Friday, June 28, 2013

Susan's Garden Hibiscus - My Tutorial

Don't you love Hibiscus!  They are such a beautiful flower and up until now I had no idea how to create one.   Susan Tierney-Cockburn (Susan's Garden) has developed dies that make very realistic hibiscus and they are so easy to create. She has thought of every little detail in her flower dies and also products needed to create them.   I have a tutorial below giving you my step by step instructions.  Hibiscus come in many different colors; I have created three different colors for this card.  First I will tell you the products used on the card.    The bottom half of the card was embossed using the Marianne Design "DS0907" embossing folder.  On the top half I layered the Joy! Crafts (6002/0147) doily die cut.  The sentiment is from the JustRite "Winged Vintage Labels Two & Three" stamp set.  The flowers were created with the Susan's Garden "Hibiscus" dies.  This set of dies includes all the pieces needed to complete the flowers/leaves, plus you get a bonus with the pretty butterfly die.  I die cut the butterfly using a piece of the Elizabeth Craft Design "Shimmer Sheetz" then ran it through an embossing folder to give it texture.  The folder I used was the Anna Griffin "Poppy" embossing folder but you can use the embossing folder of your choice.  Can you see the little lady bugs on the leaves?  They were created with the Susan's Garden "Viva Decor Ladybug" Kit.  I will show a close up below in my tutorial.  To help you create your flowers, there are always instructions in each package of flowers plus you can view Susan's videos at Joan's Gardens at this link.
There is never a right or wrong when creating your flowers, and sometimes we have a little different technique.  I am sharing how I created my hibiscus here and hope it gives you a little additional information that will help you.

Susan's Garden Hibiscus - My Tutorial 

 When I start creating my flowers, I like to cut the card stock in strips, just a little wider than the largest die.  I have found that I can usually cut two or sometimes three sheets of card stock at one time, so I can create more than one flower with one run through my die cutting machine.   In the picture above you can see the dies used for the petals and stamen on the pink; on the green you can see the the leaves and the calyx (base of the flower).
 This picture shows the tray of Susan's Garden's Pan Pastels. This set comes with tools.  These Pastels are not like the typical chalks/pastels we are used to using.  They are ultra soft and blend so well.  You can easily use your Copic Markers to add details over the applied Pan Pastels.    You only use a small amount so they are going to last you a very long time. 

 This picture shows blending a bright pink Pan Pastel on the base of each petal. The petal on the bottom of this picture shows how I used the tool to start blending at the very base then on the side.  Next I blended up the middle of the petal.  The color will be thicker on your tool right after you touch it to the pan pastel to pick it up, so that is why I stated with the base and edges, then blended the lighter color up so it blends in well.

 I looked on the Internet to find pictures of hibiscus and colored this stamen according to that picture.  I die cut the stamen the same color as the flower then used a Copic marker to color the long "legs" and bottom.  You need to do this on both sides.
 You need to condition each of the petals.  I used the largest stylus in the Susan's Garden Flower Tool Kit and went around in circles to kind of "cup" each petal.  You can use the smaller stylus around the edges to create more "curling around the edges".

 I thought I would give you this information in case you need it.  If your shading is a little to "rigid" toward the top of the petal, you can use the white Pan Pastel to help blend it together.  The white is opaque.

Here is a picture of the pieces I will be using to create this hibiscus. I used a very fine tip marker to create lines coming up from the base of the petal to help it look more realistic.

You always know how many petals you need for each flower by the points on the calyx (base) provided with each flower.  The hibiscus has five petals so you attach one petal to each point.  I used the Crafter's Pick Ultimate Glue.  

Once the flower petals are on the calyx, I like to take the smallest stylus and press down hard on the tip of the base to "seal" the petals to it.  I just feel it helps the flower to hold together better (and seems it attaches faster). 

 When you shape the leaves, you need to use the lime green pad in the Flower Tool Kit.  Put it on your work table - not on the shaping mat, because you need it on a hard surface.  Use the pointed tool in the Tool Kit to draw lines on each leaf.  You should start on the backside of the leaf;  have the point of this tool up, using the tip of the tool,  draw your line down the back side as shown.  You can see that curved tip in this picture.

 Turn the leaf over and draw lines out from that center line, drawn on the back,  for all the little veins in the leaf.  You can shade the leaf with ink if you want.

 Once your flower has dried just a little, place it on the tan shaping mat and use the smallest stylus in the Flower Tool Kit to press down on the base of each petal causing the flower to "cup" up.   This really shapes the flower.

 Next, place the flower down in the Susan's Gardens "Flower Pot" tray pressing it down so the petals are cupped up.  Let it stay in the cup until it is dry.  If you don't put it in the cup, the petals tend to flatten out and lose their shape as they are drying.

