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!

53 comments:

  1. I love this, Amy! Your attention to detail is always amazing. It was very interesting to hear about your decisions from a design standpoint - I try to think about balance myself and I definitely learned something by reading your post. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  2. I'm a HUGE fan of yours, Amy and I am always amazed at all of your fabulous creations! Thanks for the peek into your creative process- I'm glad you say you have a "plan" and don't just pull things out of the air! I'm always cruising galleries and blogs to see what other crafters' ideas I can "rip-off". Thanks for the inspiration!

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  3. Love your cards. Theay are always so full of details and beautiful. Thanks for walking us through your creative process.

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  4. You do SUCH beautiful work! Thanks!

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  5. What a beautiful card! I tend not to use sketches because I feel I am trapped, maybe I should try that more.

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  6. Love this card! But then I always love Amy's work! So amazing. Thanks for sharing how you think and create.

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  7. Stunning Amy!! You are indeed the master of divine detailing!!! Loved reading your process!

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  8. So lovely! The details are just perfect. Have a great vacation!

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  9. oooh the inside is just as beautiful as the outside :D love it!!

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  10. Amy, this is lovely! You always use such beautiful details on your cards, inside and out. Thanks for sharing your process :)

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  11. Thanks for sharing YOUR creative process ...and a beautiful card!

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  12. WOW, I am really going to have to learn how to do the machine stitching... (once i figure out how to use my machine!). Your card is just beautiful.

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  13. Amy, your Divine Details never cease to amaze me! Gorgeous card as always!!

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  14. Stunning as always. I want to be you when I grow up!

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  15. Amy,
    Today's card is absolutely stunning!! I love the DP that you chose to use (all five layers of it :>) ) It was great to peak into your design process.
    Thanks for sharing....

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  16. I love reading the why and hows of your art. This is wonderful and such a treat.

    It's a good life!
    Terri E.

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  17. WOW....Always Stunning...luv, luv, luv your work!

    enjoy *~*

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  18. GORGEOUS, Amy! I love the pattern-on-pattern look that you always do so well, and the addition of that little stretch of zigzag stitching on the circle...it caught my eye right away!

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  19. Count me in as another one of your fans! I'm always in awe how you put that patterned paper together, and I love the sewing on your cards. Thanks for sharing your art and creative process.

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  20. This card is absolutely gorgeous!! Love all the layers and all the divine details!! Thanks for sharing your design process - it's always a treat to delve into the mind of a creative genius!!

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  21. Stunning! Thanks for sharing your tips. I'm like you - I gotta have a road map before I can make any side trips! =D

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  22. I don't think I would believe you have 5 different pattern paper! It all goes so well. This is such a great Project Parade. Thank you for sharing some of your secrets with us. ;)

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  23. Amy, I love your work and all the details you put into your cards.

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  24. Amy........you blow me away with every card you create. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with all of us. We learn so much from you every day and I, for one, appreciate it more than you will ever know.

    kerry2

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  25. i always love your work - thanks for giving me so much to think about. the card is beautiful :)

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  26. Fanatic card! Love all the details and the colors. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  27. WOW! You may think your process is similar to everyone elses - but my process never leads me to anything like this!!!!! :) That is an absolutely beautiful card - nothing to say but WOW!!!!!

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  28. Wonderful card! I love the muted tones and the twine to the left to redirect your eye. I can never analyze my cards like that. I know when they need something else but nit why. I will keep a look out for the wandering eye that causes loss of attention! O made a card yesterday that will be perfect!!

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  29. Your details are always perfect! The stitching really added that perfect balance! Excellent artwork!

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  30. this card is absolutely phenomenal!!!!!

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  31. I love this card!! The details are AMAZING!! I only wish I could make something so stunning.

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  32. You're cards are ALWAYS so gorgeous! I look forward to seeing what you've created on a daily basis ;)

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  33. Very pretty card! I love how you explained it to us. Thanks for all your inspiration!

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  34. Beautiful card! I love the color scheme; nice and warm! And you balanced all the elements nicely!

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  35. Absolutely beautiful card! The details you add are amazing.

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  36. Just beautiful. Thanks for sharing your details!

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  37. Thanks for sharing your tips Amy. It's good to know that you too need to start with a roadmap. I often feel like I'm cheating by following someone else's sketch but you are right - the paper, embellishments, stamps and accessories give us the opportunity to make the sketch our own. You've given us another gorgeous sample to encourage our creativity!

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  38. WOW! Absolutely gorgeous, Amy! Thank you so much for the insight into your creative process! You are one amazing chica! : )

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  39. I thought I had left a message already, this card is just so pretty, love all the detail.!

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  40. Your card is so utterly beautiful - inside & out. I love your tip on finishing the inside as well... It only makes sense!
    -Roberta

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  41. Thanks for sharing how your creative juices work to put together so many wonderful cards :D Can't believe you have 5 DPs on this card - I freak out just using one LOL!

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  42. How thoughtful to share your creative designing process with us. Your cards are always special and the care you take reflects in the end results... Thanks so much!

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  43. I love your designs, Amy! I wanted to thank you for sharing your process, especially on remembering where the eye travels and how to redirect it back to a portion of the card. Your tips are valuable and I have bookmarked them for future reference!

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  44. Thank you for sharing! I will go back to this the next time I am stuck :>) I am love with sewing and paper piercing on my cards too lately!

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  45. It's so fun to hear how you come up with your always lovely results. TFS Amy!

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  46. Holy moley- this card is just stunning! You have so many creative little details that make for a PERFECT card, I am in awe.

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  47. This card is absolutely gorgeous! I love how you worked 5 different patterned papers into it. I would never be able to do that! I love how it worked for you!

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  48. Your card is STUNNING inside & out!! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  49. Amy, once again you have completely blown me away. I pray every night that one day my cards will look as divine as yours. You have such a gift for details. Thank you so much for sharing how you do it!

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  50. Amy, your cards are always so outstanding I go back and look at them time and time again. Thanks for sharing your divine details.

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  51. Thanks for sharing your process, The cards are wonderful.

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  52. Amy, Your card is amazing...The layers, color and pattern combos are very pretty. It reminds me of a hidden garden! thanks for sharing your creations.

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