Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Night-sky backgrounds (a card & 2 free digital dictionary papers)

Do you remember fireflies?
Magical little fairy bugs in starry summer skies?
sighhhhhhh... :o)

Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising thro' the mellow shade,
Glitter like a swarm of fireflies tangled in a silver braid.

- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

1... The card & some ideas for different night sky backgrounds
2... The digital image from A Day for Daisies
3... a step by step pictorial for how to make this card
4... free firefly dictionary digital patterned paper (two styles)


for different backgrounds

Cards with night skies:

a day for daisies holding fireflies by mel stampz

On the front this 5.5" square card says "This little light of mine..."

The text paper has the definition of firefly on it
(a homemade dictionary digital paper-available below)

and the inside says...

a day for daisies holding fireflies card by mel stampz INSIDE

"I'm gonna let it shine!"
...with a heart-shaped firefly
(and there are fireflies on the black envelope as well)

To make a card at night, you can simply cut out your image & paste it on black.

Some ideas:

...use black cardstock
...black patterned paper
...or print a black digital paper
...heat emboss or pressure emboss
...stamp, or paint a black background.

The (night) sky's the limit! Of course, your sky doesn't have to be black, it can be navy, purple... whatever you like.

A Day for Daisies digital image:

a day for daisies holding fireflies card by mel stampz CLOSE


make this Holding Fireflies card:

  • Image: Holding Fireflies digi from A Day For Daisies...
  • ...embossed from Canon inkjet printer on Borden & Riley #234 Paris Bleedproof 108lb paper for pens
  • Fine clear embossing powder (I use Stampendous clear detail powder)
  • Heat gun, Clear distress Crackle Paint: Rock Candy
  • Black cardstock, circle cutter, ruler & White Prismacolor pencil crayon
  • Sakura pens: Stardust glitter pen, White souffle pen, black glaze pen
  • Copic markers & Prismacolor pencils (turquoise, & skin and hair tones)
  • Paper piercing tool
  • Needle, thread, scissors, adhesive
  • Nestabilities Label Five & a Cuttlebug
  • Cream coloured watercolour paper
  • White text weight paper & dictionary digi papers (for scallops)
  • Scallop template to trace
  • Vellum cardstock & word document to print & heat emboss sentiment
  • Seam binding ribbon

Step 1} Print, Colour, and cut out the image.

1a} Print the image. As always, I've embossed the Holding Fireflies digital image on Paris Bleedproof paper. It lets the ink jet printer ink stay wet long enough to hold the fine clear embossing powder. (You can read more about that digital embossing technique here if you like).

1b} Colour it (no need to stay in lines since it's being cut out). I used Copic markers and then added some Prismacolor pencil crayons over top (that way the pencil won't clog your Copic marker nibs). I also drew in little lines for the toes-a weird detail, huh?

1c} I love to score lines in hair using a paper piercing tool,
and then colour with Copic Markers and Prismacolor pencils:

The colour stays in the grooves.

Step 2} Cut the figure of the girl out. (The dress is dotted with white souffle gel pen

Step 3} cut the jar of fireflies out & cover it with distress crackle paint (rock candy is clear and gives lovely fine cracks-too cool for school!) :0)

Step 4} To make the nighttime background- cut a circle of black cardstock This one is 2 and 7-8 inches in diameter Add a highlight in white pencil crayon to create a horizon line.

Step 5} Place the image temporarily on the circle where you'd like it to sit & draw little white circles for fireflies (add sparkle & black gel pen dots too):

5 b} Pierce and stitch around the circle. I also added a bit of turquoise cardstock behind that I dotted with white gel pen & cut roughly

Step 6} Create a mat to back the image with text paper. This text paper is available below. I scanned it from an old dictionary to share with you. :)

This shape was made by cutting a die cut (Nestabilities Label Five) and trimming it straight on the sides. To get the thin black border, I just adhered it to black cardstock & cut the black paper by hand.

Step 7} Print a sentiment (this one is printed from a word document) on vellum cardstock, emboss it quickly when it comes out of printer Adhere to white cardstock & colour with Copic or other light marker to tint it. I used turquoise: B00 frost blue.

