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  1. A tutorial for "florets"

    I was making a bazillion of these yesterday and thought I'd share the process in case anyone just starting out with our hobby is interested. Beginner level, this is a very basic, low cost way to add a little color to your landscaping. I'm not an expert at it by any means and maybe you would come up with a better way or different punch shapes, etc to try. Not sure that it's supposed to be any specific flower, at least I don't think of it as a specific flower, but it's very versatile..low lying ground cover, add them to a wooden barrel, spilled over scene with a wheel barrow or pot (I have one of those in my real yard with petunias), window boxes, outdoor urns, spilling over a rock wall, etc. I learned how to do these from an episode of dollhouse tv and also just different methods Ive picked up from completing various other flower kits.  Supplies:  Paper: ...I bought a sample pack of paper from hanky panky crafts but I don't think it's anything special, just office type colored paper..post it notes would probably work. I liked the colors in this sample pack. If interested check out hankypankycrafts.com  Punch: different punches will work for this, the orange handled office style punch is available at hobby lobby or most likely any craft store. The "punch bunch" one I bought on eBay. You could do this in different scales using larger or smaller punches. I don't use the large one on the punch bunch, just the two smaller ones and I prefer the middle size one.  A spray bottle that will mist water  ball stylus: you don't want too small of a stylus or it can tear through the paper, too big of a ball stylus won't shape the petal enough...so mid size, I have a collection of ball styluses for flower making 3 or 4 different sized ones are handy to have  foam pad: these are sold in the kids section of the craft stores, I have several different thicknesses, any thickness will work, nothing specific there. These are referred to in flower kits as "foam shaping pads", so they work great for a work surface for shaping our flowers. I get the largest size that I can find so that I have lots of space for petals.  Fine point sharpie: totally optional but I like the way it looks to dot the inside of the flower. The color you could use to do this would be up to you, I use a purple color, but green or yellow would be good for lighter colored flowers too.  Tweezers  Landscaping moss:  or other ground cover to glue your flowers to when placing them in a scene. The big clump moss sold for rail road supply works good and can be broken up into smaller clumps.  Aleenes tacky glue  Process: -punch out the flowers onto the foam pad - dot them in the center with a sharpie if desired - mist a little water onto a section of your foam shaping pad and with tweezers (or your finger slightly dampened) put the petals on the water misted section of the pad. I work with about 10 or so petals at a time so that it's not overwhelming. You want them dampened but not completely soaked to the point that they will tear when you shape them.  - after the petals have rested in water for apx. a minute, lift them up (using tweezers or your finger) to a drier section of the foam shaping pad. Now shape them with the ball stylus by rotating the stylus in a circular motion over the petal. You will be pushing the petal into the foam as you rotate the stylus, which will catch the back of the petal and hold it in place, shaping it. Use a light touch especially with thicker foam, so that your petal doesn't go down all the way into the foam.  - there are different ways to mist and shape the petal..this is just what seems easiest to me. For instance you could mist the foam so lightly with water that you don't move the petals and you shape them in place. Or you could drop the petals onto a wet/dampened paper towel then cover the petals with a second or folded over portion of the dampened paper towel and then move them to the foam pad and proceed to shape - At this point your petals are dampened, shaped and sticking in the foam pad. You may sit and kind of babysit them for a time while they're drying to continue to shape them and stick them back in the pad if they come out. I get a certain amount of petals wet and shaped (10-20) and then while those are drying, punch out more.   Drying: let them completely dry. If they're even slightly damp they'll turn to mush when you try to glue them onto your scene. When dry (and this will take at least an hour) pick them up with tweezers and dip the backside into tacky glue (just a small amount) and place them onto your moss that you've already glued down onto your landscaping surface.  I hope these pictures can clarify procedure. The last photo is dampened, shaped petals waiting to dry.