The Things I Learned Creating an Ugly Card

Sometimes, you have a brain full of muck, no inspiration to create, and you have a deadline for a project that just isn’t coming together. This has happened to me more times than I can count. I can choose to walk away and drink some coffee on the patio, hoping to find inspiration, or just throw a bunch of stuff onto a card base and see what happens. You can learn quite a bit when you just start tossing stuff down onto a project.

Today, I am going to share what I discovered while creating this ugly blue card and how I adjusted some of the elements to make something so much better. Now you might be saying to yourself “there is no such thing as an ugly card”, but, when I posted this on my social media feed, I had quite a few people telling me that this bright blue butterfly card needed to be tossed into the trash.

I won’t argue with them. This card is not my typical design, but, haphazardly grabbing random items allowed me to discover some design elements I wanted to replicate. Here is what I learned.


Backgrounds Set the Mood

On the first card, the background consists of a bright distress oxide combination of blue diamonds with splatters of Peacock shimmer. I do like the look of this, but it doesn’t quite fit the theme of the card. This bright background stands out above everything else causing you to miss out on other elements in the design.

On the second card, I chose a muted french vanilla background with texture paste, distress oxide ink, toffee splatter, and some torn paper. This simple background complements the other elements on the card and the beautiful texture doesn’t compete with the other objects.


Lines Are Important

When you are planning a project, you need to pay attention to the horizontal, vertical, and arching lines you create. They formulate balance and movement. On the first card, I have quite a few harsh vertical lines. I attempted to create some curves with the vellum wreaths in the background, but they don’t stand out enough to help with the flow and they are contrasting with the curve of the flower and the curve of the butterfly.

In an attempt to balance out some of the rose gold, I laid down diamond stickers with more harsh lines and they became a non-linked element that just distracts your eye from the rest of the mess.

When planning my second card, I scaled down the vertical lines with a simple wrapping of gold thread, created an arching flow with the placement of objects and thread circles, and added a horizontal element to ground the card. The flow of the design walks your eye gracefully from the top, through the garden to the loving sentiment.


Big & Bold Isn’t Always Best

Sometimes an object you choose might just be a wee too big and bold for your design and you might be better off finding a more useful way to use it.

On this card, I really wanted to use that beautiful layered butterfly thin cut, but it is a bit too large for a slimline card. I tried to make it fit by adding some other large elements around it, but I should have scaled it down some. Creating it from peacock or black cardstock may have helped it to stand on it’s own or I could have just nixed the butterfly and stuck with the simple flower sticker. With those changes, the card might have come together.

I did like how the vellum looked behind the layers, so I chose to replicate this on my second card. I added the third layer to the image, adhered it together without foam tape, and shaved a little bit off the edge. Not only does this scale down the image, but it also helps to create an illusion of design continuation.

Behind the butterfly die cut, I added some rose gold sprig stickers and wooden leaves to create the illusion of floating in a garden. The stickers were backed in white, so I used some of the distress oxide ink to shade the edges to match the background on the card.


From the ugly mess to a delicate balance, I was able to learn so much.

It’s a bit like life. This past month, my head was full of rude comments sent to me, retreat from private messages telling me that I wasn’t made of the “right ctmh material”, and the battle of fighting my insecure brain monsters. The enemy was working overtime and my brain became as unsettled, unbalanced, and ugly as that bright blue mess.

Like me, I am sure that you also struggle with the mess, the muck, and the ugliness, but I encourage you to do what I did. Throw it all out on the table – reveal the ugliness – learn from it and make something beautiful.

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here is a list of some supplies I used today (View All My Supplies Here)

Welcome to the Slimline Card Blog Hop

Slimline cards have recently become a popular card design and many of you have been searching for inspiration to make a few slimlines of your own. This week, our talented blog hop team has been working diligently to create a few of these tall, thin card designs. We can’t wait to share a few ideas with you.

Our monthly blog hops are a wonderful way for you to gather a few ideas for future projects. Feel free to Pin these projects directly from each of our blogs and save them for later.  You may be just starting here or you may have come from Kim Loewen’s blog – either way, you are in the right place.  When you are finished viewing my Beautiful Butterfly Slimline Card, click the link at the end of my post to “hop” on over to the next website. If you get lost along the way, you will find the list of participating consultants on Melinda’s Blog.


This past month, my creative juices have not been flowing in the right direction. If you follow me on social media, you saw one of my recent attempts at a slimline design and, oh, boy, was it a mess. Even though that card did not turn out how I expected, I was able to learn from my mistakes and create something new.

