Why Paper Flowers

As I sit in my newly painted studio, I am taking a second to soak in the feeling of gratitude, and excitement I feel at having this beautiful space to work in! I feel many other things too-nervousness, fear of failing, but I’m told that’s soooo normal. This space really is very beautiful, light, airy and a really great location, and I’ll do a journal entry telling you all about it very soon! But here, I’m going to talk to you about the basis on which this whole journey of mine was shaped and tell you WHY it’s a great thing! Nowadays I tell people I’m a paper florist and owner of Crafting Space with Kelly Grace. I’m a Paper Flower and Crafting Studio, a place where ANYONE can be creative. A big chunk of what I do is create realistic Paper Flowers. Paper Flowers have been around for thousands of years, and right now we are experiencing a revival and Makers Movement unlike any other that’s been seen before thanks to social media. But WHY would someone order a Paper Flower from me when they can just as easily go to their favorite local florist for their fresh? (Disclaimer: I love my fresh flowers from my gardens and I frequent my local florist shop Gather just about weekly if I can!)

So here we go:

Why Paper Flowers?

paper flowers in a circle

Longevity

Paper Flowers last a good deal of time. For ages even! Isn’t it nice to look at pretty things?  These roses were made for a young middle school girl in our town who was diagnosed with childhood Leukemia.  Our girl requested black roses which instantly makes me love her for her uniqueness…but Mom vetoed.  (understandably) Good thing though, because I learned that our girl ended up loving the flowers as they were and they will last her a good long time!

Women at a crafting workshop

Entertainment

Hobby, Workshops, Team Activity, Ladies Nights Out, Birthdays, Fundraisers, you name it…. Paper Flowers offer endless interest and entertainment!  See the smiles these five women are sporting?  That’s because they spent the evening making my hybrid rose, inspired from a Fiji Hybrid variety, originally bred by Kordes!

close up of a paper flower

Sustainability

Bring beauty to your event AND paper flowers live on for other uses, such as gifts, favors and decor!  This pretty red rose represented the Enchanted Rose in Beauty and the Beast.  My step daughter’s drama club put on a really sweet rendition and this rose made it through the show and now is proudly displayed on a mantle as a keepsake.

flower arch way

Mix Well with Real

We work with your florist at any level and event.  We can make a la carte flowers and send them to your florist to be mixed and arranged with real and greenery, we can create large scale backdrops, any combination of which can be discussed and collaborated on with your florist and event planner!  See these awesome photos of this beautiful arch?  They are from the facebook feed of the talented and resourceful Britta Wilson of Iron Violets Design Studio in St Paul, Minnesota. 

flower arch way

Always in Season

Want Coral Charm Peonies in January?  Or Iceland Poppies in November?  A special variety of rose that is difficult for your florist to source?  We got your back! 

flower arch way

Customizable

right down to size and color!  Want orange and pink Juliet Roses?  Extra-large dahlias and some small ones?  Dusky lavender or mythical blue roses?  Yes, yes, and YES we can do this!    

Flowers in a vase

Art Form

in recent years Paper Flowers join paintings, sculpture, quilting, drawing, embroidery, fine woodworking and a myriad of other mediums as art decor in homes, businesses, fashion and events.  See this lovely photo? Built in a custom ceramic vessel, it is a one of a kind, heirloom quality Paper Flower Sculpture created by Amity Beane of Florabeane Flowers as part of an exhibit curated every summer by The Good Supply in Bristol Maine. The show featured four working female artists, Amity being one of them. How cool! Want this lovely piece or one of the other pieces from Amity’s perfectly curated exhibit in your home or business? Contact The Good Supply for arrangements.

Woman wearing paper flowers

Haute Couture

Paper Flowers have been created for thousands of years for use in fashion and we are experiencing a revival! Many famous fashion houses and renowned photographers have used paper flowers in their work, ranging from the simple, single stem to elaborate headdresses like the one in this stunning photograph created by @nikizyan_flora for photographer @ivanagirard! Nik hand created each flower of this piece in under a week-you go girl! This is amazing work by all artists involved from the photography to the flowers to the amazing makeup! 

Now that all that has been laid out…can’t you imagine a paper flower wall the size of your house at your next special event?   I sure can…and I want to make it for you!!!

