This is my first design team challenge for Elizabeth Craft Designs (ECD). The theme this month is "flowers." I love making flowers - they are a great way to use up scraps, although I think I went a little crazy. I made about 3 times as many flowers as I actually needed. My original thought was to make a field of flowers, in a rainbow of colors, going all the way across the inside "meadow" of the card. After pulling out a bunch of my scrap papers, I ended up only making part of the rainbow - mainly red/purple/blue.
I wanted to use my Elizabeth Craft Designs flower dies - both the individual layers sets and a couple of the flower sets. Note: all the supplies are listed at the bottom of this post. ECD dies come connected together. You could probably use the flower layers (Bunch of Flowers and Bunch of Flowers 2) while connected but I prefer to cut them apart and file off the nibs. It's easier to move them around on scraps once they have been separated.
After picking out a bunch of shades of cardstock from my scraps, I cut a variety of different sizes and shapes using the dies (note, I only used the smaller flower dies from 701 Flower Set 1 and 702 Flower Set 2 to mix in with the others for more variation). Below is a photo in process of making the flowers. You can see the variety of layers. Next I put them in pairs and triplets I thought would look good together. I inked the ends of the petals in coordinating colors (i.e. a slightly darker shade than the flowers) with Distress Ink using the Ranger Ink Blending Tool and Foam. See the Supplies section for the names of the colors I used.
Once inked, I painted them with Distress Crackle Paint, Rock Candy; this is a clear crackle paint that makes the flowers really stand out. The colors intensify and the crackle adds a little somethin'-somethin'. This can be a really messy endeavor. I usually hold each layer by one petal, leaving it unpainted while painting the rest. Once dry, I go back and paint the last petal on each of the flower layers. Note: if your crackle paint gets too thick, add water a little at a time, stirring with a craft stick, until you get the consistency you like. It should still be somewhat thick in order to get it to crackle.
Using my thumb and the edge of my die pick (you could also use the handle of a small paintbrush), I gently curled the petals. I usually curl most down but some I curl up. The crackle paint will cloud with too much handling (it gets this way when it cracks a lot). A thin additional coat of crackle paint (mixed with water) might alleviate the clouding if it gets bad.
I glue the layers together using Glossy Accents (it dries quickly and holds really well). Finally I add a half pearl, crystal, or Stickles to the centers (hint: Stickles tends to flatten when it dries; to get more dimension, add a pearl size dollop of Glossy Accents first - let it dry then put Stickles on top). A while ago I found a bunch of beautiful Swarovski crystals at the dollar store; I so wish I had bought more! They are the most sparkly crystals I've seen.
For the front of the card I cut the full flower from 701 Flower Set 1 in the colors shown (I didn't use the small center circle though), inked the edges and painted each layer with crackle paint as described for the smaller flowers. I didn't ink the light purple center because I liked it the way it looked unlinked. To make leaves, I cut the light green and medium green cardstock with 703 Triple Leaf Set, then inked and crackle painted them. Once dry, I turned them over, backside up, on a rubber mouse pad (you could use a foam pad) and drew a line down the center of each leaf before shaping to make them look a little more realistic. You can see the lines on the leaves in the close up of the front of the card below, or of the close ups of flowers at the end of this post.
To create the base of the card, I cut a piece of light green cardstock 4.25" by 11", folded it in half (use a bone folder/burnishing bone to make a sharp crease), and rounded the bottom corners using the We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper. I cut a piece of medium green cardstock about a quarter inch smaller on each side than the card front, then rounded the bottom two corners and adhered it to the front of the card.
The beautiful shimmery background was created with White Iris Shimmer Sheetz, embossed with Swirly Curls. I first transferred the front and back as Els shows in the transfer technique video. I added Silk Microfine Glitter, Warm Diamond to one and Silk Microfine Glitter, Amethyst to another. I put these aside for later. I sanded the small pattern side of the Shimmer Sheetz before cutting it down and rounding the corners for the front of the card. Be sure to use strong adhesive for this, such as Tombow Xtreme.
I used The Stamps of Life, stamps4fancylabel and the coordinating framelits die set to stamp (using Versafine Ink, Onyx Black) and cut out the sentiment label. I mounted the top label with dimensional tape. Hint: to better hide dimensional tape, color it with black or a coordinating color using alcohol markers (e.g. Sharpie, Copics) before removing from the backing paper. I cut a piece of light green cardstock the width of the card and about two inches shorter than the length of the card (i.e. 4.25" x 9"), folded it in half, and die cut the center using 778 Lots of Pops. I ended up cutting another inch or so off the bottom so I would have a little more room inside the card below the pink flower border, which I used to cover the seam. Using strong adhesive, I stuck down the bottom half to the inside of the card, lining it up with the fold, then closed the card to stick down the top half.
I cut a couple strips of light and medium green paper the width of the card to layer and adhered near the bottom of the card such that the inside seam would line up with the middle of the strips. I used Glossy Accents to glue the purple flower border (from Michaels, "Michaels Trims" in the dollar bin) around the card, covering up the top inside seam and running down the middle of the green strips.
To create the inside of the card, I cut a bunch of leaves with 703 Triple Leaf Set in both light and medium green cardstock. I inked them and painted them with crackle paint, drew lines down the back sides, then shaped the leaves, as described above for the leaves on the front of the card. I put the flowers in clusters and planned where I wanted them inside the card, lightly marking the locations in pencil. I glued the pink flower trim over the seam around the bottom of the card with Glossy Accents before gluing the flowers and leaves. I used dimensional tape on a couple of the flowers for even more dimension.
I die cut the butterfly layers using 773 Butterfly Accessory Dies from the cardstock created earlier from the Shimmer Sheetz and set aside. I glued the butterfly layers in the center (not the wings) using Glossy Accents. Once dry, I gently folded the wings up slightly. I cut a piece of green wire, wound it around my die pick handle (you could use a pencil) to create a spring, then stuck it to the back of the butterfly (again with Glossy Accents) by making a small loop on one end of the wire and sandwiching it between the back of the butterfly and a small piece of scrap cardstock. I used more Glossy Accents to glue the other end (with a small loop) behind the leaves as shown.
I love the springy motion the wire gives the butterfly when the card is opened - it even looks like it is fluttering. The image below better shows the layers and dimension.
Here are a couple of close ups of the finished flowers.
Elizabeth Craft Designs Supplies
778 Lots of Pops
701 Flower Set 1
702 Flower Set 2
728 Bunch of Flowers
729 Bunch of Flowers 2
703 Triple Leaf Set
773 Butterfly Accessory Dies
Shimmer Sheetz, White Iris
Embossing Folder, Swirly Curls
Double Sided Adhesive
Silk Microfine Glitter, Warm Diamond
Silk Microfine Glitter, Amethyst
Distress Crackle Paint, Rock Candy
Ranger Ink Blending Tool/Foam
Distress Ink: Barn Door, Festive Berries, Seedless Preserves, Dusty Concord, Chipped Saphire, Broken China, Peacock Feathers, Mowed Lawn, Pine Needles
Bazzill Basics Cardstock
We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Tombow Xtreme Adhesive
Die Pick or Small Paint Brush Handle
Michaels Trims, purple and pink flowers (dollar bin)
The Stamps of Life, stamps4fancylabel
The Stamps of life, Sizzix Framelits Die Set 6PK w/stamps Labels, Fancy #2
Versafine Ink, Onyx Black