Ornamental Pine Handmade Christmas Card

Here’s a simple handmade Christmas Card featuring the Ornamental Pine Stamp Set from Stampin’ Up!’s Holiday Catalog.  If you like designing your own cards, you’ll want to read the design notes below.

Handmade Christmas Card using Ornamental Pine Stamp Set and All is Calm DSP

You may have read some of my posts on the challenges of using Designer Series Paper (DSP) on cards.  I love the beautiful patterns on many of Stampin’ Up!’s papers,  but they’re often so bold and busy that they detract from the focal point of a card.  Here’s an older post you can refer to:  Designing Cards with DSP.  

The DSP on this card is from the All is Calm set, and is subtle enough to work well as a background.  In fact there are several designs in this set that make good backgrounds.

All is Calm Designer Series Paper on handmade Christmas Card

All is Calm Specialty Designer Series Paper (135823)

The Frosted Sequins add some bling and interest to the card, but it is still obvious what the focal point is supposed to be.  I think of a focal point in a design as where the eye comes to rest.  The eye may travel to other areas of the card, like the sentiment, the background, and embellishments, but it’s important than none of the other elements competes for attention with the focal point.

An effective strategy in a card design is to make use of diagonal lines.  The sequins take the eye’s attention along a diagonal line down to the bottom right corner.  Then the eye might notice the sentiment.  Since it is stamped with Basic Gray Ink, it is soft enough that it doesn’t detract from the pine bough and ornament focal point.  So the eye has a path to explore, but the attention will always return to the focal point, which has the most “weight” in the design.

Sequins and other embellishments can be tricky.  It’s easy for them to be equally dominant in a design and pull the eye away from where you want it to focus.  This can even be quite subtle, as seen in the first version I made of this card.  Notice what happens to your attention with the large silver sequin.

Ornamental Pine Christmas Card with Frosted Sequins

Do you see how that large sequin traps the attention and ends up competing with the focal point?  Instead of the eye wandering along the path of sequins and then back to the focal point, it gets stuck on the big sequin, and doesn’t quite get back to the focal point.  At least that’s how my eye looks at this card!

Leave a comment to let me know how YOUR eye looks at this card, and whether you want to see more posts with design tips!

Use these design tips to create beautiful handmade Christmas Cards using the Ornamental Pine Stamp Set.

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12 Responses to Ornamental Pine Handmade Christmas Card

  1. Jane Clark October 14, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

    I just had to write to tell you that your card is stunning!! And your comments truly hit home with me. I really like so many of the designer papers – I get them out, look at them and then put them away – just can’t seem to decide what to put with what – guess I just like “simple” rather than “bold and busy”. And thankfully there is room in this crafting world for all of us – no rights or wrongs – just lots of variety!!
    Thank you for sharing,
    God Bless,

    • Sage October 14, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

      Thank you, Jane. I’m glad the things I wrote make sense to you. There are some principles of design that can really help us create cards that really work. I enjoy sharing ideas like this.

  2. Sharon Harris October 15, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    Oh, Sage, what a beautiful card! Like Jane, especially for Christmas I prefer a more “controlled” card. Thanks for your design advice. It helps and I’ll keep it in mind.

    • Sage October 15, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

      Thanks, Sharon. I’ll be sharing more design tips in future posts and classes.

  3. Pam Sykes October 16, 2014 at 12:57 am #

    Dear Sage, thanks for the lovely idea of how to use that beautiful bauble. I really like your design tip too. Just the simple placement of your bling really matters. Thanks for the tip.

    • Sage October 16, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

      It is surprising how even a sequin can make such a difference. In fact, I didn’t notice how the big sequin drew my eye away from the focal point until I saw a photo of the card. Then it was obvious!

  4. cindy December 14, 2014 at 5:07 pm #

    Beautiful card!! I loved how you explained the placement of the sequins, I never thought of that! What colors of ink did you use?

    • Sage December 20, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

      Thanks, Cindy. Glad you found the ideas helpful.

  5. Marsha August 17, 2015 at 6:26 pm #

    I do see what you mean! I will remember & apply it, hoping I like my cards more~lol.

    • Sage August 19, 2015 at 7:09 pm #

      Have fun applying it!

  6. Gale October 17, 2015 at 9:42 am #

    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful card. I am making this today. 🙂

    • Sage October 17, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

      You’re welcome, Gale. Have fun stamping!

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