Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cake Decorating - February Contest!!

Everybody likes cake, right? We are celebrating cake and cake decorating during the month of February with a great contest!! To enter, submit a link with a card you made with the Cake Decorating 101 stamp set in the comments section of this post.

What? You don’t have the Cake Decorating 101 Set????
Well, we’ll make it easy for you – this set will be on sale for 15% off the regular price for the entire month of February!! AND – if you place an order with Flourishes for anything during the month of February, we will include a little something extra in your order!! What little something? You’ll have to order to find out!!

Now, this is a contest, so there has to be PRIZES, right? At the end of the month we will randomly select one person to receive the Flourishes stamp set of their choice – yes – the winner will choose their own prize!! BUT – we can’t wait until the end of the month to give away prizes, so throughout the month of February we will randomly select from the links you have posted and give away other prizes. (hmmm...let's see, Mardi Gras is next Tuesday, you think that may be a good day for a give away?) So, if you’ve already made cards with the cake set then let us see the link – enter as often as you want!! It will be month long celebration so join in the fun!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Stamp Set Giveaway!!

Pat H. from the Technique Junkies Newsletter is giving away a Flourishes Stamp set on her blog! Check out the details here!
Flourishes is happy to be a sponsor of the Technique Junkies Newsletter - more details about this great resource can be found on Pat's blog.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Designer Spotlight - Lisa Silver

This weeks Designer Spotlight is on the creative work of Lisa Silver.

For three years Lisa Silver has been putting ink to paper and creating such beautiful cards and other stamped items while making it look like she has been stamping much longer. She started stamping when a friend invited her to an in-home demonstration which she could not attend, but wanted to support her friend and ordered a stamp set. The rest, she says, is history! She’s been published in The Rubber Stamper and has two pending creations Lisa lives in Missouri with her husband and two children.

Please describe your style:
I tend to think my style follows classic lines. I love to do precision cutting for dimensional designs. I try to review each design for balance. I consider my self detail oriented.

What are your goals or dreams as a designer?
I have always been interested in being part of Design Teams and being published. I think that’s the standard… but ultimately, I want to be known for my style, sought because of the ability to execute and valued for my design ideas. It’s a tough dream to realize since there is so much talent in this field. But, I plan to continuously learn, work to improve.
Do you sketch your projects?
I often have the layout already in mind, but will rarely draw it out first. The only time I sketch prior to working is if I dream the card. My most creative moments are just before I go to sleep… I daydream card designs. LOL! My husband is used to me flipping on the light to make notes. Poor man!
Do you have a favorite color? And a least favorite?
My usual go to color is Rose, but lately, I’ve been drawn to the colors of nature – rich browns and golds.
Bright colors are a challenge for me. I think the traditional jewel tones or earth tones are more my style.
What three tools can you not live without?
My piercing tool/mat, a ruler, and my heat gun are all essentials.
What would you say is your best creative time of day?
I work during the day, so my free time is in the evenings. I try to stamp every evening and on the weekends.
Do you snack while you work?
Not really. I’m always worried I’ll mess up a project from snacking. LOL!
Music, TV, or Silence?
Hmmm… are kids a choice for noise? No??? My preference is a bit of music, although I tend not to hear it when I’m concentrating. Otherwise, the kids turn on the TV in my stamping room and watch something on Disney Channel (or is it the Hannah Montana Channel) or play Nintendo.

What first sparked your interest in paper crafts?
Ive always loved paper and school supplies. My grandma would take my brother and I shopping at the dime store (sheesh I feel old… dime stores?) and would let us pick anything we wanted. My brother would buy some junky toy and I would buy notebooks and pens. Even with that said, I love making something that I can share with others.
What is the most exciting moment in your life to date?
One of the most amazing things I’ve ever done in my life was to have an after hours tour of the Louvre museum in Paris. I was there in October 2006 for a work function and had the opportunity to attend an exclusive supplier event. After a fabulous dinner, we were taken to the Louvre (it was nearly 10 pm at this point) and walked through several galleries to recreate The DiVinci Code book / movie. I will never forget getting to stand only feet away from the Mona Lisa – only 10 other people near me. It was something that I will never forget.
What have you not tried that you always thought it would be fun to do at least once?
I’m not really an adventurous soul… scuba-diving is the extent of daredevil for me. On the other hand, I’d love to be on the Amazing Race just once... to have the chance to see the world.
And lastly, Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us!

