Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Butterfly Inspiration

Okay, so I know you all have seen the vintage-y cards that have a vertical line of three or four or five butterflies, often embellished with lace or other textiles, distressed papers, and maybe something metallic. The cards often include textbook captions to the butterflies or hand-lettered numbers.

There are variations on this arrangement all over the Stampington and Co. magazines and have been for years because the nineteenth-century bug drawings upon which they are based are incredibly cool. 

As I gazed in appreciation at one such butterfly card on page 11 in the latest issue of The Stampers' Sampler, the idea for a super-CAS version popped into my head. It took two tries for me to get it right, but I'm so glad I stuck with it!

Instead of natural images of butterflies, I opted for stylized block stamps (Papertrey Beautiful Butterflies). Instead of three black butterflies and one in color, I opted for three butterflies, each in bright watercolors. Instead of having text between each butterfly in antique bookplate style, I broke the line of bugs with a single line of sentiment in black (which gave it much more prominence on the card). Instead of a border of lace, I used bling on the butterflies to keep the focus on them. Instead of patterned paper and colored card base, I used three layers of white.

That's a lot of insteads.

The effect of my card is NOTHING like the inspiration piece, but nevertheless Barb Pladziewicz's lovely vintage card served as my inspiration.

Which brings me to my point, which I cannot emphasize enough: inspiration gives you ideas that can take you anywhere. LET THEM! My inspiration came from vintage, but using a minimalist approach to strip the design to its barest essentials, I made my clean-and-simple version. Neither version is better than the other. They are just different manifestations of the same idea...a vertical column of butterflies on a card.

Our tastes may lead us to prefer one over the other, but our judgment shouldn't lead us to see one style as superior to the other. Let's celebrate and encourage diversity in card design and in life. After all, nature is incredibly, wondrously, fabulously diverse. That's the way God made it.

And I, for one, am incredibly grateful for Barb's card.

Wouldn't it be awesome if some of you took my card for inspiration and made unique cards of your own...a chain of inspiration going all the way back to those buggy field guides from nineteenth-century entomologists?

Go forth and make your individual, unique, and inspired butterfly art. It's all good.

And thus endeth the lesson.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Papertrey Beautiful Butterflies, Clearly Besotted sentiment
ink: various Memento inks, Archival black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: water spritz bottle, rhinestones


  1. While I truly love making cards, I don't have an eye for taking another's design and making it my own. I can CASE cards. But I find it reallly hard to just be inspired by another card. I love seeing how your creativity is sparked by others, Susan. Maybe I'll get there one day. Your card is lovely.

  2. Thanks so much, Susan, for your inspiration and encouragement!!! I love hearing about your process and LOVE your wit.


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