When did you first come across paper flowers?
I first saw roses and other cardstock flowers available as SVG files for my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine. I played around with them for a few years before seeing some crepe paper bouquets on Pinterest. It was several months before my daughters’ wedding, and when I showed them to her she didn’t hesitate to give me full creative license in making the wedding bouquets. She had faith in me that I could do it and not embarrass her, LOL.
Did you find that it was an easy transition to paper considering your crafty background?
Not at all. The crepe paper was a learning curve, and still is. But I think as a creative you know your skills well enough that jumping into a new medium is natural at some points along your journey. Plus, I don’t give up easily. I love learning new things!
What is your favorite type of paper to work with and why?
I stayed away from fine crepe for a long time, thinking that it was so delicate and would be difficult to work with. So at first I used only 180 gram Italian crepe. Then I found doublet, then 60gram Italian. Recently I tried Lia Griffith fine crepe and was hooked. To be honest, I didn’t want to like it! I held off ordering it for a long time, only because I already had so much Italian paper. But once you use Lia’s paper, you are hooked. It’s just a soft buttery texture and much more stretch than its Italian counterpart. I feel like it’s more forgiving and malleable than any other paper. I really hope she plans on selling single color rolls though.
If you could walk us in to your studio right now, what three words would best describe the space?
Bright, Peaceful, Messy today, clean tomorrow, messy the next day….
How long did you make paper flowers before you tried to sell your first one?
Probably about 6 months.
Do you prefer to be botanically correct with your flowers or give them a special artistic twist?
It depends. I certainly am not as botanically correct as a Tiffany Turner flower, but I like them to look somewhat realistic. I especially like the colors to be close to natural.
I usually describe them as fine art with a bit of whimsy at times.
Where do you live and what is your favorite part about it?
I live in a town that is literally named Littlestown Pennsylvania. I usually tell people Gettysburg, because that is more recognizable and very close. I’m only about a mile from Maryland, which is where I grew up. I love the countryside that is all around us. It’s beautiful with lots of barns, historic houses, horse farms, rolling hills, and Civil War history.
When you are in an artistic rut, how do you recharge yourself to get creativity flowing again?
I take a break. Sometimes it’s just a day, other times a week. I am not a gardener so I scour Pinterest and Intagram for pictures of flowers for inspiration. Usually after a few days I miss creating so much, I get back in the groove.
Do you have a memorable client that you will never forget? Can you tell us about them? Honestly, I haven’t been promoting my business enough to have had many clients. Social media is a double edged sword for me. Mostly my sales have been to friends of friends and a few FB customers here and there.
What do you do while you make flowers? Watch tv, listen to music or podcasts? Do tell all the details!
I love a good documentary. I just finished watching (listening mostly) to “The Staircase”, a true life murder mystery. Before that I watched “Wild, Wild, Country” about a cult in rural Oregon in the 1980’s. And I must admit to tuning into Days of Our Lives on occasion. My Pandora playlist is an odd mix of Motown and Country music.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice while first starting your paper flower journey, what would it be?
That’s a hard one. I certainly wish I had found other paper flower friends sooner. It was all trial and error at first, with no one really to give me honest feedback. I guess I would try to not compare myself to other artists, and to keep reminding myself the process of learning is sometimes the best part.
What are you most grateful for in your life right now?
I’m most grateful for my faith. It carries me through anything that comes my way, and is what keeps me grounded in this crazy world. Next is my family. They are so supportive and have always recognized that I need a creative outlet. I have known my husband since 7th grade, and we still like and love each other after 36 years of marriage. He encourages me no matter what I’m making, and my daughters are awesome cheerleaders. I’m blessed beyond measure!
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