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)

Creating a Card with Love of Color

How many times have you tried to pick out colors for a project, drug out the color wheel, and become frustrated that nothing seems to match? OR do you stick with a set of colors you know will always work? Well, my friend, today is the day to venture out of your color comfort zone.  I am going to show you a simple way to choose a palette for your project using the Love of Color idea book.  

If you are a member of my Create with Miss. Carrie VIP Group, you had a chance to see this card created during my Fab Friday Find video.  I walked you through this wonderful Love of Color book and showed you how to make this card using our September stamp set

This how-to book is designed to help you find complementarity colors for your projects.  On this card, I knew that I wanted to use the Desert Rose cardstock, but I wasn’t quite sure which colors would match.  All I had to do was open up the book to “Desert Rose” and I was shown multiple options for projects and color combinations. 

Not only was I able to find a color palette to match Desert Rose, I was also inspired by one of the projects in the book.  This how-to book is FULL of projects you can create using the color combinations shown.  It even tells you where to find the cutting guide in our other how-to books. 

For those of you who may have missed out on the Fab Friday Find Video, here is a modified version of the video showing you the Love of Color idea book and the card making process. The full-length version can be viewed in my VIP Group.  

This card was really simple to make and fun to create using the Love of Color palette suggestions. I would have never thought to pair Desert Rose with Mint and Ballerina. 

I hope that this project inspired you to venture outside your “color comfort zone” and try a few new colors in your designs.  I know that having this book helps me to consider new combinations and I am often inspired by the projects within. 

If you would like to purchase either of the Love of Color books or any of our How-to Books, you can do so on my website.  Most of these books fit right inside our 6″ x 8″ Every Day Life Binders making it easy to flip through and transport.   

If you would like to recreate this card, make sure that you snag that September stamp of the month before September 30th. This stamp set is available for only $5.00 with any $50 purchase. 

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)

Creating A Masculine Anniversary Card

This week, my husband and I will be celebrating twenty-seven years together and I found it difficult to find a card that wasn’t floral-ly, mushy, and girly. What does a cardmaker do? She searches the internet for a card sketch, then digs through her stash to create a masculine card for her sweetheart that is more fitting to his personality.  This week’s card design comes to you courtesy of the Atlantic Heart Sketch challenge

I wanted to keep it super simple and use up a few of my leftover stickers and papers from my Timber collection. With the new catalog on the horizon and products arriving to my door soon, I wanted to start using up some of these items before they were sold out on my website. 

The background was created using the sketch as a guide.  I cut down some leftover Timber paper scraps and zip-strips to create the background and added some zig-zag stitching on the sides. These were hand-stitched. Unfortunately, my sewing machine decided to go on strike along with my deep freeze this past week. 

I wanted to keep the rest of the card masculine and simple.  I didn’t have an anniversary stamp that would work for the sentiment shown in the sketch, so I chose to use a sticker instead.  I think that the “keeping it handsome” phrase is perfect for my hubby.  

I cut a chevron into the sticker so that it matched the sketch and looked more like a sentiment on the card. The sticker was a little shorter than I needed it to be, so I added a piece of the Ax Border on the right side to make it appear a little longer. 

The mountain scene behind the deer and the little red heart are also stickers from the Timber collection.  The mountain sticker was trimmed down to fit behind the sentiment. If you look at the sticker sheet above, you can see where I trimmed the image. I will probably use that boat on a fishing layout later. 

The deer and the two kraft colored hearts come from the package of Timber Die-cuts. I wanted to keep this card masculine and stick to the anniversary theme.  I don’t think the hearts deter from the masculinity of the card and they were just too cute not to add to the design. 

The final addition was a wooden arrow which I debated using, but, now that I look at the overall piece, I am glad I added it.  This Timber collection has been one of my favorite this season.  I am currently working on a plans for few layouts using the scrapbook kit and working on using up some more of my stash on some other projects.  I will be so sad to see this one go. 

I hope that today’s project inspired you to try something new and join the Atlantic Hearts Sketch challenge.  Those sketches are always inspiring to me and I enjoy a challenge.  They offer a new sketch each week. I encourage you to stop by their site and give a few 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.