Tuesday, December 8, 2009

CAS44 Red and Brown Color Challenge: White Space Isn't Scary

I have been really bad about keeping up with the CAS challenges lately. Several times, I tried to come up with something and just had too much Christmas on my mind.

This week, though, I couldn't resist because the red and brown color combo called to me like the Sirens luring Odysseus to a watery grave. Oh, wait. That simile doesn't work. Let's see. CAS44 called to me like a great big steamy mocha in my brand new Marjolein Bastin cardinal mug my friend Liz* sent me for my birthday. Yeah, that's much more appropriate.

As soon as I saw the challenge posted late Sunday night, my mind went to work, and by midmorning on Monday, about forty ideas floated around in my extremely overactive mind. Here's the first to reach fruition:

Remember this SU tag set? Well, I don't. Anyone who knows the name please shout out in the comments, 'cause I ditched all but this stamp from the set. The rubber is blue; does that mean something? Was it a hostess set or a Sale-a-bration set?

And I want to go on record--in print or whatever you call what I'm doing right now--as saying I despise the name Sale-a-Bration. SU (without the exlamation point!), are you listening to the English snob here? Blech! I feel better now. Thanks for permitting that little excoriation of cutsy marketing techniques.

Wow, where did that grouchiness come from? Shake it off, Susan! Other than its tendency to use annoying cutsy names, I love SU.

Anyway, my first CAS44 card makes me happy. This tag stamp hasn't seen ink in ages and simply screamed to be used in brown and red. The little red bow took a ridiculous amount of time to make, but I got there in the end.

Since I've brought up marketing, a field in which I worked for many years, let's address the issue of scary white space. For those who find this much white space disturbing, I implore you to spend some time looking at GAP print advertisements. When a visual item isn't cluttered up with a billion things (think the weekly Michael's ad...shudder!), you can easily notice what is important.

Don't get me wrong. Skillful and talented artists can and do create a strong focal point on cards without leaving much white space, but good grief, we've established that I am NOT one of them.

No, I trend toward keeping my card canvas simple and uncluttered, balanced and clean. That way, a lovely image and perfect colors and a single little embellishment can really shine.

Either that, or I'm pathologically lazy. You decide.

stamp: SU edited to add: Too Terrific Tags
ink: Palette dark chocolate
paper: PTI vintage cream
accessories: SU marker (real red, creamy caramel), dimensionals, ribbon

*Liz is a graphic design artist whom I worked with in the late 1990s. She's a genius of clean-and-simple design in marketing and crafting, and I want to be her when I grow up. She took really boring charts and words I wrote about computer memory chips and made them stunningly easy to read and beautiful, too. I can't top that. Ever.


  1. awesome card....I am still learning to know when to stop....that is hard for me when I am alone in my stamping space surrounded by all the things I have collected....why have I collected it all??? When is enough, enough. When I make a card with lots of white space will the receiver get it?? Will they appreciate the minimial loveliness of featuring a lovely image?? Oh my...I over thinking it again...giggle....

  2. Simple and clean is wonderful. Thank you for all of your sharing.

  3. There were three tag sets. Terrific Tags - regular set on red rubber, Tags So Much - hostess set on purple rubber, and Too Terrific Tags - SAB set on blue rubber. No, I don't remember that all off the top of my head. I used to be organized enough to keep a spreadsheet, and those are all on it from back then.

    Love your card, and the insights about white space. You're so right about the Michael's ad vs. the GAP ad!

  4. Thanks, Chris!!! It was Too Terrific Tags. Amazing what being organized can do. A spreadsheet? Wow. I never thought of that. Good thing Excel always baffled me or I'd be on that like white on rice.

    Karen, check tomorrow's post. You are not alone. ((hugs))


  5. Stunning! I have those tags and never found a good way to use them on cards. Well, now I have. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. I love this. The pretty branch image. The red and brown. And making sentences that aren't sentences just for you! lol

    This is really pretty. I love your CAS style, I always find inspiration here.

  7. All I can say is OMG I LOVE this!!!
    I need to get my tag set out with the punch!!

  8. Really charming card! Love all the white space. Funny though how I love white space on others cards but when I have too much white space on one of my cards I start to panic and feel the urge to fill it with stuff!

  9. I love reading your thoughts each day. And seeing your beautiful cards.As far as keeping the canvas clean, here's my challenge - I always end up with fingerprints or smudges or SOMETHING that requires me to redesign the thing. So as far as I'm concerned, Clean IS NOT (usually) Simple (at least not for me!). I'll keep trying though!

  10. As a calligrapher I so agree with your 'space around something gives it importance' - absolutely love this card (what one do I not?) and wondering how to replicate it myself....should I get the time.

  11. Another fabulous card, Susan! I too love your use of white space, though can also sympathize with Ardyth about those errant smudges that can sometimes ruin everything! (And usually when you're SO close to done...)

  12. I knew someone would know the name of the set....all I knew is that it was a SAB set. LOVE your little creation but even more, I LOVE your mug. I just wish I could draw and paint like Marjolein Bastin! I have started an enormous cross stitch design by her. If I ever would stop stamping, I might actually get something done on it! :D

  13. Love that mug, too--even though it has no white space on it! Your cards are always beautiful, which is why I keep coming back for more.

  14. Definitely NOT lazy - fantastic in the way you use your space to emphasise your beautiful images.

  15. I have never seen lazy-ness produce such beauty.

  16. aaaah, when I set my eyes on this card I had to laugh!! I too have this forgotten set!! My SU demo talked me into it or gave it to me ....or something!! Anyway, it was barely used and hasn't seen the light of day for quite a while. Now, I might just have to dust it off!! :-)


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!