Archive for October, 2007

Merry, Merry Bright Gift Packages


Last night I was working in the Atelier and thought it was time for a really merry and bright fun card.  So pulling out my Flourishes O Christmas Tree set I started to work.  I think this card turned out just as bright and merry as I could have wanted.  I planned this card to have a fun and easy style but knew to achieve the desired look would require me to work efficiently and use planning for things to work out smoothly.  The packages were stamped onto SU Whisper White.

o-christmas-tree-mask-and-images2.jpgI started by making a mask using the package images from the set.  To make this even easier I placed each of the package images at opposite ends of the acrylic block. The insert photo shows both of the mask images and the placement for the package images.  I found after the photo was taken that it was easier to stamp if the tops of each of the packages faced the edge of the stamp rather than as is shown in the photo–just rotate one of them to this position.  This facilitated not having to reposition the images for the repetitive stamping.  I placed the card stock on my gridded stamping mat and used another strip of masking tape to keep a straight line to guide me and to keep the card stock in the same position. I stamped the first image, then covered it with the mask, then I switched to the alternate images on the acrylic block.  Remember, I am only rotating the acrylic block…the stamps stay in their original position–they are on opposite ends of the block.  Now simply moving the masks down the row I continued until I had all the images in a pleasing arrangement.


Now the fun began.  I colored in the images using my Copic markers, Copic Iridescent markers and one SU marker, Green Galore.  I highlighted the bow of the packages with my Jelly roll iridescent pen.

The images were cut and a tiny border of black was added, the background paper was another fun touch and it too was bordered in black.  The green ribbon was actually attached to a strip of green card-stock to make the color more intense.  The sentiment was stamped onto the ribbon and a sassy bow was the last of my fun touches for today.

From the Atelier…


jan marie

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This card is a simple easy kind of elegance that is the bearer of great news for all of us.  We’ve all been awaiting the return to our shop of the Flourished Christmas stamp set . It had sold out in a flash before our very eyes!  As you can imagine there was a huge sigh and happy dance when the delivery truck pulled up in the driveway…oh how we love that man in the brown truck!

This card literally made itself. I had papers for several projects sitting on the table….when this sortta just jumped at me.  So I ran with it. It was definitely not what I had in mind…..but love how it turned out.

Supplies for this simple card are:

Papers: SU-Old Olive, Soft Sky; Basic Grey-Blittzen collection paper called Velvet Stocking.

Ink: Encore Gold

Ribbon is one of the spool ribbons from Micheal’s…it does not look like it in the picture but it is a perfect match.

So now I really need to get back to work in the Atelier.



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A Dear Friend Returns


Today will be a different day in the Atelier….for an old friend has come back and I feel that it is a great time to pause and take notice.  So I won’t share stamping projects today but I will share…share things that are dear to my heart.  There are people and things that make a lasting impression on your life.  Some of these people and things remain constant parts of our lives, others are intersections, and yet others are dear to us and then leave us.  But the impact, learning, and exchanges that take place forever change us.  From the Atelier today I wish to share the return of an old friend, memories of a past friend.

Many years ago two such events took place in my life. The very first edition of Victoria magazine was released in 1987.  Each and every month brought new aspects of life of another time…yet it guided us in ways to impart these gracious aspects into living today.  In 2003 I was so saddened to get a notice in the mail that Victoria would cease publication.  Four empty years and then the notice that it would return…elation, exuberance, and exhilaration almost euphoric sensations took hold of me. 

In its new form, Victoria, magazine will one again takes it place as the official guide to gracious living. marcy-victoria-returns.jpg

Founded in 1987 by Nancy Lindemeyer, Victoria was the authority on romantic living,  home and garden, fashion and beauty, food, home decorating, collectibles, and profiles of remarkable women. Its mission was to create a community of kindred spirits – those who recognize the importance of beauty, manners, and tradition in our daily life.

Victoria Magazine featured, I believe in it’s debut issue,  Georgia Vance, a very remarkable woman.  This gracious lady was a wife of a retired US Army officer (like me), and was our nation’s leading authority on dried flowers.  Some of her magnificent arrangements decorated the Diplomatic Receptions rooms of the US State Department and famous homes and palaces.  She lectured nationally and conducted workshops at her farm in Virginia. 

