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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