Let's digress a bit about design before looking at today's card. Stamp sets like Color Layering Octopus have certain design limitations worthy of note. First, the main image--the octopus--is fairly large and will dominate any card upon which it appears. The smaller images in the set allow a stamper to create a scene for the octopus (something I'm particularly challenged by) or can be used on cards by themselves as long as the focal point is small.
These components make a set incredibly versatile, especially for stampers whose style is not super minimalist.
On the other hand, it's a set with an octopus, branch coral, little fishes, and punny sentiments. These images are highly determined...meaning they have strong and specific meaning, and people will respond to them strongly as a result. For instance, I love octopuses and am fascinated by them, but other people look at them and see slimy sea creatures and might wonder why in the world a friend sent them a get-well card with such an image on it! And make no mistake. That octopus is going to dominate any card on which it appears.
Other images, such as generic flowers, trees, leaves, shapes, and patterns, are not highly determined. You can pair almost any sentiment with basic flower images and the card will work, from sympathy to birthday. I've seen woodgrain backgrounds used successfully on all sorts of cards, and graphic designs like polka dots and stripes can assume almost any meaning you want...well, maybe not sympathy, but you get the idea.
Buying highly determined sets like Color Layering Octopus adds a great deal of variety to your stash and can be LOTS of fun to play with, but this also explains why the majority of sets that I own are less determined.
When it comes to buying highly determined sets, however, I really appreciate the thoughtful design of sets like Color Layering Octopus, even when I don't use the tiny stamps to set a scene.
And by the way, the new Hero Arts color Antigua coordinates AWESOMELY with mint julep. Yay!
Octopus hugs and hellos. Too cute!
Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
stamps: Hero Arts, Simon Says Stamp, and MFT
ink: Hero Arts Antigua, mint julep, ombre pink; Archival black
paper: Papertrey white