Saturday, April 25, 2015

How Scale Changes Design

Back to the 2010 issue of Paper Crafts Card Style for some more inspiration...this time from Courtney Kelley.

Card by Courtney Kelley, published in Card Style 2010

A few observations about Courtney's CAS cutie: 1) busy patterned paper can work on CAS cards, if you use it sparingly and smartly, as she does here, 2) punched flowers look better with stems, 3) pair a really, really clean and easy to read font with something crazy like this patterned paper and they balance each other out so well, 4) putting three things--a ground of some kind, a focal point image, and a sentiment--is all you really need for a well-designed card. Yay!!!

Now, as most of you know, I eschew the use of patterned paper in my card making on the principle that every time I use it, it looks awful. Like sequins, patterned paper is for better crafters than I. But now that I've made peace with washi tape, I have a most excellent substitute.

This may be my first Christmas card of the year. Not sure and too lazy to check. But still, by jingle bells, I nailed it! Thanks to Courtney's inspiration, of course!

My focal point was a good bit larger than Courtney's, and this necessitated some shifting around of elements. If the sentiment were above the washi, your eye would start at the sentiment, move to the star, and then dropped straight down to the bottom of the tree that's all silvery with glitter...and stop right there. There's nothing to lead it back to the sentiment above the washi. That large sideways L-shaped triangle isn't a good design because you want the eye to keep moving. Courtney avoids my problem by keeping things smaller and tighter together in a more linear fashion that brilliantly uses the busy patterned paper. My washi, however, forcefully takes the eye only in one direction.

So my big ol' tree meant adjustments needed to be made. On my card, your eye moves around a nice, big triangle from sentiment to star to tree and back again, which adds stability, balance, and unity to the larger design. Note how the red diagonal washi points between the sentiment and star, and the red ornaments zigzag you to the glittery trunk of the tree? Cool, eh? The three spots of silver give a kind of anchor to this design, and the movement is provided by the red diagonal and dots. Since there's nothing between the trunk and sentiment, it's easy enough for the eye to bridge that small gap.

I hope all this makes sense. It seems more complicated to explain than it felt to design, LOL!!!

Because my focal point is white, on a white background, there's a huge risk of it disappearing into the card. So I needed some sizeable embellishments for it. Those giant (and relatively flat) enamel dots worked like a charm!

Many thanks to Courtney Kelley for giving me such a fine inspiration piece!

And that's all I have to say about that.

Stamps: Papertrey Keep It Simple Christmas
ink: Brilliance silver
paper: Papertrey white, silver glitter (from Michael's)
accessories: washi, dimensionals, tree punch, star punch, enamel dots


  1. Love your card, Susan and I appreciate your explanation of why it works, design-wise. CAS isn't my natural style and I appreciate the explanation of why something works. I can tell it does with my eye, but don't know aways know why.

  2. Though I love patterned papers and use them occasionally, I totally prefer your washi version. Wonderful interpretation.


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