Today's post is going to be a LONG one, but I think you will want to make certain to read all the way to the end as we have some very special blog candy today :-D
First off I would like to remind you to join in the fun of our flower parade by adding a link to your flower creation. Go to Becky's August 2nd post and link us up :-D
One of the greatest blessings of my job is the wonderful women who are a part of my life! It is with both sadness and joy that I share with you that Kim Hughes will be taking on some wonderful new adventures in life. Kim's creativity will be missed here in the CLASSroom, but I am so very supportive of her new ventures and wish her much success as she joins the talented Provocraft team - Congratulations Kim!!! The good news is that our friendship will always remain and I look forward to the times that she will come back as our guest. We love you and will miss you here in the CLASSroom sweet Kim!
As I shared above it is the friendships, that I have developed from being involved in this dream of sharing creativity with others, that are so very precious to me. It has been a couple of years now since Susan and I met. Today was one of THE most special days - creating together with Susan, collaborating on this project, makes me smile inside and out!
Susan Tierney Cockburn has been creating beautiful paper flowers since she was confined indoors during a snow storm many years ago. Gardening and baking are two of her passions and she excels at both! My family gasps with delight each time I come home with that special white box with it's gold seal - they know that something absolutely delicious awaits them. To see more about what I am referring to you MUST visit Susan's culinary blog! We thank you Susan for sharing your love and incredible culinary skills with us! AND today I thank you for sharing your beautiful flower making techniques with me and with all of you.
Susan has developed the art of creating the most exquisite flowers from punched shapes. She has researched in depth each flower variety and then worked until she has perfected the art of that flower. She is the author of multiple books in which she shares the "how-to" create these beauties. We carry her latest book in our store and one VERY lucky person will be the recipient of an autographed version by leaving Susan a comment on this post!!! In my opinion this is a must-have book in your library if you are passionate about gardening. Creating these miniature little versions of the flowers we love is so very rewarding.
Today we are going to share Susan's techniques for creating this beautiful hydrangea grouping!
Begin by punching little natural white hydrangea's using the Martha Stewart 3-in1 Hydrangea punch. Use a pen, such as a Sakura glaze pen, to push down on the center of each flower to shape or create a "cupped" shape. Add color to the centers with a YG00 Copic marker. Once you have completed all of these little blooms create your base.
We used the very tip top of a small styrofoam egg. Typically Susan uses a small styrofoam ball as her base, but we made do as I didn't have one. Styrofoam is quite versatile and Susan squished it down slightly to flatten the tip slightly. It is important to cover the styrofoam using a circle of Mulberry paper. This serves two purposes. It gives a nice green base for whatever peeks through the surface and it helps keep the glue from absorbing into the styrofoam.
Use a white craft glue such as Flower Soft's glue or Crafter's Pick Ultimate glue. It is easiest to apply the glue using a toothpick and holding the small petal with a self-closing tweezer as shown above.
Place each petal on to your base.
We used a toothpick to hold it our base in position as shown above. This allowed Susan to place the petals down to the bottom part of the base without disturbing the other petals while they were drying. Continue to position petals until the entire surface is covered.
There are many ways to color the hydrangea petals - today we decided to use the Copic airbrush system. You know me - I love to airbrush :-D
As you can see Susan brought a variety of gorgeous hydrangeas from her garden to inspire our color selections. If you look at each picture you will see the fabulous variety that can be created.
I began with B63, then B66, V15, B69, R59 and ended with B39. Use short bursts of air and keep spinning your hydrangea bundle as you work to allow the ink to vary. It looks so much more natural that way.
I began with B63, then B66, V15, B69, R59 and ended with B39. Use short bursts of air and keep slowly turning your hydrangea bundle as you work to allow the ink to vary. It looks so much more natural that way.
Then Susan added Ultrafine Flower Soft to the centers by putting a small dot of glue in the center of each blossom. Again use your toothpick to complete this portion. This was a combination of Sage and Vanilla.
Next Susan created the large sized leaves. Susan had some prepunched leaves with her, but we could have used the Martha Stewart Rose Leaf to come close to this shape. Using a stylus Susan creates veins in the leaves.
Next she added depth to the leaves using an ink blending tool and Forest Moss ink.
We didn't have the same paper to punch out the Ivy leaves, so we created what turned out to be THE perfect Ivy paper. Tattered Angels English Ivy mist to the rescue. We spritzed it on to Natural White Neenah cardstock, dried it with our Heat It tool and then punched out the little leaves.
Once again we created veins - the first vein runs the length of the leaf, then flip it over and add four additional angled veins.
Next Susan holds the leaves with the self-closing tweezers and pinches them to shape them. We decided we needed to add a little more yellow green. To keep these little treasures from blowing away during airbrushing create a circle from the remaining cardstock.
Add color to the ivy vine (OK so it really is a Flower Soft wire :-D) with a Copic marker.
Wrap the wire around the bird cage curling the ends by wrapping them around the tip of the stylus. Position the ivy leaves along the wire and allow to dry.
Alter the white mat with distress ink.
As you can see these minature versions are incredibly realistic.
Whenever you see delicate paper flowers you can envision Susan working in her garden. Many of us have learned and will continue to learn from this beautiful woman who I am privileged to call my friend. So whenever you see a delicate paper bloom you can think of Susan's garden - she is the mastermind behind this beautiful art form!
Today we are sharing Susan's book, Paper Bouquet with one of you. To participate simply leave a comment on this post before midnight Saturday, August 7th. We will use the random number generator to select our winner. Please note that our winner will not be posted until Tuesday, so please do not worry - we will not forget :-D So please leave some love for Susan and Kim in this post to be entered.
Thank you for joining us again today!
accessories: Martha Stewart Punches - 3 in 1 Hydrangea, Rose Leaf and Fall Leaves, Craft-a-Board, Real Wood Cherry, Sticky Back Canvas, Tim Holtz Caged Bird Die, Chandelier Crystals, Antique Brass Jump Rings, Teensie Butterfly, Sage and Vanilla Ultrafine Flower Soft