Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Challenge Is Nothing More Than A Creative Opportunity...

I've got two cards to share here today.

This first card is based on a sketch over at 2 Sketches 4 You, Kazan's Sketch #47. This card proved to truly be challenging to me because of a mechanical difficulty. The butterfly on this card was cut out of vellum using a Sizzix die, which I bought to use in my Cuttlebug. I'd never used a Sizzix die in my Cuttlebug, but because I've been able to use numerous other brands of dies, I didn't even question whether or not it would work. I ran it through my Cuttlebug and the body of the butterfly popped out no problem, but the finer, fussier antennae had not cut all the way through and tore when I tried to pull them out. I tried again, this time paying more attention to place the die and vellum evenly on the platform with the mats squarely overtop. Again, the butterfly's body popped out without any trouble but those darm antennae were not quite cut through and tore again.

At this point, I contemplated scrapping the butterfly idea all together and figuring something else out, but the butterfly just seemed to be the perfect finish. I just needed a small fraction more pressure on the antennae, so I decided to try using a shim. I had some cardboard packaging from new glue sticks lying on my desk, so I slipped that underneath the platform and ran it through one more time. Success! The entire butterfly popped out easily and intact. "That's using the old noggin', Jillian!", I told myself. I then had two butterfly bodies and one complete butterly, so in order to provide some depth, I stacked the pieces on top of each other and used a very narrowly cut piece of foam tape between each layer to really give some dimension. In order to disguise the foam tape showing through the butterfly on the top layer, I used self-adhesive rhinestones to cover the butterfly's body (or 'thorax' I believe is the proper term!). Problem solved, and I'm very pleased with the finished result. I will be giving this card to my sister-in-law at her baby shower next week.


My second card is based on a sketch at Card Positioning Systems, #156. (Please note - the colour difference angling across the top of the card is a shadow. Oops!)This card was also truly a challenge for me because this is a new size/format for me. I have never made a narrow tall card before. Is there a 'standard' size for these? I just 'eyeballed' a size that looked right, and made this one 3.25" x 8". Although I've been wanting to try this size for quite some time, I had never gotten around to it. The sketch at CPS is what finally 'forced' me to do it. Being a size/shape that I've never tried before forced me outside of my 'comfort zone' a little bit and forced my brain to work and my eyes to see in a slightly different way. Not a dramatic exercise, but still different enough that I could feel the gears in my cranium creaking a little bit. With certain scientific studies indicating that mental stimulation helps offset cognitive impairment, every little bit counts as far as I'm concerned! Thanks to the sketch, I didn't have to overstrain my brain and come up with placement, so I kept the design quite literal and again, I'm pleased with the results.

I tend to want to 'tart things up' a little bit and sometimes struggle with keeping cards (or layouts for that matter) simpler. As well as being more minimal, this finished card has a lot of white space. In theory, I love the idea of white space and am amazed at how effectively some people use it, but on my own stuff, it can make me feel uncomfortable. The longer I 'sit' on it though, the more it settles into my grey matter and makes itself at home. I vow to attempt white space more often!

Thanks for stopping by! Wishing you plenty of creative opportunities of your own!

9 comments:

Monika Reeck said...

Lovely take on the CPS sketch...very elegant card...love the shape...I am joining the challenge too would you mind to see my Blog...many thanks and best regards from Germany, Monika

Tracy said...

Love both your cards. Your butterfly one is execptional.

Kathy Martin said...

Such pretty and springy cards! :)

Cheryl Nelson said...

Such beautiful cards!!

Kay said...

This is a lovely card! I like the soft, dreamy colors and the vellum butterfly is gorgeous! Thank you for joining us at 2S4Y! ♥♥ Kay

Marlene said...

I am so loving that butterfly. Delicate and beautiful!

Lea L. said...

These are so soft and pretty! I love that butterfly on the first one! Great job with the sketches!

♥Lea

Kazan Clark said...

so beautiful and delicate! Thanks for sharing

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Wow! Those are beautiful!

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