Saturday, March 19, 2016

Maybe a Little Bit Too Free.....Butterfly Art Journal Page

Life is all about being free to explore!!!

Hi, Friends.....

I am here with an art journal page to share with you today.  Anyone want to venture a guess at how what is originally intended to be a card turns itself into an art journal page?  Answer is a combination of two things:  (a) I can't bear to give it away....and/or.....(b) I can't bear for anyone to see it!  LOL!!!  I will let you figure out which is which for this project!  Ha.

It all started when two pieces of unrelated paper got shoved near each other on my craft table......a pretty scrap of K&Co paper with a butterfly on it and a birthday card envelope from my dear MIL.  "Hey, I like these together.  I could make a card!"  :)  

I covered up the handwriting with the patterned paper and should have stopped playing around right there.  I could have made a very attractive card with this nice, tidy, contrasting bit of background.

But, nooooooooooooooo.........

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I think I remembered Tim Holtz saying that he crumples up stuff and rubs it around in his distress ink........whaaaaat????

Oh, why did I even start this project???  And what did I just DO to that pretty background????  Oh, woe is me!

Distress Ink in Tea Dye

I flattened it out and clipped it to my craft sheet to dry with my heat gun.

When I began this project, I had in mind to make something for Mrs. A's Butterfly Challenge - Butterfly + Buttons and/or Bronze. So I got out my bronze glittery embossing powder. I stamped a big arty Unity sun image with Versamark and heat embossed with Vintage Mahogany embossing tinsel from my Stampendous Encrusted Jewels Frantage Kit in Bronze.

The result was hideous! lol....  I stopped taking photos!!!!!

Somewhere between the above photo where I was totally despairing of this project and the photo below where things are starting to reassemble themselves into something interesting, I did the following:

1. Sponged Versamark ink in a butterfly stencil and heat embossed with clear powder. (You can see some of that in the center of the lower edge.)

2. Stamped and heat embossed a Serendipity - Floral Butterfly to go with the sun.

3. Sponged all over with Distress Ink in Rusty Hinge for an emboss-resist look.

4. Dusted Perfect Pearls in Perfect Bronze all over the entire thing and misted it slightly with water to set the powder. Then I wiped off the heat embossed places with a baby wipe.

You can tell that I kind of like what is happening with my piece now because I am starting to take photos again.  :)

Using Versafine in Vintage Sepia, I inked up some miscellaneous stamps I got in a thrift store grab bag.  They remind me of ancient engravings and such.  I stamped them willy-nilly over my piece.  Then I dusted some more Perfect Pearls over it to set the ink.

Bearing in mind that I still think I am making this for a card, I began my search for some buttons to go with it...and to qualify for the Butterfly challenge.  Nothing bronze in my button stash, soooooooooo.......

Time to heat emboss some buttons!!!

My new heat gun (Remember how mine died mid-project during my Cat Lovers Hop last October????) gets a bajillion degrees!  So I held my buttons with a unfolded paper clip.  I sponged them with Versamark and dipped them in embossing powder and zapped them.  This  photo is just the first couple of layers....I used all sorts of powders on them to get a weather-worn look.  :)  When the holes got embossed shut, I stuck a paper clip end in them while the powder was still warm to reopen them.

I die cut a glittery Serendipity - Floral Butterfly to add to my piece.  And, finally, at this point....reality hit me.  This is NOT going to be a card.  Nobody nobody nobody in my circle of card-receiving friends or family (especially family!) is going to understand this at all.  Their opinions of my ever-loosening grasp on sanity is only going to be confirmed.  I'm keeping it for myself.  As an art journal page.  Period.  No one else sees this.  Nope.  Well, no one except for you faithful readers.  YOU understand....(I hope!)....No one else does!!  :)

So at that point.......I was free to do whatever I wanted with it!!!  Hooray!! I still wanted to use the buttons and so it was still going to look kind of like a card, but I felt free to actually write on this in my own handwriting....which I rarely use!  lol...  I use printing for everything and really only pull out my cursive writing for signing autographs.  Hahaha...not really!  More like writing my signature on checks and such.  :)   

I wrote out and outlined the word Free using Faber-Castell Pitt Big Brush Markers in black and white. The white was a little too bright, so I sponged over it with Distress Ink in Tea Dye. I tied it all with dollar store twine and put it on a bundle of glued together book pages. You can see a stray string from the cloth binding at the top right.
I wish you could see the shine and glimmer of that sparkly Serendipity butterfly better!

Well, there you have it.  What do you think?  I know you didn't really need all those photos.....but I took them just in case (by some rare stroke of luck) the project turned out fabulous!  Ha!.....  I decided to share the process with you, anyway. :)  Even though there are things I would have done differently, I really kind of like how it turned out.

