Sunday, June 1, 2014

An Idea Develops

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 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
ink: various
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: dimensionals


  1. I love your cards! All three are beautiful.

    I've found that white on white or white on solid cardstock creates problems, photographically. I use Papertrey Ink's large circle paper (from their patterns pack) in Soft Stone for almost all my backgrounds and I get great results. You can see some of my cards here:

    The patterns packs retail for $6, which isn't a huge investment.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. It's kind of funny - I'm not a really CAS kind of girl, but I love the first card! Maybe it's because I do so few monochromatic cards, but it's soft and subtle and just suits me.

  3. First I want to say I do enjoy visiting your blog even if I'm not a CAS card maker, yours just seem to work.
    I like the first card in the sand color....just like the monochromatic style which I do like to create myself.
    Second card is just not me at all....not a pink person.
    Now the third card pops right out at it a lot.
    I'm not that good at photographing my cards but I keep trying.
    stamping sue

  4. Great idea for the Nature Walk set! I like the red and green version best because it has more life to it with the brighter colours. But I do like the sand version - with a different sentiment, it would be a nice subtle "thinking of you" card for someone going through a hard time.

  5. I like the third card best. The contrasting colors really speak to me. I think the colors add a lot of interest to the design. My second favorite is the first card. The color is tranquil and soothing. I find it more appealing than the pink card.

  6. Actually, I love the sand color. It just depends on what you want to use the card for, I guess. The sand on white is very subtle and serene, and would look completely ridiculous if you had stamped "Happy Birthday!" on it, but as is, is completely beautiful.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!