Thursday, December 27, 2007

Designer Spotlight

Over the next few months, Flourishes will be posting a series of articles spotlighting each of our wonderful designers. This weeks spotlight is on the very creative and talented Sharon Johnson.

Sharon Johnson, who serves as Flourishes Senior Design team member, you may know by her SCS moniker and blog name No Time To Stamp, and for someone with that name she is incredibly prolific in her creations! For many years, Sharon's creative energy was spent at the sewing machine until 2000 when she attended a stamping workshop and realized how enjoyable this new hobby can be. She became a Stampin' Up demonstrator in 2006, and in addition to her Flourishes work she has been a member of the Dirty Dozen Design Team on Splitcoast Stampers and a guest designer for Score Pal. Her work has been published in Stampers' Sampler and Take Ten.

Sharon’s art can be described in many ways, but the words that are often used are: stunning, beautiful and gorgeous. We knew we were in for a treat at Flourishes when she submitted this card, made with, of all things, the Cake Decorating 101 set. We never imagined a hat made from the set, and our jaws just dropped when we saw this beauty. This is representative of Sharon's creative energy. In addition to the hat, she also created a lamp, and of course, cakes!

Much of her work has a lovely feminine look and I asked her about that.

If we were to visit your home, I envision it to be shades of blue, florals with a very feminine look with all sorts of handmade items throughout. Tell us about your home and work space.

My home -- oh, you couldn't be more wrong -- LOL!!! We are farmers, our house is over 100 years old, and there is nothing fancy or frilly about our home or the way we live. I am the only female in this house having one DH and 3 sons. This house functions the way it needs to for a farm house. We have NO carpeting, only hardwood and ceramic -- all very easy to clean up. The predominant colors would be varying shades of ivorys/tans/browns and greens. My kitchen has English ivy wallpaper that I love with old fashioned looking lace curtains, my bathroom is a soothing, watery green, and all other walls are some shade of ivory. Most of our furniture and things either are old, or look old. Not that I am a particular antique nut, it's just that's what we have -- family pieces that are old. The furniture we purchase is always something to go with what we already have, so I guess I'd call it a mix of classic traditional and antique, but very functional. Nothing here is for show, it's all very well used. And nothing here is particularly feminine. I do have a traditional old-fashioned long front porch that I love, all done in white with large hanging baskets of flowers (during our very short summers) and many white wooden rocking chairs.

My work space -- I stamp in the basement in what was built for me as a sewing room 12 years ago, so I do have nice counters and cabinets; however, the cabinets are full of sewing supplies. I have added two individual units called pantry cabinets for my stamps and supplies and have a ton of the plastic units/drawers for accessories, etc. The cabinets and ceramic tile are all white, which brightens it up and last year we installed overhead shop lights. Not the most attractive, but they offer good lighting. I have 2 tables and can seat about 12 comfortably for classes, though I really prefer working with smaller groups of about 6. My work surfaces are usually messy and covered with anything and everything, but I do try to do one thorough clean-up each week, which is always so refreshing!!! I much prefer working on a clean and empty surface.

You are so creative – you don’t just make a cards, but bags, tags and all sorts of coordinating containers – where do you come up with your ideas and how long does it take to make a project?

My ideas come from anywhere and everywhere! I have always loved a beautifully wrapped gift, and I guess my overall feeling is that presentation is everything, which leads to my love of making bags, tags and containers. My eyes are always open, and whether I'm in store, scanning a magazine, or at a friend's house, I just tuck into the back of my mind things that I find appealing and of interest -- colors, shapes, accents, accessories -- inspiration is everywhere -- just keep your eyes open!!!

And how long does it take to make a project -- well, that's a good one -- LOL!!! There are times things go very smoothly and everything just falls into place very quickly; however, there are far MORE times that things don't go so well, and it's just a matter of trial and error until I get it *right*. I have learned to never adhere anything together until I am SURE it's the way I want it. Even the layering of colors -- using the same colors, HOW you layer them can yield such differing results. I just make all my pieces and play with them until I am pleased before I adhere things together.

Tell us your top three tools that you cannot do without.

No. 1 is my old style guillotine table top paper cutter with a full 12 x 12 bed with 1/2" grid lines. I love working on a gridded surface in an effort to help me keep a sense of *straight*, and I know I'm a bit obsessive about that!!! I stand at my counter in front of this paper cutter to do all my final assembly work on it.

No. 2 is a tool that is fairly new to me -- the Scor-Pal. It makes scoring so very simple and quick and I LOVE to use it for dry embossing as well. It's a tool I can't imagine doing without once having it!!!

