Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Deep design thought for Tuesday...

"If you give people nothingness, they can ponder what can be achieved from that nothingness." Tadao Ando, architect

Here's what Wikipedia says about Ando's style: "Ando's architectural style is said to create a 'haiku' effect, emphasizing nothingness and empty space to represent the beauty of simplicity." How have I lived my life not knowing about Tadao Ando?

Oh, yeah. I had my nose buried in English literature. I never studied architecture. Clearly, I missed out on a lot.

Today's card is a single panel, size 3.5" x 7.25". The size was determined by a standard #7.5 business envelope I bought at Marco's paper. Remember, I don't like fussy stuff (like making my own envelopes), and with the variety of ready-made sizes out there, it's fun to play around occasionally.

Besides, the book 1,000 Greetings totally inspired me to mess around with sizes. You WILL be seeing more of this sort of aberration in the weeks to come.

My original plan for this panel was a strip of decorative paper down the left side. I had the paper cut but hadn't glued it down in case the stamping went awry. As I reached for the glue, my sleeve caught the strip and pushed it aside, and the simple beauty of all that white space struck me forcibly. I had to leave it alone.

I didn't have a choice.

Ponder what can be achieved from the nothingness.

Panel photographed on green background
for contrast.

Here is the panel with the envelope, and a little flower added because I liked the idea. Is it too much? Does it interfere with the nothingness? It feels like too much!!!!

ETA--Tanis commented that the flower was too cute. She's absolutely
right. It's from the same set as the tree, so I grabbed it without thinking,
but it's just too cute to work here. Thanks, Tanis, for seeing what I could not.
Now I can go to bed and sleep soundly.

May your day be full of the best sort of nothingness there is. And lots of kindness, too.

stamps: Hero Arts Konnichiwa Lanterns
Ink: VersaMagic
paper: 110# white card
accessories: #7.5 business envelope


  1. I would not say it's too much, but maybe it's a little too "cute"? It's definitely a different style than the tree image.
    Loving the unexpected size/shape. It's fun!

  2. The great spirits of card making were at work in your studio...you sleeve just "happened" to brush away the strip of patterned paper? I don't think so! I think you were "meant" to make this card...because it's fabulous!

  3. After reading your words my thought was the color of the flower was too bright for nothingness but I liked the simplicity of one small image. My question is...are you going to write a note on this long piece of paper and on which side? If you write on the side with the tree won't that deter from the nothingness of the card? Just thoughts going through my head so early in the morning!

    1. The photo editing brightened the pink a bit...it's duller in real life. And your pondering where to write the message is EXACTLY the sort of pondering this card invites. I have no idea where I will write. There is no right or wrong here...just hi there!

  4. Just. Stunning. Haiku always includes a nature image; I like the green. Now if we can find a tree with 17 leaves. And a tiny cherry blossom. How did you choose the placement of the tree? It's not the rule of 3rds...but perfect.

    1. I used the force. ;-)

      The original design had lots more elements. I was going to cut out a paper lantern and hang it on the paper strip border...yadda yadda. So the extreme bottom placement would have felt more traditionally balanced. When I saw the card without the strip, it just worked. This is a great example of working outside the rules and finding harmony...proof that the rules--while useful--shouldn't limit us, either.

    2. Amazing design. I could never have come up with it. I think I would have stamped the flower in the same ink as the tree. But that's just me.

  5. I admire your courage!! When I tried it, it hurt!! But then stretching always does. I will try again and perhaps it will be less painful. I purchased the book for cheap on Amazon..hopefully I will be inspired and brave as you are!!!
    patti moffett

  6. the tree placement is perfect! It almost appears as if the tree is leaning into the nothingness to whisper to the recipient a shy "hi there". Love it!

  7. How to look at a blank canvas and not be enticed to fill it all in.....love it!. I guess it has to be the right image and colour and you hit the spot with this! The flower might be better in the same green? I like it though.....it gives an element of surprise when the envelope is opened and let's face it, white is bright!!!! I'm just about to try going it simple due to reasons other than creative and to be honest I'm too scared to try yet! I have a lots of 'what if's? e.g. people think I'm scrimping by not making a fussy card, and what do I use? I've cut my stamp collection by at least half, if not more, in fact most of my craft things are boxed up now. Wish me luck! ;o)

  8. I know the envelope punch board is all the rage but I feel lucky to have time to make a card, forget an envelope. Tanis was right about the flower. What I like about CAS is that I can ponder the card (the nothingness?) for a while so that when I finally get to play, the idea is often fully formed and I don't spin my wheels. I couldn't do that with layers and layers. Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. love the card. what if you made the flower the same color?

  10. You ... were going to use patterned paper?! I'm glad you came to your senses. This is magnificent, though the white space still makes me itch.

    Two of my bloggy pals rarely make A2 cards. They just go with the flow of materials and ideas until the card determines what size it wants to be. I have enough trouble with an A2 size - can't go bigger. Nope.


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