When it comes to my Pure Inspiration pin board on Pinterest, I often pin unique things that aren't exactly my style but look interesting or beautiful in their own right. If you search through that board, you'll see a LOT of botanical stuff, from embroidered purses to decorated cakes to this lovely print:
Or this floorcloth:
When I start seeing similar things--like rather busy botanical arrangements--repeated on a Pinterest board, I try to pay attention and play around with new ideas.
Y'all don't see the results from most of this play because, well, mostly, it doesn't work for me. I've struggled for a long time with this sort of botanical design, for instance, and even though what I make generally ends up in the trash, I keep coming back to it anyway.
Because it is beautiful stuff. Beautiful.
Last week, I finally scored! I made a loose, random arrangement of natural images and it actually looks great! Well, I think so. At first, I intended to use it on a card but then decided that this perfect little 1.75" x 5.5" strip of stamped stupendousness needed to be a book mark for my Christmas book tree...and then, after the holidays, an actual book mark for my use year-round.
Three things make this work for me. First, the two deer (yes, they are NOT botanical but go with it anyway, please) give a sense of focus to the design, as well as movement, with the one on top looking down at the one that's looking out of the design. Their legs run directly up against the silver edges of the card and serve to keep eyes inside the design.
Second, the variations in shapes and sizes of the leaves...gingko, pine needles, fern, and even a bit of vine...work extremely well. In the past, my attempts have felt either too heavy or too linear, but the balance of solid and linear images in this effort is good! I added the snowflake stamp because there were some open spots and I liked the linear branching of the flake design. The trios of green berries also fill in the busy design nicely.
Third, the color choices are heavenly. Two shades of gray and three shades of olive-y, sage-y green create a soft, natural palette. It's serene, peaceful, and pretty.
Have you ever made a design like this? How did it turn out for you?
stamps: Lots. Mostly Papertrey Embellished Elegance, Dashing through the Snow, Peaceful Pinecones, Turning a New Leaf and some others
ink: Memento London fog, gray flannel, olive grove, pistachio, bamboo
accessories: silver metallic marker (Prismacolor), 1/8" hole punch, eyelet, silver cord