Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Shimmering Dragonflies Tutorial

(Note: Click on an image for a larger view)

This card began as simply playing around with some new stamps and liquid watercolors and ended up as a deliberate attempt to reach out to a daughter struggling with the rigors of raising a rambunctious and challenging boy. You can read the background story here.


- Dragonfly stamp: Stamp Zia,
- Stamp Zia Color Wash Jewels liquid watercolor sprays (assorted colors)
- Black Staz-On ink,
- Watercolor paper
- AquaFlo pen filled with bleach (or a small paintbrush and a small dish of bleach)
- Dark green cardstock (for mat)
- Watercolor pencils and gel pens
- Versamark embossing pen and clear embossing powder
- Base cardstock: Astrobrights Glisten pearlescent cardstock in Re-entry Red.
- Peel and stick flowers: Petaloo Fun Flowers collection
- Copper dragonfly brads
- Epoxy sentiment: Sticko Bookworks by EK Success
- Narrow sheer white ribbon layered onto slightly wider gold ribbon,
- White vellum
- Rotary cutter or fancy edge scissors
- Tape runner and/or spray adhesive
- Gold paint pen

The background was created by randomly spraying Color Wash Jewels over a large sheet of watercolor paper. Colors used were Blue Topaz (blue), Ruby (red), Emerald (Green), Citron (yellow), and Tanzanite (purple). The background was then cut down into smaller pieces suitable for background use, in this case 5" by 3.75". The edge was gilded and the background was randomly dotted with the gold paint pen.

Dragonflies were stamped onto the background with black Staz-On ink. The inside of the stamped area was then brushed with bleach to remove the color. Watercolor pencils were used to color the image as desired.

After coloring, entire image was gone over with a Versamark embossing pen and embossed with clear EP. This really makes the colors pop. When EP cooled, this process was repeated to produce a smooth, satiny finish over the image.

Cut a piece of vellum slightly longer than the width of the background and approximately three times the width of the ribbons using a rotary cutter with a fancy edge blade (I used Fiskars Victorian blade) or a scissor with a decorative edge. I did not use any specific measurements here--just judged by eye. Gild the edges with the gold paint pen.

Cut the layered ribbons to the same length as the vellum and adhere them across the center. Adhere the vellum/ribbon layer close to the bottom edge of the card as in the photo. I used spray adhesive because it is invisible under the vellum and will hold well on the watercolor paper. I have noticed that sometimes it is more difficult to get things to stick on a watercolored background.

Trim the ends of the vellum/ribbon layer flush with the edge of the background layer and mount it in the center of a piece of dark green cardstock that was cut 1/4 inch larger all around than the background layer.

Arrange the flowers as desired, choosing colors that accent those used in the dragonfly stamp. Add an epoxy greeting and a couple of dragonfly brads and your cardfront is complete.

Cut pearlescent red cardstock to 8.5" by 5.5" and fold in half to create a 5.5" by 4.25" (A2 size)card base. Center the cardfront onto the card base and you're done.

**Dragonfly Symbology
The dragonfly lets us see past the illusion, letting light in so that we can see what we need to see to make our lives better. When we've tricked ourselves into believing that the limitations of physical existence prevent us from changing and growing, dragonfly medicine teaches us to pierce our self-created illusions. The dragonfly reminds us to let our colors shine by using the light within.
** taken from The Earth Angel Connection

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva


  1. Beautiful Card, Thanks for sharing.

  2. Sometimes just talking to your mom is enough though and you might of been more help than you know :) It is sometimes all we daughters need just to be able to call our mom's you know!

  3. Thanks for sharing such a nice card. This post is really nice and i always looking for those card in which watercolor are used.