One excellent design option for clean-and-simple cards is to create a small scene in a sea of white space. Incorporating dies into these scenes requires smaller dies, and as I've been shopping around, I've tried to buy a few die sets that fit that requirement.
Like Hero Arts Daisy and Bugs. Dang, this set is adorable, and the coordinating dies are perfect.
The daisy is quite large, but the bugs are small, and so here's my scene.
Note that my scene is very tightly focused: only part of the flower shows (about 2/3 of it...and that's on purpose) and it takes up about 1/3 of the stamped panel. To keep it simple, I left the background white, which has the effect of really forcing the eye onto the the three spots of yellow (the center of the daisy and the two bees) which are arranged in a triangle.
Note, too, that leaving the background white lessens the effect of the white border on the die cuts. If the background were colored, the white border around the bees would really stand out and look sort of jarring.
Scenes, however, need not be this simple to still feel CAS. The key is the white space around them. More detailed scenes can work equally well as long as there's plenty of white around them.
Now, the simplicity of this design required a few additional little touches to make it special. First, the yellow Stickles on the daisy adds some much-needed shimmer and shine to the card, as well as a bit of texture. The bees' wings shimmer with clear Wink of Stella.
After completing the card, it occurred to me that some yellow flock would have added a lot to the design...more texture, stronger yellow on the bees. Missed opportunity. I shan't beat myself up over it. This card is grand without it.
Anyway, if you want to bring dies into your already-CAS style, focus on smaller dies for images that can create scenes. This allows for plenty of white space. If you want to try a CAS card even though you usually make more embellished designs, focus on using your smaller dies.
We're in the home stretch for Christmas. I hope you all are enjoying this week and feeling caught up (or at least not too far behind!) in preparations. Remember to breathe.
And to those of you celebrating Hanukkah, Happy Hanukkah!
Peace, love, hope, and joy,
stamps: Hero Arts Daisy and Bugs
ink: Memento black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: yellow Copic marker, yellow Stickles, dimensionals, bee die from Daisy and Bugs, Wink of Stella