, Judy said she’d rather swap flowers, so we agreed to do this. I’m afraid with everything that’s been going on, I haven’t been very quick about this, but Judy had sent me hers and they are GORGEOUS!!! They are so scrumptious and soft and squidgy and decorated with dangly beads and things, and I keep getting them out of the poly wallet I’ve put them in, just to mess around with them and enjoy them! I can’t think what to put them on, yet, but I know inspiration will strike eventually!
Here’s the whole collection. I’ve arranged them to look like a bouquet. Aren’t they gorgeous?
Now for some closer-up shots to show the detail.
These ones have got lots of beads on them, some of which are looped, and some are dangly. I adore the bottom left one with its dangly beady bits and all the multi-coloured layers!
These next ones are slightly more subtle (!) lol! but so pretty! Again, the bottom left one is particularly lovely, but I love them all.
It’s really hard to choose, but I think these last ones have to be my favourites. The bottom one has gorgeous dangly ribbons and beads, and the rest are fairly flat, with circles of yarn machined down, and quite a bit of shiny lurex material which doesn’t show up very well on the photo, lots of textured yarns, and again lots of beads! I love Judy’s use of buttons, too.
Every single one is different. Aren’t they joyous?
Now for the flowers I have sent Judy. All mine are paper. Here’s a photo of the growing collection in the making.
This is the completed collection. They are all quite a bit smaller than Judy’s ones. I have tried to do as many different kinds of flowers as possible. I had hoped to be able to make up some from my inked kitchen paper but time is going on, and I wanted her to have what I’d done!
Again, here are some closer shots for the detail.
These first ones are what I call my “freeform” flowers. I had some narrow offcuts of Core’dination papers from other projects, so I ran them through the Cuttlebug and then sanded them to expose the darker core.
For the pink one, I roughly drew petal shapes onto the paper and cut them out by hand. I hand-embossed them from behind, using a ball-ended embossing tool onto a piece of fun foam and then painted some Perfect Pearls onto the ends of the petals from the palette I made up recently, and stuck the petals together with hot glue. For the other two, I cut some whole flower shapes out by hand, and hand embossed them and painted them with Perfect Pearls as before, and layered them up with hot glue. In all cases the centres were made from tiny flower shapes cut with Sheba, my Black Cat Cougar cutting machine and found in with all my other flower pieces, and topped off with a gem or some Stickles. (I love Stickles – glitter glue – for flower centres – so easy, and it gives a nice bit of bling.) These freeform flowers worked better than I could have expected – it was a bit experimental!
The next batch are all roses. They are all from Penny Duncan’s rose cutting files -the larger ones are her grungey rose pattern with the more indented petals, and the smaller ones are her original rose design. All the coloured ones were sprayed with my Dylusions inks before making them up, and the two dark navy and silver ones were left over from a project I made last year.
Here is a picture of the roses being made up.
All of the next batch are hibiscus flowers in different sizes, all cut using another of Penny Duncan’s files. The stamens were bought in the wedding cake department of our local kitchen shop. Some of these were sprayed with Dylusions inks before making up, and others were coloured with Distress Stains.
The final batch is a bit of a mixed bunch. Working clockwise from the top, the poinsettias are again Penny Duncan’s design, but with yellow Stickles for the centres. I made quite a lot of these just before Christmas last year for my bag skirts project (another Penny Duncan idea!) and these flowers were from my stash.
Below those you can see two black and gold flowers. Again, these were left over from another project – originally they were rose pieces and had quite large holes in the centres, so I have put co-ordinating brads in the centres to finish them. Each one was cut from black card using my old Cricut machine (before I got Sheba) and then I hand-embossed them and drew on them with an embossing pen, and heat-embossed them in gold. Below these is a collection of small flowers that I made for a project I had intended to do and then never completed – one day I may come back to it and cut some more flowers. Most of these were cut from some very good quality card that I bought when I first started, but the colours were simply awful – it was duplex (double-sided) card with colours like lime green on one side and bright orange on the other, or garish turquoise – adding some colour of my own, I completely transformed them and really liked the result! I did a blog post ages ago about this card, and some experiments I did with it at the time. I learnt at that time that even when you’ve made a huge mistake, buying something you absolutely loathe, you don’t need to throw it away but can alter it and make something good come out of it!!
The pink flowers (also a Penny Duncan design) were in my stash as well, from a project I did, making a whole series of thank-you cards. I loved how these flowers turned out! They are sprayed with glimmer mist, and again have Stickles centres.
The last ones I made quite recently when I was experimenting with my Dylusions inks, and used them as masks while spraying.
I painted on some coppery Perfect Pearls and loved how they came out. These also have a tiny flower shape and some stickles in the centre. This flower shape (another Penny Duncan one) is very versatile because it can be layered if you want, but it’s lovely as a single layer too.
I wrapped them all in some tissue paper that I’d sprayed with my Dylusions inks and some Crafter’s Companion glitter spray (I’m afraid I forgot to photograph them parcelled up but I’ve still got some of the tissue so I’ll show you that another time).
Flower making is such fun, because you can mix and match so many shapes and build up layers, and colour them differently, and add bling, embossing, Perfect Pearls, etc. etc. to your heart’s content! With the cutting machine I can also make them whatever size I want, and I always make more than I need for any given project so that I’ve got spares for other things, or to give away as in this case.
Thank you for swapping flowers with me, Judy, and I hope you enjoy the ones I’ve sent you as much as I love the ones you’ve sent me! What fun this has been. While collecting them together and making them up, I’ve been thinking about Judy and giving thanks for our friendship!