Great State: Summer Blooms Eternal

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STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA -- The country roads of an Oklahoma July are choked with dust, parched for moisture, and searing in the heat of noonday. Such is the environment surrounding the Crimson Poppy while Spring blooms eternal at the hand of Jenny Jafek-Jones. "My favorite is when people stop to smell them," says Jones of her realistic paper flowers. "They'll say 'your roses are pretty but I really like the fragrant ones. I like my roses to smell good.'" "So that's always a nice compliment."

A few summers back Jenny was planning a wedding of her own. She couldn't afford all the flowers she really wanted so she started experimenting with crepe paper and dry glue. Her first flowers were small, ready for planting on thankyou cards and invitations. The better she got the bigger the flowers grew. Jones says people ask her, "What do you do? I tell them I'm a paper artist and you should see the looks."

She never intended her flowers to be a full time business, but her work was so realistic that a couple of weddings was all it took. Bride magazines and websites took notice. Jenny had to quit her regular job to grow her handmade flowers for good. "I don't know of anyone else who makes realistic paper flowers," she says.

She can make 100 different kinds of flowers now. The biggest demand remains for Roses, Peonies, and Orchids. With wedding season just over she sets aside a little more time to be creative. "You can only do this 18 hours a day for so long before your head explodes," says Jones.

They don't smell good or bad. You can't put them in dirt. She tries to keep them out of the sun so they don't fade. Her materials include denim, old sheet music, even wallpaper. The blooms themselves don't change but the business of making them just keeps growing.

If you're interested in seeing more Crimson Poppy creations you can visit her website at .

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