Saturday, 28 July 2012

80th Birthday Card–Mixed Media

Warning – long post with lots of photos!

My hubby reminded me the other day that we are invited to an 80th birthday party on Sunday, and would I like to make a nice card? So Shoshi has pulled out all the stops these past few days and come up with something I think she will like!

As you know from my previous posts, I’m about to take part in a flower swap with Judy in Australia. Unfortunately the flowers have had to take a back seat this week while I made this card. From flowers to butterflies! I told a friend on Sunday, “I love butterflies!” She said, “Oh, really? I’d never have guessed.” (She was being ironic. Lol!)

So – the card. I wanted to use my new Dylusions Ink Sprays, and made a background in the same way as I did my flower backgrounds, by putting the cut shapes down on the paper and then spraying, and turning them over and moving them, and spraying again. The large butterfly background isn’t 100% but I may do something with it – my large leaf one was disappointing till I had another go at it.

I cut all the butterflies with Sheba, my Black Cat Cougar cutting machine. Most of the shapes are Penny Duncan’s cut files but I’ve used one of my own (not visible in these pictures).

I was very pleased with how well Sheba cut these out. The only problem was the detailed one with many holes. There was a tendency for the tiny pieces to be lifted up by the blade and carried along with it, preventing further cuts. I’ve experienced this problem before, despite using my brayer very vigorously to stick the card down well onto the mat. This time, I reduced the cutting speed right down to 25, and watched very carefully as it cut – at the first sign of trouble, I hit the pause button and removed the offending loose piece. I had to remove the whole blade holder several times, remove the blade and pick the tiny pieces out of the holder – really boring to have to do this, but worth it in the end as I got a pretty well perfect cut on those particular shapes. I’d set SignCut to cut the smallest pieces first, so once they were done, I checked the blade one more time, and then set the velocity back up to 100 and cut the rest.

Here’s the pierced butterfly with its mat layer (seen in the centre of the above photo). I just laid them out like this to show how the layers work – I was not intending to use them like this because there wasn’t enough contrast. You can see what an excellent job the Black Cat Cougar does with cuts like this.

This is the background that I sprayed onto the base card for this birthday card, using mostly small butterflies to create the pattern.

Here are some other parts that I cut from white card using Sheba:

The large piece will be used inside the card. I designed the sentiment (and everything else) in Inkscape – in this case, text on a path, and created the shape and scalloped mat layer (using the interpolate feature of pattern on a path). In the end, I didn’t use this scalloped piece but cut some more in gold, and used one of those. The text was done with a purple gel pen in Sheba’s pen holder – this is a brilliant accessory which enables you to draw and write in addition to cutting with the machine, and you can use any font on your computer. The frame would be inked and used inside the card.

This shows how the mat layer fits under the text to give the scalloped edge (this is just laid on top, not stuck down).

I filled a whole A4 sheet of gold mirror card with butterflies, frames and text mats so that I’d have some in my stash as well as providing enough for this project. Here is the gold mirror card still on the cutting mat immediately after cutting.

The gold card being removed from the mat – “weeding” the waste card first, leaving the pieces still stuck down on the mat.

The pieces removed.

Here you can see Penny’s double-layered butterfly. The top one has the mat layer in gold with the pierced part on top being one of my inked pieces, and for the lower one, the cut pieces are reversed. I had to decide which I preferred for this card, and chose the second one.

Here is the front of the card with a gold frame adhered around the aperture.

Inking the inside of the card. For this I used an Inkylicious Ink Duster to apply Dusty Concord Distress Ink.

Here is the smaller piece to line the inside of the card, being inked with Dusty Concord and Black Soot Distress Inks around the edge, and Picked Raspberry (one of the Summer special seasonal edition inks) for the centre. I wanted a bit of contrast with the base card, but still keeping within the general colour scheme.

A lot of people have been intrigued by my suggestion that I would use all that kitchen paper that I’d used to mop up my ink! It seems that most people think this is bizarre, and they can’t think how it could be used – most people simply throw it away, and I hope I can convince them that this is a waste when you can make beautiful things from it. I had one piece that I’d used scrunched up to mop up some ink, and not on the roll, and it had a gorgeous creased design on it from the two colours, so I cut a rectangle of this to put underneath the window of the card.

