Friday, July 22, 2016

Inspired Butterflies

Have you ever looked at a card on a blog or Pinterest and thought, "I want to make that! It's perfect!"? And then have you realized that making this delightfully perfect card requires special tools or stamps that you don't have? Have you put your thinking cap on and tried to troubleshoot the shortcomings in your stash and realized that your second-tier measures will look, well, second tier? Have you ever then thought, "Meh. I'll move on"?

Well, don't.

Even if you can't get exactly the same look as the delightfully perfect card, you CAN improvise in creative ways that lead to a bit different, yet still wonderful, card.

I saw THIS CARD by Yana Smakula on Pinterest. Everything about Yana's card is perfect: the white-on-light-gray layering; the bright, happy colors; the fresh layout; the gobs and gobs of white space; the placement of bling; the bubbles. Those stamps, new this summer from Hero Arts, are also perfect.

But if you'll notice, Yana uses the coordinating dies for her project. Ahem. Stymied. No way on earth could I fussy cut any images well enough to make my layered pieces look as perfect as Yana's. And we all know that with clean-and-simple designs, any little imperfection is glaringly obvious.

Yana's card made me waver in my resolve to never go down the very expensive path paved with the ghosts of dies bought and unused (which would be my path, I assure you!). Then, I got to thinking.

And tinkering.

And messing around.

And feeling my way forward.

And then, this card happened.

Now, my card lacks some of what makes Yana's so perfect: the artfully stacked layers, the perfectly placed blue shell that creates perfect asymmetry, the bubbles. But I compensated for the lack with a few touches of my own that add interest and design goodness.

First, I simplified to two images of butterflies rather than attempt the layering, while still incorporating Hero Arts layering stamps (butterflies instead of sea creatures).

Second, since I couldn't add dimension with layering, I trimmed my stamped panel smaller and left the tips of the wings for fussy cutting. The clumsiness of my fussy cutting isn't nearly so obvious when there's so little of it on the card! To leave those wing tips overhanging, I used a quilting ruler and craft knife, cutting up to the wing on either side, and then using the knife free-hand to fussy-cut the wing tips.

Third, I used two shades of pink for bling instead of the clear Yana used. On her card, clear gems made sense, but I needed the gems to carry more design weight and thus used two sizes and twho colors to add interest.

Fourth, stamping the butterfly bodies in black subtly unifies the whole design, pulling together the images and the sentiment. It also creates some fun lines and movement, don't you think?

Fifth, rounding two opposite corners implies more movement.

Sixth, the white is layered on white. Because I made it, and that's just what I do.

The end result...a flattish card that compensates with movement, line breaks, color, and bling.

Thank you, Yana, for a wonderful inspiration card!

stamps: Hero Arts Color-Layering Butterflies
ink: Hero Arts, Ancient Page
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, corner rounder, quilting ruler, craft foam, glue


  1. I like your card very well, the fussy cut edge is a great idea.

  2. Stunning! The inspiration from the original shows in this yet you have made it all your own. And your layers of colour on the lighter butterfly echo the layers on the original - still layers, but FLAT layers!

  3. Inspiring indeed. Lovely butterflies. Thank you explaining your design choices. I find it very helpful. Would love to know what recently caught your eye that you just had to have.

  4. Totally enjoyable, maybe not cut layers but since you prefer one layer its a perfect take. I love it

  5. lovely - like the new look blog !


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!