How long have you been making paper flowers and where did you first come across them?
My first attempt at making crepe paper flowers was earlier this year when I came across Lia Griffith crepe paper in the store. I purchased a package and started playing around with it and LOVED it!
I know you are a woman of many talents, can you tell us all of the lovely creations that you make?!
Sure! So since 2012 I've hand painted canvas shoes and have been full time with that since 2014. In the past few years I have also started creating feather earrings from embroidery thread. At the end of 2018, I plan to stop painting on shoes and go full time with the embroidery thread earrings and crepe paper flowers.
As a multi talented crafter, did you find it easy to tackle paper flowers?
Yes. I'm determined and love tedious work, so to have something like this that gives a beautiful result is even better. It also helps keep my creative flow going, because I tend to get bored with something if I work on it for too long, so it's nice to be able to jump around to different mediums of art. I see making flowers as a puzzle, and love figuring out how to recreate something so delicate from nature.
What is your favorite flower to make so far?
Hm... I haven't had the chance to create too many, yet, BUT at the beginning of the summer, I purchased some marigolds to plant in the yard and decided to challenge myself to recreate one. I clipped one off the plant, then dissected it, taking photos at each stage so I could look back and successfully make one from crepe paper. And it WORKED!! It took a few hours, but I got it to look pretty similar to the real thing.
How is working from home? Do you have and pros or cons you can share?
Oh there are for SURE pros and cons. As an introvert, I love my alone time and working at my own pace, but it also makes it hard to meet people face to face and create relationships beyond the computer screen. I love that I can wake up, have a cup of coffee and some Jesus time, then get to work on whatever it is that needs to be done each day. But the fact that my studio is in my home, means I'm usually "working" until I go to bed, so I don't have a cut off time each day that I put my "work" aside. What I do is what I love, though, so I don't really see it as work.
If you could walk us in to your crafting are right now, what would it be like?
I would tell you to please excuse the art explosion... I'm a messy worker, so if you ever see a clean studio photo of mine, please know that that's not what it usually looks like! I typically have multiple projects going on at all times and at all different stages, so I'll have earrings being worked on, shoes half painted, and of course, a vase of crepe paper flowers on my desk, as well! My favorite part of my studio is my "maker wall" where I have pieces from maker friends carefully hung for inspiration!
Do you have any techniques that you have transferred over to paper flowers from your other crafts?
I'd say blending is a big part of the flowers that I've created so far, whether it's blending different colors of crepe paper, painting on the paper, or using pan pastels to get the color I'm looking for and the depth to make them look as real as possible. I'm all for realism and originality in any work that I create, flowers or not.
What do you do while you work? Do you have a list of tv shows, podcasts or playlists that you indulge in?
I LOVE listening to the Journeywomen podcast or to audiobooks that are checked out from the library. I've had the chance to listen to a lot of classics that I've never read, that way, and I'm so thankful that our local library offers so many!
What advice would you give to someone just starting out on their art or craft selling business?
Be patient. Building an art business takes a lot of blood, sweat and, yes, even tears, at least in my case! Don't get frustrated when things don't grow as fast as you think it should, and don't give up on your dreams. You've been given your dreams for a reason; the world needs your dreams to become reality. Even if your dream "only" brings joy to someone's life, I'd call that a win, because the world could always use more joy. Keep working to make your craft the best it can be.
Where do you find inspiration?
Travel and nature. I love to travel, especially when it involves getting out in nature and experiencing the beauty that the world has to offer.
When you hit a wall in your creativity, what gets you recharged and ready to create again?
I find that my walls come when my shop is the busiest, so taking a break, even if for a few hours, or a day or two to not think about what I have to get done and then browsing work by other makers is usually what gives me the inspiration I need to keep going.
Is there anything that you are super excited about in your life right now?
I have a dream that keeps me excited! It's to have a VW bus that I can take to the local Farmer's Market to sell my crepe paper flowers from! Can I drive stick? No. Do I have funds for a bus? Nope. Do I have crepe paper flower inventory to sell? Nope! All minor details, my friends. ;) Do all of these things keep me from dreaming and working towards that goal? Oh heck no, because I want that dream to become reality!
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We all have something in common, our love for paper floristry. Let's get to know each other a bit more, meet artists from all over the world in every walk of life!