Three challenges inspired me for this challenge. The layout comes from Freshly Made Sketches. The colour scheme is from CAS on Sunday‘s challenge*, which is black, white and one colour – I chose purple. And Cupcake Inspirations asked for flowers.
Part of what had me ruminating for so long is that oval in the layout. I do like the look of curved elements on a card, but I am rubbish at cutting them out, and as my die cutter has not yet arrived I thought long and hard about how best to approach it. Then of course I had the “well, duh!” moment when I realised I don’t have to stick to an oval shape. I didn’t want to go with a rectangle because that seemed too samey. So I decided I would go for a diamond.
I also knew I didn’t want to make a panel for the shape. I wanted to ink it up. I only have two distress inks at the moment, and as the orange is going to be used in a similar way for a card I’m making at the weekend I decided I would use the purple – Seedless Preserves – this time.
First I marked my white panel to work out the positioning of the masking. I then started laying my masks down before remembering that I needed to mask out where my flowers would go. (Another thing I’d been thinking about through the day!) I chose to use the flowers from My Mind’s Eye My Girl stamp set rather than the more realistic flowers that I usually use. It seemed like it would work better for the effect I was going for.
I stamped the larger flower from the set eight times (I ended up not using one) onto a couple of post-it notes, making sure to be lined up with where the sticky edge was. I then fussy cut them and played around with positioning on the diamond that I’d lightly marked out. I wanted to make sure that they didn’t look too ordered, but at the same time I didn’t want any large empty spaces.
Once I was happy with the positioning I masked off the diamond itself and started the process of inking. I picked up some of the ink on my designated sponge, and started by dabbing off onto scratch paper as I didn’t want too dark a look. I then started applying the ink in light circular motions over the actual card. It was a bit difficult as my masks kept slipping (I need to invest in some proper masking paper, I think. These cheap post-it notes don’t cut it!) so I had to try holding a couple of flowers in place with one hand, inking around those, and then repeating the process with the next lot.
When I was happy with the inking I removed all the masking. Then it was time to stamp the flowers. Normally I’m a bit of a perfectionist about trying to make sure everything lines up perfectly but I wanted to try and be a bit different with this card. I made sure to line the flowers up to a certain extent, but without being too accurate. This allowed for a slight white “shadow” to be left around the flowers in some spots, which I think works really well. (Better on those where the masks didn’t slip and the shadow is clearer!)
The last part I needed to make was the sentiment. I took one from Avery Elle’s Petal Panel as the font seemed like it would work really well with the overall look of the card. I dug through my scraps stash (because I’d realised I have far too many strips of white, and really should use some up!) to find a piece that was the right size for my sentiment. I then stamped the sentiment in the same ink as the flowers – Memento Tuxedo Black. I cut tails into either end of the strip to make it into a banner shape.
As I was working out the positioning for the banner I realised it looked a bit too stark against the card base. I took my still inky sponge and, without adding more ink, daubed a very light layer all around the edge of the banner. It is very light and does not show in the photo. I then took more ink on the sponge and applied a darker line just along the very edge.
Initially I had been planning on adhering the banner on foam tape, but after the inking it had started to curve slightly and I decided I liked the look of that so I went ahead and curled it a bit more. I realised I should probably stick the stamped panel onto the card base before adding the banner. As I’m running low on white card (other than scraps!) I chose to use black card to make my card base. I cut the piece of A4 card in half, scored and folded it, then trimmed off the little bit of excess. I trimmed down the stamped panel to allow the black card base to show properly around the edges, then used my tape runner to adhere it in place. For the banner I used a combination of tape runner and foam squares – a single layer on the left, and a double layer towards the centre – to maintain the wavy look.
I’m really happy with how this turned out. I’m glad I pushed my comfort zone in allowing it to be a bit messier, and not obsessing over alignment of the stamps and getting the masking perfect. I think the card works better for having that little bit of messiness to it. I’m also proud of myself for experimenting with the layout a bit, because I have a tendency to take the sketches as law when really I should be using them as a starting point and inspiration, and allowing my imagination and creativity to do the rest. I should trust myself more! Challenges don’t always have to be taken at face value.
*Apparently I wrote down the wrong time/date for the CAS on Sunday challenge closing and missed the linky. I’m still mentioning it though because it did strongly influence the making of this card!