One design element that people sometimes forget is Unity. To make a card unified, each component has to relate to the others in deliberate ways, which, let's face it, can be hard when you're working with the "limited" supplies of even an expert-level stamp hoarder.
How many sentiments do you have?
"Roughly a gazillion."
Do you always have just the right one?
I thought not.
Anyway, unity is why using happy colors on a sympathy card is a bad idea, as is putting a rusted-out, old-timer jalopy that's falling apart in an overgrown field on a birthday card. Well, unless you intend to liken the birthday boy to a rusted-out, old-timer jalopy that's falling apart in an overgrown field.
(BTW, what was StampinUp thinking with that set anyway?)
So when I contemplated the empty birdcage stamp in SU's Nature Walk, I thought about how sad bird cages are. When they are occupied, they are prisons for things that should fly free. When they are empty, they imply absence, something missing...something missing that's pretty and sings better than I do.
Oh the moral conundrum of birdcages!
I decided to make a missing you card for Operation Write Home, only all the missing you stamps I had were too small, too large, on two lines instead of one, or ugly fonts. So it became a thinking of you card, which works, but not quite as well.
The birdcage looks a bit too feminine for a dude card, so I went girly with the whole thing: pink and burgundy. Wouldn't this be a great card for a female soldier, sailor, marine, or airman to send to her mother or sister or aunt or besty?
I just love the spray of flowers peeking out from behind the stamped panel. It adds some lovely interest and shows how the empty cage might symbolize loss or absence, but the flowers symbolize hope and beauty.
It also nicely creates some asymmetrical balance on the card. Bonus point!
And really, don't you wish all our troops safe return to their own homes? I was listening to this song today. It's really not the sort of thing you should listen to while driving. But it so perfectly expresses the commitment and sacrifice of our troops and their families.
And that's all I have to say about that. *sniff, sniff*
stamps: SU Nature Walk, PTI sentiment (not sure which set)
accessories: dimensionals, scallop scissors (to slightly round the corners of the raised panel)