I graduated from college with a BS in Chemistry. I worked in a lab for several years and then decided to be on the business side of things by becoming a buyer of chemicals. I now run a Sourcing service as part of a Chemical company, interfacing with pharmaceutical companies, for integrated supply chain management. I’m not sure if it’s surprising… LOL!

To see more of Lisa's work, visit her blog, Silver Stamping and her Flourishes Designer Gallery.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lace Heart and Nestabilities Combo Kit (SOLD OUT)


Do you like Hearts? We created our Lace Heart stamp set to coordinate with the Classic Heart Nestabilities dies and we have combined the two, along with some great paper for a perfect kit! The Lace Heart Combo kit contains the Lace Heart Stamp set, the Classic Heart Nestabilities dies and 5 sheets each of red metallic and white shimmery card stock. We have a limited supply of these kits so visit the store and click on "card making kits" to place your order.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Nestabilities are in stock!!

Just yesterday we received our replenishment order of Nestabilities so we now have the circles, squares, ovals, rectangles and now the HEART shapes!! These are the standard hearts, the scalloped hearts are still on backorder. Take a look at this heart set - we designed our Lace Heart stamp to fit perfectly with the Nestabilities. This pretty wedding card Jan Marie did uses both the Lace Heart stamp set and the Heart nestabilites. As you can see, the stamp set is not just for valentine's, but can be used for weddings, anniversary, or any "love" theme. The Nestabilities are found in the Flourishes on line boutique under "Spellbinders".

In the store we also have the tan mats and white spacer plates that can be used with the Nestability dies.

If you have a Cuttlebug and are unsure how to use the Nestabilities in the bug, check out this post here, which is a short video tutorial of how these two products work together.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Splitcoast Stampers Member Comapny!

Flourishes is happy to announce that we are now a Member Company on Splitcoast Stampers!
To celebrate this announcement we are offering our Flourished Words set and Basic Grey Infuse paper for 15% off! This sale will begin on Wednesday, January 16 and continue through Saturday or until our stock runs out. The sale is limited to stock on hand so act now to get these savings!
We are so happy to be a part of this great community and hope you will stop by our on-line boutique and see what we have to offer.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Designer Spotlight - Leslie Miller

This week's deigner spotlight in on the very creative Leslie Miller from Oregon.

Leslie has been stamping and papercrafting for ten years. She is a Stampin' Up demonstrator, a Dirty Dozen Team alumni, has been published in Stampers Sampler and is a guest designer for Scor Pal. She works full time in a medical laboratory and in her spare time Leslie enjoys tending her large ornamental garden, reading and going to movies. She and her family live in Oregon.

Not only is Leslie an accomplished stamper, but if you checked out her blog, Running with Scissors, you will also see that her talents extend to an extraordinary garden and her ability to photograph it like a pro. Her attention to detail is inspirational - she researched what the color of the birds eggs should be in this lovely card.

Which do you prefer - gardening or stamping?
That's a tough question! I'd have to say it's 50/50. Being in the garden is such a full experience, almost spiritual. The outdoors have a way of adjusting my perspective on life and my place in the world. The garden, at times, seems to almost overfill my senses. It's a seasonal and weekend activity, though, whereas stamping can be enjoyed year round, whether I have uninterrupted time or I have to approach it a little here and a little there. Both hobbies allow me the pleasure of working with design and color and that is pure delight for me.

It’s obvious that nature is the inspiration for some of your artwork and you have an entire color wheel at your fingertips in your backyard. What advice can you offer stampers who struggle with color combinations?
You're absolutely right, there are many times I'm inspired by a color combo in the garden. The best inspiration comes from plant and flower combinations that occur naturally. Nature seems to know exactly which shade of green to pair with a particular bloom color. A wild iris, for instance, is a perfect combo of purple, yellow and green with a pop of white. You could have disastrous results with a purple, yellow and green color combo if you didn't get it just right.
Short of planting a garden or wandering through nature jotting down notes, a color wheel is a wonderful tool. If you Google search "color wheel" you can find a lot of good information about combining colors. You'll see a picture of a color wheel, too. If you use Stampin' Up! products their color wheel is a "must have" when you're stuck or just need to make a quick decision.
When I use designer papers they'll determine my color combo. Even still, there will be multiple choices as to which color should dominate, etc. It depends on the look you desire or which color feels best to you, the individual. Also, you have to look at the hue of a particular color. It's rather like a big box of color crayons -- is this violet-blue or violet-red? Even a seemingly neutral color, like beige or tan, can have subtle undertones. Does it lean toward pink? Or gold?
Here's an idea I learned at a Stampin' Up! seminar, which I haven't done, myself, but it sounds like fun: Punch one circle or square of every color in your cardstock arsenal. Store them all loosely in a container. When you're ready to play around with a color combo dump them all out on your table and shuffle them around. Keep an eye out for an appealing group of three colors that fall next to each other. You may be surprised! I saw this demonstrated and it really works.
An entire book could be written about the use of color, but since we don't have room for that here I hope these little tidbits of information are helpful to someone.

