The Stamping Madly Cardmaking Contest entries have all been posted, and I'm happy to announce that the winner is Janelle Varner. Here's her card:
There were so many great entries, it was hard to choose my favorite. In fact, I asked my friend JoAnne to look at the cards with me. She didn't enter a card, nor did she have a connection with anyone who did, and her unbiased input was very helpful.
What appeals to me may be very different than what appeals to others. We each have different things we look for in a piece of art. Maybe it's the color scheme that appeals, or the layout just feels harmonious. Perhaps it's the novel technique someone used, or an unusual way of putting the elements of the card together. All the entries received comments from people who liked them.
I need to refine the contest rules for next time. When I created the rules, I decided that a card has to be 90% current Stampin' Up! products. This became a problem when I was looking at some entries. Does that mean 90% of the card surface? Or 90% of the list of supplies. As JoAnne and I were looking at the cards, it became clear that 90% of the card surface was what I was looking for.
You may be wondering what criteria I use when assessing or designing a card. What pleases me most is a cohesive design. I'll use one of Janelle's other entries to illustrate what I mean, since she was not happy with it and asked for suggestions.
- I look for an obvious focal point, where other elements of the card don't compete for the eye's attention. Tags, sentiments, embellishments, and backgrounds may draw my attention temporarily, but my eye knows where it is supposed to "land." In this card, my eye moves back and forth between the tag and the butterfly on the left. I suggested perhaps a smaller background butterfly might help.
- The elements of the card are put together in a way that gives the eye a path to follow. The path of the three contrasting butterflies in this card has my eye jumping around. I suggested that if the two butterflies on the tag were on a diagonal that leads the eye to the butterfly on the left, that might work better.
- The color scheme fits together. Colors are repeated, so we have a sense that all of them "belong." In this card she's repeated the colors in several ways. There's one color that isn't repeated, and that's the blue of the butterfly on the right. But it still feels like it belongs, since it is next to the purples and pinks on the color wheel.
- The design makes use of texture and dimension. The card doesn't look "flat," the contrasting textures add interest, and the use of mats add dimension. This card does use both texture and dimension well.
If you look at Janelle's winning entry, you'll see how she's incorporated each of these design tips in the card.
So much for a one-minute design lesson. Because there are several cards I am really drawn to, I have chosen some for Honorable Mention. I will show photos of them next week..
This was so much fun, and everyone seemed to get a lot out of the process, that I'm thinking of doing a holiday Cardmaking Contest at the end of summer. Leave a comment and let me know if you'd like to see that happen. Meanwhile, congratulate Janelle Varner on her winning entry.