My Flourish dies arrived yesterday (Flowers are still in the post) and I just had a chance to have a bit of a play with them. I tried them in 2 Cuttlebug sandwiches, and one on the Grand Calibur using Coredinations, mirri card and Centura Pearl cardstock.
First - I love them. The designs are really elegant, and the embossing adds a real touch of luxury.
The second thing I would say is that she wasn't kidding that you need some strength to wind them through the Cuttlebug. She made a point of saying that if you didn't have some strength you shouldn't get them (after Craig was saying it was so easy any one could do it). She was demoing with slightly lighter paper and you could see she was still using some welly!
I've put my experiences with cutting on the different machines and sandwiches below. If others have tips please add them to this thread!
CUTTLEBUG CUTTING with green mat:
The A, green mat, B, die, paper, B sandwich: for the largest die this took some strength. The smaller dies were easier (but still needed some effort). The smaller dies always cut first time for me. The largest die occasionally had a small bit at the edge that didn't cut and I think that was when the green mat (which is smaller than the plates) wasn't directly under the die so the pressure at the edges was less. I just realigned and ran it though a second time and it finished the cut. (Once I just embossed and the embossing step finished off the cut as well.)
Your top B plate will curve when you run it through. I just turned it over for the next cut (or emboss) and that evened it out. I also rotated the B plates - some people don't like having the cut marks on both plates but that doesn't bother me. And it helps me keep the plates flat.
CUTTLEBUG CUTTING with C adapter plate:
The C plate is sold separately from the Cuttlebug and was designed for cutting thin dies. If you are using this you DON'T use the green mat. Again the smaller dies were easy and generally cut first time with the A, B die, paper, C plate sandwich. For the large die I found a single piece of copy paper as a shim helped, and I ran the die through twice (once I had to do 3 times).
The embossing sandwich (whichever cutting sandwich you use) is A plate, B plate, die, paper, green mat, B plate. This sandwich is easier to roll through an the resulting emboss is lovely.
GRAND CALIBUR CUTTING AND EMBOSSING
I used the standard GC sandwich and the large die cut after 2 passes (can't say if 1 pass would work as I always roll it through and then back again!) No extra strength required here - just usual GC cutting. I also embossed using the usual embossing sandwich and that was fine. I suspect a very thin shim (perhaps like the Tattered Lace magnetic sheet) might help a bit as these dies seem a little thinner than standard Spellbinders.
Getting the cut out of the dies - for the smaller dies this was easy peasy. For the largest die a bit of care is required. I found the die 'settled in' and the cuts were a little easier to remove after a few uses. The centre of the die is the hardest to remove (the very thin loops). Take your time! I did rub a white candle on the central loops to 'wax them' a little and that did help. I'm sure wax paper would be fab. I'll try a dryer sheet as well and let you know if that helps!