Tell us how you go about creating something. Do you sketch out your projects first? Late night or early morning stamper? How many hours a day/week do you spend stamping?

A card will begin with either a stamp or an accessory and the rest will flow from there. I may have a certain designer paper I'd like to use and I'll select a stamp that looks good with it. It may be a ribbon or a button that gets me started. As for the layout, sometimes I pull scrap pieces from my scrap drawer and those sizes and shapes, along with the size and shape of the stamp, will be the beginning of a layout. Even if I don't use those particular scraps, they may serve as stand-ins for the real thing. Just for fun I'll occasionally design a sketch on my computer. I'll use Picture It (graphics program) to place different shapes on a card-sized area. I can move them around and resize them as necessary. I use varying shades of gray for the shapes. I don't do this at the moment I'm ready to stamp a card. Rather, it's a completely separate activity I'll play around with when I feel like being creative but don't necessarily feel quite up to stamping.
Late night or early morning stamping? Well, I love to get up in the morning, pour a cup of coffee and go straight to my stamp room. However, I have to go to work five days a week so I usually wind up stamping in the evenings (but not too late) and when I can find time on the weekends. I have a hard time with creativity when I have chores on my mind, so even on the weekends I'll want to do the housework and run the errands before I get to my stamp room. It's a blissful day, for sure, when the planets align in such a way that I'm able to stamp in the mornings!
I've never thought about how many hours a day or week I spend stamping but my best guess would be about 4 - 8 hours per week when you factor in my 15 minute breaks at work that I usually spend on some form of stamping activity. I rarely ever find enough uninterrupted time to do a project start to finish in one sitting. Sad, but true

Your blend of colors is wonderful, Are there any colors or color combinations that are difficult for you?
Oh, gosh! I love all colors but the ones I find most difficult to work with are bright or primary colors. They're jarring to my senses and I have to be in a certain mood to work with them. That's not to say I don't like bright colors, but I have to combine them with other families to tone them down somehow. I'll use a hot pink with chocolate brown or olive green to warm it up, for instance. Or if I toss some black in with those primary colors it will help make them more tolerable, even likable.

“Running with Scissors” is your blog name, Fess up – do you? How did that name come about?
Figuratively speaking, I do run with scissors and that's pretty much how my blog name came about. I wanted something besides "stamps", "paper" or "ink" in my title so I thought, hmmmmm...what else do we use when we stamp? Oh! How about scissors? Well, what should I say about scissors? That's when I wryly thought about running with scissors because it seems like I'm always in such a hurry. So there it is. I don't like to hurry. It's completely against my nature, but we do what we have to or we don't do it at all. I can't imagine not stamping simply because I think I don't have time for it. I make time!

Tell us one thing about yourself that we don’t know that would surprise us.
Let's former creative interest was in sewing. I sewed my own clothes. I sewed curtains and throw pillows and other home decor items to match. I quit sewing clothes when I found out how much fun it was to sew craft items. Eventually my focus was primarily on dolls of all kinds. I designed my own patterns--wrote out the directions, drew the pattern pieces, photographed the projects and packaged them up for sale. I daydreamed about sewing and designing craft projects. When I started stamping in earnest I lost interest in sewing. I tried to do both and I felt sad about my stamping usurping something I'd been so passionate about before. It wasn't that I had to make a choice due to time constraints. I simply no longer had a desire to sew, not even on cards. I finally quit fighting it and put the sewing machine away in the closet to make room for more stamping supplies.

Please be sure to visit Leslie’s Flourishes Gallery and her blog Running With Scissors for more inspiration.

Friday, January 11, 2008

New Sets are in!!

Time to Party - Mardi Gras style!! Flourishes new sets are released today - the first is a fun, party filled set just in time for Mardi Gras. This set contains masks with feathers and streamers, regal crowns, a cool jazz dance band and a beautiful Fleur-de-lis stamp. We've also included some sentiments to round out this set. Break out your purple, green and gold paper and inks and let the good times roll!