This gorgeous butterfly card is a small reminder to myself – even after a messy month of disasters I need to remember to love myself. I need to give myself some grace, step away from the craft space, and be happy with the creative mess that I am. Little reminders like this are just God’s way of telling me that everything is going to be okay. 

It is for this reason that I used many of the elements from the You Are Enough collection. I just adore all the phrases, patterns, and rose gold elements in that collection. I purposely chose to use a piece of pattern paper that says “beautiful” on this card to add to all the other reminders to be good to yourself.

I also added an elegantly layered die-cut butterfly image to this card. The softness of the vellum plays so well against the soft cream color of the French Vanilla cardstock. I wish the photo could show you how lovely the texture paste background looks with the distress oxide ink. My poor camera has decided to go on strike and I am struggling to get well-detailed photos of my projects this month.


I hope that today’s project inspired you to create a slimline card of your own and I hope that you remember to take a little time to LOVE YOURSELF. Take care of your soul, spend some time in the sun, and enjoy creating something new this week.

Now head on over to  Darlys Recker’s blog to see her work!  Be sure to visit all of the team blogs to get some great crafting tips and other fun slimline card ideas. Remember, the You Are Enough collection is only available while supplies last. If there are any products currently on your wishlist, you might want to head on over to my site and grab them sooner than later.  

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It’s a National Scrapbook Month Blog Hop!

No matter what type of paper crafts you enjoy, you are going to love our National Scrapbooking month bundle. Throughout May, we have a beautiful, gemstone-inspired collection called You Are Enough, and our blog hop team has been working hard on some projects to show you ways that you can use this collection.

Our monthly blog hops are a wonderful way for you to gather a few ideas for future projects. Feel free to Pin these projects directly from our blogs and save them for later.  You may be just starting here or you may have come from Cat Nowak’s blog – either way, you are in the right place. When you are finished viewing my Beautiful Butterfly cards, click the link at the end of my post to “hop” on over to the next website. If you get lost along the way, you will find the list of participating consultants on Melinda’s Blog.


Many of you have already gotten a sneak peek of the new You Are Enough collection in my recent Color Theory video. At first, I wasn’t quite sure how much I would enjoy the rose gold – bling is not really my thing – but oh, my, goodness! After seeing it in person and creating that layout, I couldn’t wait to start making a few cards.

Both of these cards are simple in design. I used the papers, coordinating cardstock, stamps, thin cuts, and those adorable butterfly dies from the collection.

The Thank You card was an easy one to make. It started as more complicated fun fold, but after two hours of fussing around and making mistakes, I decided just to keep it super simple. The base was decorated with a strip of You Are Enough paper. I love all the little sentiments on this design.

After adding some splashes of black shimmer, I stamped the heart and sentiment in black, then added the beautiful butterfly motif.

The butterfly was cut out of pattern paper and vellum using the Layered Butterfly thin cuts. I placed the layers atop a starburst die-cut that I created using the stamp and thin cut bundle.

In the center of the butterfly are some Rose Gold sequins. These little sequins match perfectly with this collection, so make sure you snag a few with your You Are Enough order. If you have run out of or don’t have these rose gold gems, you could use Rose Gold Liquid Pearls for the butterfly in place of the sequins.

The second card has a similar horizontal design with a little lace added. I cut my card front in half so that I could add that little bit of lace using the Fancy Borders thin cuts.

Across the top of the card, I added a strip of that beautiful Glacier Blue and Rose Gold cardstock. These ornate designs are simply stunning! I love how the package of coordinating cardstock includes both the rose gold designs and non-pattern pieces for projects.

Again, I added a butterfly design atop that stamped starburst. Both of my butterflies are built with three layers – a flat pattern piece on the base, a folded pattern piece, and a vellum piece.

In the center of this butterfly, I added some Blue Belle gems. If you have this Layered Butterfly thin cut on your wishlist, I would suggest you grab it sooner than later. These five metal dies are sized at 3¾”and 1½” and I am guessing they are going to be VERY popular and might sell out before the special ends. Remember, these You Are Enough items are only available while supplies last.


I hope that these Beautiful Butterfly cards gave you a taste of how striking the You Are Enough collection is and showed you a few new ways to use the bundle. Now head on over to Megan Lawrence’s blog to see her work!  Be sure to visit all of the blogs to get some great crafting tips and other fun ideas.  

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Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. By clicking on those links and making a purchase, you are helping to support my small business. This is at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.