First, I basically copied the card above by Jen Del Muro that was published in an issue of Stamp It! Cards earlier this year. Jen is an incredibly versatile stamper who is as at home making a twelve-layer confection of a card as she is making a very CAS card.
Jen's card was a mother's day card in kiwi kiss, white, and black. Mine is a birthday card in blush blossom, white, and chocolate chip. What I loved about Jen's design is how she created a three-part rectangular base for the scalloped circle. (I wish I'd noticed how she runs her rectangle all the way to the edge of the card because it really looks nicer that way!)
She accented the thin white rectangle with the row of circles (she used brads, I used half-pearls). The scallops are repeated at the end of the base, tying the circle and rectangle neatly together. Scalloped BRILLIANCE!!!!
My second card was inspired by the totally awesome Tracy Durcan. She published this Merry Mittens card in Holiday Cards and More, Vol. 2, in 2007.
Her square card uses a scalloped circle stamp as a base for brown mittens with a little pink ribbon knot.
Obviously, I kept her exact layout and close to the same color scheme, just changing the theme and images. I don't have a scalloped circle stamp, so I created a mask with the SU scallop punch and sponged blush blossom ink onto the card. Since the idea of a ribbon on ice cream is icky, I popped my image up and added a bit of brown stickles for the sprinkles on the ice cream to add dimension and a bit of sparkle.
It's a lot of fun--and very stress-free--to make cards that are not "original." I believe we learn a lot from copying designs so directly. It allows us to get inside the designer's head and understand in a very tactile way how the design works. If we do this enough, we internalize those lessons and don't have to think so hard when we do sit down to make "original" work.
At least, that's what I think.