Cutting Paper, Spoonflower and Monday Joy

Having been on a bit of a collage kick lately, it seemed fitting that I participate in Spoonflower's most recent Design Challenge. The theme? Paper-Cut Florals.

I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do, but I had spring on my mind. At first I thought I'd create a variety of types of bulbs, but then, once I started looking through photos of flowers and cutting my paper, I narrowed my focus to tulips.

Although it wasn't a requirement for the challenge, I wanted to start my design by actually cutting paper. I would have liked to have painted papers, but I was short on time and didn't want to wait for paint to dry. Instead I used markers on card stock, deliberately making the colors "line-y" for depth and texture.

markers, design, collage, cut paper, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I cut petal shapes, leaf shapes and stems.

cut paper, collage, tulips, flowers, leaves, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I glued them to white card stock to scan with the plan that I'd put together flower, leaf and stem in Photoshop. That would give me greater flexibility when it came to adjusting colors and tweaking the designs. (I used the same process for scanning and digitizing that I teach in my latest Skillshare class).

paper cutting, collage, tulips, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

From there I arranged and rearranged my flowers to create a repeat pattern that I liked. It went through many variations before I was finished.

Here's an early version:

tulips, cut paper, paper flowers, collage, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Actually, looking at this now, I quite like it, but I wanted something a bit more dynamic with less space between the flowers.

So, I kept rearranging (and adjusting the background color) until, eventually, I arrived at this:

tulips, cut flowers, cut paper, collage, fabric design, spoonflower, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I submitted it with barely five minutes to spare. I'm really happy with how it turned out.

There's still time to vote (voting closes April 11th at 3 pm EST). As always with the Spoonflower contests, you can vote for as many designs as you like (there are many lovely ones).

When I was finished, I pulled apart my scanned pages and used them to create some tulips in my sketchbook, too.

cut paper, collage, tulips, sketchbook, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

At 9" x 9" my sketchbook pages were a little bit small for these tulips, so I trimmed the stems and spread the flowers out over three pages.

cut paper, collage, tulips, sketchbook, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

For now it seems that this sketchbook has become my collage book. I'm ok with that. I'll just need to start another sketchbook for doing the other things I can't do here.

As it's Monday (and a bit of a dreary one at that) how about a Joy List?

Joy List Monday: 

a weekly ritual
a reminder to stop and pay attention to the little beauties and graces that make life magical and to set aside time for gratitude each day

violas, pansies, spring flowers, garden, spring, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Today's list:
  • a gorgeous warm weekend
  • time in the garden
  • long walks with the dogs (and Matthias)
  • weekend cooking: homey meals made and eaten together
  • more grilling
  • planting more seeds and getting seed orders in the mail
  • blueberry muffins
  • flowers in the garden* and watching buds swell and leaves form everywhere around me
  • hearing spring peepers, on a walk and at my parents' house
  • finding a cool metal plant stand on the curb (and dreaming of what color I want to paint it)
  • orchids in my studio
  • going barefoot in the garden
  • a nice visit with my parents
  • ideas and plans
sketchbook, botanical sketchbook, colored pencils, faber castell polychromos, violas, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

What's on your list today?

*it's so strange because the viola and pansy flowers in my garden keep disappearing. I think someone must be eating them. A bird? A squirrel? I don't know. Truthfully, I don't begrudge them the treat. If I were a bird or squirrel, how would I resist?


  1. The tulips look so effective with the marker pen lines! They look great in your spoonflower challenge too. Strange that you have a phantom pansy thief! Maybe you have a local gourmet chef who wants to add exotic edibles to the menu! You have a delightful joy list today - I also went barefoot in the garden at the weekend!

    Joy list:
    Sunny weekend
    Going for a long walk
    Getting a good night's sleep
    Buying herbs for the garden
    Eating tiny chocolate eggs

    I hope you have an enjoyable week Anne. :)

    1. Thank you, Simone! Glad you've been enjoying the loveliness of spring, too!

      Somehow your comment about the gourmet chef has me thinking of a tiny chef living in my garden, kind of like Thumbelina. Not sure why. Maybe because a single flower here and another single flower here wouldn't make much of an impact... unless you're tiny!

      Enjoy the rest of your week, Simone!

  2. Your tulip designs are just beautiful Anne! I love the dark background you chose. Pansies missing, hmmm... not sure but I'd say a bunny? I've got a raccoon thief in the bird feeders, it's always a shared smorgasbord I guess. I'm not much of a barefooter any longer but I could've considering how warm it was.

    My joy list:
    Giving joy to a friend by tilling up her garden
    Hanging out with three other women for some well needed girl time
    Seeing all my seedlings coming up and all the blooms outside
    Hearing all the cheerful songs from the birds

    1. Thank you, Jaime! I guess it could be a bunny, though I haven't seen signs of them lately. Last spring I watched birds plucking little bits of my plants. Not sure why they were doing it, because they didn't eat them. And I know the squirrels like to dig up my seedlings.

      Funny that a raccoon would go for your bird feeders. I think of them more as trash can thieves (and compost pile thieves).

      Thanks for sharing your Joy List. Sounds lovely. :)

  3. Anne, your cut paper blooms are truly gorgeous. You never cease to amaze me!

    1. Thank you, Judy! You are so kind and encouraging! It means so much to me.


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