Here it is, having Golden regular matt gel medium applied on the back with a palette knife. This made the two layers of the kitchen paper pull apart, so I laid down the one with the gel medium on it, and scrunched it around a bit, but it started to tear, so I took the other layer and placed it on top, sticking it down with a small amount of gel medium around the edges.

The bottom layer became quite firm after the gel medium had dried, and this supported the upper layer very well, so in the end I was pleased with the result. Here it is with the lining piece stuck down to cover the edges, and the other gold frame around the aperture.

The next step was to stick the acetate over the window of the card. I did this from the inside, using Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive, which has to be my absolute favourite wet glue – it’s awesome! (Thank you Lucy – Lucy introduced me to this glue and it is now known as “Lucy’s Glue” lol!)

The edge of the acetate stuck down inside the card needed to be covered up. This is where the white frame came in. I inked it with Picked Raspberry Distress Ink. (I love this colour!)

Here it is in place. Does that look like kitchen paper in the right-hand aperture? My hubby thought it was fabric! I just couldn’t throw this delicious piece away! This effectively completes the inside of the card, apart from the 3-D flying butterflies. (After taking this photo, I decided it needed something more, and added some water spatters which improved it a lot – photos further down.)

This is how it looked with the sentiment mounted on its gold scalloped mat and adhered to the outside of the card. The white card of the sentiment was lightly inked with Picked Raspberry Distress Ink before being glued down.

I then selected a few of the gold butterflies and painted them with alcohol inks, using a Ranger fillable alcohol ink pen filled with blending solution, and my recently created alcohol inks palette. As you can see, it worked a treat! The larger gold butterfly (top right) has not been painted – what you can see is just reflection. The colours I used were a selection of purply pink, green and blue. I didn’t use all the butterflies – the rest have gone in my stash.

Here they are on the front of the card, together with the double-layered butterfly. The bodies of the butterflies were all stuck down with a small quantity of hot glue, and the wings folded upwards. (The butterflies on the bottom right look darker than this in real life – as usual it’s hard to photograph reflective surfaces.) The only thing still remaining to be done is to add a tiny amount of Pinflair gel glue under the wings of the butterflies to prevent them being flattened.

I have forgotten who pointed me in the direction of the video tutorial for the 3-D flying butterfly card but thank you, whoever you are! I was so taken with this design and decided straight away that I wanted to make it. You take a circle of acetate and lay it on top of a sketch of a spiral done on a piece of scrap paper, and holding the two together, you use the paper as a pattern and cut along the spiral line. The paper can then be discarded.

In the video, she used glue dots to fix this up, but I prefer something a bit stronger, so ensuring that I used laser acetate to make the spiral because this is heat-proof, I used my hot glue gun to stick the centre of the spiral down onto the centre of the inside of the card, and the outer end onto the inside of the card front. When you open the card, the spiral therefore opens up like a spring.

Several butterflies were then stuck onto the spiral, checking through the front aperture to make sure they were placed correctly. When you open the card, it appears that the butterflies are flying in the space! Very effective and certain to gain a “Wow”! Thanks for the great video tutorial, Bernie!

Here is the finished card, closed. You can see the butterflies through the acetate window.

Here is is open:

The final embellishment was the “80” to go in the top right hand corner of the card. I decided to do some more faux porcelain for this, this time making a circular piece, and distressing it with pink ink for a slightly different effect from my first, very grungey effort. Here is the final result, with the medallion adhered to the front of the card with hot glue, and the addition of a short length of ribbon.

This is the inside of the card. As you open it, the acetate spiral, attached to the left-hand side of the inside of the card and in the centre of the right-hand side, is pulled apart like a spring, and the butterflies appear to float between the two halves.

Here’s a detail of the water spatter effect I did on the inside. I think this really lifts the background and improves it a lot.

This is a detail shot of the butterflies on the acetate spiral. They are stuck with hot glue, as are the ends of the spiral.