The second set is Harlequin and Accessories - a new contemporary twist on this classic design. Use the harlequin by itself, or dress it up with the smaller accessory stamps. This is one design that will be in style for years.

Finally, we have the new Basic Grey paper - Two Scoops in stock. This fun 6 x 6 pad of paper is loads of fun!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Customer Spotlight

In addition to our Designer Spotlights, Flourishes will be doing spotlights on some of our customers as well. These may be stampers you know well, or others that may be up and coming "stars"! Either way, we would like to show you their work and tell you a little bit about them.

Velta Wesson is a lovely lady from Montgomery Alabama. She is a mom to a 30 year old daughter who is her pride and joy. She has an Australian Shepherd named 'Piper,' who is also her best friend. She loves all kinds of art and has tried many of them...sewing, crocheting, knitting, ceramics, calligraphy, painting, and card making. She works as a full-time writer/paralegal analyst and card making is her passion. She has also worked as a graphic designer for a magazine in Montgomery.

We first saw Velta’s work when, while working in the Flourishes Studio, the mail arrived with a package containing some of the most beautiful Christmas cards we’ve seen. All work stopped and we just drooled over cards that were created on beautiful metallic paper, adorned with rhinestones and embossed in gorgeous glitter. We could not believe she would send us these cards, that obviously had taken some time to make.

Please tell us how you became interested in stamping and what do you like most about it?

I began making cards in 2005. I wanted to make a handmade card for my best friend. The card was passed around the office where I work and everyone was really going on and on about how beautiful it was. To me it is like therapy and I love giving handmade cards to the people I care for. Just to see the looks on their faces makes me happy. I became interested in stamping in late 2005, when I was looking at some stamps at A.C. Moore. There was a woman beside me and I asked her if she knew much about stamping. She handed me her card and it read that she was a Stampin Up demonstrator. From then on, I was addicted. Stamping relaxes me and it is rewarding as well. There is no feeling like giving. It takes so much more love and thoughtfulness to make a gift for someone. The time and effort spent hopefully is worth it when you see the joy in the eyes of the person when they realize they have received such a personal expression of love.

How would you describe your stamping style?

As for my stamping style, I love anything elegant and have always believed that “simple is elegant.” I get disappointed when I overdo embellishing my work, and I have tossed many a card in the trash because of this. When I was 17 years old, I was watching the ladies at a local department store wrapping presents; and it came to me that packaging and presentation was key to what sells. If you have a beautiful package it makes what is inside more interesting. I began making my own bows for packages at that time because it made the present so much more special.

Do you sketch out your projects ahead of time?

I sometimes sketch out my projects ahead of time when I get an idea of what embellishments would go well with patterned paper. However, that is rare. Most of the time I go with the stamp I am using and the ideas just revolve around the stamp. It seems that I fancy spontaneity.

Your Christmas cards used metallic card stock, rhinestones, and glitter embossing powder and you made them look soft and elegant, a real challenge when using these types of materials – how were you able to accomplish this?

I love “sparkly!” What better way to show that than to use Swarovsky Crystals, metallic card stock and embossing powder. It helps with the color coordination that I come up with in each and every card I make. Of course, Flourishes stamps beg for embossing powder and crystals, which is one reason I am so passionate about your stamps. I have had comments on my site that range from stunning, beautiful, and gorgeous. I mean “wow” I hope these people realize how wonderful that makes me feel. I create what I feel at the time.

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

I have a passion for giving and sharing what I do. It is what makes me stop and think that my life is truly full. I made Barbie and Ken doll clothes for years, and the beauty of that intricate work was really appreciated by my daughter and my niece. I also made them Halloween costumes, fake fur wraps, jewelry, and many other “girly” things. I believe that they harbored everything that I made for them when they were growing up and my talent for making these items has metamorphosed into my current art. I also play guitar.

When I was in college, I wrote poetry and I still have that 3-ring binder of my own verses. When I make my cards, I also write my own sentiments for the inside of the card. To make it look professional, I use my computer to print these verses on a separate piece of paper and then glue that paper inside the card I have made. This is just another added indulgence that I enjoy.

You can see more of Velta's lovely cards on her blog Impressions by V.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Please visit Sharon D's blog - Sewflake Creations - she is offering some wonderful blog candy!!