How to Break a Creative Block

Jan 31, 2017Sympathy & Thinking of You Cards8 comments

2017 Pals Blog Hop. Join us as we share our themed creations every month.

Welcome to the Pals Blog Hop for February 2017. We are thankful you stopped by to take a look at our 2017 Blog Hop monthly themes.

This month we are CASE’ing a project shown in a current Stampin’ Up! catalog. After all, with the Annual, Occasions and Sale-a-Bration catalogs available right now, there is much inspiration from which to choose. We hope you enjoy our creations.

You may just be starting the Blog Hop or may have come from the previous link from the Line-up on the Pals Blog Hop listing shown below.  The full lineup will help you move along from blog to blog so you may see all the projects.

Break a Creative Block

Spent too much time surfing Pinterest? Yah, me too. I find that the more I look, the less inspired I am to make my own original creations. But, you gotta start somewhere! So, break that creative block by CASE-ing a project – either in part or wholly. What’s CASE-ing? CASE means Copy And Share Everything. Creative types often work best by seeking out inspiration. That’s why Pinterest is so popular! So, whether you create the card exactly as you saw it, or you are inspired by it somehow, don’t be afraid to share your work! Just remember to share where you got the inspiration from in the first place.

Today’s CASE

Today, I chose to go for the full-on COPY for my CASE of a Stampin’ Up! project. You can find my card on page 49 of the Annual Catalog. All I did was swap out the colors for cardstock that I have a LOT of. (Mostly because I accidentally ordered multiples of the Affectionately Yours Cardstock Pack… whoops!)

This really is a super lovely, and super easy card to put together, and the stamp set – Flourishing Phrases – is a versatile set that should have a home in every stamper’s collection.

I opted for a Sympathy card as I had a request from a friend to make some up for her. But, I could have easily gone for the Thank You (pictured in the catalog), congratulations, hello or “just a note”.

Let’s Create, Simply!

If you want to create cards like the ones I share, there is a simple way to do it. All you have to remember is “Let’s Create, Simply!”. Remembering that phrase will help you recall three key points of design: Layout, Color, Style. Don’t overthink it and use these three steps to make great cards every time. Click on the tabs below for today’s tips and Pin-worthy graphics! (Hint: If you’re on a mobile device, you can save images by pressing and holding on the picture and selecting “Share Image”. You should get a whole bunch of options depending on what apps you have installed on your device.)

Get more card layouts like this one over at my blog! Stampin' Up! | pmretreat - crafttips | cards | sketchStart your project by finding a great layout. Here’s a sketch of today’s design. See how simple it is when you break it down into its parts? Save this sketch to a Pinterest board and use it any time you need design inspiration.

Featured Element: Whitespace!

When you break it down, this card is S-I-M-P-L-E, SIMPLE! That means that we have a LOT of whitespace. What to do? You have three choices, really. Fill it with a pattern – DSP. Fill it with a texture – an embossing folder. Or, fill it with some stamping. That’s what this CASE did – using the large flourish stamp, it gets stamped at an angle at the top and bottom, and then there’s some coloring with a Blender Pen.

Get more color combos like this one over at my blog! pmretreat | crafttips | cards | color combos | Stampin' Up!Color doesn’t have to be cosmic! Inspiration is all around, and you can hardly go wrong with any of Stampin’ Up!’s colors. Here’s the primary colors used on today’s creation. You can save this to a Pinterest board to use any time you’re looking for project inspiration.

Featured Coordination: Paper Packs

Stampin’ Up! always comes up with great color combos! Not only do they list those colors with the DSP packs ( and on the DSP packs), they also have coordinating Cardstock Assortments. That makes it even easier to get the right colors from the start. Today I used the assortment pack that coordinates with the Affectionately Yours DSP. Though, I didn’t use any of that DSP, I already knew that those colors would work perfectly together! Thanks SU!

Styling is where it’s easy to go overboard. So, take a deep breath and focus on one key technique to add some flair to your project.

Featured Style: Subtle Elegance

For some reason, sympathy cards seem like they shouldn’t be overdone. Not a lot of sparkle, or bling. Many times they’re monochromatic, and very understated. But, if done right, a little bit of shimmer adds just the right touch. I hope you can see it in today’s example. The Clear Wink of Stella is THE perfect way to add subtle shimmer to any project. Today, they’re on some of the leaves and buds. Then, just to finish off the flower embellishments, I put a medium-sized Metallic Enamel Shape in each center.

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Wrap-up & Chat

If you’ve never heard of CASE-ing before, now you have a new “technique” to add to your creative toolbox. Inspiration is all around, and there’s nothing wrong with recreating what you see. They say “imitation is the highest form of flattery”…. Use my ideas above to help kick-start your creativity for today – and share your results!


Because creatives crave inspiration! By sharing your work, not only will you get better, and craft more often, but you’ll be helping inspire others too. Creativity is a team sport, so get out there and share.

Here’s how you can share with me:

  1. Leave a COMMENT below!
  2. Post a project inspired by today’s post on my Facebook page OR
  3. Post it Pinterest and use the hashtag #PMRInspired2017 OR
  4. Post it to Instagram and use the hashtag #PMRInspired2017

When I find your creations, I’ll comment and I’ll share them right here!

Here’s how you can share with others:

  1. Use those big ‘ol SHARE buttons below and post today’s creative inspiration for others to find
  2. Pin any of my images to your Pinterest boards. I’ve left some great descriptions so you can just pin and go.
  3. If you’re on a mobile device, you can share images by pressing and holding on the picture and selecting “Share Image”. You should get a whole bunch of options depending on what apps you have installed on your device.

Time to Hop Along!

To continue with the hop, please refer to the Blog Hop Line-up below. We hope to see you on next month’s Pals Blog Hop!

Blog Hop Line-up:

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