No. 3 is a tie between my little metal 6" seam guide (a sewing tool -- it's just a small 6" ruler) and baby wipes. LOL!!! Again, my obsessiveness with *straight, square, equal*!!! I'm just a measurer, I can't help it!!! And the baby wipes -- well -- I really dislike a messy work surface, don't like ink of my fingers for fear I'll stain my project, REALLY dislike glitter floating around, etc, etc, -- so the baby wipes are something I am constantly grabbing.

What does your family think about this hobby?

Well, that depends on who you ask and when - LOL!!! Generally speaking they are very supportive, however, this hobby does take a lot of time, especially when you get involved with DT work, Blogging, etc. I am also an active Stampin' UP demo. This all takes away from family time -- there is no question about that. I try very hard to achieve a balance and, quite frankly, I am amazed at my DH's level of tolerance. He realizes how much I truly love what I do and how important it is to me. Gotta love him for that!!!

What is your favorite Flourishes Stamp and why.
My favorite Flourishes Stamp set is Flourished Elements. It is a timeless set in a classic style that I so love!!! It has no theme, no season, no gender. It can be used on any type of project, for any type of person, for any occasion. I love it's beautiful lines and curves, I love that there is a good mix of large and small stamps in the same set, and my favorite stamp within the set is the large corner stamp. This is without a doubt my dream stamp set come true!!! I will use this set FOREVER!!! The project that I am the most excited about having made in a long, long time, is a set of 3 tall, narrow boxes I did with this set. Any project done with this set is guaranteed to be gorgeous -- this is just one of those sets you can't go wrong with!!!

Tell us something we don’t know about you, that we would be surprised to learn.

Well, probably the most unusual thing most of you wouldn't know about me is that I am a cheese maker!!! Not a professional in the dairy type of cheese maker, but an in my kitchen cheese maker. Our area has a predominance of Finnish people, and it is a Finnish cheese that I make. It is unlike most cheeses and is rather hard to describe, but it is a baked cheese, white, soft in comparison to most cheeses, referred to as *squeaky cheese* as it squeaks in your teeth when you chew it, and officially called Juustoa (pronounced *you-stew-a*, accent on the you) in Finnish. So, that's my claim to fame!!!

You can see more of Sharon's beautiful work on the Flourishes Gallery, and be sure to visit her blog, No Time to Stamp for more inspiration, techniques, and challenges.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas To You

From each of us at Flourishes, Jan Marie, Sharon, and Nancy, comes the Warmest of Christmas Greetings!
You have made this a very special and memorable year for us. We want to take a moment to say an all important Thank You for helping us to realize our dream. We are so very grateful to have each of you as our customers .
So from the sunny panhandle of Florida comes the Warmest of Greeting to you and yours. We look forward to 2008 and hope that the New Year will be filled with many blessings for all!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
3 Flourishes
Jan Marie, Sharon, & Nancy

Monday, December 17, 2007

Using Nestabilities in your Cuttlebug - Tutorial

Do you have a Cuttlebug - and you want to buy Nestabilities dies but are not sure how they work together? Well, we have a little video tutorial that will help you understand how these two great products work together. Below is a link to a video tutorial that demonstrates how to use Nestabilities dies in a Cuttlebug - examples are shown on how to cut, how to emboss a cut, and how to emboss a card front. We'll show you what we have learned along the way - so take a look and see how easy it is to combine these two products!


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

New Releases!

We are so excited to release three new sets this month! Take a look at what we have in store for you. The first set, Lace Heart, contains a beautiful heart and more stunning calligraphy, courtesy of Joan Machinchick - the perfect set to tell someone how you feel!

The next two sets, Open to Love and Love Nest are just adorable!! These sets include the artwork of Sophie, the newest addition to the Flourishes team. We think these sets are so cute and can be used for many different occasions.

We hope you take a liking to these new sets - head on over to the boutique and place your order today and while you are there check out the designer gallery. Our designers have been working hard and have made some wonderful creations to get you inspired!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Introducing Sophie!

By now some of you have seen some wonderful, adorable creations by our designers - a little "sneak peek" at sets to be released next week. Two of the sets were made possible by a very talented artist who many of you may know at SCS by the name of SophieLaFontaine.

Sophie started drawing at a very young age because her parents brought home tons of scrap paper and gave her all kinds of pens and pencils. This hobby continued into her school years when she would draw in class instead of paying attention. In 1990 she found some rubber stamps at a store and has been stamping ever since! She lives in the US but her heart is in France. Her blog is Cranky Sophie, but I have never known her to be cranky - just very sweet!! Please join us in welcoming Sophie to the Flourishes team and look for her designs in our new sets next week as well as in future sets.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Introducing our Guest Designer

Flourishes is happy to announce its first guest designer, the talented Lisa Silver. Many of you know Lisa from SCS (aka Silvergirl) or from her blog, Silver Stamping. She lives in Missouri with her husband and two children and works for a chemical company. She described her syle as classic and detailed. Lisa will be designing for us for the next few months - we can't wait to see more of her artwork! Please join us in welcoming Lisa to the Flourishes team.

