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)

These Are My People Blog Hop

Welcome to the These are My People Blog Hop where we will be featuring a variety of projects using the These Are My People Collection. 90342996_10157279803947686_9053784544502611968_nIf you have come here from Kathy Burrows blog you are on the right path!  When you are finished reading my post, you can click on the link at the end to move to the next blog. This blog hop is simple, fun, and full of artwork created by some very talented consultants.  If you get lost along the way, you’ll find the complete list of participating consultants on Melinda’s Blog

Our These are My People papers and stickers are full of vibrant colors and patterns which I chose to use on this Simply Stickers card.  Many of you probably use stickers primary for scrapbooks, but did you know that they are also perfect for your card making projects.  Let me share with you a few ways that you can use stickers on your handmade cards. 

Cut Them Up to Fit Your Project

Don’t panic! It’s okay to cut apart your stickers.  Let’s take a look at what the These are My People sticker sheet looks like. 

Do you see that Green Border strip with the dots at the top?  That is the sticker I cut apart to create the top and bottom border of my card.  I simply placed the sticker sheet into my paper trimmer, and cut off the dots. 

Color Your Stickers to Make Them Pop

Sometimes, stickers need a little color.  On the sticker sheet, the two larger rose stickers had white leaves and the small rose was completely white. To bring more of the green color in from my border and heart, I used watercolors to shade the leaves. The small rose was shaded pink.  

Use the Phrases As Sentiments

Many of our sticker sheets come with fun phrases for your scrapbook pages. These phrases also make wonderful card sentiments.  You can chose to use them as is, or use them to create a sentence like I did on my Lilac Dragonfly Card.  On this card, I used the bold, typeset sentiment across the bottom of the card. I like how it grounds the images and puts the focus on the sentiment. 

I hope that today’s project inspired you to pull out a few of your sticker sheets and create a some cards for your home dwelling friends.  

Now ‘Hop” on over to Kim Loewen’s Blog to see her work! Be sure to visit all the Consultants at their blogs to get some great crafting tips and other fun ideas. Remember, the These Are My People products are only available, while supplies last, until April 30th.  Contact your CTMH Consultant, or visit the Promotions tab of my website to see how you can save 20% on these products.

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.

Upcoming Events

I enjoy hosting local events where I can teach you fun crafting techniques as you create something new and I have quite a few fun events planned for you in May.  Not only do we have a new catalog arriving (which you will get free at each event), but we are also celebrating National Scrapbooking Month!

Coffee & Cards

Totally Techniques

Create with Cricut

Scrapbook All Day Crops

Weekend Retreats


Being a Consultant means that I have a stack of new products sitting in my work-space ready and waiting for you to play with, BUT I am only allowed to give you a few sneak peeks. Don’t be upset, though, because I will have samples of future workshop creations at each of these events for you to see.

Here is what you can make in May

May 3rd – May 5th Ladies Spring Crafting Retreat
(I still have two spots open)
Come celebrate National Scrapbooking Month with a weekend of crafting fun. Relax, Craft, Create, and Win Prizes!

MissCarriesCreations-MayCoffee& Cards
May 11th Coffee & Cards

Graduation Cards & Gifts
Come enjoy a delicious drink at Aunt Helen’s Coffee House and some card crafting with friends.

May 16th Create with Cricut 

Playing with Fonts
Come learn how to use the Text Edit bar to insert font, weld font, write with fonts, and add new fonts in Cricut Design Space™.

MissCarriesCreations-AdventureLayout-HeaderMay 25th Totally Techniques
Adding More Photos to Layouts
We all have those few photos we hate to throw out, but don’t want to create a new page for. Come learn new ways to add more photos to your album without adding more pages.


I am also looking for TWO PEOPLE who would like host a crafting club in their home or church each month (or quarterly). All of my hostesses receive a FREE Stamp of the Month and a few extra goodies from me for being willing to let me come teach you some new crafting techniques.  If this is something you are interested in, please send me an email and we can start planning.

I can’t wait to see what you create!