Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Butterfly Inspiration

Sunday, August 11, 2013

comes to me when I least expect.

From a chance look, 
from a sideways glance, 
from a brief view out of the corner of my eye...

Unexpected images...
Walking s-l-o-w-s , conversation trails off... body turns to 


A Franklin, Tennessee clothing store window 
mesmerized me with it's original, botanical themed display. 

A large plate glass window filled with dictionary pages 
covered in hand-painted full-color 

Pressed my face against the glass to see every detail... 

The very next week while rummaging through 
Chipper's ahem...antique/junk... store in Alabama, Chipper GAVE me 
a 1973 Sunset Western Garden Book

Of course, I did have a stack of found treasures 
on his counter to buy, for which he and I 
had already negotiated prices.  

With gratitude, I took this gift as a sign 
that I was to make 

Supplies needed...
Source for butterfly photos to see colors & patterns. 
(I used magazines and a butterfly identification book.)

Original 8"x10.5" page from garden dictionary

Scrapbook paper, heavy stock 12"x12" 

Stiff 9"x12" artist canvas board 
(Michael's had Artist's Loft Basics brand canvas board.)

Watercolors and watercolor brush
(I used stamp ink pads for color, but cannot guarantee life of ink color.

Exacto knife and cutting pad 
Glue dots 
Spray mount glue 
Hot glue gun 
Acrylic/urethane clear spray sealer
Hanging ribbon, 8" length
Optional: Butterfly rubber stamps
(Michael's had Martha Stewart butterfly stamps

I worked with 3 layers.  

Layer 1 - Dictionary Page with painted butterflies 
Layer 2 - Scrapbook paper border/backing 
Layer 3 - Artist Canvas Board for hanging the butterflies 
Instead of mounting on Artist Canvas Board, the butterflies 
could be framed in a shadow box. 

I waited until Layers 2 and 3 were finished and glued together 
before attaching Layer 1 to them to keep from 
tearing my fragile butterflies.

I did Layer 1 first because it was the fun, creative part. 

Layer 1 - Dictionary Page
a) Use an Exacto knife to cut a page from an old garden dictionary.

b) Draw butterflies on the dictionary page, 
or for non-artists (that means me), stamp butterflies 
in a light color ink such as sepia onto the dictionary page. 

c) With very watered-down watercolors, 
paint the butterfly stamped images. 
You want the printed page to show through the paint. 
Look at magazine/book sources for what colors to paint where
You can always add another layer of color 
if the first color layer is too light. 
I painted the pale-colored areas, such as the yellow and pale blues, first. 
I also painted some dragonflies onto one of the boards. 

(Instead of using watercolor paints, I dipped my brush into water, 
then onto a rubber stamp ink pad to pick up color, then back into my water 
until I had created thin watercolor paint.  
Sometimes it took several brush loads of stamp ink to get 
the water colored the way I wanted it.)

d) Let the butterflies dry.  Then lightly spray them with 
acrylic/urethane spray sealer. Do not saturate or the butterflies 
will be weighted down too much. 

e) Use an Exacto knife to cut around the butterflies' wings, 
being careful not to cut the entire butterfly out of the page.
Wonder how I know to caution about this! 

I used a silicone craft cutting board underneath the dictionary page 
to cut out the butterflies' wings.  
You could use the stiff cardboard back of a paper notebook. 

f) Fold the wings together to raise the wings off the 
dictionary page and to create a 3-D effect. 
The scrapbook paper will be visible beneath the wings. 

Set aside Layer 1 for use after assembling Layers 2 and 3.

Layer 2 - Scrapbook Paper Backing 
a) Trim the 12"x12" heavy stock printed scrapbook paper to 9"x12".

Layer 3 - Artist Canvas Board
a) Lightly cover the canvas board front with spray mount glue. 

b) Attach Layer 2, the scrapbook paper, to the canvas board.  
The scrapbook paper should cover the canvas board exactly.  
Carefully press the scrapbook paper to the canvas board so 
there are no air bubbles. Let dry. 

c) Use a hot glue gun to attach the ribbon for hanging 
to the back of the artist canvas board. 
Locate the center of the back of the board. 
Mark 2" from either side of the center so that the 
two marks are 4" apart. 

o<--- 2"--->|<---2"--->o
o<---------  4"---------->o

Hot glue 1" of each end 
of the hanging ribbon at the 'o' marks so that the 
hanging ribbon length is 6".

Layers 1-2-3
a) Center Layer 1, the 8"x10.5" butterfly-painted dictionary page, 
over the 9"x12" scrapbook paper page.  Mark the corners very lightly 
so you know where to place the page when you glue it down. 
There should be a scrapbook paper border around the dictionary page. 

b) Use glue dots to adhere the butterfly-painted page onto 
the scrapbook paper page, allowing the edges to remain free 
for a 3-D effect.  Use glue dots near the butterflies' cut 
wings, but not too closely, to stabilize the butterflies. 
Position all the glue dots on the back of the painted dictionary page 
before placing the page onto the scrapbook paper. 

My favorite butterfly board...

Made from unexpected inspiration found on a road trip with my sister 
and with an unexpected gift from a childhood friend...

Moments of delightful joy...
Love Give-Aways? 
August seems to be the month for Give-Aways. 
W - E - L - L
I will be having a Give-Away 
for a little something French-inspired that I absolutely adore 
within the next week. 
You will want to be part of it, 
Please join me at these inspiring sites...