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!

Why?

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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Congratulating a Coworker (PPA304)

Do you invest in Stampin’ Up! reinkers, and then wonder why? It’s true, I’m not reinking my pads often – even with classes. So, what to do with that little investment taking up space in your craft area? You are going to love today’s design as it showcases one of the many ways you can use reinkers. I’m using modeling paste and our Daffodil Delight reinker, along with a “sleeper” tool – the stars (& hearts) stencil mask. It’s soo easy!

Changes are going smoothly here at Our Home in the Woods, but in the meantime I’ve got a sweet design for this sweet sketch by Lisa Ann Bernard. Oh, the possibilities are endless, but I needed a card for a coworker who is moving on to a new company and exiting opportunities. I will really miss working with him as he’s been an amazing leader. Well – our new Thoughtful Banners stamp set is the perfect way to highlight some of his best qualities, followed by a congrats sentiment from the Watercolor Wishes card kit.

Reinkers - not just for reinking! Add to modeling paste for amazing results.Click To Tweet

Instead of giving you Mastery Tips today, I thought I’d reshare a video I did a while back on how to use modeling paste. I show a few ways to create your own stencils too. Since then, we’ve added in the stencil masks to the catalog. In this instance, I also just spread some of the colored paste onto a piece of cardstock, and let it dry. Then, I was able to cut out a shape (star) with framelits and the Big Shot. You could even use a Wink of Stella pen to add some glitter to the dried elements. I think you’ll be seeing more of these great textured elements from me – they’re so easy and add total WOW to a project!

By Nicole Watt for Pals Paper Arts (PPA304): Thoughtful Banners, Watercolor Wishes, Hearts & Stars Decorative Masks; For more details, click through to my blog! #StampinUp #PMRetreat #congrats #card

stampin up Nicole Watt Thoughtful Banners

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Let’s chat about today’s project! I welcome your questions and comments!

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Calling All Creatives!

It’s your turn to play along with the Pals! What will you design using this week’s inspiration? You can post to a blog, sites like SplitCoast Stampers, or even Pinterest, then link back to the challenge!

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Success with Botanical Builder Dies for PPA300

Are you in the thick of Graduation season? Today’s card is a great sample for a lovely graduation card. It can also be used for other success-related events, like getting a job, getting a raise or a new position with a company, or perhaps a more personal goal, like losing weight, or achieving a milestone like your first 5K run! Success is all around – let’s show someone how proud we are with a handmade card from the heart!

My card today is inspired by a sketch from Sandie Conner. As you can see, I used it as inspiration, but didn’t follow the design exactly. And, that’s ok! Starting with a sketch is my preferred way to create. It helps me to focus and narrow down some decisions.

Is the Botanical Blooms Bundle in your collection yet? It should be. There’s just a few short weeks left in May, and then this bundle won’t exist any more! Yes, you’ll be able to get the stamp set, and the framelits, but the DSP will be retired, and the bundle price will be gone too. The bundle price of $51.75 means you get the DSP for free!

Today’s design is a mix of old and new. I know that I will miss Blackberry Bliss and Mossy Meadow – they look just stunning with these new In colors – Peekaboo Peach, Sweet Sugarplum and Flirty Flamingo… But, alas, In Colors come and go, and the rest of the color collections will bring on some amazing color combos. Who knows – maybe some of our retiring colors will come back in a future color renovation!

By Nicole Watt for Pals Paper Arts (PPA298): Number of Years, Silver Foil, Number of Years Dies, Silver Fancy Vellum; For more details, click through to my blog! #StampinUp #PMRetreat #40thbirthday

By Nicole Watt for Pals Paper Arts (PPA300): Botanical Blooms, Botanical Builder Framelits, Botanical Gardens DSP; For more details, click through to my blog! #StampinUp #PMRetreat #floral #success

Maven’s Mastery Tips

Die for a WOW!

I loooovvvee these Botanical Builder dies! It is so easy to get a “wow” from someone when they see a design created with them because of the double cut. People will ask how you made these amazing flowers and you’ll say “oh, it was easy!”. Of course, they won’t believe you, so have them give it a try. You might find a new papercrafting pal!

Easy Inlays...

Can you see the inlay? That 2″ piece of Blackberry Bliss is cut with the leaf border from the Botanical Builder Framelits. Then, I put it back together. Since they’re perfectly cut, getting that inlay look is easy! I could have gone a step further and cut the same border in another color to mix & match. It’s another “wow” look that’s easy to do!

What to say...

Without the sentiment, this is a very versatile card! Consider making the card without adding the sentiment, so when you need to use it, you can pick just the right words from any number of sentiment sets. Today, I used Suite Sayings, but you could easily substitute Party With Cake, Greatest Greetings or even One Big Meaning. They’re all carrying over into the new Annual Catalog, so they would be great choices!

A sweet color combo for summer 2016; For more details, click through to my blog! #StampinUp #PMRetreat #ColorCoordinator
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I LOVE Hearing From You!

Let’s chat about today’s project! I welcome your questions and comments!

