I started by pulling a bunch of stamp sets of flowers, insects, and leaves out of my stash. I also pulled out my scrap drawer of white card stock and a 1" square punch. Yep. I made inchies!
After punching the squares, I randomly stamped various images on them, using mostly block stamps and a spritz of water to blend rock-and-rolled inks or to soften the solid colors. I didn't overthink this phase of the design...just grabbed inks and images, and went to work. When all the squares were stamped, I inked the edges with a sponge and Memento Pear Tart ink. (That was the messy part. And no, I'm not making a pear joke. Y'all have dirty minds.)
Next came the "random" arrangement of the inchies on a card. Y'all know that random only looks random. Really, it's a carefully planned placement to create balance and harmony. Notice that the upper left and lower right corners contain very strong colors that begin and end the arrangement. The other squares are placed to keep your eye in the grid. If I'd planned a bit more in the stamping phase, my arrangement would look a little different (and the orange leaves and red spindly branch really should switch places), but overall, I'm pleased with how this turned out, especially as it reflects Matthew's inspiration piece!
Three of the left-over squares had particularly bold, solid images on them, and they worked so nicely together that I made another card using just those three and my favorite, classic CAS layout. Notice how the center of the red flower is the same orange as the first leaf and acts as final punctuation for the series. THAT is a lovely bit of serendipity!
Designs like this make me happy, and not just because it required no embellishment. The softness of the sponged squares contrasts so nicely with the crisp, white background, and the vivid colors seem to glow right off the card. (Take a peek at the pic of the inchies laid out on my burgundy stamping mat. They look duller than they do on the cards, partly because of photo editing, but also partly because the white enhances the colors.)
All in all, a very good justification for hours spent on Pinterest!
A Comment on Inks
For this technique, I used Memento dye inks rather than my new Hero Arts inks. I find that with Hero Arts inks, spritzing with water results in an odd separation of the ink that causes very blotchy, unpleasant images. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this problem. The separation seems consistent across the ink colors I have of Hero Arts and must be connected to the inks' chemical formula.
For those of you considering buying ink, keep this limitation in mind. I love both brands, just for different things. If you can only afford one, though, and think you might spritz, I recommend Memento over Hero Arts. If you can afford both, get both. The Hero Arts color selection is much better than Memento, and the inks give lovely, vivid results...when not spritzed with water.
paper: Papertrey Ink
accessories: spritz bottle with water, 1" square punch, dimensionals, sponge