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)

Crafting Live on Craft Roulette

Here is something I never pictured my crafty self doing – a LIVE game show called Craft Roulette.  Yes, you read that correctly.  A game show for paper crafters.  This weekly paper-craft challenge takes place on Mary GunnFunn’s Facebook page and you get to participate as Mary and her guest crafters create a randomly selected craft …. and guess who was chosen as one of her guest crafters??

Let me just say, this was one of those experiences that a crafter like me doesn’t really have on her bucket list, but it should have been on there because Mary and her son were wonderful hosts.  If you have never heard of Craft Roulette, the game starts with the spinning of a wheel where four random crafting parameters are chosen. 

PROJECT

COLORS

ELEMENT

RANDOM

In Mary’s video she states that there are 331,776 project possibilities and no one knows what they are going to be ahead of time.  That’s right! I had to wing it and grab whatever I could find in my crafting space after the wheel was spun and make something based on the four guidelines chosen. Here is what I came up with. 

The wheel of randomness chose Fancy Fold, Red, Yellow & Orange for colors, a Butterfly element and  Shimmer.  I had no knowledge of any of this ahead of time. The game show is LIVE on Facebook and both Mary and I found out about the requirements as the wheel was spinning.  

To be honest, I was rather frightened at first.  Not only was I going to be live on a public Facebook page (a first for me), but I was going to have to make something on-the-spot in front of people I didn’t really know and hope for the best.  Then that wheel spun and I was given colors I rarely use and told to make it a fancy fold. Thank goodness for the shimmer – if all else failed, I would just brush it with sparkles and call it good.

So as you can see, not only did all the viewers get to seen my crazy “what the heck am I going to make” face, but they also got to watch Mary and I create a fancy fold project using all the colors required with a butterfly and some shimmer. 

I kept my fold very simple and used some paper scraps I had on hand with a single stamped butterfly image and Bloom with Grace stickers.  At first, the color combination threw me, but then I realized that I didn’t have to use primary colors, I could use fall shades – Paprika, Scarlet, and Sundance. 

For the shimmer, I used a strip of red glitter paper. Again, I struggled with this because I don’t usually use glitter paper on my projects, but it was a scrap that was sitting on my desk from my Christmas Card video, and I decided to go ahead and use it.

For those of you who missed the show, you can go view it in Mary’s FUNN Facebook group or check it our on her website, or view it here on YoutUbe.  If I were you, I would join Mary’s Facebook group so that you can play along next time. 

Speaking of playing along – YOU CAN PLAY, TOO!!  Each week, you can submit the projects you have made based on these four requirements.  You can also join to fun every Friday, and watch Mary and her friends create.  

Again, I want to thank Mary and her son for being such lovely hosts and allowing me to come play on Craft Roulette.  I hope to join you again and look forward to seeing one of you at next week’s game show. 

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.

Out of This World Cards with Shimmer Brushes

Earlier this week, I showed you some simple tricks to help you with your Shimmer Brushes and promised you a tutorial showing a few techniques you could use on your projects.  Well, it took me a little longer than I hoped to finish the video, but it is complete and ready for you to enjoy. 

For those of you who would like to know more about how I created each of these cards, you can continue reading about my project after you view video. 

Please take a few minutes to subscribe to my channel and share this tutorial with your friends.

My original goal, was to show you how to use our Shimmer Brushes to create a single card, but there are just so many techniques to share, so I chose instead, to create three cards and share just a few of those techniques with you today.  

Each one of these cards was created using the Aurora Cardmaking Kit. If you are a member of my VIP group or you follow CTMH on Facebook, you were able to join a live event showing how to make the cards in this kit. Well, I decided that since I already have the kit, I would make a few more cards using those wonderful little globe die cuts and my Shimmer Brushes. 

Let’s start out by taking a look at the backgrounds I created on each of the cards.  All three have a splatter pattern in the background, but each one was created a little differently using a Shimmer Brush. 

On two of the cards I created a simple diagonal splatter pattern. One card has more of a condensed pattern while the other is a little larger and more random. 

To create the condensed pattern, I removed some of the ink from the Julep Shimmer brush, held it close to the cardstock, and forcefully tapped the brush causing more ink to fly off the brush. On the second card, I removed the excess ink, held the brush a little higher above the cardstock, then lightly tapped the Charcoal Shimmer brush. 

On the third card, I chose to add some paint swishes and create a much larger droplet on my splatter pattern.  I light brushed the Toffee Shimmer across the cardstock, then loaded the brush with ink and tapped it lightly in a diagonal direction across the cardstock. 

Each of these techniques creates a slightly different look to your background pattern.♥   Now let’s take a look at the globes I created and how I used the Shimmer Brushes to create those beautiful blended colors. 

The first globe was shaded using a mix of Mint and Lagoon Shimmer ink.  I shaded the entire globe in Mint, then allowed a large amount of Lagoon ink to soak and blend into the edges of the die cut. 

On the second globe, I used watercolor pencils that I blended with a Clear Shimmer brush.  After I shaded the die cut with the green and blue watercolor pencils,  I used the shimmer brush like a waterbrush to blend the colors. 


Wasn’t that fun?! Now you have a few new techniques you can use when you are creating your projects with Shimmer Brushes.  I hope today’s project inspired you to create something new and that you give a few of these techniques a try. 

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.


Here is a List of the Supplies Shown Today (view all my supplies)