Thursday, March 19, 2009

Flourishes Focus: Putting the Pieces Together

Hi, everyone! It's me, Leslie, and it's my turn to share something I love for Flourishes Friday Focus. I've chosen to write about designer paper because it's become one of my favorite elements in card making. I entered this relationship timidly, not quite sure how to use all those beautiful patterns and colors without clashing with each other or competing with the stamped image. It can be a little overwhelming when you first venture forth, wondering which patterns you can combine, or how much you can get away with -- what's okay or not okay. Is your inner artist right or wrong? Well, I don't think there's a lot of right or wrong when it comes to art. Where would we be without the world's trendsetters? Our jaws would be hitting the floor, but probably with a great big yawn, rather than a gasp of delight.

It's difficult for one individual to tell another how to express art, since it's such a personal thing, but if you're at that "testing the waters" phase of using designer papers, perhaps there are a few fundamentals which serve well as a jumping off point. Some of my favorite papers to work with are BasicGrey, specifically the 6x6 pads since the patterns are scaled down for cards. Patterns, colors, and mood are what I look at most often when matching papers, and one pad of BasicGrey provides many coordinating options, relieving me of some of the guesswork.

Shown below are three different papers from the Euphoria pad. Not only do the colors match, but the leafy pattern is repeated in the two rose red pieces, one more prominent than the other. The lightly patterned green paper provides nice separation between the other two. Repeating pattern and matching colors -- a sure thing!

Here's a card combining those papers with Sweet Peas. I accented the image panel with a brad from the Euphoria collection. The pattern in the brad is the same as that of the card's upper panel, but scaled down even further. I watercolored the flowers with SU!'s Rose Red ink, and added a little Eggplant in the shading around the flowers and in the stamped word. There's a tiny bit of purple in the pattern on the upper panel of the card, which is what helped decide my use of Eggplant.



These papers are also from the Euphoria pad, and they illustrate another virtue -- variety. It's almost hard to believe they're from the same pad as those in the first photo, yet there's that Rose Red and Eggplant, two of the colors prominent in this collection, along with a pretty crystal blue, some green, and pink. What brings these papers together is color and mood; the two busily patterned pieces remind me of a celebration...

...so I made a birthday card. The more solid mats and scalloped border provide separation and definition, allowing the patterns to get along nicely. The presents are from All Wrapped Up, the words are from Signs of Spring, and the flourishes added into the main image panel are Ornamental Elements. I love to mix up sets as much as I love mixing up designer papers! The clear rhinestones and pretty satin ribbon are from Flourishes, too.


Well, that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using designer papers -- color, mood, and pattern. As long as one or the other or all are common in the papers used, we can cast off inhibitions and see what develops. The rest of the design team gals have prepared some samples for designer paper fun, too. Let's go have a look: Christine, Cindy, Faith, Julie, Latisha, Laura, Stacy. There's another sample on my blog, as well.

I'm so glad you could stop in for a while. Have a super day!

-- Leslie

17 comments:

Libby Hickson said...

Wonderful article, Leslie! I'm always amazed by your ability to put together the papers!

Yvonne said...

What a great article!

Gabriela (Gabi With An Eye) said...

I'm thrilled to see Leslie Miller spotlighted on Flourishes. What a well written and comprehensive tutorial on DP and what a marvelous card too!

Stacy aka Twinshappy on SCS said...

Leslie these are wonderful! I like how you combined the paper on each, and your way of explaining why you picked what papers together is perfect and some food for thought! Thanks!

Vickie in AZ said...

I was just looking at my Euphoria pad yesterday, but only with the thought of using one page from it. You've given me a springboard of ideas. Thanks!

Anita said...

Wow! What a fantastic tutorial. I need the push to use my DP.

Whimsey said...

Great job Leslie; love your cards and the hints on DP!!

Sarah said...

This is great. I am the worst at matching papers. I never seem to get that quite right!

Karen said...

Thanks for all the helpful hints, Leslie. I had asked about this once, how you were able to combine so many patterns yet have the finished card look refined.

Evelyn S. said...

And your work is beautiful! I love all those papers, anyway, but this is such a great description of how to use them.

nancy littrell said...

That does it......you have inspired me again and this time to dig into more of my DP with mixing and matching in mind. TFS your gorgeous cards and tutorial.

Michelle B. AKA JustPaintingAround said...

This is a very interesting topic and you did an excellent job covering it. I often refer to myself as "DP Challenged" so maybe this will help me out. Thanks!

Dee said...

I share your love of designer papers BEAUTIFUL!!! I'm ordering the Basic Grey Pad tonight, lol. Couldn't decide which pack I'd buy next until I saw these cards. GREAT job!

Sewflake said...

I was re-reading your artical, and as I was studying your sweet pea card it dawned on me how the image looks so dimentinal, the flowers look as though you took as fresh arrangment and gluded it to your card. Stunning colors!!
Thank you, also for making me realize how to choose papers, maybe it won't take me so long to find the right combinations now that my mind knows what my eyes look for....LOL

Bev said...

I love designer papers. I have the urge to collect them like I used to collect fabrics I liked; since I don't fabric craft as much as I used to, and have enough fabric to last me a life time, I resist the urge now. Not so much with dp-just traded one urge for another-grin. Thanks for the nice article and your cards are gorgeous as usual.

nancy littrell said...

Leslie, I did it!!! Lots of DP going on in my background because of your inspiration. Also combined with Sharon's tab challenge. Enjoy, nancy
Forest Friends:http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/gallery/photo/1283104?cat=16599

Anita said...

Leslie great tutorial. Here is my card. http://www.papercraftplanet.com/photo/butterflies-6?context=user