Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Complementary Birthday

Ever get confused by the homophones compliment and complement? Here's the low-down on the difference.

 Compliment refers to either flattery or (in its adjectival form) free stuff.

  • The teacher complimented the student's excellent grasp of the subject. 
  • The soap and shampoo were complimentary, so Bob put them in his suitcase without guilt.

Complement, on the other hand, refers to completion of a set or group. You can remember this by the "e" after the "l" in both complement and complete.

  • The centerpiece complemented the tablecloth.
  • Blue complements its opposite on the color wheel: orange. Blue and orange are complementary colors. 

And thus we come to a Complementary Birthday that incorporates shades of blue and orange. Inside, one might write a note complimenting how youthful the aging person looks. Or not, because really, who wants to be reminded about his/her appearance on his/her birthday? Not I.

I already know silver my hair is, thank you very much.

But I digress.

Here's the card.

This color scheme came from this pin. The inks are Hero Arts soft stone, pool, and pumpkin pie...and what a great combination that is! A largish rhinestone and silver metallic line complement the design nicely, don't you think?

Remember that complementary color schemes generally add energy to a card, while monochromatic schemes are generally calming and peaceful.  Today's card would have more energy if bright blue and orange were used, but with grayed-down shades of each, the effect is a bit more subtle. I made this card after this mostly monochromatic hot-pink card, which is anything but calming and peaceful, and wanted a subtler feel to it.

Besides, bright orange and blue make me think of Boise State University, where I taught briefly.  I didn't want the card to feel collegiate...even though this card will go to someone on the east coast and I'm the only one who would notice!

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

stamps: Papertrey Birthday Basics, Good Times
ink: Hero Arts pool, soft stone, pumpkin pie (yum!)
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: silver metallic marker, metal ruler, craft foam, glue, rhinestone


  1. Would you like to give an explanation on the use of "effect" and "affect" since you used the word effect in your post?

    I learn a lot of useful information on your blog posts! Thanks.

    My husband likes orange and I never knew what color would look nice with it. His next card will be orange, blue and gray (or is that grey?)

  2. That's a complicated one! Generally, effect is a noun and affect is a verb. But there are rare usages for effect as a verb and affect as a noun. It would take a while!

    Gray/grey is easier. Both are acceptable. Gray is more common in the U.S., while grey is more common in the U.K. I tend to use both but try to be consistent within a single document.

  3. Let me compliment you on a wonderful CAS design! :)

  4. Great colour combination!
    I've just finished the book "Rain, Reign" by Anne M Martin about a girl who has Asperger's Syndrome and has a fixation on homophones - or homonyms, which she says is the correct name. "Rose Howard has OCD, Asperger's syndrome, and an obsession with homonyms (even her name is a homonym). She gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose's rules of homonyms, is very special."

  5. I like your cards—and your explanation of "compliment" and "complement." Perhaps we can discuss something grammatical with each of your postings. My particular pet peeve, for instance, is the use of "it's" as a possessive.

  6. Nice color combo - I like the cool colors.


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