In the beginning, I made my own patterns (after all, I'm a professional patternmaker!), which also meant handcutting each of the flowers with my small scissors. Some of the flowers take 6 layers, so it took a bunch of time and as expected, each layer was not exactly the same size/shape as the other. It didn't affect the overall look of the finished product, but it meant more time for me to make adjustments along the way. I've still been using some of my handmade patterns, but I also invested in a die cutting machine and purchased two basic dies. What a time saver! I can run four layers of foam through the machine and have absolutely perfect "cookie cutter" shapes in a matter of seconds.
Again, I'm finding plenty of supplies (dies, stamens, inks, etc.) in the U.K. , but the shipping is more than one die! So, I haven't broken down and purchased them overseas yet. I've been making due with what I can source here locally and so far so good. Maybe in time, I'll take the leap.
I'm also playing around with options for my clients, like combs, alligator clips, and u pins. I'm also making sure my finishing techniques on each of these varieties is professional. There's lots to learn, that's for sure! I'm tending toward the plastic variety of combs since there are lots of teeth and they're really long versus the metal combs. I absolutely want these to be secure when they're in place!
So that's my foam flower journey so far! I love learning new things....it's good for the mind and the soul! I'm hopeful that these will sell both on my shop and with my local clients. In the meantime, I'll keep making more, I really find that I get lost in the creative process and before you know it hours have gone by and I'm still at it!