Sunday, May 11, 2008

Virtual Florist: Happy Mother's Day!!

Good morning, and Happy Mother's Day! I am feeling MUCH better! (of course, now Paul is starting to feel bad so I will be taking care of him and the boys today...)Wanted to share some photos I snapped at Natural Gardener a few weeks ago(the place with the unattended sign) and how I turned them into a quick gift set last night. (All my Mother's Day gifts will be late this year, good thing moms understand when that happens!!)

I've never taken any courses on photography, but I'll share some tips I've picked up from reading and others along the way on how to capture a good nature shot. Look for brilliant colors, interesting textures, and then get really, really close! (I didn't do any editing on the photos below but to add a watermark, it was a glorious day and the colors needed no help from me! Any "blemishes", dead leaves, etc I leave as they are, that's nature, part of the beauty!)

I don't know what the above flower is, but I like it!! Pink and oh so frilly :) I was excited to get the cactus behind it and those two cool "architectural" buds...
Does anyone know what this is?? I call it "Pretty and Prickly" It was serendipitous I found it again, because I saw them for the first time last month when i went to Lake Austin Day Spa for my birthday, and they completely charmed me(but I didn't have my camera). I just love the delicate color and petals(like a fairy skirt) surrounded by all those spiky leaves! Now that I have a photo I'll track it down online and identify when I have time(or feel free to get on that for me if YOU have time! ;) But I put my money on my Mom finding it first :) EDITED TO ADD: Wendy says it's Love in the Mist"! Thank you, Wendy! (Mom must be busy having brunch or something ;)
This earth tone glazed pots and trailing flowers remind me of the "Monet & the Mediterranean" exhibit I went to so many years ago. Maybe I'll try to paint it at some point(I am not a painter!) Try to get odd numbers to groupings (here 3 pots) and try to compose them so your eye moves in a triangle to take in all the things you want the person to see. You can crop with your camera, or with editing software later, I like to do it as I shoot, but sometimes I will tighten it up just a bit later. Having things go off the edges makes it more interesting(the flowers at the bottom)
I love irises, my favorite flower. They have a garden there with varieties and colors that would blow your mind! (I'll share some of those pics another time) This one I had seen before, but I share it because of the little ladybug I spied at the bottom, out on a big ladybug adventure...
Here are some poppies and...can't remember what! one of those "blue" flowers, help me out(not fluffy enough to be larkspur...!) Anyway, this red and blue together was the bomb!
And here's one poppy close up. (If you read my blog, you know I adore all things red.) I love all the great diagonals in the blowing grass. So are you inspired yet to go out and try to take some of your own?? or at least get out your favorite floral stamps?

Now for the gift, no stamping today! I printed them all out 2x3 size (wallet size), a nice proportion for A2 cards(you'll get 9 on your photo paper 8 1/2 x 11 sheet) Next I chose one color from the photo to mat each. Here SU! Basic Black, Regal Rose, Almost Amethyst, Lovely Lilac and Ballet Blue)

I took my PT white CS and embossed each with a large Nestabilities rectangle, it was the perfect proportion for the matted 2x3. I adhered each photo with a few dimensionals in the center. IMHO, they turned out looking like the cards Central Market wants 8 bucks apiece for!
Last I put them in my clear box from Papertrey with some white envelopes (which I buy in bulk from an office store near here). I am thrilled with the result and hope the recipients are, too :)
Okay, off to spend some time with the family, back later to share some stuff about my mom an pics of my kids :)
My Nestabilities TIP: Call me crazy, but aren't the ingredients of the "sandwich stack" for the Cuttlebug the same upside down or right side up when embossing?? I still went in the same order, but instead of having to flip my paper and put everything on top of it, I just put the big A plate on the bottom as usual and did everything in the reverse order so that my cardstock was face up, topped by my die and then the B plate so I could see it was still exactly where I wanted it. KWIM? And, actually found I got a better embossed image doing it this way. (Feel free to write to me and let me know if I'm risking cracking a B plate or something, until them I'm goin' for it!)


  1. These are absolutely stunning!! Love the photos and they make such beautiful cards. Glad to hear you're feeling better, but playing nursemaid now hope everyone is feeling better soon. Happy Mother's Day!

  2. Fantastic photos, and I'm glad you're feeling better. Just wanted to tell you that the blue, spikey flower is called Love in the Mist (cool name, huh?). It's a very old fashioned flower, but I love them.

    Have a wonderful Mother's day, even if you're playing nurse to sickees.


  3. beautiful! great idea. glad you're better but sad to hear Paul is now now. No fun. Happy Mother's Day!

  4. Oh WOWWE MOWEE!!!!!!! Those are absolutely GORGEOUS!!! What a phenomenal gift!! I don't know the names of most of those flowers either......I'm so glad someone did! Thanks Wendy!! **Love in the Mist** That delicate blue color and that dainty "fairy skirt" is my fave!!! I wonder if any of those will grow up here in my climate??? Anyway.......glad you're feeling better......but I'm sorry your guys have the crud! Still, I hope you have a happy day!!

  5. It's funny you mention reversing the CB sandwich! I was just thinking the same thing last night as I was using it to emboss. I can't think of why it wouldn't work. BTW, I've cracked 2 B-plates doing it the "right" way! Love the pics and the cards! Great idea!

  6. Gorgeous photos/cards! I believe that's how I use my cuttlebug stacks. I'm not surprised that I've been doing it upside down all of this time--that's just who I am.

    Happy Mother's Day!

  7. Gorgeous photos! I have been doing my Cuttlebug sandwiches that way for many months, ever since I broke 2 B plates in 1 day. This works out MUCH better because A) you can actually see where you are cutting with the dies, and B) the C plates are stronger than the B plates and can take the pressure from the top better. I haven't cracked a B plate once since I started doing it this way.

    Happy Mother's Day!

  8. Melanie, love, love, LOVE your flower photos and cards! They're so colorful and beautiful, keep up your photography, you have a real knack for that too. Thanks for sharing. Glad you're feeling better, have a happy Mother's Day!

    Love and hugs,


  9. Wow! What stunning photography! What type of camera do you have? I would never be able to get shots like that w/ my camera.
    And I love what you did w/ those pictures! Whoever receives those is a very lucky person!!!

    PS: Happy Mother's Day and I'm glad you're feeling better! Nothing is worse than being a mom and being sick!

  10. Im happy to know you're feeling better and enjoying your special day. Your flower photos are awesome! I LOVE that iris - it's one of my favorite flowers too. The "love in the mist" flower with it's spikey leaves reminds me of the SU Embrace life leaf stamp!

  11. Wow! What a great idea! I was a much better photographer befoer I had kids! now its more like "snap befoer they move...oh wait, go back..." and everthing is taken in a hurry. But flowers would hold still!

  12. Those are absolutely beautiful. Maybe you should be TEACHING a photography class. What beautiful cards. I am thrilled to report that for mother's day I received your new set along with a few others from Gina K Designs. WooHoo!!
    Happy Mother's Day! Your new stamps made mine a very HAPPY one!!

  13. Melanie, these are beautiful cards. I think you could start a card business with these! I think those purple flowers (sort of look like lavender and larkspur) is Salvia. Sam was pretty impressed with your photo abilities.


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