Fantasy Floral Garden is a Christmas Wreath

Today I am featuring a wreath that I created using the Fantasy Floral Garden Set. I have had this on my mind since the set was released. I have visions that this wreath could be used in many seasons. Sometimes we want a wreath or a swag from a set, using the parts we can create so much more. So today's tutorial will get us started in that direction.

Here are the two images I used from the set.

I also have a new camera. A Cannon Power Shot S5 is great...but as you can see from the photos, I have not mastered the power of this please bear with me.
To Make the Wreath:
I started with a light pencil sketch of a circle the size I wanted my wreath. Light pencil can be easily erased, but in this case I used the line to add more color so I just left it.

Using the vine with outline leaves inked in Hybrid Palette Noir I stamped in the image following the circle.

Then I stamped in the berries. I have actually cut the main flower image from the set removing the lowest group of berries. This is the portion I used. Then I just carefully inking and placing the berries I filled in the inside and outside of the ring. You may not think this looks like much...but hold on and watch the wreath come alive!

Now for the fun...COLORING!

Here is the scheme of colors I used for the green. Remember start light and add darker colors.

First a ring of green to define the area, then adding to the leaves...all in the lightest shade of green.

Then I added the darker green...accenting the lines of the wreath and the leaves....the wreath is just beginning to hold so promise of a nice card. I filled in "dead space on the wreath" with the lightest of the green to make it look fuller and highlighted some of the vines with the darkest green.

Now for the red tones of the berries. Here is my color scheme.

Again starting with the light pink I colored in all the berries.

Then added the brightest shade of red.
Now the darkest shade of red. Shading adds such depth to our projects. Try keeping the darkest colors in the same area. On mine in is from about 3 o' clock to 6 o'clock on the circle.

Ok...It is beginning to look like a Christmas wreath. But oh my, it needs some glisten. The Sakura iridescent jelly roll made that easy. I trimmed the image down to 4 inches square, then using the SU corner notch punch I added some interest on the corners. I added a layer of black and attached it on the diagonal, so I could use it for this weeks card sketch challenge at SCS. The red ribbon is a nice touch, it is the sentiment which came from the Rejoice set (Flourishes,llc).

So this it finished.....not so hard.

Supplies Used:
Fantasy Floral Gardens
SU Handsome Hunter, Shimmery White, Black
Hybrid Palette-Noir
Copic Markers
Sakura Jelly Roll Iridescence

Monday, December 3, 2007

Flourishes, llc Sponsoring Card Positioning System

We are so pleased to sponsor the Card Positioning System, hosted by Tami Mayberry. She hosts a great blog that challenge stampers each week. The designers are "fantabulous"! Please visit the site for the great cards that will be featured this week. The Fantasy Floral Garden set is also a featured special this week. It's an any occasion set that allows you to color, dream, and use great fonts in the sentiments of the set.

The card I designed for today is an earthy mix of White, Creamy Carmel, and Basic Grey. I just love the look of the Grey Suede Flannel and Camel mixture...the white gives a crisp clean look. The image was stamped in SU Basic Grey and colored in with Copics (and one Panatone marker-the square one) all in the beige tones as seen here.
I highlighted with the Copic Metallic Markers that take this card to a new level. The pretty scalloped edges are actually a piece of the May Arts Black scalloped edge ribbon that we carry in our Ribbonere at the Flourishes store front. It just adds a feminine and soft edge to a dreamy card.

Please join me and the other Flourishes in this exciting challenge with Card Positioning Systems....upload your cards and, of course, sent them to us so we can add your cards to our gallery.


jan marie

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Flourishes sponsors Card Positioning Systems

Flourishes is happy to announce that it is sponsoring the card sketch at Card Positioning Systems this week! Each week CPS posts a sketch and invites you to submit your card. The talented CPS designers are using the Fantasy Floral Garden set and are making some lovely creations - please visit the site and show them your card!

To go along with sketch, the featured product on the Flourishes Boutique is the Fantasy Floral Garden combo kit. This kit contains the Fantasy Floral Garden stamp set, a pad of Basic Grey Infuse 6 x 6 pad and two yards of coordinating ribbon. This set is very versatile and works so well with the Infuse paper.