Now we are going to work on the stamen.  Susan doesn't do this, but I like to cut each "stem" down the middle to "double" the number of stems.  I used the scissors that are in the Flower Tool Kit.

 Next I added clear glue to the tip of each "leg"  of the stamen, down to the part that was colored with the Copic Marker.  Be sure the cut portions are pulled apart a little so they don't stick together.  You need to add a dot of glue to both sides.  Next you can push the glued tips down into the Susan's Gardens "Pollen".  This is a very fine pollen and looks very realistic.  This product will start shipping the first of July, so you can pre-order it now from Joan's Gardens.  Place the stamen in the cup along with the flower until the glue that holds the pollen dries.

 Place a little white glue on one side of the bottom of the stamen and use the self-closing tweezers from the Flower Tool Kit to roll it up.

Roll the stamen up tightly, then use your fingers to squeeze it together tightly at the bottom portion.  I tried to make the bottom look like one "stem" with all the cut portions flaring out.  Pull the tweezers out.

Add the stamen to the center of the flower that is still in the Flower Pot.  Use the Ultimate Glue because it is thick and will hold best.  You might need to keep checking to be sure it is sitting up straight while it is drying.

Now you are ready to put your flower on a project.  Once your flower is attached, you can add the leaves.  Susan as come up with the cutest way to add little ladybugs to your projects.  She has developed a kit  called "Susan's Garden "Ladybugs" which is by Viva.  Isn't that the cutest ladybug! These are very, very easy to create; you first add a dot of red, then add a dot of black with the very fine tip on the tube on one side of the red dot.  The tip that comes with the kit has a very, very tiny, and it is very easy to add the tiny little black dots to the back of the ladybug.  I did all this while it was "wet".  I suggest you either put the ladybugs on a long time before creating your flower so they dry, and don't smear in case you touch them, or add them at the very end of assembling your project so you can set it aside and let them dry. 

I could sit all day and create flowers with dies from Susan's Gardens. I am always so thrilled about how realistic they look!  I hope this tutorial has given you a little more information and helps you when you create your flowers.  I'd love your read your comments.

Products used:

Susan's Garden "Hibiscus" 658415  by  Sizzix
Susan's Garden "Pan Pastels"
Susan's Garden "Flower Tool Kit" 658437  by Sizzix
Susan's Garden Plastic Flower Pots (658438)
Susan's Garden "Ladybug" Kit by Viva
Susan's Garden "Pollen"
Bazzill Card Stock
Copic Markers
Crafter's Pick Ultimate Glue
Marianne Design (DS0907) embossing folder
Joy Craft "Doily" (6002/0146)
Anna Griffin "Poppy" embossing folder
JustRite "Winged Vintage Labels Two & Three" (CR-04465)
Elizabeth Craft Design "Shimmer Sheetz"



Desire Fourie said...

Awesome tutorial and your card with the hibiscus flowers is stunning.
Hugs Desíre {Doing Life}

Jan Castle said...

Thank you Selma for the tutorial!!! I am still awaiting my pan pastels and then I will give all this a try!!! Your flowers are awesome!!!
Paper Hugs,

Maryann Laursen said...

WOW this is so gorgeous Selma, and thanks sooo much for an awesome tutorial here as well on your stunning flower.

ednamburgess said...

Beautiful card and good tutorial. Wish you'd show us how you do the lady bug soon. love that little guy. Thanks. Edna

Rita said...

Good Afternoon Selma. What a beautiful card and the colours are so realistic. Thank-you so much for the super tutorial. You are definately 'Queen of the Flowers' Hugs Rita xx

Lynne said...

I love your tutorials and Susan's flowers. I often revisit your site to look up your tutorials for all kinds of flowers. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful talent.

Kat White said...


Rebecca Ednie said...

Thanks for the tutorial. My flowers have been turning out well too. I can't wait to try the lady bugs! I wish the pan pastels weren't so expensive but since I recently got a Copic air compressor, I'm going to try that for the shading. Your flowers are so pretty!

April said...

Beautiful card! The colors are so bright and pretty. Thanks for the tutorial.

Kathleen said...

Awesome tutorial! Well-written,concise and easy to understand. And, of course, most of all the hibiscus is gorgeous!

Susan said...

Selma, your hibiscus brought back memories of my daughter's wedding in Maui--they're just beautiful! I love the way you've shaded them and wanted to add that, yes, the PanPastels are pricey, but you get what you pay for! I've had my set for over 6 years and the creaminess is still perfect. They're really one of the best products on the market to invest in,XO Susan


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