Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lines and Curves Inspired by Rosemary Dennis

There's an old saying in design that goes something like "lines love curves," or maybe "curves love lines." Either way, it means that the contrast of straight lines and curves can be appealing to the eye.

That was the first thing I thought when I saw this card by Rosemary Dennis in the fall issue of Take Ten.

Note how the lines and angles of the chevron lines point toward a circle, which contains straight lines arranged in, you guessed it, a circle! How totally fun this design is...and also that the arrow-shaped paper clip attached to the circle completes it perfectly.

Rosemary's card is already clean and simple...not much to strip away to fit my style, is there? So I made a fairly literal version of it using Candy Cane Christmas from Papertrey.

You wouldn't believe the inner debate that happened regarding the direction of the stamped border here. Keep them going the same? Set them in opposite angles? Then I realized I'd need an entirely different stamp--a mirror image of the one that comes with the set--to make the lines line up.  Rosemary didn't have to worry about that with her chevrons. She just needed them pointing at her focal point. My tilted lines wouldn't obligingly point at my circle, but the strong color and curves of the peppermint circle draw the eye enough, I think, to compensate.

I also ran my borders off the top and right edges of the card on purpose. This gives the impression that the card only shows part of the picture, that there's something more. The effect is actually quite different from Rosemary's card, which leaves an edge and gives you the feel of a complete design. Straight, slanted lines lack the bold authority of Rosemary's chevrons, and if I'd stopped my lines to leave a white border, it would, I think, have looked odd.

I hope that makes sense.

My sentiment had to be on a separate strip of card stock since the peppermint swirl doesn't provide space, so I rounded the ends of the strip in the same circle punch used to punch out the candy circle. A little red bling, and Merry Christmas it is!

I'm hoping I get into my craft room tomorrow. It's been a long time, with all our house guests coming back to back over the past month. We've so appreciated every guest and love to spend time with our family and friends, but it does get in the way of crafting. Priorities are priorities, though, as I'm sure you understand. Thursday, we're welcoming my in-laws for a visit, so I'll try to make tomorrow productive!

Blessings to you all, and especially to Rosemary Dennis, without whose fabulous card I couldn't have made mine!

stamps: Papertrey
ink: Real Red (SU), Tuxedo Black (Memento)
paper: Papertrey
accessories: circle punch, rhinestones, dimensionals

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sometimes It Takes a While to See

It should come as no surprise that the Take Ten design challenges are, in fact, really challenging for me. The artistic style of most cards published in Take Ten is sort of the opposite of my style...very layered, embellished, lots of patterned paper, vintage/collage/shabby chic.

So when the latest issue came out, I looked at the entries for the design challenge and thought, "I'm not sure I can do this."

Until I saw Sherry Pakulski's bee card.

For some reason, Sherry's card inspired me as none of the others had. I love how she uses repetition of three smaller bee images and then a large bee for the focal point. I finally saw the layout in a way that made sense to me, that made me feel like I could, indeed, make it my own.

So I made this snowflake card as a result.

Using such a static design with snowflakes is counter-intuitive, but the obsessive-compulsive neat freak in me loves how lined up everything on this card is.

And the bling. Oh, how I love the bling.

Many thanks to Sherry for helping me see the bee and flake out! I couldn't have done it without her.

stamps: SU Endless Wishes
ink: Hero Arts, Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: rhinestones, corner rounder

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Inspired by a Magazine Color Combo

The latest issue of Holiday Crafts (Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication) has the following article title:

White, soft blue, and chocolate brown...three perfect colors for a winter card.

The stamp, from Papertrey's A Wreath for All Seasons, is one of my favorites. It's clean and simple by its very design, and there are so many options for the berries. Here, pearls complete the color combo perfectly. The sentiment, from Papertrey's Winterberry, has a lovely combination of fonts, and I used it here because it fit better than the sentiments that come with the wreath set.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

stamps: Papertrey
ink: VersaColor Atlantic, VersaMagic Jumbo Java
paper: Papertrey
accessories: half pearls, corner rounder

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Inspired by Eve Watters

Another inspiring card from Take Ten, Fall 2014 is this delightful collage by Eve Watters:

I love how Eve left such a large border around the delightfully detailed collage, with its strip of washi tape and layered die cuts.

