Butterfly Art

Butterfly Art

I have set myself the goal of offering 365 different projects to help people who claim they are creative make things for themselves, their homes, and for gifts. They vary in materials used and skills required, but all are comparatively simple to create, and hopefully provide a jumping off point for creating something else.

The project published today is a small framed piece of wall art, improbably using paint chip swatches and a paper punch. It requires none of the scarier skills of committing paper or pen to paper, or considering color palettes – beyond picking up a selection of paint chips you like – so seemed a perfect project for this challenge. I wanted to keep the project manageable and replicable by someone who was anxious about their abilities, so beyond having the darker butterflies at the bottom and the lighter ones at the top, and all of them “flying” upwards, there were no complicated design decisions to make.

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As is my wont, I had already cut a number of extra butterflies, not sure quite which direction this piece of work would ultimately take. As you can see from the photo below, I had cut some orange and red butterflies, even as I was moving toward the purple paint chips I ultimately used.

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The second shadow box I had purchased was larger, 11″ x 17″, so chose to cut a few larger and smaller butterflies, and also extendied the color palette from orange and red to yellow and coral. This was the end result:

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I am pleased that with more space to work, more variety in color tones and sizes, I was able to create a more complex piece. I am now torn between adding it to my walls and putting it up for sale…

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Greeting Cards

Greeting Cards

Back in February I created a series of gift tags using flower images on Kraft card stock, and have been working on a related greeting card that is similar in feeling, but not the same. In the intervening weeks I have played with Vellum, cutting out shapes, and using handmade paper as a background. While all the cards were ok, none of them really worked – the fourth version didn’t even get glued down..

IMG_0091This week I have been mulling ideas over to finish this project – and so get my work table clear for the next project. I decided that having been through all my textured papers an handmade papers and found nothing that worked, I would look for some paper that was lightly patterned, and in the off-white to coffee color range. After feeling i would have to create a background as I couldn’t find what I was looking for, I noticed a pad of Kraft paper with designs printed on it. I was surprised to find it had a range of designs from subtle to dramatic, but could see enough sheets that had potential so bought it and came home.

It took a while to decide on the size and variety of flowers to use, and then which sheets to cut down to use. Finally I had the papers and the flower layouts set, printed them, cut them up, and these were the result. I am pleased with them as they retain the simplicity of the initial design, but have a little added color that makes them more interesting in this larger size.

Happily tuned into music on Spotify, I quickly finished making the sets of cards that have been in limbo for over a month. This is how they turned out:

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Butterflies!

Butterflies!

With a few days of warm weather last week, and again this coming week, I’m more than ready to let winter go and move into spring! For our upcoming sales and fairs, I want to create more home decorations as well as the cards and stationary that have served us well so far. As I pondered my options, I came up with two main directions, and the fist one I decided to explore uses butterflies.

After looking through all my textured and handmade papers, I found that cutting shapes from them can be tricky, as the different thicknesses cause the shapes to distort. After cutting so many heart shapes out too, my enthusiasm for hand cutting hundreds of shapes wasn’t high. I spend several happy hours researching paper cutters that had butterfly shapes, and finally found three that had essentially the same shape and proportions, and in different sizes.

Having found the special papers I’d expected to use weren’t ideal, I decided to print a variety of green, blue and teal textured papers using my textured paper designs and see what I could do with them. It turns out that the answer is, ‘a lot’.

I began by using a beautiful gold handmade paper as a background, but while gorgeous in its own right, it didn’t enhance the appearance of the butterflies I laid on top of it. Since all the papers I created began from the same basic water colour pages, they are tonally related. I took a lighter page and cut a background and then darker butterflies and added them, but it was still not very interesting.

I suddenly recalled a small devise I bought eons ago, that adds texture to a piece of paper. I found it, and mercifully it adds textured stars to the paper, so ran my first background sheet through it. The stars were not too prominent, but do add another layer of texture that adds to the visual appeal of the design.

I then cut double copies of each butterfly shape, and pasted one flat to the textured background, and then folded the second one, and glued only the body to the flat shape. Each card evolved slightly differently, so while having the same number of butterflies on each card, their formation varies from card to card. My first design used a lighter blue back ground and darker blue and teal butterflies on top of it.

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I then found a blue glitter paper I created, and used very pale blue paper for the butterflies. I like this variation as the glitter adds an aura of ethereality to the design.

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Look out for more butterflies, as art as well as cards in the coming weeks. I’m so glad I spent time creating all those textured papers!

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Flower Gift Tags

Flower Gift Tags

I made a series of gift tags for Christmas, with a water colour background, small trees, and rustic twine strings. They sold well at craft fairs and in our Etsy shop, but now they have fallen off the current stock list, we were surprised to find that a common search term was still “gift tags”. Never one to let an opportunity like that fall by the wayside, I looked to see what I had that would make gift tags people might like, that fit in with our other products, and that I already had the materials on hand to produce.

In looking for a theme or direction, I came across the flower designs I used in our Easy Coloring Book, and realized they would be very suitable. I had some Kraft card stock, and so set about deciding which flowers to use and how to lay them out. After some experimentation I found that by layering the flower image multiple times, when it printed, the lines shimmered, and almost appeared to have been embellished.

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It was then time to print the sheets, cut the individual tags out, trim the corners (necessitating a run to the craft shop as my corner cutter jammed solidly), punch a central hole for the ribbon, then will attach the ribbons and put the sets into clear bags.

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