Sunday, January 14, 2018

Frosted Butterflies Out of Season

Please join me on my new blog - where this project is included with more already added. Thank you. I hope to see you there.

Challenges for this Week - Winter Blues and Think Inside or Outside the Box

I haven't done many challenges lately because it's prime time at work - flu season in the emergency department where I work and I have some long term projects like the Wilkins House that are occupying my imagination. I did finally come up with an idea of Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge "Winter Blues" and A Vintage Journey "Think Inside or Outside the Box". It's called Frosted Butterflies Out of Season. 

Frosted Butterflied Mixed Media piece
Ethereal Frosted Butterflies are flying out of season in the snow. 
I'd like to explain the ideas behind this piece. I think the concept in my head is better than the execution. Ok, here are the two main inspirations behind this piece. First was Simo's stunning Icy Inspiration project for a recent Simon Says Stamp Challenge. She layered a beautiful snowflake on a blue background that made my mouth drop. You can check out her work on her blog - Ginny and the Sheep. The butterflies came to mind because of Amber's art journal page called Fear of the Unknown. She did an incredible job coloring the butterflies in her journal. Her butterflies just dance across the page. So it occurred to me to combine these two ideas to make the butterflies translucent and glittery like they were frosted. 

Close-up view of the Frosted Butterflies. On some of the butterflies I outlined the bodies on the background piece. Not sure if I would do that again.

I didn't take photos as I was doing the project because I didn't have any idea if it would work or not. I cut out the butterflies from leftover plastic packaging with Tim Holtz' Flutter and Perspective. Then I stamped them with a white ink and applied glitter right away. I left them to dry overnight. I added a background cutout of the butterflies to make them show up better.

Frosted Butterflies Mixed Media piece
Background too light. I know how to fix it on the next project. 

The background was made using watercolor paper and distress oxides. I think I used Iced Spruce, Faded Jeans, and a little Broken China. I used Peacock Feathers on another sheet to line the box that that put the background in. I tried to layer the background, but really backgrounds remain a challenge to me. I rarely get the depth I am looking for. I think I've made two backgrounds with decent depth. I like the one on the Halloween piece "Grumpy Back Seat Driver" and "A Study in Perspective". Both achieved what I envisioned. Well, actually "A Study in Perspective" worked better than I hoped. This background is just too light. I ran out of time so I went with it. I like the idea of these butterflies so much that I will likely do this project over in the future. Everything is a learning experience, isn't it?

Wildflowers for Frosted Butterflies Mixed Media piece
View of the Wildflowers on Frosted Butterflies

The wildflowers were cut from watercolor paper using various blue distress sprays, inks and crayons. Basically I used the same colors as on the background.

Tim Holtz Watering Can to anchor the flowers on the Frosted Butterflies Mixed Media project
Watering Can to anchor the flowers

Now to the watering can. I couldn't figure out how to ground the flowers - how to anchor them on the page. At first, I thought I would use a Tim Holtz framelit mason jar from the Flower Jar die set, but it was way too small. Then I remembered that I had just bought the watering can die. It is probably  little too small, but I think it works on the page and it certainly anchors the flowers. I used a distress spray to color it - Hickory Smoke, I think. I colored the edges with Hickory Smoke distress crayon. I smeared a little glue on it and used some fine glitter to help keep with the frosted theme. To anchor the watering can, I added some Snowtex which was lightly glittered as well. 

Oh, and the box - well, that's a Fancy Feast box. It is such a nice size for a project like this. And for the challenge for A Vintage Journey, I was able to use both inside and outside of the box to hold the butterflies. I do need to remember that I need to weigh it down when I am gluing stuff to it so it won't get all wonky and crooked. Another lesson for me.

Frosted Butterflies Out of Season
Frosted Butterflies Out of Season

So that is my most recent project. I love the butterflies and will use this concept again. I just need to work on the backgrounds. I am sharing this project with Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge "Winter Blues" and with A Vintage Journey's "Think Inside or Outside the Box".


  1. Lucy, I enjoyed reading through your process, and your end result is beautiful and creative! Your butterflies, wildflowers and background are gorgeous! Super way to think in and outside the box, and perfect for our challenge at A Vintage Journey! Hugs!

    PS I hope you stay healthy working among all those flu cases...I always worry about that for health care workers. I know we take precautions, but sometimes those bugs know their way around those precautions.

    1. Sara, thank you for your concern about the flu. I don't think it is a very bad year for the flu. The kids don't look terribly ill or at least the ones I've seen don't look too bad. We are required to take the shot, but I've heard that its effectiveness this year is only 30% meaning that the flu strains in the vaccine overlap the flu strains that are circulating through the community only by 30%. I have been healthy so far. I hope you stay healthy and creative as well.

  2. Delightful scene Lucy! I like how you made the butterflies look like they are emerging from he flowers. Thanks so much for sharing your "winter blues" with us at Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge! hugs, Maura

  3. What a lovely garden scene with the flowers, butterflies and watering can - you created a beautiful background for it all - love the colors and your creative use of a Fancy Feast box! thanks for joining us in the A Vintage Journey Challenge Lucy - and stay well!! Julia xx

  4. What a lovely project, your frosted butterflies are gorgeous and love the watercolour flowers, gives me hope for Spring! Thank you for joining us at A Vintage Journey for our Think Inside or Outside The Box challenge, Deb xo

  5. I really enjoy seeing the construction on your new houses and wondered what you were up to this time of year. I just love this beautiful panel! The colors and dimension are fabulous. Hugs, Autumn

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Autumn. I have been working on that one house for about two months. Almost done. I will post it soon. The frosted butterflies project was a fun diversion.