Finally, the envelope. I lightly inked the edges with more Picked Raspberry Distress Ink, and stamped a butterfly in the corner with the same ink.

I am pleased to have finished this card well ahead of Sunday. That’s a weight off my mind. Back to the flowers again now!


  1. Shoshi, this card is gorgeous! It will be loved by your 80 year old friend! Of course those yummy 'em!!

  2. What a wonderful wonderful card! My favourite colours.I found your write up of the method very interesting.

  3. Speaking as one butterfly addict to another - I love this creation Shoshi, it is absolutely stunning! Great tutorial too. A x

  4. Fabulous. I love the colours and like how you made the die cuts from the gold CS.
    I am looking into the cutter so thanks for your help.

  5. Oh WOW, that is a beautiful card. Love the colours you have used and the spiralling butterflies are so different.
    Look forward to the instructions for the labels on Wednesday but this is great and I will look at the video - thanks.
    Hugs, Neet xx

  6. Beautiful card, Shoshi! You're right, that Picked Raspberry distress ink is fabulous!

  7. WoWee Shoshi, this is just stunning! The new octogenarian will be completely delighted to receive this. The colours are beautiful, the gold/purple double layer butterfly is gorgeous and the boingy butterflies are simply inspired. Give the Cougar a cookie ;0)

  8. Warning noted ... you weren't joking, LOL but the card was well worth it , it is beautiful, love the colours
    janet #18

  9. I love to see the steps you go through to make your beautiful cards, Shoshi. Great choice to put the gold lacy butterfly layer on top of the colored one. Awesome card!

  10. That's one special card Shoshi. I don't think you can go wrong with 'flutterby's'
    and the colour is stunning! Someone is going to be thrilled to receive it :D
    You're tip on using the kitchen paper is ingenious and I remember with silk painting I used to have some brilliant scraps with the most amazing colours left over...there was no way I could throw them out either.
    Hoping you have another fun packed creative week ahead and let's hope the sun keeps shining! ;D

  11. What an amazing card, didn't even notice the long post as it was so brilliant!

    As for our internet connection. We have got BT to do all the changes/updates possible "without" an engineer coming round - YET. It still isn't stable so DH is re-doing all the phone stuff (power supplies, base stations etc.) The £100 fee per visit is rather a sting isn't it! And our exchange is only up the road. I guess I notice the drops in service least often as I am not playing on-line games like DS. Thanks for your input on the matter, duly noted.

  12. Hello!

    Beautifully done - a labor of love! I love the flying butterflies technique and your card is wonderful! Wishing you a happy day today!


    Barbara Diane

  13. Forgot to mention I love the way you use diecuts on your sprayed pieces, really ought to try that, great ghosting effect and super sprayed diecuts into the bargin.

    As I said not OKed a BT engineer yet. DH had me buy new phones today, he has also changed the filters and BT have also done "something" so we might just have cracked it. Hope so.

    Sort of "happy sad" for our men's gymnastics team, thought they had silver went to have dinner and came back to find they only had bronze! Bit confusing but still it's the first I have seen us perform so well in gymnastics. Funny old game these are turning out to be. All the hyped up athletes aren't doing so well and others are??? Curious! BJ (you can reply to me directly if you ever need to - just thought I'd mention it)

  14. Shoshi - this turned out so well! I'm in love with the dusty inkers - thanks for the intro to this product! :)


  15. Beautiful Work Shoshi. I must admit I am getting very frustrated with my Cougar still being put away as the reno's progress so slowly.
    Here is the link to the joggles site in case you haven't made it there yet. One of my favourite online shopping experiences :)

  16. This is stunning Shoshi- I'm glad someone else utilises kitchen paper etc to wipe up spare ink and use them in cards. I've got a great one ready to use at some point from using your honeycomd stencil!
    Were you cutting using the detail blade? I've found using the 60 detail blade together with brayering the card down seems to do the trick- although your detail may be smaller than mine!

  17. Thanks for dropping by my blog- I found less lifting and better cutting with the detail (although it doesn't necessarily stop happening all together). In some cases decreasing the velocity has helped too.


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