Graciellie Designs Hope & Strength May 8th Release

Hey Crafty People!

Somehow we are already in May!! And the first week of May brings with it the latest release from Graciellie Designs!

Hope & Strength is loaded with beautiful sentiments and two gorgeous Drangonfly images. The level of detail in the wings is phenomenal!! I love these images so much that I made not one, but FOUR cards to celebrate its release!

Card Number 1

I had a look through Pinterest for images of Dragonflies, and I found lots of sort of oil-slick effect ones; they definitely inspired my first design. I loved the idea of having all these bright colours underneath a semi transparent cover of black.

I started by laying down a bunch of colours using my Copics; this not only gives a base colour to work from but also marks out where each colour is going to be.

Then I used my pastel crayons from Stabilo to add further layers of colour; I don’t use these all that often tbh and I reminded myself why when doing this card: they are messy as heck!!! The colour payoff is pretty good with them, and they blend well but they smudge and it is impossible to avoid getting pigment where you don’t want it to go.

I added deep navy & black over the other colours, blending it in to mix and create new colours in some places.

Once I had just about had enough with the smudges and exasperation, I lightly spritzed* it to lock the pigments in. (*I don’t actually sprints the image/paper, I spritz up into the air and sort of waft my paper through the falling mist.)

At this point I felt like I had ruined the image, I just wasn’t feeling it at all. I almost threw it out but I decided to try adding a layer of sparkle to see if that improved it any. I used my clear Wink of Stella pen across the whole wing surface and I think that definitely helped a bit.

I wanted to up the messy aesthetic so I added some black gouache splatters and mounted the panel onto a card blank.

I still arent sure on this one, but I felt that I couldn’t lose all that time I spent making it by binning the finished result. Plus I have made a promise to myself to never throw away a project.

Card Number 2

I used Wink of Stella on the wings again and adhered the dragonfly over the top of the gold pyramid; I used TINY dots of glue behind all of the thicker black lines of the butterfly so they would hide the glue marks.

I added one of my pre printed & cut Graciellie Designs sentiments and I was done!

I had a clear image in my head for how I wanted this one to turn out, and it was one of few times when things actually went to plan!

I printed the dragonfly image onto Vellum and fussy cut it out. Then I die cut this Spellbinders Pyramid fie out of some gold mirror cardstock and a panel of Neenah so that I could do an inlaid die cut technique to add the gold outline.

Card Number 3

For a background I searched my stash and found this panel I made a few weeks ago using texture paste & embossing powder; I wasn’t too sure about it when I made it but I absolutely love it paired with this dragonfly!! I cut down a larger card blank to size, and I added one of the sentiments from this set printed onto Vellum backed with a piece of card I had trimmed from the card blank.

I printed the second dragonfly onto some Neenah and used my Spectrum Noir Sparkle Markers to colour the wings. I used red, orange & yellow, blending the 3 colours moving across each of the illustrated folds within the wings. When I first saw this image the design on the wings reminded me of plaits, so I wanted to increase that by adding the darkest colour into the start of each little section.

I fussy cut the image, right up against the outline, adding some black Tombow marker to cover the exposed white edge.

Card Number 4

Once printed I cut pieces of foil to cover each image and this is where I made a mistake; I wanted to keep each little piece of foil exactly where I put it, so I added tiny bits of masking tape to keep them in place. I’ve done this loads of times and never had a problem, BUT this time because the pieces were so close together and such awkward shapes/sizes I used a couple of pieces of tape, one either side to secure the foil. Even though I made sure the foil pieces were totally flat to the paper, they wrinkled up as the paper ran through my laminator so there were loads of lines of missing foil. I assume it must be because the foil had nowhere to move as it was forced through, so it wrinkled and then wasn’t touching the toner. It wasn’t the look I intended, but I quite like the distressed look it ended up having!

I had lots of foil scraps from my experiments over the last few weeks so I decided to create my own patterned paper to use them up on

I created a 4.5in x 5.75in rectangle in Publisher because I wanted to create a background that I knew would definitely be big enough to cover my card. I resized one of the dragonflies and then duplicated it to give me multiples that were identically sized, then I just set about adding them facing different directions randomly across the entire rectangle. In order to make it appear to be a piece cut from a larger patterned paper, you need to make sure that several of the images go off the area you intend to use.

I stuck it onto some green cardstock and added a green & gold ‘Hello’ sentiment by Crafter’s Companion.

So there you go, my four cards for this week’s release! I have been posting them all on my Instagram over the weekend; but as you can tell from the lateness of my blog post I spent WAY more time creating than writing this week. Oh well, nobody is perfect and it just felt so good to be so inspired!!

Thank you for visiting my blog, if you’d like to see more of my artwork & how to’s and/or hear my thoughts on living with a chronic illness then please consider subscribing. T.

Leave a Reply