I was living in Germany employed by the US Army at this time but was most fortunate when I was back in the states and got a copy of Victoria magazine’s first publication.  For the next two years I had friends send me the magazine, from which I devoured each and every detail.  Being a “Southern lady” I love all aspects of gracious living on a daily basis.  The magazine so impacted my life that in the summer of 1991 when Michael and I married, I incorporated many aspects of Victorian living in the Victorian lawn party we hosted for our Wedding Celebration.  We had letterpressed invitations and I had the pleasure of meeting two wonderfully talented ladies that introduced me to the world of print pressing in the traditional manner. 

That year brought many other changes into my life.  I left government service and began  to study floral design.  I had the best of teachers in Michael Polychrome and yes, you guessed it…Georgia Vance.  I also met Joan Machinchick, a master calligrapher, whose work Flourishes,llc is proud to share with people through our stamps.  In a sense my own Pandora’s Box had been opened.  A metamorphosis had begun.

I had the pleasure of attend a long weekend workshop at Georgia Vance’s elegant farm home in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  There is no way I can possibly impart the impression of that time with this gracious and talented lady and her sister Lurena Mae Shank.  To learn floral design was my intent…my reason for being there.  Oh, but what I came away with was so much more.  You see, Georgia Vance embodied all the gracious aspects of life and elegant living into everyday living.  Classes came with morning coffee, and afternoon tea no styro cup here…beautiful porcelain cups, silver trays, small croissants, and linen napkins.  Each meal there was a treat, each different, each special, each with the correct but unimposing elements of china and crystal. Each and every detail was attended to, but never did I feel overwhelmed or as if I had come unknowing of these aspects of life.  For Georgia Vance, it was her way of life.  Her teaching manner was the same way.  I could expound for long periods over all I learned there and took away with me.  When I was ready to travel home I called Mike.  He asked how it had been, what I had learned..I was exuberant and announced that now I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up (I was no spring chick at this time)…I wanted to be a Georgia Vance!  She remains my internal bar of excellence, my inspiration in being a teacher, and mentor that has given me a torch to carry and pass on to those that travel days and time with me.

I talked with Georgia sometime in 2000.  We had a lovely chat and I told her of my dream of the Studio, my Atelier and Flourishes, that flowers would for me become an ad-vocation rather than a vocation…she told me that she felt life would be good.  It was our last chat.  Georgia Vance died at the age of 94 in Nov 2002.  We had walked our days together. 

My passion for teaching, work in the Atelier, the smell of the inks when I silk screen, the feel of a stamp in my hand, the thrill at the stages of conceptulizing  a drawing and then bringing it to becoming a stamp that others will then impart their personal touch in their artistic expression, to bring together another community of kindred spirits…they are all part of my very core. 

This week when this new re-introduction finally came I was thrilled.  A elegant friend had returned.  Phyllis Norton Hoffman has returned our Victoria.  The magazine is as elegant in photos and execution–it is as if it had never ceased to be…..perhaps even if it was only in our hearts and soul, it had not!  For it is as beautiful and wonderful as ever.  The photographs are beautiful, pages so inspiring, a sense of joy and beauty abounds…it is Victoria!  Thank you Phyllis Norton Hoffman and Hoffman Media,LLC.  Let the ball begin for this princess!

Then truly surprised as I leafed thru Victoria’s new pages  I found even more to cherish– for a young friend of mine now graced a page in Victoria.  Could this be?  Could it be that twice, in both of the first releases 1987 and 2007, of Victoria would be remarkable women that greatly touched my life? First, Georgia Vance and now in it’s rebirth of Victoria a friend would grace the inaugural pages of Victoria.  This talented lady, Marcella Hawley, is a dear and special friend to Flourishes,llc.  Please come back tomorrow when I will share that  with you from here at the Atelier.

Ciao for now.

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What?  No picture from the Atelier today?  Tha’s right….I’m saving them to upload tomorrow on SCS….Are you going to join me in “Flourishing” SCSland?  I sure hope so!

1.  Upload your card to SCS using your Flourishes stamps, use the keywords: SYS or Flourishes Strut Your Stuff.

2.  Copy and past the link to your gallery in an email along with you snail mail address to flourishesll2@cox.net

3.  Each and every submission will receive a small gift from Flourishes,llc…and there will be other prizes and one grand prize.

 Here are the restrictions….your uploads must be done in the 24 hours of Wed, 17th Oct and sent to Flourishes in that time period…Period that’s it!

 See you tomorrow…when I too will be there to STRUT MY STUFF!