 

Comment Here

Calling All Creatives!

It’s your turn to play along with the Pals! What will you design using this week’s inspiration? You can post to a blog, sites like SplitCoast Stampers, or even Pinterest, then link back to the challenge!

Share and Inspire Someone Today!

Something Remarkable from a Sketch

Administrative Professionals Day is on the 27th – and I happen to work with a handful of these amazing people! I suggested to my boss that I would be happy to create some cards for her to send as a thank you from our entire team so they know that the work they do is so appreciated and they are loved by our whole team.

I used our second Pals Paper Arts sketch for the month to kick-start my design and create something really special. This time, the sketch is brought to us by the talented Susan Itell.

Start with a sketch to kick-start your creative designs #pmretreat #sketchesClick To Tweet

I have to say – this sketch just oozes Susan! I can see all of the great cards she would make with these bold elements. But, I just couldn’t do it. I flipped and turned and figured out how I would make it my own. That’s what happens sometimes with a sketch! Remember – it’s just a guideline to get your creativity started. So, here’s how I interpreted this sketch – it’s turned 180-degrees clockwise:

By Nicole Watt for Pals Paper Arts (PPA298): Number of Years, Silver Foil, Number of Years Dies, Silver Fancy Vellum; For more details, click through to my blog! #StampinUp #PMRetreat #40thbirthday
Click on the image for a full product recipe

Click on the image for a full product recipe

Maven’s Mastery Tips

Dies = Stencils

I love that etched steel carbon dies are so versatile. Thinlits, framelits, edgelits; Use them all as a die with your inks and a sponge, or a dauber, or like I did – with a rounded brush. Stenciling with a rounded brush will give you soft, blended colors and a nice edge, without a lot of work! I took the Sunburst Thinlit and cut a die out of some medium-weight cardboard (like our coaster board) to make a reverse of the die. I could have just used the die, but I wanted to fill in the circle. In retrospect, I would have just used the die, then used a circle to do the center on its own. With the rays loose in the center, it was difficult to keep everything in place while stenciling.

Add Country Class with Linen Thread

I looovvvvee twine, and Stampin’ Up!’s Linen Thread is the best stuff! It adds a bit of country, or shabby chic, or vintage with zero effort. This time, I used the twine to create one of the rectangle elements. I thought it was a nice way to indicate the shape without making it so bold. Adding some loose circles behind the sentiment breaks things up a bit too…

Say It Loud

There’s a lot of subtlety going on here with the different sketch elements. So many, in fact, that you might not really think that it represents the sketch – but really, it does (just in a subtle way!). That helps the sentiment stand out loud, and proud, which is soooo important for this card. When someone needs encouragement, or you want to say congratulations for something great they’ve done, the highlight should be the sentiment. That’s why I stamped it and popped it up on it’s own flag with some bold flowers encircling it.

summery brights are the perfect choice for a cheerful card! #pmretreat #colorcoorinator
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I LOVE Hearing From You!

Let’s chat about today’s project! I welcome your questions and comments!

Comment Here

Calling All Creatives!

It’s your turn to play along with the Pals! What will you design using this week’s inspiration? You can post to a blog, sites like SplitCoast Stampers, or even Pinterest, then link back to the challenge!

Share and Inspire Someone Today!

Crazy Cheers for PPA 263

Wow! The week just melts by, doesn’t it? Never mind the months and the fact that kids around here start school this week! Yikes! Guess I won’t be fitting into that old bathing suit this summer… But hey, let’s talk about something more pleasant than bathing suits – the newest Pals Paper Arts challenge! We’ve got some fresh and flashy colors this time around. Let’s take a look!

Pals Paper Arts 263 - play with us today! (www.palspaperarts.com)

 

That’s some bright colors, huh? Well, we all know, bright colors mean lots of whitespace, so, here goes…

By Nicole Watt for Pals Paper Arts (PPA263). Features: Crazy About You, Greetings Thinlits, Bohemian DSP, Polka Dot TIEF; For more details, click through to my blog! #StampinUp #PMRetreat #cheers

Stampin' Up!'s Greetings Thinlits; Click through to purchase #Stampinup #Pmretreat #dies

Greetings Thinlits Dies (138275)

Maven’s Mastery Tips

Get Sketchy: Look familiar? Maybe you saw a similar design in yesterday’s Pals Blog Hop… Sketches are a great starting point and can end up anywhere! Yesterday and today are proof of that! I hope someone that gets my Newsletter recognizes the design – I’d really like to give away some cards!

Color & Emboss at the same time: Love those sketchy circles? I colored in the circles on the embossing folder using my Stampin’ Write markers, then ran the CS through the Bigshot. I love that they didn’t come out solid – it’s a really nice look!

Add a Shadow: It’s easy to add a shadow behind our word thinlits. Simply cut a second shape in a complimentary color and glue it at an offset so just the right amount shows. What’s the right amount? Whatever looks good to you!

[bctt tweet=”Color embossing folders for double duty emboss + stamp! #crafthacks #PMRetreat”]

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