Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Project Parade - Day 4: Divine Details

Hey There! Jen Tapler here with the fourth day of this Project Parade of "Divine Details". OK, I have to admit...when the Divas were told what the theme for this month's Project Parade was, I freaked out a little. Mostly because I felt like my designs are pretty straight-forward, clean and simple projects that just aren't very DETAILED!! But when I sat down and started really thinking about my creative process, I realized that I actually DO have a process!! Especially when I'm in panic mode and therefore my MoJo is nowhere to be found!! LOL!

So today I'm sharing with you a little secret of mine...I have a very basic, simple "Go-To layout" that I tend to fall back on time and time again. Now, don't get me wrong - I think I'm easily able to fool most of you by moving things around slightly, adding different embellishments here and there or even sometimes (like today) throwing in an extra layer!! But when I started browsing through my Verve Gallery, I realized I use this basic layout quite a bit (so I'm thinking that says I either lose my MoJo more often than I care to admit OR I'm not as creative as I thought!! HA!).

Anyway, here's a look at the card I made using Verve's Just for You and Abundant Blessings stamp sets, then I'll break things down for you:

When I sat down to create this card, I started out like I almost always do - with a few pieces of coordinating patterned paper (in this case I chose some of the Sonoma line from Scenic Route) and a handful of stamp sets that might work well with those papers. Next I gathered up other coordinating cardstock and embellishments that might make their way onto the card as well as any tools I might use. At this point, I still typically have no plans for a layout or sketch, but I do usually know what elements I want to include on my card.

The next step is usually where I get stuck - coming up with an original sketch or layout for my card. When I'm feeling stuck I fall back on this basic plan: Go with a vertically oriented card and divide it into 2 parts (one part being approximately 1/3 and the other 2/3 the height of the card). Two of my coordinating patterned papers will make up those 2 sections. And voila! There's my standard layout. There are lots of variations on this layout, as you can see in my Verve Gallery HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

After I've decided to use my standard "Go To Layout", the other steps are pretty straight forward - decide what goes where and add the details!! And it usually goes a little something like this:
1. Can I use Kraft on this card? (the answer to this question for me is almost always YES!!)

2. What papers look best where - this is usually a matter of trial and error for me. I usually try to lay my pieces of DP next to each other in various positions to determine what works best, then I start cutting. LOTS of times I end up deciding my original idea just doesn't look good and I have to re-cut and play around a bit before finding something that works.

3. Stamp. I usually stamp a few different combinations of ink colors. For example, for this card I stamped the circle once in Kiwi Kiss and once in Versafine Vintage Sepia and then stamped the sentiment inside each circle in the OTHER color. I knew I wanted to mat the stamped circle with a Chocolate Chip scalloped circle, but wasn't sure which ink combo would look best. So I cut both out and just tried them. At this point I could see that the circle was gonna need something else, and I thought flowers, so I dug through my Verve stamps and decided the flowers in Abundant Blessings looked good with the DP I had chosen, so I stamped them a few times on several coordinating pieces of cardstock (Dusty Durango, Kiwi Kiss, Very Vanilla, Close to Cocoa, and Kraft) before deciding which would look best.

4. Add some ribbon across the Printed Paper dividing line - I almost ALWAYS use ribbon and grosgrain is my weakness (probably because I find it easiest to tie). And I NEVER tie a bow. Because I suck at bows. I keep it simple and just tie a knot!

5. Add the finishing touches - in this case, I added an extra layer consisting of a 3rd coordinating DP, a few corduroy brads, and some stitching around the entire thing.

6. The last thing I do is glue it all down. I always finish each layer individually and then "assemble" it without adhesive first to make sure it looks OK. Once it's all good to go, I add my adhesive. And I'm a sucker for some dimensionals!! As some of the other divas before me have mentioned - just adding some depth to your cards really gives them that extra "oomph"!

Here's a closer look at some of the details and dimension on this card (and trust me, this is pretty darn detailed for me!!)

So that's it. Like I said, nothing too fancy about my design process. We'd love to have you play along with us this month! To play along, 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 in this 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!