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Strut Your Stuff!!!


The BUZZ is all about STRUT YOUR STUFF!

 We are counting down to a great day for Flourishes as we host a very special program on SCS, Wednesday, 17 October 2007.  For 24 hours you are invited to upload your cards made using ANY Flourishes,llc stamp set. After you upload your photo, send the link to your card on SCS to Flourishes  (flourishesllc@cox.net) with your name and address. Flourishes will send you a gift for uploading your card.  We will also be giving away some nice gifts for persons selected randomly.  Please  link your cards to SYS (Strut Your Stuff) so we can link up easily.  Please help us to spread the word about the fun and rewarding day for everyone that uploads a card.

For this Saturday card I did a novel color combination.  Basic Grey designer paper, Velvet Stocking was perfect.  I used the Christmas Tree from Flourished Christmas and stamped in Encore Gold ink on Stampin Up’s Soft Sky added a layer of Old Olive, then placed the designer paper on a base card of Old Olive.  The sentiment “Noel” is also stamped in the Encore Gold and is also from the Flourished Christmas set.   To trim out the card I found a ribbon that I had gotten from Michael’s some time ago.  In the photo the colors don’t look exactly the same…but in person OH MY, it is a match made in heaven!

Thank you for stopping in the Atelier today.  Now I want all of you to get your cards ready to “Strut Your Stuff”! (SYS)  on SCS Wed, 17 Oct 2007….let’s see how many cards we can spotlight and highlight on SCS’s busiest day of the week…..they will think they got Flourished!


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Rejoice is Released!


Come in to the Atelier.  I have something I want to share with you.

I can say that a real sense of  joy prevails today as Flourishes has finally released Rejoice.  This is our final set of the holiday season for this year.  We think it is great!

This angel is so soft and feminine and I wanted just the right card to showcase her in her in a royal and majestic way.

The angel is stamped on white cardstock with SU’s Sky Blue.  The Alleluia sentiment was stamped in Versamark and heat embossed with Gold Glory embossing powder…..Simple and elegant.

Two cardstock layers were added, first the Sky Blue and second the brushed metallic gold.   Flourishes carries a wonderful line of these metallic papers that are perfect for this holiday season.  The card is based on a Basic Grey designer paper, Dasher.  The color is just the perfect combination with the Sky Blue ink and cardstock.

The only other ornamentation was the addition of a small faux bow on an angle in the left corner and a strip that run along the top of the card.

It is amazing how soft and lovely this card turned out.  Just as majestic as I imagine the herald angels must have been on that first Christmas night. 

Thanks for visiting the Atelier today.


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To Imitate Art


This is so BIG!  All the more for you to see my dear!

I love it when I am inspired by real art…today is one of those days.  I saw this painting on Etsy and it really called to me.  So I set off to see if I could get the essence of it in a card..this is the product of that effort.

The painting was large and gave the impression of looking at the water lilies sitting on top of a dark pool.  The lily pads were so bright and danced with color…..how was I to get that on a card.  After pondering it for days and a couple of failed attempts I picked up a piece of new white cardstock.  Yes it was white.  I stamped the lilies using the Purely Pomegranate (so luscious), then made a mask to cover those areas  and placed the mask over the lilies.  Now the fun began.

The lily pads took a little more playing around, but since I did not have a stamp that was a lily pad ..well I adapted as I always do.  From the retired SU Shape of Things set I pulled out the circle.  I inked it in Summer Sun, then in mellow moss and added a few light touches of the Purely Pomegranate.  Next I misted the rubber….very lightly !!!  and placed it down on the paper.  I repeated this several times till I had the look of the pads almost overlapping. 

The next step was to careful remove the mask…should have waited till it dried a bit but I was anxious.  In the real piece of art the artist had used the vibrant purple on the stems and at the base of the flowers….I worked at that and it is ok, but not the glow of the original, but then it doesn’t have to be as it is only my inspiration piece.  To make the pond look dark I used my Prisma color pencils, starting with dark shades of blue adding some purples and blending with a light coat of black.  I cut the piece down to fit a card and began of the card.

The base of the card is SU Basic Black and the accent color is Purely Pomegranate.  The lime green is a pretty ribbon I picked up at “Mike’s” some time ago…sure have loved it.

Now for a sentiment…well when I visit a local hospital that has a beautiful water lily pond I just lean over the bridge and dream and wonder…so that’s it DREAM.  I used the Flourishes Fantasy Floral Garden word on a piece of the same paper I had worked on.

