Lately, I've made great progress on my Use-Your-Stamps Challenge, and that includes using a wonderful set from StampinUp called Nature Walk, which a kind reader gave to me a few years ago.
The soft, artsy style of the stamps is hard for me to work with as it invites more embellished/layered/collage settings instead of my clean-and-simple style. But I have learned that using differently-sized rectangles in various arrangements works beautifully with these sorts of stamps.
The idea here was to create a soft, monochromatic card, and I was reasonably happy with the results. The asymmetrical arrangement creates interest, and having the butterfly flying toward the plant gives a tiny hint of movement in an incredibly static design. The butterfly placement also gives a sense of unity to the card.
But the color--Hero Arts sand--is just a little too blah and led me to create...
There are subtle--very subtle but real--problems with this version, even though I do like the color better. First, notice that the butterfly square is slightly higher than on Card One. This crowds the sentiment and makes the top of it even with the top of the plant rectangle. Ick. Second, the butterfly is a little too low on the square. Compare its position to Card One, and you'll see that the butterfly is centered better on the first card, making the whole design more balanced.
But the VersaColor cinnamon ink on the panels and old rose on the sentiment make the card both more feminine and more interesting than the pure brown one.
At this point, I speculated that it would be loads of fun to abandon monochromatic schemes altogether, and I made Card Three:
This makes me VERY happy! The complementary color scheme of green and red pops pleasingly, and the touches of dark brown for the sentiment and plant number work well.
Which version do you prefer? Why?
And now for a question about photography. Note that I used kraft paper and Papertrey's soft pink paper as backdrops for the first two photos and my usual white for the third. I've learned that Picasa tends to create WAY too much contrast with light colors on white...so it's tough to get accurately colored photographs of subtle cards. Even with the colored background, Picasa artificially darkened the kraft and pink (the pink even looks more like salmon than the slightly gray pale pink it is in real life!). Of course, your monitor may show the colors differently, but hopefully this all makes sense.
As you can see, the last card, which uses brighter, darker colors, looks fine on a white background. Those colors on my screen look pretty true to life.
I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions to fix this problem. I've noticed some people (Ardyth, for instance) use gray paper backgrounds, but I don't currently have gray paper that works as well as hers. Might hit the store to find some, though.
stamps: StampinUp Nature Walk; Waltzingmouse sentiment
paper: Papertrey white