I am not that much of a flower person - I love the real things, but in my crafting, I don't use them often.
Part of it might be cost.
Pre-made flowers are EXPENSIVE.
Part of it might be time.
Hand crafting flowers can sometimes take longer than making five layouts.
Today, I was experimenting with a flower for a gift and I stumbled upon magic. They cost almost nothing to make and I finished a bloom in less than 5 minutes. Now that I know how to make them, I can crank out a bloom in 2 minutes flat from beginning to end. Now THAT'S my kind of flower. :)
First, I took some light pink taffeta that's been clogging up my top craft drawer for years. I folded it over about 7 times so I'd have 7 layers. I rooted out my Spellbinders Nested Peony dies and picked out the 2nd and 3rd largest. I die cut the flowers using my Spellbinders Grand Calibur and a piece of cardstock beneath the taffeta - it sometimes helps you get a clean cut when you're working with flimsy fabric.
After I had my layers of flowers, I put them together (I made two flowers, so this one below has 4 layers of large flower taffeta and 3 layers of medium) and fastened them with a pretty fabric brad.
These are pretty just like this, but I wanted to add some distressing. Taffeta reacts VERY easily to heat, so carefully using my heat gun, I blasted the flower until it curled just the way I wanted it. Remember, it reacts very quickly (MUCH faster than heat embossing) so start off slow with the heat gun about 6 inches away. You could probably try a blow dryer for this as well.
Here's the flower after heat blasting it. Again, it's pretty just as it is. I wanted some pink ink on the edges, though. :)
I just used Memento "Rose Bud" ink and it worked well. Easy peasy!
And here is a shot of the project I'm making. I don't want to post all of it though, because certain people might be looking at the blog ;)
Thanks for taking a peek and Merry Christmas!