As a clean-and-simple stamper, I have learned that the simplest layouts provide abundant opportunities for variation, and I often challenge myself to make two or three cards that look really different (colors, techniques, themes) but are essentially--from a design point of view--the same.
Sometimes, only one of the variations is blog-worthy, but today, I want to share two cards that both make my CAS-lovin' heart go pitter patter. (Note: My sister has asked me to make her a bunch of cards to have on hand for Christmas. She wants most of them to be birthday, so you'll be seeing lots of birthday cards over the next few weeks!)
First up, bold and fun! The cake is colored with Copics, with just a bit of shading. Note that it's a small cake and coloring it doesn't take much time at all. The candles are accented with orange Stickles for a bit of sparkle. The stamped panel is matted simply because the cute image and sentiment didn't need elaborate matting. That strong color keeps the eye right on the focal point.
Next up, a softly feminine card. The flowers (from Gina K) were inked with markers, spritzed with water, and stamped. Crystal Stickles accents the flower centers. The soft and pretty focal point begged for more elaborate matting than the cake did, so I used 1/16", 3/8", and 1/16" mats for a dressier look.
Note how wildly different these two cards are despite all the similarities. Both use Stickles, have the same layout, have mats, allow lots of white space. But one is feminine, the other whimsical; one is bold and bright, the other soft and dreamy; one has the focal point entirely on the panel, the other disappears off the bottom edge.
By the way, from a purely design standpoint, the floral card is better. The cake is floating, which is generally frowned upon by design sticklers. I debated adding a table but decided to leave it as is...there's not enough space. A little shading under the cake plate might help, though. My sister has three children who get invited to birthday parties...I figured this card would go to a little boy who wouldn't care one way or the other!
Why not take a layout you like and try to create very different looks for it? It's lots of fun, and you never know where it will take you!
Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
stamps: Gina K, StampinUp
paper: Papertrey white
ink: Memento black
accessories: Stickles, Copics, Memento markers, water spritzer