Adapting Eve's card to my style proved interesting. I started off making a one-layer card, but the proportions of my masked-stamped-sponged area were off just enough to drive me bat-crap crazy.  I stared at the one-layer version for a while, feeling irked, and finally decided I needed to cut it out, and layer it on white. That fixed the proportion problem nicely, I think!

Note that from Eve's card, I kept the placement of the sentiment, the layered embellishment, and the strip of washi. My washi was too wide for this, so I adhered it to a piece of wax paper, cut it with a quilting ruler and exacto knife, and there you go! I used a set from the holiday StampinUp catalog called Endless Wishes. It's my first photopolymer SU set, and it is a delight!

The stamped background was made with a mask. I stamped the three snowflakes in cornflower blue (Hero Arts) first and then used the lighter Hero Arts blue (soft sky?) for the rest to add interest and depth. Then, I sponged the soft sky around the edges for increased depth and definition.

I just love the red, white, and blue for a Christmas card. What a fun, fun, different, fun, fun combo! And I love the graphic washi with candy-cane stripes combined with the curvy snowflakes...very similar to Eve's use of the washi, only on my card the washi becomes much more the focus because of the color contrast.

In fact, I think the coolest part of this inspiration is how strongly my color choices create a totally different vibe from Eve's softer, warmer, organic, collage-style card, even though my layout (extra white layer aside) is virtually identical.

Never, never, never underestimate the power of color.

Thanks, Eve, for your beautiful card!

stamps: SU Endless Wishes
ink: Hero Arts, SU real red
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: washi tape, flower punch, rhinestone, dimensionals, post-it notes, sponge

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

OLS#9 Hip to Be Square

Ardyth's One-Layer Simplicity Challenge was perfect for me, and it's so sad that September has been a crazy month for me so that I'm just now getting to play along, here on the last day! There are a lot of cards posted to that challenge, and they are fabulous, so click on over and see what others have done with squares on their cards!

My entry uses a stamp from my new set Ombre Builders (Papertrey). I'm working my way through all the stamps in that set, and oh how I love them! I'm particularly enjoying using my many Kaleidacolor pads with them, and for today's card, I combined the OLS#9 and my Thanksgiving Crusade Challenge to make this simple card:

This card is 3.5" x 6.5", which fits into an envelope I bought at Marco's Paper, which has a brick-and-mortar store 15 minutes from my house.

In retrospect, I wish I'd oriented the colors to start with green and move toward orange. That would make more sense. Alas, sometimes such nuances of design pop into my head too late. But still, it's a fun use of the Kaleidacolor pad called Autumn Leaves, don't you think?

stamps: Papertrey Keep It Simple Thanksgiving, Ombre Builders
ink: Kaleidacolor
paper: Papertrey
accessories: not a blessed one

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bitsy Strikes Again

After I made my first card inspired by Bitsy Bullock's card (see yesterday's post HERE), I had to make another card, one that didn't have an extension on the bottom to protect a delicate border-punched edge. Here's what I came up with:

The scalloped-edge punch provided three wonderful curves in which to fit large circles from Papertrey's Candy Cane Christmas. While I do think adding a strip of red card stock to the bottom might give some lovely contrast, I really like the variation here without the backing, and those scallops aren't delicate at all.

stamps: Papertrey Candy Cane Christmas
ink: SU real red, Memento black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: scalloped border punch (Martha Stewart), rhinestones

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Inspired by Bitsy Bullock

Thumbing through the new issue of Take Ten has been delightful...and inspirational. This card by Bitsy Bullock sent me into spasms of joy:

From Take Ten, Fall 2014
Bitsy's card uses designer paper, lace, and a lacy border punch for a nicely unified and very simple card. I, of course, rarely if ever use designer paper, so my version is card stock...lots of white card stock.

The border punch (Martha Stewart) is love perfect for a winter/Christmas card, but its delicacy meant that I had to back it with something. White didn't provide enough contrast (I tried), so I went with a surprising shade of lime green. The pop of unexpected lime really livens up this very simple card. I incorporated the green into the sentiment, but contrasted the larger word in bright red for more drama and pop!

The white twill adds a soft, natural texture. I tried twine first, but it looked weird with the narrow fronds...too busy or something. The white-on-white of the twill distracts less from the color and other details, while giving a nice sense of movement between the sentiment, knot, and pine boughs of the border.

Oh, this card makes me sooooo happy!!! And I've got Bitsy to thank for it!

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Hero Arts lime, SU real red
paper: Papertrey white, MFP lime
accessories: white twill, Martha Stewart border punch