Are there some techniques you have been wanting to try?  I always have backdoor options, in case things really go south on a project.  For instance, I figure there is almost nothing that heat embossing or Perfect Pearls can't fix.  (You notice I used both on this project!!  lol...)  That gives me the freedom to explore new things in my art.  Do you have some favorite fixes, too?  If so (or even if not!), give some of your new ideas wings and go for it!!!   

Thanks for taking time today to look at my project!  This is a busy time for a lot of us and I appreciate each of you who comes to visit my blog and leaves such encouraging comments.  Have a lovely weekend!!!


Thank you for the honor of entering this art journal page in the following challenges:
1. Mrs. A's Butterfly Challenge - Butterfly + Buttons and/or Bronze
2. Serendipity Stamps Challenge #53 - Circles/Dots
3. Die Cut Divas - Something Spring
4. Word Art Wednesday Weeks #222-#223 - Anything Goes Family Friendly
5. DL.Art March Linky Challenge - Anything Goes
6. Let's Play! at A Colorful Journey
7. Little Scrap Pieces Show-It-Off-Saturday Linky Party
8. Craft Stamper March TIMI Challenge - Take a Stamp (must stamp)
9. WOW! Embossing March Challenge - Anything Goes with Heat Embossing
10. One Crazy Stamper March Challenge - Anything Goes
11. Crop Stop Linky Party #14 - Anything Goes, Use a product that CS sells (I used Distress Ink)
12. Little Claire's Challenge #67 - Anything Goes


  1. Such an interesting process and result; great that you liked how it turned out in the end. Thanks for joining us at Die Cut Divas, CarolG DT

  2. Breathtaking project!! LOVE it! Thanks for sharing all your amazing tries :) The result of all these changes is just amazing! I pinned it!
    I have never heat embossed buttons... I must try this :)
    Thanks for sharing your mixed media card (or journal page, if you want...)in the Butterfly Challenge 50#

  3. I love things like this that evolve. You certainly went to work on the two pieces of paper and ended up with a great creation. Great fun Janis. Barbxx

  4. That's really cool and a totally excellent 'save'. I love the glorious colours and texture it now has. I would have been mortified about screwing my piece up and inking it !!! A very brave move :-D
    I have been making a page this weekend too - it all went down the toilet at one stage but I think I might have saved it hee hee :-D
    Have a marvelous crafty day.

    IKE xxx

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  5. I think I need to give you a prize just for perseverance.! I love yor finished journal piece nd so enjoyed reading or exploits along the way. I was in fits of laughter here at one point. Thankyou for luttering by my challenge where your card will of ourse be entered twice into the draw. Hugs Mrs A.

  6. Wow very pretty!! I love the way it turned out planned or not :)

  7. Just look at what you can do when you ball up your scrap This is lovely Lis

  8. Love it love it love it--right down to the treatment of the buttons!

  9. Wow! you are a Rock Star!! Tim would be so proud of you!! You are brave to even attempt something like this but what stunning results you achieved! I'm so glad you stuck with it and so happy you shared your fun process! I really like it when people share photos of their process. : )


  10. Oh, I am so happy that you took photos of the process along the way because I love the transformation from spring flower garden to artsy distressed hand-dyed batik styling! All that texture and metallic accent gives a real richness to your background and those heat embossed buttons are absolutely perfect! I have a lot of buttons that could benefit from some of that antiquing as well, and I'll be sure to keep a paper clip on hand for stubborn button holes! Love this!!

  11. What a hoot...thanks for sharing your story of the evolution of your art journal page. It is certainly worthy of showing off. Loving your bronze buttons and the tip to use a paper clip. I have embossed brads before with good results.

  12. Great combination of layers on this card !!

  13. Oh, dear me (wiping tears)... I'm sorry for your plight, but glad you could re-tell it in such an entertaining way. Thanks for the giggles! Once the Perfect Pearls were on it, it was stunningly gorgeous and I love how it turned out!

  14. I love the colours and texture, such a beauty! :) thanks for playing along in this months challenge over at One Crazy Stamper :)

  15. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful details, awesome, love perfect pearls too...Wonderful card, thanks for entering our challenge at One Crazy Stamper.
    Cheers, Leanne DT/OCS

  16. So gorgeous! I love seeing your process and how you pull everything together! Love the Floral butterfly in the background and then pulled out up front too!

  17. What a brilliant way to re purpose items.. amazing background and that embossed button?! AMAZING!

  18. What a beauty.

    So glad you joined us at Die Cut Divas.


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Have a lovely day!