Saturday, June 24, 2017

Big Stamp Layout

For several reasons, big stamps are the enemy of clean-and-simple (CAS) design. First, they don't leave much room for white space on a card because, you know, they're big. Second, the size and orientation of a big stamp seriously limit the number of layouts you can create on a small rectangle of cardstock, especially if you're not adding lots of mats, ribbon, gee-gaws, and embellishments.

Consequently, big stamps are not my favorites, but I make an exception for this gorgeous lighthouse stamp from PSX. Tricked out in simple black and white, it makes a wonderful masculine birthday card.

This layout works best with this stamp. A vertical layout puts too much vertical into the design (that lighthouse is VERY vertical, even with the clouds and curvy beach and fence to break it up), and even adding a horizontal sentiment isn't enough to create balance. A horizontal layout, with the image offset, creates some tension and lets the horizontal sentiment stand out more as it's reinforced by the horizontal card. Like I said above, there's only so much you can do positioning a big stamp on a small card.

To explore variations, I've applied all sorts of techniques to this stamp over the years, including heat embossing, watercoloring, colored pencils, markers, and chalks. I've added ribbon, eyelets, brads, twine, designer paper, sand, glitter, buttons...all sorts of embellishments. I've created sponged and stippled backgrounds for the image stamped in black.

None of those cards made me as happy as this simple black-and-white version, sans embellishment. This way, a beautiful scene artistically rendered in red rubber gets to be the star.

It doesn't get more CAS than that.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Papertrey (sentiment), PSX (lighthouse)
ink: Archival black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: dimensionals


  1. Beautiful card and perfect for a masculine birthday! Love the handsome image and the card design.

  2. Susan, have you ever removed part of a stamp that you thought was too "crowded" with detail? For instance, though I think the lighthouse is beautiful, if I had this stamp I would probably remove two of the three clouds. I have carved out parts of a couple of stamps in order to make the images simpler. Maybe that's sacrilege....

  3. This card is so peaceful and wonderful. I wouldn't have thought it could be done up CAS style if I hadn't seen it myself. (Is that the right use of that word? So many people mess up seen and saw that they all sound wrong to me now).


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