Spotlighting a Milestone (PPA306)

It’s time for another Pals Paper Arts challenge. This week, we have a great sketch from our fearless leader – Mary Fish! Those three boxes were just calling out to me to share with you a wonderful technique – Spotlighting! I’ll be using one of my favorite stamp sets – Kinda Eclectic…

As a cardmaker, I’m very picky about who gets my cards. Are you like that too? I don’t want to pour all the love and creativity I have into a design just to have it looked at and then tossed. #heartbreak #iworkedsohardonthat #nooooooo! But, for the right occasions, and the right people a handmade card is the perfect gift, or gift accompaniment. That’s what my card is today.


Spotlighting a Special Event

Brian needed a card for his Aunt & Uncle’s 60th wedding anniversary. Yes – SIXTY YEARS!!! Isn’t that just a wonderful milestone! I hope he and I get to celebrate that one some day. We’ve got a long way to go, but so far, so good! So, why no mention of the year or “anniversary”? Well, it’s not always necessary, is it. That makes this card so very versatile – it can be used for any celebration occasion. I love that! The spotlighting technique I used alludes to the bright moments in their life together. cool idea – huh?

So, what is spotlighting? It’s a technique where you stamp in subdued colors, then, use bright colors to highlight certain parts of the design. Sometimes it’s done freeform, but today, I used my Stamp-a-ma-jig for precise placement.

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.)

Layout: The Rule of 3s

By Nicole Watt for Pals Paper Arts (PPA306): Kinda Eclectic, Stamp-A-Ma-Jig, Wink of Stella; For more details, click through to my blog! #StampinUp #PMRetreat #celebrate #cardThe Rule of 3s is a key principal for many art forms – that’s because three of anything is the smallest number you need to create a pattern. That’s why I used three spotlights instead of just two. If the card were larger, I would go for an odd number, like five if I wanted to add more. Threes also create triangles, which, subconciously, we find appealing. When I stamped the background images, I did it randomly, but you can see that they form triangles too – the two starbursts and the sentiment, especially. Take a look at one of your cards – do you see threes and triangles? I bet you do!

Color: Go Monochrome-ish

Go monochrome to step up the elegance - perfect for congratulations, anniversary and wedding cards; For more details, click through to my blog! #StampinUp #PMRetreat #ColorCoordinatorThere’s a way to class up a card, every time – go monochrome! Today’s Pinnable color combo of Cucumber Crush, Emerald Envy and Bermuda Bay is a dynamic and vibrant trio. How did I decide on this combo? Using my Color Coordinator, of course!

Style: Spotlighting

There are two ways to accomplish a spotlight technique. Random, or with the Stamp-a-ma-jig (SAMJ). I started by stamping the background. I was very particular about the leaf placement, as I wanted my spotlights to match up with today’s sketch. To be precise about my placement, I put the base card under a piece of window sheet, and taped the sheet down. Then, I used my SAMJ with the leaf stamp to stamp the leaves on the circle cutouts. To ensure extra precise placement, I used some SNAIL to adhere the circles to the window sheet, exactly where I wanted them to end up, then I lined up the SAMJ to the leaf on the base card. Clear as mud? Maybe it needs a video…

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Wrap-up & Chat

Wow! I hope you’re inspired to pull out some of your neglected, and shiny papercrafting stash. 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 #PMRInspired2016 OR
  4. Post it to Instagram and use the hashtag #PMRInspired2016

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. 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.

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Sophisticated Silver for PPA192

By Nicole Watt for Pals Paper Arts Challenge (PPA192); Ampersand TIEF, Label Love, Quatrefancy DSP, Silver Fancy Foil Designer Vellum; @NMWatt #stampinup #pixelmavenI’m just making it under the wire for this week’s Pals Paper Arts challenge. If you have a few minutes this morning, there’s still time to play! Here’s the sketch from the wonderful Margaret Moody:

ppa192As you can tell, I took some liberties with the sketch, which is perfectly fine!

Maven’s Mastery Tips:

– If you’re going for lots of pattern, tone down the number of colors you use. As you can see in my design, we’re limited to Whisper White and Silver. That means, using the Silver Fancy Foil Designer Vellum, the clear sheet from the Quatrefancy Specialty DSP, some Silver Foil, heat embossing the sentiment from Label Love and dry embossing with the Ampersand TIEF isn’t all that overwhelming!

– The Mr & Mrs stamp doesn’t have to be just for a wedding or shower – how about an anniversary? All that silver makes this one perfect for the big 25-year milestone! Swap out sliver for gold and you’re set for a 50th!


I’m trying something new today to help you see all of the materials I used in creating this card. Please leave a comment to let me know what you think – Yea! or Nae?