Stamping a collage can be a little challenging. Getting the balance and colors right, and giving a sense of movement to the whole thing can be intimidating. But it's less so with a small 1 3/4" by 2 5/8" piece of card stock. If you ruin one or two or ten, you're not out much, so there's not much risk to playing around and trying to get it right.
My first effort was so-so (although the colors really do look more balanced in real life!). The red and dark brown elements form nice triangles that anchor the design. There are three elements of text, three fronds of leaves, five spots of light brown, one spot of green. The odd numbers work pretty well, but to my CAS-loving eye, there are just too many of them. Also, there are too many colors. The green is a bit too dark.
For better design, there needs to be either a third word or autumn and grace need to be closer together so they relate better because the triangle they make with the brown half pearls gets lost in the chaos of that green grunge splatter. Placing the collage in the dead center of the card makes the card look...odd.
As flawed as it is, I'm satisfied with it as a first effort and am not embarrassed to post it (you might feel differently, though!), but it's just too busy for my taste. So I tried again, this time with a Christmas theme. This one scores MUCH better!
The balance of color and design on the Christmas card works well. The strong focal point of the poinsettia grabs the eye, and the Grunge Me paint splatter stamp in very light green stays in the background where it belongs yet adds a fresh look to the bright red and green. The holly berries are accented with a red Sakura Stardust pen and match the red ink much better in real life, allowing the eye to move from the focal point to the sentiment to the border with ease.
Some tips for stamping mini collages:
1. It's a good idea to start with a strong focal point, then work from there. Put the focal point in a sweet spot. Draw imaginary lines to divide the piece into thirds; the two best sweet spots are the upper left and lower right intersections of the lines.
2. Use differently scaled shapes or images and vary the shapes. The Autumn card has too many elements that are roughly the same size and visual weight and a bit too much variety in the shapes. The Christmas card has repeat border of tiny holly and a nice, big poinsettia, and the round poinsettia works in contrast to the trinagles of holly and straight line of the sentiment. The grunge spatter relaxes the crisp images a bit.
3. The background needs to stay in the background with lighter colors as support.
4. Add a little extra something...bling, glitter pen accents, beads, buttons, ribbon, twine, etc.
5. Place the collage off-center as Chelsea did with her samples in Take Ten. This adds much more interest to the card and feels much more natural. Utilize either the sweet spots or the rule of thirds. On my Christmas card, the imaginary one-third horizontal line of the collage is lined up on the imaginary one-third horizontal line of the card base, leaving about twice as much white space below the collage than above...hope that makes sense!
Why not play around and see what sort of mini collage you can stamp!
stamps: Autumn (Grunge Me, First Fruits, Turning a New Leaf, Text Style, Beautiful Blessings); Christmas (Peaceful Poinsettia, Holly Jolly, Grunge Me)
accessories: half pearls, Stardust red pen, sponge, gold half bead, dimensionals