Many cardmakers love the idea of using abstract stamps, but have a hard time figuring out how to use them. This is true for Janelle, who was here last week for another Design Coaching session. She bravely decided to play with Touches of Texture.
Janelle said the large 2-step flower really called to her, so started practicing on 4″x 6″ Index Cards, cut down to 4″ x 5 1/4″.
If you’re like Janelle, and get stuck in the design process because you don’t want to waste the piece of cardstock you started with, this is a great strategy for removing that block. Index Cards are inexpensive and expendable, so you can experiment all you like with positioning, colors, textures, and sentiments, before adding them to your permanent layers.
First she played with different yellows to find the combination she liked best. She choose Delightful Dijon for the outline stamp, and Daffodil Delight for the fill stamp.
Next she worked on how to position three flowers. She has had trouble with getting 3 images into a pleasing orientation in past Coaching sessions. This was especially true this time, as the flowers weren’t cut out, so she couldn’t move them around without starting over. (The splatters and sentiments were added later when she was trying other elements of the design.)
At this point, she got frustrated. I could tell because she started playing with a different stamp from the set. Perhaps you do the same thing–when something doesn’t come together easily, give up and start something new. That’s why she has so many unfinished projects in her craft room!
I suggested she work with only two flowers instead of three, and see how she liked that. She got back on track, and created this.
Once again, at that point she only had flowers and stems, no splatters or sentiments. One of the advantages of using practice pieces is that you can try out other elements on them, without needing to start over.
I made another suggestion–how about some texture to create more interest to the artwork. I don’t know if she’s ever used splatters before, but she bravely gave them a try on her last practice piece. She wanted them to be subtle so as not to detract from the flowers, so she chose Sahara Sand Ink.
Next she chose Thank You for the sentiment. She considered making a small banner for it, but thought that might be too distracting. She decided to use it down in the corner of the artwork, and tried different colors on her practice pieces. She chose Soft Suede, the same color as the stems, and stamped off first to keep it subtle.
Janelle was feeling confident at this point as she chose Delightful Dijon to mat the artwork. She tried it on a So Saffron background, but was ambivalent about it. I suggested she try something with more contrast, and she chose Soft Suede. She really liked how that made the focal point pop. She wanted some texture for the layer, and thought about stamping splatters on it, but decided to try the Hexagons Dynaming Embossing Folder instead. I’m sorry I didn’t take some photos of these last few steps. When we’re in a Coaching Session, it’s easy to forget that I’m going to write a blog post later!
Here’s her finished card.
Be sure to leave a comment to let Janelle know what you think. And also to let me know if you like seeing how a card design evolves.
Isn’t it amazing how many decisions go into creating a card design? Do you get flustered like Janelle tends to do, and give up? In the Coaching Sessions she uses an outline of steps for creating a design, and tries to apply the tips she learned for making each decision in the online class The Art of Designing Cards.
I hope this post gives you tips to try if you like the idea of using abstract textures in your handmade cards, but don’t know how to use them.