Step 8} Adhere the words of the sentiment to the underside of the mat.

Here's a shot of the sentiment from the back:

It's on a speedy strip of adhesive (LOVE that ATG gun. It took
some getting used to but it's a nice speedy option).

Step 9} Add some scallops. I liked the idea of having hand-drawn lines on these scallops as a trim detail, so I used silver gel pen to trace an old-school plastic template.

By machine: If you have a die cutting machine you can cut scallops (The Cricut Plantin Schoolbook cartridge has some lovely scallops. More about them in this post here.)

To make hand made scallops: Trace a shape template to create big fat scallops. If you have a plastic one like the Creative Memories one used in the picture above that's dandy, or you could print the free fat scallop template included in this post to make a paper template to trace.

Step 10} The white scallops didn't seem to tie in with the cream coloured watercolour paper of the card from so I slipped a piece of paper under & coloured the scallop edges with prismacolor pencil # 314

Step 11} Add a strip of stitched watercolour paper over the top scallop, then add the image & a bow...

and there you have it....


Two free digital
firefly papers:

Fireflies dictionary page DARK:

DARKfireflies on Flickr PNG

LIGHT fireflies on Flickr PNG

or you can

Hope your day is flickering with beauty,
just like a firefly-filled sky!

P.S. I'm not affiliated with A Day For Daisies (I'm just addicted!) ;O)


Annie said...

absolutely gorgeous. thank you so much for this inspiration
Ann xxx

Sue said...

wow a fab card and tutorial thanks for sharing Luv Sue x

Crafting Queen said...

Wow, your card is stunning. I am always amazed by the amount of effort that goes into your projects. Thanks for sharing. :)

Erum Tasneem said...

Another gorgeous creation and lovely freebies! Thanks again Mel!

Dina Kowal Creative said...

Dear lady, you forever astound and exhaust me with your brilliance! Love this piece. So glad to see you creating again. Hugs, Dina

Sarn said...

WOW - thanks for the tutorial. You've made a beautiful and very original card.
Hugs, Sandra

Ana Cristina Caldatto said...


Dawn said...

over-the-top awesome, Mel! so clever as always!!
when summer comes I'll always think of you when the yard is aglow with fireflies!!

Chelsea said...

I love this card and your instructions are fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

vdoyle8 said...

Wow - you are super talented!!! I am consistently blown away by your work as well as how generously you share all your tips. Thank you so much!

Dotty Jo said...

I'm simply blown away by this one Mel! Your work is fabulous!!! Jo x

Cassie said...

I am always so in awe of your work, Mel :D

Holly Young said...

I love reading your posts and seeing all the steps. You make it sound so simple, but I know my white circle fireflys wouldn't have that glow you've given them. Mine would look like white circles drawn on black!

this is a really sweet card with the ruffles and the stitching. You always have so many wonderful little details in your projects!

maryvernau said...

Love all your creations Mel! Thank you for your great tutorials!

Mari said...

Fantastic, Mel! It's awesome to see you being so crafty and so frequently! Love this so very much!

Anonymous said...

What an adorable card! I just love fireflies :D I live in the country and in the summer my meadow is lit up with hundreds of flitting fireflies:D
I love your work...
Beth P

Anonymous said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave in the Cutting category today [24 Mar 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

slbt17 said...

thanks - very neat!
Sandrs ltb

Kathy said...

YOU ARE SO AMAZING AND SO clever and so so creative. Thanks for taking the time to show your amazing details step by step. Thanks for the inspiration.

Rufus said...

Thanks for sharing this, it's lovely!

ike said...

This is stunning - thank you for sharing with us. And, thank you for the firefly paper xxx

Beth aka BR-T said...

Oh my gosh you are a paper crafting wizard WoW!

Emily said...

Thank you, you are fab and a wonderful teacher!!!!

Lisa - papergrace said...

Beautiful card! Fireflies are a fave of mine. Thank you so much for all the details. Your creative process is amazing!

carine_55 said...

thank you for sharing