It’s a Dream…..so from the Atelier it time to say Ciao and now your turn to DREAM.


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So Much Rolled in to One


The Atelier has been really a buzz all week.  Flourishes released 2 of the 3 new sets for October…and it has been such fun.  Add to this the fact that I had endodontic surgery so my left cheek looks like a ping pong ball is lodged there!  Not  painful enough to stop me from having some fun creating.

The challenges on SCS this week were great…Color Challenge 134 used Chocolate Chip, Bayou Blue, and Sahara Sand and the WT101 called for twill.  This week at  Card Positioning System, http://www.cardpositioningsystems.blogspot.com,  I found this  great sketch challenge. I rolled it all into one, using the reindeer from the newly released Flourished Christmas set by Flourishes,llc (www.flourishes.org) for my central focus  and Viola!

All this seemed to work for me and with a little Basic Grey-Blitzen collection I was set.  This card is for my nephew’s birthday that is coming up soon.  He loves animals and 13 year old boys are hard to make cards for, but on this one I may have hit the mark.  It has the hardware thing going on, the punch out that I hand lettered and the twill is just perfect for a boy.

Now from this point it doesn’t look like a Christmas card to me, so I’m thinking this reindeer may be quite useful here in the Atelier.

Thanks for stopping in today.


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Flourishes unviels new sets!


Flourishes releases three new stamp set today.  Flourished Christmas, Rejoice and Sweet Treats.  All three promised to be fun and creative aids in your creation.  Each of them can be seen at the Flourishes web-store. 

Let me introduce you to our newest Flourish.  This newest stamp is an angel, isn’t she!  We are mighty proud of her.  She is part of the new Rejoice set that we released today.  This set is full of possibilities with both images and words that we think it should be in everyone’s stamp collection.  As we worked on the designs for this set we had in mind to use the classical elegance of historic images and words, but as always we wanted to add a fresh new twist.  This little lady is the result of much colaberation with Marcy Hawley and us.  She has had many revisions from our first concepts and we are delighted with Marcy’s final interpretation .  The rest of the set, which I will share with you over the next days and weeks, are the original calligraphy of my friend Joan Machinchick.  The words and images can stand alone, but combined the impact of this set is far reaching.  We hope you will share our enthusiasm for this set. Our design team has sent us many sneak peeks  this past week.  Please visit their blogs and see the many ways they used our new sets.

I stamped the Angel in Hybrid Burnt Umber ink and then water-colored her using the new SU! In Colors and Blush Blossom.  Detail was added with Gold Painty Pen and Jelly  Roll iridescent pens.  The base of the card is Purely Pomegranate and brushed gold metallic papers.  I’ve kept this card very simple to highlight all of her elegance.  I am sure that I will present her in many ways as I work with her, but this first card  I wanted just the image to stand out. 

I have a string of cards to display over the next few days and hope you will visit the Atelier and see them all.

 Rubber Hugs  & Ciao

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Today we finally get to see scarlet that is really scarlet!  When I began this card it was for a color challenge on SCS to use the new SU Grey paper.  Originally I thought that this would be a somber card, but then as I was going thru my papers and came across the Scarlett’s Letter by Basic Grey I knew where I was going.  The paper was the actual starting point of the series I have been doing on Scarlett’s Letters papers.  This card is square measuring 5 1/2″ X 5 1/2″.

I added a layer of a new metallic paper, Hades, SU Real Red,and the Scarlett’s Letter paper.  Then I began to work on the stamped image.  On white paper I stamped Blush, a Penny Black image.  I colored the image by directly coloring on the rubber with my SU markers, blending Real Red and Ruby Red, the center is Basic Black and the stem is Certainly Celery.  To repeat some of the shapes from the Scarlett’s Letter paper I used several SU stamps to stamp circles, highlighting the Creamy Carmel, Black, Grey, and Red to enforce them.  Following my layering of colors , I assembled this portion.  The sentiment is done with a SU stamp and a repeat in the layers.

So we have Scarlet and it is really Scarlett!  Yes, I think that Miss Scarlett would even approve. As my hubby said, “Frankly, Scarlett I give a darn about this card!”.

Hope you enjoyed the visit to the Atelier and the series of cards.  You can bet that I am busy working on some new cards that Flourishes,llc will release on Wed, the 3rd of Oct. Come take a peek!

Ciao for now.

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