Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It all started with one butterfly....

I was working on some digital images for my new project (shhh, it's a surprise!) and I took a little break to check out the latest offerings on the Twisted Papers site.

It all started with this butterfly - one of a group of five in the new Victorian Nature Illustration collection.  Here is a LINK to the specific page on the site.  These images are beautiful and very reasonably priced (most are $1 or $2).  I started with the five butterfly image and cropped to this one image, then  erased the background using the "magic wand" tool in my Creative Memories StoryBook Plus 3.0 software.  If you want more information about this software you can contact me or check out the website HERE.

Once I had the single butterfly image I started rotating and overlapping the butterflies.  I filled in a few gaps using the color sample option to match the green of the butterfly. I ended up with groups of four butterflies and I added a black circle to the center to fill in the shape.  Then I took the groups and arranged them to overlap.  The antennae created a tiny lattice design where the groups met.  I added more black circles at the corner connection points.  I kept copying and pasting and arranging groups until I filled an entire 8 1/2 x 11 page.

For another effect, I took one group of butterfly images, enlarged it and put it on top of the sheet of images.   I worked with the sizing to get a pleasing coverage in the center and create a new design.

I cropped each of the larger sheets to create a square image which I can resize to suit the project in which I use the image.  I can also use this as a background paper by adding effects and changing the opacity.

Here are the two variations side by side on a black background - eliminating the white areas creates a new look for the images (background color is so important!).

It is amazing what you can do with one little butterfly!  I enjoy the kaleidoscope effect and have made quilts using a similar technique to create many patterns from one small image or set of images.

So...after I played around with the digital butterflies, I tried something similar with some Cricut butterflies.  This butterfly image is on the Picturesque cartridge.  It has several layers so you can use different colors for each to get nicely detailed butterflies.  I added a background in three layers to finish the design.

Here is a closer view of the new image.  I couldn't get a screen shot of the full design at 100%.  I need to move the file to my gypsy so I can group the butterfly layers and work with various sizes.  Working so quickly and easily in the digital program with the grouping and duplicating of grouped images made me realize that an actual "select all" and "group" function can't come soon enough (we have been waiting a very long time for an update to Design Studio to provide this basic tool).

I hope to find time to test cut this design tomorrow.  It will be fun to choose the paper colors - so many possibilities.

Tomorrow night is New Year's Eve - time to make those resolutions!  I am excited to have actually completed my year of daily blogging - a post each and every day for an entire year seemed like an impossible goal but I made it!  (or I will have made it once tomorrow's post is done...)  I have some great new plans in the works and I will share them with you as soon as I can.  In the meanwhile, I'll keep on blogging here - too many people have told me that they count on a daily post for me to stop cold turkey right now!


  1. Congratulations on making it a full year! I started following you partway through this year and have gleaned many valuable tips and ideas from your blog. Keep up the great job!

  2. Hi Diane. Again your creativity has left me spellbound.. I do learn so much from you and you teach me to 'look at the unseen'. Thank you so much. Happy 2010 and I look forward to learning more from you. Oh, do you sleep? I can't believe how much you get done.

  3. After I got my Cricut in April I started looking up different blogs and found yours. Your artistry blows me away! Everything you do is so beautiful and I enjoy reading how you do it.
    Have a very Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year.
    Mary Ann


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