PEP tangles - my Zentangle Inspired Art blog

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Principles of Design & CAS

I have been thinking about "design principles" for some time but somehow there has always been a block to my understanding how to apply them in card making, so much so that over the last couple of years making a card has become a source of frustration for me - a card taking me a week or so to construct & much of it ending in the recycling. I've kept going, knowing deep down it was something to do with understanding design that was the block, for I could not let go of my NEED to create, but I'd approach making a card for someone with a sense of dread. A couple of years ago I took a design course specifically for card makers but somehow I wasn't ready to understand although I believe it laid a foundation so that concepts such as the Rule of Thirds weren't completely new to me. Learning is very much a cumulative process & we cannot predict how or from where the brain will absorb information. Sometimes it needs to be given the same information but presented in a slightly different format for understanding to be gained.

"Clean And Simple" or CAS has been totally outside my comfort zone, mainly I think, because I didn't understand what it entailed & I couldn't see what lay behind all that uncluttered space. However, when I saw that My Creative Classroom (MCC) was offering a Clean and Simple Card Workshop with the focus being on how to apply design principles it seemed an opportunity, not only to further my understanding of design, but also of CAS. I was explaining CAS to my husband when he remarked how sensible it would be to see design principles utilised in a clear uncluttered format & how that might facilitate learning.

The following are what I created for the 'homework' challenges set during the course.

Focal Point
Stamps: Chocolate Baroque Big Flowers & Celebration Words
Inks: Distress Inks, & Markers (Walnut Stain & Barn Door)
Die: Spellbinders Shapeabilities Framed Tags 3  Other: Lace & Gem

Single Line
Stamps: Penny Black Paisley Outline & Words Express
Inks: Emboss Tinted Stamp Pad with Steward Gill Ultrafine Clear Embossing Powder; VersaFine Majestic Blue
Die: Spellbinders Shapeabilities Framed Tags 3  Other: Floral Ribbon

Stamp: Penny Black Words Express  Inks: Distress Inks (Walnut Stain & Dried Marigold)
  Dies: Spellbinders Nestabilites  Standard Circles Small &  Splendid Circles
Other: Joanna Sheen Paper, Sizzix Embossing Folder, Woodware Butterfly Punch & Stickles Glitter Glue

Stamps: Penny Black Air Mail  Inks: VersaFine Onyx Black
Die: Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations Tiny Tabs & Tags
Other: Winsor & Newton Pan Watercolours, Salt, Derwent Coloursoft Pencils & Ribbon
Inspiration: Diana Nguyen - Yours Truly

Ink: Pine Needles Distress Ink
Dies: Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations Tattered Florals, Spellbinders Nestabilities Splendid Circles
Other: Woodware Flower Punch, Stickles Glitter glue, Ribbon & Gem
Inspiration: Jane - Purplejet Loves Crafts

Stamp: Chocolate Baroque Clear Fancy Flourishes
Inks: Emboss Tinted Stamp Pad with Stewart Gill Ultrafine Embossing Powder
Die: Spellbinders Shapeabilities Ironwork Motifs
Other: Woodware Butterflies, Inverse Corner & Corner Rounder Punches; Gems

I thought I would write of my own difficulties with design in case it might help someone else. I'm not saying that I have arrived at a magic formula for making a card: I still need to consolidate the principles I've been learning through working with them practically. However, I now feel that I am able to move forwards & approach making a card without it being the burden it had become for I have something concrete with which to work instead of reinventing the wheel every time.  I'm really surprised by how I can appreciate CAS cards now & I know that the principles that underpin their success are also at work in product/technique based cards which catch my attention.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Friday, 14 February 2014

Double Heart Triskele With Favourite Tool(s)

I subscribe to Jason Bellchamber's You Tube Channel where he gives tutorials on how to draw Celtic Knots. What I find particularly interesting about his videos is that he also talks about the history behind a particular pattern & what it might have been used for. Some time ago I saw his Double Heart Triskele videos (One, Two & Three) & decided that I'd try using the pattern for a Valentine's card. This is what evolved as I worked with it.

front of card
angled view to show contrast between metallic pen work,
satin gold cardstock & matt black panel
close-up in lamplight showing shimmer of  metallic
pen work &  fussy cut detail 
inside of card

Sakura Metallic Gelly Roll pens were used in black & gold for drawing the knot which was then carefully cut out & mounted on a piece of satin gold cardstock slightly smaller than the outer border of the knot, this was then mounted on black cardstock before placing on a white card blank. The inside is simply a piece of black cardstock mounted on satin gold cardstock before the card blank.

Whilst I was working on this - particularly the fussy cutting - I was reminded of Brenda's 5th Blogaversary celebration with her challenge to make a project using a favourite tool. My very favourite tool is a pair of scissors, specifically the EK Success Cutter Bee Scissors. I tried many scissors before I found a pair that was both sharp & fine enough to cut intricate detail in awkward places. In fact I really want to get a second pair to have as a spare, but they are not easy to find in the UK. If I were to be allowed an additional item it would be my embossing tool(s), particularly the fine one which I use to smooth down the cut edges. I enable my embossing tools to run smoothly along any edges by dipping them in Perga Soft. 

Congratulations Brenda & thank you for setting such a thought-provoking challenge - I really had to think about the one item that I am not without & that accompanies me wherever I go.