Friday, July 17, 2009

Project Parade Day 2: Divine Details

Hi everyone, it's Amy here today with Day 2 of our Divine Details Project Parade. I get to give you a peek into my design process today {gulp!}. Let's see, where do I usually start? I'd love to be one of those free-spirited, spontaneous crafters who sits down with a pile of mismatched scraps and no plan and still manages to whip up a masterpiece, but the truth is I am waaaaay too Type A for that. I almost always follow a sketch. Sometimes I'll sketch a layout with particular stamps in mind, and other times I'll pick a sketch from my collection or from a challenge and then choose stamps to fit. Even when I begin with a color combo, inspiration piece, product focus, or the like, my next step is to create or choose a sketch. It is my roadmap.

The card I'm sharing today is pretty typical for me. I pulled the layout from my sketch collection, tweaked it a bit, then chose the image and sentiments (the second one is on the inside). I wanted to create a vintage look and feel, so my next step was to choose some papers. I tend to stick with a single collection when mixing papers, especially if I'm using a lot of different patterns (this card has five).

After I have a sketch and some stamps and papers chosen, I'm guessing my process looks a lot like anyone else's - a series of decisions. Am I going to mat this layer? How many times? What color? Should I leave room for piercing? Will I sponge, distress, stitch the edges? Do the patterns look better arranged this way or that way? Will I die-cut the image panel into a decorative shape or go with a plain rectangle? What color ink will look best? Should I color the image or paper piece? What type of embellishments do I want to use? Where? And so on. Even when you're following a sketch, there are still lots of choices!

When it comes to designing, I definitely lean toward the more-is-more end of things. I love looking for interesting details to add: layers, texture, dimension, and embellishments of all varieties. Some of the divine details I incorporated into this card are:

  • Sponging with distress ink ~ I love all of my distress inks - and not just for the vintage look. It's amazing to me how much depth a light sponging can give.

  • Stitching ~ I love adding machine-stitching to my projects. So much so that my cards now feel naked without it. Not only did I stitch the perimeter of one of the background mats, but I added just a small stretch of zigzag stitching to the circle image panel. Both the image and layout were heavily weighted to the left, and I just felt like I needed to add some balance. Various embellishments were too heavy, but the subtle stitching felt just right.

  • Die-cut shapes and a decorative punched border strip ~ Can't get enough of these :)

  • Button/ribbon/string/tag combo ~ Group different embellishments into a bigger cluster for more impact.

  • Hardware and burlap string ~ Here again I was solving a design problem. Before I added the little hardware fasteners and burlap string along the left, your eye just wanted to veer left and keep going. The hardware and vertical length of string are kind of like a guardrail that says "Stay over here - there's more to look at."

  • Sentiment tag stamped onto dp instead of plain card stock ~ Just a subtle way to bring a little more pattern into the card.

  • Paper piercing on the punched border ~ You almost don't even see this, but I like the idea that the recipient will keep finding new things to look at.

  • Decorated inside ~ What a wonderful surprise to open the card to a coordinating, decorated inside. I think it makes the card just that much more special to its recipient.

The only other thing I'll share is how much I enjoy the creative process for its own sake. Of course a finished project is a wonderful end result, but it's definitely the act of creative expression and then sharing that piece of me with someone else that I find most rewarding.

Thanks for the chance to share a bit about my process! As always, we'd love for you to play along with us. Just make a project or card that shows us your Divine Details. Verve Stamps are not required, but if you've got 'em we love to see 'em! Then just add a link to your creation to the Mr. Linky form on the Project Parade Day 1 post before 8PM Mountain on Saturday, August 1. Two lucky participants will win a stamp set of their choice from the Verve Store. We've also hidden another $25 gift certificate somewhere along the parade for a random commenter. So if you like what you see, be sure and give a little shout out in the comments of each post! Have fun and good luck!