A Brief Introduction

Hello friends! Welcome to my website, Crafting Space with Kelly Grace. My name is Kelly Grace Gibbons, and I am the founder and owner of my business of the same name! Since you are here, is it safe to assume you are interested in a little about who I am and what I am doing, on this blog? In a nutshell-it has been ajourney! In 2015 my position as an HR Contractor was eliminated and rather than get another one-I decided to challenge myself both physically and mentally to change what I felt was a mediocre direction my life had been going in. I did this by enrolling in school for Exercise Science to become a personal trainer, challenged myself to some tough Spartan Races, taking up Crossfit, and-becoming a Paper Florist. YES, a Paper Florist. It is a very real albeit very unexpected career with lots of wonderful experiences, bumps in the road, highs, lows, mistakes, accomplishments, industry standards, trends, mentors, friends, colleagues, you name it! One of the neatest things of this profession is the photographic ability to track my progress from when I started-to any later point, thanks to the necessity to always be taking photos. My Paper Florist journey began when I decided 6 weeks prior to my wedding to do all my own florals in Sola Wood Flowers, which are flowers created from the wood of a Tapioca tree. After my wedding, I just simply continued to craft pretty florals and discovered Paper Flowers while I was at it! I haven’t looked back…except to grin at a few photos I had posted of some of my earlier flowers. I feel so much gratitude to Livia Cetti, Lia Griffith, Amity Beane, Janita Court, Jesse Chui, Tiffany Turner, ABC Flowers Youtube, Jennifer Tran, and I KNOW there are a few extremely supportive instructors out there that I have missed and for that I’m so sorry!!!
Thank you again for reading my first post. This blog will be the home for a couple of Paper Flower tutorials here and there and some Journaling of my Paper Floristry exploits! Please do share your own thoughts and experiences and stories with me as well…I look forward to hearing from you!
 
Love,
 
Kelly Grace Gibbons

Imogen

Hello Friends! Today is a fabulous day because I finished my very first phototutorial! My hat goes off to those artists that so readily share their knowledge via tutorials and videos because you know what? It’s harder than it looks to put something together! In any case, I am pleased that I got it done and can share!

This past Mother’s Day I was commissioned to create one of my small arrangements as a M.I.L gift. I was given total artistic license, with the only guidance being to use the colors red, yellow and white. She also loved orchids, but the space the arrangement was going in wasn’t the best for the height of an orchid plant. OOOHH and know what else? I had NO YELLOW PAPER. Zip, I was all out. Had maybe just enough for some stamens! WHAT TO DO? First, the easy stuff! Check out this lovely duo of Anemone and Ranunculus:

There was my splash of red. Boom. Done. The Anemones color was my own design-in keeping with the request for red, white and yellow, but the variety themselves were based on an actual Anemone I purchased from my local florist that I frequent at least once a week. Go say hi to Carolyn and Kate at Gather Florist in Frenchtown and ask them to make you a lovely hand tied bouquet of fresh flowers-you won’t be disappointed! The red ranunculus were also based on a variety I purchased from them, but I followed the petal placement found in “The Fine Art of Paper Flowers”, by Tiffany Turner. This was because the cute little size of the Ranunculus variety from Gather was great, but I so love the fluffy, wilder Ranunculus variety so much more than the little round balls and Tiff’s flower was perfect. My template, my design…. but using guidance from a mentor really helped me achieve the look I was going for.

I also made a couple of Orchid blooms to be used as a pretty filler, the dramatic white petals with the hand painted yellow and red throats really elevated the arrangement to something luxurious.
 
But I still needed more yellow…and here I was without any yellow paper AND I was all out of yellow food coloring AND I had no yellow alcohol ink. Time to put on my thinking cap and get resourceful. I SUPPOSE I could have gone to the store and bought some food coloring and rubbing alcohol. But I had gotten an idea in my head and I needed to let it out and see it through. I had seen plenty of natural dyes created from food, like berries. I had an idea that if I used my Turmeric, I could create a lovely, blinding shade of yellow. I had recently cooked with it and had replenished my spices, so I knew I had plenty of it. So-I gave it a shot and it worked! I’ll post a separate tutorial on how I did it but here in this post I’ll keep it to what I achieved with my homemade Turmeric based alcohol dye.
 
So now that I had my yellow dye for the yellow portion of the arrangement I asked myself what pairs well with Ranunculus, Orchids and Anemones? I considered making more Ranunculus, but I really had been wanting to explore Garden Roses I had found an HGTV article on the best new roses to grow in 2018…and one of them was yellow, a garden rose, AND a David Austin! So perfect. But since I had never seen one before, and in early May in Zone 6 in Hunterdon County, NJ there are no other garden roses blooming…and not even my favorite local florist could get one for me that day or week, what was I to do? Well, STUDY. Imogen Roses are a garden rose, but they are also a floribunda garden rose. And I had previously learned how to make several roses, one of which I designed myself…(check it out here…) and I’ve made both Garden Roses and Floribunda Roses, so I was able to design a set of Imogen Rose Petals in no time!
 
I’ve created a lovely set of written and picture instructions detailing how to make my stunning Imogen Rose and because I love you-I even included TEMPLATES! You can access the tutorial and templates for FREE, here.