Friday, 12 November 2010

Magic Box - Mica Butterflies


I'd been playing with mica and thought how well it would suit butterfly wings.
These are painted with mica pigment 'Festive Brights'.

The butterfly stamp is by Personal Impressions
Unfortunately it doesn't seem to have a name, just a code: P547 E.
The rounded shape reminded me of the butterflies depicted in traditional Japanese art..

Using mustard coloured card as the base seemed to enhance the colours of the mica pigment..

I wanted to carry the 'shimmer' effect throughout the box
but decided not to use mica pigment on the panels
it would have overpowered the butterflies.
Using ivory pearlescent card as the base I inked with
the green and blue from Rangers Big & Juicy 'Mountain Meadow'.

To add a final touch of luxury I stamped Hero Arts 'Leaf  Flourish'
in VersaMark and embossed with gold.
Mounting the panels onto gold mirror board framed them nicely
and added weight to the sides which always helps with 'the drop'.

I must say, I thought glitter was difficult to capture in a photograph
but mica is a nightmare!

Thankyou for visiting.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

90th Birthday! - magic box

My friend Kathy asked me to make a box for her Mum's 90th Birthday!
The Brief:
1) The explosion - pink striped roses, these were the flowers Kathy's Mum grew in her garden.
2) NO BUGS, (I wanted the occasional butterfly or bee), Kathy assured me that they would be swatted!!!!

I'm sorry it's been a long while since my last post - this year has been a little bit manic.

Saturday, 27 February 2010


and the winner is...

Congratulations Elaine A!

The goodies will be winging their way over to you as soon as you let me know your postal details.
Just click on 'About me' then hit the email link in 'contact' (forgive me if you already know where to go)!!!

Thanks to everyone for taking part.
I wish you all could have won but I'll make another 'box candy' soon!

Monday, 1 February 2010

Butterfly Tutorial - Magic Boxes

Thank you all for your heart warming comments.
I'm completely overwhelmed by your response to my blog candy. I'm now thinking that perhaps I should have only run it for a couple of weeks!

Quite a few have asked for a butterfly tutorial and as it links nicely to the blog candy - here goes...... 

I used a butterfly stamp I designed myself and stamped onto lightweight card using VersaFine Onyx Black then embossed with clear embossing powder.

Here's a list of what I used to colour them:
A) Sakura Black Gel Pen
B) Black marker Pen - I used Marvy Le Plume but any will do
C) Purple marker pen (any)
D) Blender Pen
E) Twinkling H2Os - Sky Blue
F) Watercolour brush

And here's what to do: 

1) Stamp the butterfly using Versafine and emboss with clear embossing powder - nine times.
It's a good thing to brush the card with an anti-static bag beforehand - this ensures the powder only sticks to your image.
2) Cut the butterflies out. If you're not happy cutting round the antennae a fine slither of black card folded in half and glued to the back of the body works just as well.

To stamp the reverse:
3) Ink the stamp again and carefully position the blank side of the butterfly onto the stamp
4) Firm it down using a second acrylic block or something smooth and flat like a glass coaster. Don't worry too much about achieving a perfectly aligned image, just do the best you can and I'll show you later how to 'cheat' it good.

On the embossed (top) side:
5) Run the purple marker pen round the outer edge of the butterfly's wings
6) Blend using the blender pen 
7) Dot purple round the outer edge again
8) Use the blender pen to soften the edges of your dots. These butterflies look more three dimensional if you don't colour in one solid colour. Make your first colour fade towards the body.

9) Colour the next section of the wings using Twinkling H2Os (Sky Blue) - applying it with a brush and not completely filling the areas to the edge.
10) Blend out using the blender pen.

Turn the butterfly over to the reverse side (not embossed)
11) Here's your chance to correct any wobbly stamping (on the reverse) - in stages 1 & 2.
12) Run the black marker pen round the edges of the butterfly - to cover any blank or missed areas
13) Tint colour across the surface, similar to the colours used on the front. This doesn't need to be perfect - it's only a hint so the underside isn't glaringly bare!

Turn the butterfly over again (embossed side up) to finish the top detailing
14) Now using the Sakura black gel pen draw round the top edges of the butterfly wings, the antennae and the body markings
15) To finish colouring - run the black marker pen round the very outer edges of the butterfly - otherwise these are white and very visible in the explosion.

Dare I say it? GLITTER

Even if you're not a glitter person glitter makes the explosion more dramatic - it catches and plays with the light as the butterflies dance, highlighting and drawing attention to their every flutter.
Glitter colours used on this box are:
A) Crystal (in the blog candy)
B) Black holographic (in the blog candy)
If you have no other colours these will cover every need - Crystal allows any underlying colour to shine through and black holographic is dark and rich, it makes a bold statement 'fizzing and sparkling' like fireworks in a midnight sky.
C) Is a colour I mixed myself. I had blue (which was not very exciting) and mixed crystal into it. Crystal glitter made it more sparkly and a little bit translucent so the underlying colour still hints through.

16) Apply fine lines of 'dries clear' glue on some, but not all, of the purple wing areas and sprinkle with crystal glitter.
17) Allow to dry then brush off any surplus glitter (be tough with the brushing). Always start with your lightest glitter and work to your darkest being last.

18) Apply fine lines of glue to the blue areas (not all) and the body (dots only) and sprinkle with the blue glitter mix, or crystal again.
19) Allow to dry and brush off the loose glitter.

20) Apply fine lines of glue to the body and curves of glue to the wing edges.
21) Sprinkle with black holographic. Allow to dry then brush loose glitter off.
note: I dotted glitter on the wing edges of the blog candy butterflies. Curves are much better so I'll be putting that right! When glittering always try to compliment the lines of the image.

Shaping the butterflies:
Gently curve the wings by placing your thumb on top and index finger underneath, one wing at a time. Pinch and move your finger to the wing edges several times. This warms the card and 'bows' the wings. Take your time and don't force it, rushing this stage causes creases to form.

Place your thumbnail along either edge of the body and fold the wings upwards.

Attaching to the acetate:
I attach them to the acetate using 'What Glue' by Jomil. It's a 'dries clear' all purpose glue. Apply to both surfaces and just before it dries fully clear press both surfaces together - it grabs like a magnet. This glue dries flexible so it has a much stronger bond when the butterflies are exploding from the box. 

That's it.

Hope it all makes sense!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Blog Candy - Magic Box


At last I'm back!
Between the terrible weather and family seasonal illnesses I feel like I've been out of action forever!!!
As a late Blogoversry celebration I've made this box for someone to win. There's also a small bundle to go with it - Butterfly stamps, a pack of acetate sheets, black holographic & crystal ultrafine glitter, a pack of small gemstones and a black Sakura Glaze pen.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and I will draw the winner on Friday 26th February.
I am happy to post Internationally.

I always edge the butterflies using a black Sakura gel pen - it punches the black forward after colouring.

Black holographic glitter is perfect for defining the body markings and wing tips.
Crystal glitter can be used on it's own - it allows the underlying colour to shine through.
I often mix it with coloured glitter to give more sparkle and it acts a little bit like adding water to watercolour paint - making the coloured glitter translucent.
I wrap a small amount of Blu-Tack round the end of a fine embossing tool to pick up the small gemstones when I'm gluing them to the panels, it's much easier than using tweezers.

I would like to say a BIG HUGE THANKS for your patience, support and encouragement over the past year it has meant so much to me.

Good Luck!
The winner's name will be posted shortly!